Michelle Yeoh blacklisted in Burma after Suu Kyi film

By Vaudine England
BBC News, Bangkok

image captionMichelle Yeoh stars as pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a new film, The Lady

The actress who plays the part of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a forthcoming film has been barred from entering Burma.

Michelle Yeoh, a former Bond girl, tried to enter the country on 22 June but was deported on the same day.

An official told reporters that Michelle Yeoh was now blacklisted and would not be able to enter Burma.

She has visited Burma before - in December, she met the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

"She did not have the chance to enter Myanmar (Burma) again. She was deported straight away on the first flight after arriving at Yangon (Rangoon) International Airport," a Burmese official said.

Ms Yeoh has previously travelled to Burma with Aung San Suu Kyi's son, Kim Aris, who was allowed into the country earlier this month to mark his mother's 66th birthday.

'The Lady'

Ms Yeoh portrays Aung San Suu Kyi's life in a forthcoming film, The Lady.

Directed by Luc Besson it will be released later this year.

Michelle Yeoh, a 48-year old Malaysian actress, played a Chinese spy alongside Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.

She also starred in Ang Lee's martial arts movie, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Aung San Suu Kyi recently gave the BBC's annual Reith Lectures in which she explored what freedom means, and described the meaning that Buddhism has given to her lonely political struggle.

In 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won the Burmese election by a landslide.

She then spent 15 of the next 20 years under house arrest, and was finally released last November, a week after military-controlled elections marked what the government says is a return to civilian rule.

Quite what is in the movie of her life remains a mystery - but blacklisting the actress portraying it seems clumsy - and an unlikely way to dim interest in its screening.

More on this story