A well-connected reader has drawn my attention to a letter posted on the website of the Consul General of the Union of Myanmar in Hong Kong (remember him?). It picks up the mystery of the American who swam across Inya Lake to Aung San Suu Kyi’s residence. The letter has to be seen to be believed. The South China Morning Post, via its Chief Asia correspondent Greg Torode, has the story in full. A key extract follows:

Months after Myanmar’s Consul General Ye Myint Aung wrote letters describing the Rohingya boatpeople as being as “ugly as ogres”, a letter on the consulate’s website asks whether the American who swam to the mansion of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was a secret agent “or her boyfriend”.

“Dear Friends,” the letter says. “Frankly, we have no idea whether he is either secret agent or her boyfriend at this moment. We shall try to learn it and tell you later.” The words “secret agent or her boyfriend” are underlined and in bold, in case anyone misses the point. The letter is signed by the “Consulate General of the Union of Myanmar”.

Charges that Ms Suu Kyi breached the terms of her house arrest were lodged against the pro-democracy icon after American John Yettaw swam across a lake to her house this month. Her lawyer has described Yettaw as a “fool” for giving the junta an excuse to extend the detention of Ms Suu Kyi, who had been due for release this month.

The trial of Ms Suu Kyi, her two housekeepers and Yettaw opened in Yangon’s Insein prison this week. She faces the prospect of five years’ jail.

The consulate’s letter refers to many “friends” calling the mission wanting for more information on the situation. A representative of the consulate could not be reached for further comment.