November 15, 2010

THE POWER OF HER PRESENCE:

A triumph for moral authority: When strong regimes show their fear of weak individuals, their own vulnerability stands revealed. So it is with Burma's generals (Isabel Hilton, 15 November 2010, Independent)

All who watched Aung San Suu Kyi's short walk to freedom on Saturday had waited a long time for a moment that was full of both joy and uncertainty about the future.

As millions around the world caught their first glimpse of this resolute and courageous woman, who has borne her nearly two decades of confinement with dignity and integrity of purpose, other moments in recent history inevitably came to mind: would her release signal that change is coming to Burma, as that of Nelson Mandela did in South Africa? Would she be able to lead a people-power revolution, as Corazon Aquino did in the Philippines in 1986, or Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia in 1989? Would her return to public life in Burma bring the first rays of a political dawn, or will darkness return?

There are as many reasons to hope as to fear a new disappointment, but whatever the final impact of her release, there is no questioning the power of her presence. However we marshal the many arguments against the likelihood of a restoration of democracy to Burma, the mesmerising impact of those first

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 15, 2010 6:28 PM
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