A big step forward in Burma
Those of us who have been following developments in Burma cannot but breathe a sigh of relief now that the military junta has freed Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and granted permission for her to travel out of the country after over two decades in confinement. This is indeed a big step forward in the democratization process of Burma even though much more remains to be done in terms of the realization of a full-fledged democracy.
The recent parliamentary elections, even though limited, which her party won by a landslide, is indicative of the strong and powerful appeal she enjoys among the Burmese people. Now she is travelling to Thailand for the World Economic Forum on East Asia, after having been issued with a travel visa earlier this month. According to a BBC report, she has plans to travel to Norway to formally accept the Nobel Peace prize which she won in 1991 but could not receive, after which she will visit the UK where her family live.
Before her departure for Thailand, she met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was on a visit to Burma, the first Indian leader to do so since 1987. She was invited to go to India to deliver the prestigious Nehru Memorial Lecture.
Aung San Suu Kyi is today one of the most respected and admired politicians in the world, someone who stood up for what she believed in, at great personal sacrifice.
One hopes that she will sooner rather than later be given the opportunity to lead her nation after having been prevented from so doing since the early 1990s when her party won the elections but were prevented from taking office by the military.