Aung San Suu Kyi Triumphs in Burma

Aung san Suu KyiCut off from most of the world for decades by an oppressive military rule, Burma (Myanmar) has recently made momentous strides toward a more open society. Perhaps the most dramatic event in this political shift is the April 1 announcement that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to the lower house of the Burmese parliament. Under house arrest for almost 15 years since 1989, she was finally released in 2010. During the intervening years her efforts to secure a peaceful democratization of Burma had her awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Rafto Prize. In 2011, she was awarded the Wallenberg Medal.

With the junta ceding power in 2011 and rebels signing cease-fire agreements, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been calling for a reevaluation of our relationship with that country. As with former prisoner turned South African president, Nelson Mandela, Suu Kyi’s reward for perseverance is a remarkable testament to the power an individual to forge societies steeped in positive peace.

By William Repicci

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