Burma: Nobody who is still alive has a right to complain

The humbling words of Aung San Suu Kyi who has announced her re-entry into politics, when asked about whether she was bitter about her treatment over the last few decades.

The leader of Burma’s NLD opposition party has decided it is time for her party to contest seats in the next election, and this rehabilitation inside Burma is an echo of the international situation as yesterday the Burmese government was returned to the good grace of their neighbours in a very public manner.

Burma will host the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) chair in 2014. This seems to complete an almost total process of reform for the country and to top it off, Obama has announced that Hilary Clinton will be making an official state visit next month, Obama cautiously pronounced that there were "flickers of progress" in Burma and confirmed that he had spoken to Aung San Suu Kyi before he decided that Clinton would go there.

But by no means have all the concessions that Aung San Suu Kyi has sought from the government been met. The paltry release of prisoners in last month’s amnesty was a huge disappointment, and there are still around 2,000 political prisoners languishing in cells - see this earlier post on how that turned into a tragic damp squib.

However there is progress to be celebrated, and from “flickers”, raging fires have spread. Aung San Suu Kyi responded with her trademark self-deprecation to suggestions that it might harm her dignity if she enters into the fray now, saying:

"If I think I should take part in the election, I will. Some people are worried that taking part could harm my dignity. Frankly, if you do politics, you should not be thinking about your dignity."

Somehow, though whenever she “does politics” dignity is one of the first things that springs to mind.

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