Like in so many hot spots around the globe, being a democracy activist in Myanmar is not for the easily discouraged. If awards were given for persistence, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 15 of the past 21 years in some form of detetention imposed by Myanmar's government, would have gone 15 for 21 winning the Nobel Persistence Prize.
Aung San Suu Kyi's standing in the world community has perhaps saved her from secret prisons or being outright "disappeared," but confinement to house arrest is certainly far short of freedom. So the sky must have looked more blue and the birdsong must have rang truer from July 4 to July 8 when, for the first time since her release from house arrest in November 2010, Suu Kyi ventured outside her home city and visited the ancient city of Bagan.
The excursion was described both as "low key" and as being conducted "amid tight security." The need for tight security is a mystery. The government of the former Burma has no logical explanation as to why its population needs to be protected from a slight, 66-year-old woman whose primary weapons seem to be the logic of compassion and a smile like the Dalai Lama's.