The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is of course great news but it is only a first step on a very long path to democracy.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Leader of the Pro-Democracy movement in Burma and winner of the last true democratic ballot in Burma has been released. She had been held under house arrest for the last 15 years. As Leader of the Pro-Democracy movement was one of the most iconic of the 2,203 Political Prisoners held by Burmese authorities. When she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize she became our generations model for peaceful resistance.
Few expected her release because the Military backed Government had imposed numerous conditions to her release which she refused to comply with.
While she is no longer under house-arrest, she and her fellow Country are still imprisoned because the people of Burma are not yet free.
This is a great first step for democracy in Burma. It is however only a first step. Will she be allowed to campaign? Will she be given freedom of movement?
Will the Movement for Freedom and Democracy be allowed to exist?
Last Sunday's elections in Burma were not free or fair. She therefore remains the last legitimately elected Leader of Burma. Her current freedom represents a real challenge to the validity of those elections. Something that the government of Burma is well aware of. She has also been released before and she has been placed under house arrest three times.
Time will tell if this is a real move towards democracy or if it is a way of Burma hiding the fraud of the last election. Burma is still not free but the release of Aung San Suu Kyi can only help give much needed publicity to those who are fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights.