Few popular political leaders have possessed the moral certitude and belief in non-violence as Mahatma Gandhi did, especially under the duress of a violent regime.
But Burmese political dissenter Aung San Suu Kyi can count herself among the few. It is fitting, therefore, that she was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi peace award for her commitment to Gandhian values on Monday.
Suu Kyi has spent at least a decade under house arrest. Yet she hasn’t wavered in her commitment to true democracy for the Burmese people. She is on trial for violating terms of her house arrest, but the trial can’t be called more than a kangaroo court—as Myanmar’s junta essentially runs the courts as well.
Myanmar can count itself among the world’s most illiberal and repressive regimes; indeed, the junta isn’t even concerned with maintaining a façade of democracy. Despite sanctions from the West, it looks like the generals have dug in. Hope for Burmese democracy looks dim, but Suu Kyi’s moral fortitude, thankfully, endures.