I would like to extend my best wishes to the recently released pro democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi who has spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest by the military junta that runs Myanmar. I don't know that I would agree with all her policy positions should she actually form a government, but her love for the right of people to elect the people who lead them in the face of repression is nothing short of inspiring. She is probably my favourite female political figure on the planet.
She is comparable to the Dalai Lama, except that the Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Suu Kyi was given the option to leave, and she chose to stay under arrest rather than leave because she knew that she would not be permitted to return. After being freed, she said that she will not be free until the people of Myanmar are free. I am concerned that her life is in danger. In order to repress its people, Myanmar has the highest military per capita ratio in the world. One in every four Burmese are employed by the military.
We had to read Letters From Burma for my 20th Century World History course in University, and it is a book that I strongly recommend if you are looking for Christmas gifts for the politically minded in your family.