Ne Win

The Force of a Woman
May 04, 2012

The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi By Peter Popham (The Experiment, 448 pp., $27.50) Aung San Suu Kyi mania is sweeping Rangoon. The paraphernalia for sale on the streets of Rangoon now includes the hitherto banned image of Aung San Suu Kyi on posters, stickers, key rings, and baseball caps.

The Awakening
January 11, 2012

One evening recently in Rangoon, my friend Ko Ye (not his real name) arrived at the apartment where I was staying, brandishing the latest issue of the weekly newspaper he runs. It was, he announced with great fanfare, a landmark edition: For the first time ever, government censors had allowed him to run a photo of Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s most prominent dissident, on the cover. The edition also included other previously banned topics: political analysis of U.S. relations with Burma and an article about Martin Luther King that contained the taboo phrase “human rights” in the headline.

Lady in Waiting
April 12, 1999

Being arrested is never pleasant, but, when your detainers are wearing flip-flops and sarongs, it's somehow less threatening. I had already given my exposed rolls of film to an acquaintance to smuggle out of Burma, so the police had to settle for an unexposed one left in the camera. My notes, in Polish, were briefly examined, then ignored.

The Alternatives to Communism
June 24, 1970

Is exporting democracy the way to stop totalitarian dictators?