The continuing silence of Aung San Sui Kyi on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma continues to confound and dismay all those who welcomed her return to the international scene as the moral voice of Burma.
A terrible injustice continues in Myanmar, a land that held such bright promise of democracy when Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize and the grip of the generals seemed to have eased, bringing hope to its beleaguered people.
The minority Muslim Rohingya continue to suffer unspeakable persecution, with more than 1,000 killed and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes just in recent months, apparently with the complicity and protection of security forces.
Win Tin is 85 and Hla Hla Win is 28. Generations separate them, but both stood up to a grotesque military regime that dominated their country for decades.
There are many things to be thankful for in 2012. People have been taking to the streets around the world, from students in Chile to indigenous activists in Canada to anti-austerity workers in Europe. Here are some U.S. and global issues that experienced newfound gains in 2012.
In her campaign, Park Geun-hye used three words: Ready, Female, President.
President Obama's recent trip to Myanmar is the first by a sitting U.S. president. Human rights groups say the trip was premature. For sure, more work is needed to consolidate peace and progress in Myanmar. But Obama made the right decision.
So what exactly is a role model? Is it someone we relate to, someone we aspire to be, someone we just greatly admire?
As democracy and decency and fairness spreads throughout the land of Burma, there will be time for arguments, clarifications, and dissent. For now, let us stick with the Mandela of Asia whose name everyone now knows.
We're beyond the mere need for civil discourse. Our minds are askew. We actually believe our own rhetoric as an article of faith. We no longer know how to talk because we no longer know how to think.
Obama's visit to 'cut the ribbon' on a seemingly foreign policy success story is the culmination of years of risk-taking leadership from previous presidential administrations. Sadly, the Obama team hasn't even taken risks on the difficult issues of Cuba, Palestine, Sudan or Iran.
The few hours that the president will spend on the ground in Myanmar sends a signal that the government is no longer an international outlaw. But the president's stop-over has the potential to advance rather than set back reform.
America's own history shows that reconciling diversity with democracy is not easy, and so it will be for Burma and the Rohingya. But by offering the support of the American people, President Obama may just convince Burmese that this is a task worth undertaking.
Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to India should serve as an opportunity for both India and Burma to mend and strengthen bilateral relationship between the two neighbors which have shared cultures.
Myanmar's 800,000 Rohingya originally hail from West Bengal. Today they are stateless people, denied citizenship in Myanmar and rejected by Bangladesh.
She was unable to accept this distinction in person until she was released from prison, like many other awards she was given during her years of incarceration. How does one remain so serene and lucid after 15 years of imprisonment?