All posts in Politics

Meditating politician

Aung San Suu KyiYesterday I heard the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaking – first on television, in a transmission of her speech in the Oslo City Hall, then live, to 10,000 people gathered outside the city hall.

What is it that makes her so impressive? I am sure it helps that she looks beautiful. The image of one lady standing up against military oppressors cuts an almost equally powerful figure as that of one person with plastic bags standing in front of a row of tanks near Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. In Burma, I am also sure it helps that she is the daughter of the country father Aung San, who was killed when she was only two years old, and whose legacy she sees herself as carrying on. Her enormous sacrifices, refusing to leave house arrest to visit her sons and her then dying husband in England, create an ambiguous, but also awe-inspiring impression. And the fact that she speaks so well certainly helps. Read more…

Meditating Mandela

It requires some strenNelson Mandelagth to be imprisoned for decades for standing up against a ruthless enemy and still keep your basic integrity and humanity intact. Nelson Mandela not only got the Nobel Peace Prize, but has become an icon of these qualities, recently exemplified during the visit of Michelle Obama and her daughters. In his recently published collection of letters, diary notes and other notes over the decades in prison, the following excerpt from a letter to his then wife Winnie, who was also imprisoned, has found its way to one of the front pages of the book:

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