Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a talk about the rule of law by the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has good reason to have opinions about the subject. Suu Kyi spent nearly fifteen years under house arrest for her pro-democracy activities against the socialist government that ruled her country (and ran it into the ground) from 1962 to 2011. Labeled “a destructive element” by the regime, she was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
Suu Kyi was in town on the invitation of one the undergraduate colleges at Yale, and a fellow of the college was able to snag me a ticket toward the front of the hall where she spoke (it’s nice to have such friends!). From there, it was easy to see that Suu Kyi is both a charming and an electrifying presence—though only some of the wattage comes through in this video of the lecture: