Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy won the 1990 election in Myanmar, has been released from the house arrest in which she was shortly placed before that election, the last free election in the country. The 1991 Nobel Peace laureate has spent about 15 years since then in house arrest, though her release now should be a lesson to all, especially those who propound the virtues of military rule, under which Burma has mostly been since the assassination of Ms Aung San Syuu Kyis father, generally counted as the father of Burma, and the person who led the country to independence from British rule in 1947. However, this must also be a lesson to all those who propagate democracy, about the efforts that must be put in to achieve democratic rule. Ms Aung has been released before, so it is possible that this release will simply be followed by a re-arrest, and even if she is not re-arrested, there is no guarantee that she will come to power. Even at the time of her election victory 20 years ago, she had been 45, and now she is 65, so her energy level is perhaps not what is needed to overcome the military dictatorship there. The refusal of the Myanmar regime to hand over power in 1990 made the country different from both Pakistan and Bangladesh, where the daughters of dead leaders (respectively Benazir Bhutto and Hasina Wazed) replaced military rulers. Though both of them represent examples, perhaps Ms Aung has got better examples before her, for both Ms Bhutto and Sh Hasina lost power, only to face corruption charges. Ms Bhutto, though twice Prime Minister of Pakistan, ended up assassinated. Though if Myanmar democratizes at this juncture, it will be because of its desire to join ASEAN, whose other members have placed great pressure on its regime to let the peoples will be expressed. Ms Aungs struggle cannot, nevertheless, be discounted. She has been the symbol through which the Myanmarese people have held on to the principle of democracy. In fact, she is frequently mentioned by other ASEAN countries when they apply pressure for greater democracy. Myanmar is not Pakistan, and the two countries have very different histories, but the Mynmarese regime should learn this much: the biggest mistake it can make is to send Ms Aung back into house arrest. It should rely for its survival on its contribution to Myanmarese society. It must also prepare itself for the fresh elections that need to be held, and in which the freed Ms Aung must be allowed to participate unhindered. That is both the lesson of history, and of the region, and it must be respected by the Myanmarese regime.