No nation in Asia – from South Korea to Taiwan to Indonesia – has made an easy transition from dictatorship to democracy. But change needs to start somewhere. As the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, recently said, “2010 will be a very critical year for Myanmar.” There may yet be light at the end of the Irrawaddy.

– Extracted from Stanley A. Weiss, “A First Step Toward Democracy?”, The International Herald Tribune, 23 February 2010.