The Next Face-Off

For Burma, a country where symbols and omens are woven into the fabric of life, the portents were all positive. True, University Avenue, the winding road leading to the monsoon-stained mansion where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since September 2000, was still closed off. But behind the sawhorses, blue-trousered municipal workers could be seen repairing potholes and sweeping the sidewalks clear of cheroot butts, palm fronds and bamboo leaves. Neighbors reported that the Nobel Peace Prize winner's lawn was being mowed, her grounds spruced up. A few blocks away, the once forlorn and empty headquarters...

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