A dilapidated colonial villa on the banks of the Inya Lake in Rangoon, Burma's largest city, has regained its identity as a home – instead of a prison – following the Saturday release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the icon of the military-ruled country's democracy movement.
Yet it is not the first time that this change of identity has taken place. The 65-year-old Nobel Peace laureate's release from house arrest by the junta brought to an end her seven-year stretch of political isolation, which began after pro-regime thugs attacked Suu Kyi and her supporters in central Burma in May 2003.
Suu Kyi, the daughter of Burma's independence hero Aung San, has been granted freedom twice before since her first imprisonment in her ancestral home in July 1989. The freedoms granted to her by the military leaders of Burma, or Myanmar, were never permanent.
Thus, this early, as Suu Kyi takes her first tentative steps as a free Burmese citizen after spending 15 of the past 21 years as a prisoner in her home, concern is already being expressed about whether her freedom will be short- lived.