Monday, 20 May, 2019

Rohingya crisis: Myanmar's Suu Kyi stripped off prestigious human right award

Rohingya crisis: Myanmar's Suu Kyi stripped off prestigious human right award Rohingya crisis: Myanmar's Suu Kyi stripped off prestigious human right award
Patty Aguilar | 09 March, 2018, 18:07

The honorary titles once decorating Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi continue to be revoked amid the ongoing Rohingya crisis, with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum becoming the latest to withdraw an award from the erstwhile democracy icon.

"It is with great regret that we are ... rescinding that award", the museum said to Suu Kyi in a letter, referring to the Elie Wiesel award, named after a Romanian-American Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, it had given her in 2012.

Suu Kyi was a Mandela-like figure in Myanmar who spent years under house arrest for opposing the country's military dictatorship. Her party won a landslide victory in 2015 and she assumed the newly created post of state counselor, although the military still retains significant political and economic power. Instead, human rights advocates consider her a disappointment, particularly in her response to the Rohingya killings.

"We understand the hard situation you must face in confronting decades of military misrule and violence in your country and that institution's still powerful constitutional role".

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In November a joint report by the Museum and Southeast Asia-based watchdog Fortify Rights - based on testimony they gathered in the field - documented "widespread and systematic attacks" on Rohingya civilians.

In a letter to Suu Kyi released Wednesday, the museum accused her government of obstructing United Nations investigators and promoting "hateful rhetoric" against the Rohingya community, even as it acknowledged she has little influence over the military.

It is the latest expression of the worldwide opprobrium being heaped on Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize victor who, within the space of a few months, has gone from being a human rights hero to a leader increasingly spoken of as presiding over a genocide. The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that the brutal attacks and eradication of whole villages was meant to prevent the return of Rohingya to Myanmar. They said that as the country's leader she can not avoid responsibility.

A spokesman for the Burmese Embassy was not available to comment about the move by the museum, which is dedicated to victims of Nazism.

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