Aung San Suu Kyi to be stripped of prestigious honor over lack of response to Rohingya crisis

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. (RETUERS/Soe Zeya)

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will have her Freedom of Oxford honor withdrawn by the city council due to her glaring lack of response to the ongoing Rohingya crisis that’s been unfolding in her country. Suu Kyi was given the honor in 1997 for her “long struggle for democracy,” BBC reported, but this week, members of the city council decided it was “no longer appropriate” for her to hold the title. Council members said they’d written to Suu Kyi and urged her to “do whatever she can to stop the ethnic cleansing in her country,” but have yet to receive a response from Myanmar’s de facto leader. She studied at Oxford University in the 1960s.

The rebuke is the latest in a string of public criticism of Suu Kyi’s handling of the crisis. Last month, fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai publicly criticized Suu Kyi’s inaction and called on her to rise to the occasion. “I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same [condemn treatment of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in a majority Buddhist nation]. The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting,” Yousafzai said.

This week’s issue of TIME magazine featured the crisis on its cover, referring to the ethnic cleansing as “Myanmar’s Shame.” Women in the World founder Tina Brown in a post on Twitter said Suu Kyi’s indifference to their suffering was “appalling.”

The accompanying story speculated that Suu Kyi’s seeming paralysis in the face of the Rohingya plight could prove to be her downfall, a notion that seems to be taking shape as she continues to be publicly chastised for not doing something to stop the violence against the Rohingya.

Read the full story at CNN.


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