Councillors in Edinburgh will discuss on Thursday if Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi should be stripped of an award the Scottish city gave her in 2005, The Guardian reported.
The city’s Lord Provost Frank Ross had written to the Myanmar leader in November, asking her to allow the safe return of Rohingya refugees to Rakhine state. He has not got a response yet.
Suu Kyi had received the Freedom of Edinburgh award in 2005 for her role in promoting peace and democracy in her country. She was under house arrest then. As state counsellor and the de facto leader now, she has faced criticism from world leaders and human rights organisations for doing little to stop the alleged “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.
Oxford, Glasgow, Dublin and Newcastle have also revoked Suu Kyi’s Freedom of the City awards over the past year. The United States Holocaust Museum has revoked her human rights award, and there have been demands to take away her Nobel Peace Prize as well.
When Edinburgh gave Suu Kyi the Freedom of the City award, the then Lord Provost compared her to Nelson Mandela, and described her as “a symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression”.
Lakhs of people of the Rohingya Muslim community have fled Myanmar, mostly to neighbouring Bangladesh, over the past year after alleged violence by the Army in response to terrorist activities. Myanmar has rejected the United Nations’ claims of ethnic cleansing and has blamed the Rohingyas for being “terrorists”.
In a speech in Singapore on Tuesday, Suu Kyi blamed terrorists, not the military, for the violence in Rakhine. She said: “The outside world can choose the issues on which they wish to focus.”