The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not be withdrawn in light of a United Nations report that said the country’s military carried out mass killings of Rohingya Muslims, Reuters reported on Thursday quoting the Norwegian Nobel Committee. There have been demands to revoke her Nobel Peace Prize.
“There is no question of the Nobel Committee withdrawing the peace prize,” said Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee Olav Njolstad, according to AFP. “The rules of the Nobel Peace Prize do not allow it. It’s important to remember that a Nobel Prize, whether in physics, literature or peace, is awarded for some prize-worthy effort or achievement of the past.” Njolstad added that Suu Kyi won the prize for her fight for democracy and freedom up until 1991.
On Monday, UN investigators said Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gangrapes with “genocidal intent”, and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for the gravest crimes under international law. At a UN Security Council session on Tuesday, several countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Sweden, called for Myanmar’s military leaders to be held accountable.
Myanmar, however, has refuted the UN’s claims, saying the international community was making false allegations.
Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than one million stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, many of who fled to neighbouring countries. Myanmar treats Rohingyas as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army. Myanmar has also rejected United Nations’ claims of ethnic cleansing and blamed Rohingya for being “terrorists”.
Suu Kyi, however, has avoided any critical comment of Myanmar’s military. Previously, Oxford, Glasgow, Dublin and Newcastle have revoked Suu Kyi’s Freedom of the City awards. The United States Holocaust Museum has also revoked her human rights award.