Irish city of Galway latest to rescind award from Aung San Suu Kyi over inaction on Rohingya

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives on stage to pose for a group photo before the start of the ASEAN-Japan summit on the sidelines of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore on November 14, 2018. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

The small city of Galway, Ireland, has become the latest member of the “Ex Aung San Suu Kyi Fan Club”, joining numerous other institutions that have stripped honors away from the Nobel Peace Prize winning leader in response to her continued silence on the plight of the Rohingya.

Almost a year and a half after Myanmar’s military forces launched a brutal campaign that displaced more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims from conflict-ridden Rakhine State, the Galway City Council voted in favor of stripping State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi of their Freedom of the City honor and endorsed the UN Fact-Finding Mission report which recommended the Myanmar Military to the International Criminal Court for genocide against the Rohingya, according to The Journal Ireland.

This is only the latest in a series of honors and awards that have been rescinded from the de-facto leader of Myanmar, whose seeming unwillingness to address the Rohingya crisis has precipitated an unprecedented fall from grace as an international human rights icon.

The move was praised by the Rohingya Action Ireland, a Rohingya rights advocacy group, which has been lobbying for the city of Galway to condemn her inaction as well as call to attention to the ongoing genocide and apartheid in Myanmar.

In a statement, Rohingya Action Ireland, said that the gesture was a “clear message of condemnation of the gravest crimes” and that her inaction deserved to “be condemned, not to be condoned.”

Outside of the Galway City Council, members of the advocacy group posed alongside councillors as well as a Rohingya Arakan flag and signs containing calls to #SavetheRohingya and rescind the Freedom of Galway.

By our count, the tally of awards and honors that have been rescinded from Suu Kyi has reached 16, including the Freedom of Galway and the Freedom of Paris.

Notably, she was stripped of Amnesty International’s highest honor, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, late last year, when the international human rights watchdog stated that she no longer represented “a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defense of human rights.”

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