Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Rescind Aung San Suu Kyi's Award

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Rescind Aung San Suu Kyi's Award

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum has rescinded a human rights award it gave to Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the former political prisoner and democracy activist and now the civilian leader of Myanmar. They speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, and they have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982.

The award was named after Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi genocide against Jews who spent much of his life campaigning for human rights, himself winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. In a report last December, the global humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent, or 6,700 Rohingya, were caused by violence.

Some 700,000 Rohingya have been driven across the border into Bangladesh, bringing with them scant possessions and countless tales of atrocities, including gang rapes, the murder of children and the destruction of entire villages, The Post reported recently.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for an investigation for Myanmar, where other senior United Nations officials have said the military is continuing to wage a campaign against the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group that amounts to ethnic cleansing.

But Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, the museum said, has failed to live up to that vision.

In their letter informing Suu Kyi of the withdrawal of the award, museum officials said they hoped she "would have done something to condemn and stop the military's brutal campaign and to express solidarity with the targeted Rohingya population".

The National League for Democracy, under your leadership, has instead refused to cooperate with United Nations investigators, promulgated hateful rhetoric against the Rohingya community, and denied access to and cracked down on journalists trying to uncover the scope of the crimes in Rakhine State.

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Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico and longtime friend of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, recently quit an advisory board on the Rohingya crisis, calling it a "cheerleading squad" for the government. In response, Barack Obama relaxed sanctions, gave financial assistance and became the first sitting United States president to visit Myanmar. Authorities in Myanmar accuse them of possessing state secrets.

For many of her one-time admirers, her handling of the Rohingya issue has been nothing short of a betrayal.

The UN assistant secretary-general said that during a four-day visit to Bangladesh, refugees told him "credible accounts of continued killings, rape, torture and abductions as well as forced starvation" in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine.

In its letter, the Holocaust Museum acknowledged "the hard situation you must face in confronting decades of military misrule".

The letter continues, urging her to use her position to cooperate with worldwide efforts "to establish the truth about the atrocities committed in Rakhine State and secure accountability for perpetrators" and to lead changes to Myanmarese law that leave most Rohingya stateless.

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim".

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