Par­lia­ment re­vokes Myanmar leader’s hon­orary Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship

Asian Journal - - NATION -

Ottawa: Par­lia­ment has for­mally stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of her hon­orary Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship for com­plic­ity in the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted against Myanmar’s Ro­hingya peo­ple.

The Se­nate voted unan­i­mously Tuesday to strip Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civil­ian leader, of the sym­bolic hon­our be­stowed on her in 2007.

The up­per house’s move fol­lows a sim­i­lar unan­i­mous vote in the House of Com­mons last week. Since hon­orary cit­i­zen­ship was granted by a res­o­lu­tion passed by both houses of Par­lia­ment, the Se­nate and the Com­mons both had to pass mo­tions to re­scind the hon­our.

Suu Kyi is the first per­son to have her hon­orary Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship re­voked.

The Se­nate has also fol­lowed the lead of the Com­mons in rec­og­niz­ing that the crimes against hu­man­ity com­mit­ted by the Myanmar mil­i­tary against the Ro­hingya con­sti­tute a geno­cide. “We must rec­og­nize this atroc­ity for what it is,” said Sen. Ratna Omid­var, who tabled the mo­tion to re­voke Suu Kyi’s cit­i­zen­ship Tuesday.

“It is geno­cide. We must call it as it is.”

Suu Kyi was awarded the No­bel Peace Prize in 1991 for her fight for democ­racy in Myanmar.

“At that point she was a cham­pion for change and hu­man rights ... The world pinned its hope on her as the shin­ing light and hope for a demo­cratic and peace­ful Myanmar,” said Omid­var.

“As we all now know, that was not to be.” Omid­var said Suu Kyi has de­nied the atroc­i­ties, re­stricted ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tors and jour­nal­ists, de­fended the mil­i­tary and de­nied hu­man­i­tar­ian aid for the Ro­hingya. “We need to send a strong sig­nal here in Canada and around the world that if you’re an ac­com­plice of geno­cide, you are not wel­come here. Cer­tainly not as an hon­orary Cana­dian cit­i­zen.”

A United Na­tions fact find­ing mis­sion re­ported last month that the Myanmar mil­i­tary has sys­tem­at­i­cally killed thou­sands of Ro­hingya civil­ians, burned hun­dreds of their vil­lages and en­gaged in eth­nic cleans­ing and mass gang rape. It called for top gen­er­als to be in­ves­ti­gated and pros­e­cuted for geno­cide.

Aung San Suu Kyi

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