Global pressure on Suu Kyi rising
As Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi sat close to him, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said late on Monday that the unfolding humanitarian crisis in her country could cause regional instability and radicalization. The conservative Association of Southeast Asian Nations refused to discuss the crisis in a strong, critical manner, but at least two leaders raised the issue.
DUBLIN— Irish musician and activist Bob Geldof called Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi “a handmaiden to genocide” on Monday as he returned his Freedom of the City of Dublin award in protest over his fellow recipient’s response to the repression of Rohingya Muslims.
“I don’t want to be on a very select roll of wonderful people with a killer,” Geldof told state broadcaster RTE. “Someonewhois at best a handmaiden to genocide and an accomplice to murder.”
More than 600,000 Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh after military operations described by the United Nations as ethnic cleansing.
Their plight has drawn outrage around the world.
Failure to speak out
But Suu Kyi, long seen as a champion of human rights, has been criticized for failing to speak out against the violence.
There have been calls for her to be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize she won in 1991.
Suu Kyi was given the Freedom of Dublin in 1999 while she was held under house arrest by Myanmar’s then military government.
She received her award at a reception in Ireland in 2012, two years after her release.
“Her association with our city shames us all and we should have no truck with it, even by default. We honored her, now she appalls and shames us,” Geldof said in a statement.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Micheal Mac Donncha, said the city council had discussed taking away the honor and the matter was still under review.