No ques­tion of with­draw­ing Suu Kyi No­bel Peace Prize: of­fi­cial

The Nation - - ASEANPLUS -

NOR­WAY’S NO­BEL In­sti­tute said on Wed­nes­day that it had no in­ten­tion of with­draw­ing its Peace Prize from Myan­mar’s Aung San Suu Kyi af­ter a damn­ing UN re­port termed the treat­ment of the Ro­hingya peo­ple as “geno­cide”.

“There is no ques­tion of the No­bel Com­mit­tee with­draw­ing the peace prize,” di­rec­tor Olav Njol­stad said. “The rules of the No­bel Peace Prize do not al­low it.”

On Mon­day, a United Na­tions fact-find­ing mis­sion re­leased de­tailed ev­i­dence of geno­cide and crimes against hu­man­ity “per­pe­trated on a mas­sive scale” against the Ro­hingya, in­clud­ing acts of rape, sex­ual vi­o­lence and mass killings.

At a UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ses­sion on Tues­day, a num­ber of coun­tries – in­clud­ing the United States, Bri­tain, France and Swe­den – called for Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary lead­ers to be held ac­count­able.

Suu Kyi won the No­bel Peace Prize in 1991 when she was de­tained by the mil­i­tary for cham­pi­oning democ­racy and hu­man rights.

She was only al­lowed to leave Myan­mar to re­ceive the award 21 years later as the mil­i­tary ap­par­ently eased its iron grip on the coun­try.

As the Ro­hingya cri­sis has deep­ened in the past year with the flight of hun­dreds of thou­sands to neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh, Suu Kyi has come un­der in­creas­ing in­ter­na­tional pres­sure to speak out about their plight.

So far, how­ever, she has said very lit­tle and stead­fastly avoided any crit­i­cal com­ment of Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary.

The No­bel Peace Prize com­mit­tee had warned last year about the wors­en­ing sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar and had urged all par­ties to do “every­thing pos­si­ble to end dis­crim­i­na­tion against and per­se­cu­tion of mi­nori­ties”.

Njol­stad re­peated that state­ment, adding: “This call is not any less timely af­ter the UN re­port.”

The Myan­mar gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day bluntly re­jected the UN’s find­ings.

“We didn’t al­low the [UN fac­tfind­ing mis­sion] to en­ter Myan­mar, that’s why we don’t agree and ac­cept any res­o­lu­tions made by the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil,” gov­ern­ment spokesman Zaw Htay said, ac­cord­ing to the state-run Global New Light of Myan­mar news­pa­per.

He pointed to the for­ma­tion of Myan­mar’s own In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of En­quiry, which he said was set up to re­spond to “false al­le­ga­tions made by UN agen­cies and other in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ties”.

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