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Suu Kyi to be stripped of Oxford honorary title for response to Rohingya crisis

Suu Kyi to be stripped of Oxford honorary title for response to Rohingya crisis

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to be stripped of the Freedom of Oxford honorary title by the city's council for her response to the Rohingya crisis, CNN reported on Thursday.

Suu Kyi, who has been strongly criticised by the international community for failing to speak up publicly for the stateless Rohingya or to urge restraint on the military, was bestowed with the honorary title in 1997 in recognition of her long struggle for democracy and her ties to Oxford where she studied, according to CNN.

City councilors considered a cross-party motion to withdraw the honor on Monday night and concluded that that it was "no longer appropriate" for her to hold it, CNN reported, adding that the council said that it had written to Suu Kyi and asked her to "do whatever she can to stop the ethnic cleansing in her country" but had not received a response.

According to a statement seen by CNN, Labour Party Councilor Mary Clarkson, who put forward the motion, said, "In taking action, we do so for several reasons: firstly to add our small voices to others calling for human rights and justice for the Rohingya people; secondly, to respect the long traditions of Oxford, as a diverse and humane city whose reputation is tarnished by honouring those who turn a blind eye to violence. Thirdly, we should bear in mind that public awards can sometimes make their recipients seem untouchable and above scrutiny when their current actions betray their previous good work."

The recommendation to withdraw the city honor will be finalized at the council's next meeting in November, read the CNN report.

Last month, in her much-anticipated address, Suu Kyi had said that she did not fear global scrutiny over the Rohingya crisis, pledging to hold rights violators to account and to resettle some of the 410,000 Muslims who have fled army operations in her country.

She, however, offered no concrete solutions to stop what the UN calls "ethnic cleansing". Amnesty International had said that the Nobel peace prizewinner was "burying her head in the sand" by ignoring army abuses. Her speech was warmly welcomed in Myanmar.

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