UK union suspends Suu Kyi’s award

News Hour

A leading trade union of the United Kingdom has suspended an award given to Aung San Suu Kyi in response to humanitarian crisis in Myanmar while some other institutions there are reviewing the honours awarded to her for taking similar action.

The organisations have taken the steps against the Noble laureate for peace as international criticism mounts over her lukewarm response to the persecution against Rohingyas, according to a report, published in the esteemed British daily the Guardian.

Over the last 30 years Aung San Suu Kyi has been awarded with honorary degrees from several UK universities including Glasgow, Bath and Cambridge, as well as the freedom of several cities, and other honours, the newspaper said.

In the report, the Guardian said that one of the largest trade unions of Britain, Unison, has suspended Suu Kyi’s honorary membership in response to humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and urged Myanmar’s de facto leader to do more to denounce the plight of the country’s Rohingya people.

“The situation facing the Rohingya of Myanmar is appalling,” Margaret McKee, Unison’s president, told the Guardian, adding, “Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary membership of Unison has been suspended, and we hope that she responds to international pressure.”

Bristol University, one of a string of universities, told the Guardian that it was reviewing the award bestowed on the Burmese leader during her time in opposition in light of accusations of brutal mistreatment of the Rohingyas, described by the UN as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

The Guardian also reported that the London School of Economics student union said it would be stripping the former political prisoner of her honorary presidency.

Oxford councillors have announced that they would reconsider the freedom of the city of Oxford awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1997 at next month’s council meeting.

“If nothing changes, I think it is very likely that the city council will be stripping her of the freedom of the city,” John Tanner, an Oxford council board member, told the Oxford Mail and added that “It’s something that we very much regret but clearly the reasons for giving her support have now changed.”

Quoting UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the Guardian in the report mentioned that the UK government would keep suspended the training of the Burmese military by the Ministry of Defence until the Rohingya issue is resolved.


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