World Politics

Rohingya backlash; Aung San Suu Kyi’s name to be removed from Oxford common room

The Rohingya backlash continues to haunt the erstwhile peace figure Aung San Suu Kyi as now the Oxford college undergraduates have voted to have her name removed from the title of their junior common room. The Myanmarese leader also studied in this institution.

The voting was held on Thursday evening where in the JCR Committee at St. Hugh’s College resolved to eliminate the name of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate from the Aung San Suu Kyi Junior Common Room with immediate effect. It may be recalled that the college had earlier removed a portrait of Suu Kyi. Councils in Oxford and London were also seeking to strip her of the honorary freedoms of both cities, claimed an international channel.

The motion criticised the “silence and complicity” in her apparent defence of the country’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, who have suffered ethnic cleansing and violent attacks by Myanmar’s military forces. The crisis has led to more than half a million Rohingya being driven out from northern Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh, according to the UN. The St. Hugh’s resolution read: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s inability to condemn the mass murder, gang rape and severe human rights abuses in Rakhine is inexcusable and unacceptable. She has gone against the very principles and ideals she had once righteously promoted.” In 2012, Suu Kyi was celebrated with an honorary doctorate from Oxford and held her 67th birthday party at the college where she studied politics, philosophy and economics between 1964 and 1967. But in recent months she has attracted increasing criticism for her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. In September, the governing body of St. Hugh’s decided to remove a painting of her from its main entrance, days before the start of the university term and the arrival of new students.

At the start of October, Oxford city council voted unanimously to strip the Myanmar leader of the Freedom of the City of Oxford, the Guardian reported.

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