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Oxford removes Aung San Suu Kyi’s name from common room

No complicit leaders, please. Source: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo

No more excuses. St Hugh’s College’s undergrads have voted to drop Myanmar’s de facto leader name from their junior common room on Thursday evening, The Guardian reported.

The 1991 Nobel Peace laureate’s name is off the common room with immediate effect, after the motion which criticised Suu Kyi for her “silence and complicity” in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in her home country, passed.

“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,” the resolution read.

The college’s governing body had in September decided to remove a painting of Suu Kyi from its main entrance before students arrived for the new term.

Suu Kyi was a St Hugh’s College student between 1964 and 1967 where she studied politics, philosophy and economics.

St Hugh’s isn’t the first to condemn Suu Kyi after a group of Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army base in Rakhine state late August Burma’s security forces retaliated by opening fire at the Rohingya and burning villages, as documented by several international rights groups and described by the United Nations as “ethnic cleansing”.

About half a million Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. Survivors recall unspeakable terror inflicted on their community, including opening fire on civilians, rape and sexual assault against its women and destruction of villages.

Throughout the crisis, Suu Kyi has been seen as unwilling to help the Rohingya and at times, have appeared to defend Burma’s military’s actions.

Many have called for her Nobel Peace Prize award to be revoked and in early October, the Oxford city council unanimously voted to strip Suu Kyi’s of her Freedom of the City of Oxford, a civic honour bestowed on her in 1997, when she was being held as a political prisoner by Myanmar’s military junta.

The Guardian notes that Oxford has yet to reconsider the honorary degree conferred to her in 2012, though it has stated its “profound concern” over how Suu Kyi has been handling the Rohingya crisis.

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