Holocaust Museum revokes award given to Myanmar leader over Rohingya ethnic cleansing

US Holocaust Museum Decides To Take Back Award To Burmese Leader Over Ethnic Cleansing Concerns

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum human rights award was rescinded for her lack of action against the ethnic cleansing of the Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her long campaign against the country's military dictatorship, was awarded the Holocaust Museum's Elie Wiesel award six years ago "for her courageous leadership and great personal sacrifice in resisting tyranny and advancing the freedom and dignity of the Burmese people".

But she didn't. The museum noted that the government has refused to work with the United Nations and "cracked down on journalists trying to uncover the scope of the crimes in Rakhine State".

The museum has come to believe that Aung San Suu Kyi failed to meet these criteria because of her refusal to stop or even acknowledge the Rohingya slaughter by Myanmar's military since it began last August, the Times reported.

Since security forces renewed what they call "clearance operations" last August, more than 671,000 Rohingya, majority children, have fled Myanmar for neighboring Bangladesh with little more than accounts of the atrocities they witnessed.

Since Aug. 25 past year, over 656,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN. As many as 700,000 more fled across the border to Bangladesh, where they remain.

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The museum had hoped that Aung San Suu Kyi would speak out and try to end the brutal campaign, the letter added. Behind them, soldiers moved in to burn their villages and bury the dead in mass graves.

The UN assistant secretary-general said that during a four-day visit to Bangladesh, refugees told him "credible accounts of continued killings, rape, torture and abductions as well as forced starvation" in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine.

Meanwhile, a senior Bangladesh cabinet minister has accused Myanmar of obstructing efforts to repatriate roughly 750,000 Rohingya refugees, saying it was unlikely the displaced Muslims would ever return to their homeland, according to AFP. The post that she holds, state counsellor, was created after her party's 2015 election victory, as she is constitutionally barred from becoming president.

"The military's orchestration of the crimes against Rohingya and the severity of the atrocities in recent months demand that you use your moral authority to address this situation", the museum wrote in its letter. Myanmar has denied citizenship to Rohingya since 1982 and excludes them from the 135 ethnic groups it officially recognizes, which effectively renders them stateless.

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim".

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