London: Oxford has withdrawn the honour which it had bestowed on Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi as a reaction to her perceived inadequate response to the Rohingya Muslims crisis.
The ‘Freedom of Oxford’ had been granted to Suu Kyi in 1997 for her “long struggle for democracy” by the Oxford City Council. However, a cross-party motion unanimously passed by the council on Monday, saying it was “no longer appropriate” for her to hold the honour.
According to a report by Times of India, Oxford City Council leader Bob Price supported the motion to remove her honour and confirmed it was an “unprecedented step” for the local authority.
The city council will hold a special meeting to confirm that the honour is removed on November 27.
Suu Kyi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, had studied and lived in the city of Oxford.
St Hugh’s college, where she was a student from 1964 until 1967, had also earlier this month, removed her portrait from the main college entrance. The exact reason behind this move was not clear, but the wider view is the allegations of ethnic cleansing on Myanmar of the Rohingya Muslims fleeing their homes to Bangladesh.
Nearly 500,000 Rohingya have been displaced after violence they suffered by Myanmar’s military, causing a major humanitarian crisis.
Suu Kyi has been Myanmar’s State Counsellor, a position similar to prime minister, since April, 2016.
She spent years under house arrest as a campaigner for democracy while Myanmar was ruled by a military dictatorship.
The UK government has made repeated calls for her take a firm stand on the violence being suffered by the Rohingyas.