Removal of Freedom of the City of Dundee from Aung San Suu Kyi

Last week I spoke in the council debate on removing Aung San Suu Kyi from the list of people who have received the Freedom of the City of Dundee.

It was with some sadness that I rose to speak in support of removing the grant of the Freedom of the City from Aung San Suu Kyi.

As an Amnesty International member I was pleased to listen to a deputation from the local Amnesty International group at the meeting on Monday evening.

When Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Freedom of the City I spoke in favour of her receiving the Freedom of the City at the Council meeting that night.

Unfortunately, things have not worked out as we would have thought they would.

The treatment of the Rohingya people is an international disgrace

The world watched in shock as well over half a million people fled an intense campaign of violence in Myanmar that was systematic, organised and ruthless. The Myanmar military killed Rohingya women, men and children, raped Rohingya women and girls, and burnt entire Rohingya villages.

Those who stay behind are still at risk, Myanmar’s authorities are restricting their access to lifesaving humanitarian aid and assistance. They continue to live under a system of institutionalised discrimination and segregation which amounts to apartheid.

The Myanmar authorities are trying to stop the world from seeing what’s actually happening on the ground.

Aung San Suu Kyi may not be able to stop the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people but she could have stood up for them more.

Sadly, therefore, I supported the moves to remove Aung San Suu Kyi from the list of those who have the Freedom of the City of Dundee.

The treatment of the Rohingya people cannot be justified and discriminating on the grounds of creed or ethnicity is deplorable.

I was appalled to hear that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office had not even had the decency to reply to the letters sent to them from the council asking about human rights abuses in Myanmar.

We should also send a clear message that we expect the ethnic cleansing to stop.  Please consider signing the Amnesty International petition against the violence against the Rohingya people.