US Holocaust Museum rescinds prize to Myanmar leader


THE United States Holocaust Museum has revoked a human rights award given to Burma's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, over her failure to use her "moral authority" to prevent brutal attacks against the Rohingya community.

For her years of struggle against the military dictatorship in Myanmar, the museum awarded Myanmar's civilian leader State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi the Elie Wiesel Award, a great honor named after the museum's founder, a respected fellow Nobel Prize victor and a Holocaust survivor.

The museum has been "closely monitoring" the Myanmar military's campaign against the Rohingya and Aung San Suu Kyi's response to it, Bloomfield continued, making "numerous visits" to Myanmar and Bangladesh to obtain firsthand evidence.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to Amnesty International.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been largely silent on the situation, and has been criticized by many world leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who wrote, "If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep", according to the New York Times. But many Rohingya living in the crowded, unsanitary camps have said they do not want to return to Rakhine after fleeing atrocities including murder, rape and arson attacks on their homes.

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The rate of killings and sexual violence in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar, has decreased compared to past year, but killings, systematic rapes, torture, and kidnapping continue, he said.

Instead, Suu Kyi's government has been accused of running an internationally criticized propaganda campaign. Behind them, soldiers moved in to burn their villages and bury the dead in mass graves. Several governments, human rights groups and global organizations have warned that the military's offensive may amount to ethnic cleansing.

Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico and longtime friend of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, recently quit an advisory board on the Rohingya crisis, calling it a "cheerleading squad" for the government.

Suu Kyi is Myanmar's state counselor and foreign minister. The post that she holds, state counsellor, was created after her party's 2015 election victory, as she is constitutionally barred from becoming president.

"As a living memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, the Museum stands in solidarity with victims of genocide and atrocity crimes and attempts to do for victims today what was not done for the Jews of Europe". They speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, and they have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982.