Petition slams Suu Kyi’s silence on the violence committed against Rohingya Muslims, saying only those who are serious about keeping world peace should be awarded the prize.
PETALING JAYA: The chorus of disapproval against Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi over her silence on the violence committed against Rohingya Muslims is growing, with a petition launched to remove the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her in 2012.
The petition, initiated on change.org by Indonesian Emerson Yuntho, said Suu Kyi had done nothing to stop the “crime against humanity” being carried out in her own country.
It added that there had been no official position from her with regards to the “rampant” human rights violations experienced by the Rohingya minority.
The petition also slammed Suu Kyi for a controversial statement she had made in 2013 which appeared to be anti-Muslim in nature.
Following an interview with BBC Today anchor Mishal Husain, Suu Kyi had reportedly said: “No one told me that I was to be interviewed by a Muslim.”
Saying that the comment could have been caused by Mishal’s question on the hardships experienced by Muslims in Myanmar, the petition added: “Coming from a democratic hero, one racist statement is one too many.
“It destroys the democratic values that respect differences in beliefs. For a laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, a racist statement renders the peaceful values artificial, giving rise to suspicions and even conflicts.
“The Nobel Prize is the highest prize to be given only to ‘people who have given their utmost to international brotherhood and sisterhood’.
“These peaceful values need to be nurtured by the laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize, including Suu Kyi, until their last days.
“When a laureate cannot maintain peace, then for the sake of peace itself, the prize needs to be returned or confiscated by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
“Therefore, we hereby demand the chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee confiscate or take back the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi. Only those who are serious in keeping the world peace may be awarded such a coveted prize.”
Suu Kyi has come under increasing pressure from countries with Muslim populations, including Indonesia, where thousands led by Islamist groups rallied in Jakarta yesterday to demand that diplomatic ties with Buddhist-majority Myanmar be cut.
According to Reuters, nearly 150,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh in less than two weeks since violence broke out on Aug 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base.
The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people.