Aung San Suu Kyi Nobel laureate

Aung San Suu Kyi received her Nobel Prize in 1991 for her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.” No one at the time, other than some in Myanmar, would have disagreed with that. It was also a welcome achievement when she became the head of state in 2015. There was hope that someone, like her who had suffered so much, showed such determination to fight for freedom, would be a champion to improve the human rights in Myanmar. In her Nobel lecture, Aung San remarked: “Wherever suffering is ignored, there will be the seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages.”

The treatment of the Rohingya people has been nothing short of genocide; according to a recent UN report. What makes it more shocking is that Aung San has been the state leader during these killing sprees. I understand that her power is limited because the Generals still retain substantial influence in the country but she still has legal recourse, and more importantly she has a powerful voice in the nation that could oppose these atrocities. Unfortunately, some of her recent comments have been supportive if not misleading for example saying that ‘terrorists’ are misinforming the world about what is happening in Myanmar or asking the US ambassador not to use the word Rohingya (this is denying their identity as an ethnic group although they have lived in Myanmar for centuries).

As well as the recent report there was a UN report in February and another by Amnesty International that lists the awful treatment of the Rohingya people of Myanmar (details of which are too gruesome to go through). The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has rescinded its Elie Wiesel Award granted to Suu Kyi in 2012 because she had failed to intervene in the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Myanmar. Ironically and maintaining their dreadful line Myanmar responded to this by claiming the awarding institution was “misled and exploited.”

I believe that Aung San Suu Kyi still being a Nobel laureate devalues the Nobel Peace Prize, and she should be stripped of it as she has not upheld the principles for what she was recognised for. Admittedly, the final say is with the Nobel committee but the overwhelming evidence against Aung San is so significant that I believe she does not merit the Nobel Peace Prize and it’s a shame the Nobel committee has been so reticent on the matter.

 

 

 

* Tahir Maher is the Wednesday editor and a member of the LDV editorial team

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13 Comments

  • Laurence Cox 29th Aug '18 - 12:02pm

    I think that the Nobel Peace prize was already devalued when it was awarded to people like Menachem Begin, Yasser Arafat and Henry Kissinger to name just three. Unlike the scientific Nobel prizes, the Peace prize has too often been awarded shortly after an event and long before the effects of the event were fully known. Look at the list of Nobel Peace prize winners https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_Peace_Prize_laureates and ask yourself how many of them would have been awarded the prize had it been known at the time what the outcome had been twenty or twenty-five years later, as is the case for most of the scientific Nobel prizes.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Aug '18 - 1:21pm

    A fine piece of humane common sense from Tahir Maher

    She is appalling. The prize an insult to the peacemakers who should receive that honour.

    There are people who get it after disgraceful episodes earlier then change and make good. Begin an example.

    There are some who do good things but are over hyped. Gore , Obama.

    There are others who claim peace but talk to one side often doing disgraceful things and are over hyped in their fan base and win prizes. Supporters of the Labour party leader claim he has won the Nobel, nearly as absurd, he has received the Gandhi.

    There are others who win prizes and deserve them. President Carter, one of many.

    The glib comments from the subject of this report, mean she is unfit and unsuited for office.

  • John Marriott 29th Aug '18 - 2:07pm

    How the mighty are fallen! Did we honestly think that by putting Aung San Suu Kyi at the top of the pyramid meant that the generals had just given up?

    As for the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s value was debased years ago, as Lawrence Cox has already pointed out. Interesting that its founder made a fortune from inventing dynamite. It has proved more than once to be an explosive award. Perhaps it’s time to scrap it.

  • nvelope2003 29th Aug '18 - 3:41pm

    Why not look up who her father was and then you will understand. It is something which seems to be unknown even to the most able journalists and fund raisers. Oh dear.

  • nvelope2003
    Are you a Karen?

  • John Marriott 29th Aug '18 - 8:08pm

    @nevelope2003
    He was Aung San, General and so called ‘Father of the Nation’, after Burma’s independence. Must be in the blood, then.

  • We all have many ancestors and many of us take after one or other of them so heredity cannot be ignored. Aung San Suu Kyi comes from a long line of Burmese Nationalists who opposed British rule and defended Burmese interests against other peoples. Her attitudes to the Rohingya should be seen in this light. Even members of her own family including her children have distanced themselves from her. I never shared the admiration for her which so many people seemed to have. If she has no real power she should have resigned but she seems to actively support the policies of the military which seem to be popular with the ordinary Burmese. Democracy in action ?

  • nvelope2003 30th Aug '18 - 1:05pm

    Mr Raw: No I would not maintain the hereditary principle for appointment to the House of Lords because I believe it should be elected by proportional representation as long as we have First Past the Post for the House of Commons but in any case I want a Federal Chamber as in other Federal States such as the US or Germany etc.
    Heredity does not mean that every member of a family inherits all the same features. She does have a mother and various grandmothers, great grandmothers etc and formerly a husband who all contributed their different characteristics. Her brother is a keen supporter of the ruling military and tried to get a half share of the family home but was refused as he lives in the USA. Her children had a father as well as a mother.
    As I see it she is following the family tradition of championing the Burmese nation, though to be fair her father wanted to be conciliatory to the Karens and other nationalities but he was assassinated by a Burmese rival who bought arms from British officers who were being moved out – not sure why officers should be allowed to sell arms paid for by the taxpayers but maybe it is a tradition ?

    Many people follow at least one of their parents in the same calling but not all of them do. My own family have a long tradition of working in similar occupations by choice.

  • nvelope2003 30th Aug '18 - 1:12pm

    As regards the House of Lords there was a deal done whereby a few hereditary peers would remain until an agreement was reached for an elected Second Chamber. No such deal has been done so it would be wrong to remove the hereditary peers until that happens. Are we just to ignore agreements whenever it suits ? I am not sure I want to live in that sort of society.

  • nvelope2003
    Hereditary? I think its legacy that counts. The legacy of colonialism.

  • nvelope2003 31st Aug '18 - 1:02pm

    Ian Martin: The British and most if not all countries including Asian powers engaged in colonialism but British colonialism ended in India and Burma in 1947. Many bad things were done but the Burmese (and Indians and Pakistanis) have had over 70 years to organise their state. I do not recall any recent attacks on the colonial legacy. Southern Britain was a Roman colony, the North of England was a Danish colony and then England became a Norman colony. It is time to move on. The Burmese have not run their country very well, perhaps they should have stopped fighting the other nationalities. Bad governments do tend to try to distract their subjects by blaming everyone else for the problems they have either created or failed to deal with properly or at all. The history of India and Burma before the British is like most countries with tyrants and incompetents ruling at different times. People tell me corruption was much less during the colonial period than now.

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