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Holocaust Museum Revokes Human Rights Award from Aung San Suu Kyi

Holocaust Museum Revokes Human Rights Award from Aung San Suu Kyi

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the violence in November and said that the USA could impose certain sanctions on Myanmar in response to the slaughter. Last month, UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Yanghee Lee said the situation bore all the "hallmarks of genocide", and accused Suu Kyi of possible crimes against humanity. She spent years under house arrest for opposing Myanmar's military leaders before her party won at the polls in 2015, propelling her to become state counsellor. Roughly 700,000 of Rohingyas have fled across the border to Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand, after a rapid increase in violence against the community.

In a letter to Suu Kyi released Wednesday, the museum accused her government of obstructing United Nations investigators and promoting "hateful rhetoric" against the Rohingya community, even as it acknowledged she has little influence over the military. Her success led President Barack Obama to relax sanctions in Myanmar and give it financial aid. They speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, and they have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982.

Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi smiles as she holds a certificate after she received the Freedom of the City of Dublin during a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, June 2012.

Suu Kyi is Myanmar's state counselor and foreign minister. It is named for Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

Myanmar's military has denied committing any abuses outside one incident in the Rakhine village of Inn Din, where it said security forces assisted with the killing of 10 unarmed Rohingya.

This is just the latest hit on Suu Kyi's popularity.

For many of her one-time admirers, her handling of the Rohingya issue has been nothing short of a betrayal. Within Myanmar, Rohingya are widely referred to as "Bengalis" and portrayed as risky interlopers from Bangladesh.

In an open letter a year ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a fellow Nobel laureate, described her as "a dearly beloved younger sister" whose photograph he had long kept on his desk.

Tutu, wrote in an open letter: "My dear sister: If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep".

"We understand the hard situation you must face in confronting decades of military misrule and violence in your country and that institution's still powerful constitutional role", the statement continued.

"The military's orchestration of the crimes against Rohingya and the severity of the atrocities in recent months demand that you use your moral authority to address this situation", the museum's letter said.

The U.N. has labeled the violence "ethnic cleansing" and has documented evidence of well coordinated and systemic violence, including rape, arson and extrajudicial killings.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, deputy army chief Soe Win reiterated the military's stance that the "Rohingya" are not a genuine ethnic group in Myanmar - a view shared by many in the Buddhist majority, where there is broad support for the army campaign.

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim".

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