Canada Strips Suu Kyi of Honorary Citizenship

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LOOKEAST REPORT |

Canada’s parliament voted unanimously to effectively strip Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship over the Rohingya crisis.

■ Aung San Suu Kyi received a certificate of honorary Canadian citizenship from Canada’s then foreign affairs minister John Baird at her home in Yangon, March 8, 2012. Honorary citizenship was granted by the House of Commons in 2007 | Reuters

Ottawa had given the long–detained democracy advocate and Nobel laureate the rare honour in 2007. But her international reputation has become tarnished by her refusal to call out the atrocities by her nation’s military against the Rohingya minority, which Ottawa last week declared a genocide.

 

A brutal military campaign that started last year drove more than 700,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh, where they now live in cramped refugee camps — fearful of returning to mainly Buddhist Myanmar despite a repatriation deal

 

“In 2007, the House of Commons granted Aung San Suu Kyi the status of honorary Canadian citizen. Today, the House unanimously passed a motion to remove this status,” said Adam Austen, spokesman for foreign minister Chrystia Freeland.

A brutal military campaign that started last year drove more than 700,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh, where they now live in cramped refugee camps — fearful of returning to mainly Buddhist Myanmar despite a repatriation deal.

Many have given accounts of extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and arson.

The military has denied nearly all wrongdoing, justifying its crackdown as a legitimate means of rooting out Rohingya terrorists.

Honorary Canadian citizenship has only been granted to five others including the Dalai Lama, girl’s education advocate Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela. ■

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