'Acts of genocide' suspected against Rohingya in Myanmar, UN says


The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has rescinded an award given to Myanmar's civilian leader, saying that she has failed to live up to its standards with her silence on the country's ethnic cleansing crisis.

It is the latest expression of the global opprobrium being heaped on Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize victor who, within the space of a few months, has gone from being a human rights hero to a leader increasingly spoken of as presiding over a genocide.

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.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since August, citing mounting violence from the military, including mass killings, rape, and burning of Rohingya villages. 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. A 2016 United Nations report on the treatment of minorities in Myanmar, stated Rohingya people are denied several rights - including healthcare, education and marriage - associated with having Burmese citizenship.

The Holocaust museum encouraged Aung San Suu Kyi to cooperate with United Nations efforts to examine and prevent the campaign, and to grant the Rohingya citizenship and full rights, which they do not have.

The museum's letter to Aun San Suu Kyi accuses her of promoting "hateful rhetoric against the Rohingya community" and urges her to take a stance on the issue with a quote from Wiesel: "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim".

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The township of Maungdaw has been essentially emptied of its Rohingya community and people continue to flee to Bangladesh because of systematic persecution and violence in other towns and villages, although at a lower intensity than previously, Zeid said.

Gilmour said the ongoing violence makes it impossible to send Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh back to Myanmar. In 2015, as part of Myanmar's transition to democracy, she was elected state counselor, a position akin to prime minister. She has also been criticized by her fellow Nobel laureates for not putting an end to Rohignya massacre.

Bloomfield acknowledged: "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 Holocaust Museum has embraced the plight of the Rohingya in recent years, and published a report in November that concluded there was "mounting evidence of genocide" committed by both the military and armed Buddhist extremists.

Zaw Htay, Suu Kyi's spokesman, said in response to a request for comment: "Myanmar has always been supportive of the Holocaust Museum's principles and activities and the purposes of the museum".

"The severity of the atrocities in recent months demands that you use your moral authority to address this situation", the museum said.