Fresh push to recall Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom of the City

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A renewed call has gone out to strip Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary freedom of the City of London because of the plight of the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

On 6 December, Councillor Munsur Ali asked the Court of Common Council to update him on the progress of looking at policies to revoke the freedom.

If approved, the de-facto leader of Myanmar (inset) would be the first person to be stripped of the honour.

The film-maker said the request was made a year ago, and added: “It has taken so long for this policy to be drafted.”

Tens of thousands of Muslims fled the country after a military crackdown last year.

Chairman of the freedoms application committee, Sir David Wootton, said: “While it deplores the situation in Myanmar it is not the time or circumstance to begin the process to remove the honorary freedom.”

He said he would be happy to “gauge the balance of opinion” of councillors.

Cllr Ali said he had seen the Rohinga  refugee camps for himself.

“The international community has spoken, the UN has called for the Myanmar rulers to be tried for genocide.

“We know many institutions have taken away the freedom – the City of Oxford, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Dudley, the LSE, and Unison.”

She was awarded the honour in May 2017 at a ceremony at Guildhall “in recognition of her non-violent struggle over many years for democracy and her steadfast dedication to create a society where people can live in peace, security and freedom”.

The Chamberlain of London, Dr Peter Kane, paid tribute to her achievements and presented her with her illuminated Freedom scroll in an inscribed box.

She had spent years living in house arrest under the military regime in Myanmar but continued her campaign for democracy. She is prevented from holding the top job in the country.

Last October the Court of Common council passed a motion to see if her honorary freedom could be revoked.

Councillor Ali said he plans to bring a new motion to the council regarding the matter.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said: “The City of London Corporation condemns the shocking humanitarian abuses carried out in Myanmar.

“Elected Members have agreed a process by which an Honorary Freedom could be removed and we continue to closely monitor the situation in Myanmar.

“The City of London Corporation has already written to the Ambassador for Burma, expressing our profound concern about the current situation in his country and a wish that Aung San Suu Kyi should play a more active role.”