Oxford removes Aung San Suu Kyi’s portrait from college for mishandling of Rohingya crisis 


Nepal Foreign Affairs (30 September 2017) – An Oxford University college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied as an undergraduate has removed her portrait from its main entrance amid mounting criticism of the Myanmar leader over the plight of Rohingya Muslims, agencies have reported.

She had graduated from St Hughs College in 1967 and the portrait had hung prominently at the college entrance since 1999. Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, has been alleged to involve in ethnic cleansing of Rohigya minorities residing in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

“The college received the gift of a new painting earlier this month which will be exhibited for a period. The painting of Aung San Suu Kyi has meanwhile been moved to storage,” the college said in a statement.

But the decision was branded as “cowardly” by the Burma Campaign UK group, which has called for the college to go further.

“This seems a rather cowardly action by St Hughs. If they have taken down the portrait because of Aung San Suu Kyi defending the Burmese military as they commit ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya they should say so and write to her urging her to respect human rights,” Mark Farmaner, the campaigns director, the Guardian newspaper reports.

Suu Kyi was also awarded an honorary degree by St Hughs College in June 2012, which the university said it was not considering withdrawing.

The colleges other notable alumni include UK Prime Minister Theresa May who has also called on Suu Kyi to “make it very clear that the military action (against Rohingyas) should stop”.

Suu Kyi read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford between 1964 and 1967.

Councillors in the city of Oxford have said they would reconsider the Freedom of the City honour bestowed on Suu Kyi in 1997.


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