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London City Corp votes to suspend ‘Honorary Freedom’ for Suu Kyi

  • Published at 07:23 pm September 15th, 2019
FIle photo: Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the joint news conference of the Japan-Mekong Summit Meeting at the Akasaka Palace State Guest House in Tokyo, Japan October 9, 2018 Reuters

The council condemned humanitarian abuses carried out in Myanmar

Elected members of the City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council have voted to suspend the ‘Honorary Freedom’ award for Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Honorary Freedom was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counselor in May 2017, 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," read a press release issued by the City of London Corporation.

"The City Corporation condemned the humanitarian abuses carried out in Myanmar, and that the suspension, which is unprecedented in the City Corporation’s history, reflects its unhappiness with events in Myanmar, and the position of the Civilian Government," said Sir David Wootton, who chairs the Freedom Applications Committee.

Sir David, who recommended suspension of her award, told the Court that the City Corporation had attempted to communicate with Aung San Suu Kyi on three separate occasions, but had received no response.

Sir David Wootton said: "The City of London Corporation has sent a clear message that the violence in Myanmar, and the oppression of that country’s minority Rohingya population cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

"The Freedom Applications Committee will now inform Aung San Suu Kyi of the Court’s decision."

Elected Member for Portsoken Ward, Munsur Ali, who tabled the original motion on Aung San Suu Kyi’s Honorary Freedom, said: "The effects of the atrocities upon the Rohingya community are more visible than ever, as the world hears of their sufferings, and struggle to go back home.

"This is totally unacceptable; especially in this day and age, and the Rohingya community desperately awaits justice, but who would come to their aid?"

The Honorary Freedom is the highest award that the City of London Corporation can bestow upon an individual. Previous recipients include Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, William Pitt the Elder, and in more recent times, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Professor Stephen Hawking.