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Canada parliament calls to strip Myanmar’s leader of honorary citizenship

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aung san suu kyi
Myanmar
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the New Colombo Plan
Reception during the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit at the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, special summit on
March 17, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Australia is hosting leaders
from the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations during
the 3-day special summit.

Dan
Himbrechts – Pool/Getty Images


  • Canada’s parliament on Thursday voted to strip
    Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary
    Canadian citizenship as part of the country’s crackdown of
    global human-rights violators. 
  • Suu Kyi had been granted the symbolic citizenship in
    2007 in recognition for the way she addressed the mistreatment
    of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which led to some 700,000
    people fleeing the country’s Rakhine state.
  • She has since fallen out of favor with the
    international community,
    due in part to her most recent public statements
    about two
    Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar.
    Earlier this month
    , Suu Kyi admitted that she could have
    done better Rohingya crisis could have been dealt with
    “better.”
  • Canada has gotten serious about holding human-rights
    abusers to account across the world. In August, the country
    called out Saudi Arabia for
    arresting several prominent human rights
    activists
    .

Canada’s parliament on Thursday unanimously voted to strip
Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary
Canadian citizenship as part of the country’s crackdown of global
human-rights violators. 

Suu Kyi’s symbolic citizenship was granted in 2007. The
parliament’s move must now be approved by the country’s
Senate. 

The motion was originally proposed by opposition
member Gabriel Ste Marie, who told reporters it was a “great
symbol” toward addressing human-rights issues around the
world. 

Suu Kyi has been criticized for her handling of the Myanmar
government’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, which led to some
700,000 people fleeing the country’s Rakhine state.
In August
, a United Nations fact-finding mission found
the Myanmar military committed genocide against the minority
population, and Suu Kyi had failed to prevent violent
escalation. 

Several Canadian politicians had previously called on Ottawa to
retract Suu Kyi’s honor.
Last week
, the Canadian House of Commons voted unanimously to
call the mass murder of Rohingya Muslims a genocide and called
for prosecution of those responsible.

A spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said
the significant move was in response to Suu Kyi’s “continued
failure to speak out against the genocide of the Rohingya, a
crime being committed by the military with which she shares
power.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that Parliament
could consider revoking her citizenship but it would do little to
end the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. 


Earlier this month
, Suu Kyi admitted that her handling of
the Rohingya crisis could have been dealt with “better.”

Canada has been doubling down on its criticism of human rights
abuses across the world. In August,
Canada called out Saudi Arabia for arresting several prominent
human rights activists
, which subsequently led to a
meltdown of diplomatic relations between the two
nations


Trudeau has pledged
that Canada will “continue to stand
up strongly for human rights, minority rights, and our shared
universal values, even as we look to have constructive relations,
positive relations with countries around the world.”

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