Aung San Suu Kyi is a political leader whose name is honoured by one of the Liverpool Guild of Students‘ rooms – a privilege afforded to great leaders such as Nelson Mandela. However a petition to change the name has been made due to her recent actions, or lack of, and the petition continues to grow. It has surpassed the 20 ‘up votes’ necessary for it to be taken to Guild Summit.
The petition states that “Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to uphold the Human Rights of Rohingya Muslims in the country’s Rakhine state” and that she “has no place to be remembered in a place, like the Guild, that aids the students and youth of today and that also speaks out so heavily against injustices in the world.” Aung San Suu Kyi, holder of a Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom and the first woman to serve as Minister of Foreign affairs in the Myanmar government, gained international status as a champion of peace and democracy after years of hardship and struggle against the brutal Burmese regime.
She obtained her status across the world as an advocate of peaceful change and democracy after spending almost 20 years under various forms of house arrest for trying to bring democracy to the military ruled Myanmar as leader of the National League for Democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi remained a peaceful protester among the violence of the Myanmar military rule, bringing comparison to the likes of Gandhi. She remains the hero of Myanmar to many: whilst she is not the countries current leader, she carries significant influence over the country in her position as foreign minister.
However, in recent months she has been chastised for not using her platform to speak out against the “human tragedy amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” which “is unfolding in Myanmar.” In an open letter to the UN, signed by 23 fellow Laureates which includes Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, urges the current Myanmar government to lift the current restrictions on humanitarian aid and describes in gruesome detail the current state of affairs for the Rohingyas currently living in Myanmar. It also asked for the UN to “put this crisis on Security Council’s agenda as a matter of urgency.” Aung San Suu Kyi has been widely condemned for not giving Rohingyas equal status and criticised for not doing more to stop the oppression of one of “the world’s most persecuted minorities, who for decades have been subjected to a campaign of marginalisation and dehumanisation.”
The petition remains popular and students have even suggested more suitable namesakes for the Guild room.