It is up to Dublin City Council to decide whether to strip Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of the freedom of the city, Minister of State Helen McEntee has told the Dáil.
Ms McEntee was responding to calls for the Myanmar political leader to be stripped of the honour and of her Nobel prize following government violence against the Rohingya ethnic minority in the country’s Rakhine State.
The Dáil also heard calls for the Government to propose sanctions at EU level against Myanmar in the wake of the violence and the humanitarian crisis in the region which has led to 400,000 Rohingya refugees crossing into Bangladesh. The Rohingya have been refused citizenship of Myanmar under decades-old legislation.
Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien asked if the Government would support immediate sanctions against Myanmar and if it would make the proposals at EU level.
“We cannot just stand by,” he said. “Even though our voice is small, we could propose immediate sanctions against Myanmar. People would listen to us.
“We have a very good track record on human rights internationally and we should actually follow that.”
Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and Independent Joan Collins called for the Myanmar’s effective political leader to be stripped of her Nobel prize. They also said she should be stripped of the freedom of Dublin with which she was honoured for her efforts to secure democracy in Myanmar.
Ms McEntee said the issue of the freedom of the city was a matter for Dublin City Council as it was a decision made by the council in the first place.
She said the Government “absolutely condemns the violence taking place, including the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army” army militants and the excessive actions of the security forces.
The Minister said Ireland as a member of the EU was seeking to find solutions both in a bilateral context with Myanmar and at international level through the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.