Canadian Museum to remove Suu Kyi’s photograph

Suu Kyi

File photo of Aung San Suu Kyi at the Asean Summit in 2017 Collected

The museum authorities are thinking of replacing Suu Kyi’s photograph with photograph of a leader from Rohingya community

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is going to remove a photograph of Aung San Suu Kyi from one of its display due to her failure in stopping atrocities on Rohingyas in Myanmar.

The CMHR Vice President (Public Affairs-Programs and Exhibitions) Angela Cassie told the Dhaka Tribune: “These steps are being taken in light of concerns expressed by many Canadians regarding her [Suu Kyi] failure in condemning the human rights atrocities that are being perpetrated against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.”

The museum authorities also dimmed the light behind a photograph of the Nobel Peace Laureate, who is one of six honorary Canadians. A text on a stand beside the photograph explains recent concerns related to the Rohingya situation.

“We will be further remediating this exhibit to remove a quote by her and develop a more permanent solution. In an introductory human rights timeline (at a different location), we will be replacing her image with that of a different human rights defender, possibly someone from the Rohingya community.”

Cassie said: “We will be holding a dialogue in September to share stories about the situation of Rohingyas and have a public discussion regarding it. There will be a temporary exhibition mounted next summer about the crisis. We will continue to participate in digital outreach about this.

“We are collecting oral histories related to the situation of the Rohingyas.”

She said: “We have been working with members of the Rohingya-Canadian community to determine how best to remediate our existing exhibitions and to develop upcoming programs and a new exhibition designed to initiate discussion about this situation.”

“This issue raises complex human rights questions – which is why it is also important for our visitors to learn here and online.”

The museum is collecting artefacts, videos, pictures, and oral stories to create an exhibit on the Rohingya’s plight. The exhibit will open in July or August next year.

Nay San Lwin, a coordinator of the Free Rohingya Coalition based in London, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Suu Kyi is no more a human rights icon. She is complicit in ongoing genocide of Rohingya. She is not taking sides with any minorities in Myanmar. We can see clearly that she is an apologist of the brutal military.

“Her photos, portraits and anything related to her should be taken away from any museum, public space, university or college.”

Echoing Nay San Lwin, another Rohingya rights activist, Anwar S Arkani, said: “No one should be misguided by her photos or anything. Her behaviour is just like an opportunist politician. She is not special for us anymore.”

“It was a very beautiful moment of relief,” Raiss Tinmaung, a representative of the Rohingya community living in Ottawa, said.

Raiss was one of the activists who demanded the museum authorities to remove references to the Myanmar councillor from its exhibits.

Suu Kyi lived under house arrest for years during her fight for democracy under Myanmar’s military regime. Recently, she has been criticized for failing to condemn violence against the Rohingyas.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and was given honorary Canadian citizenship in 2007.

Over 700,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence that erupted in Myanmar on August 25, 2017. They joined 400,000 other Rohingyas, who were already living in squalid, cramped camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Earlier, the Oxford College, where Aung San Suu Kyi studied, had also removed her portrait from public display, over her role in Myanmar’s humanitarian crisis.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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