Belfast Telegraph

Bob Geldof: Dubliners and Ireland 'duped' by Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi has "duped" Ireland, Bob Geldof has said as he returned his freedom of Dublin in protest.

The musician said the Nobel Peace Prize winner who came through so much had an even greater responsibility not to "oversee" carnage in Burma.

Suu Kyi became a free woman of the Irish capital in 2000 as she struggled for democracy while under military arrest.

Since her freedom and election as de facto leader two years ago she has faced international criticism over lack of action to prevent alleged ethnic cleansing of her country's Rohingya Muslims by security forces.

Geldof, 66, said: "Having fought through moral force these thugs in the military and she comes to power democratically and it is a great moral victory.

"How much more is the onus and responsibility on you at that point to say something, to not oversee carnage?

"How much more?"

More than half a million of the Rohingya minority group have fled to Bangladesh after recent violence.

Suu Kyi's leadership has drawn criticism from human rights groups who campaigned for her freedom during 15 years under house arrest by a military junta.

There have been calls for her to be stripped of the Nobel prize she won in 1991 and she has been condemned by international leaders over her reluctance to acknowledge violence by the army.

The British Government has said the treatment of minority Muslims looked like ethnic cleansing.

Geldof delivered the scroll to Dublin City Council offices.

He said: "Dublin should not have any truck with this war. She has let us Dubliners down, she has let Ireland down, because we thought she was one thing and we have been duped."

For years she was a human rights symbol and lauded for her bravery.

She picked up the Dublin award in 2012 after her release.

Geldof performed with the Boomtown Rats, organised Live Aid to raise money to combat the Ethiopian famine in 1985 and is a committed campaigner against genocide.

He sang for Suu Kyi when she was welcomed to Dublin in 2012 but claimed she no longer deserved the honour.

The accolade was last removed from a German man during the First World War and given back to him later.

Dublin Council said it was not aware of anyone returning the freedom before.

The singer said he was saddened, adding: "It was a great day and all my family were there and it began to rain and the beautiful lettering began to run and that made it even better and that is what I have just handed back, it is a big patch on my living room wall."

He added: "I am really proud of it. I get handed things by states and cities around the world but I am a Dub and this meant very much to me.

"It does not mean much to anybody else but to me, I don't want to do it but it is the most I can do and the least."

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