Bob Geldof: Dubliners and Ireland ‘duped’ by Aung San Suu Kyi
Ms Suu Kyi has faced widespread criticism and anger over the country’s violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
Aung San Suu Kyi has let Ireland down, Bob Geldof has said.
The Irish singer and humanitarian campaigner returned his freedom of the city of Dublin award in protest against the Myanmar leader, who also holds the accolade.
Ms Suu Kyi has faced international criticism over her lack of action to prevent alleged ethnic cleansing of her country’s Rohingya Muslims.
More than half a million of the minority group have fled to Bangladesh after recent violence.
Mr Geldof delivered the scroll to Dublin City Council offices and held a short meeting with staff there.
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.”
Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been attacked by former supporters, including fellow Nobel laureates, for failing to speak out loudly enough against the violence being inflicted on thousands in her home country of Myanmar. For years she was a human rights symbol and lauded for her bravery.
She was given the award by the Dublin Council in 2000 and picked it up more than a decade later in 2012 after her release in Myanmar.
She became de facto leader of her country after winning an election in 2015.
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 said he was not grandstanding in handing back his award, saying: “It is a small personal gesture because Aung San Suu Kyi was extravagantly welcomed to this city and I participated in that, I sang to her and spoke of her and raised her up with hosannas.
“It is personal, I would love them to remove her from the scroll, the problem for the Council is that there is no constitutional way of doing that.
“There is no way of receiving back a freedom.
“Give me a felt tip pen and I can do it, she does not deserve to be honoured by the city.”