- 13 Nov 17
The Irish music icon is planning to hand back his prestigious freedom of the city award because he doesn't want to be connected with an award that's associated with Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Burmese Nobel peace laureate's government has come under wide-spread fire over its violent military crackdown on Rohingya muslims, which resulted in over a half million fleeing the state during one month alone back in September/October.
The Burmese politician was once admired but she has now become "one of the great ethnic cleansers", Sir Bob said back in October.
Bob Geldof says he's a "proud Dubliner" but plans to hand back his Freedom award today.
"In short, I do not wish to be associated in any way with an individual currently engaged in the mass ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of north-west Burma," he says.
"I am a founding patron of The Aegis Trust, who are concerned with genocide prevention and studies. Its founders built and maintain the National Holocaust Museum of the UK.
"I spoke at the inaugural National Holocaust Memorial Day at Westminster and in my time, I have walked amongst peoples who were sectionally targeted with ethnic cleansing."
He adds: "I would be a hypocrite now were I to share honours with one who has become at best an accomplice to murder, complicit in ethnic cleansing and a handmaiden to genocide."
Back in October, the Dubliner heavily criticised the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who at the time was about to be stripped of her Freedom of Oxford honour.
"Insults them all. Took the greatest prize that humans can give one another. And then becomes one of the great ethnic cleansers of our planet. It’s a disgrace," he said during a speech at the One Young World conference in Colombia.
"I am sick of these leaders. I am sick of Putin. I’m sick of Xi Jinping. I’m sick of Trump. I’m sick of Erdogan. I loathe these people. I despise them. How dare they behave in the manner they behave.
With her now getting stripped of her Freedom of Oxford honour, it's possible that she will also be stripped of her Freedom of Dublin which was awarded to her in the year 2000.
Cllr Mary Freehill, who was the Lord Mayor of Dublin when Suu Kyi was first awarded the Freedom of Dublin, has slammed the iconic figure's handling of the Rohinga crisis as "deplorable".
Ms Suu Kyi was first awarded the Freedom of Dublin in 2000 when Cllr Freehill was Lord Mayor of Dublin. Ms Suu Kyi was not in a position to receive the award until 2012.
"The inaction of Aung San Suu Kyi in relation to the Rohingya crisis is deplorable and not in keeping with the ideals we would expect from a Nobel Peace Prize winner," Cllr Mary Freehill tells Hot Press.
"Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Freedom of Dublin City because she was an icon of human rights, peace and freedom. It is now time for her to live up to those principles."
The Labour Cllr added: "While she has said that Myanmar does not fear international scrutiny, it is now time that she put action on her words and invite UN investigators into the country, including Rakhine state. They should be allowed full a nd unshackled access to all areas, and people in need in the region."
In her Nobel Lecture in 2012, Ms. Suu Kyi said, "Ultimately our aim should be to create a world free from the displaced, the homeless and the hopeless, a world of which each and every corner is a true sanctuary where the inhabitants will have the freedom and the capacity to live in peace.
"Every thought, every word, and every action that adds to the positive and the wholesome is a contribution to peace. Each and every one of us is capable of making such a contribution. Let us join hands to try to create a peaceful world where we can sleep in security and wake in happiness.”
And "such sentiments and values", adds Cllr Freehill, "are a far cry from her current position on the 421,000 Rohingan who had to flee to Bangladesh.
She concludes: "I want to add my voice to those calling on her now to take action on the Rohingya crisis."