Bob Geldof has announced he’s handing back his Freedom of the city of Dublin in protest at Myanmar’s controversial leader holding the same accolade.
Aung San Suu Kui has been criticised for her lack of response to the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim community, which has caused more than 600,000 people to flee to Bangladesh since August.
Bob Geldof described her as a “handmaiden to genocide”, adding that her “association with the Irish capital shames us all”.
Geldof said in a statement that he would hand his award back at City Hall this morning.
He said: “Her association with our city shames us all and we should have no truck with it, even by default.
“We honoured her, now she appals and shames us.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Ms Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” but she had been criticised for not doing enough to stop the persecution of the Rohingya.
The minority Muslim group is seen by the majority Buddhists as being foreigners, rather than belonging to Myanmar.
Geldof said: “The moment she is stripped of her Dublin Freedom perhaps the council would see fit to restore to me that which I take such pride in.
“If not, so be it.”
The Live Aid founder and musician is not the first to criticise Ms Suu Kyi.
On Saturday, U2 said her failure to stop the violence was “starting to look a lot like assent”.
They wrote on their website: “The violence and terror being visited on the Rohingya people are appalling atrocities and must stop.
“The time has long passed for her to stand up and speak out.”