Amnesty takes back Aung San Suu Kyi award | Bangkok Post: learning

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Amnesty takes back Aung San Suu Kyi award

Ms Suu Kyi (right) was unable to travel to accept Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2009 but finally made it to Ireland for the presentation (above) in 2012. Then-AI secretary-general Salil Shetty (left) and rocker Bono of U2 presided at the ceremony. (Reuters photo)

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LONDON: Amnesty International on Monday stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour over the de facto Myanmar leader's "indifference" to the atrocities committed by the country's military against Rohingya Muslims.

The London-based global human rights organisation said it was revoking the Ambassador of Conscience Award it gave Suu Kyi in 2009 while she was still under house arrest.

"Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights," Amnesty International chief Kumi Naidoo said in a letter to Suu Kyi released by the group.

"Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you."

The group said it informed Suu Kyi of the decision on Sunday. She has so far issued no public response.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to power in 2015 in a landslide victory ending decades of military rule in the country of 50 million.

But her tenure has been marred by a failure to speak up for Rohingya Muslims who were driven out of the country by the army in what the United Nations has called an ethnic cleansing campaign.

The 73-year-old was stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship over her failure to speak up for the Rohingya last month.

She has also lost numerous smaller awards from individual universities and local and regional governments.

More than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the Buddhist majority's western Rakhine state in a military crackdown from August last year.

Many are believed to have been either murdered or tortured and raped.

Suu Kyi was globally hailed as a freedom fighter who stood up to her country's feared military dictatorship while spending 15 years under house arrest.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

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Vocabulary:

cleansing (noun): cleaning - การทำให้สะอาด

conscience : the part of your mind that tells you whether your actions are right or wrong - สัมปชัญญะ

courage (noun): the ability to do something that you know is right or good, even though it is dangerous, frightening, or very difficult - ความกล้าหาญ

dictatorship : a government having complete power and which does not rule democratically - เผด็จการ

dismayed : very unhappy and disappointed - ท้อใจ, ผิดหวัง

ethnic : of a group of people with the same culture or traditions - กลุ่มชาติพันธุ์

house arrest : legally forced to stay in your house as if it were a prison - การกักกันผู้ต้องหาไว้ในที่อยู่ของเขา

human rights : the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน

landslide : a situation in which a person or political party wins an election by a very large margin - ถล่มทลาย

recipient : someone who receives something - ผู้ได้รับ

tenure : the period of time during which someone has an important job - ช่วงระยะเวลาที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง

torture : to cause great physical or mental pain to someone - ทรมานให้เจ็บปวด

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