Should Aung Sang Suu Kyi's peace prize be revoked?

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Who is she?

Ann Sang Suu kyi is the leader of the National League for Democracy, the current ruling party of Myannmar. Although she is the leader of this party she didn't become the president because of a clause in their constitution prohibiting her from her assuming this role due to her late husband and children being foreign citiziens. Instead, she became the newly created role, state councellor, a role similair to president (the current president of Myannmar is Win Myint). She is a de facto president. De facto, according to google means 'existing or holding a specified position in fact but not necessarily by legal right'. Basically what this means is that although she is not technically president, she might as well be because she is as powerfull if not more so then the president. The important thing is that it means that if she wanted to solve something she could and she should change it because it is her responsibility to help the country as she is basically in charge of it.

She has become a target of criticism after she has failed to react and has barely talked of the persecution of the Rohingyan people in Myannmar. Because of her inaction, many have campaigned to take away her Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, according to the telegraph' An online petition signed by more than 386,000 people on Change.org is calling for Suu Kyi to be stripped of her Peace Prize'. So should she be stripped of her prize, or should she be allowed to keep it?

Why did she get the Nobel peace prize?

According to the nobelprize.org, she was awarded it ‘for her non-violent struggle for human rights and democracy’. ‘Following studies abroad, she returned home in 1988. From then on, she led the opposition to the military junta that had ruled Burma since 1962’, ‘she opposed all use of violence and called on the military leaders to hand over power to a civilian government. The aim was to establish a democratic society in which the country's ethnic groups could cooperate in harmony.’ In the 1990 election, her party (the NLD) won. However, ‘the generals prevented the legislative assembly from convening.’ Instead they continued to arrest members of the opposition and refused to release Suu Kyi from house arrest. She remained under house arrest for almost 15 years until she was released in November 2010. Once released, she continued her political career and was instrumental in the rapid democratization (making her country more democratic) of Myanmar.

So, what she did back then was a wonderful thing, and I don’t think many people would disagree with me, she fought to make her country more democratic and fairer, bettering the lives of everyone in it. She kept trying to achieve this even when she was placed under house arrest for a near total of fifteen years, something that must have taken a lot of bravery and an unwavering commitment to doing what was right, despite the consequences. Because of this I definitely think that what she did in the past definitely made her deserve her Nobel peace prize in 1991. If she has done all of this amazing stuff, what are people so bothered about?

Why do people want her prize taken away?

It’s because of the topic we are studying in BNC right now, the Rohingya refugee crisis. According to the BBC, ‘more than half a million have fled persecution in northern Rakhine state since August 2017. The government sees the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship. Many of those who have fled describe troops and Rakhine Buddhist mobs burning their villages and attacking civilians. But Myanmar's military says it is fighting Rohingya militants, and denies ever targeting civilians.’. It may be true that there have been Rohingya groups that have targeted and killed people too, but only in retaliation to the hundreds of thousands of them being murdered or forced to flee their country. I just fail to believe, with the sheer number of Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar and with a senior UN official saying that the new military offensive was a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, that the people being forced to flee as well as those already killed are all ‘militants’, which is what the military stand by. It looks to me that innocent people are being targeted, just because of their ethnicity.

While all this persecution is going on Ann San Suu Kyi is failing to take any action, barely addressing the problem at all, in fact, she seems to be trying to make the problem out to be less serious, as is clear when she spoke to Singapore’s Channel Newsasia, saying “I’m not saying there are no difficulties. But it helps if people recognise the difficulty and are more focused on resolving these difficulties rather than exaggerating them so that everything seems worse than it really is.” She tries her best to avoid questions about it and when forced she just responds that the military are acting "rule of law". In an interview with the BBC, she did finally acknowledge a problem but saying “I don't think there is ethnic cleansing going on. I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening,". So, she has acknowledged a problem but she has made no steps to stop this persecution at all. I think that she is not doing the right thing, she should be helping these Rohingya people, instead of leaving them to be killed or forced to flee.

What she has done in the past was amazing and, in my opinion, totally deserving of the Nobel peace prize, and what she is doing now, not helping the Rohingya people when she is the leader of Myanmar and so the person who should do so is terrible, but does this mean her peace prize should be revoked or not?

Reasons for her peace prize getting revoked:

  • She is not standing by what she stood by when she got her Nobel prize: She got her prize for ‘her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.’ Yet nowadays, the Rohingya people have had several of their human rights taken away from them like ‘Article 5: Right to liberty and security’, ‘Article 3: Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment’ and even their right to education (according to the guardian, ‘Stringent restrictions have been placed on Rohingya people’s freedom of movement, access to medical assistance, education and other basic services.’). They have even been stopped from voting in general elections. Also according to the guardian, ‘more than one million members of the Rohingya Muslim minority, a persecuted ethnic group from Western Myanmar, have been rendered stateless and are ineligible to vote.’ This is incredibly hypocritical of Ann Sang Suu Kyi. After all, the two things that she campaigned for: democracy and human rights are being taken away from the Rohingya people.
  • She doesn’t deserve the prize anymore?: she is not stopping the Rohingya people from being persecuted, under her rule, hundreds of thousands are being forced to flee, she is not the kind and brave person she used to be, she is allowing these people to suffer, is that something someone really deserving of a peace prize would do?

Reasons against her peace prize being revoked:

  • She earned it in the first place- what she did to earn the peace prize in the first place was brave and really made a positive impact on Myanmar and all its inhabitants and for their human rights, she may be not acting amazingly now, but she went through many years of house arrest and did many selfless acts to be awarded that prize, why should that recognition be taken away from her?
  • Would her speaking out make any difference?- According to the guardian ‘Some argue that Aung San Suu Kyi fears an unpredictable military. Despite her position as state counsellor, the military has retained significant political power, with an allocated 25% of seats in parliament.’ It’s true, although the military have far less power then they used to (thanks to Ann Sang Suu Kyi’s campaigns to make Myanmar a democratic society), they still hold a lot of sway in the government and still have significant power. If Ann sang Suu Kyi did speak out there is a possibility that the military could refuse to stop killing the Rohingya people or just seize control of the government, possibly making the situation worse.
  • Does the prize really make any difference? - If her prize was taken away what difference would it really make? - suddenly force Kyi into action? I doubt it. If she has done nothing to stop the Rohingya’s persecution for this long and damaged her reputation this far, I doubt taking away her peace prize would benefit the Rohingya at all.

So, there are many reasons for and against, the situation in Myanmar is far more complicated and confusing then I could explain, especially in a single post, but those are the main reasons for and against. So what do other people think?

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Olav Njolstad, head of the Nobel Institute said, “Neither Alfred Nobel's will, nor the statutes of the Nobel Foundation provide for the possibility that a Nobel Prize — whether for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature or peace — can be revoked,” Njolstad said. “Only the efforts made by a laureate before the attribution of a prize are evaluated by the Nobel committee.”. This means, that the Nobel Institute is extremely unlikely to revoke Kyi’s award.

However, although the Nobel Institute has not taken away her award, according to the telegraph, she has been stripped of her ‘prestigious Freedom of Oxford award amid allegations Myanmar has been carrying out ethnic cleansing.’

So, what’s my opinion?

I agree with the Nobel Institute, that her peace prize should not be revoked. I do think that her inaction to stop the persecution of the Rohingya people is shocking and terrible. I think that what she has done, or rather what she has failed to do recently is extremely hypocritical: she campaigned for human rights and democracy, yet she is allowing the Rohingya people’s rights to be abused and have not allowed them to vote in elections. However, I don’t believe her prize should be taken away for a few reasons. Firstly, I think it should be the Nobel Institute’s decision, they were the ones who awarded it to her in the first place, so they should be the only ones who could take it away, they are the ones who decide what their prize means and stands for. She was rightly given the recognition she deserved for her role in campaigning for human rights and democracy. I do not think the prize matters because, as a result of her actions, people will not care for her Nobel prize, they will not see her or think of her as the Nobel peace prize recipient who did amazing things for human rights, they will think of her as the person who is doing nothing to stop the persecution of hundreds of thousands of people. It’s her reputation on the line. It’s her decision how she acts and so what people remember her for, it’s her decision what her reputation is and if she still acts like the Nobel peace prize recipient she was in 1991. Taking away her peace prize will do nothing, it will not help the Rohingya people. The only thing that it would achieve is disgracing her further and that is not what is needed. What is needed is action to help these poor people, taking away a fancy prize will never do that.

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi
  • https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=de+facto+defintion&rlz=1C1GGRV_enGB815&oq=de+facto+defintion&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.3448j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&safe=active&ssui=on
  • https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/08/nobel-institute-aung-sang-suu-kyi-cannot-stripped-prize/
  • https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1991/kyi/facts/
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-42824778
  • https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/human-rights-act
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/07/why-aung-san-suu-kyi-is-unlikely-to-have-her-nobel-peace-prize-revoked/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.27f8e4d4cdab

-fantastic_duck

This was my opinion but, if u want to I would be really interested to know your opinions whether you agree or disagree with me. So, what do you think and why?- should Ann Sang Suu Kyi’s prize be revoked or should she keep it?

Comments (27)

  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 2 months ago

    WOW,

    What a fantastic post fantastic_duck! You've been awarded a star for your excellent research (and linking to it properly), for considering different arguments and then forming your own opinion, and for having such a great structure to your post which really helps communicate your ideas.

    To develop your storytelling skill even more, try to think about how to make your points really clear and concise. Longer doesn't always means better. You really shine when evaluating the information you present and forming your own opinions. Think about what you want to say and what information is essential for that. I'd suggest picking a select few quotes from your sources to support your own views.


    PS. You don't need to write your Hub name at the bottom of posts anymore. The new website lets everyone know who you are!

    Reply to this comment
  • Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg fantastic_duck
    Faringdon Community College 2 months ago in reply to Tiff @ the BNC's comment

    Thank you for the advice and reply, I found your pointers very useful and I'll be sure to work on improving my posts and comments in the future by following them. I'm sure by following these points, my writing will be far clearer and easier to read and understand. I'll also try to remember to not add my pseudonym anymore, I'm obviously still getting use to this year's new website!

    Reply to this comment
  • Beverley-St-Nicholas-logo-250x250.jpg consistent_wolf
    Beverley St Nicholas Primary School 2 months ago

    I think the news that is happining in Myanmar is revolting, even though Aung San Suu Kyi is incharge of the country of what is happening there she doesn’t seem to be doing any thing about it!!!
    I think she should step up to the milartery people because as she is encharge of them and the milarterry are horrible to the other people she should do something about it.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg faithful_sealion
    Noel Park Primary School 2 months ago

    I think it should because she isn’t helping her people and plus she isn’t showing any peace sheshe also isn’t saying anything about it it’s like she doesent care.

    Reply to this comment
  • Ormiston-Bushfield-logo-250x250.jpg fearless_conversation
    Ormiston Bushfield Academy 2 months ago

    I don't think her awards should be taken away. After all she went under house arrest for 15 years. Yes, she promised to do something and she hasn't done a very good job but at the time she was changing so I don't think it should be taken away. But through out the whole of our post you made very good points and showed sources.

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg efficient_wolverine
    Graveney School 2 months ago

    Her Nobel prize should not be taken away. This is because she undeniably has helped peace in her country. Her contributions have benefited thousands. Although her recent actions have not reflected this, revoking her Nobel prize would be like whitewashing history.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg content_lemon
    Boutcher C of E Primary School 2 months ago

    Thank you for explaining.... This was indeed very good!🙂😄

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg beloved_chocolate
    Graveney School 2 months ago

    I think that Aung San Suu Kyi should keep her Nobel prize, as she has earned it in another way, which was deserving of the Nobel peace prize. Even if she has not been abiding of the Nobel peace prize criteria since then, she was once, and that is what she got it for, not what she has done since.

    Reply to this comment
  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg encouraging_road
    Crampton Primary School 2 months ago in reply to consistent_wolf's comment

    Although I agree with you, consisting wolf that Aung San Suu Kya should be doing something about it but I think the military have more control than she does now and she is actually scared of them.

    Reply to this comment
  • Streatham-Wells-logo-250x250.jpg good_hedgehog
    Streatham Wells Primary School 2 months ago

    i disagree with you because she has done a good job for her country until now and she showed great courage when she was under house arrest and stood up . but ann san suu kiy has not done anything about the rohinga so she is not doing that great now.

    Reply to this comment
  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg eloquent_recipe
    Crampton Primary School 2 months ago

    I think that Aung Sang Suu Kyi's peace prize shouldn't be revoked because she did a thing that changed the country by standing up to the military. I think that she has suddenly changed her mind because she is now hiding from them. I think that this is because she doesn't want to be treated like the Rohingya and doesn't want this to affect her power with the country.

    If you want more info go to:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Rohingya_refugee_crisis
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/rohingya
    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/08/rohingya-muslims-170831065142812.html

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg fearless_wolverine
    Noel Park Primary School 2 months ago

    I don't think that Aung Sang Suu Kyi's peace prize should be revoked, although she has promised she would help change something, but she hasn't really done anything about it and instead surrendered to the terrorists. i think that she should stay as the state council because I don' t think that anyone will have the courage to deal with the terrorists. Also, Aung Sang Suu Kyi has promised to do something and we should give her a chance and maybe she is trying to think of a way to help.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg cultured_atom
    Noel Park Primary School 2 months ago

    Fantastic duck makes some excellent points in their post. As for what I believe, I keep going back and forth on whether I think she should be allowed to keep her peace prize or not. On one hand, I agree with Fantastic Duck’s argument that what she did to earn the prize had a really positive effect on her country. As others have said, she was awarded the prize for ‘her non-violent struggle for human rights and democracy’. Fighting for this was incredibly brave and rightly earned her recognition in the form of the peace prize. However, she now seems to have turned away from this. If you have someone who strongly believes in human rights leading your country, you would expect tranquillity or at the very least for her to be trying to calm things down, fighting against the discrimination that the Rohingyas are currently facing. Although some sources state that she is attempting to do something about this, this is not currently the mainstream viewpoint and many people believe she is doing none of these things. In fact in some ways, the things she is doing are fuelling their persecution. Does anybody honestly believe that someone so hypocritical in their beliefs should be allowed to retain a peace prize? If she is not ruling the country in a democratic, peaceful way, she no longer deserves to be known as someone who fights for human rights. I believe that, as someone who is renowned for her work on democracy and preserving human rights, she has a responsibility to keep her people safe and to try to stop the violence and discrimination that is occurring. Until she is fully dealing with this, I find it difficult to accept that she may be allowed to keep her prize.

    Reply to this comment
  • RockcliffeManor-logo-250x250.jpg unassuming_mango
    Rockliffe Manor Primary School 2 months ago

    I think that Aung San Suu Kyi's peace award should be revoked beacuse all the attacks in Myanmar she's blaming all of the terrorists for the attacks when it was actually the Myanmar military who has been killing the Rohinga people on the spot burning down there houses and been forcing them to leave all beacuse of there religon and Aung San Suu Kyi has not been realising it and she calls that keeping peace in the country.please comment if you agree with me

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  • Ravenscroft-logo-250x250.jpg discreet_football
    Ravenscroft Primary School 2 months ago

    why should her peace prize be revoked when she did not do anything wrong it is those who think if you live in this country you have to be this religion but everyone has a free will to choose what they want to do you can not force them what you want them to be people can be anything what the want to be if you wanted a policeman no one can stop you and do not let them

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  • Streatham-Wells-logo-250x250.jpg charismatic_chameleon
    Streatham Wells Primary School 2 months ago

    Aung Sang Suu Kyi is might have consulted with the military , but why is she not speaking about it? Is she afraid or worried about something they said? Does she have information but doesn't want to tell her citizens in case they become scared. We don't know yet, so why should we become angry at her not knowing what might be happening between the military and Aung Sang Suu Kyi. It is probably very complicated and you shouldn't just assume that Aung San Suu Kyi is doing wrong. She might be doing well if she had frightening news and didn't want to share it with the citizens of Myanmar.

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  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg frank_goat
    Arnhem Wharf Primary School 2 months ago

    I think that the Myanmarese councillor’s prize should be revoked because before she was a great human rights activist and now she is taking no action to stop the Burmese military killing thousands of people and she blames terrorists for starting it so now they are in a bad situation.

    Reply to this comment
  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg frank_goat
    Arnhem Wharf Primary School 2 months ago

    Excellent fantastic duck

    Reply to this comment
  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg frank_goat
    Arnhem Wharf Primary School 2 months ago

    You are great
    👍🏻

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Josephs-Northfleet-logo-250x250.jpg energetic_conversation
    St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Northfleet 2 months ago

    Aung San Suun Kyi SHOULD be revoked from her Nobel Peace Prize because HER COUNTRY ISN'T IN PEACE! What with people fleeing and the Military destroying, in my opinion Myamwa is in the worst state its ever been in! And she has done NOTHING to stop it, with blaming TERRORISTS and so on.

    Reply to this comment
  • Bruche-logo-250x250.jpg exhilarated_globe
    Bruche Primary School 2 months ago

    Aung San Suun Kai should have it revoked because in what way is she helping ? She isn’t defending her countries in anyway plus she doesn’t even attempt to stop the military or terrorist !

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  • RockcliffeManor-logo-250x250.jpg unassuming_mango
    Rockliffe Manor Primary School 2 months ago in reply to discreet_football's comment

    I dissagre with you because how can she keep peace in her country when she has the military doing things while she’s blamed terrorists but she is not seeing wats going on

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg phenomenal_clementine
    Boutcher C of E Primary School 2 months ago

    I think it should be taken away from her because she is not really bringing peace to the country

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_panda_bear
    Boutcher C of E Primary School 1 month ago

    I think that she should keep her award for now however if she does not help in some way with this crisis then she should lose it. she has only recently mentioned it. she must do something

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