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Suu Kyi portrait removed from Oxford college: BBC

BBC has reported that a portrait of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been removed by Oxford University, where she was previously awarded an honorary degree, amid criticism of her handling of the Rohingya crisis.

The United Nations said about approximately 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the persecution in Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks following the violence what the global body has called a textbook example of “ethnic cleansing”.

BBC on its website Friday said Myanmar’s de facto leader has been criticised for failing to address UN allegations of ethnic cleansing.

It said St Hugh’s College said her portrait had been replaced with a Japanese painting.

Suu Kyi graduated from St Hugh’s College in 1967 and was awarded an honorary degree in June 2012, which the university said it was not considering removing.

It swapped the painting earlier for one by Japanese artist Yoshihiro Takada. The reasons for the portrait’s removal are not clear.

Communications manager Benjamin Jones said the portrait had been moved to a “secure location” while Takada’s piece was to be displayed “for a period”, said the report.

The new painting was presented to the college earlier this month and is currently displayed in the entrance of the college’s main building.

Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner who has been Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader since winning elections in 2015, is coming under growing international pressure to act.

In a speech last week, the Nobel Prize winner condemned human rights abuses, but did not blame the army or address allegations of ethnic cleansing.

Founded in 1886, St Hugh’s is one of the largest colleges at the university with about 800 students. It has been contacted for a comment, said the BBC report.