U2 have written to Dublin City Councillors urging them to revoke the Freedom of the City Award to Aung San Suu Kyi.

The four band members received the award in 1999, the same year that Ms Suu Kyi was awarded the honour while under house arrest in Myanmar.

She received it in person after her release in 2012.

U2 have now followed the lead of another former recipient, Bob Geldof, by writing to all 63 Dublin City Councillors and asking them to rescind the award.

In the letter signed by Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton, they say that Dublin City Council should send out a strong message in support of human rights now, just as they did in 1999.

They said: "We believe her failure to stand up for the rights of the Rohingya constitutes a betrayal of the principles for which she was so revered."

'Probably the most friendless people in the world' - What went wrong in Myanmar?

Dublin city councillors are due to vote on Wednesday evening on a motion to revoke the award for Ms Suu Kyi and to grant  Geldof's request for his name to be removed from the roll of honour in protest.

This follows a resolution by the protocol committee, which drafted resolutions after it was discovered there was no mechanism under current legislation to remove the honour.

It is expected that councillors will vote in favour of removing Ms Suu Kyi's name.

Chair of the committee, Cllr Deirdre Heney said she hopes that in future the award will only be given to people in Ireland or with a very strong connection to the country.

U2's Letter to Dublin City Councillors

We write as long-time supporters of Amnesty International, and as extremely proud recipients of the Freedom of the City. We remember very clearly the day when we received that honour alongside Aung San Suu Kyi whose son Kim accepted on her behalf.

The day was a very special one for us first and foremost because Dublin is our hometown. Of the various "awards" - deserved or not - we’ve been lucky enough to receive over the years, this is by far the one that means the most to us. It was also special because we’d been so moved by the strength and fortitude shown by Aung San Suu Kyi in then-Burma. We were campaigning for her release and were proud of Dublin’s recognition of her courage, and that of her colleagues, to bring about fledgling democracy against all odds… against one of the most brutal regimes of modern times.

So it saddens us to be writing to you today as you discuss recent events in Myanmar and decide whether that merits the rescinding of the honour you bestowed on her. 

We believe it does. 

You have the same facts as we have, which indicate that deliberate and brutal violence, rape, and murder are being used to drive the Rohingya from Rakhine State. This persecution has been authorised and led by Min Aung Hlaing, the Head of Myanmar’s military. While Aung San Suu Kyi does not have the capacity to control the military, she does have the responsibility to condemn their actions.

The civilian government that she leads is responsible for everyone in her country, and no matter how difficult her position is, to stand by while half a million lives and livelihoods are deliberately decimated by the Myanmar Military is beyond comprehension. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people."

The decision of who should and shouldn’t have this honour lies with you. But we felt compelled to write given our history with you, and with Aung San Suu Kyi. We believe her failure to stand up for the rights of the Rohingya constitutes a betrayal of the principles for which she was so revered… and for which she received the Freedom of the City. The City of Dublin sent a very strong message in defence of human rights in 1999, we believe an equally strong message in defence of human rights is just as important now.

Thanks for your time.

Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton