UN chief voices ‘deep’ concern over hate speech in Myanmar ahead of elections

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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 2 (APP): United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon Monday expressed “deep concern” at the continuing resort to hate speech, provocation of communal hostilities and the abuse of religion for political purposes, incited by “extreme element among the majority community in Myanmar”.
“With the approaching elections on 8th November, he urges all concerned
in Myanmar to eschew any kind of pressure, intimidation, dissemination of hatred or violence against individuals or organizations based on their ethnic identity, gender, religious persuasion or political views,” a statement issued in New York by the secretary-general’s spokesperson said.
Myanmar faces a raft of issues, including long-simmering conflicts with
ethnic minorities in its border regions — most notably the stateless Rohingya Muslims of the western state of Rakhine, who have been suffering over a long period of time at the hands of Buddhist extremists.
Taking note of the antagonism displayed in certain quarters against
international organizations, including the U.N., the statement said, “He (Secretary-General) is concerned that continued impunity for such behavior could gravely damage the international image of the country.”
Additionally, the UN chief deplored the particularly the vulgar remarks recently directed, not for the first time, against the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Yanghee Lee, for carrying out her mandate.
“The Secretary-General has addressed a letter to President U Thein Sein expressing his full confidence in and support for the important work being done by Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee,” the statement concluded.