Burma’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture has submitted the initial draft of an Anti-Hate Speech Law to parliament.
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Burma’s Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut attended the ‘Preventing Hate Speech in Myanmar: Divergent Voices in a New Democracy’ forum in Rangoon on Friday. After the forum, Ye Htut said[…]
Wirathu, a Buddhist monk notorious for anti-Muslim hate speech, led a crowd of protesters in Mandalay on Wednesday.
The EU lays out a list of 21 “benchmarks” which it expects the Burmese authorities to fulfill, including: cooperation with the UN; the release of all political prisoners; the strengthening of rule of law; greater media freedom; and “effective measures to combat intolerance, communal violence and hate speech”.
With internet access rapidly expanding in Burma and the price on SIM-cards and smartphones falling, more and more people are using social media. But while it can be a way to keep in touch with friends or promote your company, media analysts warn that it can also be a source of hate speech and fear mongering.
Advocates of interfaith harmony say a renaming of the hardline Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha, and plans to formally inject its ideology into Burma’s political sphere, will do little to staunch — and may even exacerbate — the underlying religious intolerance that the organisation has been accused of fomenting.