1 November 2015

Secretary-General, Deeply Concerned by Hate Speech, Violence in Myanmar, Urges All Concerned to Shun Intimidation by Extreme Elements Ahead of Elections

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General expresses deep concern at the continuous resort to hate speech, the incitement of communal animosities and the abuse of religion for political purposes resorted to by extreme elements among the majority community in Myanmar.

In this context, he notes the antagonism displayed in certain quarters against international organizations, including the United Nations.  He deplores particularly the vulgar remarks recently directed, not for the first time, against the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations for carrying out her mandate.  He is concerned that continued impunity for such behaviour could gravely damage the international image of the country.

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.  Meanwhile, with the approaching elections on 8 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.

For information media. Not an official record.