“Any kind of hate speech, incitement to violence has no place in a civilized society

gnlm opinion

While we are experiencing the rapid spread of the coronavirus throughout our country, the infectious disease should not be used as an excuse for racial discrimination and animosity towards a person or any group on the basis of religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender or other identity factors.
No doubt, we need strong, well informed public responses, in the face of the global pandemic. Equally, we have to ensure these responses respect everyone’s human rights and do not disproportionately affect certain groups in society.
Hate speech is “usually thought to include communications of animosity or disparagement of an individual or a group on account of a group characteristic such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or sexual orientation”.
Incitement to violence may constitute hate speech.
Our country is a union with a multicultural society. We believe that every human being has a right to a dignified life, to be treated with respect, and to live without fear of violence, intimidation, or discrimination based upon group identity or personal characteristics.
Therefore, we must strive to bring together diverse communities on the basis of common values of mutual understanding and mutual respect for each other.
Whenever our country is facing difficult situations, including this COVID-19 crisis, intolerance and discrimination are not only unacceptable, but also counterproductive.
Article 364 of Myanmar’s 2008 constitution prohibits the “abuse of religion for political purposes” and “any act which is intended or is likely to promote feelings of hatred, enmity or discord between racial or religious communities or sects”. It allows for the “promulgation of laws to punish such activity”.
Authorities and citizens need to speak out against hate speech that is triggered by today’s pandemic.
In these difficult times, we need to join forces to build robust defences against hate speech and to curb its impact through strong legislation, effective equality bodies, ambitious action plans and inclusive education.
Not only governmental bodies, but civil society and community organizations also have an important role to play in combating prejudice.
We would like to urge all Myanmar people to avoid hate speech and to “live united within diversity”, especially in this difficult time.
All Myanmar people are advised to avoid hate speech and to “live in unity within diversity”. Strong actions must be taken against those who “make” hate speech.
We would like to urge every citizen to uphold the rule of law and also make clear that any kind of hate speech and incitement to violence has no place in a civilized society.

Share this post
Hot News
Hot News