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Asean Lawmakers Speak Out on Communal Conflict in Burma

28 August 2013

A group of legislators from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) warned on Tuesday that communal violence in Burma could spin out of control if the authorities don’t act to stem the rise of hate speech. “If the government cannot solve this on its own then it should create the space for civil society and community organizations to help ease tensions and rebuild broken relations,” said Eva Kusuma Sundari, president of Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights, after the latest outbreak of anti-Muslim violence in Burma over the weekend. Kraisak Choonhavan, the group’s vice president, also criticized the recent arrest of activists opposed to land grabs, “whilst those propagating racist hate speech and inciting violence remain untouched by the authorities.”