Hate speech draft to head to parliament
The second draft of the Hate Speech Law has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Office for review before being sent to the hluttaw.
THE second draft of the Hate Speech Law has been completed and will be submitted to parliament soon, the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs said yesterday.
The announcement was made yesterday by Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko during a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw between United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and religious leaders representing a variety of faiths.
Ministry spokesperson U Aung San Win told The Myanmar Times that the draft has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Office, which will make recommendations before it is handed over to parliament.
“The law will be submitted to parliament before 2017, but I can’t say the exact date,” he said.
Yesterday’s interfaith meeting was attended by leaders from six religions, including two representatives from the Buddhist community, three from the Muslim community, three from the Christian community and two from the Hindu community. Baha’i and Jewish representatives also attended.
U Aye Lwin, who represented Muslims, said he has not seen the draft law but believed hate speech would disappear after it was enacted.
“Our country needs the Hate Speech Law. I believe it can help resolve issues with hate speech directed at Islam,” he said. “Mr Ban Ki-moon did not talk specifically about the law [during the meeting], but he did say there should be no more hate speech in Myanmar – especially religious hate speech.”
U Hla Tun, one of the representatives from the Hindu community, said he believed the law would help reduce attacks between different religions and races, and should be enacted as soon as possible.
“Maybe 50 percent of the hate speech on Facebook will be eliminated as a result of this law,” he said. “It is good for our country, so the law should be enacted.”