I found that hate speech – a key precursor of genocide – is disturbingly prevalent inBurma. Fueling it is a systematic, well organized and well funded campaign of hatred and bigotry known as “969”. I describe the well established pattern of thiscampaign in my written testimony.
[Campaign organizers arrive in a village, distributing DVDs, pamphletsand stickers that warn Buddhists that their religion and their countrywere in peril as Muslims seek to eliminate both and establish a Muslimcaliphate;2)
Villagers are invited to a special community event to hear a message from venerable Buddhist monks about how they can protect their families, nation and religion;3)
Radical nationalist monks arrive at the designated time and deliver fieryhate-filled speeches warning that Muslims are plotting to destroy Buddhism and take control of the nation. Villagers are encouraged tosign petitions, and display “969” stickers on their homes and businesses.They are encouraged to only patronize those who displayed the stickersand boycott any Muslim owned or operated business. ]
The hateful rhetoric of radical Rakhine monks and the “969” campaign isominously reminiscent of the hateful propaganda directed at the Tutsi populationand their sympathizers in the lead up and during the Rwandan genocide.With respect to the role of the government of Burma, United Nations officials and independent human rights groups have documented direct state complicity inethnic cleansing and severe human rights abuses, the blocking of humanitarian aid and incitement of anti-Muslim violence.Mr. Chairman, the authorities in Burma do not want you to hear what I am tellingyou this afternoon. After being blocked by security forces at roadside checkpointsfrom visiting IDP camps, I was finally able to find my way to Muslim minoritycommunities and IDP camps. Here is what I wrote to friends and colleagues frominside Burma: