Activists representing a new anti-hate speech campaign travelled to Irrawaddy Division’s Pyapon on Saturday to promote religious tolerance, following an invitation from local youth groups.
The Flower Speech campaign, or Panzagar as it is known in Burmese, is the brainchild of Nay Phone Latt, a well-known blogger who was imprisoned for four years for his anti-government writings.
Speaking to DVB, he said, “We explained the message of our campaign to local youths, then we all walked around Pyapon, distributing leaflets, posters and stickers.
“We also performed a song we wrote, titled ‘We are all just humans’,” he said, “which we played on guitars at intersections in the town. Many local residents were supportive.”
He said the Flower Speech campaign was promoting its slogan: “Let’s moderate our speech to prevent hatred between human beings.”
Nay Phone Latt said that, if possible, he would like to take the campaign nationwide. To date, the fledgling campaign, which was founded in early April, has only toured in Rangoon, Mandalay and now Pyapon.
“We would like to export the campaign far and wide across Burma, but we don’t yet have the manpower for that,” Nay Phone Latt said. “Also, we have to cover our own travel expenses.”
He said that, in the meantime, the Panzagar group will work to raise awareness with people from all faiths, and try to convince people to embrace Burma’s multicultural diversity.