Online outrage over the new US ambassador to Myanmar’s comments on the use of the word “Rohingya” in his first public speech yesterday is filling up the comments section on the embassy’s Facebook page.
To recap: When asked in a Q&A after his talk at Yangon’s American Center whether he would keep using the word after being asked by the foreign ministry (and possibly Aung San Suu Kyi herself) to not use it, he reiterated the US position that communities have a right to call themselves what they want.
The government’s official position is that the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in Rakhine State are just immigrants from Bangladesh and should be called Bengali.
It’s a position held by many in Myanmar, as the hundreds of comments on the embassy’s Facebook page make clear.
Here are some, taken pretty much at random.
Some went so far as to pine for the days of yore when Derek Mitchell was the ambassador, even though he probably would have had the same response as Marciel.
While the majority of the comments were of a similar nature, some departed from the theme, like this one, which seems fitting to end on.