World

UN urges Myanmar to speak out against sexist, insulting language from firebrand monk

The United Nations' human rights chief has urged Myanmar's leaders to protest sexist language used by an infamous ultranationalist Buddhist monk who — during a public rally last week — called a visiting UN envoy a "bitch" and a "whore."

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the language used by Wirathu during Yanghee Lee's 10-day trip to the country was "utterly unacceptable."

U.N human rights rapporteur Yanghee Lee was the focus of criticism at a rally attended by Wirathu and several hundred people, many of them monks, last Friday.

Newfound freedoms of expression that accompanied predominantly Buddhist Myanmar's transition from a half-century of military rule to democracy in 2011 lifted the lid on deep-seated prejudice against members of the country's Rohingya Muslim minority.