Friday, May 29, 2015Friday, May 29, 2015

US raises concerns to Myanmar over proposed restrictions on interfaith marriage

Published on Jun 12, 2014 11:48 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has voiced concerns to Myanmar on proposed restrictions on interfaith marriage amid growing worries about actions that target minority Muslims.

The State Department said it raised concerns "at the highest levels" of Myanmar's government, which is considering a ban on marriages across religious lines amid a surge of Buddhist nationalism since the country launched democratic reforms.

"The United States opposes any measure that would criminalize interfaith marriages. Such a step would be inconsistent with the government's efforts to promote tolerance and respect for human rights," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said in a statement late Wednesday in response to reporters' questions.

The authorities in Myanmar have proposed a variety of restrictive measures seen as targeting the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority who are not considered citizens by the government. Anti-Muslim violence has left around 250 people dead in the last two years.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!