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Myanmar group targets Kofi Annan; uses Morgan Freeman photo

August 30, 2016

YANGON, Myanmar — A prominent anti-Muslim group of Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar is criticizing former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on social media, and accidentally taking actor Morgan Freeman down with him.

Myanmar’s government announced last week that Annan will lead an advisory panel aimed at finding “lasting solutions” to the conflict in Rakhine state, where human rights groups have documented widespread abuses against minority Rohingya Muslims. The group Ma Ba Tha, led by Buddhist monks, has been accused of helping to incite violence in the region that left hundreds of Muslims dead in 2012.

Ma Ba Tha condemned Annan’s involvement in a Facebook post Monday that called him “a funny-looking and disrespectful person cannot talk about our own issues in the country.” It also called Annan, who is from Ghana, a “kalar,” a slur used in Myanmar against Muslims and Indians.

The post, however, included a photo not of Annan but of Morgan Freeman, the Oscar-winning actor. Freeman was marked with a red “X’’ next to the words “We no need Coffee Annan he go away.”

Freeman has been confused previously not only with Annan but also with late South African President Nelson Mandela.

The post has been widely circulated, and mocked, among Myanmar social media users.



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