A Canadian ambassador has deleted a New Year’s Day tweet that he made while on a visit to Myanmar as that country continues to struggle through a brutal humanitarian crisis. Peter MacArthur, who serves as Canada’s ambassador to Indonesia, praised the country’s beaches in a posting that was published just before 10 a.m. Monday.
“First day of 2018 unfolded on a Myanmar beach where the great surf is pleasingly turquoise coloured, warm, clean and clear — perfect for snorkelling to visit with nature and the fish,” MacArthur tweeted, along with pictures of empty beaches.
MacArthur was on a private visit to Myanmar, also known as Burma, where his wife Karen serves as Canada’s ambassador to the country. The posting is a stark contrast to the images of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims seen fleeing the country, as its government is accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign. Canada has strongly condemned the escalating violence and sent former MP and Ontario premier Bob Rae to Myanmar as a special envoy to document the challenges on the ground.
“The government of Canada takes the situation in Myanmar very seriously and is deeply concerned by the ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that are occurring there,” Brianne Maxwell, a spokesperson for Global Affairs issued a statement. “Ambassador MacArthur was advised to delete the tweet in question,” she said.