International

Jair Bolsonaro calls Greta Thunberg a ‘brat’

Bolsonaro’s comment follows President Donald Trump’s sarcastic dig at Thunberg in September.

Bolsonaro’s comment follows President Donald Trump’s sarcastic dig at Thunberg in September.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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The President of Brazil hit out at the teen climate activist after she tweeted a link about the murder of two indigenous people in the country’s Maranhao State

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday called young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg a “brat” after she expressed concern about the slayings of indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon.

Mr. Bolsonaro questioned the coverage news media have given Thunberg, 16, who on Sunday tweeted a link to a story about the murder of two indigenous people in Brazil’s Maranhao State.

“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon,” Mr. Bolsonaro told a group of journalists. “It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that,” he added, using the Portuguese word “pirralha.”

‘Pirralha’

Following Bolsonaro’s comments, Ms. Thunberg changed the bio on her Twitter profile to say “Pirralha.”

Ms. Thunberg became a symbol for youth demanding radical change to confront climate change when she sparked global school strikes.

“Indigenous people are being literally murdered for trying to protect the forrest (sic) from illegal deforestation,” she tweeted. “Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this.” The remark by Mr. Bolsonaro and Ms. Thunberg’s reaction caught the attention of Brazilian environmental activists at the COP25 climate talks in Madrid.

‘Doesn’t understand Thunberg’

Gabriela Baesse, 27, said that the exchange showed the Brazilian president “doesn’t understand the youth.”

Marina Silva, a center-left politician and former environment minister under Luiz Inŕcio Lula da Silva’s administration, said the President’s move was “incoherent” with his leadership position and added, “He should not worry about fighting Greta because she showed solidarity with the indigenous that were murdered,” he said.

“He should fight the criminals that murdered the indigenous instead of fighting Greta,” Ms. Silva

The comment by Mr. Bolsonaro, who has frequently expressed his admiration for his U.S. counterpart, follows Donald Trump’s sarcastic dig at Thunberg in September. President Trump responded to a video of Ms. Thunberg discussing suffering people, dying ecosystems and looming mass extinction, saying, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 11:52:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/jair-bolsonaro-calls-activist-greta-thunberg-a-brat/article30273309.ece

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