Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shocking Assassination In Myanmar

Ko Ni, advisor to Daw Suu
A leading lawyer and adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party was murdered this morning at Yangon airport in Myanmar.

Ko Ni was returning from Indonesia where he was part of a delegation attending a senior leadership meeting in Jakarta. He was waiting for a taxi outside the airport at around 4:30pm when he was shot in the head and killed.

According to a police report,  the shooter is a 53-year-old man from Mandalay. The suspect, reported to be named Kyi Lin, has been arrested and is being questioned by police. No motive is yet known, in what otherwise appears to be a rare outbreak of political violence.  A family member said Ko Ni was holding his grandson when he was killed.  A cab driver named Nay Win, who tried to stop the gunman was also killed, according to Zaw Htay, spokesman for President Htin Kyaw.  A picture of the shooting was captured by a bystander and is being widely shared on social media.

Ko Ni was one of few prominent Muslims in a country dominated by Buddhists-- it is not clear if that was a factor in his death.  Assassinations are extremely rare in Myanmar.  Ko Ni, an expert in constitutional law, had been outspoken over the military's  powerful role in governing Myanmar, despite handing over power to Suu Kyi's civilian administration in April, 2016.

"My father was often threatened and we were warned to be careful, but my father didn't accept that easily. He always did what he thought was right," said Yin Nwe Khine, daughter of the victim.  "A lot of people hate us because we have different religious beliefs, so I think that might be why it happened to him, but I don't know the reason."

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