SITTWE—A member on the central executive committee of the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) was murdered at his residence in Kyar Inn Taung village in Rakhine State’s Myebon Township on Monday.
U Khin Than Maung, who was also a founder of the party, was shot dead while watching television alone at his house, said ALD general secretary U Myo Kyaw.
“His family members went to a donation ceremony at their village. He was left alone at his house. They found him dead from gunshots when they came back home around 9 p.m.,” U Myo Kyaw told The Irrawaddy.
U Myo Kyaw condemned the assassination of U Khin Than Maung and called for the arrest of the culprit.
Police have opened a case under Section 302 of Penal Code for murder, Myebon Township police chief Capt. San Lwin told The Irrawaddy.
“We don’t know yet who shot him. We are hunting the killer,” he told The Irrawaddy.
The ALD announced its founding member’s assassination on Tuesday and strongly condemned those behind the violence.
Some senior ALD members are concerned about further political assassinations among Rakhine political circles, frightened by the fate of U Khin Than Maung who was murdered even though he always tried to avoid getting involved in issues relating to armed conflict in the state. Some locals told The Irrawaddy that many residents from Kyar Inn Taung Village were once rebels and smugglers who also still own firearms nowadays.
Accusations have been flying on social media despite no information being found yet on who is responsible for the crime. A number of controversial Facebook posts have pointed the blame at the Arakan Army (AA) as, several weeks before the murder, a number of AA supporters used Facebook to share accusations that U Khin Than Maung is “leaking the information to the army.”
After the death of the senior ALD member, some AA supporters shared opinions on social media like, “this is the reward of traitors.”
On the other hand, some AA supporters have accused the Myanmar Army’s intelligence officials of the killing by linking them to the murder through the nine-millimeter pistol with one empty round which was left at the scene, saying that this firearm is most commonly used by army-related personnel.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had yet to release any updates on the case as of Wednesday.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.