Ex-Army Officer Shot Dead in Northern Shan

By Lawi Weng 28 February 2019

A retired Myanmar Army captain was killed in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme Township on Wednesday evening, according to local sources.

An unknown armed man on a motorbike shot Yan Lin Aung, 34, who died at around 7 p.m. in the evening, according to local sources.

“Someone shot him in the town as he was on his way back from buying necessities,” said Police Lieutenant-Colonel  San Win of the Shan State Police Force.

“Security forces, including police and Army personnel, and local people are working together to investigate the crime. We are trying to identify a suspect in the killing,” he said.

Yan Lin Aung retired from the Myanmar Army, or Tatmadaw, about six years ago, according to Sai Tun Nyan, a state lawmaker from Kyaukme Township who was a friend of the victim.

“He was a good man, and friendly,” Sai Tun Nyan said.

Yan Lin Aung operated several businesses in the town, including selling property and renting out rooms. He also operated a “KTV” karaoke parlor.

Some locals suspected he was killed because he refused to pay taxes to an ethnic armed group in the area. However, others said his military background may have made him a target, speculating that he was providing information to the Tatmadaw about rebel troop movements in the township, Sai Tun Nyan said.

Several ethnic armed groups are active in Kyaukme Township, including the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSSS). Fighting often breaks out between the ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar Army. The rival ethnic armed groups also occasionally fight each other.

A senior Buddhist monk who was influential in the Shan community was killed in Kyaukme in October last year. No one has yet been arrested for his killing.

Sai Tun Nyan said it was difficult to investigate such crimes, as Myanmar authorities do not have a strong influence on residents of the township.