The Irrawaddy

Family of Journalist Killed in Traffic Accident with Army Major Drops Charges

U Tin Lin, who was a senior reporter for The Voice Journal, at the launch of the Myanmar Youth Policy in Naypyitaw in January. / U Tin Lin / Facebook

NAYPYITAW — The family of a local journalist has dropped charges against an army officer who hit and killed the reporter in a traffic accident nearly two weeks ago.

U Tin Lin, a senior reporter at The Voice Journal, was killed instantly as he rode his motorcycle near the Naypyitaw Central Railway Station in Pobbathiri Township after being hit from behind by the car driven by Major Kaung Htoo Lwin on the night of March 17.

Police handed over the investigation into the fatal crash to the army, as the driver was an army major with the Health and Disease Control Unit in Zayarthiri Township.

U Tin Lin lived alone in Pobbathiri, away from his family in Yangon. He had worked as a reporter for more than 15 years.

In the 2010 general election, with the National Democratic Force, he unsuccessfully contested a Lower House seat representing Yangon Region’s Kungyangon Township, where he was from.

U Tin Lin’s 85-year-old mother is in poor health and agreed to drop charges against Major Kaung Htoo Lwin after the army officer’s relatives came to apologize three times, said Daw San San Kyu, the younger sister of U Tin Lin.

“The brother [of the major] came crying and begged my ailing mother. He told her that he and his brother would take care of her as if they were her sons and provide monthly [financial] assistance. My mother sympathized with him and decided to drop the charge out of motherly love,” she said.

“This type of crime allows the aggrieved party to drop the charge,” Pobbathiri police Lieutenant Thaung Htike Oo told The Irrawaddy.

U Tin Lin’s mother and other family members signed an agreement dropping the charges on Wednesday in the presence of community elders and the village administrator.

“It all depends on his mother. We can do nothing against her will,” said Ko Aung Soe, The Voice’s executive editor.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.