Foreigner Dies in Apparent Suicide on Mount Zwekabin

By Wai Wai Lwin 20 February 2017

RANGOON — A French tourist is dead after he jumped from the top of Mount Zwekabin in Karen State last week, according to the Htone Aing police.

“Mr. Yannick Normandin, a 37-year-old French citizen traveled from Yangon. After visiting Kyaikto, he arrived at Mount Zwekabin at around 7 p.m. on Friday. He climbed to the shrine which is located at the top of the mountain. Then, after walking three steps, he leapt off,” reported U Nyi Nyi Moe, an officer at Htone Aing police station.

On Saturday, the man’s body was found in a tree about 52 meters (170 feet) below the summit, said U Nyi Nyi Moe. The man had fractures to his head, hip, leg, and hand.

Firemen from the Hpa-an fire department had to descend with ropes to retrieve the body, U Nyi Nyi Moe told The Irrawaddy on Monday. The body was sent to Hpa-an Hospital. A funeral services organization and the Hpa-an social welfare department were assisting with the case.

Police found the man’s ID card, money, and other family contact information on the body.

On Saturday, the Frenchman’s girlfriend contacted the French embassy in Rangoon to report her boyfriend missing, saying that she had lost contact with him, according to U Nyi Nyi Moe.

“In order to return the man’s body to France, the French embassy is waiting for permission. But according to the police inquest 1/2017, we are still investigating case at Htone Aing police station in Karen State,” the police officer said.

Mount Zwekabin is one of Karen State’s premier tourist attractions. It draws both foreign visitors and domestic Buddhist pilgrims to the shrine which sits atop the 832 meter (2,730 foot) peak.