Govt Investigates U Ko Ni’s Assassination

By The Irrawaddy 30 January 2017

RANGOON— Burma’s government said it is investigating the assassination of prominent Muslim lawyer and NLD legal advisor U Ko Ni.

“According to the initial findings, the assassination is likely to destabilize the country. The government is carrying out the investigation to find the truth and necessary security measures are also tightening,” a statement from the President’s Office released on Monday read.

U Ko Ni was shot dead in the head at close range outside Yangon International Airport on Sunday afternoon by a gunman, identified as 53-year-old Kyi Lin, according to a police report. The assailant also shot a taxi driver with his 9mm pistol, who was among those attempting to catch him.

It was reported that the detained gunman Kyi Lin was in prison in the 2000s for smuggling ancient Buddha stupas and released in a presidential amnesty in 2014.

“We feel deeply sorry for the assassinated U Ko Ni and also U Nay Win who was killed while attempting to catch the shooter. And also we are thankful to all dutiful citizens who helped to arrest the assailant,” the statement read.

It urged the public not to be frightened because of the incident and also to be aware of racial and religious instigations. It also asked the public to inform the authorities of any suspicious activities.

The Burma Army’s information team also released a statement that said the army would cooperate with security forces to hold the perpetrator accountable for the crime, as the incident challenged existing safety measures.

The motive remains unknown and The Irrawaddy could not get a comment from the police at the time of publication.