Recent assassinations of junta supporters and ultranationalists have sent shockwaves through Myanmar regime’s inner circle with some going into hiding.
The chairman of the Myanmar Nationalist Organization Tint Lwin was shot dead at a teashop in North Dagon Township, Yangon, on May 26. Military supporter Lily Naing Kyaw was shot on May 30, prompting junta loyalists to call for revenge in pro-junta Telegram channels. She is now in a critical condition, according to a regime statement.
Sayadaw U Thuseikta of the Patriotic Monks Union said: “We are young and we don’t fear them. We don’t know who the assassins are. But they know us and they know what we are doing. We don’t know if terrorists and assassins are near so we have to be cautious.”
Relatives of military supporters are also concerned for their safety, added the monk.
He dismissed reports that Lily Naing Kyaw, who is also a singer, has died, saying she is in critical condition in intensive care.
“I am furious that nationalists are being killed one after another. If possible, I want to leave the Buddhist order, take up arms and take revenge,” U Thuseikta said.
He called the killings a terrorist act by those who use politics and revolutions as an excuse to kill those who have different beliefs. He admitted that crippling the rule of law and administrative mechanisms are to be blamed for the killings.
Another nationalist Naung Taw Lay said in a Facebook video: “We nationalists have to take the front seat in handling matters that attract hated from people. We also have to take the front role when there is a risk of death.”
Another well-known nationalist U Nay Myo Aung was shot dead in Thaketa Township, Yangon, in February.
All of them participated in pro-military rallies and gave hate speeches, both before and after the 2021 coup. At some rallies, pro-junta groups smashed car windows and stabbed and beat people who jeered at them.
Following the coup, nationalist organizations, including the Association for Protection of Race and Religion better known by its Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha, have called for the arrest of anti-military politicians, human rights activists and independent journalists and their families.
Junta loyalists rallied on July 29, 2022, outside Yangon City Hall, showing their support for the executions of 88 Generation student leader U Jimmy and former National League for Democracy lawmaker U Phyo Zeya Thaw.
Two days before the rally, around 50 military supporters and nationalists attacked the houses of U Jimmy and U Phyo Zeya Thaw.
Nationalists have accused resistance groups and the civilian National Unity Government (NUG) of carrying out the assassinations.
Bo Moe Gyo of the NUG’s Yangon military region denied masterminding any assassinations.