Suspects in Attack on Eleven Media CEO’s Car Deny Role

By Htun Htun 16 July 2015

RANGOON — Two suspects arrested in connection with an attack on a vehicle driven by the chief executive officer of a popular Burmese-language daily have not confessed to the crime, the commander of Rangoon Division’s East District Police Force told The Irrawaddy.

According to the district commander, Deputy Police Col. Myint Htwe, the attack in Rangoon occurred at the junction of U Chit Maung Road and Min Street on Tuesday evening as the car of Than Htut Aung, CEO of Eleven Media Group, was stuck in traffic.

From close range, two slingshot-wielding assailants fired six metal nuts at the driver’s side window of the vehicle, where Than Htut Aung was seated. The attack damaged the glass of the window, but Than Htut Aung was not harmed.

The assailants escaped along with their apparent accomplices, who were waiting in a car in the opposite lane, according to an Eleven Media statement.

Myint Htwe said despite the two suspects denying any involvement in the assault, police are confident that they have the right men.

“We are still investigating their motive and if there are more accomplices,” said Myint Htwe.

One of the suspects, a taxi driver named Ti Kaung (a.k.a. Yan Naing), was arrested the same night of the attack along with what police are calling the getaway car. Subsequently A Nge Lay (a.k.a Myo Myint Aung), the alleged hirer of the car, was apprehended at a guesthouse in North Okkalapa Township the following morning, according to the Rangoon Division Police Force.

“Since we are a media group, I think it could be connected to those who suffer from our investigative reporting and those who do not want to relinquish power,” Wai Phyo, the chief editor of Eleven Media, told The Irrawaddy.

Wai Phyo said Eleven Media would try to find out which individuals or organizations were behind the attack, but added that the incident would not affect the editorial stance of the group.

Eleven Media has been a consistent critic of Burma’s government as well as the business dealings of the country’s crony class, and currently finds itself embroiled in a legal row with the Ministry of Information over a story the newspaper wrote alleging corruption in a privatization bid involving a sizeable media property. The widely read daily last year squared off with the same ministry after it claimed to have uncovered a misuse of funds in the purchasing of printing presses.