TNLA Fighter Shoots Ex-Girlfriend Dead for Refusing to Elope in Myanmar's Shan State

By Lawi Weng 28 January 2020

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), an ethnic armed group in Shan State, says it will take action against a member of the group who allegedly killed a schoolteacher in Kutkai Township, northern Shan State, on Friday.

The TNLA has detained Mai Phoe Sein, a 26-year-old member of the group, for the killing of Lway Mya Hmwe Aung, a primary school teacher in Kutkai’s Hwe Khot Village.

“We have detained him and our judicial department has begun working on a verdict for him,” Major Tar Aike Kyaw, a spokesperson for the TNLA, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Local Kutkai residents expressed outrage over the killing and have called for justice against the perpetrator.

“It was not good to murder a schoolteacher who was innocent and taught children. We strongly condemn this action,” said U Aung Win, the victim’s uncle.

Maj. Tar Aike Kyaw said the killing was over a personal issue, as far as he knew.

Mai Phoe Sein was reportedly involved in a dispute with his ex-girlfriend, Lway Mya Hmwe Aung. Mai Phoe Sein allegedly wanted her to marry him and attempted to force her to elope with him but she refused.

Lway Mya Hmwe Aung was killed at her dormitory near her school at 7 p.m. on Friday. U Aung Win said his niece was shot and died as soon as he arrived at the dormitory 10 minutes after the shooting.

“We want the TNLA to take full action against him to make a good example for future generations, so no one will dare to act like this anymore,” said U Aung Win. “If a thumb is not good, then cut it off. If a finger is not good, cut it off. This is how the TNLA must act. If not, this event will hurt the image of the whole TNLA,” he added.

Maj. Tar Aike Kyaw said the trial would start soon, but could not provide detailed information on how it will proceed, as the TNLA’s judicial department has just begun to work on the case.

The TNLA said the court will be open to the public on the day of the verdict and the victim’s family is welcome to attend. U Aung Win said the family plans to attend and is looking forward to seeing how the TNLA issues the punishment.

The TNLA said in a statement that it will inform the public about how they intend to punish the perpetrator.

“They should show the public that this case was a personal case, and it was not related to the organization,” said U Aung Win.

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