Two More Myanmar Junta Local Officials Killed

By The Irrawaddy 20 May 2021

Two local administrators and two other people were killed by unknown assailants in Mandalay and Magwe regions and Karen State on Tuesday and Wednesday. They are the latest in a series of attacks on the regime-appointed administrative staff who run local government for the junta at the ward and village levels.

Military-controlled newspapers said that U Kyaw Zin Min, the administrator of No (4) ward of Payathonsu in Kyainseikgyi Township, Karen State, was shot dead in front of his house on Wednesday.

The house of U Soe Nyunt, an administrator in Myaing Township, Magwe Region, was also attacked by unknown men armed with handmade bombs and a knife. U Soe Nyunt and his daughter died on the spot, his grandson died on the way to hospital.

On Tuesday, six unknown attackers stabbed U Moe Zaw Myint, the administrator in Pan Chaing Village, Kyaukpadaung Township, Mandalay Region.

The newspapers said that the injured local administrator had helped the regime’s security forces with the reopening of schools. He was taken to hospital for medical treatment.

A local administrator in Yangon’s Lanmadaw Township also died on Tuesday when he was shot dead by an unknown attacker after a blast at the ward office.

The regime said that its security forces will investigate and arrest the assailants.

Regime attempts to reopen schools have largely been boycotted by teachers, education staff and students across the country. Thousands of teachers and academics at universities and colleges are refusing to work for the junta, despite the threat of lawsuits.

Since the junta’s Feb. 1 coup, the military regime has been trying to resume local administrative functions by opening government offices.

But pro-democracy supporters have opposed the move, as they regard regime-appointed administrators as merely police informants who tip off authorities about anyone in their areas who is involved in anti-regime activism. The junta has also tried to reinstate the previously abolished “overnight guest list” registration system to monitor the arrival of strangers in villages and wards.

Under Myanmar’s administrative system, ward and village-level offices are the lowest rung of local government. They compile demographic data, as well as information on voters and criminals—among others—in their areas.

At least seven local administrators have been killed in Yangon, Mandalay, Magwe and Sagaing regions and Karen State since the coup.

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