U Ko Ni’s Assassin Flees—an Eyewitness Account

By Htun Htun 30 January 2017

U Soe Myint, the chairman of Shwe Lun Pyan taxi drivers’ association, was at Yangon International Airport when National League for Democracy lawyer U Ko Ni was shot. He witnessed the assassin fleeing the scene and fatally shooting a taxi driver before being arrested at gunpoint. U Soe Myint told The Irrawaddy’s reporter Tun Tun what he saw:

“We taxi drivers saw it as soon as [the shooting] happened, and chased [the gunman]. At that time, he was holding a gun, and we chased him behind and from his left and right-hand sides, shouting ‘He has a gun! He has a gun!’

There are four taxi drivers’ associations at the airport, and all of the drivers came out and chased him, so there were about 100 people.

The man with the gun was running about 20 feet ahead of us. U Nay Win threw a brick at the gunman while running after him. The man turned and fired at him, and he was shot dead.

We thought he was hit in the haunches, but later we learned that he had an exit wound near his bladder. The man with the gun fired two or three shots from both his right and left side [into the chasing crowd] while running.

By then, police at the airport had also joined the crowd to chase him. The man with the gun kept on running. He saw a taxi in front of a restaurant called ‘Amazing’ and stopped it at gunpoint.

He got in it and asked the taxi driver to drive. He was a little bit far from me but as he got in the taxi, the chasing taxi drivers surrounded the taxi and blocked it from moving. Then, police arrived and aimed their guns [at the suspect] and arrested him.

U Nay Win was rushed to hospital. We heard after a while that he was dead. We went to North Okkalapa Hospital and found the body of U Nay Win was being kept at the mortuary there.”

U Nay Win, 48, is survived by a wife and three children aged 7 years, 4 years, and 45 days. The Rangoon Divisional Government will pay for his funeral scheduled to be held on Tuesday.