Yangon Vehicle Ramming Commander Honored by Myanmar Junta Leader

By The Irrawaddy 6 January 2022

The junta officer who organized the ramming attack on peaceful anti-regime protesters in Yangon last month is among those honored for his “outstanding performance under military rule”.

To mark Myanmar’s Independence Day on Jan. 4, junta leader Min Aung Hlaing honored more than 1,000 staff, including soldiers, police, ministries staff and several hundred assassinated ward administrators.

Colonel Naing Bo Bo of Infantry Battalion 82, who led the troops who attacked the flash mob in Kyimyindaing Township in early December, was praised for his “brave services and heroism”, according to junta-run newspapers.

Min Aung Hlaing’s deputy, Vice Senior General Soe Win, was also honored.

Monks Dhammasuta Chekinda from the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University and Tilawka Bhivamsa, influential Buddhist nationalists with close connections to the regime and military families, were among 300 religious figures acknowledged by Min Aung Hlaing for their “outstanding performances in religious affairs”.

Dr. Aung Kyaw Win, the husband of regime-appointed minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, Daw Thet Thet Khine, was honored.

According to a mission report for the Yangon ramming leaked by a soldier, the attack was organized by Naing Bo Bo.

Troops drove a pickup truck into protesters, reportedly killing five and injuring several others, including two journalists covering the protest.

However, the regime claimed 11 people, including a woman with serious injuries, were detained at the protest. The regime did not mention the vehicle attack or deaths.

The United Nations condemned that attack and called for accountability.

Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the UN resident coordinator in Myanmar, said last month: “I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and pass on my deepest condolences to the families of all those who were killed or injured.

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and today’s action by security forces is completely unacceptable. Those responsible for excessive and disproportionate use of force against unarmed civilians must be held to account.”

Following the attack, resistance fighters across Myanmar escalated attacks on regime forces.

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