Myanmar Says Ex-Army Officer Ordered Prominent Lawyer’s Murder

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — A former military officer in Myanmar is suspected of ordering the killing of a prominent human rights lawyer who was a top adviser to the country’s leader, the office of Myanmar’s civilian president announced on Wednesday.

The lawyer, U Ko Ni, one of the most prominent Muslims in the majority Buddhist country, was fatally shot at Yangon International Airport on Jan. 29 in what appears to have been a rare political assassination in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

When he was killed, Mr. Ko Ni, who was 65, was returning to Yangon, Myanmar, from a trip to Indonesia. He had been cradling his young grandson in his arms when he was shot in the head.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, the president’s office said that Aung Win Khine, 45, a retired lieutenant colonel, was suspected of paying 100 million kyat, or about $71,500, to the person who killed Mr. Ko Ni.

The president’s office said Colonel Aung Win Khine, who retired from the army in 2014, was at large and published his photograph with a request for people to share information on his whereabouts.

Photo

Mr. Ko Ni was rewriting Myanmar’s Constitution, which would have removed much of the military’s power, when he was killed. CreditReuters

Mr. Ko Ni had been well known within Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, for his efforts to amend the Constitution and write a new one. Before being killed, he had been drafting a Constitution that would have stripped the military of its powers and would have established peace agreements with armed ethnic groups.

“If the military still focuses on protecting its interests, it will be impossible to change any part of the Constitution within Parliament,” he said last year during an interview with a Burmese newspaper. “That’s why writing a new one is the best way to pursue a democratic Constitution.”

At least two suspects related to the killing are already in custody: U Kyi Lin, accused of shooting Mr. Ko Ni, and U Aung Win Zaw, 46, the elder brother of Colonel Aung Win Khine.

Mr. Aung Win Zaw is also a former lieutenant with the Myanmar army, but the president’s office did not mention that at the time of his arrest, leading to accusations that it was withholding information.

“All people know here suspect Aung Win Zaw is an ex-army officer,” said U Sai Tun Aung Lwin, a journalist based in Yangon. “The government and the government agencies must be transparent on the political assassination. If not, people won’t know which information is true.”

The political party led by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi took power in March 2016, but it shares executive and legislative power with the military. Under the current Constitution, the military controls the ministries of defense, home affairs and border affairs as well as at least 25 percent of parliamentary seats. Her party’s relationship with the military has been rocky since last fall.

“I strongly believe that those who are pro-2008 Constitution killed him,” U Aung Moe Zaw, chairman of a political party, the Democratic Party for New Society, said on Wednesday, referring to the current Constitution. “At the same time, their intention is to threaten all of us and to create instability.”

Source by; https://www.nytimes.com

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By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Raped While Heavily Pregnant, Rohingya Woman Shares Darkest Moments

Raped While Heavily Pregnant, Rohingya Woman Shares Darkest Moments

TEKNAF (Bangladesh), Feb 16 (Bernama) — Raped while in advanced stage of pregnancy.

That was the darkest moment suffered by a teenage Rohingya now sheltering at a refugee camp in Leda here, a nightmare that recurs until today.

Wanting to be known only as Senuara, 19, the woman said she underwent the horrifying ordeal in early November 2015 when she tried to flee Arakan Province to a safer place.

Her ordeal continued as she was made a sex slave at the height of the oppression by the authorities in Arakan Province, Myanmar.

Initially, Senuara declined to relate her ordeal but later mustered enough courage to relate her plight.

Senuara said she wanted to put the horrifying experience behind and begin a new life at the camp.

“I am now living with two sons, aged two years and two months, and we are quite comfortable in the camp and are grateful that there are still people who care about our fate,” she added.

More than 100,000 ethnic Rohingyas are currently sheltered at refugee camps in Leda, which are monitored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Rohingyas at the refugee camps are guarded by members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and provided with adequate shelter.

Rohingyas, an ethnic group in north Myanmar have sought refuge in other countries when political and social turmoil erupted at their homeland in Arakan.

On Tuesday, the ‘Nautical Aliya’ ship which was carrying 2,000 tonnes of aid for Rohingya refugees through the ‘Food Flotilla For Myanmar’ mission arrived in Chittagong port.

The items will be distributed to three refugee camps in Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf, with the assistance of the Bangladesh Red Crescent and the International Organisation for Migration.

The ship left Port Klang on Feb 3 and unloaded a portion of the aid at Yangon Port in Myanmar, six days later.

Source by: BERNAMA

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

[VIDEO] “He Raped Me While I Was Eight Months Pregnant,” 19-Year-Old Rohingya Woman Recounts Being Tormented By Myanmar Soldier

[VIDEO] “He Raped Me While I Was Eight Months Pregnant,” 19-Year-Old Rohingya Woman Recounts Being Tormented By Myanmar Soldier

Published on Thursday, 16 February 2017

 

In a remote village in Arakan, 19-year-old Senu Ara was eight months pregnant when she was raped by a Myanmar militant.

She was counting the days; waiting for the birth of her second child, when the vile military man broke into her home and caused a ruckus.

But unfortunately, things escalated for the worst when he shot her husband dead and proceeded to rape her.

“The man covered his face and raped me while I was eight months pregnant,” Senu recounted her ordeal to Utusan Malaysia with the help of a translator.

“I no longer have anyone because my husband was killed. I thought I could escape the soldiers by fleeing the village, but regardless where we are, they will continue to oppress us.”

Senu now resides at the Rohingya Refugee Camp in Leda, Bangladesh, with her two-year-old son.

Who would’ve thought that such vile act of cruelty would be the fate of a woman who was heavily pregnant – but that is the sad and heartbreaking reality that every Rohingya women face.

Last November, The Express Tribune reported that 20-year-old Habiba and her 18-year-old sister were tied to their beds by the Myanmar soldiers and repeatedly raped them one by one.

“They tied both of us to the bed and raped us one by one,” Habiba said.

“They torched most of the houses, killed numerous people including our father and raped many young girls,” as she recounted how the soldiers ambushed their home and burnt it to the ground.

“One of the soldiers told us before leaving that they will kill us if they see us around the next time they come here. Then they torched our house.”

Fortunately, the two girls and their older brother Hashim Ullah have found shelter with a Rohingya refugee family just a few kilometres away from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

“We’re almost starving here. But at least no one is coming here to kill or torture,” said Hashim Ullah.

Source by: Malaysian Digest

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Amid allegations of Rohingya mass killings, Myanmar says military operation in Rakhine has ended

Amid allegations of Rohingya mass killings, Myanmar says military operation in Rakhine has ended

A screen grab from a YouTube video showing a policeman kicking a Rohingya minority villager in Kotankauk village during a police area clearance operation on Nov 5, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s military has ended a clearance operation in the country’s troubled Rakhine state, government officials said, ending a four-month sweep that the United Nations said may amount to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

The security operation had been under way since nine policemen were killed in attacks on security posts near the Bangladesh border on Oct 9. Almost 69,000 Rohingyas have since fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to UN estimates.

The violence has renewed international criticism that Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has done too little to help members of the Muslim minority.

The government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has denied almost all allegations of human rights abuses in Rakhine, including mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims, and said the operation was a lawful counterinsurgency campaign.

“The situation in northern Rakhine has now stabilised. The clearance operations undertaken by the military have ceased, the curfew has been eased and there remains only a police presence to maintain the peace,” newly-appointed national security adviser Thaung Tun was quoted as saying in a statement released by State Counsellor’s Office late on Wednesday.

“There can be no excuse for excessive force, for abuses of fundamental human rights and basic criminality. We have shown that we are ready to act where there is clear evidence of abuses,” he told a group of diplomats and UN representatives in a meeting, according to the statement.

Two senior officials from Myanmar’s President Office and the Ministry of Information confirmed that the army operation in northern Rakhine had ended but said the military force remained in the region to maintain “peace and security”.

Myanmar military did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

The military and police have separately set up a team to investigate alleged crimes after Suu Kyi promised to probe UN allegations of atrocities against the Muslim minority.

More than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims may have been killed in the crackdown, two senior UN officials dealing with refugees fleeing the violence told Reuters last week.

A Myanmar presidential spokesman has said the latest reports from military commanders were that fewer than 100 people had been killed in the counterinsurgency operation.

Rohingya Muslims have faced discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for generations. They are regarded as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, entitled only to limited rights and some 1.1 million of them live in apartheid-like conditions in northwestern Myanmar.

Source by: http://www.straitstimes.com

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized