A Myanmar publisher whose magazine has criticized the military, political and business establishment was found stabbed to death in his office at the weekend, police said on Tuesday.
Wai Yan Heinn, 27, was stabbed 15 times with a knife in his chest and abdomen, police captain Yin Htwe told Reuters.
“We’re now investigating his death and awaiting the results of the autopsy,” Yin Htwe said.
Journalists and activists are often targeted in Myanmar, where freedom of speech still faces considerable obstacles, more than a year since Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi took power after a landslide election win.
In the past three months, a prominent lawyer who worked to change the military-drafted constitution was assassinated, and a journalist was threatened after speaking out against nationalist Buddhists. In December, a reporter covering illegal logging and crime in the country’s rugged northwest was beaten to death.
Wai Yan Heinn published a weekly news magazine called Iron Rose which, according to front page images available online, has run stories criticizing Myanmar’s former ruling generals and businessmen connected to them.
One headline described Suu Kyi, who is the country’s de facto leader but under the constitution is barred from the presidency because her two sons are foreigners, as a “drone president”, implying she controls the government from the back seat.
Police said the victim’s body was discovered lying in a chair in his Yangon office on Sunday after neighbors reported a rotten odor.
“We loved our son so much, I’m speechless,” his mother said after the funeral on Tuesday, asking not to be named out of fear of retribution.
She said the family was heartbroken because Wai Yan Heinn was their only son. She did not know why he was killed.
So much for the rule of law advocacy that Aung San Suu Kyi has been airing since her MP days under former President Thein Sein up to this very day as a State Counselor.
Politically motivated assassination would go on, until a genuine democratic government is installed that could guarantee individual freedom, liberty, buttressed by strict rule of law and enforcement.
As Reuters rightly pointed out, during the past three months, a prominent lawyer who worked to change the military-drafted constitution was assassinated, and a journalist was threatened after speaking out against nationalist Buddhists. In December, a reporter covering illegal logging and crime in the country’s rugged northwest was beaten to death.
Apart from this, Suu Kyi herself also has had a brush with such a situation during the Depayin massacre, when the NLD was an active opposition and where scores of NLD members were killed by government-sponsored mob, during the then State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military government, on May 30, 2003.
For now, since the hybrid, quasi-civilian-military rule or two-tier administrative system is the order of the day, with each having different political goals, sometimes cooperating and at times at loggerheads due to the conflict of interest, this kind of chaos would likely continue, to the chagrin of the country and the people.
What kind of people will have what kind of government. And government action more or less represent the mentality of the majority. Burmese have little tolerance for minority, unless this is improved the chaos will continue whoever and however it is ruled.
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