On anniversary of U Ko Ni’s murder, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi calls for ‘truth’


YANGON — State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called for “the truth” about the murder of U Ko Ni to be exposed, in a video message screened at a Yangon memorial ceremony to mark the two-year anniversary of the esteemed lawyer’s assassination.

Although she attended last year’s memorial, Aung San Suu Kyi did not attend in person this year. In her message, she mourned the loss of both Ko Ni, who was a legal adviser to the National League for Democracy, and U Nay Win, a taxi driver who was slain while trying to apprehend Ko Ni’s killer.

“It is a big loss for Myanmar. They [Ko Ni and Nay Win] will be remembered with respect in the hearts of the people,” she said.

Ko Ni was shot dead while he waited for a car outside Yangon International Airport on January 29, 2017.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Four men were subsequently arrested, including accused gunman U Kyi Lin, but the failure of the Myanmar Police Force to arrest the alleged mastermind continues to attract public criticism.

U Aung Win Khine, 47, faces a charge of premeditated murder, but has been declared a fugitive from justice by the court. He is the subject of an Interpol “red notice” issued at the request of the Myanmar police.

Final arguments by lawyers representing the four men arrested over the killing are meanwhile due to be presented in Yangon Northern District Court on February 1.

Hundreds of people including ambassadors, legal experts, and the families of Ko Ni and Nay Win, gathered at Tuesday’s event. At the start of the event, the organising committee screened a video of Ko Ni discussing how the 2008 Constitution could be amended.

Ko Ni was a constitutional expert and has been credited with creating the state counsellor position for Aung San Suu Kyi, which allowed her to assume high office despite a provision in the constitution that bars her from the presidency.

In what seemed a nod to Ko Ni’s work, in parliament today, U Aung Kyi Nyunt (NLD, Magway-4) submitted an emergency proposal to form a parliamentary committee for amending the constitution. The motion was approved, although military representatives, who hold 25 percent of seats in parliament, stood up to express their displeasure.

Multi-faith religious leaders also attended Tuesday’s memorial event, several of whom delivered remembrance speeches for Ko Ni and Nay Win.

U Sai Myint Naing, a Hindu leader, said that Myanmar needed more legal experts like Ko Ni, and he implored the public not to forget the sacrifice that Ko Ni had made in the interest of his country.

“A country that does not value experts will not become developed,” he said.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar