Police and Home Ministry officials said at a news conference that they have arrested three men for the Jan 29 shooting of lawyer Ko Ni and are seeking a fourth. Ko Ni had advised Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on constitutional law, including how to wrest power from the army and put it in the hands of her elected civilian government. His actions raised suspicion of vengeful military involvement in his killing.
Military or military-dominated governments ruled Myanmar from 1962 until Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party took power in 2016 after an overwhelming election victory. But a constitution passed during army rule ensures that the military retains great power in government, including a virtual veto over constitutional change.
Home Affairs Minister Lt. Gen. Kyaw Swe acknowledged that many aspects of the Ko Ni murder case still need investigation, but that the authorities now believed that it was personal reasons and extreme nationalism that led the suspects to carry out the assassination.
In their briefing to the press, police said the murder plot was hatched around April last year, when its alleged planners were talking at a tea shop. Senior Police Officer Zaw Win said they expressed their personal dissatisfaction with Ko Ni’s activities, and that the conclusion of the police investigation was that “the murder was because of their own personal reasons.”
They allegedly hired an ex-convict, Kyi Lin, to be the gunman, reportedly paying him almost $60,000. He was captured right after shooting Ko Ni at Yangon’s airport.
The officials at the news conference sought to quell speculation that the army was involved in Ko Ni’s murder, saying that was a mis-impression fostered by several of the suspects being retired officers. –AP
|Public assassination of Ko Ni at Yangon International Airport.|
Captain Zeya Phyo (43) the alleged mastermind graduated from the Defense Services Academy (DSA-38) in 1995 and served in now-abolished MIS (Military Intelligence Service) till 2004. After his forced-retirement from the MIS he became a businessman, a very successful one.
“ZYP Mobile Phone Sales”, “AIS Company”, “38-Group”, and “Shwe-war-phyo Company” are just some of his successful companies and he apparently became a very wealthy man in Rangoon.
One of the alleged culprits behind Ko Ni’s killing is Former Captain Aung Win Zaw (DSA-34) who was a major share-holder and the Managing Director of Zeya Phyo’s Shwe-war-phyo Company. Another alleged culprit is former Lt. Colonel Aung Win Khaing (DSA-36) who is now a fugitive and the younger brother of Captain Aung Win Zaw.
According to the Interior Minister Lt. General Kyaw Swe the murder plot was reportedly hatched at the Modern Tea Shop in Tamwe Township in Yangon in April last year while Captain Zeya Phyo, Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing, and (former PSO of Military Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and now the USDP MP for Mai-phyart Township) Colonel Lin Zaw Htun were socially meeting at the Tea Shop. (Colonel Lin Zaw Htun later strongly denied that accusation.)
|Retired army officers Lin Zaw Htun (DSA-36), Zeya Phyo (DSA-38), and Aung Win Khaing (DSA-36).|
|Aung naing Myint (a) Nagar Lay.|
The second jail-mate Captain Aung Win Zaw offered Ko Ni’s contract was the notorious criminal Aung Naing Myint (a) Nagar Lay from South-Dagon Township. Aung Naing Myint accepted the contract and took the down payment of nearly US$ 20,000 from Aung Win Zaw, but he got cold feet later and disappeared with the cash he took from Aung Win Zaw. (Aung Naing Myint (a) Nagar Lay was captured and is now in police custody since Februray-23).
Captain Aung Win Zaw then took the contract to his another jail-mate Kyi Lin (54) who accepted the job for the payment of nearly US$ 60,000 and the rest is history and he is now in police custody since February-29 the day he shot Ko Ni dead at Yangon International Airport.
Now they claimed to have a video of U Ko Ni addressing a large Muslim crowd along the line of that long term plan of him to gain the power. Following is the translated extracts of Bengali-accented Burmese language sound file.
“Our Muslim population (in Burma) is more than 10%. There are 664 MPs (Member of Parliament) in the Union Parliament and by population proportion we must get at least 66 Muslim MPs. Or even more than that.
What it means is if we get correct number of Muslim MPs based on the population proportion we are in a strong position on deciding the forming of a government. Whoever wants to form the government (in Burma) must cooperate with us and compromise with us. Also our Muslim group would be in a very strong position to pass or block whatever law they want to promulgate.
What I am saying is we must be aware of the enormous strength of us Muslims. But we must be totally united to gain that 10% strength. If we are not united and divided into five groups that 10% will go down to only 2%. Then we wouldn’t be able to influence anything in politics.
So how can we achieve that unity? We must stay united under the single holy flag of Allah and Allah will reward us back accordingly.”
So, according to the Buddhist nationalists, he is a wolf in a sheep skin rather than a so-called democratic activist who has been using his stone-aged religion Islam to unite all Muslims in Burma to gain ultimate power despite his public image as a constitutional scholar and democracy activist.
(Following videos are self-explanatory for why and how was Ko Ni killed at the Yangon Airport.)
|Killer Kyi Lin's 9-mm pistol was only few inches away from victim Ko Ni's head.|
Was Burma Army (Tatmadaw) Behind Ko Ni’s Murder?
Realizing the people’s muted suspicion that Tatmadaw or some big shots from the army could well be behind the unlawful assassination of the Muslim leader and most prominent NLD lawyer, Lt. General Kyaw Swe the Interior Minster openly rebutted the widespread accusations of Tatmadaw’s involvement in the killing.
“Speculation that the Tatmadaw was behind the murder was a mis-impression fostered by several of the suspects being retired army officers,” said the Minster for Interior. Only serious problem for accepting that conclusion was the alleged involvement of Colonel Lin Zaw Htun.
Not only was he formerly the PSO (Personal Security Officer) of S.G. Min Aung Hlain he also is now a MP for the opposition party USDP (Union Solidarity and Development Party). And there are many of suspicious bank transactions involving large amounts of money.
After retiring from the army he instantly became a USDP MP for the safe seat of Maing-phyart and within nearly ten months he received more than US$ 500,000 in his bank accounts from various sources. He then invested most of his money in two construction companies owned by Captain Zeya Phyo and Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing. He also transferred nearly US$ 30,000 to Zeya Phyo’s bank account in December last year.
Following is the related news articles on Colonel Lin Zaw Htun’s total denial from Irrawaddy News Journal on February-27:
NAYPYIDAW — A lawmaker and former personal security officer of Burma’s Military Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing denied accusations on Monday of withholding information on the assassination of National League for Democracy (NLD) party’s legal adviser U Ko Ni.
U Lin Zaw Tun—who retired from the army as a colonel in 2015 to compete in the election under the Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) and is the current USDP lawmaker for Monghpyak Township in eastern Shan State—was mentioned as a friend of two of the suspects arrested in connection with the lawyer’s assassination. Both suspects—Zeya Phyo and Aung Win Khaing—also had military backgrounds as a captain and lieutenant colonel, respectively.
The three men’s friendship was officially revealed at a press conference by Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday. They reportedly spent their free time together at teashops, talking about the country’s politics and economy, and of course about U Ko Ni’s active role in Constitutional amendment.
The former army colonel added that he had been interrogated twice by officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs since the killing took place at Yangon International Airport on Jan 29. “I told them all that I knew,” U Lin Zaw Tun said. “After that, [the authorities] came to the conclusion that I had nothing to do with it. So, I don’t want to make any further comments.”
Asked what he thought of his two friends, the USDP lawmaker replied that they were “good guys, normally. But when it comes to situation like this, it’s difficult to say what kind of people they are,” he added.
The home affairs ministry held a press conference on Saturday—a day before the memorial for U Ko Ni and taxi driver U Nay Win—in which the minister and the police chief described alleged assassins and conspirators as “young men” with “extreme nationalism” that bore a grudge against U Ko Ni.
Who Were Behind Zeya Phyo’s Instant Wealth?
Many people were amazed at how successful Captain Zeya Phyo was in business within a short time even though they also knew very well the stories of filthy-rich former Generals and their business cronies propping up former army officers willing to risk all in the extremely dog-eats-dog world of business in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).
Captain Zeya Phyo was rumoured to be one of the beneficiaries of one or two such generals and his army of cronies. Bulk of his seed money and ongoing cash injections into his multitude of companies were said to be all from late Aung Thaung and his son.
Aung Thaung was placed on the US-blacklist in 2014 by the Obama Government alleging that he was undermining Myanmar’s transition to democracy. He was a long-time leader in the Burmese junta’s political wing, the Union Solidarity and Development Association, which was accused of a bloodied 2003 attack on a motorcade of pro-democracy figures in Depayin, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate who was almost killed by Aung Thaung’s thugs. Aung Thaung died of complications from stroke in a Singapore hospital on 23 July 2015.
Zeya Phyo’s businesses are basically operating with the principle of 40/60 profit share and at least 40% profit goes straight into Aung Thaung’s family. Unconfirmed reports also are disclosing that the infamous sons of General Shwe Mann (former Parliament Speaker) are also involving in some of Zeya Phyo’s companies.
Through Zeya Phyo many retired army officers (graduated from DSA) like Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing had been placed in a wide-reaching network of private companies controlling many businesses including money-laundering.
|Lt. Col. Aung Win Khaing's DSA graduating batch 36 includes Major Zaw Htay the President's Spokesman.|
Both masterminds Zeya Phyo and Aung Win Khaing were devout Buddhists and supporters of Ma-Ba-Tha (Protectors of Race and Religion) the organization of anti-Islam nationalist Buddhist monks.
As soon as the unverified reports of Zeya Phyo’s arrest on February-25 a photo of him on the background of senior Ma-Ba-Tha monks at recent Ma-Ba-Tha congress started popping up all over internet’s social network sites from Burma. From there the suspicion and accusations of Ma-Ba-Tha monks’ involvement spread like wild fire.
|Mastermind Captain Zeya Phyo with senior monks of Ma.Ba.Tha.|
For a very long while Swe Win a closet-Muslim has been collaborating with left-wing American journalists from the Left-leaning New York Times and Arab-Mulsim journalists from the Islamist-controlled Aljazeera from Qatar.
Many one-sided anti-Burmese-Buddhist and pro-Muslim pieces from both New York Times and Aljazeera credited Swe Win openly. One of his most nasty attacks on Burmese Buddhist monks was the article “Monks Gone Bad” published in the New York Times on 17 April 2013 accusing most Burmese Buddhist monks in Myanmar as a horribly corrupt clergy and the violent murderers of Muslims.
Not only implicating the Tatmadaw in Ko Ni’s murder by his four Myanmar Now articles Swe Win also declared the possible involvement of Burmese Nationalist Buddhist monks from Ma-Ba-Tha (The Protectors of Race and Religion) by bluntly asking the Interior Minister Lt. General Kyaw Swe in the February-25 press briefing the following question: “The alleged master mind (former MIS Captain) Zeya Phyo has been so close to the Buddhist monks from Ma-Ba-Tha, maybe there is a possibility that the monks influenced or even ordered Zeya Phyo (to kill Ko Ni)?”
He then added, “Without them (Burmese-Buddhist patriots killing Muslim Ko Ni) our country would become another Thailand where Muslims have established a solid foundation (by controlling the parliament with nearly 100 MPs) and destroying Buddhism (by raiding Damahkaya Pagoda Compound and arresting Thai Buddhist monks).”
Shin Wirathu also posted the photos of Colonel Lin Zaw Htun donating two tranches of nearly US$20,000 to his organization Ma.Ba.Tha. (Protectors of Race and Religion) at his Mandalay monastery few years back.
Related posts at following links:
Is Thomson Reuters Foundation Implicating Tatmadaw In Ko Ni's Murder?
Mastermind Behind The Hit On Muslim Leader Ko Ni?
Burmese Buddhists' Reactions To Muslim Leader's Killing
Muslim Leader Hated By Burmese Buddhists Murdered At Yangon Airport