Saturday, May 11

Prime election official in Myanmar assassinated by guerrillas

BANGKOK — A prime election official in Myanmar was fatally shot in his automobile in Yangon, the nation’s business capital, within the newest assault attributed to militants against army rule.

Sai Kyaw Thu, deputy director-general of the military-appointed Union Election Commission, was shot a number of instances on Saturday, in line with the army’s data workplace, media experiences and a press release of duty from an city guerrilla group.

The data workplace on Sunday stated the assault was carried out by the People’s Defense Force, the loosely organized armed wing of the pro-democracy National Unity Government, an underground group that opposes the military-installed authorities that was established when the military seized energy two years in the past.

Many opposition forces together with native People’s Defense Force teams function autonomously from the National Unity Government however the army labels all of them as “terrorists.”

A resistance group calling itself “For The Yangon” stated it carried out the assault on Sai Kyaw Thu, a former lieutenant colonel. It declared “Mission: Accomplished” in a Facebook submit on Saturday night that was illustrated with three images of their goal.

Sai Kyaw Thu is believed to be probably the most senior official of the Election Commission to be shot because the military seized energy on Feb. 1, 2021, from the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Resistance teams earlier this yr tried to disrupt preparations for a brand new election the army had promised by attacking personnel conducting a inhabitants survey that may very well be used to assemble voter rolls and different low-level election staff. Plans for the polls, whose date was by no means set, have been set again indefinitely in February when the army authorities introduced it was extending a state of emergency because of safety issues.

Urban guerrillas have carried out many focused killings, acts of arson and small bombings. Victims included officers and members of the army and their cronies, in addition to folks believed to be informers or army collaborators.

In November 2021, a former navy officer who was the chief finance officer of Myanmar’s military-linked Mytel telecommunications firm was fatally shot on a Yangon avenue. Than Than Swe, then a deputy governor of Myanmar’s Central Bank, was shot at her house in Yangon in April 2022. She survived and was promoted to the financial institution governor.

Most not too long ago, a veteran company lawyer accused of serving to army leaders was shot useless in Yangon by self-proclaimed city guerrillas in March.

After its takeover, the military clamped down harshly on opponents within the cities, arresting hundreds and utilizing lethal drive even towards nonviolent demonstrators. The repression, which has now accounted for greater than 3,400 civilian deaths, triggered widespread armed resistance.

The army dismissed the members of the earlier election fee – which had ratified the victory of Suu Kyi’s get together in a November 2020 normal election – and appointed new ones. It additionally detained a number of members of the previous fee, and in line with experiences in unbiased Myanmar media, pressured them to say there had been election fraud.

The new military-appointed fee declared the 2020 election outcomes invalid and prosecuted Suu Kyi and 15 different senior political figures for alleged fraud.

In the assertion, “For The Yangon” claimed Sai Kyaw Thu had been a plaintiff within the election fraud case towards Suu Kyi. She and ousted President Win Myint and the previous minister of the president’s workplace, Min Thu, obtained three-year sentences in September final yr in that case.

A member of guerrilla group stated in a textual content message on Sunday that Sai Kyaw Thu was assassinated “for being the deputy director-general of the illegal election commission of the military council, which disrespected the votes of the people in 2020 general election and abused the people unjustly, and also for being the one who falsely prosecuted President Win Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi as an accessory of the military council.”

“The one who insults the public will be punished by the people,” stated the member of group, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he fears arrest by the authorities.

According to experiences in Myanmar’s unbiased media, Sai Kyaw Thu was cross-examined as a prosecution witness within the trials towards Suu Kyi final yr.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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