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Ikiam calls for independent probe into death of Myanmar’s prominent Muslim lawyer


Asiawe- The International Institute of Islamic Cooperation Malaysia (Ikiam) hopes that an independent international body will be established to investigate the death of U Ko Ni, a prominent Muslim lawyer in Myanmar.

U Ko Ni, 53, was killed in Myanmar at the Yangoon International Airport on Jan 29 upon returning from a work trip from Jakarta, Indonesia.

He was known for his advocacy efforts in creating religious tolerance between religions in Myanmar. “Ikiam strongly condemns the killing of U Ko Ni and we are calling for an independent international body to be set up to investigate the matter.

“This must be done as some are under the perception that the Myanmar military and Buddhist extremists were involved in the murder,” Ikiam said in a statement on Monday.

U Ko Ni, was an adviser to the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party that forms the government of Myanmar led by Aung San Su Kyi. He was an activist since his university days in 1988 and was involved in activities against the Myanmar government at that time. He recommended that Su Kyi holds the position of State Counsellor, a position that did not exist in Myanmar previously.

“What is more important is that he is a man who fought for the rights of Muslims in Myanmar. He was the founder of Myanmar’s Muslim Lawyers Association, established last year. “Ikiam urges Muslims and citizens worldwide to mourn his departure.

We call on mosques and surau nationwide to hold funeral prayers and tahlil for him. “May his soul rest in peace,” Ikiam said. U Ko Ni was shot in the head at close range as he was about to leave the airport in his family car on Sunday.

As the gunman tried to flee, he shot and killed a taxi driver, U Ne Win, who had tried to stop him. Other taxi drivers detained the gunman until the police arrived and arrested him, seizing two handguns. He was identified by police as U Kyi Lin from Mandalay, Myanmar. New Straits Times


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