February 26th, 2017
Myanmar radical Buddhist monk, Wira Thu, expressed his support assassination of prominent Muslim lawyer, U Ko Ni, by sharing some opinions in his Facebook page comparing this crime with one of the 550 Buddhist tales.
On January 29th, U Ko Ni, a legal adviser of ruling NLD party, was assassinated by a gun man just outside the Yangon International Airport.
Gun men Kyi Lin, two suspects (Aung Win Zaw and Zayar Phyo) have been detained in connection with the crime. Another suspect, Aung Win Khing, is on the run. All of them are former military officers,
In a press conference on February 25th, police admitted that motive of the crime could be extreme nationalism.
“A killer and a victim, it is not always that killer is bad and victim is good. In Vilarawata tale, (Future-Buddha) King Mouse killed a fox – a hypocrite killing and eating the mice.”, Wira Thu wrote in his Facebook page on Saturday night sharing a photo that describes two suspects involved in killing U Ko Ni as pious men.
Vilarawata story is one of the 550 tales that tell about the previous lives of the Buddha, in both human and animal form.
Wira Thu also compared the assassination with the efforts of Thirty Comrades (first batch of Myanmar revolutionary army in colonial era).
Also known as Ye Baw Thone Gyeik, the Thirty Comrades constituted the embryo of the modern Burmese army called the Burma Independence Army (BIA) which was formed to fight for independence from Britain. Later, BIA was a part of alliance to fight against fascist Japan.
In recent years, U Ko Ni – a Muslim and an activist of amending and replacing military-backed 2008 constitution – has been targeted by nationalist organizations and Buddhist extremists including Wira Thu.