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Ko Ni’s Funeral – Updates from the Ground

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon – Photo Credit: Karen Brunings

By Nicole Long

This past Sunday, January 29th, top legal advisor to Myanmar’s ruling party of Aung San Suu Kii’s National League for Democracy (NLD), Ko Ni was shot outside Yangon’s international airport. Ko Ni was a revered lawyer and served as a constitutional expert and advisor to the NLD.  He had been working on amendments that would further challenge the role of the military and its 2008 constitution.  He was well-respected for his work for the NLD and as a prominent Muslim in a predominantly Buddhist nation.

This Monday, 24 hours after his tragic death, an estimated 100,000 mourners, including family members, lawyers, NLD activists and members of the diplomatic corps, attended his funeral in Yangon.

The lone gunman has been detained and is currently in police custody. The official statement and reports are that this attack was political in nature and should not be thought of as an act of terrorism.  Officials continue investigation as to who was behind the assassination.

Even though there is political and religious unrest in some remote areas of Myanmar, political killings are very rare, especially in Yangon and the countries major cities.

Journeys Within’s team in Myanmar has reported that while there is more heightened security at the airports, people generally feel safe and major tour destinations remain peaceful. There have been no protests or public disturbances resulting from this singular attack and operations run as normal.

If you are traveling in or to Myanmar at this time, we believe there is no reason for concern or worry due to this tragic event.  We will certainly keep monitoring the situation and will keep all of our guests updated about any new developments that will effect travel or safety. We feel that the situation does not warrant any cancellations at this time.

A lone monk in Mrauk U – Photo Credit: Andrea Ross

For more information, you can read more about Ko Ni’s death here:

BBC News: Myanmar: Leading lawyer Ko Ni assassinated at Yangon airport

BBC News: Ko Ni death: Thousands mourn shot Myanmar lawyer

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