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A simple Burmese taxi driver’s extraordinary act of heroism is a lesson for Daw Aung San Su Kyi to act

Prominent lawyer and NLD's legal advisor U Ko Ni​. Photo: Mizzima

By Dr. Anita Schug, The Stateless (TSR) Article

The tragic and horrific assassination of Human rights’ champion and senior legal adviser to NLD advocate, U Ko Ni, was not only a chilling signal to Aung San Suu Kyi but also a severe blow to peace and democratic reforms in Myanmar. His loss has become a great burden not only for NLD but also for Muslims of Myanmar and Rohingya alike.

Rohingya, among ethnic minorities have suffered the most under military dictatorship. They are still on the Military’s top agenda, wanted dead or alive!  Since 9th of October, 2016, already 66,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh bringing stories of horror and terror as they fled. The yet not fully evolved bizarre Burmese public is growing a liking for the dehumanisation of Rohingya and is becoming a great concern to the international human rights organisations and activists. For this emerging dangerous mindset, the credit goes to the military and to other radical Buddhist extremists, who are now successfully mobilising anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya support, another severe blow to Rohingya hope, if any left.

The current extreme chaotic and troublesome march of Myanmar towards full democracy, leaves the world and the Rohingya with very little hope and an enormous scepticism. Amidst all the worrying news like mass atrocities against Rohingya, thousands of displaced Kachin’s civilians unable to escape the armed conflict, the heroic act of the Burmese taxi driver U Nay Win on 29.01.2017 outside Yangon airport, deserves the world’s applause and a national standing ovation. An ordinary yet a brave Burmese man sacrificed his life while chasing the assassin of U Ko Ni. This simple man did what NLD could not do since they came to power. Acting per rule of law; acting against injustice, acting against crime, acting against killing of an innocent man holding his grandchild while waiting for a taxi like any ordinary man. The present government’s lack of accountability and abiding by true rule of law is now taking its ugly toll on the hearts of Myanmar. If the government would have taken measures to stop countless acts of military’s terror on its public, against Rohingya, Ko Ni’s life could have been saved. People with criminal minds would have felt that no violence is tolerated and will not go unpunished.

By chasing the assassin of advocate U Ko Ni, this ordinary man among others acted upon what they felt was wrong. This Burmese ordinary man did not judge whether U Ko Ni was a Muslim, he didn’t bother about the victim’s looks nor his colour. This heroic act is an evidence that general Burmese public do not want to see violence in any form. Daw Aung San Su Kyi must now at least learn from the 42 years old U Nay Win. It’s time for Ammay Suu to be far sighted and draw the red line. There are no missing dots towards the killing of the prominent lawyer U Ko Ni. It is obvious who is behind this assassination. Will Daw Aung San Suu Kyi decide to remain silent and do no justice for the man who made her above the president? Will she betray him like she did to Rohingya who endlessly fought for her freedom?

Based on recent reactions, it should not be a surprise if the de facto leader chooses to remain silent. But, what must be celebrated is the brave act of U Nay Win, his act is a triumph for humanity and a little hope for Rohingya. A hope that the spirit of humanity in the hearts of Burmese public is still alive and its flame is still burning wild.

On 29.jan.2017, two great Burmese heroes lost their lives for Humanity; one bravely speaking it loud and the other defending it. Tragically, only these two heroes ’s death made it to the mainstream media headlines. In Burma there are many invisible heroes dying daily defending Human rights.

To our brotherly races in Myanmar, let us not get divided by race and religion. Let us live with each other within this very nation side by side as we did centuries ago. Let us work towards what U Ko Ni said: If someone is born in Burma and lives there all their lives, we must regard them as a citizen of Burma. It is harmful if people are divided into” classes”.

Let us recognise this diversity as our strength and work united towards a greater Burma, establishing ourselves as a flourishing nation and have the History remember us for all times to come.