Prominent Muslim lawyer in Myanmar assassinated

Ko Ni, a prominent member of Myanmar's Muslim minority and legal adviser for Myanmar's ruling National League for Democracy, is seen during an interview in Yangon on January 13, 2016. (Phyo Thiha Cho/Myanmar Now)
Updated 29 January 2017

Prominent Muslim lawyer in Myanmar assassinated

YANGON, Myanmar: A legal adviser for the National League for Democracy was assassinated at a Myanmar airport Sunday after returning from a trip overseas, the government said.
Ko Ni was the Supreme Court advocate for the NLD and a longstanding adviser to the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The unidentified gunman made a close shot to the head as Ko Ni walked out of the arrival gate at Yangon’s airport, the Ministry of Information said in a video posted on state-run MRTV.
A friend of Ko Ni who witnessed the shooting said the suspected assassin also shot a taxi driver who tried to stop him from fleeing.
“As I stopped my car by the airport, that’s where I saw Ko Ni’s body lying on the walkway outside of the airport and I couldn’t believe that just happened,” said Thet Paing Soe, a friend and an NLD supporter. “Then as the shooter tried to run away, the police arrested him.”
Thet Paing Soe said a taxi driver known as Nay Win stopped the fleeing assassin but was shot. The taxi driver’s condition was not clear.
The Ministry of Information identified the suspect as Kyi Linn from Mandalay. The motive was not known.
Kyee Myint, a former chairman of the Myanmar Lawyer Network who has a close relationship with Ko Ni, also confirmed his death.
“It is a big loss for us that Ko Ni, our beloved friend, has been killed. He is the face of the democracy in our country and this is a big loss for us,” Kyee Myint added.
Calls to Suu Kyi’s office were not answered, and other leaders of the NLD were not reachable Sunday evening.
Ko Ni was Burmese and one of the NLD’s most prominent Muslim members. He criticized the party in 2015 for not putting up Muslim candidates in the general election. Myanmar is a mainly Buddhist country and anti-Muslim sentiments have increased in recent years following deadly violence in the western state of Rakhine home to many Rohingya Muslims.
As a practicing lawyer, Ko Ni had handled more than 900 criminal cases and more than 1,400 civil cases. He established the Laurel Law Firm with two other advocates in 1995.

UK PM Theresa May to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Brexit referendum

Updated 21 May 2019

UK PM Theresa May to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Brexit referendum

  • May is offering concessions in what she says is a “last chance” to secure British departure
  • May said she was 'making a new offer to find common ground in Parliament'

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said her government will include in her Withdrawal Agreement Bill a requirement for lawmakers to vote on whether to hold another Brexit referendum.

“I recognise the genuine and sincere strength of feeling across the House on this important issue,” May said. "The government will therefore include in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at introduction a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum."

“So to those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal - you need a deal and therefore Withdrawal Agreement Bill to make it happen,” May said.

May is offering concessions in what she says is a “last chance” to secure an orderly British departure from the bloc.

The deal that she struck with the EU has been rejected by UK lawmakers three times already.

Since then, she has tried to secure backing from lawmakers with promises to maintain high standards on workers' rights and environmental protections — issues that are priorities for the left-of-center opposition Labour Party.

She also said UK lawmakers would get to decide how close a trade relationship to seek with the EU after Brexit, in a concession to Labour's demands for a customs union.

May said she was “making a new offer to find common ground in Parliament.”

“I have compromised. Now I ask you to compromise too,” she said.

May has said that after Parliament votes on the bill she will set out a timetable for her departure as Conservative leader and prime minister. Pro-Brexit Conservatives blame May for the country's political deadlock and want to replace her with a staunch Brexit supporter such as Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary.

(With agencies)