Activists urge transparency in Kachin death investigation
KACHIN activists protested in Yangon’s Tarmwe township yesterday, urging government officials to make details public surrounding the death of university student Maung Gum Seng Aung who was gunned down by a soldier in Kachin State’s Myitkyina township last month.
Nearly 30 people, including Kachin students, chanted “Do not kill students, do not kill people” and “Justice for Gum Seng Aung” during the protest. They fear the case will close without truth or justice.
‘We are afraid that the military is not going to reveal the truth, so we want the soldier questioned in civilian court.’
Ko Jum Maw Latt Maw Universities of Kachin Literature and Culture Federation
Maung Gum Seng Aung, 19, a firstyear student at Myitkyina’s Computer University, was killed on June 20.
According to police records, during a melee Maung Gum Seng Aung tried to grab a firearm out of the hands of a soldier, Ko Maung Maung, who then fired. Maung Gum Seng Aung was struck by a bullet in the left collarbone and died at the scene.
Ko Jum Maw Latt Maw, a member of the Universities of Kachin Literature and Culture Federation, said they want truth in the case and they want the soldier who fired the gun to testify in civilian court, he said.
“We are afraid that the military is not going to reveal the truth, so we want the soldier questioned in civilian court,” he said.
Police Colonel Myo Thura Naung from Myitkyina said the case is still under investigation and he declined to provide additional details or specify on the current situation of the investigation.
The Universities of Kachin Literature and Culture Federation released a statement yesterday, stating that the young student’s death makes everyone in the country less safe.
Ko Sali Aung, a senior member of the federation, asked the government to bring the perpetrator to justice with the full force of the state and have him tried in a civilian court in a transparent and fair manner.
“The murder of Gum Seng Aung attests to military personnel’s complete disregard for existing laws, posing a serious threat to the collective dignity and the safety of the whole student community,” he said.
Activists hold placards in Yangon yesterday calling for justice in the case of Maung Gum Seng Aung, who was killed by a Tatmadaw soldier in Kachin State last month.