Former Army Major and Facebook Troll Shot Dead in Yangon Home

Former Army Major and Facebook Troll Shot Dead in Yangon Home

Tin Maung Aye, a former Burma Army major and popular pro-military social media user, was shot dead by the Yangon Urban Guerrilla (YUG) resistance force at his home in North Dagon yesterday evening, a member of the group told DVB. 

Resistance fighters said that they had broken into the major’s house and killed him on the spot, sparing his family.

“We didn’t act like the military’s soldiers, entering and slaughtering everyone. Despite seeing all of his family members, we only killed him. We were careful not to harm those [without direct links to the military],” a member of the group said. 

YUG said that the major was killed for actively making inquiries about PDF members and sending information to the junta’s Yangon Regional Military Command. 

“We watched him being very close to the security forces whilst they violently suppressed anti-coup protests after Feb. 1. He also led local pro-military rallies together with affiliates of the junta. Nobody from the neighborhood supported him but nobody dared go against him as his relationship with the administrators was so good,” an ex-military officer close to Major Tin Maung Aye told DVB.

Following the assassination, soldiers cut off mains electricity supplies to the area and investigated the attack. 

Major Tin Maung Aye, who served in the Burma Army’s LID 241 before his retirement, was said to have sent a stream of information on the activities of local PDFs to both the district administration office and the Yangon Regional Military Command. 

He fronted a well-subscribed Facebook account, uploading his thoughts on a variety of topics whilst consistently promoting fake news and hate speech. The major’s final post questioned the recent news concerning the Nobel Peace Prize committee’s endorsement of the NUG government: “Has the Nobel Peace Prize Committee become a terrorist group?” it pondered. 

Following the slaying of the major, his social media account was hijacked by thousands Burmese netizens poking fun at his death. 

Yesterday, after news broke that Burma’s coup leader, Min Aung Hlaing, had announced his intent to implement universal conscription, Tin Maung Aye jubilantly suggested that “every citizen start preparing to serve the army.” Hours later, he was shot dead.

Old social media posts celebrating the killings and arrests of NLD supporters were re-shared by thousands of people following his death.

On Jan. 16, the major had shared a post authored by the NUG’s Minister of Education, Dr Zaw Wai Soe, commenting that “his ending will come soon”. 

Three days before his death he proclaimed: “Political activists say the General doesn’t have absolute control over the country because activists have continued to protest a year after the takeover. This is wrong. The only people against the Tatmadaw are idiotic red (NLD supporters), they are a minority. Most people welcome and support what Tatmadaw did,  and that is the truth.”

The YUG advised the general public to continue to keep a distance from all military personnel as it had plans to “eliminate” a number of targets. 

Yesterday, the group claims that it bombed a number of military targets in central Yangon.