A World Health Organization (WHO Myanmar) staff member was shot dead in Mawlamyine, Mon State, while returning from his office at around 5 p.m. yesterday evening.
Myo Min Htut had worked as a driver for WHO Myanmar for five years. The INGO announced his death on its Facebook page shortly after the killing, stating that “the exact information on the circumstances of the incident remains unclear but we are deeply saddened by his tragic death.”
The UN’s Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim, Ramanathan Balakrishnan, was quick to condemn the killing.
“The United Nations appeals to all parties and stakeholders to respect the neutrality of the United Nations and Humanitarians and further calls for all parties to protect the rights and safety of civilians and strongly condemns acts of violence against civilians.” said Balakrishnan. “The United Nations expects an impartial investigation into the incident and the perpetrators to be held accountable.”
The People Defense Organization (PDO) Mawlamyine claimed responsibility for the killing on social media channels, and alleged that the victim was a close relative of Lt. General Aung Lin Dwe, who, as the junta’s secretary, is one of the leading figures in the State Administration Council.
The group also claimed that the victim had threatened the families of CDM staff, and that he was a pedophile who had produced sex tapes involving minors.
The PDO Mawlamyine also claimed that Myo Min Htut was involved late-night home invasions in which security forces checked overnight guest lists of residents in the town.
For reasons currently unknown, PDO Mawlamyine’s statement and corresponding accusations have since been deleted from Facebook, raising serious questions over the motives for and reasons behind the killing.