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Statement

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Monday, January 30, 2017

The Habibie Center, Harvard Kennedy School – Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Proximity Designs, and Kemitraan are saddened by the news that U Ko Ni, Legal Consultant, National League for Democracy (Myanmar) was shot dead on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Media reports state that the tragic incident took place at Yangon International Airport after U Ko Ni had just returned from a trip to Indonesia.

U Ko Ni was part of a Myanmar delegation that took part in a three-day Structured Discussion on ‘Democratic Transition, Military Reform and Communal Conflict: What can Myanmar Learn from Indonesia’s Communal Violence in a Time of Democratic Transition (1999 – 2003)’, which was co-organized by The Habibie Center together with the Harvard Kennedy School – Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Proximity Designs in Jakarta from January 23-25, 2017.

We are all the more saddened by U Ko Ni’s violent death given that his visit to Indonesia was to learn from the experiences of Maluku in defusing bloody communal/interreligious conflict that devastated the Ambon Municipality and some parts of Maluku Province in 1999 to 2004, at a time when Indonesia was in critical juncture of democratic transition and military reform.

We strongly condemn his killing and call on relevant authorities to swiftly bring the perpetrator(s) to justice. At the same time we urge to remember his passing by inviting steadfast support for the democratization process in Myanmar, including addressing communal/interreligious conflict.

Our thoughts and prayers go to his family. May God grant them strength during this difficult period.

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