Myanmar
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Prominent Kayan teacher killed

The chairman of the Kayan Literature and Culture Committee was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen on a motorbike on Aug. 11 at around 10 a.m.  

Francisco was assassinated while he was going to his corn farm in Pekon township, on the border between Shan and Karenni State, according to his family members. 

The victim was a former member of the military proxy party USDP and resigned from the party in 2015. 

Shortly after the incident, the Kayan Literature and Culture Committee strongly condemned the assassination, saying that the attack on the chairman is “not the right way to solve problems during the time of political turmoil” and claimed it has harmed Kayan literature and culture.

The committee said that the 59-year-old man not only actively participated in literary and cultural events, but also helped with social, education, and religious activities.

The NUG’s Deputy Minister, the ethnic Kayan Khun Baham Htan, wrote on his Facebook that he was shocked and saddened by the assassination of his teacher. “Despite the different political views we had, my teacher said we should work together for Kayan nationalism…My teacher’s sudden and eternal passing is a great loss for the entire Kayan nation. Together with the family [of the victim], the Kayan nation is deeply saddened,” he expressed. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

He is respected by most Kayan and was chosen as the chairman of the Kayan Literature and Culture Committee, “despite the fact that he was USDP”, a local ethnic Kayan said. 

In addition, he was said to have advocated for the release of those arrested during anti-coup protests and helped revolutionary organizations and local IDPs, a local aid worker said.