A political opposition candidate for parliament in upcoming national elections in Myanmar was badly wounded Thursday evening in the country’s commercial capital Yangon when he and two other party workers were attacked by a group of men wielding swords, sources said.
Naing Ngan Lin, a National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker, was sent to hospital with injuries to his head and hands following the attack, his wife Khin Sanda Win told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Friday.
“He had to get 10 stitches on his head, and three of his right fingers, his left wrist, and left middle finger were also hurt,” Khin Sanda Win said, adding that doctors have said he may not regain use of his fingers for another three to four months.
“He will have another surgery on Monday,” she said.
Two NLD members accompanying Naing Ngan Lin were also injured in the attack, The Irrawaddy, a Myanmar news outlet, said on Friday.
“The attack occurred during an NLD campaign drive in [Yangon’s] Thaketa township where Naing Ngan Lin is running for a seat in the Nov. 8 general election, The Irrawaddy said.
Yangon Eastern District Police Chief Myint Htwe said that three of the men who attacked the group were taken into custody overnight and charged with using dangerous weapons to cause grievous bodily harm, adding that the incident had been sparked by a brawl.
“There [was] no political reason behind this,” the police chief told The Irrawaddy.
Threat posted before attack
Speaking to RFA, NLD party member Htein Win said however that one of the assailants had posted a notice on his house a few days before declaring that no one living there would support the NLD, a longtime Myanmar opposition party led by democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
“We will not accept any brochure or poster from the NLD. If NLD members come to this house to campaign, I will slash them,” Htein Win said the notice read, describing it as a clear threat.
“NLD members didn’t even go to his house, and this incident happened in another street in the same township,” he said.
“We heard that the men who attacked our members were drunk,” he said.
The assailant’s posted threat to harm NLD representatives has so far been ignored by police and other local authorities, Yangon-based lawyer Khin Yu Myint Htay told RFA.
“It appears that they support what he did,” she said.
Reported by Kyaw Zaw Win, Htet Arkar, Thin Thiri, and Khin Pyae Sone for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Richard Finney.