Threats and tensions mount as Myanmar District Court orders auction of No. 54 University Avenue Road, Yangon and safety concerns for legal representatives

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NP News - Feb 3

On January 25, following the Myanmar Supreme Court's order to auction this nearly two-acre land, various consequences have unfolded. The house in question has been the residence of General Aung San’s wife, Daw Khin Kyi, where the former-State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi used to reside. Questions regarding the legality of the auction and whether individuals involved in the property inheritance dispute are aware or in agreement with the auction have surfaced.

A legal insider informed the NP News stating, "Every two weeks, there is a court date for the case, spanning over two months. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been regularly notified about the auction and the bidding price by her lawyers but she has not provided any response."

The villa, situated at No. 54 University Avenue Road on Inya Lake, was initially given by the government to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s mother, Daw Khin Kyi, after the assassination of her husband, General Aung San, the independence fighter.

Certain illegal news outlets on social media have circulated documents intended for restricted legal processing. A viral document from illegal news source, originally intended for office-restricted use, discloses that the nearly 1.923-acre land on plot number 36 H in Bahan Township, Yangon Region, is set to begin bidding at 315 billion kyats ($90 million) for public announcement. The respective lawyers have additionally verified the auction of the house.

Using the restricted document photos from illegal news outlets, some supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are intentionally spreading threatening posts on social media, encouraging the assassination or extrajudicial killing of U Aung San Oo's lawyer and anyone supporting him.

The colonial-style house at No. 54 University Avenue Road, situated on the two-acre land, was given by the government to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s late mother, Daw Khin Kyi. Therefore, both U Aung San Oo and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are both entitled to the ownership of this house.

Over the past 12 years, U Aung San Oo has allowed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to reside in the house. Legal experts have confirmed that, according to Myanmar Customary Laws and other acting laws, U Aung San Oo also has the legal right to possess the half of the inheritance.

The legal dispute between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her brother, U Aung San Oo, has been ongoing for several years with multiple appeals. In 2022, the Supreme Court of Myanmar ruled in favor of U Aung San Oo, ordering the property's sale and equal division of the proceeds between the siblings.

The ownership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house has been a longstanding legal issue. In 2016, during Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration, a Yangon court ruled that she owned the two-story main building and half of the land, while her brother owned another decaying building on the property and the remaining land. However, in January 2019, U Aung San Oo appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking the auction of the residence and a share of the proceeds. The Supreme Court upheld his appeal, granting him half ownership of the family property in Yangon.

The district court has set a starting bid of 315 billion Myanmar kyats (approximately $90 million) for the March 2024 auction of the family home. The auction process, outlined by the court, will handle any adjustments to the starting bid or subsequent auctions.

Currently, U Aung San Oo’s lawyer and his family members are facing death threats from the People Defense Force (PDF) terrorists, which operates under the National Unity Government (NUG) government. These threats extend not only to the lawyer but also to U Aung San Oo, the son of General Aung San, and anyone else involved in the legal proceedings. As a result, the lawyer and his family members are now fleeing for their lives.

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