Some bad news coming out of Myanmar this week where the junta has executed four political prisoners. Burmese middleweight Aung La Nsang has responded on Instagram.
He fought in Yangon five times. But since the junta threw out the democratically elected government and installed a military regime there has been no MMA in Myanmar.
But even in a country which has become used to shocking violations of human rights from the people in power this week’s news was shocking. It was the first time in decades anyone had been executed in Myanmar and all four were political figures.
La Nsang says the news ‘breaks his heart’:
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La Nsang was born in Myanmar and grew up in Yangon but moved to the US in order to study. He went on to become an extremely successful mixed martial artist, winning the middleweight and light heavyweight titles with ONE Championship.
He established himself as a huge fan favourite there during the course of a run which saw him win five fights out of five in Yangon, capturing two titles. His win over Vitaly Bigdash will go down as one of the best title fights in ONE Championship history.
La NSang had to survive some early adversity before going on to beat the Russian in a rematch. He had lost to him a few months earlier:
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) June 30, 2017
But there are no good news stories coming out of Myanmar these days. The army is effectively at war with the people and every day new stories of atrocities committed by the military emerge.
But even for a regime which is seen as an international pariah the decision to go ahead with these executions was shocking. The four include a former opposition member of parliament.
Last year ONE Championship fighter Phoe Thaw was arrested after a bomb went off outside his gym, injuring him. The bomb is widely believed to have been planted by the junta.
In his statement La Nsang said he and his wife are about to have a baby but that Myanmar is ‘in my prayers’:
“I’ve been staying focused with my training and taking care of my wife who is close to birth. However, I have been recently keeping up to date with what’s going on in Myanmar and the executions of political prisoners taking place. This breaks my heart and I have no words to express how I feel inside. I continue to pray for Myanmar and wish for peace to come very soon. Please stay safe my dear friends and you are always in my prayers. “