Tuesday, March 30, 2010

USDA Party on Western Border to be led by Muslim Businessmen

3/30/2010

Maungdaw:
Two Muslim businessmen will lead the USDA party on the western Burmese border after the military junta transformed the USDA into a political party for contesting in the 2010 election, according to several local and official reports.

One report said, "Two Muslim businessmen - Aung Zaw Win and Aung Naing - were appointed by the high Burmese military authority to lead the USDA party in Maungdaw Township. Now the two leaders have issued application forms by their signatures to the public to become members of the new USDA political party."


Aung Zaw Win was appointed by the military authority as the in-charge of the USDA party in northern Maungdaw Township, while Aung Naing has been appointed in-charge of the USDA party southern Maungdaw. Both businessmen are currently living in Rangoon but are natives of Maungdaw Township.

An official from Maungdaw district office said, "Aung Zaw Win and Aung Naing are preparing to form the USDA party in Maungdaw Township with eight central executive committee members. Four committee members - two men and two women from southern and northern Maungdaw Township - will be selected to lead the USDA party in the township."

According to a local source, many notices have been issued by the two businessmen regarding formation of the central executive committee for the Maungdaw Township USDA party and have been distributed among the people to recruit members.

A Muslim youth from Maungdaw said, "The notices can be seen on many walls in mosques in our town, to lure the Muslim community to apply as members of the USDA party. I think our community will support the party in the forthcoming election because the two Muslim businessmen have been given the chance to lead the party in our township."

In Maungdaw Township there have been many USDA organization members under U Hla Tun Sein, Secretary of the USDA in Maungdaw Township before it was transformed into a political party. However, there is no clear information about how the former USDA organization will be connected to the new USDA party.

The USDA has 14 state and division-level branches, 66 district-level branches, 320 township-level branches, and 24 million members in total, according to an official statement issued in 2007. Agriculture Minister Major General Htay Oo is the general secretary.

The ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council set up the USDA on 15 September, 1993.

The two Muslim businessmen who have been appointed to lead the Maungdaw USDA party for the upcoming election had to pay a large sum of money to the military government for their positions.

"U Aung Zaw Win and U Aung Naing donated 5,000 million kyat to the newly formed USDA party to run in the upcoming election. Because of this, the two rich Muslim businessmen received the opportunity to lead the USDA party in the Muslim dominated area on the western Burmese border," said the official.

Ref: Narinjara

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