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Timely Report Documents the Transformation of Burma’s Military Regime’s Paramilitary Organization to Political Party

The Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) released a report today entitled, “Burma: A Violent Past to a Brutal Future; The Transformation of a Paramilitary Organization into a Political Party.” The report looks at the history of the junta-backed social organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), and its transformation to the political party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The report’s release comes in the final week before the first elections in Burma in 20 years, polls that have been widely criticized as being not free or fair. NDD’s research documents how the USDA’s legacy of violence, manipulation, domination, and repression has since been transferred to and continued by the USDP in their election campaigning.

“The very same people who were responsible for the attack on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the NLD in the 2003 Depayin Massacre, as well as the crackdown on the Saffron Revolution, are now running for parliamentary seats in this week’s elections,” said Saw Myint Thu, Secretary of NDD. “Voters and the international community must recognize who these political candidates truly are.”

The report illustrates that the USDP is completely backed by the military regime, using its capital and power to dominate the polls. It also documents how the USDP has been already violating, the election laws and is seeking to bribe, intimidate, coerce and manipulate its way towards an election victory.

“These elections are a foregone conclusion. The regime has taken full measures to ensure a USDP victory, which will put perpetrators of countless atrocities in government positions,” said Khin Ohmar, Chairperson of NDD. “The international community can no longer say ‘let’s wait and see.’ The future of Burma with the USDP winning has already been written, and it is a future of ongoing oppression under military rule.”

NDD produced an initial report on the USDA in May 2006 entitled, “The White Shirts; How the USDA Will Become the New Face of Burma’s Dictatorship.” The report documents the USDA’s violent and manipulative tactics and how, even then, it was being positioned to become face of the regime – a prediction that has now come true.

The Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) is a political network that provides the democracy movement with the requisite skills and capacities to achieve a return to democratic government and to lay the groundwork for the re-building of Burma's institutions and body politics to reflect the democratic ideal.

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