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Home > Main Library > Politics and Government > Myanmar Union Government (MUG)/State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) > Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA)

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Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Google site-specific seach results for "USDA Myanmar" for ibiblio.org
Date of publication: 28 May 2006
Description/subject: This search (732 results, 26 May 2006), pulls out the references to the USDA from the Online Burma/Myamar Library, KHRG and other sites hosted by ibiblio. Most of the results are from "The New Light of Myanmar" -- full text version online in OBL since October 2003. Some of the NLM files are several MB, so expect to wait a bit for them to open...To do a site-specific google search, either use the google Advanced Search (Domain) or put your keyword(s) followed by site: in the google search box, followed immediately (no space) by the site you want to search, without www. So my search was usda myanmar site:ibiblio.org -- OBL Librarian
Language: English
Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
Format/size: html,pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2006

Individual Documents

Title: â€œThe White Shirts” - The USDA Set to Become the New Face of Burma's Dictatorship
Date of publication: 30 May 2006
Description/subject: "...Based on interviews with twenty members of the USDA, the report exposes the dark secrets of the organization, from recruitment through intimidation and/or inducements, to its program of infiltrating and seeking dominance over the educational system and economy of Burma. The USDA has sought to infiltrate or eliminate civil society organizations in the country, reconstituting civil society according to the needs of the regime. The USDA has tried to co-opt the humanitarian work of international agencies, to strengthen its patronage as a benevolent organization. The USDA, notorious for numerous acts of political violence, has trained villagers to form people's militias and encouraged a culture of lawlessness and thuggish behavior, particularly among the youth members. This has led to the incitement of religious conflict and several violent attacks on members of the pro-democracy movement, including the notorious the Depayin Massacre, a brutal attack on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her convoy, injuring hundreds and killing many. Today marks the third anniversary of the Depayin Massacre. More ominously, this report warns of the ascendancy of the USDA as a political organization. Already, USDA members are in the majority at the National Convention. It is believed that the regime plans to use USDA to extend and perpetuate military rule under a pseudo-democracy. The USDA’s top levels are peopled by senior leaders of the SPDC, making the USDA and the SPDC essentially the same..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Network for Democracy and Development
Format/size: pdf (634K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/USDA_Final_Report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2006

Title: USDA: The Organization Strengthening the Military Rule in Burma (Myanmar)
Date of publication: 30 April 2005
Description/subject: "...USDA which stands for Union Solidarity and Development Association was formed by SLORC in 1992 under the patronage of the Chairman of SLORC (later it changed to SPDC - State Peace and Development Council), Senior Gen. Than Shwe, and it has been receiving full supports - financial supports, technical supports and leadership supports - by the regime. The regime also formed this USDA Executive Committees in every State/Division, Towship/ Town Ward, Village Tract/ Village level. Their structure is Top-Down organizing system, and the decision making process is always Top-Down. Therefore, the USDA Central Executive Committee (CEC) which made up of the generals and veteran military commanders, instructed to State/Division USDA CEC and then instructions flow to Township/ Town Ward USDA and then Village Tract/ Village levels. Since the formation of USDA, it has openly supported the regime political agenda and especially in opposing the NLD and other oppositions' political agenda and activities. The people can also identify that USDA is equal to military regime...II. USDA, an Elite In the Community...III. USDA's Political Agendas - A Future Winner In Elections... IV. USDA Current Activities Restricting the Civil Society - USDA against Mon Literature Protection...V. USDA: As Paramilitary Force...VI. USDA's Involvement In Human Rights Violations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Mon Forum" Issue No. 4/2005
Format/size: html (50K)
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2006

Title: Mobilization of the Masses: How Much of a Threat is the USDA?
Date of publication: June 2004
Description/subject: '"People were all bloody. We were all broken. I was lucky to have escapedÂ…I bumped into their people who were lying in wait for us. They were chasing us like animals. They also beat up people who were on the motorbikes in front...We had to drive our car into the paddy-fieldsÂ…At about ten, we heard spurts of gun-shots. We saw burning carsÂ…I don’t know who was alive and who was dead. All of them were lying flat on the ground with flowing blood.”1 That’s what twenty-six year old witness Ko Wunna Maung of Mandalay testified, describing the chilling violence that occurred on “Black Friday”, May 30, 2003. He was driving alongside the car that held Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, when hundreds of NLD (National League for Democracy) supporters in a convoy of twenty cars and twenty-five motorbikes fell under attack by gunfire, catapults, bamboo stakes, and steel and iron pipes. More than a year has passed since the Depayin Incident occurred, and an influx of reports and eye-witness accounts have been published, yet the exact details of what happened that night remain vague. Amidst all this uncertainty one thing is abundantly clear: the statement made by the governing SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) that 4 people were killed and 50 injured at the hands of the NLD2 is undoubtedly a farce. The 500 to 1,000 recruited attackers responsible for the imprisonment, rape, murder and injury of the uncountable NLD members and supporters were under the direct orders and orchestration of the SPDC and the United Solidarity and Development Association, or USDA..."
Author/creator: L. Hancock
Language: Englsih
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues" Volume 14, Number 6, June 2004
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2006

Title: Live at the National Convention: NLD vs. USDA II
Date of publication: January 2004
Description/subject: "Ten years have passed since Burma first convened a National Convention but some things have not changed... When Burma’s National Convention process began in 1993, the opposition National League for Democracy, or NLD, took part, hoping to implement the people’s desire to see Burma become a democratic nation. To create the illusion of support for their side, the ruling junta established the United Solidarity and Development Association, or USDA, under the leadership of Sr-Gen Than Shwe, for what it called "social purposes." Students, government employees and businessmen were forced to apply for membership in the USDA, which set up rallies in support of the National Convention, even while the junta was denouncing the NLD and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi..."
Author/creator: Bo Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" vol. 12, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 March 2004

Title: The USDA Factor
Date of publication: July 2003
Description/subject: "The thuggish civilian wing of the military junta must not be overlooked during Burma’s political transition... Since the Black Friday clash of May 30, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) has earned the well-deserved title of "thugs" in international circles. Once disguised as a social organization, the USDA is now exposed as the brutes of the Burmese military regime. But this demonization does not quite explain the USDA’s current political salience and the role they wish to play during the transition to a civilian government..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2003

Date of publication: 13 November 2002
Description/subject: "... The role of the USDA in every Mon village is organized according to a planned 'strategy mind mapping' and 'agenda setting'. It’s part of the regime’s propaganda machine, an insidious network that undermines local Mon civil society. The Mon Literature and Cultural Committee, mostly led by Buddhist monks and local scholars, cannot ignore the systematic discrimination toward the Mon population by the Burmese regime that has gone on now for the last three centuries or so. Young Mon boys and girls are forced to become members but are not rewarded for their efforts; they have no access to educational or technological programs but face an uncertain future, while their families struggle to feed themselves..."
Author/creator: Banya Hongsar
Language: English
Source/publisher: KaoWao News No. 30, Nov. 1-13, 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2006

Title: Politics of Stability: Co-opting Burma's Civil Society Through the USDA
Date of publication: October 1998
Description/subject: "...A flourishing civil society is often viewed as a threat by regimes that don't wish to see their policies or programs undermined or questioned. Civil society is composed of institutions and groupings that are outside of, or autonomous to, government. The wary state will often sponsor mass organizations that are designed to provide a popular or mass base for state policies. Since 1962 the military has effectively destroyed civil society in Burma, successfully controlling, co-opting or eliminating any organization that had potential beyond those at the most local level, such as village or ward Buddhist temples. However, the regime has created its own "civil society" in the form of the USDA. This Association was founded on September 15, 1993 shortly after the SLORC announced it would hold a national convention to write a new constitution. The USDA is registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs as a social organization, however, it is explicitly mandated to support the role of the Tatmadaw (the armed forces of Burma, and cannot be viewed as operating independently of the current regime.."
Author/creator: V. Coakley
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues" Vol. 8, No. 10
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/Newsletter/BINews1998-10.php#_Politics_of_Stability:_Co-opting%20Bu
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2006

Title: "Union Solidarity Development Association": Letters to the BBC
Date of publication: 07 March 1994
Description/subject: Feb-March 94. Four letters condemning the USDA, monitored from the BBC Burmese service. They describe the USDA rallies and the penalties people were threatened with if they failed to attend.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003