USDA members receive training in Naypyidaw

Dec 22, 2008 (DVB), Members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association and Swan Arr Shin from Bago division have been sent to Naypyidaw for training, according to a Swan Arr Shin member who attended the course.

The Swan Arr Shin member, who comes from Taungoo township, said 350 people were recruited from the Taungoo district , two from each village , and 100 were selected to attend the training in the new capital in early December.

More candidates have been selected for future training programmes, the member said.

Each trainee was given a 100,000 kyat monthly stipend and new recruits were paid 50,000 kyat, he said.

The member also said that 500 pairs of Buddhist monks' robes and 500 bamboo sticks have been put aside in Taungoo district USDA office.

District chief organiser Maung Maung Ta reportedly instructed members to assemble 1000 more pairs of robes and sticks in order to suppress any monk-led uprisings similar to the September 2007 demonstrations.

In Rangoon division, USDA members have been given riot control training and will also receive training in organising and administration in the near future, according to a source close to the organisation in Rangoon.

Burma analyst Aung Thu Nyein said the training could be part of the regime's preparations for the 2010 elections.

The USDA head office in Rangoon refused to comment on the allegations.

Reporting by Htet Yazar

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