Jan 27, 2009 (DVB), Union and Solidarity and Development Association members in ward 26 of New Dagon township in Rangoon have been recruiting new members by promising repairs to local infrastructure.
On 23 January, USDA members gave out membership application forms to local residents and asked them to fill them in, claiming it was necessary for water supply projects, road repairs and transport improvements.
A local resident said the authorities had told local people that they had to pay the cost of water pipes to their houses and workers' wages for the water supply project, and for meters to measure the amount of water used.
"They started to distribute water on 23 [January] at 10am. They said that the water would be distributed among those who signed up," he said.
"Some people filled in the forms and returned them thinking they were only for the water supply, but the majority didn’t return then as they know the water supply project has nothing to do with the membership forms."
The resident said the form required people to fill in the personal details and membership status of everyone in their household and record the location of any family members living elsewhere in Burma or abroad.
Reporting by Yee May Aung