Thu 28 Aug 2008
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The Burmese ruling junta has begun to drum up support for the ensuing 2010 general elections. The regime sponsored Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) has begun to woo and pressurize Kachin Christian churches in Putao in Kachin State in northern Burma, said local sources.
Rawang Jung, general secretary of Kachin State USDA flew to his native Putao from the USDA office in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State on August 24. He met church leaders and followers in Putao on August 25 (Monday), residents of Putao told KNG.
Rawang Jung told church leaders to choose people in Putao to contest the 2010 general elections in Burma. He met church’ leaders and followers of all denominations at No. 1 Basic State High School in Putao downtown from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. local time, according to participants.
Over 50 church leaders and followers from the local Lisu tribal, Rawang tribal and Jinghpaw tribal churches attended the meeting with USDA secretary Rawang Jung. They were, however, forcibly invited to join the meeting by the military authorities of Putao District, a participant said.
According to those who attended the meeting all participants were gifted a set of clothes (Burmese suits) with an USDA medal and were served morning food by Rawang Jung.
Some participants think that Rawang Jung’s trip in Putao was meant to garner votes for the junta’s USDA in the 2010 general elections in the country.
During June and July, a new Northern Command (Ma-Pa-Kha) commander Maj-Gen Soe Win of junta met leaders of Buddhist, Christian and Muslim communities in Myitkyina and donated some rice, edible oil and money.
Moreover, Brig-Gen Thein Zaw, Minister of Post, Communication and Telegraph and a special organizer of the junta for Kachin State met leaders of all denominations in Myitkyina at the office of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) and donated some rice, edible oil and funds to each church on July 6.
Over 90 per cent of Kachins in the state are Christians and the junta is trying to generate Christian votes for the controversial 2010 elections in accordance with its seven-step roadmap to its so-called disciplined-democracy in the country.