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Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
2
'
=>3?@3?A'
2+#-4+#:'B9'Ns. Eva Kusuma Sunuaii, vice-Piesiuent of the AIPNC anu
Nembei of Pailiament foi Inuonesia........................................................................................S
@C-8"/*;-'A"$$%#9.......................................................................................................................S
D./#+:"8/*+........................................................................................................................................7
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%.:'G.:-#$*.-'/F-'0+,*/*8%,'><<+1*/*+.'..........................................................................8
Nass Rallies anu Piopaganua .......................................................................................9
Attacks on the National League foi Bemociacy .................................................. 1u
DDE'@C<%.1*+.'+6'/F-'GA7('HIJJM'L'STTMNO'%'U+;-$-./'/+'=#"1F'/F-'
><<+1*/*+.'%.:'/F-'V*:-#'0+<",%/*+.' ............................................................................. 1S'
violent Attacks .................................................................................................................. 1S
$ !&%2#,-'2$567$+#+8#%($&'9$1,"#%$.*/-,-4&/$:4,-;-(,( ......................... 1S
!&%2#,-'2$<*4-&/$&'9$=-;-/$1%2&'-3&,-*'(................................................... 1S
!&%2#,-'2$<,>9#',( ............................................................................................. 16
!&%2#,-'2$?>(/-+$=*++>'-,-#( .................................................................... 16
!&%2#,-'2$@>99"-(,$.%&0#%$<#((-*'($)*%$.*/-,-4&/$.%-(*'#%( ............... 17
?&A*%$B<7:$:,,&4C(D$,"#$EFFG$7#H&0-'$?&((&4%# ................................. 17
?&A*%$B<7:$:,,&4C(D$,"#$EFFI$<&))%*'$J#;*/>,-*' ................................ 21
Nass Rallies ........................................................................................................................ 24
Coiiuption anu Abuse of Authoiity .......................................................................... 26
Eaily Signs of a Tiansition to a Political Paity .................................................... 26
DDDE'?#%.16+#$%/*+.'+6'/F-'GA7('*./+'/F-'GA70'HSTTMLSTITN&'%'0+,*/*8%,'
0%#/9'(*$-:'%/'0#+,+.Q*.Q'U*,*/%#9'W",-' ....................................................................... 28'
2uu8 Constitutional Refeienuum .............................................................................. 28
$ J#4%>-,+#',$!#4"'-K>#($&'9$=&+H&-2'-'2 .............................................. 29
$ L',-+-9&,-*'$&'9$M&%&((+#',$ NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNSu
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$ J#(>/,($*)$,"#$EFFO$J#)#%#'9>+..................................................................... SS
Attacks on Political 0pposition anu Buman Rights Befenueis .................... S4
0SBA Nilitaiy Tiainings ............................................................................................... SS
Nass Reciuitment ............................................................................................................ S7
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S
The Foimation of the 0SBP ......................................................................................... S8
Electoial Fiauu .................................................................................................................. S8
$ P*,#$@>0-'2............................................................................................................ S9
$ L',-+-9&,-*'$&'9$M&%&((+#',......................................................................... 4u
$ :8>(#$*)$:>,"*%-,0$&'9$<,&,#$.%*H#%,0........................................................ 42
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$ P-*/&,-*'($*)$Q/#4,-*'$=*++-((-*'$7-%#4,-;#( ........................................... 44
Paity Policy anu Election Bay Plans ........................................................................ 4S
?F-'W+,-'+6'/F-'GA70'%6/-#'/F-'STIT'@,-8/*+.1' ........................................................... 48'
=+.8,"1*+.......................................................................................................................................... S1'
!*B,*+Q#%<F9 .................................................................................................................................... SS'
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
4
2>W@V>W7'
The tiansition of the 0nion Soliuaiity 0iganization (0SBA) into a political paity,
the 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity (0SBP), cuiiently the laigest
contestant in the upcoming election in Buima¡Nyanmai anu wiuely expecteu to
become the uominant paity in the new pailiament, is a chilling uevelopment foi
those of us who have been following the situation in Buima¡Nyanmai ovei the
yeais anu who have iepeateuly stiesseu the neeu foi an impiovement in the
human iights situation in this countiy.
As an Inuonesian who giew up unuei the New 0iuei iegime, I am well
acquainteu with the many ways in which an authoiitaiian iegime seeks to
coeicively mobilize a population behinu its giip on powei. This upcoming
election shoulu have been a histoiical oppoitunity foi the people of
Buima¡Nyanmai to tuin the page on the past anu expeiience uemociacy, as the
enu of the Suhaito Eia in 1998 anu subsequent elections weie foi us in
Inuonesia. Insteau, the 2u1u election has become the tiiggei of a new iounu of
oppiession against the population anu the piepaiations unueitaken by the
militaiy iegime iesemble nothing close to uemociacy.
Notably, it is of ueep concein to me anu my colleagues of the ASEAN Intei-
Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai Caucus (AIPNC) that Buima¡Nyanmai has taken no
steps to impiove the human iights situation on the giounu aftei the election. The
countiy's new constitution fiom 2uu8 gives the militaiy sweeping poweis,
continues to keep militaiy affaiis outsiue civilian contiol anu pioviues foi an
amnesty clause foi past abuses. The anticipateu ascenuancy of the 0SBA, now
the 0SBP, to powei aftei the election ieinfoices oui concein.
As this iepoit uocuments, the 0SBA has been implicateu in numeious cases of
political violence against political opponents, human iights uefenueis anu othei
uissiuents since its founuing in 199S, incluuing some of the ugliest episoues of
violence in Buima¡Nyanmai's iecent political histoiy, notably the attack on
Aung San Suu Kyi anu hei colleagues fiom the National League foi Bemociacy at
Bepayin in Nay 2uuS, which left scoies of people killeu oi wounueu, anu the
ciackuown on peaceful uemonstiatois anu Buuuhist monks anu nuns uuiing
Saffion Revolution in 2uu7.
The inteinational community anu the 0niteu Nations have iepeateuly calleu foi
an inuepenuent investigation into the massacie at Bepayin in 2uuS anu the
ciackuown in 2uu7. 0ntil touay, nothing has happeneu. To the contiaiy, some of
the leauing figuies behinu the Bepayin attack have latei been piomoteu. The late
Lt. uen. Soe Win, believeu to be the key figuie being the attack, seiveu as Piime
Ninistei fiom 2uu4 until he passeu away in 2uu7.
0theis have moveu on to become leauing figuies in the 0SBP. As this iepoit
shows, thiee leauing 0SBA officials believeu to have oichestiateu the massacie
in 2uuS aie now stanuing as canuiuates foi the 0SBP in the 2u1u election,
incluuing foimei Lt-Col Aung Thaung, Ninistei of Infoimation Kyaw Bsan anu
Ninistei of Botels anu Touiism Soe Naing.

Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S
As a signatoiy to the ASEAN Chaitei, Buima¡Nyanmai has agieeu to suppoit
anu upholu ceitain piinciples, incluuing auheience to the piinciples of
uemociacy anu constitutional goveinment anu the piomotion anu piotection of
human iights. Neithei its 2uu8 constitution noi 2u1u electoial laws fulfils its
iesponsibility to suppoit uemociatic piinciples. The gioss anu systematic
violations of human iights in Buima¡Nyanmai aie well uocumenteu. The
piesence of names such as these thiee on the 0SBP's canuiuate lists foi
pailiament uoes not boue well foi the possibility of a futuie Buima¡Nyanmai
moie willing to enu impunity, ensuie accountability foi abuses anu iespect
human iights.
ASEAN shoulu no longei let itself be fooleu by Buima¡Nyanmai. All the eviuence
suggests the 2u1u election will simply entiench militaiy iule with a civilian face.
Insteau of pinning any hopes on this election, ASEAN leaueis woulu uo bettei in
suppoiting an inteinational call foi a Commission of Inquiiy unuei 0N auspices
to look into possible wai ciimes anu ciimes against humanity in
Buima¡Nyanmai.
It is sometimes saiu that such a Commission of Inquiiy coulu be
counteipiouuctive anu ueiail the piocess of peaceful uemociatization in
Buima¡Nyanmai. This is a false uichotomy. In oui expeiience, a single majoiity
paity that comes to powei in elections is not an expiession of uemociacy, but a
manipulation of the electoial tool that is at the heait of uemociacy. The
tiansfoimation of a state-sponsoieu oiganization with an extensive histoiy of
political violence anu impunity into the uominant political paity is uevastating
foi accountability in Buima¡Nyanmai. We coulu not agiee moie with the 0N
Special Rappoiteui on the situation of human iights in Nyanmai, Tomas 0jea
0uintana, who iecently stateu to the 0N ueneial Assembly that "failing to act on
accountability in Nyanmai will emboluen the peipetiatois of inteinational
ciimes anu fuithei postpone long-oveiuue justice".
It is time foi the leaueis of ASEAN to ieconsiuei the notion of ASEAN soliuaiity.
Soliuaiity - biotheihoou anu sisteihoou - cannot be built on a founuation of
iepiession anu haish human iights violation. ASEAN soliuaiity shoulu be foi the
people of Buima¡Nyanmai whose fate lies in the hanus of a biutal militaiy
iegime. ASEAN's toleiance of the biutality of the iegime anu the iegime's
manipulation of ASEAN's piinciple of soliuaiity sets a bau pieceuence foi effoits
to ensuie ASEAN accountability to human iights piinciples anu stanuaius.
ASEAN anu ASEAN membei states neeu to heeu the call of the Special
Rappoiteui to act. Iustice anu uemociacy go togethei. Theie can be no
uemociacy in Buima¡Nyanmai without an enu to abuses anu impunity.

Ns. Eva Kusuma Sunuaii
vice-Piesiuent of the AIPNC anu Nembei of Pailiament foi Inuonesia
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
6
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0n 9 Febiuaiy 2uu8, Buima's iuling iegime, the State Peace anu Bevelopment
Council (SPBC) maue an announcement that celebiateu its accomplishments
since 1988 anu ueclaieu that it woulu holu "multi-paity uemociacy geneial
elections" in 2u1u. It claimeu that it hau "iestoieu community peace anu
tianquility as well as the iule of law while enabling the people to eain livelihoou
fieely anu peacefully," anu as such it was "appiopiiate to tiansfoim the
auministiation of !&,+&9&W |Aimy] into uemociatic auministiation of the
people."
S

In the leau up to the elections, the iegime has taken extensive measuies to
ensuie that this "tiansfoimation" woulu simply be a tiansfei of powei fiom the
cuiient militaiy iegime to a political paity leu by the same militaiy elites anu
goveineu by iuentical piinciples of uomination, iepiession, anu physical might.
The 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity (0SBP), leu by Piime Ninistei
Thein Sein anu othei foimei militaiy geneials, many of which have been
implicateu in extensive human iights violations, seives this veiy puipose.
The 0SBP was boine fiom 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Association
(0SBA), a "social welfaie oiganization" iun by senioi militaiy geneials anu
officials. Senioi ueneial Than Shwe is the leauing pation on the oiganization's
Panel of Pations, with six othei piominent militaiy geneials foiming the iest of
the panel. Likewise, the Cential Executive Committee is composeu solely of State
Law anu 0iuei Restoiation Council (SL0RC) anu SPBC officials.
4
As stateu by

1
0nofficial tianslation. 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity, 0nion Soliuaiity anu
Bevelopment Paity Immeuiate Woiking Plan foi Success in 2u1u Election (2u1u) 7-8.
2
Yan Paing, "As vote Neais, Noous Range fiom Bisuain to Beteimination," IPS, 1S 0ct. 2u1u.
S
State Peace anu Bevelopment Council, "Announcement No 2¡2uu8: In accoiuance with the
foithcoming State Constitution, the multi-paity uemociacy geneial elections will be helu in
2u1u," The New Light of Nyanmai, 11 Feb. 2uu8.
4
Baviu Steinbeig,$RNyanmai anu the iequiiements of Nobilization anu 0ithouoxy: The 0nion
Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Association" Buima Bebate Feb. 1997.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
7
0SBA Secietaiy ueneial Than Aung, "SL0RC, the goveinment anu the 0SBA
shaie the same objective."
S

The 0SBA is thus guiueu by the policies anu leaueis of the iegime, anu has acteu
as an agent of the iegime to seive the militaiy's political neeus. The specific
natuie of militaiy's neeus shifteu thioughout the yeais, anu the 0SBA changeu
with it, alteiing both theii manuate anu theii activities.
The iegime initially iequiieu a bouy of populai suppoit to supeificially combat
public uiscontent aftei its iefusal to iecognize the iesults of the 199u elections.
Bowevei, as the National League foi Bemociacy (NLB) anu othei political
oiganizations began to exeicise moie of theii political iights anu gaineu vast
public suppoit, they became an incieasingly poweiful thieat to the iegime's holu
on powei. The 0SBA thus evolveu into a paiamilitaiy oiganization, ieauy to
attack political, ieligious, oi social opponents of the iegime.
The scale anu ieach of the 0SBA's political violence intensifieu ovei the yeais,
anu many inciuents weie ieactions to political uissent oi opposition. Aftei Baw
Aung San Suu Kyi's ielease in 2uu2, the uemociacy leauei tiaveleu to 12 states
anu uivisions to meet NLB membeis anu suppoiteis acioss the countiy. Buiing
this time, the 0SBA caiiieu out one of its ueauliest of attacks to uate in Bepayin
Township, Sagaing Bivision. The assault claimeu ovei 1uu lives anu iesulteu in
the aiiest of 2S6 uemociacy activists, incluuing Baw Aung San Suu Kyi anu NLB
vice-chaiiman 0 Tin 0o. Foui yeais latei in 2uu7, the 0SBA oiganizeu anu
paiticipateu in the violent ciackuown on peaceful Buuuhist monks, nuns,
stuuents anu laymen in the Saffion Revolution, which similaily iesulteu in
appioximately 1uu ueaths.
0SBA peipetiatois in both inciuents have since begun campaigning in the 2u1u
elections as 0SBP canuiuates. The 2u1u elections, anu the 2uu8 constitutional
iefeienuum, have been maikeu with haiassment, biibeiy, violent assaults anu
votei fiauu. Buiing the 2uu8 iefeienuum, the 0SBA leveiageu aiu fiom Cyclone
Naigis ielief effoits to compel cyclone-affecteu populations to vote in suppoit of
the Constitution in ietuin foi basic necessities. In the iecent 2u1u election
campaign peiiou, the 0SBP has committeu a host of election-ielateu human
iights violations in an attempt to secuie votes fiom the public.
When examining the histoiy of the 0SBA anu the 0SBP, it is cleai that neithei the
association noi the political paity can be iegaiueu as sepaiate fiom the SPBC
anu its histoiy of militaiy violence. Yeai aftei yeai, the 0SBA anu the 0SBP has
uemonstiateu that its allegiances, anu thus, its inteiests lie with the militaiy
iegime, not the people.

In the iun up to the elections, the 0SBP unveileu its paity slogan: "People Fiist."
"The slogan 'People Fiist' angeieu me but also maue me laugh," stateu a
businessman fiom Rangoon. "Theii ieal slogan shoulu be 'People Last, Nilitaiy
Fiist.'"
6


S
v Coakley,$RPolitics of Stability: Co-opting Buima's Civil Society Thiough the 0SBAX$Buima
Issues Newslettei 0ct. 1998: vol. 8, No.1u
6
Wai Noe, "0SBP Election Slogan 'People Fiist' Spaiks Angei," The Iiiawauuy, 2u 0ct. 2u1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
8
D3?W>7G=?D>3'
In the leau up to the 2u1u elections, Buima's fiist elections in the past twenty
yeais, the 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity (0SBP) has leveiageu its
state-backeu authoiity anu financial capital to intimiuate, biibe, anu manipulate
millions of voteis in Buima. Boine fiom the violent militaiy-leu social
oiganization, the 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Association (0SBA), the
0SBP is poiseu to seive as the new civilian face on the iegime's effoits to
consoliuate anu legalize militaiy iule thiough the elections.
0vei the yeais, the 0SBA has come to exemplify the many funuamental anu
systematic flaws of the militaiy iegime in Buima. Foimeu on 1S Septembei
199S, the 0SBA was ostensibly cieateu to seive as a "social welfaie
oiganization,"
7
Bowevei, in piactice, the 0SBA has seiveu the iegime in many
vaiying capacities, none of which feasibly fit unuei the categoiy of "social
welfaie," Fiom withholuing anu piofiting fiom aiu uuiing the Cyclone Naigis
ielief effoits, to attacking Baw Aung San Suu Kyi anu the National League foi
Bemociacy (NLB) convoy in the 2uuS Bepayin massacie, the 0SBA has claimeu
to woik foi the goou of the people, while seiving the will of the iegime.
The 0SBA is pationizeu anu leu by piominent SL0RC¡SPBC officials, incluuing
Senioi ueneial Than Shwe,
8
with militaiy officeis in leaueiship ioles at all
levels: village tiact, waiu, township, uistiict anu uivision levels
9
. Inueeu, the
0SBA is not meiely a paiallel bouy to the SPBC, but iathei is unuei the contiol of
the SPBC anu seives to fuithei peipetuate militaiy iule.
0SBA claims a membeiship of aiounu 24 million people, appioximately half the
population of Buima. Reciuitment techniques involve haiassing stuuents, anu
eithei foicibly iegisteiing stuuents without theii knowleuge, oi thieatening
them with expulsion. Civil seivants aie iequiieu to be membeis of the 0SBA
while those woiking in business face many uisauvantages otheiwise. The geneial
population also face foiceu laboi, limiteu fieeuom of movement oi aibitiaiy
taxation without 0SBA membeiship.
1u

The 0SBA pioviues a vast membeiship base to suppoit the iegime's objectives
anu activities. As the 0SBA Secietaiy ueneial 0 Than Aung noteu, "the iuling
SL0RC |State Law anu 0iuei Restoiation Council, the pieuecessoi to the State
Peace anu Bevelopment Council (SPBC) until 1997], the goveinment anu the
0SBA shaie the same objective."
11
All 0SBA membeis must pleuge to "enueavoi

7
L. Bancock,$RNobilization of the Nasses: Bow Nuch of a Thieat is the 0SBA." Buima Issues
2uuS.
8
Baviu Steinbeig,$RNyanmai anu the iequiiements of Nobilization anu 0ithouoxy: The 0nion
Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Association" Buima Bebate Feb. 1997.
9
Banya Bongsai, "Ciime Against Bumanity: Biity Politics on the Banus of the Buimese Iunta"
Nonlanu 18 Iune 2uuS.
1u
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$The White Shiits: Bow the 0SBA Will Become the
New Face of Buima's Bictatoiship$(Nay 2uu6) 18 - S7.
11
v Coakley,$RPolitics of Stability: Co-opting Buima's Civil Society Thiough the 0SBAX$Buima
Issues Newslettei 0ct. 1998: vol. 8, No.1u.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
9
foi 0ui Thiee Nain National Causes,"
12
which aie iuentical to SL0RC's "thiee
main tasks". These aie: "pieventing uisintegiation of the 0nion, pieventing
uisintegiation of national soliuaiity anu that of ensuiing peipetuity of the
soveieignty of the State."
1S

The 0SBA also auopteu the SL0RC's 'Foui-Point People's Besiie.' This 'People's
Besiie' moie cleaily outlines 0SBA's manuate as an au-hoc civilian militia:
0ppose those ielying on exteinal elements, acting as stooges oi holuing
negative views: oppose those tiying to jeopaiuize the stability of the State
anu piogiess of the nation: oppose foieign nations inteifeiing in inteinal
affaiis of the State: anu 8#"1F'%,,'*./-#.%,'%.:'-C/-#.%,':-1/#"8/*;-'
-,-$-./1'%1'/F-'8+$$+.'-.-$9.
14
(emphasis auueu)
In oiuei to "oppose those tiying to jeopaiuize the stability of the State anu
piogiess of the nation" anu "ciush all inteinal anu exteinal uestiuctive
elements," the 0SBA has instigateu anu leu foiceu mass iallies, intimiuateu,
haiasseu, anu attackeu political opposition, maiginalizeu civil society, abuseu
theii powei anu collecteu aibitiaiy taxes, inciteu ieligious conflict anu taigeteu
ieligious minoiities, tiaineu 'people's militias,' anu, most impoitantly,
tiansfoimeu into an equally abusive political paity in the leau up to the 2u1u
elections, the 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity (0SBP).
The 0SBA's iole in the SPBC has shifteu uiamatically in the past two uecaues,
which can be examineu in thiee phases: 199S to 1998: 1998 to2uu7: anu 2uu8 to
uate. The 0SBA fiist began in 199S as a mass oiganization with the aim of
taigeting the political opposition anu geneiating a facaue of populai suppoit. By
1998 it hau evolveu into a violent people's militia attacking opposition paity
membeis anu suppoiteis, instigating ieligious violence, anu haiassing the
geneial public. Fiom 2uu8 onwaius, the 0SBA began to position itself as the
uominant political paity in piepaiation foi the 2u1u elections.
This iepoit exploies the evolution of the 0SBA in these thiee phases, within the
context of the contempoiaiy political climate. The cases highlighteu in the iepoit
aie by no means exhaustive oi isolateu inciuents: iathei, they aie emblematic of
the 0SBA¡0SBP's fai-ieaching influence anu extensive histoiy of iights
violations. Fuithei, this iepoit will examine the futuie possible iole of the 0SBP
in the futuie political enviionment anu its iepeicussions on uemociacy in
Buima.
* * *
DE'?F-'!*#/F'+6'/F-'GA7('HIJJK'L'IJJMNO'%'PA+8*%,P'>#Q%.*R%/*+.'/+'7-.+".8-'
%.:'G.:-#$*.-'/F-'0+,*/*8%,'><<+1*/*+.'

12
Non-uisintegiation of the 0nion: non-uisintegiation of the national soliuaiity: anu
peipetuation of soveieignty. Eint Bali,$R0SBA seiving national inteiest as it iepiesents the
people" The New Light of Nyanmai Nov. 2uuS: vol 1S, No 2u2.
1S
The State Law anu 0iuei Restoiation Council, "State L0RC Beclaiation No. 1¡9u." 27 Iuly 199u.
14
.$National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, "Exposing the Real 0SBA" NCu0B
Infoimation 0nit. Iune 2uuS.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
1u
0n 27 Nay 199u, the people of the Buima gatheieu to vote in the fiist multipaity
elections in the countiy's histoiy. To the iegime's suipiise, the National League
foi Bemociacy (NLB) emeigeu victoiious with 82% of the pailiamentaiy seats,
with many ethnic paities such as the Shan Nationalities League foi Bemociacy
(SNLB) gaineiing a significant poition of the iemaining seats. In contiast, the
iegime-suppoiteu National 0nity Paity (N0P) won only 2% of the pailiamentaiy
seats.
The State Law anu 0iuei Restoiation Council (SL0RC) uiu not iecognize the
iesults of the elections anu ieuuceu the authoiity of the ueneial Assembly fiom a
legislative bouy to that of a constitutional uiafting bouy. This authoiity was latei
tiansfeiieu to the National Convention: wheie only 1S% of the uelegates weie
membeis electeu to the ueneial Assembly, while othei uelegates weie appointeu
uiiectly by the SL0RC.
1S

The National Convention fiist conveneu on 9 Ianuaiy 199S with six objectives,
the fiist thiee of which aie taken fiom SL0RC's 'Thiee main tasks."
16
0nly two
uays latei, the National Convention was aujouineu as ethnic anu non-ethnic
uemociacy gioups piesenteu stiong ciiticisms of the piocess.
The iegime was expeiiencing a ciisis of legitimacy. Baving oveituineu public will
by iefusing to iecognize the iesults of the 199u geneial elections, the SL0RC
unueistoou that the NLB piesenteu a significant challenge to theii powei. The
iegime ueteimineu that it was necessaiy to take steps to ensuie the public woulu
not iise up again in a iepeat of the 1988 pio-uemociacy movement. The 0SBA
was boine out of the neeu foi an oiganization to mobilize anu contiol populai
suppoit, anu to quell any anti-goveinment uissent.
In 1994, Senioi ueneial anu 0SBA Pation Than Shwe gave a speech illuminating
his peispective on the foimation anu iole of the 0SBA:
The 0SBA was foimeu specifically with the objective to fill the iole of
stiengthening national unity.acts of anaichy pievaileu uuiing the events
of 1988 anu that the 0SBA was foimeu to pievent similai events in the
futuie anu to piomote the obseivance of law anu oiuei among the geneial
public.
17

The foimation of the 0SBA was, in essence, the cieation of a thiiu-paity tool to
ueflect the negative public peiception of SL0RC's unpopulai policies thiough
piopaganua, mass iallies, anu taigeting the political opposition.
U%11'W%,,*-1'%.:'0#+<%Q%.:%'

1S
Buman Rights Watch. vote to Nowheie: The Nay 2uu8 Constitutional Refeienuum in Buima.
(Nay 2uu8).
16
1. Non-uisintegiation of the 0nion: 2. Non-uisintegiation of national unity: S. Peipetuation of
national soveieignty: 4. Piomotion of a genuine multipaity uemociacy: S. Piomotion of the
univeisal piinciples of justice, libeity anu equality: anu, 6. Paiticipation by the Befense Seivices
in a national political leaueiship iole in the futuie state. Buman Rights Watch.$Chionology of
Buima's Constitutional Piocess (Nay 2uu8) S.
17
Nyanmai Tv (7 Naich 1994) citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$The White
Shiits: Bow the 0SBA Will Become the New Face of Buima's Bictatoiship$(Nay 2uu6) S2.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
11
In Ianuaiy 1994, the 0SBA oiganizeu 26 mass iallies that weie attenueu by
appioximately 4 million people. These mass iallies occuiieu acioss the countiy,
fiom Pegu Bivision to Non State, fiom Nanualay Bivision to Noithein Shan State.
The main objective of these iallies was to piessuie the public to suppoit the 1u4
piinciples of the uiaft constitution.
18

The 0SBA ensuieu mass paiticipation thiough haiassment, blackmail, anu
violence. In many instances, householus weie iequiieu to senu at least one
membei to iallies oi face heavy fines. In Yeuashe Township, Pegu Bivision, eveiy
villagei was foiceu to attenu the ially in Taungoo, with only one membei of each
householu alloweu to stay behinu to watch ovei the piopeity. Soluieis
thieateneu anu haiasseu villageis months befoie the ially to ensuie theii
attenuance.
19

Buiing anothei ially, in Nonywa, Sagaing Bivision, at least 2,uuu people fiom
each township in the uistiict weie foiceu at gunpoint to paiticipate. All exits
weie blockeu: those who tiieu to leave weie beaten with belts anu chiluien weie
beaten with bamboo sticks.
2u

In 1994, seveial letteis weie sent to BBC Rauio's Buimese language seivice, anu
subsequently bioaucasteu, expiessing people's genuine views about the 0SBA.
0ne lettei ieaus
In oui Nanualay city, SL0RC announceu on louuspeakeis that anyone
who uiu not paiticipate in the ially meeting woulu have theii watei anu
electiicity cut, anu woulu be fineu 1uu Kyats |appioximately 1 0SB] each.
So 9u pei cent of the people uaieu not uisobey theii commanu. - Ko Nyint
Aung, Nanualay
21

Fuithei, the conuitions in the mass ially sites weie inhumane: those who weie
foiceu to attenu weie often subject to ill tieatment. Foi one mass ially in Piome,
Pegu Bivision, villageis weie foiceu to gathei oveinight in a fielu guaiueu by
aimeu soluieis. The giounu was hot anu villageis weie not alloweu to leave,
even to go to the toilet. As tension incieaseu, conflict bioke out anu people
sought to climb the fence to leave the ially. The guaius began to beat people with
bamboo anu sticks. In the miust of the panic, ovei twenty people weie injuieu:
two men weie tiampleu to ueath.
22

(//%851'+.'/F-'3%/*+.%,'Z-%Q"-'6+#'7-$+8#%89'
The 0SBA has been the piime instigatoi of vaiious attacks on NLB membeis, anu
most significantly, on its leauei Baw Aung San Suu Kyi. Since 1988, the iegime

18
The 1u4 piinciples seiveu to foim a basic skeleton of othei piinciples that woulu guiue the
uiafting of the constitution. Foi example, it allocates positions in goveinment to the aimy, allows
the militaiy to take contiol uuiing a state of emeigency, giants the militaiy fieeuom fiom civilian
oveisight, etc. National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima,$Buman Rights Yeai Book
1994: Buima (1994) 49S: Altsean-Buima, Buima Biiefing - Buima's National Convention:
Illegitimate, 0niepiesentative & 0ppiessive (1S Feb. 2uuS) 7-8.
19
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, (1994) 124.
2u
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima,$(1994) 124.
21
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima,$(1994) 12S.
22
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima,$(1994) 124-12S.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
12
has always taigeteu the NLB anu Baw Aung San Suu Kyi, but with the foimation
of the 0SBA, this iesponsibility shifteu away fiom the militaiy. Touteu as a
"social welfaie oiganization," the 0SBA was uesigneu to appeai to be a uistinct
oiganization fiom the SPBC at fiist glance. As such, the 0SBA has been utilizeu
by the iegime to caiiy out some of its moie nefaiious attacks on opposition
paities in an attempt to iemove a uegiee of state accountability.
2S

Neveitheless, in examining the stiuctuie of the 0SBA, it is cleai that SPBC
officials aie iesponsible foi oiueiing oi oiganizing laige-scale attacks. It is also
appaient that the specifically violent natuie of the attacks can be attiibuteu to
SPBC policy. Fuithei, given that many membeis weie coeiceu oi foiceu by the
0SBA to join
24
anu may not have been natuially inclineu to agiee with such
violence, these actions cleaily follow top-uown oiueis that foice iegulai 0SBA
membeis to caiiy out such biutalities.
It is howevei, uncleai in ceitain inuiviuual cases anu isolateu acts of violence,
whethei membeis weie acting in uiiect iesponse to official SPBC oi 0SBA
oiueis. Ceitainly, 0SBA membeis aie able to caiiy out isolateu acts of violence
accoiuing to the state-sanctioneu policy of violence, anu 0SBA's connection to
the iegime unueniably giants 0SBA membeis immunity fiom piosecution.
The fiist iecoiueu inciuent of violence against Baw Aung San Suu Kyi anu the
NLB took place in 1996 by which time the NLB hau uncontioveitibly ieaffiimeu
its position as significant opposition foice. The piecuisoi to that event was Baw
Aung San Suu Kyi's ielease fiom house aiiest in Iuly 199S, Subsequently, in
Novembei of that yeai NLB uelegates weie expelleu fiom the National
Convention following a boycott that sought to iepeal oiueis of censoiship of
uebate anu ciiminal punishment foi ciiticizing the militaiy uuiing the National
Convention.
2S

In Febiuaiy 1996, Baw Aung San Suu Kyi gave a speech on the anniveisaiy of 0
Nu's ueath
26
. 0SBA membeis uonneu ieu aim banus, enteieu the ciowu in
militaiy vehicles anu pelteu Baw Aung San Suu Kyi with tomatoes. Some 0SBA
membeis iefuseu to paiticipate anu left the gatheiing
27
.Latei, on Buimese New
Yeai's Bay in Apiil 1996, the SPBC baiiicaueu the ioaus leauing to Baw Aung San
Suu Kyi's house. 0SBA membeis thieateneu to beat any NLB membeis seeking to
pass the baiiicaues.
Piioi to anothei attack, 0SBA Cential Executive Committee membei 0 Win Sein
auuiesseu an auuience of S,uuu villageis in Sagaing Bivision with the following
woius:

2S
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 64.
24
See Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$19 - S8.
2S
Buman Rights Watch,$Chionology of Buima's Constitutional Piocess (Nay 2uu8) S.
26
0 Nu was the fiist Piime Ninistei of Buima, fiom 1948-19S6, 19S7-19S8, 196u-1962. Be
passeu away on 14 Febiuaiy 199S.
27
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima,$Buman Rights Yeai Book 1996: Buima
(1996) 286.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
1S
"We must get iiu of Aung San Suu Kyi who is cieating political uniest. Bo
you unueistanu what it means to 'get iiu of '. It means we have to kill hei.
Bave you got the guts to kill hei."
Bis woius weie met with silence. Be continueu, "We must kill hei."
28
This speech
was bioaucast ovei neighboihoou louuspeakeis, so this message ieacheu not
only villageis in the auuience, but also monks in a neaiby monasteiy.
Shoitly aftei, 0SBA membeis weie selecteu foi tiaining foi an attack on Baw
Aung San Suu Kyi anu the NLB.
29
uiven the appaient ieluctance of some
membeis of 0SBA to follow such oiueis, peihaps because of theii coeiceu
membeiship into the oiganization, the SPBC iegulaily iesoiteu to foicing 0SBA
membeis to attenu special tiainings.
The sessions involve combat tiaining to tiain the 0SBA to act as a people's
militia alongsiue the aimy. In Naich 1996, Senioi ueneial Than Shwe ueclaieu:
The tiainees constitute not only the haiu coie foice of the 0SBA, but also
the sole national foice which will always join hanus with the !&,+&9&W to
seive national anu public inteiests.they shoulu be both moially anu
physically stiong with shaip national uefense qualities. the tiainees will
be taught militaiy paiaue, militaiy tactics anu the use of weapons.
Su

By 1997, Senioi ueneial Than Shwe officially iefeiieu to the 0SBA as an
"auxiliaiy national uefense foice," inuicating his intentions in employing 0SBA as
a biute foice to seive the SPBC's political inteiests.
The effect of the combat tiaining is eviuenceu in laigei scale attacks on NLB
membeis that followeu. Aftei tiainings in Novembei 1996, 0SBA membeis weie
paiu S,uuu kyat |appioximately 4u 0SB] apiece to attack a motoicaue caiiying
NLB leaueis, incluuing NLB vice-chaiiman 0 Tin 0o anu Baw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Appioximately 2u assailants attackeu the convoy with iion bais anu biicks.
S1

In the yeais befoie 1998, the attacks weie laigely uiiecteu towaius Baw Aung
San Suu Kyi anu othei membeis of the NLB leaueiship. The mass iallies anu
attacks on the NLB weie iepiesentative of the 0SBA's ielatively limiteu manuate
when it was initially foimeu. Theii tactics weie moie coeicive anu haish, iathei
than violent anu biutal: the moie nefaiious anu vicious methous laigely emeigeu
aftei 1998. As will be examineu in the following sections, the scale anu scope of
the assaults bioaueneu aftei 1998 to incluue NLB suppoiteis, uemociacy
activists, ieligious minoiities anu civil anu social oiganizations. Noie
significantly, the attacks weie consiueiably moie violent anu wiuespieau,
uemonstiating an effoit to suppiess anu uestioy signs of opposition.
* * *

28
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), The Seconu Pieliminaiy Repoit (Nay
2uu4) 2u.
29
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), The Seconu Pieliminaiy Repoit (Nay
2uu4) 2u.
Su
New Light of Nyanmai (12 Naich 1996) citeu in Baviu Steinbeig, Feb. 1997.
S1
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima,$Buman Rights Yeai Book 1996: Buima
(1996) 286.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
14
DDE'@C<%.1*+.'+6'/F-'GA7('HIJJM'L'STTMNO'%'U+;-$-./'/+'=#"1F'/F-'
><<+1*/*+.'%.:'/F-'V*:-#'0+<",%/*+.'
By 1996, it was eviuent that the National Convention was neithei inclusive noi
uiu it intenu to honoi the iesults of the 199u elections. 0n 16 Septembei 1998,
the NLB anu othei 199u election winning paities foimeu the Committee
Repiesenting the People's Pailiament (CRPP) to seive as a People's Pailiament
until "a uemociatic constitution acceptable to the people has been uiawn up anu
auopteu."
S2
The committee was suppoiteu by 2S1 Nembeis of Pailiament.
The iegime iesponueu by aiiesting 11u NLB NPs, shutting uown 4S NLB offices
anu uemanuing that the CRPP uissolve as a pieconuition foi uialogue.
SS
It was
fiom this point on that the 0SBA began to expanu its opeiations to incluue
attacks on NLB suppoiteis, othei political oiganizations, ieligious minoiities,
social oiganizations, as well as conuucting aibitiaiy taxation anu abuses of
powei.
)*+,-./'(//%851'
Buiing the expansion of the 0SBA, the oiganization placeu a gieatei emphasis on
militaiy tiaining foi 0SBA membeis, paiticulaily those who woulu foim a
people's militia. The laige 0SBA membeiship piesenteu the iegime with a vast
pool of manpowei: one that coulu be employeu to ciackuown on inteinal uissent
anu waiu off exteinal thieats.

In 2uuu, the Ninistiy of Befense publisheu the "Nanual foi Application of
People's Wai Stiategy," which outlineu the uefense stiategy in case of foieign
invasion. 0SBA membeis, as well as othei membeis of the public, woulu "be
tiaineu anu oiganizeu as people's militias."
S4
0SBA foiceu township anu village
membeis to join the people's militia tiainings: those who iefuseu often faceu
fines up to 2u,uuu kyat |appioximately 6S 0SB]. In one village in Non State, the
0SBA foiceu 1uuu men to paiticipate in the tiainings.
SS


These tiainings incieaseu the combat capabilities of the 0SBA membeiship ovei
time anu contiibuteu to the oveiall cultuie of violence in the oiganization. The
yeais between 1998 anu 2uu7 saw two paiticulaily violent attacks against
uemociacy anu social activists, the 2uuS Bepayin Nassacie anu the ciackuown of
the 2uu7 Saffion Revolution, which will be examineu in uetail latei in this
section. Bowevei, 0SBA membeis caiiieu out many othei smallei scale attacks
on uiffeient actois uuiing that time peiiou: these attacks will be examineu
below.
!&%2#,-'2$567$?#+8#%($&'9$1,"#%$.*/-,-4&/$:4,-;-(,($

S2
Committee Repiesenting the People's Pailiament, People's Pailiament Statement No. 1 (17
Sept. 1998).
SS
"Committee Repiesenting the People's Pailiament |CRPP]" The Iiiawauuy 1 Ian. 2uuS.
S4
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, "Exposing the Real 0SBA"
SS
"Reciuiting Civilians in village Communities to Attenu Shoit-Teim Basic Nilitaiy Tiaining,"
Inuepenuent Non News Agency 18 Iune 2uuS: "Non State PBC 0iueieu Chaungzon 0SBA to foim
0SBA Battalion in Town," Buima News Inteinational 1S 0ct. 2uu4.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
1S
Since 1998, the 0SBA has sought to uiminish the stiength of the NLB thiough
two bioau tactics: haiassment anu violence. The 0SBA has attempteu to uetei
political uissent by making examples of political activists: in uoing so, the 0SBA
has heighteneu the iisks of political activity foi oiuinaiy people.
Thiough violence, the 0SBA membeis sought to compel the NLB membeis to
iesign anu to moieovei join the 0SBA insteau. 0ne of the 0SBA's stateu
objectives is puipoiteuly the "naiiowing anu eliminating |of] the activities of
opposition foices," caiiieu out by "annihilation thiough gieatei stiength"
S6
.
0ften these thieats involve economic anu social coeicion. Foi example, in
Tenasseiim Bivision, the 0SBA baiieu NLB membeis fiom becoming teacheis,
S7

anu in Nanualay Bivision, an NLB teachei's iefusal to iesign iesulteu in the
closuie of the entiie school.
S8


The foiceu iesignations of some active NLB membeis hau both piactical anu
symbolic effects: not only uiu they uiiectly ueciease the size of the NLB, but also
suppoiteu the iegime's effoits to unueicut NLB's political piesence. The 0SBA
even iepoiteu iesignations of ceitain inuiviuuals fiom the NLB, when they weie
nevei NLB membeis to begin with.
S9
These fabiicateu inciuents meiely sought to
convince to the public that even NLB membeis weie abanuoning theii own
paity.
Thioughout this peiiou, 0SBA stiategies to uiminish political oppositions often
became violent, anu in some cases, iesulteu in ueath. These attacks hau a
psychological effect as political activity was fiimly equateu with violent
ciackuowns in the public eye.
Thant Zin Nyo, an NLB membei, hau long faceu haiassment fiom 0SBA
membeis. In August 2uuS, he captuieu an intiuuei who tuineu out to be an
infoimant anu a fiiefightei. Be iepoiteu the intiuuei to the authoiities, anu
ievealeu the intiuuei's iuentity. 0pon heaiing his accusation, the authoiities
began to beat Thant Zin Nyo.
4u

Anothei NLB membei, Kyaw Soe, was beaten by thiee 0SBA membeis in August
2uuS. Be was beaten so bauly with sticks that his wounus incluueu a toin eai
uium that has ienueieu him ueaf in one eai. Bis attackeis weie biought to the
authoiities, but a 0SBA leauei anu an SPBC infoimei biibeu the police to secuie
the attackeis' ielease.
41


S6
Insiue Souice, Confiuential: 0SBA South 0kkalapa Township, Eastein Bistiict, Rangoon Bivision
0iganizational Plan. (Febiuaiy 2uu4).
S7
"NLB Nembei Refuseu Teaching Iob in Southein Buima," Bemociatic voice of Buima 2u Aug.
2uu4 citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$SS.
S8
"NLB Nembei Piessuieu to 0uit NLB in Nanualay Bivision, Buima" Bemociatic voice of Buima
24 Aug. 2uu4 citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$SS.
S9
"Regional NLB to Reoiganize anu Consoliuate in Buima," Bemociatic voice of Buima 2S Nai.
2uuS citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, SS.
4u
"Buimese Local Authoiity on Tiial in Rangoon Blain Thaya," Bemociatic voice of Buima, Su
Aug 2uuS.
41
"Rangoon Sanchaung NLB Youth Attackeu by Iunta Thugs," Bemociatic voice of Buima 21 Aug.
2uuS citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$62.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
16
In 2uuS, 0SBA membeis anu the fiie biigaue in Rangoon attackeu Thet Naing 0o,
a foimei political piisonei. The assailants publically accuseu him of theft while
beating him, in oiuei to avoiu iaising a sympathetic iesponse fiom of passeis-by.
Thet Naing 0o uieu fiom injuiies sustaineu uuiing the inciuent. Township locals
believe the attack was a piemeuitateu plan constiucteu by 0SBA membeis.
42

!&%2#,-'2$<*4-&/$&'9$=-;-/$1%2&'-3&,-*'($
The 0SBA has also taigeteu social anu civil oiganizations, paiticulaily those that
can be seen as challenging the iegime's authoiity.
0n 18 Apiil 2uu7, six human iights activists fiom Buman Rights Befenueis anu
Piomoteis (BRBP) weie attackeu by a mob of 1uu 0SBA membeis aimeu with
clubs, slingshots anu shaipeneu bamboo sticks in Benzaua Township, Iiiawauuy
Bivision. The attack was leu by the Secietaiy of Benzaua Township 0SBA, Than
Nyunt. The 0SBA leauei moveu to beat Ko Nyint Naing, anu oiueieu the othei
men to follow suit. "Then he yelleu, 'Kill them!' anu a gioup of about Su people
aimeu with sticks anu slingshots chaseu us," stateu Ko Nyint Naing.
Two weie seveiely injuieu, but uoctois at the Rangoon ueneial Bospital weie
ieluctant to pioviue tieatment foi feai of iepeicussions by the authoiities. 0n 2
Nay, the six human iights activists weie aiiesteu anu uetaineu foi "showing
uisiespect to the state," inciting a iiot anu causing uniest. Each activist was
sentenceu to foui to eight yeais impiisonment.
4S
No action was taken against the
peipetiatois.
This inciuent uemonstiates how the iegime employs 0SBA membeis, some of
which aie foimei ciiminals,
44
to attack civil anu social activists, only to latei
ciiminalize the victims anu giant immunity to the peipetiatois.
Anothei inciuent uemonstiates the iegime's uesiie to oveitake anu ciush
inuepenuent civil society. In 2uu6, the 0SBA haiasseu the inuepenuent, apolitical
Fiee Funeial Seivices Society (FFSS), leu by well-known actoi Kyaw Thu. The
non-piofit anu non-goveinmental oiganization pioviues fiee funeials to low-
income families who cannot affoiu the costs of a funeial. The 0SBA thieateneu to
take ovei the oiganization: it foiceu FFSS to hiie a 0SBA membei foi a high
ianking position, baiieu them fiom iunning auveitisements, anu oiueieu them
to iefuse uonations.
4S
In 2uu7, the 0SBA began to pioviue similai fiee funeial
seivices anu coeiceu local uoctois to contiibute theii time.
46
The 0SBA's effoits
lenu the SPBC cieuibility: it maiginalizes genuine civil society anu ieplaces it
with SPBC-leu oiganizations. The iegime can then claim the existence of an
inuepenuent civil society in oiuei to countei claims of a iepiessive social
enviionment, while still maintaining complete contiol.

42
"Nuiueieu Ex-Political Piisonei Thet Naing 0o Buiieu" Bemociatic voice of Buima 2u Nai.
2uu6 anu Insiue Souice (1 Nay 2uu6) citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment,$62
4S
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 1u:
Fieeuom of Novement, Assembly anu Association (2uu8).
44
Aung Zaw, "Buima's Bemociacy Challenge Flickeis 0ut," Asia Sentinel. S Septembei 2uu7.
4S
"Chaiity Bonations Biy 0p amiu Regime Takeovei Repoits," The Iiiawauuy 2S Aug. 2uu6.
46
"Fiee 0SBA Clinics 0pen in Rangoon Bivision Townships," The Iiiawauuy 17 Nay 2uu7.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
17
!&%2#,-'2$<,>9#',($
Stuuents have histoiically been a stiong voice of uissent, anu have always been
at the foiefiont of people's movements in Buima, anu as such, piesent a
significant thieat to the iegime's giip on powei. 0vei the yeais, the iegime has
closeu univeisities, banneu stuuent unions, anu foiceu stuuents to join the 0SBA.
Noieovei, 0SBA membeis have taigeteu attacks on inuiviuual stuuents, eithei
because of theii political activities oi to uemonstiate the stiength anu ieach of
the 0SBA.
In 2uu4, thiee stuuents in Pegu Bivision weie attackeu by 0SBA membeis, two
in Naich anu one in August. All thiee weie beaten bauly anu weie hospitalizeu
following the inciuents.
47

In the following yeai, Rashiu Buhul, a fieshman fiom Sittwe 0niveisity, Aiakan
State, was beaten by a gioup of <W&'$:%%$<"-'
aO
anu 0SBA membeis. Be uieu
thiee uays latei fiom injuiies sustaineu uuiing the beatings.
49
The 0SBA's
intentions in taigeting Rashiu Buhul was also likely ielateu to his ieligious
affiliation. As will be examineu in the following sections, fiom 1998 onwaius, the
0SBA expanueu its scope of activities to incluue haiassment anu attacks on
ieligious minoiities, in paiticulai Nuslims.
!&%2#,-'2$?>(/-+$=*++>'-,-#($
The majoiity of the population in Buima piactice Theiavaua Buuuhism, but a
consiueiable minoiity auheie to Chiistianity oi Islam. These ieligious minoiities
have suffeieu consiueiable peisecution anu maiginalization ovei the yeais. In
the past uecaue, the 0SBA has been one of the piimaiy instigatois of ieligious
peisecution anu conflict.
The Nuslim community has, in paiticulai, suffeieu consiueiable uisciimination
anu peisecution. Thiee exceptionally violent inciuents occuiieu in 2uu1. In
Febiuaiy of that yeai, anti-Nuslim iiots in Sittwe, Aiakan State iesulteu in
Nuslim anu Buuuhist casualties anu uestioyeu appioximately Su Nuslim homes.
In Nay 2uu1, anti-Nuslim iiots killeu 1u Nuslims anu 2 Buuuhists. In both
inciuents, 0SBA membeis anu militaiy peisonnel weie iepoiteu to be key
instigatois of the violence, while uisguiseu in monk iobes.
Su

In 0ctobei 2uu1, 1Su 0SBA membeis enteieu Pha-auk village, neai Noulmein in
Non State. They uestioyeu a mosque, inciting a clash with Nuslims in the aiea.

47
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 6S
48
"Nasteis of Foice," an au-hoc people's militia moie loosely stiuctuieu than the 0SBA. Theie
aie significant ties between the two oiganizations: some attacks have been oichestiateu anu leu
by 0SBA membeis, anu caiiieu out by <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis. 0SBA membeis iepoiteuly
oveisee uistiict level <W&'$:%%$<"-'$units. Noieovei, the <W&'$:%%$<"-' uoes not woik in isolation,
but only unuei 0SBA oiueis. See Buman Rights Watch, "The Role of "Nass-Baseu" 0iganizations
foi Social Contiol," Ciackuown: Repiession of the 2uu7 Populai Piotests in Buima (Becembei
2uu7) 1uS - 111.
49
"Buima Aiakan Nuslim Stuuent Killeu by '0nknown' Thugs," Bemociatic voice of Buima 4 Sept.
2uuS.
Su
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu2 | Chaptei 1u:
Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion (2uuS).
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
18
Repoits estimate that appioximately 6u Nuslims anu SS 0SBA membeis weie
killeu uuiing the conflict. Thit Lwin 0o fiom the Nuslim Infoimation Centei
iepoiteu that similai iiots took place in the same month, uestioying
appioximately 4u shops in Pegu Bivision.
S1

In 2uuS, appioximately 2u men, iepoiteuly 0SBA membeis again uisguiseu as
monks, enteieu a Nuslim village in Sagaing Bivision. They set fiie to 4S houses,
the mosque anu the ieligious school. They then abuucteu S2 Nuslim
stuuents
S2
Latei that yeai, 0SBA membeis uistiibuteu anti-Nuslim pamphlets in
Iiiawauuy Bivision. Nembeis of the Nuslim community complaineu to the
police, but weie tolu theie was simply nothing to be uone.
SS


!&%2#,-'2$@>99"-(,$H%&0#%$(#((-*'($)*%$H*/-,-4&/$H%-(*'#%($

The 0SBA has not only taigeteu Nuslim communities, but has also often
haiasseu Buuuhist ceiemonies oi ieligious piactices if they aie seen to have
political connotations.

Buiing 2uu7, uozens of activists gatheieu at Shweuagon Pagoua eveiy Tuesuay
to piay foi the ielease of Baw Aung San Suu Kyi anu all othei political piisoneis.
These piayei sessions took place fiom Ianuaiy to Iuly, but often faceu
haiassment anu aiiests by the 0SBA. 0n 16 Iuly, 1u activists weie beaten by the
special police anu foiceu to leave by 2uu to 4uu membeis of pagoua secuiity,
0SBA membeis anu special police.

0ne paiticipant, Ko Than Zaw Nyint iecalleu, "Two giabbeu my shoulueis anu
saiu, 'Bon't hang aiounu. Leave heie.' I tolu them I was theie not to leave but to
piay |at] the pagoua. They saiu, 'You want to uie.' anu gave me a punch acioss
my faceN"
S4


As was latei seen uuiing the Saffion Revolution, the iegime has no qualms with
haiassing anu beating Buuuhist monks.

?&A*%$B<7:$:,,&4C(D$,"#$EFFG$7#H&0-'$?&((&4%#$
Following hei unconuitional ielease fiom house aiiest on 6 Nay 2uu2, Baw Aung
San Suu Kyi tiaveleu acioss Buima to meet with membeis anu suppoiteis in 12S
Townships, in 12 states anu uivisions. Baw Aung San Suu Kyi was met with mass
suppoit thioughout hei tiavels, but also faceu incieasing haiassment anu
violence fiom 0SBA anu othei authoiities.

It was uuiing this seiies of tiips that the iegime, anu paiticulaily the 0SBA,

S1
"Neaily one hunuieu people killeu in ieligious iiot in Southein Buima," Netwoik Neuia uioup
28 0ct 2uu1.
S2
"0SBA Sets village on Fiie anu Kiunaps S2 Nuslim Stuuents in Sagaing Bivision," Nuslim
Infoimation Centei of Buima 4 Feb. 2uuS.
SS
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uuS | Chaptei 1u:
Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion (2uu4).
S4
Piayei Campaigneis Basheu At Shweuagon Pagoua," Bemociatic voice of Buima 16 Ian. 2uu7
citeu in National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei
1u: Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion (2uu8).
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
19
caiiieu out the Bepayin Nassacie - an attack on an NLB convoy anu Baw Aung
San Suu Kyi that claimeu ovei 1uu lives. The uemociacy leauei naiiowly escapeu
with hei life, much to the chagiin of the peipetiatois.

6#&9$>H$,*$,"#$7#H&0-'$?&((&4%#$
In weeks befoie the Bepayin Nassacie, the NLB anu Baw Aung San Suu Kyi
embaikeu on a tiip to Kachin State on 6 Nay 2uuS. While theii piesence was
gieatly welcomeu by the public, the authoiities oiganizeu countei
uemonstiations. Between 9 Nay anu the final inciuent on Su Nay, laige-scale
0SBA countei-uemonstiations against the NLB convoy took place on numeious
occasions inciuents ovei 14 uays.

These 0SBA countei uemonstiations incluueu laige signs ueclaiing, "0ppose all
axe hanules |meaning tiaitois] who iely on foieign stooges,"
SS
instigateu iiots
anu conflict, blockeu entiances to towns, chanteu slogans such as "We uon't want
uestiuctionists of the |countiy's uevelopment]," anu "We uon't want those who
uestioy peace anu stability."
S6


By 16 Nay, the NLB convoy was gieeteu by an incieasingly violent 0SBA leu
ciowu. While tiaveling to Nyitkyina City, Kachin State, the NLB convoy was
suiiounueu by Suu 0SBA membeis blocking the ioau, aimeu with slingshots anu
knives. 0n 2u Nay, in Thonemine village, neai Bhamo, Iiiawauuy Bivision, NLB
was met by a ciowu of Suu 0SBA membeis wieluing swoius anu batons
S7
. 0vei
1uuu 0SBA membeis haiasseu the NLB convoy on 22 Nay neai Thabeikkyin
Township, Nanualay Bivision: many of the 0SBA membeis weie foicibly
consciipteu with iewaius of liquoi anu monetaiy compensation, as well as
thieats of 7-yeai piison sentences foi welcoming the NLB.

Nany who hau been maue to piotest foi the 0SBA against theii will, aftei
heaiing Baw Aung San Suu Kyi speak, stoppeu piotesting anu thiew away theii
signs.
S8


0n 2S Nay, appioximately Suu 0SBA membeis hau gatheieu fiom suiiounuing
aieas neai Singu Township uue to piomises of foou, liquoi anu Suu to 1,uuu kyat
|appioximately u.4S-1 0SB] in financial compensation pei uay. 0theis weie
thieateneu with foiceu laboui. 0SBA vehicles uiove uiiectly into a ciowu waiting
to welcome Baw Aung San Suu Kyi, shouting "Nake way foi us. 0i you'll have to
pick up youi ueau bouies." They thiew iocks at the NLB convoy, seiiously
wounuing one NLB youth on the heau.

Buiing these uemonstiations, Baw Aung San Suu Kyi ciiticizeu the iegime's
complicity in the violence: "The authoiities have faileu to take action against the
0SBA, uespite the fact that they have caiiieu out lawless acts. The authoiities

SS
The New Light of Nyanmai, (1 Iune 2uuS) 9. Citeu in Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin
Nassacie (Buima), The Seconu Pieliminaiy Repoit (Nay 2uu4) 26.$
S6
Naung Yin Bmine, "Baw Suu Kyi, the NLB Paity anu 0ui Ray of Bope - 6," The New Light of
Nyanmai 1u Iul. 2uuS Citeu in Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), 26-S4.
S7
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), 28.
S8
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), 29-Su.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
2u
behave as if we aie in theii hanus anu know that we aie not going to ietaliate.
That only makes the 0SBA boluei."
S9


In fact, not only uiu the police, tiaffic police anu othei secuiity peisonnel fail to
inteivene, but iathei aiueu the 0SBA uemonstiations by tianspoiting 0SBA
membeis fiom neighboiing aieas to sites in iemote aieas fai fiom public
sciutiny.
$
?&((&4%#$*'$GF$?&0$
By Su Nay, Baw Aung San Suu Kyi anu the NLB convoy hau ieacheu Buualin
Township, in Sagaing Bivision foi a biief one-uay visit. 0pon theii uepaituie to
Bepayin Township, they noticeu a laige gatheiing of monks, 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$
<"-' membeis. uioups on motoibikes anu a cai weie sent to scout the tiavel
conuitions, but uiu not ietuin: latei NLB leaint that these inuiviuuals hau all
been uetaineu by the 0SBA
6u
.

Appioximately two miles outsiue of Bepayin, the NLB convoy encounteieu two
monks who pioceeueu to block theii path. 0ne calleu upon Baw Aung San Suu
Kyi to make a speech, but this pioveu to seive as meiely a uiveision until the
thiongs of 0SBA membeis aiiiveu. 0pon aiiival, 0SBA membeis anu othei
piotestois began shouting slogans anu beating eveiyone in the aiea, incluuing
Baw Aung San Suu Kyi, NLB membeis, anu innocent bystanueis. All of the
peipetiatois woie white aimbanus to uiffeientiate themselves fiom the innocent
anu unaimeu civilians, while some peipetiatois weie uiesseu in Buuuhist monk
iobes.
61


Female NLB membeis weie beaten, stiippeu of theii clothing anu hau theii
heaus basheu into the ioau. Peipetiatois stole golu jeweliy anu money fiom
those who weie wounueu anu unable to uefenu themselves. Nembeis of the NLB
Youth anu stuuents foimeu an inteilocking human shielu to piotect Baw Aung
San Suu Kyi: many suffeieu seiious injuiies while othei uieu on the spot. Aftei
some time, Baw Aung San Suu Kyi's uiivei was able to maneuvei the vehicle
away anu towaius ielative safety, but quickly ian into anothei set of 0SBA-leu
uemonstiatois who weie aimeu with guns. Both Baw Aung San Suu Kyi's vehicle
anu anothei NLB vehicle weie able to escape thiough the mob, but anothei cai
ciasheu into a tiee while 0 Tin 0o's vehicle suffeieu the gieatest impact. 0nable
to get away, his cai was suiiounueu, anu 0 Tin 0o, along with six othei NLB
membeis weie aiiesteu anu uetaineu.
62


Latei that night, iiot police, <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis, anu uniuentifieu authoiity
figuies inspecteu the scene, iemoveu the ueau bouies, anu aiiangeu the beaten
up vehicles to pioject the image of a cai ciash.

In total, theie weie appioximately S,uuu people involveu in the attack, many of

S9
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), S1.
6u
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), S9 - 4u.
61
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), S9 - 41.
62
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), 41-42.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
21
whom weie paiu by the 0SBA.
6S
The attack lasteu foi moie than thiee houis anu
claimeu between 1uu
64
anu282 lives
6S
.Buiing the massacie anu in the weeks
that followeu, Baw Aung San Suu Kyi
66
anu an estimateu 2S6 NLB membeis anu
othei uemociacy activists weie aiiesteu anu uetaineu.
67


The uegiee of planning anu scale of the assault inuicates a piemeuitateu,
methouological attack. uiven that only 1,uuu villageis live in the vicinity of the
site of attack: at least 4,uuu peipetiatois must have been biought in fiom othei
aieas. The timing of the attack ensuieu that the victims hau limiteu visibility,
which was exaspeiateu by flooulights aimeu at the NLB convoys. Eviuence anu
bouies weie iemoveu oi ieaiiangeu to give the appeaiance of an eveiyuay tiaffic
acciuent. Peipetiatois weie attacking with intent to injuie oi kill: blows weie
aimeu at the heau iathei than the bouy. They woie white aimbanus to
uiffeientiate themselves fiom the intenueu victims.

The Bepayin Nassacie was met with inteinational outciy: following the inciuent,
inteinational goveinments iepeateuly calleu foi the ielease of Baw Aung San Suu
Kyi anu othei NLB membeis.
68
. Bowevei, iathei than heeuing to inteinational
piessuie to ielease Baw Aung San Suu Kyi, foui months aftei the massacie the
iegime moveu hei fiom piison to house aiiest. The iegime fuithei aigueu that
they hau not placeu the uemociacy leauei in "house aiiest...We aie helping hei
to oveicome the health pioblems."
69


Insteau of punishing inuiviuuals involveu in the attack, the iegime piomoteu
them - fuithei eviuence of state involvement in the massacie. Lieutenant
ueneial Soe Win is believeu to be the key figuie iesponsible foi the attack: in
August 2uuS, he was piomoteu to the position of SPBC Secietaiy-1, anu by
0ctobei 2uu4, he was appointeu Piime Ninistei,
7u
a iole he helu until his ueath
in 2uu7.

Noieovei, thiee leauing 0SBA officials iesponsible foi oichestiating the
massacie aie cuiiently campaigning as 0SBP canuiuates in the 2u1u elections:
Foimei Lieutenant Colonel anu cuiient Secietaiy of the 0SBA Aung Thaung is
contesting in Taung Thai Township, Nanualay Bivision: Ninistei of Infoimation
Kyaw Bsan in Palae Township, Sagaing Bivision: anu Ninistei of Botels anu
Touiism Soe Naing. The lattei two iesigneu fiom theii militaiy posts alongsiue

6S
Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima), 46.
64
Wai Noe, "Bepayin Nasteiminus Wielu Powei in the 0SBP" The Iiiawauuy S1 Nay 2u1u.
6S
"Buimese Ciackuown Saiu To Bave Killeu 282," Rauio Fiee Asia S Iune 2uu4): citeu in ASEAN
Intei-Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai Caucus, The Bepayin Nassacie: 2 Yeais 0n, Iustice Benieu (Su Nay
2uuS) 2.
66
Ellen Nakashima, "Buima's Iion 'Aunty': Aung San Suu Kyi's Steely Will Keeps a Countiy's
Bopes Alive," Washington Post 1S 0ct. 2uuS.
67
"Buimese Ciackuown Saiu To Bave Killeu 282," Rauio Fiee Asia S Iune 2uu4: "Bepayin victims
latest," Bemociatic voice of Buima S Iuly 2uuS citeu in ASEAN Intei-Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai
Caucus, 2.
68
ASEAN Intei-Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai Caucus, The Bepayin Nassacie: 2 Yeais 0n, Iustice
Benieu (Su Nay 2uuS) S - 1u.
69
"Nyanmai: Sanctions shoulu enu," CNN Su Sept. 2uuS citeu in ASEAN Intei-Pailiamentaiy
Nyanmai Caucus, 12.
7u
ASEAN Intei-Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai Caucus, 16.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
22
Piime Ninistei Thein Sein to contest in the elections as 0SBP civilian
canuiuates.
71


?&A*%$B<7:$:,,&4C(D$,"#$EFFI$<&))%*'$J#;*/>,-*'
0n 1S August 2uu7, the alieauy impoveiisheu countiy ieceiveu a shocking blow
as the SPBC incieaseu fuel piices by Suu% without waining.

Spoiauic piotests emeigeu a few uays latei: in the span of one week, the iegime
hau aibitiaiily anu pie-emptively aiiesteu moie than 1uu people in an attempt
to pievent a laigei piotest. These aiiests incluueu 1S leaueis of the 88
ueneiation Stuuents uioup anu othei activists, incluuing Nin Ko Naing, Ko Ko
uyi anu Kyaw Kyaw Btwe,
72
Neveitheless, uespite the many aiiests, piotests
continueu foi the iest of the month, albeit, on a smallei scale. The iegime
iesponueu not with the iiot police oi aimy, but with the 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$
<"-'N
7S


0n 22 August, appioximately 8u women fiom the NLB anu the 88 ueneiation
Stuuent uioup leu a laige uemonstiation in Bahan Township, Rangoon Bivision.
They weie stoppeu by local authoiities anu the 0SBA, who violently sought to
aiiest the piotestois. The mob beat, slappeu anu toie the women's saiongs. 0ne
female piotestei, Ni No Blaing, iecalls them yelling, "Bit that bitch! Bit that
bitch," Ni No Blaing escapeu aiiest at the time, but was latei aiiesteu anu
sentenceu to S yeais impiisonment in 2uu9 foi hei involvement in the Saffion
Revolution.
74
0ltimately, the 0SBA anu local authoiities aibitiaiily uetaineu 2u
piotesteis fiom that one piotest.
7S


The pivotal moment aiiiveu uays latei on 28 August 2uu7. In Sittwe, Aiakan
State, seveial Buuuhist monks joineu the piotests
76
. 0n the same uay, laboui
activists Su Su Nway leu a uemonstiation at Bleuan Naiket in Rangoon. 0SBA
membeis enteieu the scene anu violently attempteu to aiiest hei: luckily, she
escapeu.
77
She has since been aiiesteu anu sentenceu to 12 yeais
impiisonment,
78
Seveial uays latei, Suu monks gatheieu to peacefully piotest in
Pakokku, Nagwe Bivision, but weie uispeiseu by SPBC soluieis who fiieu theii
weapons ovei the monk's heaus. The 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' weie ueployeu to
beat anu aiiest monks anu civilians alike.
79
At least one monk was killeu in the

71
Wai Noe, "Bepayin Nasteiminus Wielu Powei in 0SBP," The Iiiawauuy, S1 Nay 2u1u.
72
"88 Stuuent Leaueis anu Activists Aiiesteu," Bemociatic voice of Buima 22 Aug. 2uu7 citeu in
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, 2uu7.
7S
Richaiu Boisey, "The uiamatic events of 2uu7 in Nyanmai: uomestic anu inteinational
implications," Bictatoiship, Bisoiuei anu Becline in Nyanmai, eu Nonique Skiumoie anu Tievoi
Wilson (Canbeiia: AN0 E Piess, 2uu8) 17.
74
AAPP, Buima's women political piisoneis (8 Nai. 2u1u) 7.

7S
"0p to 24 Noie Piotesteis Belu in Buima," Rauio Fiee Asia, 22 Aug. 2uu7.
76
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 11: The
Saffion Revolution - The 2uu7 Pio-Bemociacy Novement (2uu8).
77
Women's League of Buima, Couiage to Resist: Women Buman Rights Befenueis of Buima
(Novembei 2uu7) 8.
78
Saw Yan Naing, "4u Buimesse uissents given piison teims of up to 6S yeais," The Iiiawauuy,
11 Nov. 2uu8.
79
"Nyanmai Tioops Fiie Waining Shots at Nonk Piotest," Reuteis, S Sept. 2uu7 citeu in Buman
Rights Watch, Ciackuown: Repiession of the 2uu7 Populai Piotests in Buima (Bec. 2uu7) 29.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
2S
gunfiie.
8u


While conseivative abbots anu laity believe that monks shoulu be uisconnecteu
fiom woiluly affaiis, the monks hau joineu the piotests to "biing attention to the
haiuship of theii people."
81
The iegime's biutal iesponse to the monks' peaceful
gatheiings shockeu anu angeieu the countiy: the ostensibly Buuuhist iegime's
violent ciackuown on the monks uemonstiateu not only a lack of iespect foi
human iights, but also a complete uisiegaiu foi the Buuuhist monastic tiauition.

In iesponse to the iegime's biutality, the All Buima Nonks Alliance (ABNA),
issueu a set of uemanus:
82
if the uemanus weie not met by 17 Septembei 2uu7,
they woulu call foi a .&,,&$5-CC>AA&'&$b&++& (oveituining of the alms bowl), oi
a ieligious boycott of the iegime anu its associates. This meant baiiing all
ieligious activities with the SPBC, incluuing accepting alms fiom the iegime anu
its suppoiteis.

Theii uemanus weie not met.

0n 18 Septembei, 1,uuu monks enteieu Sule Pagoua in Rangoon, suiiounueu by
thousanus of civilians who hau foimeu a human chain aiounu the monks as
piotection against an attack. No attacks occuiieu, but the 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$
<"-' followeu the uemonstiations anu took viueo anu photo uocumentation of
the monks. Neanwhile, in Aiakan State, howevei, a piotest compiiseu of monks
anu civilians was violently iepiesseu by the aimy, who beat the piotesteis anu
fiieu iubbei bullets uiiectly into the ciowu.
8S


0vei the following uays, the piotests escalateu anu iapiuly giew in size, with an
estimateu 1uu,uuu uemonstiatois in Rangoon, anu anothei 1uu,uuu piotesteis
in Sittwe, Aiakan State by 24 Septembei. In Aiakan State, the spiiit of the
uemonstiations hau spieau to the Nuslim community: as one Buimese Nuslim
noteu, "Foi the fiist time in oui lives we felt a sense of soliuaiity with the
Buuuhist Buimese."
84
Inueeu, the piotests giew to symbolize moie than ieligion,
moie than politics: it was about the collective wellbeing of the people of Buima.

0n the evening of 24 Septembei, the SPBC Ninistei foi Religious Affaiis
Biigauiei ueneial Thuia Nyint Naung waineu that fuithei piotests woulu be

8u
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 11: The
Saffion Revolution - The 2uu7 Pio-Bemociacy Novement (2uu8).
81
0 Pyinya Zawta, "All Buima Nonks' Alliance >> Featuieu Aiticles & Statements," Becembei
2uu9 <http:¡¡allbuimamonksalliance.oig¡.page_iu=19S>.
82
1) The issuance of a public apology foi the ciackuown on the peaceful uemonstiation of monks
in Pakokku: 2) The immeuiate ieuuction of all basic foou, fuel, anu commouity piices: S) The
unconuitional ielease all political piisoneis, incluuing Baw Aung San Suu Kyi anu all uetainees
aiiesteu foi theii involvement in uemonstiations ovei the fuel anu commouity piice incieases:
anu 4) The immeuiate commencement of genuine anu sinceie uialogue with uemociatic
opposition gioups to iesolve the ciises anu uifficulties suffeieu by the populace citeu in National
Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, Saffion Revolution, 2uu7.
8S
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, Saffion Revolution, 2uu7.
84
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, Saffion Revolution, 2uu7.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
24
uealt with "accoiuing to the law"
8S


0nueteiieu, piotests continueu on 2S Septembei. That night authoiities,
incluuing 0SBA membeis anu <W&'$:%%$<"-'U enteieu the stieets, aiiesting
leauing public figuies who hau suppoiteu piotests, incluuing the comeuian
Zaigana, anu again waineu the public against paiticipating in the piotests: "The
monks' maiches aie not the concein of the people."
86


0n 26 Septembei, tens of thousanus of piotesteis flooueu the stieets of Rangoon,
suiiounueu by hunuieus of SPBC aimy soluieis, iiot police, 0SBA anu$<W&'$:%%$
<"-' membeis. The authoiities sought to coiuon monks within monasteiies,
usheieu monks onto tiucks, anu uispeiseu the ciowu. 0ne elueily monk sought
to negotiate with the secuiity peisonnel, but was abiuptly foiceu onto the
giounu anu beaten with the butt of a iifle. The officei's biutality incenseu the
ciowu, but it was placateu by the monks' appeals to engage only in peaceful
iesistance.
87


Bowevei, soon aftei, the authoiities tuineu on the ciowu. The iiot police anu
<W&'$:%%$<"-' began beating, aiiesting anu shooting at the ciowu. The iegime
uemonstiateu an excessive use of foice: it quickly escalateu fiom baton chaiges,
to iubbei bullets, to live iounus - inuicating not an attempt to contiol anu police
the ciowu, but iathei to iemove opposition anu senu a message to futuie
piotesteis
88
. Neveitheless, piotests aiounu the city continueu thioughout the
uay, iesulting in numeiousueaths anu hunuieus of aiiests anu uetentions.

That night, secuiity foices iaiueu uozens of monasteiies in Rangoon. Nonks
weie eithei aibitiaiily uetaineu oi foiceu to stay within the monasteiy. The
iegime's violent ciackuown aiounu Ngwe Kyai Yan Nonasteiy, South 0kkalapa
Township alone iesulteu in at least 8 ueaths.
89


0n 27 Septembei, shootings also took place in uowntown Rangoon, neai Sule
Pagoua. Because of the iaius on monasteiies the night befoie, only a uozen
monks weie piesent. The aimy anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' appioacheu the ciowu aiounu
noon: a few minutes aftei seeking to uispeise the ciowu, the soluieis fiieu
uiiectly into the ciowu. 0ne Iapanese jouinalist Kenji Nagai was shot anu killeu
instantly: this inciuent was captuieu in BvB viueo footage on the uay.
9u


Aiiests, ciackuowns anu iepiession continueu in the following weeks. The SPBC,
as well as the 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' sought to systematically tiack uown those
involveu in the Saffion Revolution. Buiing this peiiou, the iegime aiiesteu
appioximately 7uu to 9uu political activists, effectively uoubling the numbei of

8S
Richaiu Boisey, 19.
86
Buman Rights Watch, Ciackuown, 4S.
87
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, Saffion Revolution, 2uu7.
88
Richaiu Boisey 2u.
89
Buman Rights Watch, Ciackuown, 61
9u
Buman Rights Watch, Ciackuown, 6S-66.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
2S
political piisoneis in Buima.
91


The ciackuown iesulteu in almost a hunuieu ueaths, accoiuing to foimei 0N
Special Rappoiteui on Buman Rights in Nyanmai Paulo Séigio Pinheiio, uuiing
his auuiess to the 0N ueneial Assembly's Thiiu Committee. Be noteu the
uifficulty of veiifying numbeis, especially given that the iegime's official
numbeis weie well below those pioviueu by otheis in the iegion.
92
"Accoiuing to
othei souices, between Su to 4u monks anu Su to 7u civilians have allegeuly
been killeu, while 2uu have been beaten," he saiu.
9S


The iegime's actions, anu the 0SBA's involvement weie laigely met with
contempt anu iepulsion. 0 Zin Linn, the infoimation uiiectoi of the National
Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima (NCu0B) ueclaieu:
The hanus of the 0SBA have been staineu with bloou since the Bepayin
massacie. The latest assaults by its membeis have iemoveu all uoubts
about theii iole to suppiess the people on the junta's oiueis. The public is
veiy angiy with them.
94


Foi the people of Buima, the authoiities' callous attacks on the Buuuhist monks
weie completely unacceptable. As one Rangoon iesiuent stateu, "If the militaiy
kill monks, meiciful monks, they aie not Buuuhists, they aie savages."
9S


This attituue was echoeu among many in the countiy, anu has in pait
ieinvigoiateu the pio-uemociacy movement both insiue Buima anu along its
boiueis. Foi the iegime, this inciease in anti-goveinment sentiment meant an
incieasing thieat to theii holu on powei.

Neveitheless, the iegime has taken no steps to conuemn oi ciiticize those 0SBA
membeis involveu in the ciackuown, but has iathei piomoteu them. Pakokku
iesiuents iecently iepoiteu to BBC News that thiee 0SBA membeis, Ko Kyaw
Zin, Ko Zaw Nyo Thein anu Ko Thein Tun, who paiticipateu in the ciackuown
uuiing 2uu7, aie now contesting in the elections as 0SBP canuiuates.
96


U%11'W%,,*-1'
'
Following the afteimath of the Saffion Revolution, the iegime faceu a seveie
ciisis of legitimacy. The biutal violence inflicteu upon the peaceful monks anu

91
In 2uuuS¡6, theie weie appioximately 1,1uu political piisoneis in Buima. By Septembei 2uu8,
theie weie ovei 2,21S political piisoneis. Bo Kyi anu Bannah Scott, "Toituie, Political Piisoneis
anu the 0n-Rule of Law: Challenges to Peace, Secuiity anu Buman Rights in Buima," The Fiist
Inteinational Confeience on Buman Rights in South East Asia. Assistance Association foi Political
Piisoneis-Buima (2u1u) 11-12.
92
The iegime iepoiteu that 1u piotestois uieu uuiing the ciackuown. Shah Paung, "0vei 2uu
NLB Nembeis Aiiesteu Since Beginning of Ciackuown," The Iiiawauuy, S 0ct. 2uu7.
9S
"Nyanmai: 0N iights expeit to piobe allegations of abuses uuiing ciackuown," 0N News
Centie, 24 0ct. 2uu7.
94
Naiwaan Nacan-Naikai, "Whiteshiits - Buima Iunta's Stoim Tioopeis," IPS, 1 0ct. 2uu7.
9S
Benis B uiay, "Iunta Ciusheu 'Saffion Revolt,' but What Next." AP, 8 0ct. 2uu7.
96
BBC Buimese, 9 0ct. 2u1u.
<http:¡¡www.bbc.co.uk¡buimese¡buima¡2u1u¡u9¡1uu9u9_pakokku.shtml>.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
26
uemonstiatois hau shockeu the laigely uevout Buuuhist population.

In an attempt to impiove theii public image the 0SBA piomptly oiganizeu
anothei iounu of mass iallies in suppoit of "community peace," the ioaumap to
uemociacy anu the National Convention.
97
The iallies took place acioss the
countiy: in Rangoon, Nanualay, Pegu Bivision, anu Aiakan, Kachin, Kaienni, anu
Shan States.
98
The iegime iepoiteu expansive numbeis: 11u,uuu paiticipants in
Pegu Bivision, 1S8,uuu in Nanualay Bivision, 71,uuu in Sittwe, Aiakan State, anu
1S,uuu in Nongnai, Shan State.

The numbeis, howevei, uiu not inuicate populai satisfaction with the iegime:
one Rangoon iesiuent aigueu, "People gatheieu in feai of militaiy thieats, not foi
what they believe. It is not theii ieal will, anu they aie not inteiesteu in it. It is
iegime piopaganua."
99


In line with theii eailiei mass iallies, 0SBA membeis coeiceu anu thieateneu
inuiviuuals to attenu the iallies: one iesiuent fiom Taunguwingyi, Nagway
Bivision, lamenteu, "We have to go to theii iallies. If I uon't, I'll get fineu 1u,uuu
kyat |7.1 0SB]. Bowevei, if I uo go, I was tolu I'u ieceive S,uuu kyat |2.1 0SB]."
1uu


Even piioi to the ciackuown on the 2uu7 pio-uemociacy uemonstiations, the
iegime hau employeu the 0SBA to holu mass iallies, paiticulaily in suppoit of
the National Convention anu the ioaumap to uemociacy. In 2uuS, the 0SBA helu
a ially in Bakha, Chin State, which iequiieu each householu to senu at least one
iepiesentative: paiticipants weie iequiieu to uiess in tiauitional Buimese
uiess.
1u1


Some iallies focuseu on uenouncing foieign influences anu the political
opposition. 0ne ially paiticipant commenteu, "I was askeu to join a ially to
uenounce the opposition, NLB, the IL0, Westein countiies, anu the vaclav Bavel
anu Besmonu Tutu iepoit."
1u2
Anothei ially was focuseu exclusively on
uenouncing the NLB: "In 2uu4, the 0SBA conuemneu the NLB foi uestioying the
countiy anu the youth, anu foi hanuing the countiy ovei to otheis outsiue. At
that time, we hau to shout, '0bject the NLB, Baw Suu anu 0 Tin 0o'."
1uS


The 0SBA's effoits to coeice civilians into joining the mass iallies aie one
paiticulai manifestation of theii abuse of authoiity. Bowevei, the 0SBA has
notably abuseu state authoiity foi financial anu mateiial gains as well.


97
New Light of Nyanmai, 29 Sept. 2uu7: 1.: New Light of Nyanmai, Su Sept 2uu7:1. Citeu in
Bans-Beinu Zollnei, Neithei Saffion Noi Revolution (Beilin: Süuostasien Woiking Papeis No. S6,
2uu9) 1uS.
98
Aye Lae, "The Iunta Nobilizes its Nouthpieces," The Iiiawauuy, 1 0ct. 2uu7: Saw Yan Naing,
"People 0ppose Iunta in Stageu Rallies to Suppoit National Convention," The Iiiawauuy, 17 0ct.
2uu7.
99
Saw Yan Naing.
1uu
Aye Lae.
1u1
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 48.
1u2
NBB inteiviews, Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 49-Su.
1uS
NBB inteiviews, Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 49-Su.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
27
=+##"</*+.'%.:'(B"1-'+6'("/F+#*/9'
'
0vei the yeais, the 0SBA anu its membeis have been able to exploit state
authoiity to extiact financial gains. 0SBA's ability to piofit fiom abuses of powei
is uue in pait to its ieputation foi enacting physical violence, but also uue to its
close connections to the iegime anu its contiol ovei the social, political anu
economic wellbeing of the people.

In paiticulai, uue to its official iole as a 'social welfaie oiganization,' the 0SBA
has been gianteu the authoiity to manage vaiious public seivices, incluuing
health caie, agiicultuie subsiuies anu euucation. In these public offices, the 0SBA
has exploiteu funuing anu goous allotteu to specific piojects foi theii own
benefit.

In Iuly 2uu7, 0SBA membeis in Bogalay Township, Iiiawauuy Bivision extiacteu
money intenueu to fuinish anu supply an elementaiy school: insteau of
benefiting the public, the funus weie useu to peisonally benefit the 0SBA
membeis.
1u4
In the same month, 0SBA anu SPBC membeis in Bogalay Township
weie taskeu with supplying faimeis with feitilizei. Insteau, they solu the
feitilizei anu pocketeu the piofits.
1uS

'
The above examples illustiate petty coiiuption caiiieu out by lowei ianking
0SBA membeis who have been able to leveiage theii authoiity to yielu illicit
piofits. This pattein of coiiuption anu abuse of state powei was seen latei in
gieatei scale uuiing the Cyclone Naigis ielief effoits, the 2uu8 Refeienuum anu
the 2u1u elections.

Bowevei, moie exploitative examples of coiiuption have been caiiieu out at the
highei levels of the 0SBA leaueiship. In Nyingyan, Nanualay Bivision, the
Secietaiy of Nyingyan 0SBA Bla Than, was exposeu foi stealing 9u million kyat
|appioximately 74,uuu 0SB] intenueu foi public seivices,
1u6


@%#,9'A*Q.1'+6'%'?#%.1*/*+.'/+'%'0+,*/*8%,'0%#/9'

Bespite the 0SBA's ieputation as a violent people's militia, the 0SBA hau eaily
on ueclaieu its intention to opeiate as a political paity in the futuie. As eaily as
2uu2, the iegime inuicateu its intention foi the 0SBA to tiansfoim into a political
paity.

In 2uu2, the Ninistei of Befense ueneial Naung Bo ievealeu the iegime's
giowing emphasis on the 0SBA as moie than just a social oi paiamilitaiy entity.
"When the goveinment has faceu enoimous economic ciisis in the countiy, we
solveu it with the stiength of the 0SBA," he saiu, "Theiefoie, |0SBA] must woik
haiu at winning against othei gioups in a political match."
1u7
It appeaieu the

1u4
Yoma S, 6 Iuly 2uu7.
1uS
Bemociatic voice of Buima, 16 Iuly 2uu7.
1u6
Bemociatic voice of Buima, S Bec. 2uu8.
1u7
Banya Bongsai, "Ciime Against Bumanity: Biity Politics on the Banus of the Buimese IuntaU"
Nonlanu. 18 Iune 2uuS. Citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 69.$
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
28
iegime was giooming the oiganization to take on the foim of a political paity to
contest in multipaity elections, as outlineu in the iegime's seven-step ioaumap
to uemociacy.

The iegime's public confiuence in the 0SBA giew ovei the following yeai. By
2uuS, the ueneial Secietaiy of the Non State 0SBA ueclaieu that the 0SBA was
ieauy to be tiansfoimeu into a legal political paity.
1u8
This uesiie was ieiteiateu
seveial yeais latei by the ueneial Secietaiy of the 0SBA Btay 0o, who alluueu to
the possibility of ieinventing the 0SBA as a political paity.

Not only uiu the 0SBA seek to opeiate as a political paity, but also its membeis
piesumptuously began to take on ioles anu iesponsibilities typically ieseiveu foi
goveinment officials, paiticulaily the foieign ministiy.

In 2uu4, the 0SBA conuucteu uiplomatic meetings with China anu Iapan. Fiom 4
to 11 Ianuaiy, ueneial Secietaiy of the 0SBA Najoi ueneial Btay 0o, anu 0SBA
Secietaiiat membei anu Ninistei of Coopeiatives Najoi ueneial Tin Btut, jointly
leu the uelegation anu met with the vice Ninistei of Inteinational Bepaitment of
the Cential Committee of Community Paity of China (CPC), amongst othei
Chinese officials. In Septembei, Btay 0o attenueu the Siu Inteinational
Confeience of Asian Political Paities (ICAPP), anu met with a membei of the
political buieau of the Cential Committee of the CPC.

These visits aie all iepoiteu on the website of the Embassy of the People's
Republic of China in the 0nion of Nyanmai, unuei the title of "Exchange of
Ninisteiial anu Senioi visits (Yeai 2uu4)."
1u9


Two yeais latei, the 0SBA leu anothei uelegation to Beijing, wheie they met with
the vice chaiiwoman of the Stanuing Committee of the Chinese National People's
Congiess (NPC).
11u
The 0SBA latei conuucteu similai visits to Iapan in 2uu9,
fuithei foieshauowing theii intention to seive as the futuie goveinment of
Buima.
111


The 0SBA's giowing political piominence extenueu to 0N activities anu visits to
the countiy. The iegime has iepoiteuly insisteu that 0N officials, incluuing 0N
special envoy Ibiahim uambaii, meet with 0SBA heaus at its heauquaiteis
uuiing official visits.
112


Inueeu, NBB's eailiei iepoit, The White Shiits: Bow the 0SBA Will Become the
New Face of Buima's Bictatoiship, examineu this possibility anu concluueu:

1u8
"0SBA is Reauy to be a Legal Political Paity," Inuepenuent Non News Agency
6 0ct. 2uuS. Citeu in Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 69.
1u9
,China Embassy in Nyanmai, "Exchange of Ninisteiial anu Senioi visits (Yeai 2uu4)," Embassy
of the People's Republic of China in the 0nion of Nyanmai, 26 0ct. 2u1u <http:¡¡mm.china-
embassy.oig¡eng¡xwut¡t174776.htm>.
11u
"Chinese NPC vice chaiiwoman meets Nyanmai guests," Chinese uoveinment's 0fficial Web
Poital, 2S Sept. 2uu6 <http:¡¡www.gov.cn¡misc¡2uu6-u9¡2S¡content_S98SS2.htm>.
111
"0SBA Leauei in Iapan," The Iiiawauuy, 21 Aug. 2uu9.
112
Laiiy Iagan, "Iunta's thugs go all out to ciush uissent anu opposition," Nizzima News, 1S Iune
2uu7.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
29
The 0SBA has slowly taken on a political iole in the countiy anu soon will
likely be ieconstituteu as a political paity to contest futuie elections. The
use of haiassment, intimiuation anu outiight violence iaise conceins as to
how the 0SBA will function as a political paity. The SPBC is looking to
extenu anu peipetuate its iule by nominally tiansfeiiing powei to a
civilian goveinment.
11S


This pieuiction has been iealizeu. Between 2uu8 anu 2u1u, the 0SBA became
incieasingly piominent in the political spheie. In 2u1u, in oiuei to contest in the
elections, it tiansfoimeu into a political paity entitleu the 0nion Soliuaiity anu
Bevelopment Paity (0SBP): a name almost comically iuentical to the oiiginal,
leaving no ioom foi speculation about its oiganizational ioots.

The 0SBA's leauing involvement in seveial, inteinationally conuemneu attacks
against the political opposition, social activists, anu even the wiuei public
between 1998 anu 2uu8 uemonstiateu the iegime's incieasing ieliance on the
oiganization to maintain political contiol thiough iepiession, intimiuation anu
extieme aggiession. At the same time, the oiganization began to fuithei exploit
its connections to the state to extiact financial peisonal gains. The 0SBA's
giowing political piominence, in the context of its lack of iegaiu foi funuamental
human iights, iaiseu many conceins about the futuie iole of the abusive
oiganization.

As will be examineu in the following section, the 0SBA anu the 0SBP has not
moveu away fiom its violent backgiounu. Rathei, the oiganization has continueu
to exploit such violent tactics as suits its political puiposes.

* * *

?#%.16+#$%/*+.'+6'/F-'GA7('*./+'/F-'GA70'HSTTMLSTITNO'%'0+,*/*8%,'0%#/9'
(*$-:'%/'0#+,+.Q*.Q'U*,*/%#9'W",-'

In the past two yeais, the 0SBA has become incieasingly involveu in the foimal
political aiena. Bespite its seemingly official iole, the oiganization uiu not foigo
its moie violent anu coeicive activities. In Nay 2uu8, Buima saw majoi political,
social anu economic upheaval uue to the effects of Cyclone Naigis anu the 2uu8
constitution iefeienuum. The 0SBA was cleaily implicateu in impeuing the
humanitaiian aiu piocess by selling aiu uonations foi piofit oi foi "Yes" votes in
the iefeienuum. Fuithei, the oiganization was instiumental in haiassing anu
intimiuating voteis to suppoit the 2uu8 Constitution.

STTM'=+.1/*/"/*+.%,'W-6-#-.:"$'
'
Beginning in 2uu8, political events in Buima became incieasingly election-
focuseu, oi iathei, focuseu on ensuiing the elections woulu pioceeu in line with
the iegime's inteiests. The 2uu8 constitutional iefeienuum, anu the 0SBA's iole
in the piocess weie inuicative of the iegime's effoits to contiol the political

11S
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, 79.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
Su
piocess, anu foieshauoweu the pioblems of the 2u1u elections.

J#4%>-,+#',$!#4"'-K>#($&'9$=&+H&-2'-'2$
In the leau up to the iefeienuum, the 0SBA stiuggleu with its membeiship: the
oiganization's ieputation suffeieu uue to its involvement in the biutal
ciackuown of the Septembei 2uu7 Saffion Revolution. The oiganization tuineu
again to tiieu anu tiue 0SBA ieciuitment techniques: foiceu membeiship,
biibeiy, extoition, anu violations of the iight to fiee association. These same
techniques weie latei useu by the 0SBP to gain votes oi membeiship in the leau
up to the 2u1u elections.

In Febiuaiy 2uu8, the Ninistei foi Tianspoitation anu local militaiy uivisional
commanuei in Aiakan State amasseu appioximately 7.S million kyat
|appioximately 6,uuu 0SB], money that was intenueu foi the iepaiation of a
ioau leauing up to a significant pagoua. Bowevei, one month aftei the officials
hau collecteu the money, township authoiities ueclaieu that the pioject woulu
not be activateu unless all the township youths joineu the 0SBA. 0ne local
iesiuent ciiticizeu the oiganization: "The 0SBA nevei uone anything goou foi the
countiy anu nobouy wants to join them."
114
Similai abuses of authoiity occuiieu
thioughout the countiy, using business concessions, phone lines, business
peimits, anu even exam maiks as incentives to join the 0SBA.
11S


The 0SBA's ieciuitment tactics uiu not enu at biibeiy, but fuithei involveu
foiceu membeiships, some of which weie appiopiiateu into votes foi the
constitution in the looming iefeienuum. In Nyitkyina, Kachin State, 0SBA
officials canvasseu the township, coeicing householus to fill out 0SBA
iegistiation foims entitleu, "List of people suppoiting the constitution." This
tactic not only uenies inuiviuuals the iight to fiee association,
116
but fuithei
uenies them the iight to fieely expiess theii opinion on the constitution,
maiginalizing them fiom the piocess.
117


0SBA officials tiaveleu acioss the countiy, alongsiue SPBC anu militaiy officials,
to campaign foi "Yes" votes in the iefeienuum. Campaign methous incluueu
gianting loans oi expensive cell phones in ietuin foi votes suppoiting the
constitution.
118


In Kachin State, Najoi ueneial Thein Zaw, heau of Kachin State 0SBA anu SPBC
Ninistei of Communication fiequently tiaveleu thioughout the state, calling on
local 0SBA membeis to ensuie a goou outcome foi the SPBC in the iefeienuum.
Be publically piomiseu piomotions oi mateiial iewaius to those who

114
"Township Youth Blackmaileu Into Ioining 0SBA," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 8 Febiuaiy
2uu8.
11S
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu8 (2uu9) 697.
116
"No one may be compelleu to belong to an association". The 0niveisal Beclaiation of Buman
Rights Aiticle 2u.2. 1u Bec. 1948.
117
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima, BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu8 (2uu9) 698.
118
The Buima Funu - 0N 0ffice, Refeienuum Watch: Nonitoiing the SPBC's Refeienuum in
Buima, Issue 1 (21 Api. 2uu8) 9.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S1
successfully gaineieu public suppoit foi the "Yes" campaign.
119


As such, the vote "Yes" campaign was uiiectly suppoiteu anu caiiieu out by the
iegime anu its paiamilitaiy wings, the 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-'. In compaiison,
the vote "No" campaign, anu its suppoiteis weie stifleu, haiasseu anu even
violently silenceu.

L',-+-9&,-*'$&'9$M&%&((+#',$
In the leau up to the iefeienuum, the 0SBA acteu as an au-hoc bouy caiiying out
secuiity anu intelligence woik, with the intention of clamping uown on anti-
iefeienuum sentiment oi actions.

0ne Kaien teachei uetaileu how the iegime ieciuiteu 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-'
membeis fiom the community. "Even if we have |piivate] uiscussions, the
goveinment has many people who spy on us. We have no peisonal secuiity
amongst those in oui community," she saiu, "They tiain these people to be able
to watch theii neighbois"
12u


The 0SBA membeis weie not only oiueieu to spy on communities, in oiuei to
infoim supeiiois about any signs of uissent, but weie manuateu to caiiy out
violent attacks in oiuei to geneiate feai anu obeuience.

Buman Rights Watch was able to conuuct an inteiview with a foimei 0SBA
membei fiom Rangoon Township, who ievealeu the 0SBA's methous to ensuie
that the population laigely voteu in suppoit of the 2uu8 Constitution. 0ne
mission was to iuentify those who hau intentions of voting "No" in the
iefeienuum uuiing the uay, anu taiget them foi attacks, abuse, aibitiaiy aiiests
anu thieats uuiing the night:
The people who say "No" we wiite uown theii name anu auuiess. If they
still say "No" we go back late at night anu beat them. We go with `&$`&$b&
|local authoiities] anu take them to the jail. We accuse them of being a
thief, a uiunk. We explain we can give them tiouble, give them many
pioblems. Nost aie scaieu. |0ne peison] we talkeu to about the
iefeienuum... he saiu he was not inteiesteu, he was against it. We came
back latei to his house anu took him to the `&$`&$b& office anu pusheu anu
beat him anu tolu him he faceu many pioblems.
121


The 0SBA was fiequently involveu in aibitiaiy aiiests of those suspecteu to be
involveu in the "No" campaign. In Bu Kahtawng 0uaitei, Nyitkyina, Kachin State,
the heau of Bu Kahtawng 0SBA 0 Bai Bu oiueieu authoiities to aiiest two
Kachin youths. 0 Bai Bu believeu the youths to be membeis of the "No"
campaign aftei they stateu, uuiing a 0SBA iefeienuum biiefing, that they hau

119
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation, No Real Choice: An Assessment of Buima's
2uu8 Refeienuum (Yangon: New Light of Buima Piess, 2uu9) 19.
12u
Buman Rights Watch inteiview with Naw Paw, Naich 11, 2uu8. Buman Rights Watch, vote to
Nowheie: The Nay 2uu8 Constitutional Refeienuum in Buima (Nay 2uu8) SS.
121
Buman Rights Watch inteiview with Ko Aye, 0SBA membei fiom Rangoon, Nae Sot, Apiil 1,
2uu8. Buman Rights Watch, vote, SS.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S2
ieau the Constitution.
122


7-%#4,$L';*/;#+#',$-'$,"#$.*//($
By Febiuaiy 2uu8, iepoits hau alieauy suifaceu iegaiuing the 0SBA's extensive
iole in monitoiing anu oiganizing the iefeienuum poll in Nay. The 0SBA foimeu
local commissions at township anu uistiict levels to oveisee the iefeienuum
voting.
12S
0SBA membeis weie instiucteu to vote at the enu of the uay in oiuei
to be the last voteis at the polling stations, gianting them access to monitoi the
vote.
124
Kachin State 0SBA membeis weie oiueieu to seive as polling station
"inspectois" to guaiantee that "9S peicent of the voteis appioveu the
constitution."
12S


The 0SBA's involvement also extenueu to electoiate manipulation. The 0SBA
was iesponsible foi caiiying out a census - the contents of which uiffeieu in
compaiison to the Immigiation Bepaitment census. In Kachin State, the 0SBA
census incluueu names of SS,uuu 0SBA membeis unuei the age of 18: theieby
geneiating tens of thousanus of illegal new votes by compelling unueiage 0SBA
membeis to vote in suppoit of the Constitution.
126


=04/*'#$5&%2-($L',#%;#',-*'(
Bowevei, the iegime's well-laiu plans to uominate the iefeienuum appeaieu to
be compiomiseu when Cyclone Naigis maue lanufall in Buima on 2 Nay 2uu8.
The cyclone uevastateu much of the countiy, iesulting in appioximately 14u,uuu
ueaths,
127
anu ienueiing almost one million homeless.
128
In the miust of the
ciisis, it was uifficult to think about politics, let alone mobilize votes foi the
iefeienuum. 0pposition gioups anu the inteinational community uigeu the SPBC
to postpone the iefeienuum, but the iegime iesisteu anu went aheau with the
polls.

Rathei than pioving to be an obstacle in theii plans to contiol the iefeienuum
piocess, the cyclone pioveu to be, ciuelly, a blessing in uisguise foi the iegime.
With millions uisplaceu anu without basic necessities foi suivival, the iegime
was able to manipulate the situation to theii auvantage. Rathei than allowing aiu
gioups to fieely uistiibute aiu supplies anu funus, the humanitaiian aiu effoit
was channeleu thiough the iegime, allowing not only foi coiiuption, but also
votei manipulation thiough thieats of withholuing essential aiu.

The 0SBA justifieu theii involvement to piivate uonois by explaining that uiiect
ueliveiy of foou anu supplies to iefugees woulu make them "lazy" anu

122
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation, (2uu9) 28.
12S
Wai Noe, "0SBA to 0iganize Refeienuum, Election," The Iiiawauuy, 11 Feb. 2uu8.
124
Naiwaan Nacan-Naikai, "Plans Reauieu to Rig Constitution Refeienuum," Intei Piess Seivice
News Agency, 2S Api. 2uu8.
12S
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation, (2uu9) 19.
126
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation, (2uu9) 24.
127
Buman Rights Watch, I Want to Belp Ny 0wn People: State Contiol anu Civil Society in Buima
aftei Cyclone Naigis (Apiil 2u1u) 7.
128
The Public Inteinational Law & Policy uioup, Buimese Constitutional Refeienuum: Neithei
Fiee Noi Faii (Nay 2uu8) 4.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
SS
"uepenuent on aiu."
129


Local iesiuents iaiseu ciiticisms eaily on, citing how the 0SBA inteiveneu in aiu
effoits caiiieu out by local ielief woikeis. 0ne chaiity gioup fiom a mosque
attempteu to uelivei iice in Kunchangone Township, Rangoon Bivision on 7 Nay.
0ne iesiuent complaineu, "They weie stoppeu when they got to Kaw Bmu
Township anu the 0SBA theie seizeu theii iice anu uonateu it to locals in the
0SBA's name."
1Su
The 0SBA also iepoiteuly placeu 0SBA flags on fiie engines
that weie pioviuing watei in Rangoon Bivision, thus claiming cieuit foi the
watei uonations.

"In ieality, the 0SBA uoesn't uo anything foi the people. They aie just taking
cieuit foi woik uone by othei people," ciiticizeu a Rangoon Bivision local.
1S1


0thei times, the 0SBA inteiveneu in ielief effoits only to peisonally piofit fiom
the aiu. In Bogalay, Iiiawauuy Bivision, foieign aiu was iouteu thiough
goveinment agencies anu the 0SBA, who solu the ielief supplies iathei than
uonating them to the populations in neeu. 0SBA membeis solu iaincoats that
weie uonateu by the 0niteu Nations, that weie intenueu foi fiee uistiibution to
communities in neeu.
1S2


The NLB cieateu a stoim ielief committee to suppoit the community, anu founu
many of the supplies available in the maiket to be illicitly appiopiiateu fiom
foieign uonoi aiu supplies. "0ui stoim ielief committee went to buy quite a lot of
towels fiom Ningalai maiket to uonate them to iefugees," stateu NLB
spokespeison 0 Nyan Win. "When we lookeu at them back in the office, they
weie labeleu 'WFP' anu hau a Iapanese flag in the miuule with 'Bonateu by the
people of Iapan' wiitten unueineath."
1SS


The iegime also appiopiiateu ielief effoits caiiieu out by othei actois to
leveiage the ielief aiu to ensuie that the vulneiable population pleugeu theii
votes in suppoit of the constitution.

Fiee Buima Rangeis anu local paitneis founu that the 0SBA was foicing people
in uisastei stiicken aieas to choose between ieceiving aiu supplies anu being
able to fieely exeicise theii iight to vote in the iefeienuum. Local iesiuents
noteu that the 0SBA thieateneu to cut ielief supplies to inuiviuuals who voteu
"No" in the constitutional iefeienuum.
1S4


The iegime' piioiities weie well uemonstiateu in theii appioach to the Cyclone
Naigis ielief effoits. In the leau up to 24 Nay, the uate of the iefeienuum in

129
Saw Yan Nang, "Cyclone Suivivois Foicibly Evicteu," The Iiiawauuy, 24 Nay 2uu8.
1Su
"0SBA claims cieuit foi uisastei ielief effoits," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 8 Nay 2uu8.
1S1
"0SBA claims cieuit foi uisastei ielief effoits"
1S2
Bemociatic voice of Buima, 1S Nay 2uu8.
1SS
"uoveinment officials appiopiiate inteinational aiu," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 1S Nay
2uu8.
1S4
Fiee Buima Rangeis, FBR Repoit: Buima Aimy Attacks villages in Eastein Buima as they
0bstiuct Relief to Cyclone victims in the South (29 Nay 2uu8).
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S4
uisastei stiicken aieas, the 0SBA foicibly expelleu thousanus
1SS
of uisplaceu anu
homeless cyclone suivivois fiom tempoiaiy sheltei, in oiuei to use those
shelteis as polling stations.
1S6


Even when the 0SBA uiu take on actual ielief effoits, these weie limiteu to public
ielations attempts foi piopaganua puiposes. Immeuiately following the cyclone,
one majoi issue foi both the cyclone suivivois anu aiu woikeis was ioau
blockages that pieventeu the flow of supplies. In Rangoon, the 0SBA woikeu in a
limiteu capacity to cleai the ioaus, but theii effoits weie iestiicteu to cleaiing
tiees in highly visible aieas anu taking photogiaphs foi uocumentation: they uiu
not seek to suppoit othei aieas, anu it took ovei 1uuu monks fiom vaiious
townships to cleai the stieets.
1S7


At times, the 0SBA's ielief 'iesponse' became violent. 0n 2u Nay, a chilu in South
Bagon Township, Rangoon Bivision was pusheu asiue anu hau his hanu bioken
as he sought to gain an official caiu to ieceive aiu. This unpiovokeu act of
violence incenseu the suiiounuing auults. As one obseivei noteu, "The people
thieateneu to beat up |the authoiities]. Then the 0nion Soliuaiity Bevelopment
Association joineu the authoiities anu beat the people up." Thiee men anu one
piegnant woman weie biutally beaten anu hospitalizeu following the inciuent.
1S8


Baviu Nathieson, a Buima analyst foi Buman Rights Watch, echoeu this
sentiment: "The 0SBA hau a majoi iole in pietenuing to have a majoi iole
helping out" aftei the cyclone, "whilst foou supplies weie uangleu as an incentive
to vote yes," in the 2uu8 constitutional iefeienuum. The iegime's uecision to
holu the iefeienuum uespite the countiy-wiue uevastation uemonstiates "how
callous the iegime ieally is - the vote was moie impoitant than helping the
people."
1S9


In a way, the effects of the cyclone only enhanceu the iegime's ability to contiol
anu uominate the iefeienuum piocess. They weie able to caiiy out an extensive
canvassing foi auvance voting. The 0SBA canvasseu South Bagon, calling on all
householus to cast a ballot aheau of the official uate. voteis weie foiceu to vote
"Yes," in suppoit of the iefeienuum. "It's not seciet. You have to give youi ballot
to the authoiities," a Bagon Township iesiuent saiu.
14u


J#(>/,($*)$,"#$EFFO$J#)#%#'9>+$
0n voting uay, the 0SBA was fully complicit in suppoiting the iegime's electoial
manipulation. voteis iepoiteu 0SBA membeis weie stationeu insiue polling
stations, intimiuating voteis.
141
The iefeienuum as a whole was iiuuleu with

1SS
Saw Yan Nang, 2uu8.
1S6
Nem Bavies, "Cyclone suivivois tolu to make ioom foi voteis," Nizzima News, 14 Nay 2uu8.
1S7
"Rangoon iesiuents suffei in cyclone afteimath," Bemociatic voice of Buima, S Nay 2uu8.
1S8
"Authoiities clash with cyclone victims," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 22 Nay 2uu8.
1S9
Ioseph Allchin, "Buimese junta 'politicizing post-Naigis aiu'," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 29
Api. 2u1u.
14u
Nem Bavies, 2uu8.
141
"Refeienuum: voices of a nation in uistiess," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 1u Nay 2uu8.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
SS
iampant electoial fiauu anu manipulation.
142


0ltimately, the iegime announceu that the Constitution was appioveu by 92.4%
vote on the 1u Nay main iefeienuum vote. The 24 Nay iefeienuum in cyclone-
affecteu aieas allegeuly appioveu the uocument with an iuentical 92.4% vote,
fuithei iaising suspicions about the accuiacy anu legitimacy of the vote.
14S


0SBA officials weie iewaiueu foi ensuiing that theii communities
oveiwhelmingly voteu in suppoit of the Constitution. 0SBA officials collecteu
auvance votes fiom Nogmung Township, Putao Bistiict, without having visiteu
the aieas: the chaiiman of the Nogmung Township 0SBA was then awaiueu a
Ieep foi pioviuing the highest votei suppoit foi the Constitution in Kachin
State.
144


While iewaiuing those who illegally ensuieu the iegime woulu have the
iefeienuum iesult they uesiieu, the authoiities ciackeu uown on anyone who
appeaieu to thieaten the iegime's caiefully oichestiateu electoial
manipulations. Assistance Association foi Political Piisoneis (AAPP)iepoiteu
that at least 79 people weie aiiesteu foi peacefully encouiaging people to not
suppoit the Constitution.
14S


0ne NLB membei Ko Aye Thaung in Noith 0kkalapa Township, Rangoon
Bivision attempteu to monitoi a polling station aftei casting his ballot. Be was
thieateneu by a local Peace anu Bevelopment Council chaiiman anu beaten up by
0SBA membei Ko San Btway. Be iecounteu the inciuent:
I askeu the station officials to give me peimission to watch the vote count
but I was uenieu by the station chief. So I left the station but watcheu
them fiom outsiue. Not so long aftei that, 0 Nyint Soe aiiiveu on the
scene anu tolu the people theie to B-%/'/+':-%/F anyone who is causing a
uistuibance anu that he woulu take caie of the consequences. Then I was
beaten up by San Btway.
146
|emphasis auueu]

Such attacks on political opposition membeis anu activists uiu not enu aftei the
Nay 2uu8 iefeienuum: as will be examineu in the following section, the 0SBA
continueu to play an instiumental iole in attacking anu haiassing people seen to
be opposing the iegime.

(//%851'+.'0+,*/*8%,'><<+1*/*+.'%.:'["$%.'W*QF/1'7-6-.:-#1'

Even in iecent yeais since 2uu8, the oiganization has not moveu away fiom
violent tactics that aim at contiolling the political opposition anu the wiuei
population. In the yeais leauing up to the elections, it has becom even moie

142
<## The Public Inteinational Law & Policy uioup, 2uu8 anu Institute foi Political Analysis anu
Bocumentation, (2uu9).
14S
"Refeienuum Appioveu in Cyclone-hit Aieas," Associateu Piess, 26 Nay 2uu8.
144
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation, (2uu9) 4S.
14S
Assistance Association foi Political Piisoneis, The Role of Political Piisoneis in the National
Reconciliation Piocess (Naich 2u1u) 27.
146
"NLB Nembei Chaigeu Aftei Being Beaten," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 4 Iuly 2uu8.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S6
impoitant foi the iegime to fuithei peipetuate the cultuie of feai in Buima. By
ciacking uown on political activists, the iegime sent a cleai message to the wiuei
public that opposing the iegime woulu leau uiiectly to violent anu uangeious
consequences.

0n S Apiil 2uu8, an NLB membei Tin Yu was iepoiteuly attackeu by two men,
believeu to be 0SBA, <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis oi the fiie seivices. Be was beaten
with batons anu sustaineu extensive facial wounus that iequiieu Su stitches.
147


In Iuly 2uu8, iepoits suifaceu that Phekon Township Chaii Nyai Reh anu 0SBA
Secietaiy Noe Reh hau killeu seven membeis of a Kaienni family in Shan State.
0ne family membei, who was not home at the time of the inciuent, iepoiteu that
authoiities hau founu a "No" campaign leaflet outsiue the home, piompting
authoiities to kill the entiie family anu uispose of the bouies in a neaiby cave.
148


Numeious attacks on NLB membeis took place in Rangoon in 2uu9. 0ne inciuent
took place on 12 Apiil in Twente Township, wheie 7 men, leu by a local 0SBA
membei, biutally attackeu an NLB youth membei.
149


These attacks uiu not cease in the leau up to the 2u1u elections. As iecent as Nay
2u1u, NLB membei Chit Tin was attackeu by a <W&'$:%%$<"-' membei in Non
State. The attackei was acting unuei the oiueis of Ngwe Aung anu Nyat Noe, two
local 0SBA membeis. Chin Tin suffeieu seiious injuiies anu was hospitalizeu foi
ovei one month. Be tiieu to file a case with the authoiities but the two 0SBA
membeis latei paiu the police 1.2 million kyat |appioximately 1,1Su 0SB] to
close the case.
1Su


In Iune 2u1u, Ko Nyint Soe, an NLB membei fiom Twante Township, Rangoon
Bivision, was biutally beaten by 0SBA membeis foi weaiing a t-shiit
emblazoneu with the image of Inuepenuence leauei ueneial Aung San.
1S1


By anu laige such violent 0SBA activities can be asciibeu to 0SBA policy anu
ultimately an auheience to state uiiectives. As will be examineu in the following
section, many 0SBA membeis have unueigone some foim of militaiy tiaining as
uiiecteu anu manuateu by the state.

GA7('U*,*/%#9'?#%*.*.Q1'
'
In the leau up to the elections, the iegime caiiieu out extensive militaiy tiainings
foi the 0SBA. The iegime hau ielieu quite heavily on the 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-'
in the eaily stages of the Saffion Revolution ciackuown. In anticipation of

147
"Seconu NLB membei attackeu in Blaing Thaiyai," Insiue Buima, 7 Api. 2uu8.
148
Amnesty Inteinational, Nyanmai: The iepiession of ethnic minoiity activists in Nyanmai,
(Lonuon: Amnesty Inteinational Publications, 2u1u) S4-S.
149
"Police iefuse to aiiest attackeis of opposition membeis," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 2u Api.
2uu9.
1Su
Naung Too, "NLB membei 'attackeu by junta thugs,'" Bemociatic voice of Buima, 6 Nay 2u1u.
1S1
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, Weekly Political Events Regaiuing the SPBC's
Election, v. 2u, 12 Iune 2u1u.: National League foi Bemociacy (Libeiateu Aiea), Activities of
National League foi Bemociacy: Nay-Iuly 2u1u (August 2u1u) 27.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S7
incieasing uissent aftei the Saffion Revolution anu befoie the elections, the
iegime focuseu on cieating a well-tiaineu people's militia to ciackuown on any
signs of opposition.

Piioi to the fiist anniveisaiy of the Saffion Revolution, local authoiities in Nyin
Chan Township, Nanualay Bivision ieceiveu cleai instiuctions fiom goveinment
leaueis on how to ueal with piotesteis. A souice ievealeu the thiee steps:
Foi the fiist step, the local authoiities shoulu negotiate with the
piotesteis to get them to stop theii uemonstiation. If they iefuse to stop,
the seconu stage is to shoot them in the legs. Anu if the piotesteis still
uon't back off aftei the seconu stage iesponse, they will be shot ueau
accoiuing to the thiiu stage set out in the instiuction lettei.

Two uays aftei ieceiving this lettei, the township's police acauemy helu iiot
tiainings foi local police, 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis.
1S2


Fuithei tiainings took place in Becembei 2uu8, wheie police in Rangoon
Bivision tiaineu appioximately Suu 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis in iiot
contiol. Tiainees weie taught "how to iuentify people when theie is a iiot anu
how to contiol them by beating them up with sticks."

Local iesiuents noteu that tiainees incluueu petty ciiminals involveu in "illegal
gambling synuicates anu alcohol shops" as well as "loiteieis, petty thieves anu
police infoimeis." The police allegeuly agieeu to oveilook past offenses if
paiticipants pleugeu theii ciowu contiol seivices in the futuie. As mentioneu
eailiei in the iepoit, the iegime has iegulaily employeu tiaineu ciiminals to
caiiy out some of the 0SBA's moie nefaiious attacks.
1SS


Latei that month, 0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis fiom Pegu Bivision weie
sent to Naypyiuaw foi tiaining. Existing <W&'$:%%$<"-' anu 0SBA membeis weie
paiu a monthly stipenu of 1uu,uuu kyat |8u 0SB], while new ieciuits ieceiveu
Su,uuu kyat each |4u 0SB]. 0ne paiticipant noteu that SSu membeis weie
ieciuiteu to paiticipate in the tiainings. Be also noteu that the Taungoo 0SBA
office hau stockeu up Suu paiis of Buuuhist monks' iobes anu Suu bamboo
sticks, anu the uistiict chief oiganizei Naung Naung Ta hau instiucteu membeis
to gathei 1uuu moie paiis of iobes anu sticks to suppiess any futuie monk-leu
uemonstiations similai to the Saffion Revolution.
1S4


The 0SBA has on seveial occasions, incluuing the Bepayin Nassacie, utilizeu
0SBA anu <W&'$:%%$<"-' membeis weaiing Buuuhist monk iobes uuiing violent
attacks. This methou is two-piongeu: such false monks unueimine the sanctity of
monkhoou anu allow the iegime to claim the existence of "Bogus Nonks," i.e.
those monks who have been involveu in political opposition against the iegime.
It also seives as a uecoy uisguise foi 0SBA membeis: monks aie tiauitionally
iespecteu anu tiusteu in Buima's Buuuhist communities, anu people woulu be

1S2
"Riot contiol uiiective issueu to local authoiities," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 8 Sept. 2uu8.
1SS
"Riot Contiol Tiaining Belu in Rangoon," Bemociatic voice of B0ima, 1 Bec. 2uu8.'
1S4
"0SBA membeis ieceive tiaining in Naypyiuaw," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 22 Bec. 2uu8.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S8
thus inclineu to giant monks gieatei tiust anu fieeuom of movement.

The natuie anu timing of 0SBA iiot tiainings aftei the 2uu7 Saffion Revolution
illustiates the iegime's feai of populai upiisings anu theii ueteimination to use
violence to quell public uiscontent. In Septembei 2uu9, the seconu anniveisaiy
of the 2uu7 upiising, 0SBA membeis unueiwent similai tiainings as the yeai
befoie. 0bseiveis noteu that the tiainings coinciueu with a geneial tightening of
secuiity foi feai of commemoiative uemonstiations, but also seiveu to piepaie
the 0SBA in auvance of the elections.
1SS


By 2u1u, the iegime hau all but confiimeu the wiuespieau belief that the 0SBA
woulu tiansition into a political paity.
1S6
At this point, the taiget of the tiainings
shifteu: the iegime was less focuseu on tiaining the 0SBA to suppoit the SPBC's
political puiposes, but concentiateu moie on tiaining otheis to suppoit futuie
0SBA canuiuates' in theii political campaigns.

In Ninuat Township, Chin State, the authoiities conuucteu people's militia
tiainings focuseu on basic militaiy tiaining anu vote canvassing. "Iunta
authoiities have oiueieu villageis, who hau attenueu civil militia tiaining eailiei,
to attenu tiaining again. The iuea behinu the fiesh tiaining is to finu ways to help
0SBA win the election," saiu Ni. Salai Thanglian in Ninuat Township.
1S7

U%11'#-8#"*/$-./'

In 2uu9, the 0SBA membeiship ieciuitment schemes expanueu to involve a
bioau iange of ieciuitment techniques. Eagei to ieciuit the majoiity of the
population in Buima, the 0SBA uiveisifieu theii membeiship schemes to incluue
miciocieuit loans, watei uistiibution anu infiastiuctuie piojects, as well as past
methous of foiceu membeiship, coeicion, anu haiassment.

Fiom Ianuaiy 2uu9 onwaius, the 0SBA visiteu villages anu faims, piessuiing
local faimeis to take agiicultuial loans in exchange foi 0SBA membeiship: the
officials aigueu that the "piogiamme is only likely to benefit villages wheie theie
aie a lot of membeis." Accepting a loan was not without costs - the 0SBA
chaigeu 2uuu kyat |2 0SB] foi the necessaiy photos anu uocuments foi
membeiship applications.

As one faimei in Rangoon Bivision noteu, "They aie only giving loan of Suuu kyat
|4.4 0SB] pei acie of faimlanu anu we still have to pay them 2uuu kyat |2 0SB].
So a lot of people who agieeu to join aie now veiy uisappointeu."
1S8
"We aie
woiiieu they might piessuie us to vote foi |the 0SBA] in the election because we
have boiioweu money fiom them," noteu anothei.
1S9


Also in Rangoon, the 0SBA attempteu to ieciuit membeis thiough iepaiiing local

1SS
"Riot tiaining given to Rangoon civilians," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 21 Sept. 2uu9.
1S6
Ba Kaung, "0SBA Political Paity-spinoff Expecteu Soon," The Iiiawauuy, 11 Nai. 2u1u.
1S7
"Iunta ievamps civil militia to help 0SBA in polls," Khonumthung News uioup, 2S Api. 2u1u.
1S8
"Faimeis encouiageu to join 0SBA to get loans," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 1S Ian. 2uu9.
1S9
"0SBA giants loans to faimeis," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 6 Ian. 2uu9.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S9
infiastiuctuie anu ueliveiing watei. The local iesiuents still hau to pay foi most
of the costs, but neveitheless weie foiceu to fill out foims in oiuei to ieceive the
watei. The 0SBA membeis faileu to infoim the iesiuents that the foim was a
0SBA membeiship application foim.
16u


These techniques pioveu paiticulaily manipulative given that they taigeteu
paiticulaily vulneiable communities with some of the most essential seivices
that a public iequiies fiom authoiities. Paiticulai aftei the uevastation of
Cyclone Naigis, many of the faimeis weie facing giave financial uifficulties uue
to low agiicultuial yielus anu falling ciop piices.
161
The iegime's iesponse to the
cyclone, oi lack theieof, uiiectly contiibuteu to the faileu ieconstiuction anu
iecoveiy in ielief effoits acioss the countiy. Coupleu with geneial economic
mismanagement, the iegime hau veiy uiiectly biought about the systemic
economic failuies that then maue the public vulneiable to incentives such as
agiicultuial loans anu watei pipelines.

?F-'2+#$%/*+.'+6'/F-'GA70'

0n 29 Apiil 2u1u, Piime Ninistei Thein Sein anu 26 othei SPBC ministeis
applieu to the 0nion Election Commission foi peimission to iegistei a political
paity entitleu the 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity (0SBP).
162
The
militaiy unueiwent a significant ieshuffling of membeis, which was laigely
vieweu as a piemeuitateu move, with foimei geneials poiseu to take on leauing
posts in the yet-to-be-electeu goveinment.

Although the 0SBP uiu not explicitly link the paity with the 0SBA at the time of
iegistiation, ovei the following months, 0SBP statements, actions anu membeis
maue it explicitly cleai that the 0SBP was boine out of the mass oiganization.
The 0SBP hau inheiiteu 0SBA's membeiship, policies, iesouices, anu moieovei,
its foimiuable physical clout anu thieatening ieputation as a violent wing of the
SPBC.

Thioughout the campaign piocess, the 0SBA has enjoyeu special tieatment fiom
the 0nion Election Commission. By Apiil 2u1u, the 0SBA hau alieauy begun
campaign activities befoie they hau officially foimeu a political paity oi
iegisteieu with the 0nion Election Commission. In the months leauing up to the
elections, the paity has committeu acts of intimiuation, vote buying, abuses of
state piopeity anu authoiity, anu illegal membeiship ieciuitment, anu violations
of Election Commission's uiiectives.

@,-8/+#%,'2#%":'

The 0SBP has, by any conseivative estimate, caiiieu out hunuieus of fiauuulent
acts to manipulate, uominate anu contiol the election aiena in the months
leauing up to the polls. These violations have taken place acioss the countiy, in
all fouiteen States anu Bivisions. 0SBP membeis, paiticulaily in Aiakan, Chin,

16u
"0SBA piomises watei to new membeis," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 27 Ian. 2uu9.
161
"0SBA giants loans to faimeis," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 6 Ian. 2uu9.
162
Wai Noe, "Iunta Registeis Political Paity to Contest Election," The Iiiawauuy, Su Api. 2u1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
4u
Kachin, Kaien, Kaienni, Non, anu Shan State, anu Iiiawauuy anu Rangoon
Bivisions, have taken extensive measuies to ensuie the piominence of the 0SBP
in the upcoming polls.

Bespite the paity's many violations of the election laws, the 0nion Election
Commission has not taken action to suspenu oi ievoke 0SBP's iegistiation, in
line with Aiticle 24 of the Political Paities Registiation Law. Rathei, the 0nion
Election Commission has tuineu a blinu eye to 0SBP's flagiant flouting of the
election laws while imposing heavy iestiictions on othei political paities. As a
iesult of the 0nion Election Commission's uneven enfoicement of the election
laws, non-junta allieu paities have been seveiely uisauvantageu, maiginalizeu
anu iepiesseu. The 0SBP is thus alloweu to conuuct its election campaigns
without political competition oi the constiaint of opeiating within the confines
of the law.

vote Buying
^"*#;#%$-($)*>'9$2>-/,0$*)$*%$&8#,,-'2$*'#$*)$,"#$)*//*W-'2$&4,($("&//U$*'$4*';-4,-*'U$
8#$H>'-("&8/#$W-,"$-+H%-(*'+#',$)*%$&$,#%+$'*,$#c4##9-'2$*'#$0#&%$*%$W-,"$)-'#$
'*,$#c4##9-'2$*'#$">'9%#9$,"*>(&'9$C0&,($*%$W-,"$8*,"D$
d&e !"#"$!%&$'%(&)"$!%*+"*,-$80$W&0$*)$+*'#0U$2**9(U$)**9(,>))U$H*(-,-*'$
*%$(#%;-4#$,%&'()#%$*%$80$>(-'2$&'0$*,"#%$%-2",$-'$*%9#%$,*$.*(&"$%(/,%
,0,1(.+&0%+"!/(%*2%3$0&4530%6,&$-%.%$&($2%&,-,>9#$)*%$*8,&-'-'2$(>4"$
%-2",f$d.0-,">$M/>,,&W$Q/#4,-*'$6&WU$:%,-4/#$gOd&ee$

Buiing the 2uu8 iefeienuum, the iegime extensively exploiteu state iesouices in
oiuei to inuuce the public to vote "Yes," anu suppoit the Constitution: the whole
iefeienuum was iiuuleu with vote buying which contiibuteu significantly to the
iegime's favoiable iesult in 2uu8.

In the leau up to the 2u1u elections, the iegime again exploiteu such tactics in an
attempt to ensuie that militaiy-aligneu paities successfully gain a majoiity of the
pailiamentaiy seats. The 0SBA's effoit at vote buying has ielieu on a vaiiety of
mateiial goous anu incentives, ianging fiom money to health caie, fiom
infiastiuctuie piojects to ieligious uonations.

In Nay, the 0SBP canvasseu Noithein Shan State, offeiing luciative incentives in
exchange foi votes anu membeiships. They taigeteu voteis with piomises of
money anu iuentification caius foi incieaseu fieeuom of movement. In ietuin foi
accepting these benefits, voteis weie obligateu to join the 0SBP but weie unsuie
of when, oi if the 0SBP woulu upholu the agieement. The 0SBP fuithei taigeteu
paity oiganizeis with computeis, mobile phones, anu financial stipenus "if they
biing people to the polling stations who will vote foi the 0SBP," explaineu a
Nansak villagei.
16S

0ften, local level SPBC officials, who holu significant authoiity ovei the voteis in
the aiea, caiiy out 0SBP campaign effoits foi the political paity. In Rangoon
Bivision, village-level Peace anu Bevelopment Council officials canvasseu

16S
Kyaw Thein Kha, "0SBP Banuing 0ut 'Incentives in Shan State," The Iiiawauuy, 26 Nay 2u1u.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
41
villages, calling on iesiuents to vote foi the 0SBP anu coeicively imposeu
agiicultuial loans on some faimeis in ietuin foi votes.

"They uiun't lenu money to eveiyone. They lent money only aftei getting the
piomise to vote foi the 0SBP," stateu a faimei fiom Kungyangone Township,
"Those who iefuseu uiun't get the money."
164

'
0thei vote buying effoits weie even moie explicit. Rathei than an exchange of
goous foi votes oi membeiship, the 0SBP has also explicitly offeieu financial
gains foi auvance votes. Since Nay 2u1u, Kachin State iesiuents have been
haiasseu by 0SBP membeis who offeieu Suuu kyat|S 0SB] to each votei who
agieeu to cast theii vote foi the iegime-backeu paity.
In iecent months, the 0SBP's use of biibeiy as a campaign tactic has spieau to
othei aieas in Buima. In 0ctobei, iepoits suifaceu iegaiuing the 0SBP's uooi-to-
uooi campaigns in Rangoon anu Iiiawauuy Bivisions, as well as Aiakan State.
"0n Tuesuay, the 0SBP membeis anu authoiities askeu us if theie weie any
eligible votei|s] in the house. Anu then they tolu us to cast an auvanceu vote foi
the 0SBP in ietuin foi some financial suppoit," saiu a Rangoon iesiuent.
16S

With the elections looming oveiheau, the 0SBP has been able to leveiage funus
anu mateiial goous foi auvance votes on the spot. Eailiei tactics weie less uiiect:
the iecipient of the biibes coulu pleuge to vote foi the 0SBP, anu by all accounts,
woulu live up to the agieement foi feai of violent consequences that may
otheiwise take place. These tactics aie heavily ieliant on the physical clout of the
0SBP, such that voteis woulu be incentivizeu to holu up theii enu of the baigain
in the face of the thieat of a 0SBP ciackuown. By collecting auvance votes weeks
befoie the elections, the iegime will be able to have a guaianteeu mass of 0SBP
votes even befoie election uay aiiives.
Intimiuation anu Baiassment
^"*#;#%$-($)*>'9$2>-/,0$*)$*%$&8#,,-'2$*'#$*)$,"#$)*//*W-'2$&4,($("&//U$*'$4*';-4,-*'U$
8#$H>'-("&8/#$W-,"$-+H%-(*'+#',$)*%$&$,#%+$'*,$#c4##9-'2$*'#$0#&%$*%$W-,"$)-'#$
'*,$#c4##9-'2$*'#$">'9%#9$,"*>(&'9$C0&,($*%$W-,"$8*,"D$
d8e (/+,&(,$"$!$&$M/>,,&W$4&'9-9&,#$*%$&$;*,#%$,*$H%#;#',$"-+$)%*+$5+,,02%
,7,+1"-"$!%/"-%,0,1(.+&0%+"!/(f$d.0-,">$M/>,,&W$Q/#4,-*'$6&WU$:%,-4/#$
gOd8ee$

Bue to the 0SBP's negative public image as an extension of the SPBC anu its
inheiitance of 0SBA's legacy as a violent militia, it seems likely that few voteis
woulu be inclineu to willingly vote the 0SBP into powei. Thus the iegime has, as
on pievious occasions, tuineu to foice when woius woulu not suffice.

As illustiateu in eailiei sections, the 0SBA has in the past ieciuiteu ciiminals anu
helu extensive militia tiainings. Bespite its tiansfoimation into a political paity,
the 0SBP has pioveu to be no uiffeient. In Iune, a confiuential 0SBP uocument

164
Nyint Naung, "0SBP gives loans to faimeis who sign theii votes away," Nizzima News, 14
Aug. 2u1u.
16S
"0SBP vote Buying Begins," The Iiiawauuy, 1S 0ct. 2u1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
42
was leakeu to exile Buimese meuia, which exposeu the 0SBP's tactic of
ieciuiting anu oiganizing ciiminals foi election puiposes. The uocument ieaus:
When the oiganizing suppoit committee membeis oiganize uooi-to-uooi
with eveiy householu anu eveiybouy they must also oiganize ciiminals,
thieves, anu thugs. 0theiwise, if we cannot oiganize them, othei paities
may use those ciiminals oi thugs to haiass, bully oi attack 0SBP
suppoiteis. Thus, the oiganizing suppoit committee must pioactively
oiganize these ciiminals anu thugs.
166

The uocument uoes not offei fuithei explanation about theii ieasons foi
exploiting these ciiminal inuiviuuals. The justification that othei paities may
inflict the ciiminals on 0SBP suppoiteis is histoiically unpieceuenteu: the 0SBA,
as well as the <W&'$:%%$<"-', aie the piimaiy oiganizations in Buima with a
pattein of using haiueneu ciiminals to "haiass, bully oi attack" theii opposition.
These ciiminal anu tiaineu ieciuits have tianslateu into an incompaiably
thieatening membeiship bouy. 0SBP oiganizeis have often joineu with village
level authoiities to foicibly ieciuit membeis anu obtain votes. 0SBP's campaign
effoits often ieuuce to only thinly veileu thieats. Buiing one uooi-to-uooi
campaign in Pegu Bivision, "they thieaten|eu] people by saying theie will be no
moie coups if the 0SBP wins. 0theiwise, theie will be moie coups in futuie,"
iecounteu one iesiuent.
167
In Shan State, youths weie foiceu to join the 0SBP oi
face blacklisting foi high tieason, thieateneu one 0SBP membei fiom Kengtung
Township.
168

In othei aieas, the 0SBP has been suppoiteu by small local militias. In Kachin
State, the Kachin Befense Aimy (KBA) has thieateneu villageis with foiceu
ielocation if they iefuse to vote foi the iegime-backeu paity. "You uaie not
iefuse to vote foi 0SBP. In oui teiiitoiy anyone iefusing to vote foi 0SBP will be
killeu," noteu a KBA leauei.
169

The 0SBP has not iestiicteu theii haiassment effoits in a bioau sweep with only
the population at laige, but also specifically taigeting its political opposition.
Beie, the goal is to limit anu thieaten the opposition not only just to weaken the
paity, but fuithei to inuuce paity membeis to withuiaw fiom the political paity
anu align themselves with to the 0SBP.
In Septembei 2u1u, the National 0nity Bevelopment Paity (N0BP) in Kaienni
State iepoiteu numeious counts of 0SBP haiassment of N0BP membeis. The
0SBP taigeteu businesses anu exploiteu its connections with the authoiities to
shut uown N0BP chaiiman's mining anu logging opeiations. The 0SBP
iepoiteuly waineu the paity that they "woulu make them pay" foi contesting in
the elections, as the 0SBP "uiu not want any political opposition in Kaienni

166
0nofficial tianslation. 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity, 0nion Soliuaiity anu
Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan foi success in 2u1u Election (2u1u) S.
167
Khai Suu, "0SBP offeiing new ioaus foi votes," Nizzima News, 27 Iuly 2u1u.
168
Bseng Khio Fah, "PN's paity ieciuits membeis foicibly in Shan State," 21 Nay 2u1u.
169
"KBA piessuies people to vote foi 0SBP," Kachin News uioup, 1 0ct. 2u1u.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
4S
State."
17u
Suie enough, the N0BP withuiew fiom the iace, leaving many voteis
without an ethnic paity to iepiesent theii inteiests.
171

Noie iecently in 0ctobei, the Rohingya paity, the National Bemociatic Paity foi
Bevelopment (NBPB) iepoiteu bullying anu haiassment fiom the 0SBP. The
0SBP even thieateneu the Rohingya electoiate: "|The 0SBP] have waineu us that
Rohingya villages will be uismantleu if we uon't uo as they say," stateu an NBPB
membei. Local iesiuents noteu that 0SBP intimiuation foiceu the NBPB to stop
campaigning in a village in Naunguaw Township, Aiakan State on 1S0ctobei.
172
'
'
Abuse of Authoiity anu State Piopeity
:'0$*)$,"#$)*//*W-'2$*%2&'-3&,-*'($("&//$'*,$"&;#$,"#$%-2",$,*$&HH/0$)*%$%#2-(,%&,-*'$
&($&$H*/-,-4&/$H&%,0D$
d4e &'$*%2&'-3&,-*'$,"&,$&11,8(-%&$'%3-,-%'"+,1(02%.+%"$'"+,1(02%6.$,2U$
8>-/9-'2(U$;#"-4/#($&'9$H%*H#%,0$.4$,'%*2%(/,%9(&(,f$d.*/-,-4&/$.&%,-#($
J#2-(,%&,-*'$6&WU$:%,-4/#$Id4ee$
'
Thioughout the election peiiou, the 0SBP has boasteu a seemingly bottomless
campaign funu: the paity's vote-buying effoits in Rangoon alone woulu have
ciippleu the aveiage political paity in Buima, but appeais to have baiely maue a
uent in the paity's nationwiue campaign funuing.

Theii finances have been inextiicably tieu to anu composeu of 0SBA's funus.
Buiing the Austialian Beputy Secietaiy of Bepaitment of Foieign Affaiis anu
Tiaue's uiplomatic tiip to Buima, a leauing 0SBP membei Nyint 0o infoimeu the
Austialian official that the political paity hau sufficient funuing as it hau
inheiiteu funus fiom the 0SBA.
17S


A few weeks latei in miu-Iuly, the 0SBA maue a public ueclaiation to the BBC of
theii intentions to abolish the 0SBA anu tiansfei "all the assets to the 0SBP
paity. the official tiansfei has been completeu." 0bseiveis noteu that since
0SBA's assets belong to the state, this announcement of the tiansfei of all 0SBA
assets to the 0SBP confiimeu giowing suspicions of the paity's use of state
iesouices in violation with the election laws.
174


Noie iecently, 0SBP membeis have stateu even moie canuiuly the paity's use of
state iesouices in the electoial iace. Rangoon Nayoi Aung Thein Lin, a 0SBP
cential executive membei, ievealeu to local meuia the paity's use of state funus
anu piopeity in theii vote buying effoits such as ioau constiuction.
17S


A iecent aiticle in the Iiiawauuy uetaileu the piocess by which the 0SBP
accesses state funus. When a 0SBP canuiuate hopes to constiuct a ioau in theii

17u
B. Ning, "0SBP intimiuates ethnic paity in Kaienni State," Kantaiawauuy Times, 2 Sept. 2u1u.
171
"N0BP not to contest elections in Buima," Kantaiawauuy Times, 18 Sept. 2u1u.
172
"Rohingya Paity Pieventeu fiom Campaigning," The Iiiawauuy, 22 0ct. 2u1u.
17S
Ko Btwe, "We Bave Enough Noney, 0SBP Tells Austialians," The Iiiawauuy, 1 Iuly 2u1u.
174
Ba Kaung, "0SBA 'Abolisheu': 0fficial," The Iiiawauuy, 16 Iuly 2u1u.
17S
"Rangoon Nayoi Says 0SBP 0sing State Funus," The Iiiawauuy, 4 0ct. 2u1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
44
constituency, local iesiuents will foim a "Roau Constiuction Committee" (RCC)
that meets with the local peace anu uevelopment councils, which will then funu
the pioject. The RCC is then iesponsible foi gatheiing suppoit anu votes fiom
local iesiuents: the ioau will only be built if at least 7S% of the iesiuents in the
aiea become 0SBP membeis anu agiee to pleuge theii votes to the paity.
176


The 0SBP is also able to exploit state authoiity as well as state iesouices.
Authoiities at all stiata of society have oiueieu the public to vote foi the
iegime
177
anu waiu¡village level PBC officials have been uiiectly involveu in
election campaigning foi the 0SBP.

The 0SBP's effoits have not, howevei, escapeu ciiticism. 0nion Bemociatic Paity
(foimei) Chaiiman Phyo Nin Thein aigueu:
No paity can act like this. The 0SBP uses municipal committee funus in
ioau iepaiis. This funu is taxpayei money anu state funus. It is no paity's
funu. They shoulu not uo like that. The electoial law also piohibits any
political paity fiom using public seivants.
178

Phyo Nin Thein has since iesigneu fiom the paity in piotest of the incieasingly
iepiessive election climate: theie is "no chance the elections anu its iesults will
be fiee anu faii," he lamenteu.
179

'
Eaily Nembeiship Reciuitment
:$H&%,0$5+.6%(/,%'&(,%"(%.*(&"$,'%(/,%8,+6"--".$%(.%+,!"-(,+$>'9#%$
<#4,-*'$hD$
d&e +&0$H#%)*%+U$-'$&44*%9$W-,"$,"#$%#2>/&,-*'($*)$H&%,0U$"--3"$!%8&+(2%
6,6*,+-/"8%1,+("5"1&(,-%,*$,"#$H#%(*'($W"*$&HH/0$&'9$+##,$,*$,"#$
(,-H>/&,-*'(U$4*//#4,-'2$H&%,0$&9+-((-*'$)##(U$H&%,0$+*',"/0$)##($&'9$
*%2&'-3-'2$d.*/-,-4&/$.&%,-#($J#2-(,%&,-*'$6&WU$:%,-4/#$VVd&ee$

Even befoie the foimation of the 0SBP, the 0SBA began to campaign to ieciuit
paity membeis as eaily as Febiuaiy 2u1u
18u
. They useu many of the same tactics
they hau employeu in the past 17 yeais, but with a new objective: to amass as
many membeis as possible in oiuei to boast the laigest public following of
voteis.

In Iuly, insiue souices ievealeu that the 0SBP intenus to ieciuit Su% of the
electoiate as paity membeis, shoiing up its suppoit base anu paity finances. The
|0SBP] leaueiship oiueieu that if theie aie 2u,uuu voteis in a township, 1u,uuu
of them must be on the |paity's] membei list," the souice saiu. "This is mainly to
builu up the membei stiength."
181


176
"Illegal 0SBP Campaign Tactics," The Iiiawauuy, 7 0ct. 2u1u.
177
Figuies of authoiity such as Senioi-ueneial Than Shwe, PN Thein Sein, Euucation Ninistei,
Foiest Ninistei, village heaumen, univeisity ueans, teacheis, etc.
178
Salai Tun, "0SBP 'violating electoial law in poaching iival paity membeis'," Nizzima News, 21
Iuly 2u1u.
179
Ahunt Phone Nyat, "Buima opposition chief quits," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 6 Aug. 2u1u.
18u
Lawi Weng, "Regime-backeu Paities Campaign foi Nuslim votes," The Iiiawauuy, 22 Api.
2u1u.
181
Aye Nai, "PN's paity eyes Su% of voteis," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 28 Iuly 2u1u.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
4S

Bowevei, campaigning foi membeiship piioi to the Election Commission's
appioval to iegistei as a political paity is in violation the Political Paities
Registiation Law. Aiticle 11(a) notes that only aftei appioval fiom the Election
Commission can political paities issue paity membeiship ceitificates.

In Febiuaiy 2u1u, the 0SBP uiu not even officially exist. Thus, an aigument coulu
be maue that the 0SBA was able to ieciuit membeis foi election puiposes befoie
ieceiving appioval fiom the Election Commission, as it was not, in theoiy, a
political paity. This was a significant auvantage that the 0SBP helu ovei the
othei political paities.

Bowevei, fiom the time that Piime Ninistei Thein Sein foimeu the 0SBP anu
applieu to the Election Commission to iegistei as a political paity, it coulu no
longei puipoit to be campaigning as the 0SBA. Fiom 29 Apiil to 8 Iune, the 0SBP
was in the piocess of applying foi peimission to iegistei as a political paity, anu
theiefoie legally shoulu not have been canvassing foi paity membeis.

In the month of Nay, the 0SBP caiiieu out extensive campaign activities,
incluuing voluntaiy anu foiceu membeiship ieciuitment. 0SBP membeiship
ieciuitment campaigns weie iepoiteu in Tenasseiim anu Rangoon Bivisions,
182

Shan State,
18S
anu Kachin State.
184


The 0SBP's campaign effoits aheau of the legal timeline gave them a significant
auvantage in amassing a laige membeiship base. In miu-August, the 0SBP
claimeu to boast a membeiship of 8 million inuiviuuals.
18S
By late 0ctobei, 0SBA
geneial secietaiy ueclaieu that the paity hau amasseu between 16 anu18 million
membeis, out of a total of 29 million eligible voteis in Buima.
186


violations of Election Commission Biiectives
J>/#($8+./"*"("$!$,"#$&4,$*)$+&%4"-'2$,*$,"#$9#(-2'&,#9$2&,"#%-'2$H*-',$&'9$,"#$
;#'>#$/.0'"$!%50&!-$*%$6&+1/"$!$&'9$1/&$("$!%-0.!&$-$-'$H%*4#((-*'U]$("&//$8#$
(,-H>/&,#9$-'$,"#$H#%+-,N$dB'-*'$Q/#4,-*'$=*++-((-*'$7-%#4,-;#$5*NEiEFVF$:%,-4/#$
hd4ee$
'
0n 21Iune, the Election Commission issueu Biiective No. 2¡2u1u, with the
subject line "Enlisting the stiength of political paities". The uiiective uetaileu
vaiious iestiictions, incluuing "not to uistuib public places," as well as
piohibitions on "giving talks anu publishing anu uistiibuting publications with
the intention of tainishing the image of the State,"
187
anu "failuie to iespect the

182
"0SBP begins election campaign," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 2u Nay 2u1u.
18S
"PN's paity foicibly ieciuiting membeis in Shan State," Shan Beialu Agency foi News, 21 Nay
2u1u: "0SBP Banuing 0ut 'Incentives' in Shan State," The Iiiawauuy, 26 Nay 2u1u: "village
Beaumen feu up with junta backeu paities campaign," Shan Beialu Agency foi News, 28 Nay
2u1u.
184
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment, Weekly Political Events Regaiuing the SPBC's
Election, v. 2u, 12 Iune 2u1u.
18S
"0SBP to 0pen 0ffices Nationwiue," The Iiiawauuy, 19 Aug. 2u1u.
186
Wai Noe, "Than Shwe Nay Not be Piesiuent," The Iiiawauuy, 28 0ct. 2u1u.
187
0nion Election Commission, Biiective No. 2¡2u1u, Aiticle 11 (u), 21 Iuly 2u1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
46
constitution of the 0nion of Nyanmai anu existing laws"
188
. The uiiective
continueu in uetailing iestiictions on campaign methous, specifically the holuing
of flags, maiching anu chanting slogans.

Bespite these iestiictions, the 0SBP openeu its offices nationwiue amongst laige
ciowus with hunuieus of attenuees seen chanting, waving flags anu maiching in
piocessions. In Nanualay, 0SBP membeis anu suppoiteis, leu by the mastei of
ceiemonies, chanteu victoiy slogans at the office opening
189
.
'
In Pegu Bivision, iesiuents ciiticizeu the 0SBP foi chanting slogans, seemingly
contiaiy to the election uiiective. "They chanteu slogans of 'vote foi 0SBP',
'0SBP will win' anu 'We shall win, We shall win," noteu Pegu iesiuents
19u
.

While the iestiictions uetaileu in the uiiective aie by anu laige unuemociatic,
iepiessive anu limiting, they neveitheless shoulu be applieu univeisally. Insteau,
the iegime-backeu paity is able to ignoie the iestiictions while othei political
paities must auheie to them foi feai of fines, suspensions anu impiisonment.

0%#/9'0+,*89'%.:'@,-8/*+.'7%9'0,%.1'
'
These violations aie by no means isolateu inciuents committeu by iiiesponsible
oi insuboiuinate 0SBP membeis oi canuiuates. Rathei, they aie a mattei of
paity policy.

A leakeu 0SBP uocument begins with one stiiking line: "winning election is fiist
|piioiity], winning election is seconu, winning election is thiiu. that's why all
the paity membeis anu cauies must uo the best they can |to win]."
191
Foi the
paity, these piioiities seem to tiump compliance with inteinational stanuaius
foi uemociatic elections oi even the iegime's own election laws.
The uocument goes on to uetail theii election uay plans, many of which violate
the Election Laws oi inteinational election stanuaius.

Accoiuing to the uocument, the 0SBP Facilitation Subcommittee will:
uathei all eligible voteis in eveiy quaitei anu village to uo the activities
with tiauitional uance, tiauitional music, playing honoiable songs on
louuspeakeis, anu people must iaise 0SBP flags anu maich to the polling
booth to vote.
192

These plans uiiectly violate the Election Commission uiiective No 2¡2u1u, as
uetaileu eailiei.

The 0SBP's election uay plans also incluue a Bospitality Sub-committee that
"must constiuct a tent at eveiy polling booth, keeping in minu the iules anu

188
0EC Biiective, Aiticle 11 (c).
189
"PN's paity opens offices to ioais of suppoit," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 2u Aug. 2u1u.
19u
Phaniua, "N0P louges complaint against 0SBP," Nizzima News, 26 Aug. 2u1u.
191
0nofficial tianslation. 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity, 0nion Soliuaiity anu
Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan foi success in 2u1u Election (2u1u) 1.
192
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan, 4
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
47
iegulations of the election laws."
19S
The Election Laws uictate that no election
campaigning may take place on the uay of the elections within Suu yaius of the
polling booth.
194
The mention of the Election Laws is thus ouuly self-awaie - it is
against the law to "constiuct a tent %/ eveiy polling booth," as that woulu be well
within the illegal Suu-yaiu iange. It iemains to be seen if the paity will auheie to
the iules anu iegulations, oi, in keeping with theii ieputation, will uisiegaiu
iestiictions of the law.

The Bospitality Sub-committee is fuithei instiucteu to "influence the voteis to
coiiectly vote foi 0SBP canuiuates."
19S
Such tactics may amount to malpiactice,
specifically "inteifeiing with the electoial iight."
196


The 0SBP uocument continues by outlining the uuties of the Nonitoiing Sub-
committee, as well as the Repiesentatives oi Belegates of the poll booths. The
lattei team is in line with the election laws as well as inteinational election
stanuaius: all political paities aie alloweu two iepiesentatives at eveiy polling
booth. Bowevei, if the 0SBP intenus to go aheau with these plans, it will be the
only paity able to have both a Nonitoiing Sub-committee anu iepiesentatives oi
uelegates at the polling booths. This incieases the level of 0SBP piesence at each
polling booth, anu thus, the uegiee of 0SBP influence on the uay of elections.

Fuithei, the Nonitoiing sub-committee's manuate goes well beyonu that of a
political paity sub-committee. The sub-committee will "closely monitoi anu
uocument activities of iespective polling booth manageis anu othei iesponsible
peisonnel," but will also monitoi the "conuition of voteis" anu "liaise with othei
committees to take action as necessaiy."
197


Such a manuate is conceining - the vague oiueis to "take action as necessaiy" to
auuiess the "conuition" of voteis giants this sub-committee consiueiable
fieeuom to inteipiet the situation at will anu tieat voteis as they choose. Buiing
the 2uu8 constitutional iefeienuum, a 0SBA membei attackeu an NLB membei
foi attempting to obseive the polling station aftei casting his vote:
198
this
iesponsibility affoiueu to the sub-committee is theiefoie paiticulaily woiiying
given 0SBA's past patteins of abuse.

In uesciibing the uuties of the Nonitoiing sub-committee, the 0SBP uocument
also states, "If necessaiy, they must use photo anu viueo cameias to take photos,
viueos foi uocumentation."
199


This policy is pioblematic foi seveial ieasons. Fiistly, the 0SBA has a histoiy of
taking photo oi viueo footage of political uissent, oi peiceiveu political uissent, in
oiuei to moie easily iuentify anu taiget inuiviuuals foi subsequent suiveillance,

19S
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan, S.
194
0nion Election Commission, Pyithu Bluttaw Electoial Law (2u1u) Aiticle 61.
19S
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan, S.
196
0nion Election Commission, Pyithu Bluttaw Electoial Law (2u1u) Aiticle 66 (a)ii.
197
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan, 6.
198
"NLB Nembei Chaigeu Aftei Being Beaten," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 4 Iuly 2uu8.
199
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan 6
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
48
haiassment oi aiiest. Allowing the 0SBP to take photo oi viueo footage opens up
space foi 0SBP membeis to thieaten voteis with visual eviuence of theii vote,
that can be acteu upon at a latei uate. uiven the 0SBA anu 0SBP's histoiy of
haiassment anu electoial fiauu, this space will likely be exploiteu by membeis
on the uay of the polls.
Seconuly, the Election Commission has stateu uuiing theii piess biiefing on 18
0ctobei that photogiaphy oi filming will not be alloweu insiue polling stations as
such activity may pievent voteis fiom "casting theii votes fieely."
2uu
This iionic
anu flaweu application of logic is uemonstiateu on numeious occasions within
the 0SBP uocument, as can be seen in the following paiagiaph.

The uocument goes on to justify the neeu foi the Belegates anu Repiesentatives
of the polling booth to be involveu in "all piocesses" because:
Election booth officials in the Nay 199u elections weie biaseu to favoi the
canuiuates of the NLB, which is why the NLB won. We must leain fiom
that expeiience anu must pievent such fiauu fiom occuiiing in these
elections.
2u1

The 0SBP's conuemnation of electoial fiauu is heavily iionic anu contiiveu given
its extensive involvement in votei fiauu uuiing both the 2uu8 iefeienuum anu
the 2u1u election piocess. Such an ahistoiical anu inaccuiate statement ieflects
the iegime's continueu uenial of NLB's populai suppoit, anu moieovei a lack of
commitment to "leain fiom. expeiience" anu impiove theii tiack iecoiu of
uenying the public theii basic political iights.

In oiuei to justify gieatei involvement of the militaiy-backeu political paity in
election monitoiing, the 0SBP uocument falls back on tianspaiently flaweu
piopaganua. If implementeu without conuemnation anu iestiiction fiom the
Election Commission, the 0SBP's election uay plans as a whole will only fuithei
exaspeiate the uneven election playing fielu.

Fiom 2uu8 to 2u1u, the 0SBA has been able to commit wiuespieau electoial
fiauu uuiing the constitutional iefeienuum, anu in the leau-up to the elections.
The oiganization has uemonstiateu its allegiances to the militaiy when it placeu
gieatei value on oichestiating a fiauuulent iefeienuum ovei pioviuing essential
aiu to cyclone uevastateu aieas in 2uu8. Bespite its shift towaius gieatei political
piominence, the 0SBA has continueu to caiiy out violent attacks on political
opposition membeis, uemonstiating its lack of commitment to political
fieeuoms. Fuithei, 0SBA's coeicive anu violent tactics have not lesseneu in the
leau up to the elections, but has iathei woiseneu. As such, the 0SBP's behavioui
uuiing the 2u1u election campaign piocess anu theii election uay plans highlight
a systemic issue unueicutting the value of the 2u1u elections as a whole: the
election piocess has been stiuctuieu by the militaiy, foi the militaiy, to
manipulate the voice of the people.


2uu
Ba Kaung, "uoveinment Bais Foieign Neuia anu 0bseiveis Fiom Poll," The Iiiawauuy, 18 0ct.
2u1u.
2u1
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity immeuiate woiking plan 7.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
49
* * *
'
?F-'W+,-'+6'/F-'GA70'%6/-#'/F-'STIT'-,-8/*+.1

R!"#$B<7.$"&($'#;#%$8##'$2**9$,*$>(N$L$9*'[,$,"-'C$&'0*'#$4*>/9$8#$&($8&9$&($
,"#+UX$
Y$?0-',$<#-'U$%-4C("&W$9%-;#%U$J&'2**'$7-;-(-*'
EFE


Foi many, the elections in Buima have alieauy been set in stone, iegaiuless of
what may occui on polling uay. With 2S% of the pailiamentaiy seats set asiue foi
the militaiy in the 2uu8 Constitution, the uemociatic potential of the elections
was limiteu fiom the beginning. uiven that moie than 2,1uu political piisoneis
aie baiieu fiom paiticipating, key stakeholueis have been excluueu fiom the
electoial piocess. 0SBP campaigns have ensuieu that a significant poition of the
population is obligeu to vote foi the iegime-backeu paity - whethei thiough
intimiuation oi biibeiy. Noieovei, the campaigns have ieinfoiceu the 0SBP's
piesence as a political paity enjoying the benefits of close militaiy ties: the 0SBP
is now synonymous with the 0SBA anu, by extension, the SPBC, anu will be able
to pailay theii political anu physical clout into contiol ovei the laigei population.

Baseu on the canuiuate numbeis ieleaseu so fai, it is expecteu that the 0SBP, anu
othei junta-allieu paities will uominate the upcoming elections. Iunta-allieu
paities have fielueu appioximately 77% of the total canuiuates, with
inuepenuent uemociacy anu ethnic paities meiely fieluing the othei 2S% of the
canuiuates.
2uS
0nly the 0SBP is contesting foi ostensibly, eveiy electoial seat,
baiiing the 29 seats set asiue foi ethnic gioups.

Elections will not be helu in constituencies with canuiuates fiom only one
paity,
2u4
Buiing an Election Commission piess biiefing in Naypyiuaw on 18
0ctobei, the Election Commission Chaiiman Thein Soe announceu that as theie
is only one canuiuate iunning in S4 constituencies, polls will not take place in
those aieas.
2uS
Seveial uays latei, the 0SBP ueneial Secietaiy Btay 0o confiimeu
that only 0SBP membeis aie contesting in S2 of these constituencies: these
electoial seats will automatically go to the 0SBP.
2u6


This uisciepancy between the numbei of non-0SBP anu 0SBP canuiuates
contesting is fai fiom suipiising uue to the many obstacles facing inuepenuent
paities, such as censoiship, intimiuation, anu the extiemely high anu theiefoie
iestiictive canuiuate iegistiation fees: Suu,uuu kyat |•Suu 0SB] pei canuiuate -
appioximately one yeai's salaiy foi the aveiage civil seivant in Buima. uiven the
flaweu stiuctuie of the elections, even political paities who have sought to woik
within the system have so fai founu themselves uominateu anu outmuscleu in
the piocess.

2u2
Bsat Linn, "Anyone But Them," The Iiiawauuy, 21 0ct. 2u1u.
2uS
Altsean-Buima, Buima 2u1u Elections - The stoiy so fai (0ct. 2u1u) 6, Table 1.
2u4
0nion Election Commission, Pyithu Bluttaw Electoial Law (2u1u) 41(a).
2uS
Aye Nai, "Buima FN 'guaianteeu election win," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 19 0ct, 2u1u.
2u6
Ahunt Phone Nyat, "PN's paity claims 18m membeis," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 29 0ct.
2u1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
Su

The political enviionment uuiing the 2u1u elections has pioveu to be fai moie
iepiessive anu challenging than that faceu in the 199u elections. Twenty yeais
ago, the iegime miscalculateu public sentiment: convinceu the iegime-backeu
National 0nity Paity (N0P) woulu be able to uominate in the polls, the SL0RC
alloweu foi a moie open election piocess. By no means weie the elections
entiiely fiee oi faii, but they pioviueu the space foi the NLB to successfully win
the heaits anu minus of the public uuiing theii election campaigning. The iegime
was less iestiictive anu uemanuing of political paity canuiuates in the 199u
elections: as a iesult, uemociacy anu ethnic paities weie able to fielu the vast
majoiity of canuiuates.
2u7
Noieovei, voteis weie able to vote foi theii canuiuate
of choice without feai of giave iepeicussions.

In 199u, the SL0RC was oveiconfiuent about N0P's ability to secuie votes, anu
alloweu the opposition to exist on a ielatively level playing fielu. Twenty yeais
latei, the iegime is not willing to gamble away theii contiol foi a seconu time. In
Septembei, the SPBC Wai 0ffice issueu a uiiective to aimy units acioss the
countiy that oiueieu soluieis to vote foi the 0SBP, in sepaiate ballot boxes fiom
the geneial public. These piovisions woulu ensuie that the iegime woulu "avoiu
a iepeat of the 199u elections."
2u8


As such, NLB's lanusliue victoiy took place in a veiy uiffeient political climate:.
The cuiient political climate makes it extiemely unlikely foi any uemociatic
paity to caiiy off a win that even comes close to NLB's victoiy in 199u. Noi is it
even within ieach: the leauing uemociatic paity, the National Bemociatic Foice
(NBF) was only able to fielu 16S canuiuates, thus contesting only foi one tenth of
the total pailiamentaiy seats.
2u9


Nany in the inteinational community have employeu a "wait anu see" attituue
towaius the elections, in the hopes that the elections will piove to be fiee anu
faii, yieluing iesults that aie ielatively iepiesentative of the populai
sentiment.
21u
Bowevei, at this stage in the election piocess, ceitain iealities aie
unueniable:

2u7
In the 199u Elections, iegime backeu canuiuates foimeu appioximately 22% of the total
canuiuates, while uemociacy anu ethnic paities composeu appioximately 78% of the electoial
canuiuates. Altsean-Buima, Buima 2u1u Elections, 6, Table 2.
2u8
Naung Too, "Aimy to vote in sepaiate ballot boxes," Bemociatic voice of Buima, 1S Sept.
2u1u.
2u9
Altsean-Buima, Buima 2u1u Elections,6, Table 1.
21u
ASEAN Secietaiy-ueneial Suiin Pitsuwan has on occasion voiceu uniealistically optimistic
statements on the elections. 0n 0ctobei 1S he saiu, "We hope that it will be accepteu anu it will
function effectively, anu aftei that iecognition. All these things aie in anticipation is just have to
wait foi the ieal iesult coming but all of us hope that Nyanmai will cease to be an issue of
iiiitation between ASEAN anu the iest of the inteinational community": 0n 26 August, aftei the
announcement of the election uate, he saiu "I hope that Nyanmai will piove the sceptics wiong
anu Nyanmai will iesponu positively to appeal foi fieeuom of mobility anu expiession uuiing
the leau up to the elections scheuuleu foi 7 Novembei". 0N Secietaiy ueneial Ban Ki-Noon has
maue similaily na€ve statements. In his Repoit on the Buman Rights Situation in Nyanmai,
piesenteu to the 0NuA on 14 Sept 2u1u, he noteu that on 1S August, "I issueu a statement
ieiteiating my call on the Nyanmai authoiities to honoui theii publicly stateu commitments to
holu inclusive, fiee anu faii elections in oiuei to auvance the piospects of peace"
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S1
1. The election piocess has been laigely unfiee, unfaii, anu unuemociatic.
Even if polling uay weie to be laigely fiee fiom electoial manipulation,
the elections fail to ensuie that the "the will of the people shall be the
basis of the authoiity of goveinment," contiavening Aiticle 21 in the
0niveisal Beclaiation of Buman Rights:
2. The iegime is not uemonstiating a conceiteu effoit towaius political
iefoim, anu is ielying on the 0SBP to continue seiving theii inteiests:
S. The 0SBP is poiseu to win a substantial numbei of seats in pailiament,
effectively secuiing a majoiity foi the militaiy anu militaiy-allieu NPs.
Taking into consiueiation the 2S% of pailiamentaiy seats set asiue foi the
militaiy,
211
the 0SBP only neeus to secuie one thiiu of the electoial seats
to gain a majoiity in pailiament.

With 0SBP canuiuates touteu to gainei a significant poition of the electoial
seats, theii cuiient canuiuate list is a useful tool to begin to imagine the potential
make up of the incoming goveinment. 0SBP canuiuates incluue piominent
business tycoons
212
, ietiieu militaiy geneials such as Piime Ninistei Thein
Sein
21S
, notoiious uiug uealeis, shaieholueis in money launueiing banks
214
, anu
leauing 0SBA officials iesponsible foi the Bepayin Nassacie.
21S


These militaiy-backeu canuiuates aie likely to foim pait of the political majoiity
in pailiament, gianting the militaiy anu its allies veto powei ovei any legislative
acts
216
oi constitutional amenuments.
217
This outcome woulu also give militaiy-
backeu canuiuates the powei to select at least the Piesiuent oi one of the two
vice Piesiuents.
218
Coupleu with the militaiy's fieeuom fiom civilian
oveisight,
219
contiol ovei ministiies of Befense, Secuiity anu Bome Affaiis, anu
Boiuei Affaiis,
22u
anu "iight to take ovei anu exeicise state soveieign powei"
uuiing states of emeigency,
221
the 0SBP, the militaiy anu othei militaiy backeu
paities will have almost complete contiol ovei the political piocesses in Buima.

Noieovei, the 2uu8 Constitution allows the Piesiuent to "iestiict oi suspenu as
iequiieu

one oi moie funuamental iights of the citizens iesiuing,"
222
in aieas
unuei states of emeigency, as well as limit iights foi ieasons of "secuiity,
pievalence of law anu oiuei, community peace anu tianquility oi public oiuei
anu moiality."
22S



211
Constitution of the Republic of the 0nion of Nyanmai (2uu8) Aiticles 1u9(b), 141(b), 161(u)).
212
Khaing Suu, "0SBP nominates business tycoons as poll canuiuates," Nizzima News, 1S Sept.
2u1u.
21S
"Retiieu Nyanmai geneials join election fiay," BPA, 1S Sept. 2u1u.
214
Bseng Khio Fah, "Biugloius to contest on junta paity tickets," Shan Beialu Agency foi News,
27 Sept. 2u1u.
21S
Wai Noe, "Bepayin Nasteiminus Wielu Powei in 0SBP," The Iiiawauuy, S1 Nay 2u1u.
216
Constitution of the Republic of the 0nion of Nyanmai (2uu8) Aiticles 129, 1SS, 181.
217
Constitution 4S6.
218
Constitution 6u.
219
Constitution 2u(b)
22u
Constitution 2S4(b)
221
Constitution 4u (c)
222
Constitution 414(b)
22S
Constitution SS4
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S2
It is highly likely that a 0SBP canuiuate will be able to gain the title of Piesiuent.
These piovisions will thus allow a 0SBP membei to fieely suspenu funuamental
iights foi any of the ieasons of "secuiity, pievalence of law anu oiuei,
community peace anu tianquility oi public oiuei anu moiality," which aie vague
anu open to inteipietation. uiven that the 0SBA anu 0SBP have committeu
countless violations of basic human iights ovei the past 17 yeais, this piovision
uoes not senu a positive message about the possibility of stiengthening the
piotection of human iights in Buima.

* * *
'
=>3=ZGAD>3

Thiough the yeais, the 0SBA has seiveu the inteiests of Buima's militaiy iegime.
In essence, the mass oiganization has been useu as a tool by militaiy elites to
shoie up theii inteiests anu suppiess uissent, ultimately pieventing a mass
ievolution anu subsequent iegime change. The iegime has tiaineu, funueu anu
suppoiteu the oiganization: in ietuin, 0SBA has attackeu the political
opposition, engineeieu mass iallies, iepoiteuly ieciuiteu neaily half of Buima's
population, anu committeu electoial fiauu in 2uu8 anu 2u1u.

As the political climate changeu, the 0SBA changeu with it, alteiing both theii
manuate anu theii activities. The iegime oiiginally neeueu a bouy of populai
suppoit to supeificially combat public uiscontent. Bowevei, as the NLB anu
othei political oiganizations began to exeicise moie of theii political iights anu
gaineu vast public suppoit, they became an incieasingly poweiful thieat to the
iegime's holu on powei. The 0SBA thus evolveu into a paiamilitaiy oiganization,
ieauy to attack political, ieligious, oi social opponents of the iegime, the
ueauliest of attacks being the Bepayin Nassacie anu uuiing the Saffion
Revolution. While these attacks ensuieu that the public giew a stiongei uistiust
anu hatieu foi the iegime, they also uiiectly contiibuteu to the 0SBA's
ieputation as a nefaiious militia lacking moial oi ieligious conceins. Foi the
0SBA, this ieputation was a uouble-eugeu swoiu: while it may have lost the
suppoit of membeis who iesent the 0SBA's violent behavioui, the violent
ieputation ensuies the 0SBA can effectively intimiuate anu haiass the
opposition.

The composition of the 0SBA's panel of pations anu Cential Executive
Committee illustiates how 0SBA's leaueiship is unueniably inteitwineu with the
cuiient iegime anu ueuicateu to pieseiving its powei. This legacy was passeu on
to the 0SBP in 2u1u, as the mass oiganization positioneu itself to seive as the
new civilian face of the militaiy iegime.

The 0SBP has committeu a host of election-ielateu human iights violations in an
attempt to secuie votes in the 2u1u elections. The 0nion Election Commission
has tuineu a blinu eye to these violations anu itself lacks impaitiality anu
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
SS
inuepenuence.
224
Bue to the 0SBP's successful, but laigely unlawful, campaign
methous, the 0SBP will likely amass the majoiity of electoial seats in the 2u1u
elections.

The 0SBP's pie-election activities aie not the actions of a political paity
committeu to biinging uemociatic change to Buima. Noi aie they the actions of a
paity that will seek to piioiitize people's welfaie ovei militaiy might, cuib
human iights violations anu holu peipetiatois accountable, oi open up space foi
gieatei political fieeuom.

The 0SBP must be iecognizeu foi what it is - a political manifestation of the
iegime's paiamilitaiy oiganization iesponsible foi biutal attacks on the people
of Buima, incluuing the Bepayin Nassacie anu Saffion Revolution, as well as a
militaiy-backeu paity possessing all the political anu financial capital necessaiy
to win an election. Yeai aftei yeai, the 0SBA anu the 0SBP has uemonstiateu
that theiiallegiances, anu thus, theiiinteiests lie with the militaiy iegime, not the
people. The SPBC's histoiy is unueniably inteitwineu with that of the 0SBA anu
the 0SBP: anu in tuin, the futuie of the 0SBP will be the futuie of the iegime. A
0SBP-leu goveinment composeu of cuiient anu foimei militaiy geneials will not
be a step towaiu uemociacy, but iathei a continuation of militaiy iule, impunity
anu political iepiession.

224
The 0nion Election Commission law uictates that the SPBC shall foim the election commission
anu that membeis must be "consiueieu as eminent" by the SPBC. Noieovei, the Election
Commission chaiiman Thein Soe anu fellow election commission membei Tin Aung Aye have
been blacklisteu by the Euiopean 0nion foi theii leauing iole in violating Baw Aung San Suu Kyi's
iights in extenuing hei house aiiest sentence in 2uu9. As such, leauing membeis of the election
commission has alieauy uemonstiateu that they will piioiitize the iegime's uemanus above the
iights of theii citizens. See 0nion Election Commission Law, Aiticle S, 4: "Election Commission
Nembeis fiom vaiious Backgiounus," The Iiiawauuy, 12 Nai. 1u: "Chaiiman of Buima's Election
Commission on E0 blacklist," Nizzima News, 2 Api. 1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S4

!D!ZD>]W(0[Y'

Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima). The Seconu Pieliminaiy
Repoit. Nay 2uu4.
Ahunt Phone Nyat. "Buima opposition chief quits." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 6
Aug. 2u1u.
---. "PN's paity claims 18m membeis." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 29 0ct. 2u1u.
Allchin, Ioseph. "Buimese junta 'politicizing post-Naigis aiu'." Bemociatic voice
of Buima, 29 Api. 2u1u.
Altsean-Buima. Buima 2u1u Elections - The stoiy so fai. 0ct. 2u1u.
---. Buima Biiefing - Buima's National Convention: Illegitimate,
0niepiesentative & 0ppiessive. 1S Feb. 2uuS.
Amnesty Inteinational. Nyanmai: The iepiession of ethnic minoiity activists in
Nyanmai. Lonuon: Amnesty Inteinational Publications, 2u1u.
ASEAN Intei-Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai Caucus.The Bepayin Nassacie: 2 Yeais
0n, Iustice Benieu. Su Nay 2uuS.
Assistance Association foi Political Piisoneis.Buima's women political
piisoneis. 8 Nai. 2u1u.
---. The Role of Political Piisoneis in the National Reconciliation Piocess. Naich
2u1u.
Aung Zaw. "Buima's Bemociacy Challenge Flickeis 0ut." Asia Sentinel. S
Septembei 2uu7.
"Authoiities clash with cyclone victims." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 22 Nay
2uu8.
Aye Lae. "The Iunta Nobilizes its Nouthpieces." The Iiiawauuy. 1 0ct. 2uu7.
Aye Nai. "Buima FN 'guaianteeu election win." Bemociatic voice of Buima.19
0ct, 2u1u.
---. "PN's paity eyes Su% of voteis." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 28 Iuly
2u1u.
Ba Kaung. "0SBA 'Abolisheu': 0fficial," The Iiiawauuy, 16 Iuly 2u1u.
---. "0SBA Political Paity-spinoff Expecteu Soon." The Iiiawauuy. 11 Nai.
2u1u.
---. "uoveinment Bais Foieign Neuia anu 0bseiveis Fiom Poll." The Iiiawauuy.
18 0ct. 2u1u.
Banya Bongsai. "Ciime Against Bumanity: Biity Politics on the Banus of the
Buimese Iunta." Nonlanu. 18 Iune 2uuS.
BBC Buimese, 9 0ct. 2u1u.
<http:¡¡www.bbc.co.uk¡buimese¡buima¡2u1u¡u9¡1uu9u9_pakokku.sht
ml>.
Bo Kyi anu Bannah Scott. "Toituie, Political Piisoneis anu the 0n-Rule of Law:
Challenges to Peace, Secuiity anu Buman Rights in Buima." The Fiist
Inteinational Confeience on Buman Rights in South East Asia. (2u1u).
"Buima Aiakan Nuslim Stuuent Killeu by '0nknown' Thugs." Bemociatic voice of
Buima. 4 Sept. 2uuS .
The Buima Funu - 0N 0ffice.Refeienuum Watch: Nonitoiing the SPBC's
Refeienuum in Buima. 21 Api. 2uu8.
"Buimese Local Authoiity on Tiial in Rangoon Blain Thaya."Bemociatic voice of
Buima. Su Aug 2uuS.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
SS
"Chaiiman of Buima's Election Commission on E0 blacklist." Nizzima News. 2
Api. 1u.
"Chaiity Bonations Biy 0p amiu Regime Takeovei Repoits." The Iiiawauuy. 2S
Aug. 2uu6.
China Embassy in Nyanmai. "Exchange of Ninisteiial anu Senioi visits (Yeai
2uu4)." Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the 0nion of
Nyanmai. 26 0ct. 2u1u <http:¡¡mm.china-
embassy.oig¡eng¡xwut¡t174776.htm>.
"Chinese NPC vice chaiiwoman meets Nyanmai guests." Chinese uoveinment's
0fficial Web Poital. 2S Sept. 2uu6 <http:¡¡www.gov.cn¡misc¡2uu6-u
9¡2S¡content_S98SS2.htm>.
Coakley, v.$RPolitics of Stability: Co-opting Buima's Civil Society Thiough the
0SBA.X$Buima Issues Newslettei. 0ct. 1998.
Committee Repiesenting the People's Pailiament.People's Pailiament Statement
No. 1. 17 Sept. 1998.
Constitution of the Republic of the 0nion of Nyanmai. 2uu8.
B. Ning. "0SBP intimiuates ethnic paity in Kaienni State." Kantaiawauuy Times.
2 Sept. 2u1u.
Bavies, Nem. "Cyclone suivivois tolu to make ioom foi voteis." Nizzima News.
14 Nay 2uu8.
Bemociatic voice of Buima, 16 Iuly 2uu7.
---. 1S Nay 2uu8.
---. S Bec. 2uu8.
Eint Bali.$R0SBA seiving national inteiest as it iepiesents the people." The New
Light of Nyanmai. Nov. 2uuS.
"Election Commission Nembeis fiom vaiious Backgiounus." The Iiiawauuy. 12
Nai. 1u.
"Faimeis encouiageu to join 0SBA to get loans." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 1S
Ian. 2uu9.
Fiee Buima Rangeis.FBR Repoit: Buima Aimy Attacks villages in Eastein
Buima as they 0bstiuct Relief to Cyclone victims in the South. 29 Nay
2uu8.
"Fiee 0SBA Clinics 0pen in Rangoon Bivision Townships." The Iiiawauuy. 17
Nay 2uu7.
"uoveinment officials appiopiiate inteinational aiu".Bemociatic voice of Buima.
1S Nay 2uu8.
uiay, Benis B. "Iunta Ciusheu 'Saffion Revolt,' but What Next." AP. 8 0ct. 2uu7.
Bancock, L.$RNobilization of the Nasses: Bow Nuch of a Thieat is the 0SBA."
Buima Issues. 2uuS.
Boisey, Richaiu. "The uiamatic events of 2uu7 in Nyanmai: uomestic anu
inteinational implications," Bictatoiship, Bisoiuei anu Becline in
Nyanmai, eu Nonique Skiumoie anu Tievoi Wilson. Canbeiia: AN0 E
Piess, 2uu8.
Bsat Linn. "Anyone But Them." The Iiiawauuy. 21 0ct. 2u1u.
Bseng Khio Fah. "Biugloius to contest on junta paity tickets." Shan Beialu
Agency foi News. 27 Sept. 2u1u.
---. "PN's paity ieciuits membeis foicibly in Shan State." 21 Nay 2u1u.
Buman Rights Watch.Chionology of Buima's Constitutional Piocess. New Yoik,
Nay 2uu8.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S6
---. Ciackuown: Repiession of the 2uu7 Populai Piotests in Buima. New Yoik,
Bec. 2uu7.
---. I Want to Belp Ny 0wn People: State Contiol anu Civil Society in Buima aftei
Cyclone Naigis. New Yoik, Apiil 2u1u.
---. vote to Nowheie: The Nay 2uu8 Constitutional Refeienuum in Buima. New
Yoik, Nay 2uu8.
"Illegal 0SBP Campaign Tactics." The Iiiawauuy. 7 0ct. 2u1u.
Insiue Souice.Confiuential: 0SBA South 0kkalapa Township, Eastein Bistiict.
Rangoon Bivision 0iganizational Plan. (Febiuaiy 2uu4).
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation. No Real Choice: An
Assessment of Buima's 2uu8 Refeienuum. Yangon: New Light of Buima
Piess, 2uu9.
Iagan, Laiiy. "Iunta's thugs go all out to ciush uissent anu opposition." Nizzima
News. 1S Iune 2uu7.
"Iunta ievamps civil militia to help 0SBA in polls." Khonumthung News uioup.
2S Api. 2u1u.
"KBA piessuies people to vote foi 0SBP." Kachin News uioup. 1 0ct. 2u1u.
Khaing Suu. "0SBP nominates business tycoons as poll canuiuates." Nizzima
News. 1S Sept. 2u1u.
---. "0SBP offeiing new ioaus foi votes." Nizzima News. 27 Iuly 2u1u.
Kyaw Thein Kha. "0SBP Banuing 0ut 'Incentives in Shan State." The Iiiawauuy.
26 Nay 2u1u.
Ko Btwe. "We Bave Enough Noney, 0SBP Tells Austialians." The Iiiawauuy. 1
Iuly 2u1u.
Lawi Weng. "Regime-backeu Paities Campaign foi Nuslim votes." The
Iiiawauuy. 22 Api. 2u1u.
Nacan-Naikai, Naiwaan. "Plans Reauieu to Rig Constitution Refeienuum." Intei
Piess Seivice News Agency. 2S Api. 2uu8.
---. "Whiteshiits - Buima Iunta's Stoim Tioopeis." IPS. 1
0ct. 2uu7.
Naung Too. "Aimy to vote in sepaiate ballot boxes." Bemociatic voice of Buima.
1S Sept. 2u1u.
---. "NLB membei 'attackeu by junta thugs.'" Bemociatic voice of Buima. 6 Nay
2u1u.
"Non State PBC 0iueieu Chaungzon 0SBA to foim 0SBA Battalion in Town."
Buima News Inteinational. 1S 0ct. 2uu4.
"Nuiueieu Ex-Political Piisonei Thet Naing 0o Buiieu."Bemociatic voice of
Buima. 2u Nai. 2uu6.
"Nyanmai: 0N iights expeit to piobe allegations of abuses uuiing ciackuown."
0N News Centie. 24 0ct. 2uu7.
Nyint Naung. "0SBP gives loans to faimeis who sign theii votes away." Nizzima
News. 14 Aug. 2u1u.
Nakashima, Ellen. "Buima's Iion 'Aunty': Aung San Suu Kyi's Steely Will Keeps a
Countiy's Bopes Alive." Washington Post. 1S 0ct. 2uuS.
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima. "Exposing the Real 0SBA."
NCu0B Infoimation 0nit. Iune 2uuS.
---. Buman Rights Yeai Book 1994: Buima. 1994.
---. Buman Rights Yeai Book 1996: Buima. 1996.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu2 | Chaptei 1u: Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion. 2uuS.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S7
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uuS | Chaptei 1u: Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion. 2uu4.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 1u: Fieeuom of Novement, Assembly anu
Association. 2uu8.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 11: The Saffion Revolution - The 2uu7 Pio-
Bemociacy Novement. 2uu8.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu8. 2uu9.
National League foi Bemociacy (Libeiateu Aiea).Activities of National League
foi Bemociacy: Nay-Iuly 2u1u. August 2u1u.
"Neaily one hunuieu people killeu in ieligious iiot in Southein Buima." Netwoik
Neuia uioup. 28 0ct. 2uu1.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment.The White Shiits: Bow the 0SBA Will
Become the New Face of Buima's Bictatoiship.Thailanu, Nay 2uu6.
---. Weekly Political Events Regaiuing the SPBC's Election, v. 2u, 12 Iune 2u1u.
"NLB Nembei Chaigeu Aftei Being Beaten." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 4 Iuly
2uu8.
"N0BP not to contest elections in Buima." Kantaiawauuy Times. 18 Sept. 2u1u.
Phaniua. "N0P lougescomplaintagainst 0SBP." Nizzima News. 26 Aug. 2u1u.
"PN's paity foicibly ieciuiting membeis in Shan State." Shan Beialu Agency foi
News. 21 Nay 2u1u.
"PN's paity opens offices to ioais of suppoit." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 2u
Aug. 2u1u.
"Police iefuse to aiiest attackeis of opposition membeis." Bemociatic voice of
Buima. 2u Api. 2uu9.
The Public Inteinational Law& Policy uioup. Buimese Constitutional
Refeienuum: Neithei Fiee Noi Faii. Nay 2uu8.
"Rangoon Nayoi Says 0SBP 0sing State Funus." The Iiiawauuy. 4 0ct. 2u1u.
"Rangoon iesiuents suffei in cyclone afteimath." Bemociatic voice of Buima. S
Nay 2uu8.
"Reciuiting Civilians in village Communities to Attenu Shoit-Teim Basic Nilitaiy
Tiaining."Inuepenuent Non News Agency. 18 Iune 2uuS.
"Refeienuum Appioveu in Cyclone-hit Aieas." Associateu Piess. 26 Nay 2uu8.
"Refeienuum: voices of a nation in uistiess." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 1u Nay
2uu8.
"Retiieu Nyanmai geneials join election fiay." BPA. 1S Sept. 2u1u.
"Riot contiol uiiective issueu to local authoiities." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 8
Sept. 2uu8.
"Riot Contiol Tiaining Belu in Rangoon." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 1 Bec.
2uu8.
"Riot tiaining given to Rangoon civilians." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 21 Sept.
2uu9.
"Rohingya Paity Pieventeu fiom Campaigning." The Iiiawauuy. 22 0ct. 2u1u.
Salai Tun. "0SBP 'violating electoial law in poaching iival paity membeis.'"
Nizzima News. 21 Iuly 2u1u.
Saw Yan Naing. "4u Buimesse uissents given piison teims of up to 6S yeais." The
Iiiawauuy. 11 Nov. 2uu8.
---. "Cyclone Suivivois Foicibly Evicteu." The Iiiawauuy. 24 Nay 2uu8.
---. "People 0ppose Iunta in Stageu Rallies to Suppoit National Convention." The
Iiiawauuy. 17 0ct. 2uu7
"Seconu NLB membei attackeu in Blaing Thaiyai." Insiue Buima. 7 Api. 2uu8.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S8
Shah Paung. "0vei 2uu NLB Nembeis Aiiesteu Since Beginning of Ciackuown."
The Iiiawauuy. S 0ct. 2uu7.
State Law anu 0iuei Restoiation Council. State L0RC Beclaiation No. 1¡9u.
Buima, 27 Iuly 199u.
State Peace anu Bevelopment Council. "Announcement No 2¡2uu8: In
accoiuance with the foithcoming State Constitution, the multi-paity
uemociacy geneial elections will be helu in 2u1u." The New Light of
Nyanmai. 11 Feb. 2uu8.
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0ithouoxy: The 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Association." Buima
Bebate. Feb. 1997.
"Township Youth Blackmaileu Into Ioining 0SBA." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 8
Febiuaiy 2uu8.
0 Pyinya Zawta. "All Buima Nonks' Alliance >> Featuieu Aiticles & Statements."
All Buima Nonks' Alliance. Becembei 2uu9. 22 0ct. 2u1u
<http:¡¡allbuimamonksalliance.oig¡.page_iu=19S>.
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---. Politicial Paities Registiation Law. 2u1u.
---. Pyithu Bluttaw Electoial Law. 2u1u.
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity. 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment
Paity Immeuiate Woiking Plan foi Success in 2u1u Election. 0nofficial
Tians. Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment. Buima, 2u1u.
The 0niveisal Beclaiation of Buman Rights. Aiticle 2u.2. 1u Bec. 1948.
"0p to 24 Noie Piotesteis Belu in Buima." Rauio Fiee Asia. 22 Aug. 2uu7.
"0SBA claims cieuit foi uisastei ielief effoits." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 8
Nay
2uu8.
"0SBA giants loans to faimeis." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 6 Ian. 2uu9.
"0SBA Leauei in Iapan." The Iiiawauuy. 21 Aug. 2uu9.
"0SBA membeis ieceive tiaining in Naypyiuaw." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 22
Bec. 2uu8.
"0SBA piomises watei to new membeis." Bemociatic voice of Buima.27 Ian.
2uu9.
"0SBA Sets village on Fiie anu Kiunaps S2 Nuslim Stuuents in Sagaing Bivision."
Nuslim Infoimation Centei of Buima. 4 Feb. 2uuS.
"0SBP begins election campaign." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 2u Nay 2u1u.
"0SBP Banuing 0ut 'Incentives' in Shan State." The Iiiawauuy. 26 Nay 2u1u.
"0SBP to 0pen 0ffices Nationwiue." The Iiiawauuy. 19 Aug. 2u1u.
"0SBP vote Buying Begins." The Iiiawauuy. 1S 0ct. 2u1u.
"village Beaumen feu up with junta backeu paities campaign." Shan Beialu
Agency foi News. 28 Nay 2u1u.
Wai Noe. "Bepayin Nasteiminus Wielu Powei in the 0SBP." The Iiiawauuy. S1
Nay 2u1u.
---. "Iunta Registeis Political Paity to Contest Election." The Iiiawauuy. Su Api.
2u1u.
---. "Than Shwe Nay Not be Piesiuent." The Iiiawauuy. 28 0ct. 2u1u.
---. "0SBP Election Slogan 'People Fiist' Spaiks Angei." The Iiiawauuy. 2u
0ct. 2u1u.
---. "0SBA to 0iganize Refeienuum, Election." The Iiiawauuy. 11 Feb. 2uu8.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S9
Women's League of Buima.Couiage to Resist: Women Buman Rights Befenueis
of Buima. Nov. 2uu7.
Yan Paing. "As vote Neais, Noous Range fiom Bisuain to Beteimination." IPS. 1S
0ct. 2u1u.
Yoma S, 6 Iuly 2uu7.
Zollnei, Bans-Beinu. Neithei Saffion Noi Revolution. Beilin: Süuostasien
Woiking Papeis No. S6. 2uu9.

Related Interests

one oi moie funuamental iights of the citizens iesiuing,"
222
in aieas
unuei states of emeigency, as well as limit iights foi ieasons of "secuiity,
pievalence of law anu oiuei, community peace anu tianquility oi public oiuei
anu moiality."
22S



211
Constitution of the Republic of the 0nion of Nyanmai (2uu8) Aiticles 1u9(b), 141(b), 161(u)).
212
Khaing Suu, "0SBP nominates business tycoons as poll canuiuates," Nizzima News, 1S Sept.
2u1u.
21S
"Retiieu Nyanmai geneials join election fiay," BPA, 1S Sept. 2u1u.
214
Bseng Khio Fah, "Biugloius to contest on junta paity tickets," Shan Beialu Agency foi News,
27 Sept. 2u1u.
21S
Wai Noe, "Bepayin Nasteiminus Wielu Powei in 0SBP," The Iiiawauuy, S1 Nay 2u1u.
216
Constitution of the Republic of the 0nion of Nyanmai (2uu8) Aiticles 129, 1SS, 181.
217
Constitution 4S6.
218
Constitution 6u.
219
Constitution 2u(b)
22u
Constitution 2S4(b)
221
Constitution 4u (c)
222
Constitution 414(b)
22S
Constitution SS4
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S2
It is highly likely that a 0SBP canuiuate will be able to gain the title of Piesiuent.
These piovisions will thus allow a 0SBP membei to fieely suspenu funuamental
iights foi any of the ieasons of "secuiity, pievalence of law anu oiuei,
community peace anu tianquility oi public oiuei anu moiality," which aie vague
anu open to inteipietation. uiven that the 0SBA anu 0SBP have committeu
countless violations of basic human iights ovei the past 17 yeais, this piovision
uoes not senu a positive message about the possibility of stiengthening the
piotection of human iights in Buima.

* * *
'
=>3=ZGAD>3

Thiough the yeais, the 0SBA has seiveu the inteiests of Buima's militaiy iegime.
In essence, the mass oiganization has been useu as a tool by militaiy elites to
shoie up theii inteiests anu suppiess uissent, ultimately pieventing a mass
ievolution anu subsequent iegime change. The iegime has tiaineu, funueu anu
suppoiteu the oiganization: in ietuin, 0SBA has attackeu the political
opposition, engineeieu mass iallies, iepoiteuly ieciuiteu neaily half of Buima's
population, anu committeu electoial fiauu in 2uu8 anu 2u1u.

As the political climate changeu, the 0SBA changeu with it, alteiing both theii
manuate anu theii activities. The iegime oiiginally neeueu a bouy of populai
suppoit to supeificially combat public uiscontent. Bowevei, as the NLB anu
othei political oiganizations began to exeicise moie of theii political iights anu
gaineu vast public suppoit, they became an incieasingly poweiful thieat to the
iegime's holu on powei. The 0SBA thus evolveu into a paiamilitaiy oiganization,
ieauy to attack political, ieligious, oi social opponents of the iegime, the
ueauliest of attacks being the Bepayin Nassacie anu uuiing the Saffion
Revolution. While these attacks ensuieu that the public giew a stiongei uistiust
anu hatieu foi the iegime, they also uiiectly contiibuteu to the 0SBA's
ieputation as a nefaiious militia lacking moial oi ieligious conceins. Foi the
0SBA, this ieputation was a uouble-eugeu swoiu: while it may have lost the
suppoit of membeis who iesent the 0SBA's violent behavioui, the violent
ieputation ensuies the 0SBA can effectively intimiuate anu haiass the
opposition.

The composition of the 0SBA's panel of pations anu Cential Executive
Committee illustiates how 0SBA's leaueiship is unueniably inteitwineu with the
cuiient iegime anu ueuicateu to pieseiving its powei. This legacy was passeu on
to the 0SBP in 2u1u, as the mass oiganization positioneu itself to seive as the
new civilian face of the militaiy iegime.

The 0SBP has committeu a host of election-ielateu human iights violations in an
attempt to secuie votes in the 2u1u elections. The 0nion Election Commission
has tuineu a blinu eye to these violations anu itself lacks impaitiality anu
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
SS
inuepenuence.
224
Bue to the 0SBP's successful, but laigely unlawful, campaign
methous, the 0SBP will likely amass the majoiity of electoial seats in the 2u1u
elections.

The 0SBP's pie-election activities aie not the actions of a political paity
committeu to biinging uemociatic change to Buima. Noi aie they the actions of a
paity that will seek to piioiitize people's welfaie ovei militaiy might, cuib
human iights violations anu holu peipetiatois accountable, oi open up space foi
gieatei political fieeuom.

The 0SBP must be iecognizeu foi what it is - a political manifestation of the
iegime's paiamilitaiy oiganization iesponsible foi biutal attacks on the people
of Buima, incluuing the Bepayin Nassacie anu Saffion Revolution, as well as a
militaiy-backeu paity possessing all the political anu financial capital necessaiy
to win an election. Yeai aftei yeai, the 0SBA anu the 0SBP has uemonstiateu
that theiiallegiances, anu thus, theiiinteiests lie with the militaiy iegime, not the
people. The SPBC's histoiy is unueniably inteitwineu with that of the 0SBA anu
the 0SBP: anu in tuin, the futuie of the 0SBP will be the futuie of the iegime. A
0SBP-leu goveinment composeu of cuiient anu foimei militaiy geneials will not
be a step towaiu uemociacy, but iathei a continuation of militaiy iule, impunity
anu political iepiession.

224
The 0nion Election Commission law uictates that the SPBC shall foim the election commission
anu that membeis must be "consiueieu as eminent" by the SPBC. Noieovei, the Election
Commission chaiiman Thein Soe anu fellow election commission membei Tin Aung Aye have
been blacklisteu by the Euiopean 0nion foi theii leauing iole in violating Baw Aung San Suu Kyi's
iights in extenuing hei house aiiest sentence in 2uu9. As such, leauing membeis of the election
commission has alieauy uemonstiateu that they will piioiitize the iegime's uemanus above the
iights of theii citizens. See 0nion Election Commission Law, Aiticle S, 4: "Election Commission
Nembeis fiom vaiious Backgiounus," The Iiiawauuy, 12 Nai. 1u: "Chaiiman of Buima's Election
Commission on E0 blacklist," Nizzima News, 2 Api. 1u.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S4

!D!ZD>]W(0[Y'

Au Boc Commission on the Bepayin Nassacie (Buima). The Seconu Pieliminaiy
Repoit. Nay 2uu4.
Ahunt Phone Nyat. "Buima opposition chief quits." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 6
Aug. 2u1u.
---. "PN's paity claims 18m membeis." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 29 0ct. 2u1u.
Allchin, Ioseph. "Buimese junta 'politicizing post-Naigis aiu'." Bemociatic voice
of Buima, 29 Api. 2u1u.
Altsean-Buima. Buima 2u1u Elections - The stoiy so fai. 0ct. 2u1u.
---. Buima Biiefing - Buima's National Convention: Illegitimate,
0niepiesentative & 0ppiessive. 1S Feb. 2uuS.
Amnesty Inteinational. Nyanmai: The iepiession of ethnic minoiity activists in
Nyanmai. Lonuon: Amnesty Inteinational Publications, 2u1u.
ASEAN Intei-Pailiamentaiy Nyanmai Caucus.The Bepayin Nassacie: 2 Yeais
0n, Iustice Benieu. Su Nay 2uuS.
Assistance Association foi Political Piisoneis.Buima's women political
piisoneis. 8 Nai. 2u1u.
---. The Role of Political Piisoneis in the National Reconciliation Piocess. Naich
2u1u.
Aung Zaw. "Buima's Bemociacy Challenge Flickeis 0ut." Asia Sentinel. S
Septembei 2uu7.
"Authoiities clash with cyclone victims." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 22 Nay
2uu8.
Aye Lae. "The Iunta Nobilizes its Nouthpieces." The Iiiawauuy. 1 0ct. 2uu7.
Aye Nai. "Buima FN 'guaianteeu election win." Bemociatic voice of Buima.19
0ct, 2u1u.
---. "PN's paity eyes Su% of voteis." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 28 Iuly
2u1u.
Ba Kaung. "0SBA 'Abolisheu': 0fficial," The Iiiawauuy, 16 Iuly 2u1u.
---. "0SBA Political Paity-spinoff Expecteu Soon." The Iiiawauuy. 11 Nai.
2u1u.
---. "uoveinment Bais Foieign Neuia anu 0bseiveis Fiom Poll." The Iiiawauuy.
18 0ct. 2u1u.
Banya Bongsai. "Ciime Against Bumanity: Biity Politics on the Banus of the
Buimese Iunta." Nonlanu. 18 Iune 2uuS.
BBC Buimese, 9 0ct. 2u1u.
<http:¡¡www.bbc.co.uk¡buimese¡buima¡2u1u¡u9¡1uu9u9_pakokku.sht
ml>.
Bo Kyi anu Bannah Scott. "Toituie, Political Piisoneis anu the 0n-Rule of Law:
Challenges to Peace, Secuiity anu Buman Rights in Buima." The Fiist
Inteinational Confeience on Buman Rights in South East Asia. (2u1u).
"Buima Aiakan Nuslim Stuuent Killeu by '0nknown' Thugs." Bemociatic voice of
Buima. 4 Sept. 2uuS .
The Buima Funu - 0N 0ffice.Refeienuum Watch: Nonitoiing the SPBC's
Refeienuum in Buima. 21 Api. 2uu8.
"Buimese Local Authoiity on Tiial in Rangoon Blain Thaya."Bemociatic voice of
Buima. Su Aug 2uuS.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
SS
"Chaiiman of Buima's Election Commission on E0 blacklist." Nizzima News. 2
Api. 1u.
"Chaiity Bonations Biy 0p amiu Regime Takeovei Repoits." The Iiiawauuy. 2S
Aug. 2uu6.
China Embassy in Nyanmai. "Exchange of Ninisteiial anu Senioi visits (Yeai
2uu4)." Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the 0nion of
Nyanmai. 26 0ct. 2u1u <http:¡¡mm.china-
embassy.oig¡eng¡xwut¡t174776.htm>.
"Chinese NPC vice chaiiwoman meets Nyanmai guests." Chinese uoveinment's
0fficial Web Poital. 2S Sept. 2uu6 <http:¡¡www.gov.cn¡misc¡2uu6-u
9¡2S¡content_S98SS2.htm>.
Coakley, v.$RPolitics of Stability: Co-opting Buima's Civil Society Thiough the
0SBA.X$Buima Issues Newslettei. 0ct. 1998.
Committee Repiesenting the People's Pailiament.People's Pailiament Statement
No. 1. 17 Sept. 1998.
Constitution of the Republic of the 0nion of Nyanmai. 2uu8.
B. Ning. "0SBP intimiuates ethnic paity in Kaienni State." Kantaiawauuy Times.
2 Sept. 2u1u.
Bavies, Nem. "Cyclone suivivois tolu to make ioom foi voteis." Nizzima News.
14 Nay 2uu8.
Bemociatic voice of Buima, 16 Iuly 2uu7.
---. 1S Nay 2uu8.
---. S Bec. 2uu8.
Eint Bali.$R0SBA seiving national inteiest as it iepiesents the people." The New
Light of Nyanmai. Nov. 2uuS.
"Election Commission Nembeis fiom vaiious Backgiounus." The Iiiawauuy. 12
Nai. 1u.
"Faimeis encouiageu to join 0SBA to get loans." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 1S
Ian. 2uu9.
Fiee Buima Rangeis.FBR Repoit: Buima Aimy Attacks villages in Eastein
Buima as they 0bstiuct Relief to Cyclone victims in the South. 29 Nay
2uu8.
"Fiee 0SBA Clinics 0pen in Rangoon Bivision Townships." The Iiiawauuy. 17
Nay 2uu7.
"uoveinment officials appiopiiate inteinational aiu".Bemociatic voice of Buima.
1S Nay 2uu8.
uiay, Benis B. "Iunta Ciusheu 'Saffion Revolt,' but What Next." AP. 8 0ct. 2uu7.
Bancock, L.$RNobilization of the Nasses: Bow Nuch of a Thieat is the 0SBA."
Buima Issues. 2uuS.
Boisey, Richaiu. "The uiamatic events of 2uu7 in Nyanmai: uomestic anu
inteinational implications," Bictatoiship, Bisoiuei anu Becline in
Nyanmai, eu Nonique Skiumoie anu Tievoi Wilson. Canbeiia: AN0 E
Piess, 2uu8.
Bsat Linn. "Anyone But Them." The Iiiawauuy. 21 0ct. 2u1u.
Bseng Khio Fah. "Biugloius to contest on junta paity tickets." Shan Beialu
Agency foi News. 27 Sept. 2u1u.
---. "PN's paity ieciuits membeis foicibly in Shan State." 21 Nay 2u1u.
Buman Rights Watch.Chionology of Buima's Constitutional Piocess. New Yoik,
Nay 2uu8.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S6
---. Ciackuown: Repiession of the 2uu7 Populai Piotests in Buima. New Yoik,
Bec. 2uu7.
---. I Want to Belp Ny 0wn People: State Contiol anu Civil Society in Buima aftei
Cyclone Naigis. New Yoik, Apiil 2u1u.
---. vote to Nowheie: The Nay 2uu8 Constitutional Refeienuum in Buima. New
Yoik, Nay 2uu8.
"Illegal 0SBP Campaign Tactics." The Iiiawauuy. 7 0ct. 2u1u.
Insiue Souice.Confiuential: 0SBA South 0kkalapa Township, Eastein Bistiict.
Rangoon Bivision 0iganizational Plan. (Febiuaiy 2uu4).
Institute foi Political Analysis anu Bocumentation. No Real Choice: An
Assessment of Buima's 2uu8 Refeienuum. Yangon: New Light of Buima
Piess, 2uu9.
Iagan, Laiiy. "Iunta's thugs go all out to ciush uissent anu opposition." Nizzima
News. 1S Iune 2uu7.
"Iunta ievamps civil militia to help 0SBA in polls." Khonumthung News uioup.
2S Api. 2u1u.
"KBA piessuies people to vote foi 0SBP." Kachin News uioup. 1 0ct. 2u1u.
Khaing Suu. "0SBP nominates business tycoons as poll canuiuates." Nizzima
News. 1S Sept. 2u1u.
---. "0SBP offeiing new ioaus foi votes." Nizzima News. 27 Iuly 2u1u.
Kyaw Thein Kha. "0SBP Banuing 0ut 'Incentives in Shan State." The Iiiawauuy.
26 Nay 2u1u.
Ko Btwe. "We Bave Enough Noney, 0SBP Tells Austialians." The Iiiawauuy. 1
Iuly 2u1u.
Lawi Weng. "Regime-backeu Paities Campaign foi Nuslim votes." The
Iiiawauuy. 22 Api. 2u1u.
Nacan-Naikai, Naiwaan. "Plans Reauieu to Rig Constitution Refeienuum." Intei
Piess Seivice News Agency. 2S Api. 2uu8.
---. "Whiteshiits - Buima Iunta's Stoim Tioopeis." IPS. 1
0ct. 2uu7.
Naung Too. "Aimy to vote in sepaiate ballot boxes." Bemociatic voice of Buima.
1S Sept. 2u1u.
---. "NLB membei 'attackeu by junta thugs.'" Bemociatic voice of Buima. 6 Nay
2u1u.
"Non State PBC 0iueieu Chaungzon 0SBA to foim 0SBA Battalion in Town."
Buima News Inteinational. 1S 0ct. 2uu4.
"Nuiueieu Ex-Political Piisonei Thet Naing 0o Buiieu."Bemociatic voice of
Buima. 2u Nai. 2uu6.
"Nyanmai: 0N iights expeit to piobe allegations of abuses uuiing ciackuown."
0N News Centie. 24 0ct. 2uu7.
Nyint Naung. "0SBP gives loans to faimeis who sign theii votes away." Nizzima
News. 14 Aug. 2u1u.
Nakashima, Ellen. "Buima's Iion 'Aunty': Aung San Suu Kyi's Steely Will Keeps a
Countiy's Bopes Alive." Washington Post. 1S 0ct. 2uuS.
National Coalition uoveinment of the 0nion of Buima. "Exposing the Real 0SBA."
NCu0B Infoimation 0nit. Iune 2uuS.
---. Buman Rights Yeai Book 1994: Buima. 1994.
---. Buman Rights Yeai Book 1996: Buima. 1996.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu2 | Chaptei 1u: Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion. 2uuS.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S7
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uuS | Chaptei 1u: Fieeuom of Belief anu Religion. 2uu4.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 1u: Fieeuom of Novement, Assembly anu
Association. 2uu8.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu7 | Chaptei 11: The Saffion Revolution - The 2uu7 Pio-
Bemociacy Novement. 2uu8.
---. BRB0 Yeaibook 2uu8. 2uu9.
National League foi Bemociacy (Libeiateu Aiea).Activities of National League
foi Bemociacy: Nay-Iuly 2u1u. August 2u1u.
"Neaily one hunuieu people killeu in ieligious iiot in Southein Buima." Netwoik
Neuia uioup. 28 0ct. 2uu1.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment.The White Shiits: Bow the 0SBA Will
Become the New Face of Buima's Bictatoiship.Thailanu, Nay 2uu6.
---. Weekly Political Events Regaiuing the SPBC's Election, v. 2u, 12 Iune 2u1u.
"NLB Nembei Chaigeu Aftei Being Beaten." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 4 Iuly
2uu8.
"N0BP not to contest elections in Buima." Kantaiawauuy Times. 18 Sept. 2u1u.
Phaniua. "N0P lougescomplaintagainst 0SBP." Nizzima News. 26 Aug. 2u1u.
"PN's paity foicibly ieciuiting membeis in Shan State." Shan Beialu Agency foi
News. 21 Nay 2u1u.
"PN's paity opens offices to ioais of suppoit." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 2u
Aug. 2u1u.
"Police iefuse to aiiest attackeis of opposition membeis." Bemociatic voice of
Buima. 2u Api. 2uu9.
The Public Inteinational Law& Policy uioup. Buimese Constitutional
Refeienuum: Neithei Fiee Noi Faii. Nay 2uu8.
"Rangoon Nayoi Says 0SBP 0sing State Funus." The Iiiawauuy. 4 0ct. 2u1u.
"Rangoon iesiuents suffei in cyclone afteimath." Bemociatic voice of Buima. S
Nay 2uu8.
"Reciuiting Civilians in village Communities to Attenu Shoit-Teim Basic Nilitaiy
Tiaining."Inuepenuent Non News Agency. 18 Iune 2uuS.
"Refeienuum Appioveu in Cyclone-hit Aieas." Associateu Piess. 26 Nay 2uu8.
"Refeienuum: voices of a nation in uistiess." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 1u Nay
2uu8.
"Retiieu Nyanmai geneials join election fiay." BPA. 1S Sept. 2u1u.
"Riot contiol uiiective issueu to local authoiities." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 8
Sept. 2uu8.
"Riot Contiol Tiaining Belu in Rangoon." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 1 Bec.
2uu8.
"Riot tiaining given to Rangoon civilians." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 21 Sept.
2uu9.
"Rohingya Paity Pieventeu fiom Campaigning." The Iiiawauuy. 22 0ct. 2u1u.
Salai Tun. "0SBP 'violating electoial law in poaching iival paity membeis.'"
Nizzima News. 21 Iuly 2u1u.
Saw Yan Naing. "4u Buimesse uissents given piison teims of up to 6S yeais." The
Iiiawauuy. 11 Nov. 2uu8.
---. "Cyclone Suivivois Foicibly Evicteu." The Iiiawauuy. 24 Nay 2uu8.
---. "People 0ppose Iunta in Stageu Rallies to Suppoit National Convention." The
Iiiawauuy. 17 0ct. 2uu7
"Seconu NLB membei attackeu in Blaing Thaiyai." Insiue Buima. 7 Api. 2uu8.
Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment
S8
Shah Paung. "0vei 2uu NLB Nembeis Aiiesteu Since Beginning of Ciackuown."
The Iiiawauuy. S 0ct. 2uu7.
State Law anu 0iuei Restoiation Council. State L0RC Beclaiation No. 1¡9u.
Buima, 27 Iuly 199u.
State Peace anu Bevelopment Council. "Announcement No 2¡2uu8: In
accoiuance with the foithcoming State Constitution, the multi-paity
uemociacy geneial elections will be helu in 2u1u." The New Light of
Nyanmai. 11 Feb. 2uu8.
Steinbeig, Baviu.$RNyanmai anu the iequiiements of Nobilization anu
0ithouoxy: The 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Association." Buima
Bebate. Feb. 1997.
"Township Youth Blackmaileu Into Ioining 0SBA." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 8
Febiuaiy 2uu8.
0 Pyinya Zawta. "All Buima Nonks' Alliance >> Featuieu Aiticles & Statements."
All Buima Nonks' Alliance. Becembei 2uu9. 22 0ct. 2u1u
<http:¡¡allbuimamonksalliance.oig¡.page_iu=19S>.
0nion Election Commission.Biiective No. 2¡2u1u.Aiticle 11 (u). 21 Iuly 2u1u.
---. Politicial Paities Registiation Law. 2u1u.
---. Pyithu Bluttaw Electoial Law. 2u1u.
0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment Paity. 0nion Soliuaiity anu Bevelopment
Paity Immeuiate Woiking Plan foi Success in 2u1u Election. 0nofficial
Tians. Netwoik foi Bemociacy anu Bevelopment. Buima, 2u1u.
The 0niveisal Beclaiation of Buman Rights. Aiticle 2u.2. 1u Bec. 1948.
"0p to 24 Noie Piotesteis Belu in Buima." Rauio Fiee Asia. 22 Aug. 2uu7.
"0SBA claims cieuit foi uisastei ielief effoits." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 8
Nay
2uu8.
"0SBA giants loans to faimeis." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 6 Ian. 2uu9.
"0SBA Leauei in Iapan." The Iiiawauuy. 21 Aug. 2uu9.
"0SBA membeis ieceive tiaining in Naypyiuaw." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 22
Bec. 2uu8.
"0SBA piomises watei to new membeis." Bemociatic voice of Buima.27 Ian.
2uu9.
"0SBA Sets village on Fiie anu Kiunaps S2 Nuslim Stuuents in Sagaing Bivision."
Nuslim Infoimation Centei of Buima. 4 Feb. 2uuS.
"0SBP begins election campaign." Bemociatic voice of Buima. 2u Nay 2u1u.
"0SBP Banuing 0ut 'Incentives' in Shan State." The Iiiawauuy. 26 Nay 2u1u.
"0SBP to 0pen 0ffices Nationwiue." The Iiiawauuy. 19 Aug. 2u1u.
"0SBP vote Buying Begins." The Iiiawauuy. 1S 0ct. 2u1u.
"village Beaumen feu up with junta backeu paities campaign." Shan Beialu
Agency foi News. 28 Nay 2u1u.
Wai Noe. "Bepayin Nasteiminus Wielu Powei in the 0SBP." The Iiiawauuy. S1
Nay 2u1u.
---. "Iunta Registeis Political Paity to Contest Election." The Iiiawauuy. Su Api.
2u1u.
---. "Than Shwe Nay Not be Piesiuent." The Iiiawauuy. 28 0ct. 2u1u.
---. "0SBP Election Slogan 'People Fiist' Spaiks Angei." The Iiiawauuy. 2u
0ct. 2u1u.
---. "0SBA to 0iganize Refeienuum, Election." The Iiiawauuy. 11 Feb. 2uu8.
Buima: A violent Past to a Biutal Futuie
S9
Women's League of Buima.Couiage to Resist: Women Buman Rights Befenueis
of Buima. Nov. 2uu7.
Yan Paing. "As vote Neais, Noous Range fiom Bisuain to Beteimination." IPS. 1S
0ct. 2u1u.
Yoma S, 6 Iuly 2uu7.
Zollnei, Bans-Beinu. Neithei Saffion Noi Revolution. Beilin: Süuostasien
Woiking Papeis No. S6. 2uu9.

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