Thursday, June 18, 2009

Infamous General Ohm Myint meets in Mon State to discuss 2010 elections

By Kon Hadae, IMNA

Brigadier General Ohm Myint held a meeting to encourage Mon villagers to vote in 2010 to legitimize Burma’s military government.

The meeting took place on June 8th in Naing-praing village, Mudon Township, Mon State. In attendance were about 1,000 people, many villagers coerced by the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC).

A resident who attended the two-hour meeting dictated to an IMNA field reporter the content of Ohm Myint’s speech:

“this election will not be held as usual. It is not easy to hold elections in this country. So you all should think very carefully before you vote in the election. Do not think wrong and vote for their [opposition parties] government when the election comes.” (JEG's: that was a threat...)

This was Ohm Myint’s third visit to Mon State this year. Many residents recall well the General’s SPDC troops burning down the Halockhanee refugee camp in 1994 as well as Baleh-donephai village.

According to the resident, Ohm Myint also said that Mon villages have become much more developed since he was a child. A presenter from the SPDC’s Women’s Affairs Department echoed this sentiment: when compared to the past, she said, Mon state has become developed [because of the government’s administration] and peaceful, as there is no war.

Another resident told IMNA that afterwards, apparently pleased with her presentation, “Brigadier General Ohm Myint gave 100,00 kyat to this woman.”

Officials in Burma’s capital city, Naypyidaw, put Brigadier General Ohm Myint, in charge of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) in Mon State in 2008. According to an IMNA source within the Mon State USDA, though the move has yet to be announced by the Burmese military government, he (Ohm Myint) will take responsibility for the group’s participation in the upcoming elections.

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