Indicated on topix.com, Aug. 24, 2007:
Burmese army’s new divide and rule tactic: Members of the pro-government civilian organization Union Solidarity and Development Association have hired casual laborers and unemployed people to intimidate and attack protesters engaged in the nonviolent promotion of democracy and human rights in Burma, according to sources in Rangoon.
One Rangoon resident who joined the USDA to confront protesters said that organization members came to his house and asked that he join the group to deal with people protesting against the government. The USDA is said to have paid between 2,000 and 2,500 kyat (US $1.50 and $1.88) per day to people who participate in the crackdown on protesters. Others have also received food in addition to cash …
First told on BurmaNet, same day:
excerpt: … The behind-the-scenes role of the USDA in supporting Burma’s military regime under the guise of a civilian social organization has evoked strong criticism from Burmese opposition and exile groups.
In a statement released on Friday, the Burma Lawyers Council condemned the USDA for human rights violations and breaches of Burmese law.
The USDA is an illegal organization in Burma, BLC General Secretary Aung Htoo told The Irrawaddy on Friday. What they are doing at the moment is unacceptable. They are abusing and violating civilians.
The pro-government organization was founded in September 1993 by top military leaders of the State Peace and Development Council, which rules Burma. Originally registered as a social organization devoted to addressing civil and religious issues within Burma, the group has since become little more than a civilian wing of the government frequently used to enforce obedience to the state through violence or intimidation. (full text).