“We were ordered by the high authority from Arakan State to send the list of the new village councils from every village in Maungdaw Township within the month in order to reform the village councils in the near future,” he said.
Members of the new village councils will need to meet five requirements – they must be pro-army, they must be respected by others, they must have a fine character, they must possess a mid-level education, and they must not be former village council members.
“We were told by the high authority to select those people who are supporters of the Burmese army to serve on the village councils. Most retired soldiers from Burma will be able to serve as members of the new village councils around Arakan State,” said the clerk.
According to a local source, some officials from the township administrative office and some members from the USDA in Maungdaw Township are now compiling the lists for new village councils.
Authorities have already formed the new pro-military councils in some villages in Maybon and Buthiduang Townships.
The Burmese military junta is currently taking many steps to prepare for the 2010 election in Arakan. The junta also recently announced that it will be constructing a hydropower plant and a railway route to help develop the state.
Many analysts believe that the recent development work is an effort to lure Arakanese people into supporting the junta in the 2010 election. The recent plans to form new village councils with army supporters is another attempt to bolster their chances in the upcoming elections.