by Myint Maung
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 20:08
New Delhi (Mizzima) – National League for Democracy, Burma’s main opposition party, is consolidating its youth and women party members across the country and has formed ‘Youth Working Groups’ in 69 townships in the past six months.
The Central Youth Working Group has formed regional youth working groups in 69 townships in Rangoon, Mandalay, Irrawaddy, Pegu, Tenasserim divisions and Kachin, Arakan and Mon states.
“We have formed these working groups and are infusing new blood in our party to get it ready and consolidate systematically. The new groups will be a bridge between the masses and the youth and masses and leaders. We are training them to emerge as a potent force,” the In-charge (2) of the NLD’s Central Youth Working Group told Mizzima.
The Central Youth Advisory Committee member Ohn Kyaing said, “Yes, we have been doing this work for about four to five months. We are coordinating with the Township and Divisional Organizing Committees in implementing it”.
Each of these township-wise youth working groups is comprised of 5 to 14 members and they are being given trainings in democracy, human rights and ethnic rights.
“We are reconsolidating these scattered youth forces. We educate them about democracy and human rights, which have been lost in Burma. We train them and make them aware of the current situation in the country, which is deprived of democracy, human rights, fundamental rights of the people and ethnic rights,” the youth in-charge said. The Youth Working Groups members from the States and Divisions are called to the Rangoon party head office and given training in law, politics, labour, farmers and human rights, computer, and English language among others.
However, the Central Youth Wing members are not left without harassment by local authorities, who are keeping close watch over their movements, in their efforts to form local youth working groups in various township.
Ohn Kyaing said, members of the pro-junta civilian organization – Union Solidarity and Development Association – had harassed the NLD youths from forming working committees in Madaya township of Mandalay Division.
“We have to submit the list of the local youth wing members to the local authorities. Then the Madaya USDA threatened the youth wing members with arrest if they join this youth working group,” Khin Maung Than, Chairman of the Madaya Township NLD told Mizzima.
Similar harassments and difficulties were encountered in Kachin State while forming the local youth working groups. Despite of the harassments, the NLD youths said, they were able to set up local units in Monyin, Mogaung and Tanai Townships.
The NLD youths, who began the campaign for forming youth working groups in March, had been so far successful in forming such working groups across Burma with 24 units in Rangoon Division, 14 in Mandalay Division, 11 in Irrawaddy Division, three in Kachin State, one in Arakan State, and five in Tenasserim Division, totaling 69.
The NLD Youths said, they will continue the campaign in other parts of the country as part of their efforts to create awareness on the current political situation of Burma.