Cablegate: Usda to Implement Senior General,S Plan

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: The Union Solidarity Development Association
(USDA) finally held its annual general meeting on November
15, about two months after it was initially expected.
Apparently Senior General Than Shwe had to overcome
resistence by some members before the event could be staged.
The strong rhetoric of the meeting gave every indication that
the Senior General is still determined that the organization
will play a central role in the country's future. End Summary.

2. At its ninth annual general meeting the USDA declared
itself resolute to stand as a "consolidated national force"
and to shift from a "quantitative" to a "qualitative" power
by selecting the "cream" from among its members to serve as
leaders "in order to exist as long as the world does." The
USDA general meeting is usually held on September 15, the
anniversary of the organization,s founding in 1993. This
year the general meeting was postponed, reportedly due to
resistance from leaders who no longer wanted to participate.

3. According to local sources, members from 30 government
offices resisted becoming "full-time" USDA officials on the
grounds that they would lose their monthly government
salaries. (USDA is composed of a
"voluntary" workforce). After two months of discussions, the
Patron of the USDA, SPDC Senior General Than Shwe, apparently
overcame resistance by the newly "full-time" and unsalaried
officials and held a four-day annual general meeting
beginning on November 15.

4. Once the meeting went forward, key SPDC officers and
members fell in line and showed their support for the USDA
(and Than Shwe) by discussing development tasks for each of
the seven sectors based on the state's "five-year plan."
They also selected the most qualified of the 520 USDA
delegates in attendance, "the cream," to lead groups
addressing these development tasks. The seven groups
addressed the following tasks: economics, administration,
organization, social, culture, education, and union

5. Key SPDC officials who attended the meeting were Senior
General Than Shwe, USDA Central Executive Committee members
(composed of ten SPDC ministers), representatives of the
National Convention Convening Commission, the Office of the
President, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice, the
Auditor General, and Chairman of the Civil Service Selection
Training Board. The 520 delegates were USDA representatives
of states, divisions, districts, and townships led by USDA
General Secretary U Than Aung. The meeting was somewhat
similar in composition to a parliamentary convention, except
there were no elected officials.

6. The USDA meeting concluded with its members pledging their
support for twelve objectives, three causes, and any
"instructions" from Senior General Than Shwe. A contingent
of USDA members from high school sang the song "eternal

7. Comment: The annual meeting appears to have affirmed
that Senior General Than Shwe is continuing to move forward
with the SPDC's plan for managing the country,s affairs.
The strong rhetoric of the meeting gives every indication
that the Senior General is determined that the USDA play a
central role in the country,s future. End Comment.

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