Burma: NLD Supporters Left in the Dark

March 9, 2012

RANGOON—Supporters of Burma's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), may be left in the dark—quite literally—if they attended Aung San Suu Kyi's rally in Naypyidaw last week.

On Feb. 23, the residents of Aung Chan Tha village in Zabu Thiri Township in Naypyidaw were informed by local authorities that anyone who went to the NLD campaign rally would be struck off a list of households awaiting electricity.

The village currently has no power, and a private fund was established locally a few months ago to pursue access to an electrical supply.

However, the committee overseeing the distribution of power is loyal to the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), and it keeps a list of names of families which will qualify for electricity in the near future.

Ahead of Suu Kyi's visit to the capital, committee chiefs threatened the residents that their names would be struck off the list if they attended the rally. Local villagers say a further threat was issued that no one would get electricity if the NLD won the by-election in their constituency.

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