Appendix I: Glossary

ABMA: All Burma Monks Alliance, an umbrella organization of four independent monk organizations that played a leading role in organizing the September protests.

IB: Infantry Battalion.

GTI: Government Technical Institute, a college in northwest Rangoon used as a detention facility by the authorities in the aftermath of the crackdown.

Kyaik Ka San: A park/playground in central Rangoon (Yankin Township) where detained protestors were held, also used as a staging ground for lon htein units.

Kyat: Burmese currency.

Lei Kyin Ye Tat:Military Training Unit.

LIB: Light Infantry Battalion.

LID: Light Infantry Division, a combat unit of the Tatmadaw.

Lon Htein: Riot Police, a special unit of the Burmese police force.

Metta Sutta: (Pali) loving kindness, one of the most basic and well-known Buddhist prayers.

NLD: National League for Democracy, the political party that won the majority of seats and votes in the 1990 parliamentary elections but has never been permitted to form a government.

Paritta Sutta: (Pali) Protection against evil, a well-known Buddhist prayer.

Pariyatti: (Pali) The study of Buddhist teachings.

Patipatti: (Pali) Engagement in Buddhist practices, including meditation.

Patta Nikkujjana Kamma: Literally “overturning the alms bowl,” a Buddhist religious boycott whereby monks refuse to accept alms or confer religious rights; staged in 1990 and again in September 2007 against Burmese government officials and military personnel.

PDC: Peace and Development Council, the SPDC’s dual civilian/military administrative apparatus that includes councils at every level, from state/division, region, township, and ward/village. The PDCs are often used as surveillance and monitoring tools for household registration and travel permissions.

Pyithu Sit:People’s militia, a local armed group controlled by the Burmese military.

Sangha: Buddhist monkhood.

Sangha Maha Nayaka: The state-controlled Buddhist association of monks.

SLORC: State Law and Order Restoration Council, a military ruling council that seized power in September 1988 and ruled until November 1997 when it was renamed as the SPDC.

SPDC: State Peace and Development Council, the ruling military council currently composed of 12 senior military officials that control the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

Swan Arr Shin: “Masters of Force,” a government-controlled militia formed to harass and intimidate opposition political parties, protesters and perceived anti-SPDC activities. The militia has been responsible for attacks on grassroots human rights defenders and political opposition figures.

Tatmadaw: Burmese armed forces, inclusive of the Tatmadaw Kyi (Army), Tatmadaw Ye (Navy) and Tatmadaw Lay (Air Force).

USDA: Union Solidarity and Development Association, a government formed and controlled “social welfare” organization with 24 million members, many of whom are coerced or induced into joining. Members of the paramilitary wing of the USDA have been responsible for attacks on Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition politicians since 1997.

SB: Special Branch, the investigative and intelligence department of the police force that is often involved in arbitrary arrests against perceived political opponents.

Sa Ya Pa:  Military Security Affairs (MSA), the Tatmadaw intelligence wing created in late 2004 following the purge of the Department of Defense Services Intelligence (DDSI) and its then leader, Prime Minister Khin Nyunt.

Names for cities, states/divisions and rivers before 1989 and SLORC/SPDC designated spelling post-1989 (Human Rights Watch uses the pre-1989 spellings).