Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Security Staff Sell 4 Children To the Army

23 January 2008
Original report by Aye Naing, DVB

Sergeant Soe Myint from the military recruitment centre in Danyin Gone, Rangoon, brought in 4children, aged between 12 to 15, at dawn this morning, it is reported.

An eyewitness reported that the four children, who picked up broken ice pieces at night to sell elsewhere, were arrested by the security guards at central model fish market in Kyi Myin Dine, Rangoon, just after midnight.

The children, who live in the municipal compound in Kamayut, help support family income by selling discarded broken ice pieces they pick up from the fish market.

When the market security department fined the children K 20,000 to 30,000 each, the parents were unable to redeem their children immediately. By 4:30 am, Sergeant Soe Myint arrived and paid K15,000 for each of the four children and took them away to Danyin Gone military recruitment centre.

One of the four children is called Maung Kalar 14), whose father is a municipal worker, and the family live in family quarters in the municipal compound, Simmlight, Kamayut.

When the parents asked the security guards about the arrest warrant, they insisted that they have orders from authorities of Kyi Myin Daine(PDC).

When the neighbours tried to comfort the distraught parents, explaining that they could report the incident to the international organisations such as ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), the parents are frightened to do so as the are concerned about being evicted as a consequence of any action. The only viable action for the poverty-striken parents at the moment seems to be to cry.

Sergeant Soe Myint was well-known for his many previous trips to buy children from poor backgrounds to be taken to Danyin Gone military recruitment center. There have been similar occasions previously when the parents in the municipal compound, Kamaryut, were informed of their children's fate but when they considered reporting the incidents, they were always threatened with the loss of their accommodation, if such action was taken. So poor are the families, who have nowhere else to go, that they have to tolerate watching their children taken from them, to be forced to serve in the military.

According to some, who are close to the families of municipal staff, there are estimated to have been 20 under-aged children who have suffered the same fate, from that one compound alone.

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