Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Child Soldiers Recruitment Increasing in Arakan State

Arakan State, Dec. 5—A recent newcomer of Arakanese young man, John Doe-name in anonymous, in Malaysia told this newsletter’s editor that new recruitment of child soldiers in Arakan state are increasing after Burma’s military junta and Bangladesh clashed water territory dispute in Bay of Bangle. Navy from both sides took positions where South Korean’s Daewoo International was drilling gas well in the deep seawater between Arakan State and Bangladesh.

By taking this opportunity, military recruiters went to local Karaoke places in Ponnagyun Township and encouraged young boys to serve in the military. They told that Burma may have wars with the Bangladesh so that Arakanese are responsible to defend their territory with honor and pride as sovereignty defenders. The soldiers showed videos about Burma’s army training with the Chinese made modern tanks and jet fighters. Many young boys wondered and were interested in the shows. Some signed up contract papers without their parents’ consent. The new recruited are age between 14 and 16.

Parents in the town complained the military officers after they learned their children were taking shelters in the military camps. Five boys were released after their parents paid tens of thousands of Kyat, Burmese currency.

The recruitments are taking many towns and villages throughout the Arakan state in recent months, according to John Doe.

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