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Myanmar: Boy, 15, Killed by Troops after Resisting Enlistment
by Lawi Weng, The Irrawaddy
Burmese army soldiers (Mynmar - the ed.) killed a 15-year-old boy who refused to be enlisted, according to a leading labor activist. Aye Myint, of the Guiding Star labor rights group, told exile media on Monday that troops of Infantry Battalion No. 586, based in Pegu Division, captured two boys they found fishing at night in a paddy field. The two boys resisted demands to join the battalion. One, identified as Tin Min Naing, was shot and then killed with a pitchfork as he tried to flee. The soldiers released the second boy, Kyaw Win Aung, who was given refuge at a temple.
“He is still in a state of shock at the temple,” Aye Myint said. The labor rights activist said the battalion had given Tin Min Naing’s family 500,000 kyat (US $500) compensation and warned them not to publicize the case. Monks in the dead boy’s home district, Pegu’s Pyontaza Township, called for an investigation into the killing. The New York-based Human Rights Watch says 70,000 underage soldiers are serving in the Burmese army. A UN report confirms that the Burmese military is still enlisting underage soldiers. Kari Tapiola, the executive director of the International Labour Organization in Geneva, told The Irrawaddy that the overall number of underage recruitment complaints is increasing. Human right groups based on the Thai-Burmese border say young recruits are threatened and beaten if they refuse to agree to undergo military training. After their training, many are sent to areas where the army is in conflict with ethnic groups.
The Irrawaddy: Boy, 15, Killed by Troops after Resisting Enlistment. May 31, 2010. http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=18589