More than 100 Buddhist monks marched in northern Myanmar for nearly an hour Wednesday, the first public demonstration since the government’s deadly crackdown last month on pro-democracy protesters, several monks said.
The monks in Pakokku shouted no slogans, but one monk told the Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norway-based short-wave radio station and Web site run by dissident journalists, that the demonstration was a continuation of the protests in September. [complete article]
Burma’s military government has been forcibly recruiting child soldiers through brokers who buy and sell boys to help the army deal with personnel shortages, which have been exacerbated by desertions and public aversion to its brutality, Human Rights Watch concludes in a detailed report being released today.
Private militias and ethnic insurgent groups in Burma have also been using child soldiers, though in far smaller numbers, according to the New York-based group’s 135-page study, based on an investigation in Burma, China and Thailand.
“The brutality of Burma’s military government goes beyond its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate for Human Rights Watch. “Military recruiters are literally buying and selling children to fill the ranks of the Burmese armed forces.” [complete article]