Monday, March 16

Orphanages Closed, Buildings Seized

The Burmese military regime has shut down at least 50 Chin orphanages in Rangoon, the former capital of Burma leading to problems for children.

According to a report said the regime closed down about 50 Chin orphanages on March 6, 2009 as their licenses expired. The regime has seized all the buildings

“We had registered for a period of five years. I don’t know others’ cases. Actually, we had registered in 2003 and its validity is up to 2008. Now we have to register for 2009 to 2013, but just before doing so the authorities stopped renewing the license,” said a local Chin from Rangoon .

It means 50 out of 100 Chin orphanage schools in Rangoon city have now been shut down by the government. Similarly, 13 out of 16 schools in Hleku townships also closed including Victoria Childcare Centre (VCC) which looks after 54 orphanages.

Kanpalet Township , Southern Chin state, which looks after 99% of the children in VCC has sent them back to their relatives as per the rule of government that allows a person can adopt not more than five children in his life time.

“The children’s future will be totally dependant on the adopters. Some will be adopted well and some might be adopted as house keepers or servants. It’s very hard to figure out their fortune,” said a victim at one of orphanage schools.

At the same time, some schools are searching for people to adopt the children.. It is difficult to know where other schools are located and who are taking responsibility regarding this matter as the government has restricted them and they are afraid to used telephone for their security.

“Once we had used telephone for conversation about our work, the authorities immediately arrived and they inquired about it. We don’t want to use the phone anymore after facing this thrice as we’ve afraid,” he added.

He continued that the care takers at the orphanage schools have been given an appointment on 17 March. It needs to be watched how it will turn out, but the schools cannot be opened again.

Chin orphanage schools started to open in 2003 in Yangon city and there are about 140 of Chin orphanage schools in Burma.

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