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Officials to try to gain entry to orphanage

Officials to try to gain entry to orphanage

Provincial officials will try again today to gain entry to an Australian-run orphanage in Battambang that has been under scrutiny since children held a protest inside its locked gates last Tuesday morning.

Kim Teang, director of the provincial department of social affairs, said he would visit the orphanage today after being refused entry last week.

“We want to know what’s going on and how the orphanage’s director will address the problems raised by the child-ren,” Kim Teang told The Post yesterday. He said he was unsure whether the
orphanage’s management would co-operate after they rebuffed him last week.

The protest by children and teenagers drew investigators from rights group Licadho and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. They had lined up inside the gate of the facility and called to passers-by for assistance, telling them they were not getting enough food. They also accused staff of corruption.    

Orphanage staff have refused to comment. Members of the board of the Australian foundat-ion that funds it, who include actress Joy Smithers, have also refused comment.

Financial reports show steeply declining donations from 2009 to 2010, and a move to raise funds from Australian high- school students.

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