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The Akha Heritage Foundation LLC
Changes in the Organization
January 27, 2017
In the last couple of years our work has changed considerably in our plans on how to help the Akha and promote their cause. Goals that we had exceeded our capacity to fundraise and our desire to spend energy on fundraising. As a result we just paid for everything that was needed out of pocket. Since we still had to file the annual reports on donations we made the decision to give up our non profit status which we did this week.
We continue to do our work but reincorporated as the Akha Heritage Foundation LLC. We are no longer soliciting donations as a non profit and if you check you will find that all the paypal links on various pages have been disabled. Thank you for your support over the years.
We continue to put our own funds into various efforts and have enjoyable projects. We will inform you of those as we progress.
A long awaited update
Nov. 26, 2016
It has been a long time since I have had TIME to work on this website regarding the Akha, regarding many years of work with the Akha and to let everyone know what is going on currently.
A number of items. For one the Akha Farm progresses which takes a lot of work, but it does progress. We have more kids. I set up the project Sail for Freedom and since it was most unlikely that I was going to be able to raise the funds to pay for such a project, energy etc, I just decided to do it out of pocket and set about swamping myself with work and duties in order to do that. Which I did, and I purchased a ship with an all out effort to help publicize the situation of the Akha, which it shall. Next week it goes back into the water if no delays. I still need to purchase a mast for it. Also out of pocket. But the main goal of the ship is to benefit the story of the Akha people and teach that story to people who know little to nothing about the Akha. The work it has taken to do this has delayed me greatly and kept me from having a "quick success" to tell you all about, because big projects usually are not that way. At any rate soon enough I will have more pictures once she is safely back in the water. Many frustrations and expenses to this point but I think it will help and will be one more adventure and effort to benefit the Akha. I hope that Akha are able to make it to our shores and join in, but it will also give them images on the web to connect to. All in good time.
Then there is the Akha Gallery and Archive in Dallas, Oregon which I have set up, also out of pocket, to have a place to display Akha art, publish more books like the Akha Journal 3 which is so so far behind and late in being edited and published it makes me cringe, develop some Akha textiles and maybe one day get a lot of Akha photos from over the years out of storage and do something with them. For now I paint and display those paintings.
There are always two paths. Doing, and writing or displaying about what you have done (an archive, books etc) and it is always a juggle. I tend to "do" first and then struggle to catch up to document what that was all about, THUS the Ride for Freedom books which are now laid out here on a table, are not all written and Book One, "The Road to San Francisco" needs me to dig into chapter 7 and continue with editing work.
In the meanwhile I also raise a family.
My appreciation to all the people who have followed this work over the years.
Akha Friends in China
March 21, 2014
The Akha in China are quite aware of efforts by highly funded missionaries from Thailand to overtake and destroy their culture. Here near Dalou, Yunnan, China, we discuss the situation and what can be done about it.
The Akha in China are doing quite well as their economies in tea, coffee, rubber and sugar cane boost village life. Many Akha who once went to work in town are now staying home or returning home. Chinese government investment in Akha villages continues to increase.
And with every discussion there is of course a good Akha meal. This time we had steamed greens, garlic, steamed fish, a bit of chicken and roasted peanuts.
Investigations Jing Hong, Yunnan, China
March 1, 2014
What we have discovered so far in the Jing Hong area is that there are Akha who are being told to throw out their culture in exchange for conversion in the typical missionary style from Thailand. While some of this activity has been clamped down on one of the new tactics is to provide money and what ever else is needed for Akhas to be persuaded to go to Thailand for their installation of brain washing. We also discovered that young Akhas in Jing Hong far away from home are being targeted since they are isolated and have a smaller support system.
Other Akha find it dismaying that missionaries would destroy culture in China like they have in Thailand. There are numerous organizations at work through various means, causing damage to Akha culture and identity, but it is very clear they are not welcome in China.
Yunnan, Kunming, Jing Hong - The Mission Process
Feb. 24, 2014
A Dialoge, a discussion, a negotiation
I have drawn up a list of ideas, observations and insights. But really the list is intended to ask you a question and to get you to ask questions.
1. From a world wide perspective the mission process is clear. They approach a free standing culture, an independently governed village.
While the situation in Yunnan has not deteriorated to the point that can be found in Thailand for traditional Akha culture and language, it is very hard to deny the relationship between these concepts and what has already occurred in Thailand over the last 30 years. I find it disturbing when missionaries tell me that there are all these things that need to be changed about culture and so they have taken it upon themselves to do it. I find it disturbing when I hear a very white take on the gospel that seems to have no room for anyone from a different culture. All the terms, "we work from within the culture" mean little. Further, few African Americans or Native Amerians can be found any where near this process.
The danger of all of this for the Akha and Hani and all the other indigenous cultures of Yunan Province is that they lose their cultural identity which can now be easily documented in Thailand. As well when culture and language is lost we lose a very large collection of very organic knowledge of our natural surroundings that God created which help us to survive. The indigenous in particular have sustainable cultures that have large collections of knowledge that have the potential to help reverse the destruction of the planet. Western cultures produce weapons of mass destruction, complex chemicals which endanger bees, export all kinds of complex chemicals for killing plants and insects and also are the chief exporters of weapons of war.
Akha Journal 1, 2 Republished on Amazon/Kindle
December 13, 2013
The Akha Journal of the Golden Triangle vol 1 and vol 2 are now available on Kindle and in a few days should appear around the world on Amazon.
More books coming soon including Akha Journal of the Golden Triangle vol 3. 1000 pages.
The "White-ification" of an Akha Mission
December 12, 2013
We find this very interesting. In the past, Paul and Lori Vernon of Salem's Salem Alliance Church were missionaries "working with" Akha Outreach Foundation, an Akha missionary mission in Chiangrai Province, Thailand. Started by Aje, an Akha man trained by Paul White Lewis (better known for his PhD Thesis on the Sterilization of Akha women in Thailand obtained from UofO)
But now the latest newsletter form Paul and Lori Vernon and Salem Alliance has rebranded the mission as "Vernon Akha Outreach Foundation". How interesting. No mention of the Akha and no mention of Akha human rights issues either. If you scroll down you can see they list having an orphanage for "children at risk" which basically means brown children that they want to take away by historical standards.
We find this pretty odd. And of course if you go to their website the vernonjournal.com you won't actually find any facts about what is happening to the Akha like human rights. Carefully managed.
Akha New Testament Audio Files
December 10, 2013 You can look at the Akha New Testament Audio files at the link below. Will take some time to load them all. Over the years we have noticed that the availability of the Akha Bible and New Testament both in paper form and digital form have been carefully controlled.
Akha New Testament Audio Files
Special Rapporteur James Anaya SILENT on Akha land case
November 17, 2013
We have known for a long time that confiscations of Akha traditional use lands is speeding up destruction of north Thai environment but Thailand is the last place to acknowledge indigenous peoples.
With Thailand's draconian forest policies and attitudes toward the Indigenous what can we do to promote this issue and protect Akha land?
As you may be aware SR Stavenhagen aggressively pursued a land case where thousands of acres of land were taken from the Akha by the Queen of Thailand for a development project without their informed consent. (UNPFII) The Thai government was forced to respond the first time ever at the UN to a hilltribe concern. This was s major problem for the Thais. But when SR Anaya took over and had this case miraculously handed to him he avoided all discussion with us and failed to take any further action to address the Akha case and the Thai government. He basically renounced his mandate to protect Indigenous people.
This is quite disappointing as this case is pivotal in improving protections for Thailand's indigenous peoples and the forests.
Abuse of hill tribe children
October 3, 2013
Philanthropist accused of sexually molesting children in his care
We have clearly opposed the removal, custodial removal of Akha and other hill tribe children for more than two decades. These stories come up over and over again and yet the government of Thailand makes very little supervision of where hill tribe children are being moved to, housed and "cared for". The number of hill tribe children removed from their families now runs in the thousands at any given time. There is little to no accountability on the part of these individuals, staff and organizations. Many of them are American mission organizations.
Akha Dance at Thai Festival
October 1, 2013
The Sail for Freedom is a project to build a bridge between the people of Oregon and the Akha mountain people of SE Asia.
More Akha arrive at the Akha Farm
June 29, 2013
Akha mysteriously seperated from their families and displaced to the US have faded into the American landscape until now. After 8 years of persistent work on our part more Akha step forward on the west coast. Many think they were the only ones displaced. Last night two more Akha came to the Akha Farm for dinner, sharing stories, kids mixing it up, cooking spicy spicy food and having a good time. As the story spreads that there is an Akha village in the making at Falls City, Oregon the more we expect to show up.
Missionary Destruction of Akha Culture Clearly Spelled Out
July 24, 2013
“Both Protestant and Catholic missionaries have been active among Akha and have won converts, who typically live apart from traditionalists in Christian villages” (1p16). “Their creeds and rituals – all that has been called their ‘animism,’ including ancestor-service – have been distorted and vilified quite strongly by outsiders, especially the Christian missions…[There is a trend] of absorption and abolition. This trend basically does not believe that mountain minority people have a culture or an ‘intangible spiritual and cultural heritage.’(as UNESCO Recognizes worldwide)…Historically, most majority class systems of the area have placed the mountain minority people at the bottom of their systems as slaves…In a way, even more dangerous for the intangible spiritual heritage of mountain minority peoples, have been the Christian missions and especially the fundamentalists. Starting from the presupposition that the intangible spiritual and culture heritage, as present in the Akhazong, was inspired by the devil, missionaries asked the Akha and other mountain peoples to throw away their ancestor-service and zang and to be saved through baptism” (6p240-1)."
(Very either or isn't it? For Americans who may not understand what this means in context it would be the same as requiring Americans to burn their libraries and discard their social and legal system in order to 'become Christian'. In some societies facts no longer mean anything if they require the individual to flex or change their belief system that doesn't allow those facts. 'Our missionaries from Salem Alliance are doing what? Couldn't be happening.)
This document on record at Missouri.edu clearly states what is being done to the Akha by aggressive missionaries in Thailand.
When will people of all persuasions conclude that this is wrong and stop supporting it?
The Duplessis Orphans
July 21, 2013
People always give me the run around about my stance on all these missions taking Akha children to their compounds. Like ANYONE knows what is going on. What amazes me is the incredible intellectual ignorance or dishonesty of the religious folk supporting and/or operating these fake orphanages considering the CONSIDERABLE history of massive abuse of indigenous children at the hands of these kinds of organizations. They pretend it never happened when in fact it happened over and over and over again. Creating orphans, pulling them into the church, using them to generate money or just work as unpaid or underpaid slaves to build the mission, something we have documented over and over in Thailand.
Here we have just one more case that affected the lives of thousands of children.
The Ringworm Children
July 21, 2013
And another case, Jewish children of color experimented on in Israel.
The Ringworm Children
Finally an International Article on the Fake Mission Orphanages
Feb 5, 2013
"Confiscating Akha Children - This is how the missions do it."
Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do
By 10pm, the aptly named Bar Street is pulsating with tourists drawn to Siem Reap by the famous Cambodian ruins of Angkor Wat. As hip-hop blares from clubs, children playing traditional instruments are led along by men with placards reading: "Support our orphans." The kids offer sweet smiles to the diners and drinkers and anyone making a donation is invited to visit the nearby orphanage, one of several in the city, and perhaps spend time working there.
This is the most direct attempt to lure tourists, seducing them with wide eyes and heart-wrenching stories of abandonment. Other orphanages rely on websites filled with pictures of happy children. Some have hooked up with guest-houses, taxi drivers and, best of all, western tour companies that offer voluntary work alongside the holiday of a lifetime.
But behind those smiles can lie untold misery. For in Cambodia, as in other parts of the globe, orphanages are a booming business trading on guilt. Some are even said to be kept deliberately squalid. Westerners take pity on the children and end up creating a grotesque market that capitalises on their concerns. This is the dark side of our desire to help the developing world.
Look again at those cute children. Those "orphans" might have been bought from impoverished parents, coerced from loving families or simply rented for the night. An official study found just a quarter of children in these so-called orphanages have actually lost both parents. And these private ventures are proliferating fast: the numbers increased by 65% in just three years.
Once again, clumsy attempts to do good end up harming communities we want to help. We have seen it with foreign aid, corrosive in so many countries by propping up despots, fostering corruption and destroying local enterprises. We have seen it with the dumping of cheap food and clothes, devastating industries and encouraging a dependency culture. And now we see it with "voluntourism", the fastest-growing sector of one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet.
Insiders call them guilt trips. All those teenagers heading off on gap years, fired up with enthusiasm. Those middle-aged professionals spending a small fortune to give something back to society. And those new retirees determined to spend their downtime spreading a little happiness.
Now the flipside of these well-intentioned dreams has been laid bare in an incendiary report by South African and British academics which focuses on "Aids orphan tourism" in southern Africa, but challenges many cherished beliefs.
The study reveals that short-term volunteer projects can do more harm than good. Wealthy tourists prevent local workers from getting much-needed jobs, especially when they pay to volunteer; hard-pressed institutions waste time looking after them and money upgrading facilities; and abused or abandoned children form emotional attachments to the visitors, who increase their trauma by disappearing back home. "The more I delved into it, the more disturbing I found it," said Amy Norman, one of the researchers.
Development charities offering professionals the chance to use skills abroad have raised similar concerns; Voluntary Service Overseas even condemned this burgeoning industry as a new form of colonialism. VSO asked what right unqualified British teenagers had to impose their desire to do good at schools in developing countries. And Norman is correct: the more you look below the surface, the more these trips raise profound questions about misplaced idealism and misconceived attitudes.
In recent years, a disturbing form of slum tourism has taken off, with rich visitors sold a glimpse into the lives of the very poor. In Asia, unbelievably, tourists pay for trips to hand out food to impoverished rural families. In Africa, tour firms throw in a visit to an orphanage alongside a few days on the beach or watching wild animals. Critics argue that dropping in to take photographs of orphaned children, who may have seen parents recently waste to death, reduces them to the status of lions and zebras on the veld.
Many orphanages let tourists work with children. But what would we say if unchecked foreigners went into our children's homes to cuddle and care for the kids? We would be shocked, so why should standards be lowered in the developing world? Yes, resources might be in short supply, but just as here, experts want children in the family environment or fostered in loving homes, not in the exploding number of substandard institutions.
As the authors of this report point out, the harsh truth is that "voluntourism" is more about the self-fulfilment of westerners than the needs of developing nations. Perhaps this is unsurprising in a world in which Madonna thinks it is fine to take children from African families.
In Ghana, just as in South Africa and Cambodia, there has been a boom in unregistered orphanages. Last year, police investigated one after the rape of an eight-month-old boy and discovered 27 of the 32 children were not orphans. A government study found up to 90% of the estimated 4,500 children in orphanages had at least one parent and only eight of the 148 orphanages were licensed. Unicef officials said children's welfare was secondary to profits and it is thought less than one-third of income goes on child care.
Too many travellers carry a naively romantic idea of doing good alongside their luggage. "Unfortunately, they are led by their hearts and not their heads and unknowingly support environments that may be abusive to children," said Mark Turgesen, international co-ordinator of ChildSafe Network, which protects children from abuse. Last month, the British owner of an orphanage near Siem Reap was charged with sexual assault of a teenage boy; up to 100 children were moved to a safe house by investigators.
Inevitably, the needs of impoverished communities are subverted by the demands of wealthy visitors. Alexia Nestora ran the North American arm of a major "voluntourism" group and admitted such firms loved orphanage stops. "They sell the best and are the most tearjerking projects to pitch to the media. Volunteers come away with the classic picture with an orphan and tell all their friends about their experience – as a business person I loved this." However, she started to question their validity once she went into the field and discovered the work carried out by volunteers was often unnecessary, as admitted by organisers. "The funding they bring with them is the attractive part."
The desire to engage with the world is laudable, as is the desire to volunteer. But we need to tread more carefully. Unless we have time and transferable skills, we might do better to travel, trade and spend money in developing countries. The rapid growth of "voluntourism" is like the rapid growth of the aid industry: salving our own consciences without fully examining the consequences for the people we seek to help. All too often, our heartfelt efforts to help only make matters worse.
Canadian Holocaust - Canadian Residential Schools
Feb 5, 2013
An article at the link below about the Canadian Holocaust "The Voice of Russia":
Canada’s hidden school Holocaust: ‘They all wanted to make aboriginals disappear by destroying their culture and assimilating them into Canadian society’
We offer you FREEDOM
August 7, 2012
I wonder about education?
I keep hearing from Akha that what the Akha need is education. Who told them this? Around the world there is starvation.
When the missionaries came to Thailand the Akha had the land. The missionaries had the Bibles. Now the missionaries have the land, nice homes, nice mission buildings, all the land has paper, nice 4 wheel drives, nice cars and the best food. THE AKHA HAVE THE BIBLES. But no land. The missionaries will never speak out against the government taking the land. The missionaries also have the Akha children, not just the land. Thousands and thousands of Akha children.
The missionaries say the Akha need education. They NEVER say the Akha need FREEDOM. But the missionaries like freedom. They have nice passports. But the Akha have education and they have food. I hope the Akha do not think that western education is better than THEIR EDUCATION?
Michu Wurh Zurh never went to school. But she has EDUCATION. She doesn't own a BIBLE but she has LAND. 20 Rai in America.(8 acres) She grows enough food to feed the whole town full of Americans and Churches that can't feed themselves or grow food. And most of all, she has FREEDOM, something no missionary ever offered to give her.
If you come to America, if you come to the Akha Farm. We will help you find LAND, we will help you find FREEDOM. Then you can help your parents, your brothers and sisters, .....to be free, like you. And all without the help of a single missionary telling you how it is or how it is going to be. And no one will take your children.
Salem Alliance Church finally admits their connection to Paul and Lori Vernon
August 1, 2012
A year ago Salem Weekly did an article on missionaries funded by Salem Alliance and what damage they were doing to the Akha people of Thailand.
Local Activist Tackles Misionaries in Thailand
Salem Alliance denied they had any connection to these missionaries but now they have a brochure they are publishing that clearly states these are THEIR missionaries.
Interestingly enough the Akha Farm in Falls City, Oregon is in full swing and you can come out and visit and see what ONE Akha woman is able to do, which gives a completely different light on what these missionaries are up to in their propaganda against the Akha as a people worth taking kids away from.
Here is a copy of the Salem Alliance brochure, and here is the mission page:
Interesting that they are asking people to pray for unity among the Akha when it is the MISSIONARIES who destroyed that unity to start with.
We would be more than glad to see liberated free Akha coming to Salem for intercultural exchange, not as the religious prisoners of Salem Alliance and their paid missions.
In the article below you will see that Akha Outreach Foundation is mentioned in this research regarding their involvement in the divisions being created for religious means in the Akha community. Paul and Lori Vernon are part of this process and work for Akha Outreach Foundation.
Neo-Traditionalist Movements: A Case Study of a Multi-Religious Akha
July 31, 2012
Download the Document:
Neo-Traditionalist Movements: A Case Study of a Multi-Religious Akha.pdf - Haiying Li
Here are some excerpts from the article that I find of particular interest. They pertain to the DIVISIONS missionaries have caused in the Akha community for their own ends with little concern for the Akha.
"In terms of religious divisions among Akha villagers there are currently six different Christian churches and communities located in different sections of the village. These churches include two churches affiliated with the Akha Church of Thailand (ACT), an additional two churches affiliated with the Akha Outreach Foundation (AOF), a single Catholic church, a church run by a Korean missionary and a Lisu Christian church. In addition, there is a Buddhist park and shrine located at the upper level of the village and a number of ritual spaces located throughout the area where Akha and Lisu traditionalists carry out their respective traditional practices at different times of the year. The arrival of Christianity, as part of other changes taking place nationally, regionally and globally, has brought forth a great deal of changes in nearly every aspect of life in the village such as social structure and relations, ritual activities, and notions of identity."
"Early foreign missionaries working with Akha interpreted Aqkaqzanr or traditional Akha culture as a ‘primitive’ and ‘backwards’ form of ‘devil worship’. The current generation of Akha missionaries continues to hold the same interpretation."
This pdf offers an interesting commentary on the effort that has been made to destroy traditional Akha culture, paid for by western missionaries with little concern for the extended family of Akha villages and Akha unity. One has to consider the political overtones of a massive multi million dollar effort to the convert the Akha on the back doorstep of China and the parallels with how the Hmong were used by the US for similar political and military purposes.
Akha Land Taken by the Queen of Thailand and Special Rapporteur James Anaya
June 11, 2012
Akha Land Taken by the Queen of Thailand and Speical Rapporteur James Anaya
We have persued the Akha land case at Hooh Yoh Akha and Pah Nmm Akha for eight years now. Here is a basic update. You may write SR Anaya to request more action on this case: email@example.com
An Update on the Scarboro Catholic Mission at Wing Pa Pao, Thailand
June 11, 2012
Here is an update on Wing Pa Pao Catholic Mission run by Scarboro Missions in Ontario, Canada based on information given or not given to us by Mary Olenick at that mission headquarters.
Wing Pa Pao Scarboro Missions
Day 10 Akha of Asia Jan 2011
May 22, 2012
Here is the last in a series of 10 videos from SE Asia and the Akha.
Day 10 Akha of Asia Jan 2011
I hope you enjoyed this series. Comments welcome.
Akha Church Service in Mae Salong, Thailand: Article
May 16, 2012
Here is an article on an Akha church service in Thailand. Or maybe I should say a Chinese church service in Thailand with Akha pressed in. What ever your feeling on Thinese Taiwanese Kuomintang’s Maesai based Baptist operations, an interesting article.
Akha Chinese Mae Salong Church Service
New Video up of the Akha of Asia
Jan 9, 2012
Day 9 Akha of Asia Video Jan 2011
The Grey Man, Trafcord, Fake Rescues, Fake Orphans
Jan 9, 2012
So what IS fake? Fake rescues, fake orphans, fake everything. The Grey Man is getting blamed for rescuing kids that weren't in need or rescue, or so the story goes. Fake Rescue But what this may do is exhibit that so many orgs are making up their own stories for reasons to take away Akha children and fake their rescue to a mission orphanage. And that has been going on for 20-30 years. No one seems to notice. Trafcord, I think it can be said that they also have their own agenda. We found them very reluctant to move to the aid of boys who had been raped by a missionary in Chiangrai, and other boys who were being moved by the same missionary to Chiangmai to "make appointments". In the end they didn't do anything. But the boys got the police active when it was discovered this Mr. Woon had lots of baht.
Let's hope that this case will show how the Akha are being taken by so many missions to fill their schools and projects for a buck while theyt are cut off from their culture.
And here is a new video on youtube.com for you:
Come Visit the Akha Farm, Falls City, Oregon
Nov. 11, 2011
We are nearly a month into cleaning up the land at the Akha Farm in Falls City, Oregon. Metal, tires and berry vines keep getting towed out of the brush, clearing way for tomatoes and other edibles like chili peppers. We invite you to stop by and tell your Akha friends. Drop us an email for directions. The coffee is on.
Akha Army signs agreement with Myanmar Govt.
Oct 13, 2011
Burmese gov’t and Mong La group renew relations, sign agreements
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Mong La group will be allowed to reopen its liaison offices following peace talks held on Saturday with a Union-level peace delegation led by Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) Secretary Aung Thaung.
Since 2009, the government has demanded the transformation of Mong La forces into a Border Guard Force, but during the peace talks the matter was not discussed, said Mong La delegates.
“Both sides held discussions on cooperation in reopening of liaison offices, reassignment of staff for ensuring better education, health, agriculture and transport in Special Region (4) and the elimination of illegal narcotic drugs, and signed agreements,” the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported on Tuesday.
The peace talks were held in Shan State Special Region (4). According to the newspaper, the meeting at the headquarters of the Triangle Regional Military Command in Kengtung was attended by a Mong La delegation led by Vice Chairman San Pae, with 10 delegates on each side.
The government delegation included the chairman of the National Race Affairs and Internal Peace-making Committee, Thein Zaw; the Shan State Chief Minister Sai Aung Myat; Shan State Security and Border Affairs Minister Colonel Aung Thu; and the Shat State Advocate General Maung Maung, according to the Sino-Burmese observer Aung Kyaw Zaw, who is close to the Mong La group.
Prior to the peace talks, government delegates including Aung Thaung and Thein Zaw and the Mong La group’s delegates held an initial meeting in Kengtung, in which issues including a cease-fire and regional development were discussed. The government specified that the initial meeting was a regional level meeting.
During a 10-year cease-fire period, which was broken in 2009, there were more than 100 government civil servants including agricultural workers, doctors and teachers in the Mong La headquarters. The cease-fire was broken because of the former junta’s order to transform the Mong La group into a Border Guard Force, and the junta ordered civil servants to leave the area.
The National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State, aka Mong La group, comprises Shan, Palaung and Akha people. It has an estimated 3,000 soldiers and its area has been specified as Special Region 4. The Mong La group is active in Kengtung District, Mong Yawng, Mong Hpayak Township, and on a section of the Mekong River near Burma’s border with China and Laos.
In accordance with another agreement, Special Region 4 area will remain restricted and Mong La troops will be required to inform authorities in advance if they want to cross into other areas.
The state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Mong La group said that it would never secede from the Union and oppose the State.
The Burmese government is also engaged in peace talks with the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Recently, a government delegation led by Aung Thaung and Thein Zaw met with the UWSA on two occasions.
The 2008 Constitution says that the Union Defence Services is the sole defence force in the country. The former junta’s efforts to force ethnic armed groups to transform themselves into a Border Guard Force or people’s militia to be operated under the Defense Services was rejected by most ethnic armed groups.
Since previous cease-fires with ethnic armed groups were broken, the government has fought against the Kachin Independence Organization, the Shan State Army-North and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association.
Unicef Pushes Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine in Laos
Oct 1, 2011
Unfortunately this program is well advanced. Big Pharma is everywhere you look as far as you look.
Sept 30, 2011
By Henri Roux
The Akha and Phu Noi Minorities of Laos in the 1920s presents a wealth of data and a number of unique period photographs, collected by a French military administrator, of the area around Phongsaly, then the Fifth Military Territory in northern Laos. It is fair to say that this book presents a rare view of the original condition of these tribal populations as the observations date from the early 1920s when very few Europeans had been in this area. The text systematically reviews all that there was to know about these people: origins, physical characteristics, dwellings, customs and sorcery, ceremonies and feasts, ownership and economics, social relations, legends, even the dream world and the significance of omens are discussed. The measurement, time and writing systems and a number of typical texts have also been included. Together with rare period photographs not found elsewhere this book also provides an ethnographic treasure trove for people interested in the authentic textiles and material cultures of these two groups.
‘The notes that follow have been written when I commanded the 5th Territoire Militaire, in Phongsaly, in the north of Laos, on the border with Yunnan.
The information has in general been collected during my rounds, during nights in camp. The two secretary-interpreters of the territory: Tsan-Man Chuy for things concerning the Akhas, and Phouy for what relates to the Phu Nois, have been for me valuable collaborators. It is only fair to give them the praise they deserve for their patience and their devotion. The transcription I followed is that of quoc-ngu with the following additions: p’ = aspired p (ph = f), sh = lingual s.’
This was one of just a few footnotes, and translators the world over love such people—a military man he was too as we gain the impression that no detail was too unimportant to be recorded in order to secure the final goal: to know these people and to know them well. One wonders whether one should add: ‘just in case …’ as an afterthought, because Roux served ‘on the border with Yunnan’. Besides, the transcription he proposed has not been followed consistently.
Nothing would come of radical thoughts of revolt, such as the Meos had staged, and modernization alone would do the job for a number of decades, at least until the 1960s, of changing—or maybe corrupting—these people. Now, at least the Akhas enjoy worldwide attention as a tourist attraction. I believe that would have filled the major with sadness, and so would quite a number of websites proclaiming their objective of attempting to help the Akhas retain their cultural identity. Symptomatic of the nature of the interest are the various spellings of the names of the Akhas and Phu Nois that are found all over the internet’s information tsunami. For the sake of readability and in order that place names can be found, not only on French maps (which often have different spellings from the texts in which they are incorporated), but also in the field, as little ‘modernization’ as possible is undertaken by translators. But we often have to adopt, or do away with, the unavoidable and oh-so-French ‘ou’. But, we were speaking about ‘mœurs et coutumes’, that almost untranslatable and largely tautological phrase that every dictionary of the last 200 years refuses to include as an idiomatic expression. But we know what it means, and quietly hope that this little volume will help to restore them in their original form among the Akhas and the Phu Nois.
The little volume you have in your hand first appeared in 1924. With some delay for the work to be polished and published we can assume that the information contained in it dates from the first year or so of the 1920s. The author refers to 1921 for some information and also to his long stay of some eight years in the colony. Therefore, this book stands—and stands tall—as a baseline, because nothing much had been achieved in spreading French culture in Laos in the thirty or so years it had been under the benevolent protectorate of France. Administration, if left alone 10,000 kilometers from Paris, does not do much damage and rarely overshadows anything. It just costs money and hence causes taxation—and even on this the major reported a certain amount, albeit not in extenso. Before that period, however, there must have been other influences, but they must have been instead of Chinese or perhaps other montagnard nature. A fascinating thought indeed. One just wonders whether there were only the little coins that were adopted as ‘jewelry’ by various tribes—even if its silver content kept diminishing? Trade in this area, with China and perhaps the Red River areas all the way to the Vietnamese coast, must have had a spin-off even in the make up and fashion of the women of these tribes. The work of Roux shows that at least they had made a distinction between dress, ceremonial dress and everyday working clothes to wear when toiling on mountain paths and in rais. Only women wear such clothes. Even in near-military reports one can read between the lines …
We have omitted only some vocabularies from the original work, as they are very limited and surely have been made obsolete by dictionaries published since the 1920s. We have preserved some texts as their contents may have a documentary value, despite all the difficulties of transcribing phonetically sounds western ears believe they have discerned. Because of poor rendering and the simplification of pronunciation and transcription, Phu Nois or Akhas aspiring to a career in sorcery are advised to look elsewhere. Although the photographs included here have great documentary value their technical quality, as reprinted on the plates added to the original publication in the Bulletin, is less than perfect. Little figures scattered around in different paragraphs are almost too poor to reprint but one never knows, there might be experts who are able to interpret details that escape the attention of a run-of-the-mill translator. Besides, White Lotus Press has previously published several volumes containing outstanding photographs of minorities of the Lao mountains and Yunnan border areas, notably, the Pavie Mission Reports, Maurice Abadie’s Minorities of the Sino-Vietnamese Borderland, Charles Robequain’s Photographic Impressions of French Indochina, Albert Sarraut’s Indochina and Jean Renaud’s Laos in the 1920s. The Gods, Monks and Mountains of Laos.
The latter volume gives a good general idea of the attitude of French colonialists and the colonial administration towards peoples that they pejoratively grouped under the name Kha, mostly in Laos and Siam, or Moï, in Vietnam. Jean Renaud being a political man, that book is in a sense complementary to the ‘dry’ reporting of Henri Roux, who clearly loved ‘his people’. The page facing the title page of this book lists a number of related works published by White Lotus Press, both new texts and the first English translations of others, for those deeply interested in minorities in Laos. While they might not all have the level of detail of the present volume, they include hearsay field anecdotes and, perhaps embellished, adventure stories. Henri Roux, a military man toiling on his field desk to write one of his two great works, also wrote about a number of colorful events and anecdotes, but they are all true.
Dr. Walter E. J. Tips
This book can be purchased from White Lotus books in Bangkok and associated Thai bookstores.
400 Akha Prison Letters Mailed
Sept 30, 2011
Thanks to two donors I was able to just now mail out 400 more Akha prison letters. Our next batch will go smoother. We will mail at least twice a year, plus all the hand written letters back to prisoners who write to us. Right now we need about $135 in postage for remaining letters. We would also like to mail out Akha books, so if you are interested in helping on that kind of a project please let us know. The kids have been helpful in doing postage, stamping envelopes, folding letters and sealing letters.
UN Letter of Allegation
Aug 8, 2011
Here is an update of the situation on the "Letter of Allegation" which was filed against Thailand by Special Rapporteur Rudolfo Stavenhagen in 2007. In 2009 the basic contents of the letter became public.
2008 Thai Govt Response to Letter of Allegation
2011 Our Reply to Thai Govt. Rebuttal
July Donations to this Project
July 10, 2011
Well, actually I could talk about quite a few months and donations to this project and covering the cost of this website. I know there are a lot of people out there who get a lot of use from this site. A lot of information gathered in one place. But the site needs improvement, that means I need to do more research, more writing, more consolidations, get more pages up that are still sitting on the hard drive from when I had to do the emergency rebuild in Laos 2006 (due to constant hacking), and there are hundreds of photos that need to get placed on pages of this site too. It all takes time, to say nothing of the travel related to getting new information for the site.
So if you look over to the right, for the month of July (and quite a few months before it) the dontations are at zero. Occasionally I get someone looking to place an add and that brings in a bit.
Stats for the last seven days off my web log are like this.
Akha Music Video, Now That's Funny
July 10, 2011
Akha Music Video - Comedy
I am Akha Website
Travels in Yunnan
July 8, 2011
A month in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Its always great to be back among the Akha and this trip was no exception. I split my time between Kunming and Jing Hong doing research and just getting to know more Akha people. I got out to some Akha villages, visited with a Gneeh Pah friend of mine, and picked up some needed Akha tools from one of the villagers.
The Akha have life a bit more stable in China than they do in Thailand. But I always miss my Akha friends in Thailand where I lived so many years.
Here the rice, bananas and sugar cane are in full swing to name a few major crops that the Akha work with besides tea of course. I got to stop by one Akha man's tea shop where tea sold for anywhere from $3 for a dried flat disc of tea or $200 for the same size from a different flavored tea. Some of the tea trees are very old, and the man told me that the tea with the more mild flavor was from tea trees in high elevations. He had a large piece of wood before him, a cross cut of a good sized tree, and it was hollowed out a bit and had a drain. He heated water, rinsed small cups, and served us cup after cup of different kinds of tea. Then he gave me a piece of bamboo that had moist tea packed down in it and then dried. I'll take it home and see how it tastes.
At a Chinese tool shop near one Akha village I looked for hand made implements that I could use, picked out a couple weeding tools, look like small hoe's.
Back in Jing Hong I met with more friends and went over what some of the current concerns the Akha face. Many of the Akha young people live in Jing Hong working but many also remain in the villages.
Jing Hong is a tropical town on the Mekong river. Warmer and more humid than Kunming and growing very rapidly. Hotels and condos and villas are springing up everywhere. The locals like the money flowing into the area, but maybe they will have second thoughts when the streets are as congested as they are in Kunming.
I found one of those shops that had an orange phone on the counter and called Thailand and Burma to talk to many other Akha friends I work with, find out how people are, what people are doing and also to have this or that Akha person contact me by email, something unheard of in years gone by. But I still need to make a trip to Burma and work on some projects there. Some things you just can't do over the phone efficiently enough. I also have some Ahka tapes I need transcribed by a friend there.
There are many projects related to the Akha and the Hani in both Kunming and Jing Hong and so I was able to get around and meet many people and find out what they were doing. In Jing Hong the Akha are called Aini. But in Kuming most people lump them together as Hani. For the most part if you can speak Akha or Aini, you won't be able to communicate with someone who speaks Hani unless they know both languages. There are other differences too. The substitute or local words that the Akha use in China are different than the ones they use in Laos, Myanmar or Thailand.
The more I listen to Chinese the more my ear figures out the language and it begins to sound more harmonious. I learn a few words but mostly there are sounds and ways that people express themselves that begin to sound familiar. Learning more and more of the language can not be far off. And if you can speak Chinese, well you will be able to talk to someone just about anywhere in the world.
I find the Chinese polite, friendly, welcoming, helpful.
Today I went to the south end of Kunming to find the "Three Leaves Hotel". That is where I stayed when I first came to Kunming in 1991. It was all concrete then, no paint, and was the tallest building in the area. The plumbing was run down, the rooms were pretty cold as the buildings here are not heated, and the beds had big thick quilts. Well, I walked all over town to find the hotel, and finally found it. Now its painted white, looks like its seen a small amount of remodel, and is surrounded by many much taller buildings now. When I was there before most of the surrounding buildings were just a few stories, and the streets were all small shops. Now you can still find clusters of small shops on side streets but they are mostly all gone, replaced by big buildings, malls, plazas and instead of bicycles the streets are filled with many many cars. The ethnic women who changed money were still clustered around the hotel, just like twenty years ago. I got a meal of dumplings and then figured I would head back downtown. I stopped for a coffee there and watched the people go by. The downtown area has a couple of streets that are blocked off to cars, and the cars and buses actually go under the road for this section of town. Its great to be done with cars. People are moving everywhere, a never ending crowd. I sat on a bench and just watched for a good hour as people enjoyed the mild weather.
Then I tried to get a taxi, but it was five pm now and all of China poured into the streets and there wasn't an empty taxi to be found. I walked and waited, and it took me two hours to finally get an empty taxi. Actually it isn't that there weren't any, just about every twenty feet there are a couple other people trying to flag down the same rare empty taxi also. I think the taxis could double in number at closing time and there still wouldn't be enough. Finally a taxi stopped to drop off some people and I jumped in the front seat, glad for a ride.
New Akha Spindles in Stock
July 7, 2011
We have more Akha spindles in stock. If you would like one write an email and I will tell you how to order one.
Akha Text Project
Recording Akha stories and committing them to text.
Akha Daily Videos
General videos about Akha life, SE Asia and Akha projects.
Akha TV presentations.
3rd Akha Journal
Activism and Publicity
Promoting accurate knowledge of the Akha, their lives, culture, and human rights situation.
Akha Prison Letters Project
Thai Prisons are a cruel life for the Akha people. The Thai government imposes many harsh conditions on the Akha people, and takes their land. Then when the Akha make any infraction of the law they are sent off to prison for many years. There are many old Akha in prison, both women and men, who were imprisoned for such infractions years ago. The Akha Prison Letters Project: Sending mail to the Akha prisoners of Thailand.
Bang Kwang Prison Web Site
Bang Kwang Net
Save a Life
The Drug War Against the Akha
Index of the Drug War
Drug War Overview Jan. 2006
The Drug War Creates Mass Death of the Akha From Disease and Starvation. Death Rate As High as 20% in Some Villages. Forced Relocations, No Land, No Food, No Jobs. Data Supported by Independent International Reports.
The Drug War has a violent effect on Akha communities that goes beyond just police prosecution of would be offenders. Military and police violence against the Akha has been a standard event in Thailand. Extra-judicial killings and killings for no reason are what the Akha expect.
Use Google to Search This Site. There Are Hundreds of Drug War Articles in News
DRUG WAR DEATH PICS - Killings Paid For With YOUR Tax Dollars
Death Pics with Many Captions
Creates Mass Death of the Akha From Disease and Starvation. Death Rate As High as 20% in Some Villages. Forced Relocations, No Land, No Food, No Jobs. Data Supported by Independent International Reports. has a violent effect on Akha communities that goes beyond just police prosecution of would be offenders. Military and police violence against the Akha has been a standard event in Thailand. Extra-judicial killings and killings for no reason are what the Akha expect.
Harm reduction and drug rehabilitation efforts are more effective and have lower social costs than the drug war.
The Queen's Royal Project Seizes the Land of Hooh Yoh Village
Royal Project Should Give Back the Land at Hooh Yoh
Project Tries to justify taking the land
Theft of Akha Land
Update - Volunteers Harrassed by Thai Army
Tourists in one village were harrassed because a foreign tourist had gone and taken a picture of the Project at Hooh Yoh. The Thai Army said "no one can take pictures of this project"
The Army proceeded to go through the inside of the house where tourists were staying, took their photos and checked their passports.
Your Support URGENTLY Needed to Back Up Hooh Yoh Akha
Contact your nearest Thai Embassy. Request that these details be investigated.
Information and Pictures
High Resolution Pics Of Hooh Yoh!
Activist Contact Data for the Queen
In 2003 the Project took away all the land of Hooh Yoh Akha, some 4500 acres (8500 Rai) of land. 1500 Akha villagers are displaced and they are made to work at half minimum wage on the land that belonged to them.
We need volunteers to continue to protest to the Thai Government and Embassies about the seizure of this land.
In addition to this seizure of Hooh Yoh land, the project has gone on to seize tea lands of Pai a Prai Akha village, in the same district, Ampur Mae Fah Luang, Chiangrai Province.
The Thai government terrorizes the Akha in order to keep them suppressed. The occasional brutal murder works to this end. Though there are many Akha who would gladly have their photos on this website, or run a column here, they can not speak out in such a public way if they want to stay alive.
Your protest supports and strengthens the Akha people.
Activism For Helping the Akha People
Akha Human Rights
What You Can Do To Help
Areas of Focus: 1. Missionary removal of Akha children and coerced conversion.
2. Thai seizure of rice lands, forced relocations, extra-judicial executions
3. The US Supported Drug War in Thailand which rubber stamps profiling and violence against the Akha and other ethnic groups.
4. Missing Akha Refugees in the US, Sacramento area.
Your volunteer time and energy is needed to protect the Akha people.
Approximately 70,000 Akha reside in Thailand. 320 or more villages. The Akha have the least rights in Thailand of any country, suffer the greatest level of abuse and imprisonment. Their culture is destroyed by US missionaries.
Protect the Akha Peace and Justice Center
If any of the Thai Cosul or Embassy addresses bounce then go to another embassy or look also on this page:
Full List of Thai Government Sites
Contact Your MP and Embassy HERE!
Post to any indymedia site and for your local area.
Suggestions for Action
Sign Akha Petition #1 (500 plus signators)
1. Get an article published, air a radio interview, get a spot on TV.
2. Write letters to Thai Embassies.
3. Post our link on your website
4. Do volunteer work, research.
5. Plan a trip to do photography and video documentation.
6. Write protest letters to missionary groups.
7. Do a fundraising project.
8. Host a presentation in your area.
9. Pay for literature to be printed.
10. Hand out literature at your library, university and church.
11. Post to any Indymedia site and for your local area.
OMF pulls down web pages that describe the Akha in inaccurate ways. Jim Morris is an OMF CEO missionary in residence at Corbin College, Salem, Oregon. We have questions about the attitudes which are conveyed to the young people.
Rotary Intl. pulls web pages and funding from CGT mission which removes Akha children. Other chapters of Rotary continued to support CGT. Lake Oswego Chapter.
If you see any corrections or errors in factual information on this site, please contact us. We strive to continuously verify information and update this site.
After considering the facts as a human rights activist, when it comes to choosing between following the teachings of christianity or following Jesus Christ, I have decided to follow Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ offers full redemption, in all spheres of human life, justice, land, food and the rights to one's own children. We should not ignore or overlook any aspect of human existence and fail to mention it in the redemption of the human condition. This includes the Akha and their need for security and the protection of rights. It does no good to claim that redemption only applies to the life here after, while ignoring the incredible suffering inflicted on these people. Individuals who claim that the great difficulties that the Akha face helps convert them, have distorted and deformed the gospel.
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Day 10 Akha Asia Jan 2011 m4v
Anotnio Maria Costa UNODC
Dr. Halvor J. Kolshus - UNDCP
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Clifford Heinzer NAS (DEA) Laos
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Against Swidden Agriculture no matter the cost in human life.
Trevi Albin of Rotary International
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Children Pay the Price.
Abuse in Mission
"Devils in High Places"
A political expose on
the planned destruction
of Akha culture by