The Akha Heritage Foundation -
Akha Human Rights - Akha University
You may copy and save this document for later reading.
Please remember to do a site search for other related documents which may not be shown here.

Hooh Yoh Pics High Resolution
Pics are large files, take time to load.

In Brief:

The village of Hooh Yoh (Three villages together) has had all their land taken by the Thai government in the last months of 2003.

250 families, 1019 people.  All told to take a hike, that they could live out there in the mountains with no land to farm, no food, their own tough luck.

People at the project site tell us that this is a special project, but can not give us a name, or contact for a senior government official.

Maejo University from Chiangmai is also involved in this heist.

We don't think this situation is correct.

Not after 40 years at that location, long before there were even any Thais there, before there was a road.

Please write to your nearest Thai embassy and complain, ask for an explanation in writing how it is legal to take the land of Hooh Yoh without due process.

Hooh Yoh Akha village is in Ampur Mae Faluang, Chiangrai province of north Thailand.

Taking this land was decided without any permission or consultation of the villagers.  Now the villagers are afraid to go out and farm.  Eight villagers were arrested and fined $400 to get out of jail.  Two of the women spent 15 days in jail while 8 months plus pregnant.

Now the same eight villagers are told by the Chiangrai Forestry Chief and Mr. Hoh Nah Gkay Gkah that they must pay $4000 more apiece or go back to jail, for farming near their homes. 

They have ten days left in which to pay. 

Don't go to Thai restaurants, don't buy Thai and don't travel to Thailand until the Thai government offers land protection to the Akha people and recognizes them as humans, not animals.

Contact us with questions.

What you can do:
You can mail and email government officials, your Thai embassy, your MP or Congressman and demand that these land seizures stop!

Peace Camp:
Join the Hooh Yoh Peace Camp and help us protect the land of the Akha people and bring attention to the world that NO ONE can take Akha land and impoverish them any more.

After 2274 murders and all the praise from the US Government that violence pays, the Thai government thinks they can do anything they want.

We got news for them.

Come to the village, water and food can be arranged locally.  You will be helping teach english to Akha activists and monitoring all non Akha traffic in and out of this village.  If you can raise funds to help pay for banners and other advertising, this will help.

There will be a house in the village for you to stay at.

You MUST have a passport with you at ALL times and a VALID visa.

Village Meeting
The Akha of Hooh Yoh Akha meet to discuss the village land situation.

The village of Hooh Yoh

Hooh Yoh has three sections

Concrete Village Built By Rotary:
Three years ago, the army and forestry department tried to illegally force Hooh Mah Akha village to relocate from their location of 78 years up above and one valley over from Hooh Yoh Akha.  Combining the effort with a confused involvement of Taiwan Rotary International, who hadn't a clue what was going on,  a concrete village was rapidly built on a steep and dangerous hillside.  These houses remained empty when Hooh Mah Akha did NOT move.  However, other Akha filtered in who lost their land in other locations, and found small land to farm with Hooh Yoh village.  Now they are loosing this land also.

Rotary Celebrates its "Peace Village" with an expensive gate

Army Tells Akha They Can't Use Tractor
The Army told the Akha of Hooh Yoh that they couldn't use a local tractor or backhoe to fix their village plots to rebuild their houses which they traditionally do during this time of year. 

The back hoe and tractor operators, Thai people, were even angry with the army, saying that this can not be done to people, to take everything they have and then keep them from fixing their homes.

Akhas Rebuild a Hut
The Akha seasonally rebuild a hut.  Only after many years of saving are the Akha able to build a cheap concrete house.

The Land:
This government action is taking all the farm land of Hooh Yoh Akha.
They are given no options for farming.
They have farmed here for nearly 40 years.  They have preserved the forest well, and only farm one valley side, slowly building many rice terraces over the years that protect from erosion.  The villagers of Hooh Yoh were never included in any discussions regarding this land. 

The entire village has been detoxed from ANY drug use or involvement. 
A sign warns the Akha that they will be shot for using drugs.  Many were.
No drugs, yet no land either, has the Thai government gone mad? We think so.

We think it is intolerable that the Thai government take this land with no consideration to these people.

An old army checkpoint was constructed
When the army first began taking the village land and water they constructed this checkpoint between Hooh Yoh Akha and their land.
Now it has been abandoned with many more structures added.  Army personnel daily warn the Akha of this and that, creating a climate of fear.

Good Land Stewards:
The Akha invest in the land, shaping it daily, year by year, establishing land use areas for increased food efficiency and sustainability.  Reckless use of the land will effect the AKHA FIRST so they are the first to realize how careful they must be. 

Rice terraces:
Below are rice terraces of Hooh Yoh

A marker depicts tree planting in an Akha rice terrace. 

The army, not the Akha, cut this new road down through the Akha farmland

Akha Land:
A broad view of the mountain valley east side used by the Akha.  The far valley face is used by the Lahu and Lisu.
This is a crucial time for this village as now the Akha are investing heavily in tea, coffee and corn crops for long term survival. Tea and coffee encourage the economy of trees.

Close ups of land plots of Akha land
The following pics are close ups of land the Akha farmed

Forestry and Army chope up the Akha land
The forestry department has taken the Akha land in disregard, they figure there isn't international law about the right to food. They forget the millions of dollars and tourists that come to Thailand to see the Akha.  For which the Akha get nothing.  Just treatment like this. In Thailand the forestry department thinks all the trees belong to them.  Forestry policy in the mountains is ethnic cleansing.  No one comments where all the lumber in the lumber yards come from, who logged the big trees off this land or who logged all the lowlands that had trees like what can still be seen in Laos.

Pics below show the misuse of this land:

We are looking west.  To the east, behind us, there is a complete forest protected by the Akha, recorded in their religion, and use for gathering herbs and safe guarding the water shed.  The Thai government has completely failed to protect the watershed.  Chinese flower farms, Thai orange orchards and Thai pig farms all severely pollute the water in this region, all new comers.

Project staff truck.  Lots of bucks for ripping people off.

Thailand Ranks?
Thailand ranks as one of the lowest in protection of the poorest, most vulnerable, child and women trafficking, drugs, prostitution.  The total disregard for people on the part of the powerful is full explanation.  Exploitation of the poor is frequent, prosecution of the wealthy is seldom.

Copyright 1991 The Akha Heritage Foundation