27
Sep
2004

Update of what is going on with the Akha

(excerpt)

Web site updated, now there are many more pics available in the photo gallery, displayed on the homepage.

The work continues to be full time, now here in the US.

I had to spend a lot of time upgrading computer equipment to make it possible to get better use of photographs and make better printed material to publicize the plight of the Akha.

I just finished an Akha pamphlet for distribution in the US and elsewhere, which clearly states the situation the Akha face. If you are interested to help print and distribute these in your area we can discuss this and I can provide you with a pdf version.

I don't know if you have noticed, but since my return I have not seen one single article in any US media regarding the hill tribe in Thailand let alone the Akha. If there are any articles they are on the mess that the Hmong have been left in by the US in Laos.

I am making presentations in the US regarding the Akha situation and soon will be duplicating a large number of the Akha pamphlets to distribute as I travel to different regions.

I encourage you to continue to protest to the Thai government, and Thai embassies and consulates regarding the treatment of the Akha.

I have just gotten word that there has been an accident at Hooh Yoh Akha village. Several years ago, the Thai army and forestry tried to relocated Hooh Mah Akha. We successfully blocked that relocation. The housing that was substandard, constructed by Rotary Taiwan, on a steep mountain side, was not used. Slowly the Thai army moved other Akha, Lisu, and Lahu into these houses. On monday the hillside behind one house gave way, and killed a woman and her baby, crushing them in the house. Her husband escaped. We believe it was an Akha family, but are waiting for more information. As you know, the Queen's Royal project has seized all the land of the Hooh Yoh villages, some 8500 Rai.

One tragedy after another is imposed on these people by the Thai government.

Please take time to complain to your government.

Speaking of government, the US Consul, in particular the vice consul, John Aloia of Chiangmai, refuses to process the legally filed paperwork for my children in Thailand. Knowing that I am not in the country, he returned a bank check, stating that I must pay for services in CASH.

In the areas of the Akha Campaign, I am still looking for volunteers who can work in the US or Europe to help publicize the situation the Akha face. Please contact me if you are willing to help out.

I have noticed that once I was out of the country, people just stopped thinking much about the Akha, as if this was some sort of hobby for me, as if maybe I didn't have a return ticket home, and now that I was back in the US I would get a big sofa, a soft life, and stick my face in front of the boob tube.

Well, not hardly.

And the work and opportunities to publicize the situation the Akha are in just got larger.

Sincerely,

Matthew McDaniel

The Akha Heritage Foundation.
http://www.akha.org Akha Heritage Site.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Akhaweeklyjournal
Discussion http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akha
PO Box 6073 Salem, OR. 97304 USA.


The Akha Pamphlet is up on line now in pdf format. You can download it at
http://www.akha.org/upload/flyers/pamphlet.pdf
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