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Two Lahu Men Missing, Presumed Dead at Hands of Thai Army

Presumed Dead

Hui Mow Army Base implcated

Two Missing Lahu June 26, 2002 Loh Mah Cheh Lahu

Ampur Mae Fah Luang

Chiangrai Province

Data

Leeh Cheeh Bpow. # 6-5715-50025-15-0

The families are seeking any information leading to the location of these two men or their bodies.

On June 26, 2002, after plowing their rice terraces, the two Lahu men Ah Tsah and Leeh Cheeh Bpow, from Sah Mah Ket village in Ampur Mae Faluang district of Chiangrai, Thailand drove a small truck across the border with Burma for a man from the Burma side. The truck was not known to be stolen, but the buyer did not know how to get it across the border. (A case of what might be considered smuggling at worst.) They were paid $60 each to do this. The road is deeply rutted and extremely bad, even for a four wheel drive, which this vehicle was not.) They needed the money to pay workers to plant their rice in the terraces.

Upon their return the following morning of 27 June, 2002 they were taken into custody by army soldiers at the Akha village of Gow Lang according to witnesses. This is very close to the border road that used to go to Meh Joh Akha in Burma which was attacked and burned.

Witnesses also say they saw these two Lahu men at Huai Maw Army base near Haen Taek later on in the day. They have not been seen or heard of since. Word in the region is that they were executed. Hooh Maw army personell say that they never saw the men. Later that story was changed to they "let the men go and the men said they were going to visit Chiangrai."

More than a month has passed and the wives have heard no word of these men. Nor has anyone else. Ah Tsah was 48, the father of 7 children, a Thai citizen.

Leeh Cheeh Bpow was 37 and the father of three children, he had a blue hilltribe card.

Since the disappearances of these two men, the hilltribe now claim that there are scorese of men who have disappeared in the region.

They blame the army and police for killing them.


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