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Akha Blog Page 10

Auto Accident and Back Injury Continues to Slow Progress
While in Arizona, I stopped at a red light and was hit by another car, doing serious damage to my back and neck. Two torn discs, two herniated discs and one compression in the neck. Months of doctor visits and therapy have done little to change the over all siutation. While having chronic pain no matter what I do, any effort in any direction rapidly brings pain to several locations of my back. Always in good health this has been a setback and has also been a setback for my work on numerous Akha projects. For one thing, when there was a shortage of money to get a project done, I often went out and worked for the money, donating it into the project to make sure an objective was accomplished on time. This is more difficult to do now. It is very hard to find work when the people know you are STARTING the job with a back injury.

A careless driver tried to answer his phone which had fallen on the floor, and slammed into the back of my van, throwing it into the truck in front of me, he was not even able to brake.

While this has made my work much more difficult, I decided to continue with plans, the payoff of the bus, and the ride for freedom. But it has made it an all new kind of bet, as what would have been quite enjoyable and challenging has now become quite painful by routine.

"Cookie", Mare Joins Hampton for Ride
Our second horse for the "Ride for Freedom" is finally here, we picked up "Cookie", a quarterhorse percheron cross earlier this week to make a pair of horses for this trip. She will need a bit of work, but promises to be an excellent partner for the trail. After picking her up on Monday I walked her some 30 miles back to town. Will have some pictures soon. The kids of course are pretty excited that there is now a horse that they will get to claim for theirs.

Soon as the bus is paid off, we will be leaving.

US Embassy Bangkok Denies Akha Land Seizures
In a recent communication from the US Embassy and US State Department, the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand stated that there is no documentation of any recent seizures of Akha land in Thailand.

We are not surprised by this denial of the obvious and documented facts. But this letter will be the basis of a Congressional follow up in finding out why the Embassy is not able to find the obvious?

We seek to have US aid cut to Thai military units who abuse, an accounting of weapons use, funding, DEA operations in the north of Thailand from 2001 to the present, and especially during the 2003 drug war, as well as any US funding to the Royal Project.

A Community Guide to Environmental Health
Guide to Community Health PDF's
Jeff Conant and Pam Fadem
Paperback, 600 pages, illustrated, $28 (or free PDF download from their site)
ISBN: 978-0-942364-56-9
From toilets to toxics, from watershed management to waste management, from raising crops to rising temperatures, how we use natural resources affects our health and well-being.

This highly illustrated guide helps health promoters, development workers, environmental activists, and community leaders take charge of their environmental health. In small villages and large cities, A Community Guide to

Environmental Health can provide the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to begin transforming the crisis in environmental health.

This book contains activities to stimulate critical thinking and discussion, inspirational stories, and instructions for simple health technologies such as water purification methods, safe toilets, and non-toxic cleaning products. 23 chapters.

Ride for Freedom:
Bus Balance down to $4650
June 28, 2008
The balance on the Bus is down.
Departure set for July, 2008.
We thank all the people who have been helping out.

Do you have design ideas for the sides of the bus? Background will be black with lettering.
Email us with your ideas.

Big Brother
Why is Homeland Security watching Eugene's activists?
Big Brother

by Camilla Mortensen
Last month's Tasering of a UO student was more than just the Eugene Police Department (EPD) overreacting to a peaceful protest. It was the result of the monitoring of an anti-pesticide group based in Lane County by the Department of Homeland Security, according to recent documents concerning the incident.

Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center and Day Owen of the Pitchfork Rebellion, who was arrested at the rally, say that the reports contain many inaccuracies. Regan further alleges that Homeland Security illegally monitored the rally. It was "obviously unconstitutional," she says, citing COINTELPRO investigations that targeted dissident organizations. According to the police reports, Federal Protective Services (FPS), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, was made aware of the rally in support of Lane County's no-roadside spray policy by the EPD on May 22. That is the day EW published an article on the planned rally, featuring a photo of Ian Van Ornum, one of the leaders of "Crazy People for Wild Places," the student group that organized the rally. Van Ornum was Tasered twice and arrested with Owen and UO student (and Eagle Scout) Tony Farley.

The reports show that Homeland Security thought the rally was organized by the Pitchfork Rebellion, a group of rural Lane County residents who want to put a stop to pesticide spraying by large corporations (see EW cover stories 3/16/06 and 2/28/08). "That's either a blatant lie or poor police work," says Owen, who spoke at the event but did not organize it. The Pitchfork Rebellion, he says, has never been involved in "property damage or anything like that."

The reports indicate that Homeland Security has been monitoring the Pitchfork Rebellion, claiming the group had also organized an anti-Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) rally that marched from the UO's Public Interest Environmental Law Conference to the steps of the Federal Courthouse. PIELC, one of the largest gatherings of environmental activists and legal minds in the country, has been monitored by federal agents in the past. Ironically, Owen says the Pitchfork Rebellion in turn had already been investigating Homeland Security and what he calls the goal of one of its divisions of protecting business interests.

That March 7 rally was organized by Van Ornum and other students from OSPIRG. While the reports say the the marchers "attempted to storm" the steps of the building with the intent to occupy offices, Samantha Chirillo of Cascadia Ecosystem Advocates says that didn't happen and she as an organizer "wanted to avoid confrontation." The goal was to present Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden with petitions against the WOPR, a plan that that calls for increased logging of Oregon's old-growth forests.

According to the reports, Homeland Security believed there was a danger that the pesticide rally participants would also march to the courthouse. A FPS officer, Inspector William Turner, was stationed at the courthouse in an unmarked car. Another officer, Thomas Keedy, attended the rally at Kesey Square. Keedy, according to the reports, called the Eugene Police, specifically naming Van Ornum, alleging he had stepped into traffic and that he had a pesticide bottle of unknown contents.

The original press release from the EPD said "there were some witnesses who reported overhearing rally participants — prior to the incident — planning a way to provoke a call that would get police to the area," but it never identified those witnesses.

Witnesses like Mary Stephens say the only time Van Ornum might have "blocked traffic" was when an EPD officer in an unmarked car stopped on the road and called Van Ornum over to the vehicle. She says the Homeland Security officer she talked to at the rally said he was "just passing by." The pesticide bottle that Van Ornum was using as part of the street theater at the event was left behind by officers after Van Ornum's arrest. It contained water, organizers say, pointing out the rally was against chemicals such as pesticides.

In William Turner's report, he writes that when he left the courthouse to go to the rally, he radioed the "Denver MegaCenter" to let them know he was on route "to provide assistance." The Denver MegaCenter is one of four FPS centers that monitor and dispatch FPS officers around the clock.

"The feds were the precipitating factors to calling in the police," says Regan, not the actions of the people at the rally. The Homeland Security reports say that the officers saw "several subjects, some wearing masks covering their faces" that were "provoking" EPD officers by entering traffic lanes. But witnesses who have appeared at several meetings about the Tasering incident all say the street theater participants stayed on the sidewalk. Van Ornum was leaning against a planter, listening to the speakers, when the officers dragged him across the street before grabbing him by the hair, slamming his head against the ground and Tasering him, say the witnesses.

"They are lying in the reports to justify why Homeland Security was there," says Owen.

Homeland Security didn't return EW's call before press time.

Maybe someone knows something about this Richard P. Haugland who is taking young Akha girls in Thailand for his "school" and who has ties to Homeland Security?

Maoris sign grievance settlement
Maoris Sign Grievance Settlement

Seven indigenous Maori tribes have signed New Zealand's largest-ever settlement over grievances arising from 19th century losses of lands, forests and fisheries during European settlement of the country.

The 420 million New Zealand dollar (£159 million) Treelords agreement will transfer ownership of 435,000 acres of plantation forest and forest rents from the central government to the central North Island tribes.

Hundreds of Maori, some wearing traditional feather cloaks, thronged the nation's Parliament in Wellington to witness the signing of the agreement. Chants, challenges and conch shell notes rang out during the ceremony; some wiped tears from their eyes during the speeches and signing.

The seven tribes include more than 100,000 people.

"It's a historic journey we are on," Prime Minister Helen Clark told the crowd. "We came into politics to address injustice and seek reconciliation. Thank you for walking that road with us on this historic day."

Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen said the transfer of the majority of forests held by the government in the region to the seven tribes meant the asset "will finally be utilised in the interests of local Maori".

"New Zealand is a lesser nation today as a result of the failure to uphold its obligations to so many generations of Maori," Cullen said. "But all has not been lost."

He told Parliament the deal settled the tribes' forest claims but that other grievances would be settled separately and would likely involve further redress payments by the government.

Maori lands and forests were protected by the founding Treaty of Waitangi, signed with European settlers in 1840, but huge tracts of land were taken for settlement. Maori have been engaged in grievance claims since the early 1840s.

Maori paramount chief Dr Tumu te Heu Heu, chairman of the tribal collective, said their objective was to provide tribes with "a strong, durable and sustainable economic future," particularly the youth and the coming generations.

Oxfam on Biofuels and Poverty: Another Inconvenient Truth
Biofuels deepen poverty and accelerate climate change: Oxfam report
Published: 25 Jun 08
Another Inconvenient Truth pdf

The biofuel policies of developed countries like the US and the EU have dragged more than 30 million extra people into poverty according to a report released today by international aid agency Oxfam.

The report, ‘Another Inconvenient Truth’, finds that biofuel policies are not solving climate change or the fuel crisis but are instead contributing to food insecurity, hunger and inflation which hit poor people hardest.

Released today, the report calculates that developed country biofuel policies have dragged people into poverty by causing a 30 per cent increase in global food prices.

The report follows last week’s news that food and drink companies including Unilever, Nestle, Cadbury and Heineken asked the European Commission to review its policy that encourages biofuel production, stating that they believed it would help drive agricultural commodity prices to further record highs.

Unlike many other developed countries, Australia has not set mandatory targets for biofuel production or use.

Oxfam Australia’s biofuels and food crisis expert, Jeff Atkinson, said the report illustrated how catastrophic policies like mandatory targets had been and urged the Australian Government not to adopt them.

“Biofuel policies are actually helping to accelerate climate change and deepen poverty and hunger. Rich countries’ demands for more biofuels in their transport fuels are contributing to spiralling production and food inflation,” Mr Atkinson said.

Mandatory targets for biofuel use place a legal obligation on fuel companies to blend a certain volume or percentage of biofuels with the petrol and diesel they sell.

“The evidence about the damage of mandatory targets is overwhelming, and we strongly urge the Australian Government to ensure that these targets for biofuels are not adopted in Australia. Such targets would only serve to put pressure on agricultural land in developing countries,” Mr Atkinson said.

Mr Atkinson said the cultivation of biofuel products required mass land clearing that took over agricultural land and forced farming to expand into lands like forests and wetlands. This triggered the release of excessive and damaging carbon into the atmosphere, cancelling out the environmental benefits of biofuels. He said in Indonesia, where peatland tropical rainforest was being cleared to make way for palm oil which is used in biodiesel, it would take approximately 420 years of biofuel production to pay back the carbon debt accrued from this destruction of the rainforest’s carbon stores.

Mr Atkinson said biofuels also would not address wealthy countries’ need for fuel security.

“Even if the entire world’s supply of grains and sugars were converted into ethanol tomorrow – in the process giving the world less to eat – we would only be able to replace 40 per cent of our petrol and diesel consumption,” Mr Atkinson said.

“Rich country governments should not use biofuels as an excuse to avoid urgent decisions about how to reduce their unfettered demand for petrol and diesel,” he said.

To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact Laurelle Keough, Oxfam Australia Media Liaison Coordinator – Advocacy & Campaigns, on 0409 960 100

Language and Culture Shift Can Lead To Hopelessness
Switching languages can also switch personality: study
Tue Jun 24, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - People who are bicultural and speak two languages may unconsciously change their personality when they switch languages, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers David Luna from Baruch College and Torsten Ringberg and Laura A. Peracchio from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studied groups of Hispanic women, all of whom were bilingual, but with varying degrees of cultural identification.

They found significant changes in self perception or "frame-shifting" in bicultural participants -- women who participate in both Latino and Anglo culture.

"Language can be a cue that activates different culture-specific frames," the researchers said in a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

While frame-shifting has been studied before, they said this research found that people who are bicultural switched frames more quickly and easily than people who are bilingual but living in one culture.

The researchers said the women classified themselves as more assertive when they spoke Spanish than when they spoke English.

"In the Spanish-language sessions, informants perceived females as more self-sufficient and extroverted," they said.

In one of the studies, a group of bilingual U.S. Hispanic women viewed advertisements that featured women in different scenarios. The participants saw the ads in one language - English or Spanish - and then, six months later, they viewed the same ads in the other language.

Their perceptions of themselves and of the women in the ads shifted depending on the language.

"One respondent, for example, saw an ad's main character as a risk-taking, independent woman in the Spanish version of the ad, but as a hopeless, lonely, confused woman in the English version," said the researchers.

Toxic Jatropha: Cancer and Thai Govt. Plans
Tumors and Jatropha, Thai
The dangers of jatropha add up and Thailand plans millions of plants.

Video: The Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine and Eugenics
Video Documentary on Eugenics and the Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine
Our documentation on the Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine being forced on the Akha has been connected to a broader discussion on eugenics in this video about Gates and world vaccine programs pushed from the west on third world countries.

Global Invasive Species Programme Rates Jatropha as an Invasive Species
The Global Invasive Species Programme
GISP Biofuel Crops & the Use of Non-native Species
Jatropha seen as an invasive species on a list of biofuels. (seen as hazards)

American Anthropological Association Letter Against Thai Drug War
American Anthropological Association Letter
The American Anthropological Association speaks out against the Thai Drug War.

Video: Kriasak Choonhaven Tells How 15 Akhas Were Killed in One Vehicle in 2003 Drug War
15 Akha Killed in Vehicle
Senator Kriasak Choonhaven tells how 15 Akha were killed in one vehicle during Thai Drug War of 2003.

Protest at Thai Consul in New York Over Drug War
JUNE 09, 2008
Calling for an end to Thailand's war on drugs and for more AIDS treatment and prevention programs, a few dozen protesters gathered outside of the office of the Royal Thai Consulate General in New York City on Monday (June 9).

AIDS and human rights activists joined admitted drug users to urge Thailand to rethink its war on drugs. Earlier this year, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej promised to launch another war on drugs despite protests from human rights groups which denounced the deaths of at least 2,500 people in an earlier campaign. Human rights groups have accused Thailand of 'blacklisting' suspected drug users and dealers and having them killed by police. Thailand's government has blamed most of the deaths on inter-gang warfare.

The protesters in New York want Thailand to enact a more humane drug policy that includes drug prevention and AIDS education programs. According to Human Rights Watch, in Thailand, about 40 percent of intravenous drug users are living with HIV or AIDS. Organizers of Monday's protest also want the Thai government to distribute clean syringe needles to drug users. In a symbolic gesture, protesters in New York offered boxes of clean syringe needles to the Royal Thai Consulate General.

David Bryden of the Global AIDS Alliance said, "People are protesting here today because the Thai government is about to launch a drug war, one where they are actually going to be executing people who are using drugs, rather than approaching it as a public health problem. So what we are saying is that they need to have sensible humane policies, ones that would really work and be practical rather than ones that are simply repressive and kill people and throw people in jail."

Supatra Nacapew, the Thai Adviser to the Foundation For Aids Rights said, "I think the Thai government should be more forward on compulsory licensing also have a program to provide HIV education for the drug users in Thailand more than in the past, and also provide clean needles to save lives, save them from HIV, save them from hepatitis B and C and provide treatment.

Hiawatha Collins, a member of VOCAL-NY Drug Users Union said, "If you look at statistics. Statistics state that most of the time the people that are arrested for drugs aren't those selling drugs, but it's the user." He also said drug users should be afforded basic human rights such as health care."

Canadian Apology: Quebec Native Women’s Association Reply
June 13, 2008
The Quebec Native Women's Association Reply to the Canadian Apology for Genocide.
Canadian Apology: Quebec Native Women’s Association Reply

'Missionaries' to the Akha BEWARE!
Canadian Apology: Prime minister apologizes to native Canadians
"We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, and that it created a void in many lives and communities and we apologize," he said in an address to Parliament televised live across Canada.
June 13, 2008

OTTAWA (AP) — Prime Minister Stephen Harper publicly apologized to native Canadians on Wednesday for the longtime government policy of taking aboriginal children away from their families and cultures.

In his historic speech, Harper said the treatment of children at the schools, where they often suffered from physical and sexual abuse, was a sad chapter in the country's history.

"We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, and that it created a void in many lives and communities and we apologize," he said in an address to Parliament televised live across Canada.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to strip them of their native culture and assimilate them into Canadian society.

"These institutions gave rise to abuse or neglect and were inadequately controlled and we apologize for failing to protect you," Harper said.

Hundreds of former students were invited to Ottawa to witness what native leaders say is a pivotal moment for Canada's more than 1 million aboriginals, who today remain the country's poorest and most disadvantaged group.

There are more than 80,000 surviving students of the schools.

Eleven aboriginal leaders watched the apology from the floor of the House of Commons and hundreds watched from the public gallery and from the front lawn of Parliament.

The apology came just months after Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a similar gesture to the so-called Stolen Generations — thousands of the continent's Aborigines who were forcibly taken from their families as children under assimilation policies that lasted from 1910 to 1970.

Canadian Apology: New York Times
Canadian Apolgy

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada, addressing one of the darkest chapters in its history, formally apologized on Wednesday for forcing 150,000 aboriginal children into grim residential schools, where many say they were sexually and physically abused.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a Parliamentary chamber packed with legislators and aboriginal representatives that there could be no excuses for what happened at the church-run schools, which mainly operated from the 1870s to the 1970s.

"The government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly. We are sorry," Harper said in a 15-minute address, at one point fighting back tears. Native leaders said they hoped the apology would lead to a new era of reconciliation between Canadians and the often marginalized aboriginal population, which routinely suffers from poor living conditions and high unemployment. The residential schools were initially set up to educate native children but later became part of a government campaign to assimilate aboriginals and eradicate their culture -- "to kill the Indian in the child," as some put it at the time.

"There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools system to ever again prevail," Harper said. Contemporary accounts suggest up to half the children in some institutions died of tuberculosis and other diseases. Many survivors say they were abused mentally, physically and sexually. Children were beaten for speaking their own languages and told they would be damned unless they converted to Christianity. Harper received a lengthy standing ovation when he finished. The public galleries in the House of Commons were full of native activists, several wearing feathered headdresses and embroidered clothes. Twelve aboriginal representatives -- including 104-year-old Marguerite Wabano, the oldest school survivor -- sat on chairs in a circle in front of Harper. Phil Fontaine, head of the Assembly of First Nations, said the apology "for this dreadful chapter in our shared history" would ensure the survival of Canada's aboriginal people. "Finally, we heard Canada say it is sorry," he told Parliament, his voice breaking. "It is possible to end our racial nightmare together. The memories of residential schools sometimes cut like merciless knives at our souls. This day will help us to put that pain behind us," said Fontaine, wearing a full native headdress.

Native leaders say the damage done by the schools is directly responsible for many of the social problems that plague the country's 1 million aboriginals today. Willie Blackwater, a survivor who launched a landmark 1995 lawsuit against the school supervisor who repeatedly raped him, said the apology had surpassed his expectations. "It was actually really awesome to hear the prime minister speak those words of apology ... it was quite a moving moment for me. I was crying through most of that," he told Reuters.

In May 2006, Canada reached a C$1.9 billion ($1.9 billion) settlement with the roughly 90,000 school survivors.

The settlement created a truth and reconciliation commission which started work on June 1 and will spent the next five years hearing from school survivors across Canada. Harper later attended an aboriginal ceremony and signed two copies of the apology, which will be hung in Parliament. The scandal is reminiscent of what happened during the same period in Australia, where at least 100,000 aboriginal children were removed from their homes. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized to the "Stolen Generations" in February.

(Additional reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

Thai's Know a Bit About Democratic Protest to Pressure the Government - Americans Could Learn Something
June 13, 2008
In Thai capital Bangkok, tens of thousands of heavy lorries are threatening to cause havoc while farmers are demonstrating and fishermen have begun burning their boats in nationwide protests against soaring prices of fuel and other essentials.

Lorry drivers' leaders warned the government that it has until next Tuesday to subsidise their fuel or face at least 100,000 vehicles rumbling into Bangkok.

A half-day strike yesterday by lorry drivers who parked their vehicles on roads across the country was only a prelude to next week's possible push into Bangkok, they said.

Finance Minister Suraphong Suebwonglee said there were plans to help reduce transport costs.

'I am not concerned about the lorry drivers' threat to strike because the government is seeking to subsidize the transport sectors as the whole,' he said.

One fishermen's group said more than half of the 50,000 fishing boats under its wing are being kept ashore because of the high cost of diesel.

Thai Airways International raised its fuel surcharges by up to 100 per cent yesterday day due to the rising cost of jet fuel.

Recognition at Last for Japan's Ainu
By Philippa Fogarty
BBC News
Recognition at last

In the 19th Century, Japanese people called the northern island of Hokkaido "Ezochi". It meant "Land of the Ainu", a reference to the fair-skinned, long-haired people who had lived there for hundreds of years.

The Ainu were hunters and fishermen with animist beliefs.

But their communities and traditions were eroded by waves of Japanese settlement and subsequent assimilation policies. Today only small numbers of Ainu remain, and they constitute one of Japan's most marginalised groups. On Friday they will have something to celebrate.

Japan's parliament is to adopt a resolution that, for the first time, formally recognises the Ainu as "an indigenous people with a distinct language, religion and culture".

Ride for Freedom:
Bus Balance down to $5650
June 8, 2008
The balance on the Bus is down. We expect payoff by the end of the month.
Departure set for July 15, 2008.
We thank all the people who have been helping out.

Scandal of Canada's 'Stolen Ones'
In a story that is right out of the play book for how missionaries treat the Akha, Canada is discussing what happened to Native children who were taken to mission schools.

Scandal of Canada's 'stolen ones'
Roland Chrisjohn, of the University of St Thomas in New Brunswick, said Ottawa must first admit that taking children from their parents and giving them to outsiders constituted an act of genocide. "Residential schools were about destroying our political systems, our religious systems, our communities, our cultures, our livelihood. They largely succeeded," he said.

The churches are suitably contrite. Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said the religious authorities had tried to "socialise and Christianise" aboriginal peoples. "We failed them, we failed ourselves, we failed God. We failed because of our racism and because of the belief that white ways were superior to aboriginal ways," he said.

Texas Supreme Court Says Texas Wrong To Take FLDS Children
The top Texas Court upheld the Appeals Court Ruling.
"They are finally admitting what we all have known," said Laura Shockley, a Dallas attorney who represented several of the so-called disputed minors. "I think they've made a huge mistake. I think they violated those young women's constitutional rights, and they should prepare themselves for the possibility of attorneys addressing that."

Shockley told the Deseret News she is considering a lawsuit against Texas CPS on behalf of her clients, alleging civil rights violations.

"This is egregious, what they have done. If there are violations at the ranch, CPS had a right to investigate them. The procedures they used are gross, overreaching and gross negligence in their part," she said.

Child abuse by aidworkers, peacekeepers rife: study
Child abuse by aid workers
By David Clarke Mon May 26, 7:11 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Sexual abuse of children by aid workers and peacekeepers is rife and efforts to protect young people are inadequate, said a report published on Tuesday. The study by charity Save the Children UK said there were significant levels of abuse in emergencies, much of it unreported and unless the silence ended, attempts to stamp out exploitation would "remain fundamentally flawed." Accusations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers and aid workers around the world have increased in recent years and the United Nations is investigating claims against its soldiers in hotspots such as Haiti, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Education, knowledge and understanding have always been the key to a quality education. A masters in criminal justice can help people learn the correct methods to handle situations around the world and country.

The report said while the U.N. and some non-governmental organizations were stepping up efforts to address the problem, a global watchdog should be established this year to monitor attempts to tackle abuse and champion effective responses.

Save the Children based its findings on visits last year to Haiti, Southern Sudan and Ivory Coast. It held 38 focus group discussions with 250 children and 90 adults, followed up by in-depth interviews with some and desk-based research.

The study found a huge range of exploitation and abuse: children trading sex for food, forced sex, verbal sexual abuse, child prostitution, child pornography, sexual slavery, sexual assault and child trafficking. The focus groups identified children as young as six as having been abused, although most were aged 14 to 15. U.N. peacekeepers were identified as the most likely perpetrators by 20 of the 38 groups, although a total of 23 humanitarian, peacekeeping and security organizations were associated with sexual abuse in the three countries. "All humanitarian and peacekeeping agencies working in emergency situations, including Save the Children UK, must own up to the fact that they are vulnerable to this problem and tackle it head on," said Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of Save the Children UK.

More than half of the participants in the study identified incidents of sexual touching and forced sex. Of these, 18 and 23 percent respectively recalled 10 or more such incidents. "They especially ask us for girls of our age. Often it will be between eight and 10 men who will share two or three girls. When I suggest an older girl, they say that they want a young girl," a 14-year-old boy who works at a peacekeeping camp in Ivory Coast told the Save the Children research team.

And the report said official U.N. statistics appeared to underestimate the scale of abuse, probably because so much of the exploitation was not reported by victims. "Clearly there is a significant disparity between the low levels of abuse cited in these statistics and the high levels suggested in field investigations and other evidence," it said. Save the Children said there were many reasons why abuse was not reported: fear of losing material assistance, threat of retribution, stigmatization, negative economic impact, lack of legal services, resignation to abuse, lack of information about how to report abuse and, crucially, lack of faith in a response.

Anecdotal evidence from all 38 focus groups suggested there was an endemic failure to respond to reports of abuse. "Many U.N. agencies and NGOs working here feel they cannot be touched by anyone," said an aid worker in Ivory Coast.
(Edited by Richard Meares)

Court Rules Seizure of FLDS Children By State of Texas Illegal
Children are expected to be reunited with their parents after a court ruling stated that the Texas had acted illegally in taking the FLDS children.

Dennis Gray China Farms the World to Feed a Ravenous Economy
Dennis Gray China Farms the World to Feed a Ravenous Economy
Dennis Gray points out problems with plantations in Laos which affect the Indigenous.

Jatropha can be Harmful, Expert Warns
Jatropha Bio Fuel Toxic to Soil and Humans
Dr. Saturnina Halos, chairman of the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Advisory Team, told The Manila Times that farmers would be at the receiving end if they plant jatropha because the only big market for that crop is biodiesel. Jatropha may contain a neurotoxin.

Movie: "Prisoners of a White God" a Smashing Success in Slovakia
Prisoners of a White God, a film by Tomas Ryska about the missionary exploitation of the Akha in Thailand, received a standing ovation at the Slovakia EnviroFilm Festival. Discussions of the film went on for two hours until the showing room had to be closed. The room was filled with many older christian people who understood the events shown and also felt that the way the Akha are being targeted and exploited by missionaries is wrong.
Envirofilm Festival
Steve Lichtag Site

Darwin Expert Group Meeting
The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IFIPCC) at the UNFCCC had concluded that REDD “will increase the violation of our Human Rights, our rights to our lands, territories and resources, steal our land, cause forced evictions, prevent access and threaten indigenous agriculture practices, destroy biodiversity and cultural diversity and cause social conflicts. Under REDD, Member Parties and Carbon Traders will take more control over our forests”[1]. [1] Statement made by the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IFIPCC) The 13th Session of Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC SBSTA 27, agenda item 5/REDD December 5th, 2007
Darwin Expert Group Meeting on REDD

REDD is the Color of Blood
REDD: Reducing (carbon) Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
We are being offered blood money.
We are being offered blood-price for extermination of ourbrothers and sisters.
We are being offered money to sell out humanity’s last defence and protection: our stewardship of all that our Mother Earth nurtures and cherishes.
What is the price of the free and uncontaminated breath of asingle healthy child?
What the price of a single exterminated species?
What is the price of identity, honour, sacred trusteeship?
REDD is a new global project cooked up by the World Bank Group and its “experts” to pay those whoclaim present or future income from deforestation and degradation of remaining natural forests, torefrain from cutting down forests. The climate change related rationale behind this new recipe is thatthe world (read industrialized world) is committed to a certain trajectory of market based economicgrowth fatally addicted to fossil fuel technology and high consumption patterns that it does not wantto abandon or change. The recipe offers an attractive incentive to high-end emitters of GHGs to makefurther profits doing more of the same while washing their dirty hands by paying off forestconservation efforts in the global south. The cooks present the recipe as a new market-based scheme that can contain carbon emissions using proxies, that is, natural forests as carbon sinks. Therefore,conserving such forests, in this scheme, becomes a profitable activity (non-activity) because southerngovernments, commercial entities and communities are going to be given a handsome purse,perversely paid, not to do a bad thing – cut down natural forests. Such a payment allows theindustrialized north to continue to extract, pollute, acquire and profit according to their growthagendas. This is in essence REDD.
REDD is the Color of Blood

Hypocrisy at the Wall Street Journal on Jatropha and Myanmar
Wall Street is more than glad to promote biodiesel fuel production via jatropha but suddenly when Myanmar's crisis comes around (where jatropha was also promoted) then there is every reason to criticize how it has contributed to food insecurity.

Promoting Jatropha:
Jatropha Article 1
Jatropha Article 2

But now that there is a food crisis, the Wall Street Journal completely changes its tune.
Myanmar's Badly Conceived Agricultural Policies
Western Hypocrisy On Bio Fuels - Myanmar

Western government and corporate elites have gone to great ends to promote biofuels.

Global Governments and Companies Promoting Biodiesel in Thailand

Jatropha Curcas Agricultureto Industry in Thailand.pdf
The UK government supports turning Thailand into a biodiesel state, never mind about rice.

Indigenous Rebel at UN Permanent Forum 2008

May 9, 2008
Indigenous Peoples Groups Demand Right to Speak at United Nations

May Revolt: Indigenous Uprising at the UNPFII

Story By David M. Kinchen Editor

Photos By Arthur Manuel

UN Exterior photo by David M. Kinchen

New York, NY (HNN) -- Last week, Indigenous Peoples put pressure on the chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, demanding to have the right to speak on the recommendations of the Permanent Forum.

At the end of its two-week conference at the United Nations Headquarters, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) said the World Bank funding for carbon trading had set "good examples" for partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

The protesting Indigenous peoples disrupted the start of the meeting, and refused to sit down, shouting in Spanish "La palabra", and in English "we want to speak".
Indigenous Rebel at Permanent Forum

Mechai, PDA and Monsanto
Mechai, PDA and Monsanto
May 10, 2008
Mechai illustrates his willingness to sell out the Thai farmer in this article on Monsanto rice in Thailand.

Who is Responsible for Confiscating Akha Lands?
May 10, 2008
There is a long history of Thai prejudice toward hill tribes, but that does not necessarily explain everything about why the hill tribes have been removed from their lands in and around forests. As Chris Lang, Larry Lohmann, Chupinit Kesmanee, Reiner Buergin and many others have pointed out, there have been some powerful interests who have been wanting access to Thai forest lands for a long time. The British actually started Thailand's Royal Forestry Department and exported much of the Thai forest early on, setting a precedent. And for decades now, foreign advisors from many countries have been pushing their way in to grab what forest land is left and turn it into profitable tree plantations. More
Who is Responsible for Confiscating Akha Lands?

Prisoners of a White God to Show in Slovak Republic
Envirofilm 2008
13 May 17:00 – 19:30
Worldwide first performance of the film and chat with the author Tomas Ryska and the film director Steve Lichtag.
Envirofilm Festival
This film, from author Tomas Ryska describes the plight of the Akha in Thailand. We look forward to its release in the US.

We Reach Out to Myanmar (Burma)
Via connections in Phoenix, AZ we are reaching out to Myanmar and planning a trip to to the region where estimates range as high as 100,000 dead from a disastrous cyclone Nargis that hit the region a week ago. We must raise $4000 plus for this project into Myanmar.
$40 Collected.

You can help make a difference now by donating via the link, writing in the donation notes, "For Myanmar". Departure could be within a few days.

$100 Donation Designated to Bus
$8450 Left to Go - You Can Help
May 8, 2008
We get closer to the bus completion.

Agro Fuels in India, Private Unlimited
May 7, 2008
Agro Fuels in India, Private Unlimited
In India as well as other parts of SE Asia food lands are being taken over by multinationals to grow bio fuel crops for the wealthy amid a growing food crisis.

In Thailand this translates to more palm plantations, jatropha planations and land seizures. Even well intending ngo's are investing in jatropha without seeing the local affect they are contributing to.

No Shame: Multinational Corporations Make Billions Off World Food Crisis
May 7, 2008
Multinationals Make Billions off Food Crisis

The multinational corporations are making billions off the food crisis and resultant starvation of people across the globe. Some argue that capitalism is good, that free enterprise is good, that making food an item of speculation is good, and thus the wealthy can speculate and bid up the prices of food that others must have to live. A day at the stock market can take food out of a million mouths by just a small run on this product or that product. Taking down national barriers to trade, that buffered food supplies and prices, has become a scam by the west to impovervish developing countries. Now food prices outside of one country can totally impoverish the people of that country. The world is headed for a crisis of unknown size as the greed of the wealthy takes over.

Letter To Condi Rice on Indonesian Military Abuses Shows Lack of Vetting in Military Aid by Embassy
May 7, 2008
Letter to Condi Rice on Indonesian Military Aid

This letter illustrates the concern over lack of proper vetting by the US Ambassador to Indonesia of Indonesian military forces. The same concerns can be shared for the US Embassy in Bangkok and Thai Military forces.

More information can be found at East Timor Action Network.
East Timor Action Network ETAN

Myanmar Death Toll Expected to Exceed 50,000
May 7, 2008
The cyclone Nargis has devestated coastal regions of Myanmar, practically destroying the delta rice growing areas with salt water, and washing thousands of people away with a 7 meter wave. A recent surge in rice prices has already made life hard enough on the people of SE Asia, but the cyclone has now left more than a million people homeless.

New Thai Drug War on NPR
The new Thai drug war is now discussed on NPR.
NPR Radio

Updates to This Site
April 28, 2008
We are rebuilding the phtotos on this site and have a directory going now at Photos. Will soon be adding photos there and to the seperate appropriate sections of contents. This is a long rebuild since we changed the server over while in Laos and we have still many news articles to move to this site as we rebuild them.

As you can see we have been following the bio fuels case as it relates to hunger and also to land grabs in Thailand. Mechai is one of the powerful people in Thailand who promote these kind of scams going back many years. We have a little satire on him in one of the links.

There is a fair amount of additional upgrading and tightening up of this site that we need to do. I will be going through the contents sections to add and upgrade information also. We always welcome your suggestions.

Ecology as Racism - Forest Cleansing - Racial Oppression in Scientific Nature Conservation
April 24, 2008
Ecology as Racism - Forest Cleansing - Racial Oppression in Scientific Nature Conservation
How environmentalism can be a cloak for ethnic cleansing or eco cleansing.

Gross Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights
April 24, 2008
Texas authorities, without legal basis, began seperating vast numbers of mothers from their small children, and shipping them in opposite directions today.

If you don't think the US is being taken over by a fascist state, you need to think again.

Gross violations of religious rights, on an international level, which must be filed at the UN, Rights of the Child, Civil and Political Rights, Right to Expression of Religion.

Once again, if there were specific cases of abuse that the court can document, they can take the necessary steps to protect the children.

It was after all the State of Texas that had legal age set at 14 and just recently (targeting the FLDS) raised the age to 16. Certainly this attack on the FLDS community was planned on the part of a group of high flying government officials. Hoax phone calls were only a pretext for initiating the raid. The pattern is little different than what happened at Waco or Ruby Ridge, the effects for the children devestating.

Bussing of Children

Prof. Gerardo Bamonte, Friend of the Akha, Passes On
April 24, 2008
On April 23, 2008, our friend and a friend to the Akha, Prof. Gerardo Bamonte passed on after a long fight with cancer. I first met Prof. Bamonte in 2004 at the WGIP at Geneva. He had become interested in the Akha cause and had seen the work of Lorenzo Hendel who produced the film with us, "Where the Wind Blows" about forced relocations of Akha villages and the removal of Akha children and destruction of their culture.

Prof. Bamonte also started a connection between the Italian University system and the museum of Maung Sing, Laos which is in the heart of Akha country.

We and the Akha will miss him.

Take a Star Off The Flag for the State of Texas
April 24, 2008
Texas does not belong to my country.
As the children of the FLDS are scattered to the four corners of the state, the rights of the parents on a one by one basis have not been heard. Texas ignores constitutionally protected rights and civil liberties.

What the state of Texas has done can now be done to all of us, Jew, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic. Why weren't all the children of the catholic church taken away when there are billions of dollars in abuse cases?

The state of Texas is setting a dangerous pattern. Many other religious groups are silent, but they will get their day.

USDA and UNCTAD Reports on Biodiesel in Thailand
April 22, 2008
Please look in these documents to note the quantity of land that Thailand will be using to radically expand the production of palm oil for biodiesel.
Thai Biodiesel Report USDA
Thai Biodiesel Report UNCTAD

Forms of Education as a Crime
Forms of Education as a Crime
Forms of Education as a Crime - UNPFII - Long Version
Expert paper submitted by Lars Anders-Baer. Prepared in cooperation with Ole Henrik-Magga, Robert Dunbar and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas. FORMS OF EDUCATION OF INDIGENOUS CHILDREN AS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?

Fitting that this paper should be presented at the UNPFII since it was at last years session that we brought out what was going on with UNESCO and SIL and language in Thailand.

7th Session UNPFII
April 21, 2008

More than 2,500 indigenous participants from all regions of the world, including Bolivia's President Evo Morales Ayma, will converge on the United Nations Headquarters next week to engage with the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, State representatives, senior United Nations officials, civil society and academia to state their views, voice their concerns about the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples and to discuss the role they may play in combating climate change.

The Seventh Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held in New York from 21 April to 2 May.

Indigenous peoples are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change, owing to their dependence upon, and close relationship with the environment and its resources. Climate change exacerbates the difficulties already faced by indigenous communities, including political and economic marginalization, loss of land and resources, human rights violations, discrimination and unemployment.

Although they contribute very little to the underlying causes of climate change, indigenous peoples are helping enhance the resilience of ecosystems they inhabit and are interpreting and reacting to the impacts of climate change in creative ways, drawing on traditional knowledge and other technologies to find solutions which may help society at large to cope with impending changes.

This year's session is the first since world leaders adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007. The landmark Declaration, drafted and debated for more than 20 years, emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their self-determined development, in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.

Other issues to be discussed during the two-week session include: indigenous peoples in the Pacific region; the Millennium Development Goals; indigenous languages; and human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples. The outcome of the seventh session is expected to be a report to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, including draft decisions recommended for adoption by the Council.

Indigenous Peoples at International Level

Estimates point to more than 370 million indigenous peoples in some 90 countries worldwide. While they are from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds, they share challenges such as: lack of basic health care; limited access to education; loss of control over land; abject poverty; displacement; human rights violations; discrimination; and economic and social marginalization.

The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in July 2000. The Forum provides expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the United Nations system through the Council; raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of relevant activities within the United Nations system; and disseminates information on indigenous issues.

The Permanent Forum is comprised of 16 independent experts, functioning in their personal capacity. The Economic and Social Council appoints the members, eight of whom are nominated by Governments and eight nominated by indigenous organizations in their regions.

Biofuels Leading to Human Rights Abuses
April 21, 2008
Background information on Mechai Viravaydia
The Guardian
EU politicians should reject targets for expanding the use of biofuels because the demand for palm oil is leading to human rights abuses in Indonesia, a coalition of international environmental groups claimed today.

A new report, published by Friends of the Earth and indigenous rights groups LifeMosaic and Sawit Watch, said that increasing demands for palm oil for food and biofuels was causing millions of hectares of forests to be cleared for plantations and destroying the livelihoods of indigenous peoples.

The report, Losing Ground, said many of the 60-90 million people in Indonesia who depend on the forests are losing their land to the palm oil companies.

Pollution from pesticides, fertilisers and the pressing process is also leaving some villages without clean water.

"The unsustainable expansion of Indonesia's palm oil industry is leaving many indigenous communities without land, water or adequate livelihoods. Previously self-sufficient communities find themselves in debt or struggling to afford education and food. Traditional customs and culture are being damaged alongside Indonesia's forests and wildlife," the report reads.

It claims that oil palm companies often use violent tactics as they move in to convert the land to plantations.

"Human rights – including the right to water, to health, the right to work, cultural rights and the right to be protected from ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest – are being denied in some communities.

"If palm oil is to be produced sustainably, the damaging effects of unjust policies and practices in the Indonesian plantation sector must be addressed," the report said.

The alleged human rights abuses come after several recent reports have highlighted the environmental problems caused by the conversion of land for farming palm oil.

Last week a study by the University of Minnesota and Nature Conservancy, published in Science, found that the carbon lost through the clearance of forests, peat lands or even grasslands far outweighs the greenhouse gas savings that can come from biofuels.

Conversion of land for corn, sugarcane, palm oil or soybeans released 17 to 420 times more carbon than the annual savings from replacing fossil fuels with bioethanol or biodiesel, the researchers said.

Last month the Commons environmental audit committee called for a moratorium on targets for the use of biofuels until their impact could be better assessed.

The EU currently wants biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel to make up 10% of transport fuel by 2020. Britain has a separate target of 5% of biofuels in petrol and diesel by 2010.

In its energy directive last month, the commission proposed the introduction of sustainability criteria because of fears about the environmental impact of growing fuel crops.

But Friends of the Earth and LifeMosaic said the targets would drive a huge increase in palm oil in Indonesia, adding there were plans for a further 20m hectares of plantations by 2020 – an area the size of England, the Netherlands and Switzerland combined.

Friends of the Earth biofuels campaigner, Hannah Griffiths, said: "As well as being bad for the environment, biofuels from palm oil are a disaster for people.

"MEPs should listen to the evidence and use the forthcoming debate on this in the European parliament to reject the 10% target.

"Instead of introducing targets for more biofuels the EU should insist that all new cars are designed to be super-efficient.

"The UK government must also take a strong position against the 10% target in Europe and do its bit to reduce transport emissions by improving public transport and making it easier for people to walk and cycle," she added.

An Agricultural Crime against Humanity
April 20, 2008
An Agricultural Crime Against Humanity
By George Monbiot
January-March 2008 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
It doesn't get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty percent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava. (1) The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the county of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought.

This is one of many examples of a trade described last October by Jean Ziegler, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, as "a crime against humanity." Ziegler calls for a five-year moratorium on all government targets and incentives for biofuel: the trade should be frozen until second-generation fuels—made from wood or straw or waste—become commercially available. Otherwise the superior purchasing power of drivers in the rich world means that they will snatch food from people's mouths. Run your car on virgin biofuel and other people will starve.

Even the International Monetary Fund now warns that using food to produce biofuels "might further strain already tight supplies of arable land and water all over the world, thereby pushing food prices up even further." (2) In November 2007, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization announced the lowest global food reserves in 25 years, threatening what it calls "a very serious crisis." (3) Even when the price of food was low, 850 million people went hungry because they could not afford to buy it. With every increment in the price of flour or grain, several million more are pushed below the breadline.

The cost of rice has risen by 20 percent over the past year, maize by 50 percent, wheat by 100 percent. (3) Biofuels aren't entirely to blame, but by taking land out of food production, they exacerbate the effects of bad harvests and rising demand.

At this point, the biofuels industry starts shouting, "Jatropha!" Jatropha is a tough weed with oily seeds that grows in the tropics. Because it can grow on marginal land, jatropha is claimed to be a "life-changing" plant, which will offer jobs, cash crops, and economic power to African smallholders.

Yes, it can grow on poor land and be cultivated by smallholders. But it can also grow on fertile land and be cultivated by largeholders. If there is one blindingly obvious fact about biofuel, it's that it is not a smallholder crop. It is an internationally traded commodity which travels well and can be stored indefinitely, with no premium for local or organic produce. Already the Indian government is planning 14 million hectares of jatropha plantations. (3) In August, the first riots took place among the peasant farmers being driven off the land to make way for them. (4)

If the governments promoting biofuels do not reverse their policies, the humanitarian impact will be greater than that of the Iraq War. Millions will be displaced, hundreds of millions more could go hungry.

Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2007

Literature Cited:
1. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Swaziland: Food or biofuel seems to be the question. 25 October 2007. www.irinnnews
2. V. Mercer-Blackman, Samiei, H.,and Cheng K. Biofuel Demand Pushes Up Food Prices. 17 October 2007. International Monetary Fund Survey Magazine
3. Vidal, J. Global food crisis looms as climate change and fuel shortages bite. The Guardian. 3 November 2007.
4. Olden, M. Growing concern: Observations on biofuels. 25 October 2007. New Statesman. New Statesman

An Open Letter on Biodiesel in Thailand
April 19, 2008

Hi Andy:

I ran across your web blog on bio diesel project in Thailand.

I have lived and worked in Thailand for many years, working with the Akha on human rights issues which include first of all land rights.

I currently have a case at the UNOHCR regarding the Queen of Thailand taking the land of the Akha people.

But this is not where the story begins.

Mechai is a long time rotating CEO of many organizations in Thailand. This includes PTT and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand. He also runs PDA of course.

High in the Akha mountains of Thailand Mechai and PDA took away thousands of acres of rice lands from the Akha to plant pine. Now we can expect the same for bio diesel related plants.

Did you know that Mechai has single handedly violated the human rights of the Akha people, forcing villages to be relocated, causing massive poverty, driving Akha women and men into unsavory jobs and giving the missionaries cause to say "you haven't enough to eat, give us your children"?

Bio diesel has an extreme human cost.

I quote from your site:
"The last few summers I partnered with the Population and Community Development Association, or the PDA, in Thailand. The PDA is an amazing NGO that's most famous for it's family planning program and AIDS prevention techniques in the early 70's. Today they're active in these two areas still, but they also focus on rural income development. I've worked in Thailand in promoting the production and use of biodiesel in rural areas. Thailand produces huge amounts of Palm Oil, which can be used for biodiesel, especially useful when the market is flooded with the feedstock. In addition, Jatropha, a native plant naturally grows in some areas of Thailand, and I have helped to try to optimize growing conditions for Jatropha in order to improve the crop growing efficiency. I love working with the PDA; one of their main philosophies is that an idea must be sustainable economically in order for it to be successful, and have tried to do so with the rural biodiesel production project. I couldn't have done it without the gracious funding from Mr. Donald P. Kanak, the donor for the UNC Entrepreneurial Public Service Fellowship that I received."

Yes, PDA is amazing and what they are up to amounts to genocide, and we have filed a claim against Thailand for this with the International Criminal Court.

Now how many acres of Akha land will be taken for Jatropha?

My wife's family lives in a fairly remote Akha village in Chiangrai. ALL of the land of her village was taken by the Thai authorities. All in the name of these schemes. Now the village has no where to grow rice.

Will you supply it for them? Will Mechai?

Matthew McDaniel

Foreign Military Sales: Changes Needed to CorrectWeaknesses in End-Use Monitoring Program
April 18, 2003
In the report below, it is clear that weapons that are given to foreign militaries such as Thailand are not adequately monitored for who uses them and how they are used, and to see if human rights violations are occurring.
Military End Use Monitoring - Changes Needed

Southeast Asia: Better Human Rights Reviews Needed for US Assistance to Foreign Security Forces
April 18, 2008
Jeffrey Bergner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Legislative Affairs, at the Department of State, referred us to this report.
Better human rights reviews for SE Asia security programs

The Seizure of Children In Texas a Gross Violation of Religious and Family Rights
Texas distress call a "hoax".
Having tracked the confiscation of Akha children for more than a decade by white missionaries, we can't help but note this case in America's Bible belt.

The incredible seizure of hundreds of children in Texas by the State brings back Waco, Texas and Janet Reno. Very little evidence has been presented in this case, there is very little probable cause to take all the children of a community based on the report of one child, which in fact did not come into 911 but supposedly came into a "hot line" and the state has yet to show proof it has any idea who the caller is. Anderson Cooper stated on the air that it is now known that the unfindable 16 year old is now a hoax. But the news websites keep repeating it.

Instead we have a case of the state taking children regardless of there being an accusation for each child or not, and no proof that any harm was being done to anyone. If children were forced to marry, it is not basis to take all the children from an entire town. This has never happened in recent history.

Where are the other Mormons, where is James Dobson, where are the other "family" people?
The seizure is a gross violation of civil rights.

The state of Texas is handing out yellow stars.

Thailand Plans to Export Bio Fuel - Food Shortage Fears
April 17, 2008
(Link Damaged)
We Strongly Oppose the Bio Fuel Movement as a Plan to Starve the World's Poor
February 28, 2008 (Bangkok Post) - Thailand is developing a master plan to build the country into the world's second largest green energy producer after Brazil. Energy Minister Poonpirom Liptapanlop said she wanted to see the country become a net exporter of green energy to tap strong global demand.

To achieve the goal, authorities plan to develop a 15-year Renewable Energy Development Plan to cover the full range of alternative energy businesses including gasohol, biodiesel, biomass, wind and solar power, she said yesterday.

"The plan will set a strategy to ensure the development of the whole industry, such as the quality of products and supply volume," she added.

Lt Gen Poonpirom said the government and producers specialising in green energy needed to co-operate more effectively under the plan.

Financial support for investors would be provided through the ministry's incentive programme including tax breaks and tariff-free machinery imports.

Ethanol, for which Thailand is achieving economies of scale, would be the first target for export. Thailand produces 1.3 million litres a day of ethanol from nine plants, far above domestic consumption of 700,000 litres a day.

The government forecasts additional output of one million litres a day from seven to 10 new ethanol producers, which could add 2.3 million litres of output by the end of this year.

"We can turn this surplus into an opportunity by looking for a chance to ship [the ethanol] to other countries," Lt Gen Poonpirom said.

Biodiesel, however, would take five or six years to expand as new palm plantations are necessary.

Crude palm oil is at risk of shortage because most is used in the food industry.

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) has extended assistance to palm planters to help them expand production.

Gasohol consumption is expected to reach 12 million litres a day by the end of this year from the current seven million litres. Gasohol is a mixture of ethanol and gasoline. B2, a mixture of 2% biofuel with diesel, made its debut this year and replaced all high-speed diesel.

The government also plans to launch B10, a mix of 10% biofuel mixed with 90% diesel, within this year.

Sirivuthi Siamphakdee, president of the Thai Ethanol Manufacturers Association, expressed concern that the food sector may face constraints if raw materials are used by fuel makers.

Lt Gen Poonpirom also expects to increase local crude oil output from the current 200,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels by 2011 by pumping additional output from existing deposits to reduce dependence on imported oil.

Thailand and Jatropha for Bio Fuel - We OPPOSE It!
April 17, 2008
Playing with fire
Thailand looks to deadly nuts for biofuel
Thailand is considering planting thousands of acres in jatropha, a plant that produces a nut high in oil content that can be used as a biofuel.

The west would seem to have initiated a slippery path in mono crops and biofuels that now have machines greedily competing with starving humans for food. Something only a science fiction movie could have produced in the past, has become a reality.

Queen's Project Fails Due to Drought
April 17, 2008
Should the Queen spend more time listening to landowners?
"Sufficiency Economy" village project has severe drought problems
Budget cancellation leads to financial difficulties

CMM Reporters
The Ban Thaepon Daeng "sufficiency economy" villages, which are being run as a Royal Project and are located in the highlands of Mae Hong Son, is suffering severely from a shortage of water caused by the present drought conditions in the area. After the Yoo Dee Mee Suk project's budget was cancelled, lack of adequate water supplies has resulted in a 50 % loss in both the agricultural and fish breeding sections.

In an attempt to remedy the situation, village headmen had committed as yet unreceived funds from a district-approved 100,000 baht budget to purchase water pumps in order to be able to take water from the nearby Pai river. When the budget was cancelled, villagers who had gone ahead with the scheme found themselves in financial difficulties, as credit for the purchase of the pumps had already been set up.

Another attempt to use tap water for irrigation failed because of cost. Provincial authorities have not visited the area, nor have they attempted to find solutions to the problem. Mae Hong Son's Provincial Fishery department had already warned fish breeders to stop maintaining the wells where the fish were kept, because of the water shortage. Another problem faced by the breeders is that the price of fish food has recently rocketed. Fruit farmers are also badly affected, as more than 600 out of the 100 fruit trees donated by Her Majesty the Queen have died due to lack of water.

Local provincial administration officials have been requested to provide water for drinking and cooking, and to set up a water distribution centre in each affected village. They should also provide water for agriculture. Requests have also been made that administrators should assist in creating income and short-term support and occupations for affected villagers, that they should oversee health and sanitation, and that they should cooperate with local police in the suppression of theft of equipment, animals and rice seeds. There is also a risk that entire rice crops may be stolen, due to its present high price.

Markus Young Promoting Pine in Hill Tribe Areas
April 15, 2008
Missions Planting Pine?
It boggles the mind but runs according to a script that now mission websites ask donors to donate money to plant pine.

Pine, the tree that was a justification for generals and others to seize thousands of acres from the Akha, is now promoted by missionaries such as Markus Young of "Divine Inheritance". Is this the inheritance that Jesus asked us to promote when he said "thy neighbour as thyself"?

The Petroleum Authority of Thailand and Mechai's PDA joined to plant pine on land stolen from the hilltribe, and now CIA buddies like the Youngs have joined the bandwagon. Promoting pine as an investment, while thousands of acres were already turned into mono crop forests lacking in one single animal or bird, the undergrowth destroyed, the soil spoiled. These decisions contributed to rice shortages that now exist in the world, as indigenous peoples and their knowledge were shoved aside for profit. Markus speaks of 120 years of mission in the region, he fails to mention his one relative a weapons dealer and his other relative, Bill Young, a drug dealer.

Funny how missionaries so readily forget while joined to the despots who oppress the poor.

The public should be very concerned when missionaries are promoting mono crop forests in food growing regions.

Copyright 1991 - 2008 The Akha Heritage Foundation