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Akha Blog Page 3

Missionaries Exploit Akha Kids
560 Neglected Akha Children
Visitors to Rotary Sponsored CGT Mission Tell Tale of Shocking Horror

Akha Kids Neglected By CGT Mission - Chiangrai, Thailand

Does anyone care???

We have been reporting about CGT mission just south of Chiangrai, Thailand for a long time. This mission was connected to Emanuel Gospel Fellowship in Mae Chan, also where there were many problems for years, with suicides and killings.

Now insiders have written us to tell of abuse and neglect at this mission, children forced to clean the clothes of volunteers, take care of themselves, when some of them even had two sponsors paying a total of $70 per month.

No oversight and exploitation is the name of the game at these fake orphanages where thousands of Akha kids are herded, taken off the lands they have lived on, seperated from their parents for a profit, TRAFFICKED.

One witness says the following:
"I am writing to you as a result of recently visiting a 'centre' near Chiang Rai that was run by David and Asa (missionaries) and it one terrible example of the damage the missionaries are doing to the Akha people. I had no idea that the Centre would be as bad as it was, and was horrified at the neglect and unethical treatment of the children there. Their conditions are filthy and there is no-one to take care of them. There are around 560 children there, of whom only around 50 are real orphans.

Some children now have around two sponsors each at 35 dollars a month, and yet are not bathed properly and wear the same dirty clothes day in and day out. These children have to do everything themselves, including all the cleaning and all the feeding of the 'volunteers' who go there.

Most volunteers who arrive there are immediately disgusted at the place and try to get out as soon as possible, with some volunteers even trying to return some of these children to their parents, where they will be better off.

I would like to be able to help in some way to strengthen the Akha people and Villages, and ideally publicize the brutality of the missionaries, such as David and Asa's."

Do the MATH people, is this a huge rip off or what? Kids with one sponsor, could equal as high as $20,000 per month. Some kids have two sponsors. Now no one wants to admit that this is nothing but SUPERPIMPING, TRAFFICKING, of these Akha children off their lands, away from their parents, culture, language and identity.

Call Rotary International and RAISE HELL.
The above photo is off the Rotary Magazine, promoting CGT mission. We have complained repeatedly to rotary about this mission and their involvement.

Member of European Parliament Says UNODC's Antonio Maria Costa Should Resign!

Antonio Maria Costa was one of the individuals who designed and enforced the high degree of pressure for rapid opium eradication in Laos. That rapid eradication before alternative sources of income were even close to being in place, and the related relocations, led to the deaths of high numbers of Akha and other hill tribe people, estimated to be in the thousands.

Giusto Catania asks the resignation of the director of the UN drug control agency.

Brussels, 10/11/2006 (Agence Europe) - The executive directorof the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, should resign, according to Italian Member of European Parliament Giusto Catania (GUE/NGL).

"Costa would do well in resigning, as the policy carried out by his agency during the past years has allowed the production, sale and consumption of drugs to increase", says the MEP after a conference on the drug issue held in Brussels.

"The prohibitionist and repressive strategy based on the UN Conventions on Drugs should be abandoned completely", adds Catania. He is also in favour of using the opportunity of the forthcoming General Assembly of the UN that will be held in Vienna in 2008, to modify this text. Last week, Antonio Maria Costa had denounced that Member States lack the will to solve the drug problem. Taking the example of cocaine, Costa indicated that Europe is on the road towards "a crisis" due to the increase of demand throughout the continent and due to the permissive policies of certain governments, such as Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Our Trip to New York: Meetings at the UN

The Problems With the Batik and NORAD Reports
Both of these reports basically admit that there is a sexual problem between the aid workers and the Akha girls and women in Muang Long. However, both reports state that the accusations are wrong, or in error, or that the events didn't happen. Then the reports go on to tell how the events did happen. So for the average reader, they can claim that both of these agencies are clean of the charges, but only if they don't read the reports. Because the reports themselves show very clearly what some of the problems are, or leave out any mention of specific problems such as eating the food of the Akha people in the villages. Aid workers and consultants would rather speak of rumors in the Muang Sing region, than accept the testimony of Akha villagers who speak very clearly on video and audio tape, about how they are treated by the NGO staff and programs, to say nothing of the obvious evidence all around regarding many of those concerns. Mosquito nets, mortality stats, lack of sufficient food, land, water and other means of survival are clearly obvious in these Akha villages. Yet the NGO's are blameless in the accounting of the millions of dollars that has sifted through their hands in foreign aid money.

For us to consider that either ACF or NCA are serious about correcting the problems the Akha have pointed out in these villages, we need to see more than reports that claim before the media that the events never happened.

UNESCO
We speak with UNESCO about content on the UNESCO website showing partnership between UNESCO and missionary organizations in Thailand which are committed to the destruction of Akha culture and oral traditions.
Letter to UNESCO

UNIFEM
We speak with UNIFEM about the case of Ms. Wongsa in Singapore and the problems of trafficking in Thailand.

Quakers
We speak with the Quakers in New York regarding the problems being caused by the removal of Akha children from their villages in Thailand by missions.

Singapore Mission to the UN
We present a letter to the Consul of Singapore requesting that the case of Ms. Meitinee Wongsa be reviewed.

Batik Intl Releases its Report On ACF in Laos
Batik International has released its report on the investigation into Action Contre le Faim in Laos (ACF) regarding allegations that staff of ACF in Laos were sexually abusing Akha girls and women in the target villages where ACF projects were being conducted. These allegations were made by the Akha people in numerous villages in Muang Long District of Luang Namtha Province, Laos.

Batik International ACF Report in PDF format
(Report needs to be flipped, is upside down.)

Akha Journal #3 Being Assembled
Currently we are assembling the content into the layout of the 3rd Akha Journal of the Golden Triangle. If you would like to help support the work of the 3rd Akha Journal, please make a contribution via PayPal. We thank you.

Bush Setback a Benefit For NGO's?
Bush is remembered for his silence on the drug war killings in Thailand, for the terror war, for the aftermath of the World Trade Center, the invasion of a couple of countries. Now that the Democrats have gained control of Congress the Repubican party and Bush's hold on power has been weakened.

Let us hope that this is a good sign for NGO's and Civil Society. The over emphasis on the war on terror, which we considered a war on people, set back the efforts of many to improve the lives of the Indigenous. Let us hope that the tide has changed and that the least fortunate are not forgotten or marginalized more than they already are in the name of protecting the have's vs. the have not's. Let us also hope that it spells a weakening of drug war policy as compared to harm reduction.

Did a Singapore Judge Screw Up on the Human Condition?
A Singapore Judge sentenced an Akha woman from Thailand, Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, to a year in prison. We wonder if Judges in Singapore get any training? The world wonders.

First off, Ms. Meitinee Wongsa is Akha, an oppressed ethnic minority from the north of Thailand. When Ms. Wongsa was 18 or earlier, she got trafficked to the south of Thailand, Hatyai, where she was interred in a brothel. Thailand is a country to the north, long having discussions on human trafficking, while being probably one of the most notable countries for it. Signs near the border of Malaysia and Thailand warn people from Malaysia about the dangers of death because of AIDS, almost as if they are suggesting that a few screws might be loose up in Thailand.

Now this clever, unregulated broker in Thailand, Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma, who owns the New Rose Karaoke in Hatyai decided to traffick Ms. Wongsa to Singapore. Go to the market, wash the floor, and traffick a woman to Singapore. Not exactly what you do without a clue on the backhand, and make a buck at it. Presumably, Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma is quite knowlegable and must have some contacts in Singapore.

Maybe the judge would have found out if someone had represented Ms. Wongsa before the judged gave her a year of hard time.

Ms. Wongsa speaks Akha. There are at least 500,000 people in South East Asia who speak Akha because they ARE Akha, and you would think that the Judge could have found one of these to explain to Ms. Wongsa what was going on and also to find out from her, what had become of her life, has anyone seen her life, does anyone know where it went missing?

But that didn't happen, and Ms. Wongsa went to jail, where she is now, prisoner number S12369.

So Ms. Wongsa got taken to Singapore by Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma but somehow got rejected for the job that she was assigned to do, or rejected by the AVB. She was suppose to work in a brothel and service 30-40 Singapore men who couldn't get any at home, every day. 30-40. In a straight six hour shift that would be six per hour. Apparently Singapore men are not very immaginative.

But Ms. Wongsa was not arrested, which implies that Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma has a deal with AVB that defines her as broker and Ms. Wongsa or whom ever as the brokered. Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma doesn't go to jail, or do her own shopping.

Ms. Wongsa got stamped as undesirable, don't come back to our beautiful country.

Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma tells Ms. Wongsa however that AVB fined her $2500 US. So she makes Ms. Wongsa work in her brothel in Hatyai for a couple years to pay this back. Ms. Wongsa still is missing her life. Then in Nov. 2005 Ms. Wongsa works out to get her own passport, rather than the fake one that Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma apparently sent her to Singapore on. Ms. Wongsa pays the fee to the broker and is later called to the passport office in Songkla to make a photo and sign papers. In a few days she gets a passport, which the broker holds. Come 2006 Ms. Wongsa meets a man from Singapore who rents her a apartment and she quits her job at the slave house. Options, don't you just LOVE options!

The slaver doesn't want to let up the passport or anything, wants to make Ms. Wongsa pay money to leave, why she could just stay there in that wonderful Thai hell for the rest of her short life. Like so many other Akha women in the brothels of Thailand, where the government doesn't come looking for them, since it is the one who sent them there by taking their rice lands. Rice lands. No eat, go to town and get a job. Sorry, this is the only job we have for you. You are Akha right? The brothel or the mission, sell your soul, sell your body, take your pick.

Ms. Wongsa and her friend from Singapore decide to get married. They register this intention with the govt. of Singapore. Ms. Wongsa gets a visa to go to Singapore, because her fiance wants her to, before the date, because of bombings in Hatyai and the situation there. Probably a good idea.

While in Singapore, waiting for the marriage day, Ms. Wongsa goes to renew her visa. Someone may have tipped someone else off, because they ask for her fingerprints, and behold, she was banned. So she is arrested, flies by this one eyed Judge, and goes straight to hard time at Changi.

Now what comes to light, is that her second passport, the one in HER name, is fake too, or so the Thai Embassy claims. Are we surprised that a broker, a slaver of women, a mama sahn, would fake a real passport when not busy faking fake passports, for a woman who intends to escape?

Not really.

Are we surprised that Thailand keeps track of fake vs. real passports but not trafficked women?

Not Really.

So while the case of Ms. Wongsa boils, people wring their hands and discuss whether she is legal or not, whether she broke the law or not, all the while, for the broker it is safe to do business as usual and no one has gone there to see her and ask her who let her out of hell and who gave her permission to destroy the lives of these young girls?

So a young woman's flight from debt bondage, slavery and a life of death, was met by prison, not a SINGLE person intelligent enough in the entire arsenal of Sinapore's mighty bubble gum police and justice system, to notice that a woman was trafficked, that a young woman climbed out of the centrifuge of hell, and washed up on their beach? Not to mention all their countrymen who need these women in off hours.

Lets lay one on for Singapore, bartender, can we have a drink over here for the man with one eye?

And all the while, there seems to be this little arrangement for these women, as long as they keep working it out, and don't come back after they get sent out used up, that allows the Singapore police, the Singapore men, and the Singapore Magistrates to all be happy. No mention is made of their rating in the Trafficking logs. No mention is made of obligations to the poor, to the trafficked or to Akha women who wash up on their beaches. No mention of all the other women in Singapore's prison and if any of these are there, being punished for being wasted, used up, thrown away flesh, that failed to check the right box or make the men happy any more?

Glad we've all been updated on Singapore.

Faxes and Emails to the Singapore Embassy and Consulate in the US went unanswered, guess they were busy.

Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation

Pastor Ted Haggard - Head of the Evangelicals. Would You Want the EVANGELICALS Taking Away YOUR Akha Children?

Stop the removal of Akha Children by Evangelical American Missionaries in Thailand. Rotary International supports the removals of these Children. We call it human trafficking.

Pastor Ted Haggard, of Colorado, the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, has stepped down from his job over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a man.

Evangelical Mr. Woon in Thailand abandoned his "orphanage for hilltribe" when it was discovered he was having sex with the boys and selling them for sex as well.

Paul and Lori Vernon continue their missionizing of the Akha village they have taken over, are also from the Denver, Colorado area and are supported by main line Evangelical churches there and in Salem, Oregon.

We believe that there needs to be more scrutiny of the Evangelical movement and transparency of the morality that goes on behind the scenes of these individuals who claim the high moral or religious ground for themselves.

Evangelical missionaries in Thailand are almost completely without oversight.

NORAD Report on Allegations of NCA Sex Abuse in Laos

In 2006 we interviewed a large number of Akha villagers in Muang Long District of Laos about living conditions and the difficulties or ease they faced. We were aware that mortality rates were high due to relocations as well as the cerebral malaria in the lowlands where they were moved to. Lack of land, water and food led to many deaths. It was during this time that the Akha complained to us about NGO workers demanding girls in the villages for sex. The Akha told us that the workers demanded specific girls, ranging in ages from 15 to older. We videotaped numbers of these interviews. The Akha stated that the staff of NCA and ACF were abusing their girls and women in this fashion. We discussed this with both agencies as much as they would come forward to the discussion. In the case of NCA, they made greater effort to cover up the issue than clarify it. They implied that we had refused to talk to them which was not the case at all. ACF talked to us on many occasions and admitted to problems that were going on. We felt that this was much more beneficial in order to come up with a solution. Since we were not getting anywhere with the issue regarding NCA we brought it up to Norwegian Government officials at the UN, who promoted an investigation into the matter. However, the Norwegians did not ask us what our recommendations were. First, we would have asked that a non Norwegian agency that was neutral investigate the case, and further we stated that since Chris Lyttleton had worked for NCA that he not be on the investigation into the charges. Had the Norwegian process been more open, we could have been useful in identifying the villages where the abuse occurred, and the girls and women who were victimized. This would have increased the clarity and focus of the report. We also asked that considerations be made for the security of the girls and women involved, and that they be told what their legal rights were. We got no adequate reply to this request.

We think that the NORAD report shows that there definitely is a problem for NCA and what can be done to make things better, but we think that many efforts are made to avoid sticking NCA with blame for what was going on. In other words, if you are running a church agency, would you allow staff to ask the women of a target village for sex? Would you allow the staff to ask the men to arrange sex for you?

We also think that the investigators were NOT likely to find girls or women who would be witnesses, as no security was spelled out or provided for them ahead of time. We asked about these details before the investigation, but got no reply on how this issue would be solved.

Below are two commentaries on the NORAD report.

"From a philosophical perspective, the "trick" they are pulling here is by placing the emphasis on the definition of rape, then proving "this does not satisfy the definition of rape"; the obverse reasoning would proceed from the definition of "consensual sex". Very clearly, bribing an enforcer to coerce someone on your behalf is not "sex between consensting adults".......

rape:
1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

No mention is made of the age of the girls or the power differential between staff members and the severely impoverished villagers.

A Save the Children report on similar circumstances in Liberia is VERY critical of the NGO's involved.

The NORAD Report

Original Location here

This is what Chris Lyttleton had to say about the situation in Laos in 2005 when working for NCA. But despite the fact that NCA staff is asking the villagers for sex with the women, he does not include NCA as part of the problem now.
"Some ethnic groups have relatively liberal sexual customs which other groups are increasingly able to exploit as they enter local communities. For example Vietnamese coming across into Savannakhet can access local ethnic villages and often organize sexual contact while there; lowland Lao men do the same. Similar intrusions to local communities take place in many areas where contact between lowlanders and minority groups is taking place.
• They are most likely to be least well educated and most vulnerable to exploitation. Once in conditions of exploitation they the most likely to have the least ability to respond to health campaigns or negotiate their own health rights due to lack of education and/or language ability." (page 43)
(Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Program Norwegian Church Aid Lao PDR, Dr. Chris Lyttleton, September 2005)
NCA Evaluation Report 2005 by Chris Lyttleton
Lyttleton's previous work with NCA is obvious.

Rebuttal to the NORAD Report

Observations on an Aid-Worker Sex Scandal in Laos:
A brief analysis of the Norwegian Church Aid report on allegations of rape and sexual misconduct by their staff in Meung Long district. In 2006, two charitable, non-government organizations (NGOs), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Action Contra la Faim (ACF), commissioned inquiries in response to allegations of sexual miscon-duct and improper arrogation of food from targeted communities presented at the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and also published on the internet. The article following provides some reflections on the contents (and omissions) of the first of these reports issued to answer the allegations, titled Investigation of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse of Akha girls and women by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in Laos, conducted by Kristin Ingebrigtsen and Dr Chris Lyttle-ton.

Eisel Mazard's Response to the NORAD report
Second Rebuttal

What ECPAT says about sexual exploitation as compared to how NCA works in villages and how Chris Lyttleton reports on it. Protecting Children From Sexual Exploitation - ECPAT


Copyright 1991 - 2006 The Akha Heritage Foundation