The Akha Heritage Foundation - www.akha.org
Akha Human Rights - Akha University
You may copy and save this document for later reading.
Please remember to do a site search for other related documents which may not be shown here.
Akha Blog #5
Grave Concern for the Amue Athu Case and the Actions of ICA Singapore
We view with grave concern the events that took place in the Singapore Supreme Court last week. Ms. Rosalinda, the ICA officer in charge of the case against Amue Athu clearly stated that she wrote "I plead guilty and ask for leniency" on a document AFTER Amue Athu had signed it. Ms. Rosalinda stated that she was tired. No explanation could be given either for why Amue Athu was forced to sign a statement that her real name is NOT Amue Athu when in fact this is her real name. This violated the basic human rights of Amue Athu, an Akha woman from Thailand.
These events did not alter ICA's prosecution of this case. ICA in Singapore can apparently do what they want to do. ICA does not show any concern or procedure for identifying victims of human trafficking. UNESCO Bangkok has determined in an affadavit that Amue Athu is a victim of human trafficking. This document was given to the court, but it bore no weight apparently.
Although Amue Athu has been identified as a victim of human trafficking, no ngo or anti trafficking agency was there to view her case. No one from the Thai Embassy was there. No staff from the US Embassy was present either, despite konwing about this case and despite the US always talking about how concerned they are about human trafficking.
The Court agreed with ICA (Singapore immigration)that Amue Athu was not a victim of trafficking, ignoring the issue, that she could speak Thai, even though that is not her native language, and she must have known about the ban, despite the fact that there is no evidence of due process in banning her from the country.
Does this relieve everyone from responsibility in this case?
We believe that an injustice has happened in the case of Amue Athu.
We wait to hear if ICA will deport Amue when her sentence is up in six weeks.
We are also disappointed to see the Singapore press ignore the issue of trafficking to Singapore which we know goes on, and continuously refer to Amue Athu as a "Thai Prostitute". We have written to these papers regarding this, but they have not answered to our concerns.
We have not gotten a good impression of what goes on in Singapore related to the rights of women trafficked into slavery.
Akha Perform For Thai Fashion Show in Phoenix Asian Festival
Akha from Thailand performed in a Thai fashion show held at the Asian Festival in Phoenix, Arizona to a crowd of more than 500 people.
The Asian Festival attracted thousands, with exciting performances from dancers from Thailand and the Philippines as well as other countries.
Food was abundant, as well as individual country booths from Asia.
Bangkok Post Rendered Stupid by Grossly Inaccurate Reporting
In the story below, the Bangkok Post gets almost nothing accurate. Very convenient to the national image. First off, the woman, Amue Athu, an Akha from Chiangrai was trafficked to Hatyai and then to Singapore by owners of the THAI BROTHEL named the ROSE. (Later changed to the GOLF). She was sent out of Singapore and returned to DEBT BONDAGE at the brothel in Hatyai. No arrest has been made in Hatyai. We appreciate the fact, that somewhat reluctantly, UNESCO has finally admitted that Amue Athu is a victim of HUMAN TRAFFICKING, that office being located in Bangkok. Maybe it is lost on the employees of the Bangkok Post whether the event happened in Thailand or Singapore and who was to blame and what affect it may have on ranking as one of the world's traffickers in human beings.
What is significant about the case in addition to the fact that Amue needs to be released, is that her situation is one of hundreds if not thousands that are heaped upon the Akha women in Thialand by the Thai people. The Thai government is mostly silent and as we have seen throughout this case, the Thai NGO's who are paid to help victims of trafficking, they are mostly useless when the victim is an Akha woman.
What is also not mentioned in the story is the highly irregualr procedure under which Amue Athu was deported, leaving the country with the broker who brought her in, signifying a rather suspicious relationship between the Singapore immigration and police and these brokers from Thailand. No attempt was made to determine if she was a victim of Human Trafficking, something that is stunning in itself.
Not enough is made of the fact that Amue did not speak Thai or English or Chinese. Neither is it mentioned that the Singapore immigration and police made her sign a document saying that her name is NOT Amue Athu. Highly irregular.
Court interrupts brothel love story
Wai Keen Weng, 31, and Amue Athu, 24, were due to wed last year, but Amue was arrested in October when she tried to extend her social visit pass. She was jailed for one year after pleading guilty to returning to the city-state despite being banned from the country.
Wai has been battling to free her and stop the deportation. His lawyer, RS Bajwa, petitioned the court on Friday for Amue's conviction to be quashed, The Straits Times reported.
Bajwa argued that she should not have been banned from entering Singapore in 2004 as she was a victim of human trafficking who had been coerced into working in the city-state as a prostitute.
Bajwa also said that Amue had unwittingly pleaded guilty because she could not understand the court proceedings. She belongs to the Akha hill tribe, which lives in the province of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand and has its own language.
The case was adjourned until Tuesday.
Wai, who works in his parents' advertising business, first met Amue on his birthday in May last year, the report said. He helped her escape from the brothel two months later.
"Meeting her on my 31st birthday was the best present and hopefully she can be released in time for my 32nd" in May, he was quoted as saying.
Akha Woman in Singapore Prison
Supreme Court Case Adjourned Until April 17, 2007
The Case of Ms. Meitinee Wongsa (Amue Athu) in the Singapore Supreme Court was adjourned until April 17, so that the prosecution could get their act together. Severe irregularities in the case make it hard to believe that justice was carried out. We are still asking citizens to contact the Singapore Consul in San Francisco or your nearest Singapore Embassy and demand that justice be done in the case of Ms. Wongsa.
Akha Woman in Singapore Prison
Case Goes to Singapore Supreme Court April 13, 2007
Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, an Akha woman from Thailand, was trafficked into Singapore. She was sent out of the country without due process and when she returned legally she was arrested. Now her case goes to the Singapore Supreme Court. Activism Works.
Statement to the Court
The Petitioner prays that the conviction and sentence be set aside based on the following points of fact and law:
Where is UNESCO?
Ms. Meitinee Wongsa, an Akha woman from Chiangrai province in Thailand, was trafficked to Singapore under cloudy circumstances. She was quietly sent out of Singapore without due process when she didn't "work out".
Later when she chose to marry a man from Singapore, and set a date for marriage and returned to Singapore, the Immigration of Singapore arrested her and sentenced her to one year in prison for illegal entry.
Her fiance fought for her defense, and it was determined that highly irregular events happened in the handling of her case. How was she sent out of Singapore the first time with no arrest? Who signed what papers? Who was the translator? Why did they make her sign papers which said her real name was not in fact her real name? Why is there no record of her "arrest" with Singapore Immigration?
Now all of this is coming to light, and her case has been admitted by the Singapore Supreme Court.
In a day or two it will be listed on this site:
This case has been very important to the freedom of Ms. Wongsa who is now in Portdown prison for many months.
It is also important because the Thai Embassy has had to admit she is there and confirm that she is a Thai citizen, which they did not want to do, (first they said her passport is false) and that her Identity card and passport are genuine. In the past Thailand has disowned Akha women trafficked to places like Japan.
You can contact the Singapore Consul in San Francisco to ask them about this case and for the immediate release of Ms. Wongsa. Her prison number is S12369.
This case is also important in that it gives lots of light to how the Akha are treated, and the trafficking of Akha women by the Thais. The brothel owner in Hatyai has not been arrested at this time.
NGO's in Thailand have proved nearly totally useless in getting one of "their own" arrested for a crime.
Thank you for supporting Akha Human Rights.
We hope that her case is overturned and that she is released and allowed to marry and stay in Singapore as a FREE Akha woman.
Movie: Missionary Genocide of Canadian Indigenous Children
Kevin Annett has campaigned for years to reveal the genocide of Indigenous children in Canada's residential schools. These were children removed from their families similar to the Akha experience, and the fate they met at the hands of the people who ran the schools, the church of course.
We oppose the removal of any indigenous children. White missionaries PLAN to apologize for their genocidal ways, be it the Canadian Indians or the Akha, as long as they get to plunder these indigenous peoples first and help take their land or be silent while their land is taken.
Any person who claims to be a person of faith and will not speak out about this subject is not worthy to claim that. Race is the issue.
As this film is called, unrepentent, that is exactly the nature of the missionaries to the Akha.
Get the video and learn what is happening in Canada.
Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison For Defacing King's Picture
A Swiss man, Oliver Rudolf Jufer, was sentenced to ten years in prison for spray painting pictures of the Thai King. He had lived in Thailand for ten years, and since bars closed early on the King's birthday, he could not buy alcohol and so defaced a number of pictures of the King. The feudal law has been in place since 1908. Before that you just got your head cut off.
An Open Letter to Macquarie University About
Their Mr. Chris Lyttleton
Chris Lyttleton, who is an instructor at Macquarie University in Australia, was hired by the agency NORAD to do a report on the accusations that staff from Norwegian Church Aid sexually abused (raped) Akha women and underage girls in the villages where NCA had projects.
Mr. Lyttleton had previously worked for NCA but did not recuse himself, a fact we protested to the Norwegian government.
Mr. Lyttleton had made a previous report siting abuse in the region.
But in the case of NCA Mr. Lyttleton has chosen to call into question our qualifications as translators and has suggested that we are unable to do this, and has also suggested that we do not know enough about Akha culture and as a result we have confused very normal Akha social activity meted out to wandering guests, which is now to be considered something else than sexual abuse, no matter the age of the girls involved.
Mr. Lyttleton had to make use of an Akha translator into Lao. And then a Lao translator into English. Mr. Lyttleton does not speak Akha. Mr. Lyttleton spent a few hours over a few days in the Akha villages. Mr. Lyttleton is just another case of investigators using the known local expat consultants to make reports that will not expose what workers and NGO's are doing in Laos, which has brought about radical hardship and death to the Akha of Laos.
Case in point would be NCA paying Lao army soldiers to force the Ahka to cut their own opium, when there was NO ALTERNATIVE cash crop in place. Relocations of Akha villages at this time, caused the deaths of hundreds of Akha if not more. Some villages lost up to 50% of their population in the first year after relocation. As one western ngo worker told me, "Life is better for the Akha now. ..........Those who lived anyway." A typical response to such unshared difficulties.
We told NORAD that we would assit in the investigation if precautions could be taken to protect the security of the women involved. NORAD refused. The NORAD report then goes on to say that they could not identify who the offenders were, if they were from NCA or some other NGO. The NORAD report states that staff of NCA were in fact having sex with under age girls but that it was just some big cultural misunderstanding and that the Akha wouldn't know if their women and girls were being raped by people from outside the village who had more power than they did or not.
We have asked that Mr. Lyttleton be removed from his job and that Macquarie University apologize to us in writing for the actions of their staff.
Our open letter to the Vice Chancellor's office is here:
Other links to the case:
Man Arrested in Thailand for Graffiti of King's Picture
Oliver Jufer, a Swiss man, was arrested and charged with insulting the King of Thailand for painting over pictures of the King. Charged with "Lese Majeste", he is now waiting sentencing.
The case is a classic reminder that the King and Queen of Thailand are above the law, above criticism, and do not give the people of Thailand the freedom to express what they really think or demand the democracy they deserve. Most of Thailand is subservient to who ever is pushing them around at the time. Thaksin calling for the killing of anyone put on a black list, the Army taking over the country, a history of many bloody coups and the murder or disappearance of large numbers of protesters or students. All during the King's rule.
Born in the United States, the King of Thailand would not allow his own people the freedoms he would enjoy in a western democracy. He generally remains silent during brutal oppression imposed by police or army. Both organizations operate without transparency and are particularly brutal to the hill tribe peoples. Add to this that the Queen's Royal Projects are directly involved in confiscating Akha lands, a case now at the UN for two years.
In Thailand there becomes a great air of impunity for the violation of the rights of the people.
As historic hatred of Monarchy's grow, the least of a Royal's worries will be getting the likeness of one's head painted.
9th Circuit Court Rules in Favor of Tribes on Peaks Case
Numerous Indian Tribes filed a suit against the Forest Service for violating their religious rights in agreeing to allow the use of treated sewage to generate snow at the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 states that the government may not substantially burden one's excercise of religion.
The 9th Circuit Court ruling states that the Forest Service violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that the Forest Service did not adequately discuss the risks if a human being ingests snow that has been made from treated sewage.
At least 13 tribes hold the Peaks sacred to their religious traditions.
Indigenous People's Day in Phoenix
Numerous Native American delegates came to the state capital for Indigenous Peoples Day in Phoenix. Arizona has one of the largest Native American populations.
The meeting was hosted by the Arizona State Legislature Native American Caucus and the Embassy of Indigenous Peoples.
Wilton Littlechild, a Cree Indian from Canada and also a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues came to address the session, commenting on the work that is needed to increasingly protect Indigenous rights.
Indigenous People's Day was proclaimed March 12, 2007.
To find out more about Indigenous People's Day contact Tupac Enrique Acosta chantlaca - at - aol.com www.tonatierra.org
Mesa's Banner Baywood Hospital Illegally Detains Wife and Newborn for 35 1/2 hours
Michu gave birth to a baby girl at 4:55 am on Monday Feb. 26, 2007 at Banner Baywood Hospital in Mesa, AZ.
Banner Hospital Does Drug Testing Without Informed Consent.
Where is Our Organic Baby?
The issue is consent. We did not authorize ointment to be put in the child's eyes or for the child to be injected with vitamin K. It became increasingly clear that the hospital has its own mandate and handles the babies as if they are in a potato hopper. Weigh, inject, slather, measure, draw blood, fry, draw blood (punctures in heels) computerize, move about.
Most of these traumatic events take place when the baby has been taken out of the room, away from the mother. For thousands of years God has been sending babies to earth, and the doctors figure He just didn't do good enough and they need to inject vitamin K within minutes of birth.
We were very disturbed at the attitude of staff. One doctor told me, "We do things different here." Let them tell that to our lawyer.
All in all, the child is traumatized. Parents are not kept in the loop. The only thing we were ever asked about is if we wanted the HepB vaccine which we refused immediately.
During the delivery the doctor kept telling my wife to push, but after the delivery my wife commented that babies come out on their own and you never push them, or they get a face bruise as did our daughter.
Everything seemed to be lined up for the convenience of a factory birth, not the child and mother.
At 5am on Tuesday my wife said that she wanted to go home. I told the hospital staff by 6am that we wanted to leave. I was told that doctors would not be there until 10am.
The nurse said, "It will be hours before you can leave." Hours turned into two days.
At 10am doctors told me that we could leave but we could not take the baby with us, she had to stay at least 48 hours. (Like it is written in the law somewhere?)
Then they said that the baby needed light treatment, that the baby was overdue, but later they told us the baby was right on time. They took the baby to the nursery on Tuesday morning, and said they would bring her back to breast feed. By 2:30 they had not returned with the baby. I called hospital staff and asked them why the baby had not been brought back to the mother? They said the baby had been fed formula with no concern that the mother wanted to breast feed her baby. Michu said that the baby's body was a brilliant red like it exposed to a LOT of heat. We never gave the hospital permission to do this.
Then the nurse came and said she had to test Michu for strept throat. After doing that she came back and said that "maybe" Michu had pneumonia, so she had to take her for an x ray. "Its the lightest dose xray there is, the chest x-ray".
Tuesday evening a hospital staff member comes and begins asking Michu many questions. She is from the social worker's office. My wife says she wants to call me and picks up the cell phone. The social worker told her not to call me. My wife says, "That is when I became suspicious of her intentions and I quit talking to her."
Wednesday morning around 10am the hospital calls me and says that my wife can not leave until a social worker meets with me, the oppointment is set up for 3:30.
I call the Mesa police and get an officer at the front desk. When I state that the hospital is holding my wife against her will, the police officer states, "Well sir, it seems obvious that there is some kind of criminal investigation going on," as if hospitals are authorized to start their own criminal investigations.
At the 3:45 meeting the social worker states that because my wife did not have western style prenatal care they are concerned and they want to know why she did not have prenatal care as if some crime had been committed.
I contact the Mesa Tribune and speak with a reporter. They call the Banner Baywood Hospital and a head nurse immediately comes to the room and says that there has been some big cultural misunderstanding. I ask her what that would be, being a white American? What part of my culture did I misunderstand? I restate for her that we never gave the hospital permission to detain us past 6am Tuesday. (The reporter asked, "who pays for that extra time at the hospital?)
For a time my wife had a fever, and the nurses then told her to stop breast feeding. I can imagine Akha women all over south east Asia stopping breast feeding while they have what ever fever. So the baby begins to cry and cries and cries and cries. My wife says, if the baby keeps crying its throat will swell. Not to be daunted, it is however important to take the baby to a computerized hearing test, which of course takes a lot more time when the baby is crying.
A nurse from the nurses station comes and asks the techy if she would close the door so they don't have to hear the baby crying. The techy says that they are not allowed to close the door when testing a baby.
Michu, all too familiar with hearing the stories of Akha women who's babies were stolen by hospital staff in Thailand, says, "My daughter is beautiful and they wanted to keep her."
Before leaving I hear a nurse at the nursing station in Maternity telling a man, "We can't release the baby to you for 48 hours." as if it is some law that they have the right to make up. How many other families are being treated the same way?
All in all, the hospital acts and bully's like it has the right to detain the baby and its mother and do all these tests without our EXPLICIT approval, just sweep us along and everything is about hospital procedure, nothing about the parents or the baby. All along they keep saying that it is out of concern for the baby that they put the baby through so much misery.
With numerous parties calling the hospital about why we haven't been released yet, we are finally able to get baby and mother out of Banner Baywood by 5:30pm. 35 1/2 hours after we first tried to leave.
Our experience at Banner Baywood was not a pleasant child birth experience. Parents are totally disregarded behind a storm of papers and procedures. Nurses and doctors consistently reaffirm in an authoritarian way that they are in control and that the parents are not. Our impression from the staff and social workers was that we were being treated as criminals because we did not measure up to their standard of prenatal checkups. Staff stated that "when ever there has not been prenatal care we do this." Who's prenatal care, theirs or ours? I told the staff very specifically on Wednesday that the hospital immediately takes control away from the parents and begins doing things to the new baby that they have no permission to do.
There was a clear lack of ethnic minority staff working in the maternity ward. My wife felt there was some level of prejudice against our family and that the social workers were looking for some way to make a legal problem for us.
There are many people who are working over time to make this a police state. With absolutely no one at all to take the blame.
From "How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of your Doctor"
BUT what the doctor told us was that possibly being overdue caused the bilirubin levels to be high, rather than the damn vitamin k shot they gave the baby caused the bilirubin levels to be high and they needed to fry our daughter in heat lamps in order to "fix that". For what ever reason our daughter came back with areas in the white of her eyes filled with blood.
All the hospital was supposed to do was deliver the baby, turn her over to her mother and provide a warm safe bed. If you want your child born in an environment where your wife is a person, and your baby is handed back to the mother, and left alone from intrusive elements when not obviously ill, then we would recommend a midwife instead of Banner Hospital. At Banner, every turn of events is an excuse for more risky intrusions into the life of baby and mother. You will find NO ADVOCATES for minimal intrusion or organic living at Banner Baywood. They are "boss" and they let you know it. Banner Baywood violated our rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Our car has more respect at Jiffy Lube.
We file a report with the Mesa Police
We Approach Rotary 100 of Phoenix About Rotary International Funding of CGT Mission
We have approached Rotary 100 of Phoenix about Rotary International's sizeable funding of David Stevenson's CGT Children of the Golden Triangle mission.
We believe that by supporting CGT Rotary violates its own rules:
We are hoping to get a response.
Back of the Rotarian Magazine.
We wrote Rotary 100 in Phoenix, we didn't get an answer. We wrote them twice. No answer. Maybe we need to encourage them a little bit more to stand up for the rights of indigenous children.
We don't mind.
Rotary Phoenix responds that the issue is on of Rotary International, not Rotary Phoenix. We however believe that it is a problem of the entire Rotary organization.
Richard Haugland of Oregon Removes Akha Children From Their Families
An Oregon foundation joins the sad list of mission or other organizations in the US who take away Akha children from their families and culture. The Starfish Country Home Chiangmai operated by Richard Haugland of Eugene.
Starfish is another "fake orphanage" home in Thailand run this time by Oregonian Richard Haugland.
We disagree with any organization which removes Akha children from their home community for any reason. While a home condition might give authorities in the Thai government necessity to remove a child, it does not give missions the right to do it, and it is a gross violation of child rights. Further any removal of a child from a home does not require that they need to be removed from the village or community.
Besides the Thai government seizing Akha lands, which the missions are totally silent about, we know of no group of perpetrators, well organized similar to a criminal organization, which remove Akha children like the missionary network does.
This comment is off the Starfish website, we quote: "Those children that can achieve the required academic excellence will remain at the school until they are ready to attend university and will be further supported at university. The education will always be free, diversified and directed to meet the needs, interests and abilities of the individual student."
Is taking them away from their parents one of their needs? Are children of three and four years of age required to achieve a level of required academic excellence? Will they measure up to second rate citizens of the Aryan Master Race?
New Pages in Contents
Please check out replenished content at these "Content" links:
Army Reports - New
Commentary - New
Documents - Some New
Human Rights - New
Human Rights Documents - New
Language - New
Medical Documents - New
Police Reports - New
We still have hundreds of News Stories in the Archives Section to add to the site.
We will soon be opening up a new photo gallery at www.akhaphotos.org
We Appeal To Rotary100.org Phoenix About Akha Case at CGT Thailand
Rotary International Management apparently fails to realize how many times we have conctacted the Rotary Club in various states and regions of the world about their significant financial support of CGT Mission in Thailand that takes Akha children away from their families and villages. To date we have not received any significant response from Rotary on any level.
We have now contacted Rotary 100 in Phoenix about this issue, adding one more to the list.
We are hoping that Rotary will begin to respond.
Seperate "Mission Orphanages" Same Story - Abuse and Exploitation of Akha Children
Different "orphanages" but the story is the same, Akha children taken away from their villages by western white people, for indoctrination, conversion, high grading and no concern for who they are as Akha people.
Rotary International supports CGT mission in Thailand and appears to have little problem with white people taking away Akha children.
Problems are just "gliches" and the Akha children have nothing to do with it. Really doesn't matter how many David Stevenson removes from the villages.
New reports coming.
Investigation into CGT Children of the Golden Triangle Mission - David Stevenson Removing Hundreds of Akha Children for Financial Gain
An ongoing investigation into CGT Mission just south of Chiangrai reveals the conditions that children face and the number of Akha children who have been removed from their villages by various means. We will ad here links to extensive reports and witness statements about how children were treated as compared to volunteers who are suppose to be there to help, who eats what, the lack of blankets, washing and sanitation, children made to do construction labor, waking as early as 5 am and the persistent denigration of the Akha as a people in order to justify it all. Note that this is during a time of human rights crisis for the Akha people. Rather than fight for land rights, wealth can be made by maligning the parents to questioning volunteers, so everyone can feel good about what is going on and remove all those uncomfortable questions.
Why do the staff and volunteers eat bread, meat and fruit? "Because the Akha like a different diet!" we are told. The Akha children just eat white rice and bland boiled vegetables. Its party time in the hills, look at all the pics. Read the upcoming statements as soon as we post them.
We have protested to Rotary about their support for this project, that it is a violation of Rotary ethic. We have gotten no suitable reply. Other people who contacted Rotary said that there would be an investigation, but still no results.
Feeding the Greedy with Cash:
The Elite of the World Attend $25,000 Dinner in Bangkok and Give the Money to the Chaipattana Foundation of the Queen that Rips Off Akha Land at Hooh Yoh
A fancy dinner in Bangkok, billed as the chance of a lifetime, charged attendees $25,000 a plate and the proceeds were donated to the Queen's Chaipattana Foundation, which is involved in the illegal seizure of Akha Lands at Hooh Yoh Akha.
Epicureans fly to Bangkok for $25K meal
Or Lavish Dinner Feeds the Queen
"High-rolling food lovers flew in from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and other parts of Asia for the 40-seat dinner organized by the Lebua luxury hotel in Bangkok, grandly titled "Epicurean Masters of the World."
This is a classic example of how little clue the public will be given of what really happens to the Akha people, or any people, buried behind the fine print, not visible to someone who does not know where that money really goes and what people really do with it.
Queen's Project Tries to justify taking the land of Hooh Yoh Akha.
Theft of Akha Land
The Queen of Thailand Continues to Seize Vast Akha Lands
The village of Pah Nmm Akha, adjacent to Bpah Mah Hahn, across from the valley of Hooh Yoh Akha which has lost all of its land two years now, Pah Nmm Akha has now had all of its land taken by the Queen of Thailand as well.
We demand that there be accountability. This is unacceptable, ongoing seizure of Akha lands and we will continue to fight it at the UN Level until the truth be known to the world community.
Nothing but cowards, stealing lands from the poorest.
Boycott All Things Thai.
Sex and Celibacy in the Poverty Industry
Commentary on the Batik Report regarding sexual abuse allegations against Action Contre Le Faim (ACF) by the Akha of Laos. Commentary by Eisel Mazard.
Eisel Mazard's response to the Action Contre Le Faim Batik report
Singapore Prison Refuses Ms. Meitinee Wongsa S12369 Right To Marry Whom She Chooses
Despite all claims to the contrary, we can see that Singapore and its justice system is really racist against the weakest classes especially visible in the case of Ms. Meitinee Wongsa. The powerful brutalizing the weak, victimized by traffickers and now the prison system, Singapore makes a disgraceful example in the case of Ms. Wongsa.
Her fiance has asked that they be allowed to marry, but this request has been refused twice. We do not think that it is the right of the Singapore prison system to interfere in this, and that Ms. Wongsa should be able to marry whom she wants.
Banned from re-entering the country, in fact Ms. Wongsa was never charged with a crime when she first entered Singgapore as a trafficked person and not upon her second arrival as a free person. She is accused of "Unlawful Return" into Singapore because they told her to leave once before.
Certainly Singapore gives a bitter example of disregard for victim's rights, particularly in the case of victims of human trafficking.
They treat Ms. Wongsa as some hardened criminal, when in fact she is a young woman trying to recover from what the free traffickers did to her.
In the context of these events, and NGO's who have been able to do precious little to help Ms. Wongsa, no one need study further why the global trafficking situation is not about to go away. Will there be more people involved in the issue of global trafficking? Surely, but any force even an evil one, attracts interest. What they will do to change the picture in a world where human trafficking surges, is very questionable.
Maybe Singapore can ask Thailand, why the trafficker is still at large? But we doubt that will happen. Because the bottom line in all of this, is that few care precious little what happens to Ms. Wongsa.
Thai NGO Abandons Akha Woman to Prison in Singapore, Victim of Thai Trafficking
(First Documented Case of Trafficking Between Thailand and Singapore?)
The organization F.A.C.E. under the direction of Ms. Sudarat Sereewat took it upon themselves to "assist" the case of Ms. Wongsa Meitinee, an Akha woman trafficked by Thai brokers to a brothel in the south of Thailand at Hatyai. Ms. Wongsa was trafficked to Singapore by the broker in Hatyai. Upon re-entering Singapore to marry, Ms. Wongsa was arrested and told she was not allowed to re-enter Singapore despite the fact that she was trafficked into the country the first time. Ms. Wongsa is now serving a sentence in a Singapore prison.
The purpose of any effort to assist Ms. Wongsa would try to seek her release, identify her if she was a victim of trafficking, and overturn her ban on entry to Singapore.
Upon arriving in Singapore at the prison and interviewing Ms. Wongsa, a report was suppose to be forthcoming from Ms. Sudarat and F.A.C.E.. It was in fact promised.
While F.A.C.E and other agencies produced the report that clearly stated the situation of Ms. Wongsa, after six weeks, only an unofficial copy was finally circulated.
In order to address Ms. Wongsa's legal situation in Singapore where she remains in prison, an official report is needed. Ms. Sudarat Sereewat knows that.
After many requests by various agencies, Ms. Sudarat Sereewat and F.A.C.E. have refused to release the official report or state clearly why they can not or will not.
We consider this highly irresponsible as well as highly unethical. There will be no way to fight trafficking in Thailand or protect the victims of trafficking if this is how it is done.
We can only guess as to why the official report is not released. Possibly it is because to do so would make clear to the government of Singapore that Thais were involved in trafficking, which is absurd, because we already know this. Or possibly it is because F.A.C.E. has come under pressure to keep their mouth shut by influential people in Thailand who's first hobby is trafficking in women and girls, particularly Akha girls. Or perhaps it is because Ms. Wongsa is Akha and it is particularly offensive to Thai people to protect an Akha person from abuse at the hands of Thai brothel operators who are as common as food stalls in the land of smiles. The brothel in Hatyai remains open with impunity.
What ever the reason, it is clearly beyond any professional conscience that an important document able to help the situation of Ms. Wongsa should be withheld from those who would continue to help her.
The website of F.A.C.E. clearly states that their mission is to help the children victims of trafficking. We seriously doubt that.
We also question what their funding is, and if the funders know that they are paying money into this organization to be spent in such a way that cases are not completed, politics remains central, and victims of crime are in the end told they can not be helped at all? Why does F.A.C.E. have its work supported on the UNESCO website?
So in the end, as is usually the case in Thailand, everything is just about FACE.
Copyright 1991 - 2006 The Akha Heritage Foundation