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Akha Blog #6

Documents for the UNPFII Preforum at Cambodia

We have been asking for all documentation on the Cambodia Prepatory Meeting Feb 2007. We have now gotten this first of documents: (download now)
Particpant List for Prepatory Meeting Cambodia 2007 pdf

We appreciate the response and look forward to more documentation being released.

Lack of Transparency for the UNPFII Preforum at Cambodia
Requests for information to AIPP, IWGIA and Tebtebba Go Unanswered

There is now a serious lack of transparency at the UNPFII and the Pre Forums. Requests for this information from AIPP, IWGIA and Tebtebba have not been answered.

While we were not able to attend the Special Consulation at Cambodia or the Pre Forum due to the fact that we were not notified by these organizations, we still have a right to see the minutes of those meetings, what was discussed, what was voted, who attended and what was decided.

It is quite clear that in the most basic violation of the rules of transparency and democracy, that a select few were invited, with a particular religious bias seeming to be apparent.

We have asked for the information from these meetings repeatedly without response. We now ask in a permanent way as a historical record, on this website. Will AIPP, IWGIA or Tebtebba answer?
Lack of Transparency at the UNPFII Pre Forum Feb. 2007

UNESCO Video Interview at UN
UNESCO Working With Missionaries like SIL

UNESCO and Missionaries

UNESCO gets caught red handed working with the missionaries. UNESCO lady in New York at UNPFII is speechless.

UNESCO is working with SIL in Thailand. SIL and the missionaries have been steadily involved in destroying the content of Akha language. One of the means by which this is done is the removal of children from their parents and the eliminating of the transmission of oral literature from generation to generation.

We Deliver Letter to Gov. Kulongoski Against Singapore
Government of Oregon Should Oppose Free Trade With Singapore
Singapore Fails to Protect Victims of Human Trafficking

We delivered the following letter to Governor Kulongoski's Office at the Capitol of Oregon requesting that he oppose the Free Trade Aggreement with Singapore.

Singapore does not take sufficient action to protect victims of human trafficking, as in the case of Ms. Amue Athu.

Letter to Gov. Kulongoski

Governor Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

June 12, 2007

Governor Kulongoski:

We are writing you regarding the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore.

We would like to ask you to continue your opposition to this agreement, because we believe that free trade agreements hurt local economies here in Oregon.

But we would also like to ask you to continue to oppose the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore due to Singapore’s shocking treatment of the victims of Human Trafficking.

The Akha Heritage Foundation is a Salem, Oregon non-profit that works to defend the human rights of the Akha people, an indigenous group from South East Asia, numbering more than 400,000 people in China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

In 2004 the Akha woman Ms. Amue Athu, from Chiangrai Province in Thailand, was trafficked to the south of Thailand to a job, that turned out to be a job in a brothel. The Thai traffickers Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma and her husband then sent Ms. Amue Athu to Singapore to work in a brothel there. Ms. Amue Athu refused the job and was sent out of Singapore. The Singapore authorities made no attempt to assist her, despite the fact that she could not speak Chinese, Thai or any other language but Akha and was being led by a “courier” who was to deliver her to the brothel. The Singapore authorities state they banned Ms. Amue Athu, but it is unclear from court documents that she understood this due to her different language.

Upon her return to Thailand, Ms. Amue Athu was made to work as a sex slave at the brothel to pay off her new debt for failing to “work out” in Singapore.

While we have contacted the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand about this case, speaking with a Mr. Michael Heath, we have seen no pressure for prosecution of Ms. Chatkaew Sripormma and her husband in Thailand. They continue to operate the Golf Karaoke, a brothel in Hatyai, known for trafficking hill tribe girls and women.

In 2006, Ms. Amue Athu won her freedom, gained her own passport, and traveled to Singapore to marry her fiancé. Someone tipped off immigration (ICA) and Ms. Amue Athu was arrested for allegedly violating the ban against her return to Singapore. She was sentenced in Oct and has just finished serving her sentence in Singapore’s Portsdown Prison.

While her case was appealed to the Singapore High Court, at no time did the Government of Singapore take any interest to her case, despite numerous organizations fighting in her defense, that she was a victim of human trafficking and should be cleared of any ban or criminalization. Immigration in Singapore could not substantially prove that she ever understood that there was any ban in place against her.

We have made numerous attempts to communicate with the Government of Singapore about this case. The Government of Singapore has not made any attempt to directly address the issues we bring to them. We have contacted the Singapore Consul in San Francisco, the Singapore Embassy in Wash. DC and Singapore’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

In the next couple of days, Ms. Amue Athu will have to leave Singapore for Thailand and will be given a LIFE LONG BAN to return.

We believe that Singapore has failed to take the required action under international treaties to recognize and protect Ms. Amue Athu as a victim of human trafficking. We see the rights of Ms. Amue Athu as very important. Her case is the first time a case of an Akha woman being trafficked into a neighboring country has gained international visibility. Her case represents the plight of many hundreds of Akha women and girls whose cases are never heard.

These girls are trafficked due to “push” factors related to the Queen of Thailand and the Thai Forestry department seizing huge swaths of Akha traditional farm lands for mono-crop farming schemes and the lack of many other human rights in Thailand.

We are told that the Government of Singapore has warned Ms. Amue Athu NOT to talk about her case and her treatment in Singapore. We see this as a violation of her fundamental human rights.

Therefore we ask that you continue to oppose the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore, and we also ask that you request an explanation from the Government of Singapore, for their actions to penalize Ms. Amue Athu, an Akha national, as a criminal, rather than as a victim of human trafficking.

We ask you to consider the case of Ms. Amue Athu when considering any trade agreements with delegations from Singapore in the future.

We also ask you to consider Oregon’s trade relationship with Thailand where the rights of Akha girls and women are not protected, and where the traffickers of girls and women are allowed to operate freely.

We would like to meet with you, to further discuss this case, at the first possible opportunity.

Thank you for protecting the rights of the victims of human trafficking.

Sincerely,

Michu Uaiyue

Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem, Oregon 97304
971-388-7185

Singapore Immigration to Issue LIFE BAN to Amue Athu
Singapore, EVER LOYAL to Human Traffickers, PUNISHES the VICTIM
Singapore, Best Friend of Human Traffickers!
Singapore to Issue "Best Citizen" Award to Traffickers From Thailand

We aren't suprised, not after how the Government of Singapore responded to our concern for Akha prisoner Ms. Amue Athu, with total disregard. The Singapore Embassy in Wash. DC never answered. The Consul in San Francisco just blew us off with bureaucratic drivel, and the Singapore Mission to the UN never gave us a reply to our mail at all.

So now, after rigorous effort to defend the case of Ms. Amue Athu as a victim of trafficking, the Government of Singapore totally ignores our concerns and issues a LIFE BAN on Amue Athu.

We will bring this up with Amnesty International, with Human Rights Watch Asia, as well as the state level and national level in the US.

This case is far from over.

Court documents from the Singapore Supreme Court clearly show irregularities in this case, ignored by the court when presented by the Defense, can be viewed in the links below.
The Court squashed the order that Amue Athu be deported but Singapore Immigration ICA is issuing her a LIFE BAN anyway.
Amue Athu Court Record Day 1 pdf
Amue Athu Court Record Day 2 pdf

Letter to the U of O Singaporean Student's Association

Dear Singapore Students Association:
Eugene, Oregon

This letter is in response to an incident in Singapore, a place that does not allow dissent or reason like we allow it here in Oregon.

We have been supporting an Akha woman who has been imprisoned in Singapore for more than six months as a result of being trafficked into that country.

You can see the court documents here:
www.akha.org

We have appealed to the Singapopre consul and embassies around the world, and the government of Singapore has told everyone to go to hell.

So since this Akha woman only wanted to marry a man from Singapore, the Singapore immigration states that they will now issue a LIFE BAN on her from ever being able to marry her fiance in Singapore, though she is a woman of the ethnic minority in Thailand called Akha, and though she was trafficked into Singapore by the Thais who apparently have a comfortable human trafficking relationship with the people of Singapore.

Since your government does not listen to the appeals of the public to go easy on this young woman, we think that people from Singapore traveling in the US should be made alert as to how indigenous minorities are treated in Singapore and Singapore's support for human trafficking of defenseless women.

We would suggest that you remind your government of that.

Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
Salem, Oregon

Akha Woman Ms. Amue Athu Released From Prison In Singapore
We Plead With the Govt. of Singapore To Let Her Remain In Singapore for Humanitarian Reasons

Amue Athu has been released from prison in Singapore and is preparing to leave the country.

We have asked the Govt. of Singapore to consider her as a victim of trafficking, a person who has suffered tragically at the hand of the beastly Thai traffickers.

We ask the Govt. of Singapore to consider our request. Amue Athu, an Akha from Chiangrai, Thailand needs the opportunity to rebuild her life. Please give her a chance.

The traffickers at Hatyai were never investigated, or arrested. Our repeated requests to UNESCO, the US Embassy in Bangkok, the US Embassy in Singapore went unheaded. Where are the champions of the victims of human trafficking?

We HONOR YOU, Amue Athu and your Fiance Wai.

Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation

The Brothel and Trafficker:
New Rose Karaoke - Now Called the "Golf Karaoke"
3/4 Chaiyakul Uthit Rd Soi 3
Hat Yai Songkhla, Thailand
Tel: 074-223 176
Mgr: 01-738 1797 (Ah Kib)
Name of trafficker : Chatkaew Sripormma (Female) and her husband
Contact Number : +66-8-9466226

See Amue's Case Here

Akha Cases Discussed on Radio Liberty

We have had a number of interviews now with Dr. Stanley Monteith
From the Queen of Thailand taking Akha land to the missionary removal of Akha children, we cover the realities affecting the Akha today.

To see the Radio Liberty website and articles go to:
Radio Liberty

Does Salem Alliance Support the Ethnocide of the Akha?
Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon - The Vernon Journal
Linked to Salem Alliance Church

Salem Alliance Church is listed on the website for the Vernon Journal
http://www.loriandpaul.hopedenver.com/
(please paste in the link to your browser).
Does Salem Alliance know that Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon are destroying the Akha culture and working with people who remove Akha children for coercive conversion?

Does Salem Alliance know that Akha Outreach mission, for whom Lori Crouch works, has bought the land out form under the Akha village they live in, but won't give it to the Akha villagers? That is Ajay's doing. Is this what Salem churches are supporting? Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon make extensive use of Akha images without admitting that if the entire conversion campaign was successful, there would be no Akha culture left.

Dear Salem Alliance:
If you would like to be set free from this situation, do not support Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon in what they are doing to the Akha and please ask them to take your link off The Vernon Journal website.

CGT and Rotary - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Rotary Lake Oswego Supports the Akha Ethnocide

!! ROTARY PULLS AKHA and CGT OFF THEIR WEBSITE !!

No answer from Kristi Halvorson of Kruseway Rotary in Lake Oswego. They got their hands in a dirty pot with CGT mission and would rather live in denial than admit they are giving financial support to a David Stevenson who slaves children. Toss in Thomas Jenkins, Rotary Gov. He doesn't want to talk about it either. BUT meanwhile Rotary International has pulled all information about CGT off their website.

CGT's website now states clearly that Youth with a Mission has gotten involved, so we can add the likes of Eden House Children's Home and Vern, part of the YWAM network of child exploiters and now child swappers. Rose Martinez's Christian Happy Home is also a YWAM project, with a number of other fake orphanages taking Akha children such as in Chiang Saen, Mae Chan and elsewhere.

Open Letter to Salem Alliance Church
Salem Alliance Church
555 Gaines Street NE
Salem, Oregon 97303
503-581-2129

May 31, 2007

To Salem Alliance Church:

We would like to lodge our concerns about a missionary couple that has association or possible support of Salem Alliance Church. A link for Salem Alliance is on their website.

Lori Crouch of Salem and Paul Vernon of Denver, Colorado work with a mission in Chiangrai, Thailand named Akha Outreach. This mission is run by an Akha hill tribe man named Ajay and his wife Nancy, who is an American.

Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon have located in an Akha village near Doi Mae Salong town, a village they intend to “missionize”.

As Akha advocates we oppose this practice as it villainizes Akha traditional culture as racially inferior to white mission culture, which as far as we know is not a prerequisite to believing in Jesus Christ. But it is well known in this region that the Akha are looked down on and missionaries such as Ajay require the Akha to convert, forbid their traditional culture, and rob the children of their own literature and heritage by forbidding traditional literary recitals. This is a practice that missionaries the world over have done to indigenous peoples, often with genocide like results.

We think that it is unacceptable to forbid a person’s culture or heritage as a basis for conversion.

The traditional gate, swing and cultural items of this village were burned by Ajay himself in an offense to the Akha people. Elders in the village stated that if they spoke out about it they would “be hit”. But then Ajay came back to the village and told them to rebuild the gate and the swing because "tourists want to see these things." Ajay is a very dishonest man. This is who Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon work with.

Further, while Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon run a website called http://www.loriandpaul.hopedenver.com/ where they claim the villagers experience poverty, they are in fact concealing the truth regarding the poverty of this village. In fact, Ajay bought the land out from under this village as a means of controlling the village and will not give the villagers ownership of the land that they live on. In fact this land was paid for with donor moneys, but Ajay retains control of it, while Lori Crouch tells her church supporters that the villagers are poor.

We find that the racial prejudices inherent in this mission work, and the coercive means that are used to convert these people are offensive to all indigenous peoples world wide and that Salem Alliance should not be supporting such ill practices.

Further, we find the mission practice of forbidding culture or removing Akha children while claiming they are orphans, is a violation of the International Labor Organizations Convention 169 on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Further we find it offensive that while destroying Akha traditional culture, Lori Crouch’s website uses many pictures of Akha women in traditional dress. This is dishonest because the missionaries themselves are doing all to destroy what is the traditional identity of the Akha people.

We ask that Salem Alliance church review this matter and not support missionaries who are committed to the ethnocide of the Akha people. If Salem Alliance is not involved in this support, then we would ask that Salem Alliance request Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon to remove the link to Salem Alliance from their website.

Sincerely,

Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
Salem, Oregon

****************************
Wycliffe and SIL Secrets to Akha Language Destruction

Did you know that Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Wycliffe Bible Translators are the same organization?

People are made of languages. Destroy the language and destroy the people. Languages are made up of more words than it takes to make a Bible. But SIL would have people believe that as long as there is a Bible in Akha language, that no damage has been done to the language? In fact, SIL wouldn't care if those were the only words that were left. SIL supports missions that destory Akha language content, nouns and verbs that make up the language and identity and history of the Akha people. Most churches that donate to organizations like Wycliffe and SIL don't realize the dark ways in which SIL works.

Akha Land and the Queen of Thailand
Our Intervention at the UNPFII - Movie

At the 6th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues we made the following presentation demanding that the Queen of Thailand be held account, and return the land of the Akha people. We also stated that the permanent mission of Thailand to the UN had not acted in good faith as they had not started let alone maintain a dialogue about this very serious issue.

We discuss the alliance between UNESCO Bangkok and Summer Institute of Linguistics and their tampering in Akha Language and Culture in violation of UNESCO's own mandate.

Watch the video on YouTube.com
Akha Intervention

Third Akha Journal
1000 Pages and Still Editing

This is the third Akha Journal. 1000 pages plus and more than 800 photos. The journal covers Jan 2004 through spring 2007 only.

We anticipate still two months of editing left on this Journal. Your donation will support the work on this book. We are planning to print 8,000 copies.

UNPFII
We Challenge UNESCO's Wide Connections with SIL

In both side events and the forum we made scathing attacks on UNESCO for their involvement with the missionary organization Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and denounced them in the forum for their alliance with SIL in work on the Akha language in Thailand.

We are circulating a petition amoung the indigenous demanding that UNESCO end all partnership with mission organizations in a clear case of seperation of church and state.

In Other Events:
I asked IGWIA's Christian Erni why my name was excluded from the report on Laos in their book this year, since the orignal investigation was done by myself and one other researcher, Tomas Ryska. Tomas Ryska was mentioned, but according to statements made by Christian Erni, my name was intentionally left out of the report. This violates my intellectual property rights and I am waiting for a statement from IWGIA on this matter. In this year's report, IWGIA also classified the Hmong in Laos as rebels which the Hmong took exception to, and suggested that IWGIA might do well to ask people directly, those involved in a case, what the case is about before printing material. The cover of IWGIA's book this year has an Akha woman from Laos for one photo.

We signed a declaration from India, that AIPP, IWGIA and Tebtebba had taken action prior to the Special Session with the Special Rapporteur Stavenhagen and the Pre-Forum in Cambodia to exclude certain peoples and NGO's from the Cambodia meetings by failing to notify them. I and Michu were not notified in time about this forum. I wrote to Tebtebba twice about this issue, since they handled the invitations along with AIPP and never received a reply.

The Singapore delegation was not present. We were not able to ask them about the case of Amue Athu in the Singapore Prison.

We were able to speak with Special Rapporteur Stavehagen at length about the Queen of Thailand and the case of Hooh Yoh's land taken by the Queen.

We were able to speak with Ms. Erica-Irene Daes on the same issue of Hooh Yoh land and the Queen of Thailand.

We asked that the Forum assist on the investigation into the allegations in Laos that the staff of the ngo's ACF and NCA sexually abused Akha women and girls.

We asked why UNICEF has not investigated the removal of Akha children from the villages in north Thailand by US missionaries?

We were able to make many other connections with indigenous peoples and groups here at the forum.

We will post links to documents as soon as possible.

UNPFII
Norwegian Delegation Says Sexual Abuse of Akha Girls by Norwegian Church Aid can NOT be Substantiated

The Norwegian delegation says that the sexual abuse allegations can not be substantiated, but the NORAD report says that it DID happen, Akha women becoming pregnant by these incidents.
Furthermore, after a number of discussions with the Norway delegation we are curious why he chose to have the Norwegian Government become entangled in the matters of NCA? Why should he make an accusation that our claims are not substantiated in the report, when they are? Now it is no longer the problem of NCA, now it is the legal problem of the Norwegian Government. A much bigger problem.

We noted with interest that the Norwegian delegate headed over to the Thai delegate to exchange conversation, trading cards, truly showing where he wanted to position himself when it came to women's rights.

UNPFII
Thailand says we are Liars, No land taken by the Queen from drug dealing hill tribe who destroy the environment

The Thai government once again said that we were not telling the truth and that the Akha gave their land to the Queen, and that the Akha destroyed the enviornment and were cultivating opium.

Once again, forum after forum, the Thais learn nothing.

The indigenous however know the difference and the criticism of the Thai monarchy and the seizure of the land of the Akha people will increase.

UNPFII
Shaeffer and Feingold, what are you doing?????
Laughable, UNESCO talks about endangered languages at UNPFII

After a presentation by UNESCO at the UNPFII we immediately asked them what they were talking about? Would they defend the world's languages by working with SIL???

We explained to UNESCO that their connection with SIL (Wycliffe Bible Translators) is unacceptable and that we feel the same regarding missionary organizations on their website in Bangkok. We mentioned the director Mr. Shaeffer and David Feingold. We want changes and we want them now. We will bring the case to Human Rights Watch, that UNESCO works with SIL on the Akha language.

SIL has a side event on Thursday at the UN.

We contact the ILO regarding CGT Mission in Thailand and Rotary International and the removal of Akha children.

We bring up the case of Hooh Yoh Akha and the Queen of Thailand taking all of their land. This case is with the UNOHCHR already, and we bring it before the Thai Consul and the forum again also. The Queen of Thailand has also taken all the land of Pah Nmm Akha and other Akha villages in the region in a gross violation of their indigenous rights. We call all peoples to protest this illegal action by the Queen of Thailand and demand her accountability on the world stage. No one is above the law.

We discuss IWGIA and their role in partisan support of Christian Indigenous peoples as compared to traditional indigenous peoples.

We discuss the exclusion of traditional indigenous delegates from the Special Consultation at Cambodia and the pre-forum at Cambodia this February 2007. We were not notified in time of this forum.

We discuss the case of Amue Athu, an Akha in a Singapore Prison and the injustice of the Singapore Court in ignoring document forgeries by the prosecuting ICA immigration. We bring this case to the Consul of Singapore.

We discuss the case of sexual abuse of the Akha of Laos by Norwegian Church Aid and Action Contre Le Faim. Both reports by Norad and Batik say that the abuse occurred but that it didn't amount to rape, blah blah blah. No person has been fired or presecuted for these cases of sexual abuse or from the administration of these ngo's in Laos. We think that the govt of Laos should demand an explanation.

I will be asking questions of both the Norwegian and French delegations.

Meetings with Indigenous Leaders, UN, Agency and NGO staff, viewing of film on the Indigenous Draft on Human Rights by Rebecca Sommer. The Akha have a statement in this film, about land rights.

We will Confront Govt. of Singapore at UN New York
Singapore Shows Total Disregard for Victim's Rights in Amue Athu's Case of Human Trafficking

The Government of Singapore, at one of the highest levels of the land, has show a blatant disregard for law and human rights in ignoring gross malpractice on the part of Singapore Immigration and Police. Ms. Rosalinda clearly stated in court, that Amue Athu was made to sign her name to a piece of paper before Ms. Rosalinda, the Immigration officer prosecuting Amue Athu, wrote on the paper, "I plead guilty, I ask for leniency." It should be the misfortune of any Singapore citizen traveling in the United States to have such a miscarriage of justice, such a perversion of law and human rights. The judge said nothing.

Singapore, known for caning people who break the law, should itself be caned for this disgraceful incident.

The case of Amue Athu is significant in that it showed that the US Embassy officers from Bangkok and the US Embassy officers from Singapore, did nothing in her case. No one showed up at her court appeal.

No one can expect us to consider that the US Govt really cares about human trafficking other than just a stick to chase governments for political means. The brothel operators continue to operate. Accusations by China against US motivations on the issues of human rights should be considered. China states clearly that the US is inconsistent. The case of Amue Athu clearly shows this.

Amue Athu will appeal her deportation, but we consider that she is now dealing with a government, like Thailand, that does not live by the rule of law.

Thinking that Created the Mad Nazi Dream not so Different from Missions/Rotary International

Very white of you, thank you very much Mr. Jenkins.

We also continue to investigate the Lake Oswego Rotary that is involved with CGT. They did not want to talk to us.

The thinking that created the mad nazi dream is not so different from what lives on in the hearts and realities of western missionaries in Thailand today.

Mr. Jenkins at Rotary was angry with us for being Akha advocates and asking for accountability. What is the implication of that?

Maybe the white part of the egg has gone bad, or has a cyst that looks like a rather broken cross?
The Akha and the Mad Nazi Dream
Ongoing Rotary Story at CGT

Akha Activist Discusses Missions in Video

Athu, an Akha activist in Chiangrai province, long working for the Akha organization AFECT, presents a video about what the missionaries are doing to the Akha children, and what is happening to the their culture. Produced by White Tara Productions.
Athu Missionary Interview

Rotary Just Doesn't "Get it"
Rotary Convention In Salem, Oregon
Governor Thomas W. Jenkins Denies Problem at CGT Mission

We spoke with Thomas W. Jenkins at Rotary today. We told him of our concern that there were Akha children taken to CGT mission. He stated that David Stevenson told him very clearly that all of the children at CGT are abandoned by their parents. This IS NOT what David Stevenson is telling everyone else and these children are not abandoned.

But what is even more frightening is that Mr. Jenkins was upset. He was not interested to know an alternative view on what was going on, he let out that he knew a lot about the case. So why should he refuse to entertain information or suggestions on the situation? We assume you don't get to be a governor at Rotary by being closed minded? We did notice that the Rotary conference was dominated by white middle and upper class people. Our concern is that these people can not relate to the rights and needs of minority children in other countries. While claiming to help the Akha at CGT they are not at all interested in knowing more information or contradicting information to what they claim they already know.

Other Rotary members assisting the project from a Lake Oswego Rotary office did not want to discuss the issue with us at length.

Also, it was very clear to us the dominance of white people in Rotary, and it was difficult to see how people coming from these backgrounds could identify with what is happening to the Akha children any different than what happened to Indian children rounded up in Oregon and sent to the reservations.

We told the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem of our concerns, since they ran a story on the convention on the front page of the paper.

UNESCO Bangkok Total Embargo of the Akha People
Edgar Sharuk at UNESCO Bangkok Tells us to "Watch our mouth"

With a communication from Edgar Sharuk in Bangkok it is clear that UNESCO Bangkok wants to maintain the total embargo on the Akha people and this explains why UNESCO is working with missionaries to destroy the culture of the Akha people and the intergrity of their oral literature and traditions. (UNESCO working on joint project with Wycliffe Bible Translators)

We find this disgraceful and a violation of the human rights of the Akha people.

What makes this strange is that Mr. Smeets at UNESCO made out that non tangible heritage, well, Thailand hadn't signed and all of this. No one would say much about it from Bangkok, and we were trying to gain protection for Akha language.

Well, the reason that no one wanted to talk about it is that UNESCO was already cutting its own deals with SIL, and the content of Akha Oral Traditional Literature would be totally compromised by this relationship to SIL and missionary organizations who would completely erase all Akha history and literature and see its fascist means of replacing it only with the Bible. SIL NEVER follows this procedure with western countries and the total destruction of their libraries.

UNESCO fosters this destruction, in total violation of its own mandate.

In the link below, you can download a book on first languages written by UNESCO Bangkok, that has a forward by the Director of UNESCO Bangkok, Mr. Sheldon Shaeffer. Mr. Sheldon Shaeffer admits to the UNESCO program with SIL in Chiangmai, and this book has 47 references to SIL the missionary people in it.

First Language

In this link below you will see UNESCO and SIL and the Thai Royalty together. While Mr. Smeets can not answer us about non traditional heritage status with the Akha he apparently already knows more than plenty about it, meaning that we were basically lied to by UNESCO. SIL refers to non tangible heritage on their website and in their relationship to UNESCO, the words are borrowed from UNESCO. This also explains why UNESCO will not take action to protect Akha language and culture in Thailand, or to stop the removal of Akha children by missionaries, or advocate for such. This is no less than a conspiracy to destroy Akha culture by UNESCO and the missions. However, UNESCO's mandate is to protect.

UNESCO, SIL, And the Thai Royals The ethnocide of the Akha.

The missions in Thailand are committed to putting an end to the transmission of Akha Oral Literature. UNESCO knows this. But UNESCO supports SIL and is in partnership with them. UNESCO Bangkok appears to be run by SIL, run by the missionaries. Maybe UNESCO Bangkok has to do what the missionaries tell them to do. We would not be surprised.

UNESCO Bangkok can not explain this relationship with people who destroy culture.

David Feingold, who works at the UNESCO office Bangkok apprently is a little bit intimidated by our continuous demand that he explain why missionaries are working as partner organizations with UNESCO Bangkok. David has been avoiding this issue in numerous emails between our organization and his PERSONAL email in Bangkok.

Edgar Sharuk, Chief Administrative Officer for UNESCO Bangkok is unable to explain this relationship with SIL.

e.sharuk@unescobkk.org
You can ask him yourself.

Naturally I took the opportunity, since Mr. Edgar Sharuk VOLUNTEERED to write to me from UNESCO Bangkok, notorious for not answering queries at all, to tell him what our chief concerns were and express my delight that there was still someone with a computer in that office.

These are the questions that I asked Mr. Edgar same as I have been asking for two years now.

1. Why is UNESCO Bangkok working with SIL a missionary organization?
2. Why is UNESCO working with NLF, Project Grace, Concern, all mission related organizations?
3. Why isn't UNESCO working with traditional Akha?
4. How does working with missions who are bent on the destruction of Akha culture help protect the UNESCO mandate?
5. Why hasn't UNESCO investigated the removal of Akha children from the families by missions in Thailand?

We are always appreciative when we can find out new names of who hides in the dim lit offices of UNESCO Bangkok for our continued discussions in New York, regarding this overfunded, understaffed organization which steadfastly represents the interests of the indigenous people in SE Asia.

Thankyou Edgar Sharuk.


Copyright 1991 - 2006 The Akha Heritage Foundation