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Bloodbath Feared in Thailand
RIGHTS-THAILAND: Bloodbath Feared in Fresh Anti-Narcotics Drive
BANGKOK, Feb 27, 2008 (IPS) - Thai human rights activists are raising the alarm over a possible bloodbath in a second 'war on drugs,' that the new government plans to launch to suppress the trade in narcotics.
Public statements by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, that no quarter will be given in targeting drug networks, have added to these concerns. ''It is impossible to avoid killings when implementing drug suppression,'' Samak was reported to have said during a regular television programme, 'Samak's Talk,' broadcast every Sunday.
''When the crackdown is underway, killings will take place,'' the premier, who led his People Power Party (PPP) to victory at a late December election, added. ''I want people to understand that in order to fulfill the anti-drug objective, extra-judicial killings do occur, but police officers responsible for the acts will have to face legal consequences.''
According to 'The Nation', an English-language newspaper, the government has been cavalier about the number of people who may be killed during the campaign. Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said that ''he would not mind if a few thousand drug suspects were eliminated by their comrades in crime,'' it noted in a Monday editorial.
''Asked to comment on the interior minister's planned crackdown on drugs, Samak upped the ante by saying that he couldn't care less if 5,000 drug pushers were killed by their own kind,'' the daily added. ''The prime minister said that no one should be sorry to see suspected drug traffickers die in large numbers.''
Excerpts from the US Drug Eradication Report
April 15, 2008
International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 2008
These are the conditions that existed under Oregon's own Ambassador Haslach's time in Laos. No mention is made of the fact that hundreds of Akha starved to death in northern Laos, but the report admits that food conditions are emergency in nature still at this time. What was Ambassador Hasclach doing about it?
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The United States continues to be a substantial, albeit diminished, donor of drug control assistance to Laos. Other donors (primarily European but now including some other Asian countries) have become the largest contributors to alternative development programs for opium poppy crop reduction. The Lao-American Opium Crop Control Projects in Phongsaly and Luang Prabang Provinces, which delivered integrated rural development assistance to reduce poppy cultivation, were completed in December 2007. The limited remaining assistance in the USG Crop Control project will in 2008 be delivered to more direct and limited village-based alternative livelihood programs, designed to provide assistance to hundreds of former opium growing communities that have not yet received such assistance. The U.S. cooperates closely with international organizations such as UNODC and the World Food Program in areas where serious economic distress in farming communities makes resumption of opium cultivation a continuing significant possibility.
The Road Ahead. Laos' two-decade effort to sustainably eliminate opium poppy cultivation has reached an advanced stage, but as noted by GOL, UNODC and third country officials—and large numbers of Lao farmers—it is by no means over. If significant near-term emergency food security support, and medium- to long-term assistance to establish viable alternative livelihoods, is not delivered in 2008 and the coming few years, it is very probable that the decline in poppy cultivation observed in 2007 will be the last for many years. If former poppy growers revert to opium cultivation, persuading them a second time to stop will be far more difficult.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Ongoing RTG efforts to interdict the trade and use of illicit drugs included the following measures in 2007: Stronger border interception; utilizing units of the civil service, police and army to patrol, operate check points and monitor high traffic areas; strengthening local communities by education and drug resistance programs; enhancing international assistance and operational cooperation; surveying and manual eradication of poppy cultivation areas; education and alternative livelihood support for northern hill-tribe villagers; and better statistical research and measurement of drug users, traffickers, and released prisoners. ********************The Thai Office of Narcotics Control Board conducts year-round surveillance in upland areas of northern Thailand where new opium poppy plantings are most likely to occur, usually on plots of half an acre or less. *******************The Office coordinates at least one manual opium eradication campaign per year that is carried out by Thai 3rd Army units that have become expert in this activity. (((((((((((((((((((((((((These campaigns are conducted with modest financial support from the U.S. Mission, and with leads and intelligence developed by the DEA Bangkok Country Office.))))))))))))))))))))))) ))))))
Thailand's regional efforts at border interdiction and law enforcement coordination include continued policing of the northern and northeast border regions of the country. Improved cross-border operational communications along the Mekong River has been fostered in part by continuing scheduled joint Lao-Thai river patrols using U.S. Government-purchased small boats and other equipment. Lao and Thai border law enforcement authorities take advantage of improved, more frequent contacts and meetings as well as better communications tools to support operational cross-border communications. Thai law enforcement authorities employ extensive field training and modern equipment to respond to the border trafficking threat. A wide assortment of counternarcotics tools, including confidential sources, undercover operations, controlled deliveries and court-authorized wiretaps are available and are used in drug suppression and interdiction. Thai agencies also adjust their strategy and tactics to meet the changing threat from modern-day drug trafficking groups as the traffickers adapt and alter their own operations. When traffickers shifted their smuggling routes to Laos and Northeast Thailand, Thai authorities quickly moved enforcement capacity to those areas. ((((((((A new USG-outfitted drug intelligence center constructed with the help of JITAF-West in northeastern Thailand further bolsters counter narcotics coordinating and operational capabilities within the Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau (PNSB) network.)))))))))
The U.S. will continue..[to].. provide modest support to the alternative livelihood programs for upland populations that have been carried out in northern Thailand by Thai agencies under Royal Patronage for three decades.
*****************WHAT? the US funds the Queen's projects?
The U.S. will contribute to justice sector reform at the request of Thai counterpart agencies, and utilize seconded U.S. Department of Justice personnel as well as private sector organizations such as the American Bar Association to help achieve this goal. ILEA Bangkok will continue to aggressively offer a comprehensive program of regional law enforcement training and cooperation, and build Thai agency technical skills in order to enhance capacity to fight transnational crime and illicit drug trafficking.
Thailand Human Rights Report for 2007
Thailand Human Rights Report for 2007
Sri Lankan Torture Case Holds Lesson For Thailand
April 10, 2008 A court in Sri Lanka has given a shocking verdict in a case of police torture. Both the judgment and chain of events that led to it contain many important lessons for people in Thailand.
Sri Lankan Torture Case Holds Lesson For Thailand
World Food Program Report on Laos for 2006
April 9, 2008
This report shows the conditions in Akha villages in Thailand during the time of Ambassador Haslach's term in Laos.
World Food Program Report for Laos 2006
Thai Border Patrol Police and Torture
April 9, 2008
Thai Border Patrol Police and Torture
Asian Human Rights Commission Letter
This article illustrates the crimes that Thailand's Border Patrol Police commit against civilians.
Institutionalised Torture, Extrajudicial Killings & Uneven Application of Law in Thailand
April 8, 2008
This document from 2005 details many cases of torture in Thailand and some of the Thai police officers involved.
These are the facts that the US State Department is ignoring in giving military aid and security aid to Thailand.
New York Times Report 2003: A Wave of Drug Killings Is Linked to Thai Police
April 8, 2008
This article from April 8, 2003 clearly describes events in Thailand and how "suspects" were treated and killed by the Thai police.
Further, I was in Thailand during the 2003 drug war, and printed a book with documentation on it, which can be found in our downloads section, Akha Journal 2. I personally responded to many requests by Akha villagers to come and document the aftermath of the killing of people in their village, Akhas who were called to the police station and either killed on the way or on the way home. Other Akhas were just shot outside their homes, at work, or as they lay sleeping.
UN Reports called the 2003 Drug War a success, as did the DEA. The US gave millions in assistance training and aid to the Thai government at that time, and has just recently restarted military aid to Thailand. Partners in torture, partners in drug war killings, the US trained the Thai police and army in these tactics.
For pics of what happened in 2003 go here:
An Assessment of the Implementation of the Thai Government’s International Commitments on Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge from the Perspective of Indigenous Peoples
April 7, 2008
A new document from Thailand on Indigenous Knowledge, indigenous peoples organizing to protect their land.
An Assessment of the Implementation of the Thai Government’s International Commitments on Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge from the Perspective of Indigenous Peoples
Thai Drug Report on 2003 Drug War "Crimes Against Humanity"
April 6, 2008
ICID Independent Committee for the Investigation, Study and Analysis of the Formulation and Implementation of Narcotic suppression Policy (ICID)
This Thai report discusses the drug war of 2003 and the possible "crimes against humanity" implications.
Patricia Haslach, of Lake Oswego, Oregon
Recent Ambassador to Laos
Oversaw US Drug War in Laos
Stood by During Severe Impact on the Akha Resulting in Death
April 5, 2008
Patricia Haslach, of Lake Oswego Oregon, was the US Ambassador to Laos from 2004 to 2007. During this time, a year of which I was also in Laos, the US and the UNODC conducted an ongoing opium eradication and drug war in Laos, which resulted in the relocation and death of many Akha people. Activist reports such as Aiding and Abetting clearly point out the US role in this disaster. When the Lao Govt reported that the goal for eradication had been accomplished, it was not without a note of how fast they had been made to do it and the results it had for the people.
Patricia Haslach, of Lake Oswego Oregon, is going to go before the House Foreign Relations Committee to be interviewed before being appointed to be the Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum next Wednesday. What questions should she be asked about her work with the UNODC and the US Narcotics Affairs Section of the US Embassy while she was ambassador to Laos? Has she abandoned hope for the people starving in rural Laos because of drug war policy? Why did she fail to stop such a disastrous policy? Why did she promote it?
This is one of several UNIQUE connections that Oregon citizens have with the Akha, and in many cases, very negative connections. A Rotary project that was recently canceled was also from Lake Oswego.
WITNESS to Hold Video Training in Thailand
April 4, 2008
WITNESS is to hold an activist Video Training for Human Rights in Chiangmai in Sept. 2008. Please go to this site for details.
WITNESS Training and the AIPP
Thailand Begins 2nd Drug War April 2, 2008
April 4, 2008
As promised and despite an international outcry, Thailand has begun its second Drug War.
Thailand's New Drug War
Thailand Drug War Killing to Begin Again
Yet there has been no accountability for the killings of the 2003 Drug War and there is no support for the legal system to do so.
Never the less, US military aid to Thailand continues.
Areas that the government says will be focused on are Bangkok and border areas. The border areas of course are mountainous regions and will have a disproportionate impact on the hill tribe peoples. This of course is the plan, as the Thai government increases its oppression of these peoples.
The Thai Government should realize that it can become the pariah of SE Asian Nations and be held in contempt by the international community if it continues this course.
We Ask Australian Federal Police to Investigate David Stevenson and CGT in Thailand
We continue to have numerous complaints from volunteers and EX volunteers that something strange is going on with the children at CGT (Children of the Golden Triangle) mission in Thailand. While grabbing up large numbers of Akha children, other people report that David Stevenson is covering up how these children are obtained, child labor they are made to do, and where some of the children are going to.
We have now contacted the Australian Federal Police and asked them to make an investigation into the strange circumstances being described to us by visitors to CGT.
Update on the Bus
I am in Arizona working for funds and raising funds for the bus. I take this trip pretty seriously and am doing all that I can to get it moving. But your help is still needed. Arizona is not very hot yet, so I am doing some work down here. That is what has gotten the price paid down more. But there is still a lot to do. I am also in contact with other people working on ngo projects in humanitarian relief while down here. A campaign bus has been a long term goal of this project. We need to get the word out and we also need to gain the assistance of people for our humanitarian work for the Akha such as malaria prevention and health care. And we like to hear from YOU.
NGO's Slam UN on Drug War
1. Human Rights in the Drug War: NGOs Slam UN Drug Bureaucracies, Demand Compliance With UN Charter
Using the annual meeting of the United Nation's Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna as a springboard, an international consortium of drug policy, harm reduction, and human rights groups Monday slammed the UN drug bureaucracies for ignoring numerous, widespread human rights abuses perpetrated in the name of global drug prohibition. The UN must stand up for human rights in the drug control regime, the groups said.
The charge was made in a report released the same day, "Recalibrating the Regime: The Need for a Human Rights-Based Approach to International Drug Policy," endorsed jointly by Human Rights Watch, the International Harm Reduction Association, the Canadian HIV/ AIDS Legal Network, and the Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Program. It was presented this week in Vienna during a discussion of the worldwide human rights impact of the drug war conducted as part of a series of events countering the official CND meeting.
The CND, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), are the three UN entities charged with enforcing global drug prohibition as enshrined in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its two successor treaties. The CND was meeting this week to review whether the UN had met its 1998 10-year goal to achieve "measurable results" in the fight against drugs, including a "significant reduction" in the cultivation of cannabis, coca, and opium.
The Monday report cites murderous campaigns against drug suspects in Thailand in 2003 -- and the prospect of a repeat of that deadly drug war by the new Thai government -- the violent police campaign against drug dealers (and innocent bystanders) in Brazil, the grotesque Chinese habit of celebrating the UN's international anti-drug day by executing convicted drug offenders, the resort to the death penalty for drug offenders in more than 60 countries, the mass incarceration of drug offenders and the racially discriminatory enforcement of drug laws in places like the United States, and much, much, more as evidence that human rights comes in a distant second to the prerogatives of drug prohibition.
Thai officials attend human rights panel slamming Thai government In the face of this litany of human rights abuses in the name of enforcing drug prohibition, the UN agencies have remained so quiet as to be almost "complicit" in them, the report argues. There has been "little engagement" with this issue by the CND, the INCB, the UNODC -- or even the UN's human rights treaties bodies, the report said.
"The UN General Assembly has stated repeatedly in resolutions that drug control must be carried out in full conformity with, and full respect for, all human rights and fundamental freedoms," said Mike Trace of the Beckley Foundation, which commissioned the report. "Delegations to this week's meeting must ensure that their obligations under international human rights law underpin all CND deliberations and actions."
"Despite the primacy of human rights obligations under the UN Charter, the approach of the UN system and the wider international community to addressing the tensions between drug control and human rights remains ambiguous," said Richard Elliott of the Canadian HIV/ AIDS Legal Network. "This is inexcusable in the face of the egregious human rights abuses perpetrated in the course of enforcing drug prohibition, which in turn damages global efforts to prevent and treat HIV."
"Last week, INCB President Philip Emafo stated in the board's 2008 annual report that 'To do nothing [about drugs] is not an option'," said Rick Lines of the International Harm Reduction Association. "We are here today to state clearly that doing nothing about the human rights abuses perpetrated in the name of the drug war is also not an option. In this, the 60th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, CND member states and indeed the entire UN family must speak out clearly that human rights must not be sacrificed on the altar of drug control."
The new Thai government's repeated comments that it intends to go back to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's murderous drug war of 2003, in which some 2,800 were killed, aroused particular concern among the groups.
"As the UNODC has acknowledged, there are proven methods to address drug use while protecting human rights. Murder is not one of them," said Rebecca Schleifer, advocate with the HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "As a member of the CND, Thailand must be held to account for its actions on drugs, and pressure brought by the international community to ensure that human rights violations are not repeated."
The Thai may be feeling the pressure. At the Monday afternoon "side session" organized by the groups, not one but three officials from the Thai government attended, all of them expressing the view that policies have "good effects and bad," and inviting advocates to provide information to help them improve policies. Time will tell whether it was a serious offer and whether they can influence their government in a positive direction if so.
Monday's report was only part of a broader onslaught directed at the UN anti-drug bureaucracies and their seeming disdain for human rights. Last week, in the wake of the release of the INCB's 2007 Annual Report, which called for "proportionality" in the enforcement of drug laws at the same time it called for criminalizing millions of people who chew coca leaf, that organization was critiqued in a response by the International Drug Policy Consortium, a global network of national and international groups specializing in issues relating to drug use, legal or illegal. While the consortium congratulated the INCB for its call for proportionality and a slight retreat in its resistance to harm reduction, it warned that such good news "will be rendered meaningless if the Board does not consistently reflect these principles in its ongoing work with national governments and other UN agencies."
The consortium also harshly criticized the INCB for its call for the banning of the growing and consumption of coca. "Of greater concern is the continuing intransigence shown towards the issue of indigenous use of coca products in Bolivia," the consortium's response said. "Where there is an unresolved inconsistency within the drug control conventions, and between drug control and other international obligations and treaties, the role of the INCB should be to highlight these dilemmas and help governments to find a resolution, instead of issuing rigid and non-universal declarations."
The British drug charity DrugScope, a member of the consortium, called on the INCB to do more. "Drug users are vilified and marginalized worldwide," said Harry Shapiro, the group's director of communications. "Some nations feel that any action against them is justified, including murder. We are encouraged that the INCB recognizes this is unacceptable and that a balance must be struck between the enforcement of drug laws and the human rights and civil liberties of those with serious problems."
The INCB must match its actions to its words, Shapiro said. "But DrugScope and the International Drug Policy Consortium feel that the INCB, from their position of international authority, must follow their condemnation of human rights abuses through to its logical conclusion, The INCB must offer public criticism of particular countries with the worst human rights record in this area." Instead of UN anti-drug agencies sticking up for human rights, they have now become the objects of criticism themselves. The official international prohibitionist drug policy consensus may be holding at the UN, but it is clearly fraying, and civil society is no longer willing to sit quietly in the face of injustice, whether in Bangkok or Baltimore, Rio or Russia.
Help Shut Down CGT Mission
Close them DOWN!
CGT has Akha children packed in like a "slave ship"
Reports continue to come in from volunteers and journalists about the case of Asa and David Stevenson and CGT mission in Thailand. More than 400 Akha children packed into a couple of buildings, no different than a slave ship. Our hat is off to anyone who can run this man out of Thailand by any means available.
There are hundreds of Akha children in this place. David tells donors they are abandoned, they are not. They have been taken from the parents under odd conditions, and the Thai government has failed to investigate.
Rotary International pulled out and now its time for the Govt. of Thailand to take action. It is based on these very cases, that we have filed a case of Genocide against the Thai Government for their failure to protect the Akha and to go along with these schemes, all the while taking the Akha land that is located at the villages above CGT mission where these children come from.
What will YOU do to make a difference?
Akha Complain of Sex Abuse at Mission in Thailand
Akha children from a mission in Mae Chan district complained of sexual abuse at the mission, and were transferred to another home but the families want their children back. Lets hope that this becomes a wave of realization what these missions are about and they all get closed.
Thaksin the War Criminal Returns to Thailand
Let Thaksin who ordered the Drug War killings now find the same justice he meeted out. Thailand must ratify the International Criminal Court and put Thaksin up for war crimes charges.
Thaksin Returns to Thailand
The US and Thailand are Partners in Torture
US and Thailand: Allies in Torture
We are not surprised at this article. The US has long funded and stood by while brutal abuse of humans in Thailand has gone on. As mentioned before, during the 2003 drug war I made many reports to the US Consul Eric Rubin in Chiangmai, Thailand. My information was ignored, the US Embassy had no comment.
The US established the Counterterrorism Intelligence Center in 2001 before September. Hopefully officials involved in the torture and death of people in Thailand will find themselves charged with war crimes. We could name a few.
Akha Face ID Card Fraud Hassle from Thai Police
In Thailand it is known for years that the Thais sell Akha ID cards to Chinese and many other aliens in the country. Many times they take the name of an Akha still living, other times they take the names of murdered Akhas and sometimes the names of Akha children who die.
The Thai police are at the top of every kind of black market corruption in the country. Killings, drugs, extortion and of course fake ID cards.
So as this article explains, the Akha are a little bit bent out of shape when the Thais claim that it is they who are making money off the scam.
The Akha have been refused ID cards for decades. The Thais need to focus on their treatment of the Akha under almost any conditions.
I File Case of Genocide Against the Thai Government at the International Criminal Court in the Hague
Distribute to all Lists
Feb 27, 2008
The Crime of Genocide: The Akha vs. Thailand at the International Criminal Court
A systematic effort to deprive the Akha of land, including land confiscations by the Queen of Thailand, to deprive the Akha of food resources, to forcibly relocate their villages resulting in high numbers of deaths, high instances of false arrest, imprisonment, extra-judicial executions, the blatant removal of Akha children by missionaries for conversion and allienation from their language, culture and identity have clearly shown that the Thai Government has mounted a long term campaign against the Akha that can be identified as Genocide.
Attempts by the Akha to resist, to document the abuse and killings, are met with reprisal and more killings. Akha rescued from Army camps were later arbitrarily executed.
Removal of Akha children by missionaries numbers in the thousands. The Thai Government has approved of these actions.
I call on the world body of the International Criminal Court to fully investigate these charges and demand of Thailand a complete end to these actions and conditions, and that Thailand begin to prosecute the perpetrators of this crime where ever they may be. This would include the deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who ordered thousands to be killed with little to no evidence of their crime, many of whom were Akha people.
Three New Akha TV Shows
Here are three new shows. Take a look, drop us an email.
Akha TV 7 The University of Oregon gave Paul W. Lewis a PhD. for sterilizing Akha women
Akha TV 8 Lane Community College Presentation
The Longest Ride for Akha Human Rights Coast to Coast by horseback.
Akha News Magazine - Download Now
Our first news magazine size. You can download the pdf tabloid size of 16 pages here:
Akha News 1 pdf
Thai PM Vows War on Drugs Despite Outcry
Fri Feb 22, 2008
By Nopporn Wong-Anan
Thai PM Vows War on Drugs Despite Outcry
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej promised on Friday to launch another war on drugs despite protests from human rights groups which denounced the deaths of at least 2,500 people in an earlier campaign.
"We will pursue a suppression campaign rigorously. There will be consequences," Samak told reporters who asked if he would revive the anti-drug campaign started in 2003 by ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Samak, who campaigned in a December election as a proxy for Thaksin, said one of the consequences would be killings among drug dealers and putting the blame on police, but the government would not be deterred by such allegations.
Interior Minister Chalerm Yubamrung told parliament late on Wednesday he would adopt Thaksin's approach in his anti-drug campaign even if "thousands of people have to die".
"When we implement a policy that may bring 3,000 to 4,000 bodies, we will do it," said Chalerm, a former police captain.
The National Human Rights Commission urged the government this week to avoid errors the Thaksin administration made during the three-month campaign after a cabinet minister said he would pursue Thaksin's policy.
It was referring to allegations that police were told to produce lists of suspects to be targeted and some turned out to be innocent of involvement in a drug trade focused on methamphetamine in wide use.
Human rights groups accused police of extra-judicial killings of suspects although Thaksin's government said most of the deaths resulted from inter-gang warfare.
"WHY WORRY ABOUT DEAD DEALERS?"
A military-appointed government, set up after the generals ousted Thaksin, called the campaign a "crime against humanity", but failed to link Thaksin to extrajudicial killings.
But Samak said on Friday he did not doubt police reports that only 59 of the 2,500 deaths were at the hands of police.
"Why are you journalists so concerned about the deaths of those drug dealers? Should the government pass regulations saying police can't shoot drug dealers," Samak said at a news conference.
"Should the law say police are allowed to fire only after being shot at by fleeing drug dealers," he said.
Samak denied innocent people were killed. "If they were innocent, why were they killed?"
But National Human Rights commissioner Vasant Panich said the government should try to help families of innocent people killed during the campaign rather than reviving it.
"More than 1,000 people killed during the campaign were classified as innocent people by the Royal Thai Police, but the government has given no compensation to their families so far," Vasant told Reuters.
At the time, Thailand, once a major supplier of heroin from the Golden Triangle where it meets Myanmar and Laos, was awash with methamphetamines made across the border in the former Burma.
The war on drugs cut supply and pushed up prices for a while, but business returned to normal after the campaign petered out, anti-drug agencies say.
(Additional Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak and Chalathip Thirasoonthrakul; Editing by Michael Battye)
Thailand to Kill 4,000 in New Drug War
Thailand to Kill 4,000 in New Drug War
"My government will decisively implement a policy against drug trafficking. Government officials must implement this policy 24 hours a day, but I will not set a target for how many people should die," said Samak Sundaravej, the new prime minister.
The interior minister Chalerm Yubamrung, said: "When we implement a policy that may bring 3,000 to 4,000 bodies, we will do it,"
Fully backed by US training and weapons, the new government of Thailand promises a war on drugs that could take 4,000 lives. We count it as another promise of ethnic cleansing in the villages. The government of Thailand needs to be warned not to pursue such an action.
Task Force 399, The 2003 Drug War
Might be good to revisit the 2003 Drug War and even the situation leading up to it.
Thailand's Drug War Article 12 Pages
Task Force 399
US Govt. Immediately Restores US Military Aid to Thailand on Appointment of New Government
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Thai Government Threatens Family in Thailand
Villagers Forced to Sign Documents
Villagers from Pah Nmm and Hooh Yoh Akha were forced by the Thai army in late 2007 to sign documents that they had willingly given their land to the Queen of Thailand.
Villagers who complained from Pai ah Pai village that the Queen had taken large swaths of their tea plantations, were told to never come back to the government office and never talk about it. This was the Ampur Office in Mae Faluang, Chiangrai Province of Thailand.
The Thai government, concerned over their negative exposure at the UN, has built a special army camp to watch Michu's village and Hooh Yoh village (Queen stold the land of these villages) to make sure they know who is going into the region and supplying money or getting information. Harrassment of villagers and family intensify.
You can help by contacting the Thai Embassy or Consul. You can act by contacting your Senator, Congress person, MP and lodging a complaint.
Once again, the two villages involved are Pah Noon, and Hooh Yoh, both in Ampur Mae Faluang, Chiangrai, Thailand.
The missionaries of course, join forces with the Thai government, the very people who take Akha land.
We find these actions on the part of the Thai government unacceptable.
New Thai PM Promises New DRUG WAR - Economist
Jan 24th 2008 | BANGKOK
From The Economist print edition
The new government is unlikely to offer a ceasefire.
A new crackdown looms
A New Crackdown Looms
NO POLICY pushed by Thaksin Shinawatra, the Thai prime minister toppled in a coup in 2006, provoked as much controversy—or won as many votes—as a bloody 2003 campaign against illegal drugs. Faced with soaring methamphetamine abuse, Mr Thaksin ordered the police to draw up blacklists of suspected traffickers and "to act decisively and without mercy". The result was a shooting spree in which over 2,500 people died in three months. The police blamed gang violence; human-rights groups accused the government of condoning extra-judicial killings by the security forces.
Five years on, Mr Thaksin's political allies are heading back into power and dusting down their get-tough message. Chalerm Yubamrung, deputy leader of the People's Power Party, which will lead the new government, is widely tipped to be the new interior minister. He has promised another "war on drugs". This would include mandatory treatment for addicts as well as efforts to staunch the flow of methamphetamine from jungle laboratories in neighbouring Myanmar. On the campaign trail, Mr Chalerm both denied there was any government hand in the previous carnage, and claimed that no "innocent people" were among the victims.
Yet a panel set up last year by the outgoing junta recently concluded the opposite: over half of those killed in 2003 had no links to the drugs trade. The panel blamed the violence on a government "shoot-to-kill" policy based on flawed blacklists. But far from leading to the prosecutions of those involved, its findings have been buried. The outgoing interim prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, took office vowing to right Mr Thaksin's wrongs. Yet this week he said there was insufficient evidence to take legal action over the killings. It is easy to see why the tide has turned. Sunai Phasuk, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a lobbying group, says that the panel's original report named the politicians who egged on the gunmen. But after the PPP won last month's elections, those names were omitted. It is a depressing reminder that the law in Thailand can seem at the service of its political masters, rather than the other way around.
On the streets of Khlong Toey, the largest slum in Bangkok, there is nostalgia for Mr Thaksin's iron-fisted drugs policy. The 2003 crackdown drove up prices, smashed trafficking networks and forced addicts into rehabilitation programmes. In drug-ravaged communities, where the ends tend to justify the means, that was enough to turn Mr Thaksin into a hero.
His downfall, and Thailand's political crisis, have sapped police efforts to stop the traffickers. Wanlop Hirikul, a local activist, says that where there was one dealer on the street, now there are three. Supply is plentiful, and in Khlong Toey methamphetamine prices are falling. Drug-treatment centres report rising numbers of addicts. You might expect a military junta with sweeping powers to have kept up the fight against such illicit activity. Anti-narcotics officials say that drug seizures have risen since the military coup in September 2006. Yet that probably means even more of the stuff went unseized.
US Funded Billions to Corrupt Thai Govt.
The US govt. funded and prompted Thailand's drug war which started on the day that the ground war in Iraq began in Feb. 2003. Thousands were relentlessly murdered in Thailand. I picked up the bodies and documented many of the merciless killings of people who had no chance to defend themselves or challenge the fact that they were on a blacklist. In many cases it was clear that the police in Thailand basically killed who they wanted. In that year the US Govt. gave more than $10 million to Thailand. Since then it has been millions in military gear and BILLIONS in training to the Thai military. Now Thaksin's friendly PPP party goes back for power, and the killing is to start again. In reality it never ended.
In the article below it shows where the US put their funding and the coup that followed from the very people the US had put the funding to.
US dilemma over Thai coup
The administration of US President George W Bush, which is seeking United Nations sanctions against the military government in neighboring Myanmar, has said the Thai military coup was a
"U-turn" for democracy in that politically stable region.
Thailand and Myanmar are both members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), along with Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
But an ASEAN diplomat at the UN says there is no justifiable comparison between the two military governments. "The situation in Thailand is quite different from Myanmar," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. No doubt, he admitted, the coup was a setback for democracy, but Thai society is resilient and stable and will weather this setback.
"They have many strong anchors, including Buddhism and a strong reverence for the king," he said, pointing out that "Thailand will remain a key member of ASEAN, and ASEAN will not do anything to place Thailand in the dock, especially so when they have taken the first steps to restore constitutional government".
Since US law forbids military assistance to countries where a democratically elected government is ousted by a military junta, the Bush administration has already suspended some US$24 million in military aid to Thailand.
The civilian government was ousted when prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was in New York to address the UN General Assembly. Instead of returning home, where he would be likely to face charges of corruption, Thaksin opted to fly to London, where he is in virtual political exile.
Frida Berrigan, senior research associate at the Arms Trade Resource Center at the New York-based World Policy Institute, said the US government's fiscal year 2007 international-affairs budget request for military aid for Thailand praised the country as a "stable democracy" that "serves as both a model for development and democratization", and reminds readers that it was designated a "major non-NATO ally" in 2003.
The comparison to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has put Thailand in the category of close US allies such as Israel and Egypt. "This request was prepared in the early months of 2006 and serves as a record of how quickly things shift," Berrigan said.
She said the US State Department is seeking to pressure the Thai junta by suspending military aid and continuing "to urge a rapid return to democratic rule and early elections in Thailand".
The aid freeze - including outright grants under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program and under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, as well as funding for peacekeeping operations and counter-terrorism - will continue until "a democratically elected government takes office".
According to the London-based military magazine Jane's Defence Weekly, the US provision to suspend aid is outlined in Section 508 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, which could shut down military cooperation between the two long-standing partners. "However, the obligations under Section 508 may be open to interpretation," the magazine noted.
It can be argued that Thaksin was not, in fact, a "duly elected head of government". Although twice elected to power with substantial popular support, the magazine said, the snap election he called this April was boycotted by the opposition and declared void by the courts.
Berrigan said that in each of the past few years, Washington has provided Thailand with more than $1 million in FMF and another $2 billion in military training through the IMET. The request also prioritizes increasing the "counter-terrorism capabilities of Thailand's elite special-forces units".
"It is worth noting that the leaders of the military coup come from the ranks of the special forces," Berrigan said.
In addition to receiving millions of dollars in US military aid, Thailand is also a significant buyer of US-made weapons systems - taking delivery of some $1.5 billion in military hardware in the past 10 years - including $179 million worth of weaponry and hardware in 2004, and another $92 million in 2005.
As recently as this April, Berrigan said, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the possible sale of $246 million worth of six MH-60S helicopters, engines and spare parts.
Thailand's military budget hovers at about $2 billion a year - which means that taken together, US military aid, support for training, and weapons sales makes up about one-twentieth of the Thai military priorities - a sizable (but not overwhelming) chunk.
She also said that Thailand announced a 10-year military buildup in 2005, allocating $6.6 billion to beef up its armed forces.
Asked whether Thailand would turn to non-US sources for its arms requirements, Berrigan said: "Even before the US freeze, China and India have been courting Bangkok."
She said China had sent Thailand two missile-armed offshore-patrol boats, with combat systems manufactured by a subsidiary of British Aerospace, and there are plans for two more.
In January, she pointed out, India hosted Thai military personnel in a multilateral maritime exercise that also included Indonesian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Myanmar naval units.
(Inter Press Service)
Burmese Women Kept in Human Zoo In Thailand - BBC
Karen Women in Thai Zoo - BBC
For years, near the Thatong highway there has been a human zoo of trapped Karen women, as a tourist attraction. Maybe there needs to be a crime for tourists to view such things with impunity. But in reality this is the Thai mind, that everthing is for sale. Their treatment of the Akha people is not much better. Tourists to Thailand must bear much of the burden for these disparities and crimes.
While First Lady Hillary Clinton Did Little To Help the Akha
While First Lady, Hillary Clinton visited the Akha in Thailand and knew of their desperate situation, including the trafficking of Akha children. Yet there is little record of what she did to assist the Akha or improve their situation. The record that does exist, appears not much more than a photo op.
Hillary not likely to change abuse of "Religious Initiatives"
Human Rights Discussion Rare on Mission Websites
Article: Mission Interventions and the Global System
This paper written by Prof. Bodley states that while missions COULD have a huge influence for human rights for indigenous peoples, in fact they are not concerned with human rights such as land rights and in fact the terms are hardly ever mentioned on mission websites.
A statement on the new Rambo film and some of the more obvious flaws in it:
This simplistic film comes across as portraying the innocent missionaries pitted against an evil Burmese govt. Extreme depictions of violence are graphically portrayed.
It should be noted that throughout the whole film the actors say the name of the Karen people (introduced to us in the film as "poor christian villagers") like Americans say the common American female name ("care-un"). That is not the customary way to pronounce the name of the Karen people ("kuh-ren").
The film does have an element of truth to it when it portrays the missionaries from Colorado as seemingly idealistic, well-intentioned people blundering themselves across a border they shouldn't cross, into a short-term mission trip where they don't fathom the complexity of the situation they're dealing with, and putting other peoples' lives at risk in the process. All that matters to them is that they get some bibles out there, and if people die after that so be it, now God can be the judge. We have seen this mentality when missionaries are told that making contact with "unreached people groups" will almost certainly result in the introduction of deadly diseases for which the indigenous have no immunity. Missionaries will always choose to run the risk of destroying traditional communities, even causing genocide, rather than leave indigenous people without their bible. Ask one. Unfortunately this film makes the fanaticism of the missionaries look like a purely good thing, to be considered only a little quixotic, no harm done, a good thing on the balance. They had the best intentions at heart, you know?
In the film, a missionary threatens to report Rambo to the authorities for killing bad guys. In real life we know this much rings true: that no missionary we are aware of has reported on any extrajudicial killings carried out by their host government (say, in a U.S.-backed drug war), apparently because they fear that the government will not allow them to stay and translate bibles if they ask for justice. In the film the implication is "shut up man, he's our guy, the good guy is doing the killing." See Gerard Colby's book, "Thy Will Be Done," for plenty of examples where christians looked the other way when they could have stopped massacres by host-government forces and paramilitaries. As long as missionaries see their host government (or any murderers that are on their side) as "the good guy," allowing God's work to be done, we run no risk of seeing the phrase "human rights" on any missionary websites in the near future (see John Bodley's study on this site). We will not see the murderers of indigenous peoples held to account by missionary efforts.
Many missionaries seem to care less about the lives of non-christians than about people nominally of their own faith. We have challenged a missionary named Jim Morris, who worked with the Karen for many years, to help get justice for an Akha headman and his wife who were shot dead in their sleep by Thai government forces, on suspicion of having drugs, while their baby slept between them. We read about the case on the website of a Baptist missionary named Judy Cook who worked with the "Thai Tribal Narcotics Detoxification and Rehabilitation Programme" (TTNDRP) in 2003 in the region where Morris had worked for decades:
(from Judy Cook's prayer letter of March 20, 2003, found at bmsworldmission.org)
"...The Director of TTNDRP heard first-hand of how the government's actions affected one tribal village. Police shot and killed an Akha village headman and his wife whilst they were in bed; their three-month-old baby sleeping between them slept unnoticed. Many villagers are heroin addicts and the headman was believed to traffic the drug..."
Neither Cook nor Morris would help when we offered to work on the case. Morris said, "That's not what we do. We pray." Feel free to write him (care of Overseas Missionary Fellowship or Corban College or Bethany Baptist church in Salem, Oregon) and ask him about his attitude. These missionaries who work with the Karen turned a blind eye to the drug war violence and just prayed for the best. After Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed, the Thai Army claimed that many of the people put on black lists and arbitrarily killed were in fact innocent, to say nothing of the lack of due process.
The film unfortunately leaves out any trace of the history of Burma and so may leave an unenquiring audience with only a distinct sense that the Burmese government is pure evil and that all that needs to be done to take care of the problem is to send in a massive plausibly-deniable army of super mercenaries to take out the bad guys...There is tremendous brutality and cruelty happening in Burma, we recognize this.
It has even been documented that the Burmese military, with the help of U.S. helicopters, defoliated fields where Akha were growing food to survive
Such practices are sickening. But it should be noted that the Burmese are not the only ones guilty of carrying out such violence against tribal peoples. U.S. drug war policy killed hundreds and hundreds in Thailand and Laos recently, yet in Thailand where 2274 extrajudicial killings were documented in 2003, missionaries are still dining with Thai generals (literally) and not saying a thing about the killings (See Rick Caynor's "City on a Hill" American Baptists for World Evangelism website:
Don't want to rock the boat. Missionaries often have leverage available to them to change the places where they already are, for the better, and they're not using that leverage. We would hope this film doesn't encourage more of them to go bumbling into more countries where all they end up doing is supporting military atrocities. Let's hope they remember it's only a movie.
The money spent on this film could have helped many Karen refugees.
I have been doing a bit of painting, Akha portraits, and soon some village life scenes, some of which we give to donors, while raising the the funds for this bus which is the last part of what we have to do before leaving. And it has slowed us down a bit. But in the meanwhile I catch up on some painting skills, which I pursue by night, and off in the morning to speak with people about the project. It also makes it nice to be able to give something back to people, as well as get the story of the Akha people out there in just one more way. Besides that I really like oil painting, and my goal has always been about one a day, just to stay healthy. While planning a Akha TV video every night from the horseback trip, I had also thought of doing a painting each day, and in the end having a collection of it. We'll see what I have the energy to do.
The kids love Hampton and can't wait to get gone. 7, 6, 5, 3 and 11 months. You can imagine their excitement about such an adventure as to cross the US on a horseback journey through a country they have never seen, much like they crossed around Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and parts of China. To them, anything is possible. I reflect on what it would have been like, what I would have thought of it, had I been able to do such a thing as a child. We did it in cars in those days.
The smallest girl, Ah Pymm, she watched me work on the saddle one day, watching every move of my hands as I made some holes in a girth strap. And then when she saw the horse come back by with the saddle on it, she insisted to get in the saddle one time and take ahold. Kids grasp things very early on. Ah Ngoh, the youngest boy, was most resistant to getting off the horse once he got in the saddle.
Freedom Rider Maps Out Trail to the UN
Capital Press carries an article on the coast to coast horse ride this week in the Dec. 14 Edition. An excellent story touching on the farming practices of the Akha and how their land has been confiscated by the Queen of Thailand leaving them in dire poverty.
You may need to subscribe.
"Ride for Freedom" - Make a Donation Online
Hours of Riding, Breaking in Horse and Rider
Salem Monthly Publishes Story:
Salem Monthly Article
We'd really like to thank Salem Monthly and Aaron Hill for a great story.
"Man on a Mission"
Man on a Mission
We'd like to thank the Keizer Times for covering this story.
Cultural and Human Rights Challenges Facing the Akha People
Willamette University:Tuesday December 4, 7-9pm The Hatfield Room (2nd floor) at Hatfield Library
Unitarian Church:Tuesday December 11, 7-9pm Fellowship Hall
Both events are free, donations are welcomed.
New flyer about the trip. You can download it:
Riding a horse isn't all riding, there is plenty of walking out to do, miles a day. The horse is located in Keizer, Oregon and we get out at least every other day. He's a real cannon ball, tons of energy and surge.
"Ride for Freedom"
Family To Cross the US by Horseback For Akha Human Rights
Keizer's Crusading Family
Within weeks, our family will head out of Keizer, Oregon for the coast of Oregon and start our long ride for freedom. A ride that started 16 years ago on the Burmese Thai border.
Two hours to the fields, work all day in the hot sun, eat a lunch of weeds and chili peppers, dodge the Thai army, and walk two hours home in the monsoon with an empty stomach, to huddle near a fire and share two six inch fish with 9 people.
Land, what land? Food, what food? Have you looked starvation in the face? Does your mother look like starved earth? What did the forestry officials do to you? Did the Queen of Thailand take your land?
Twenty years to date, from the last trip accross the US by horseback, this Ride for Freedom - The Akha Way, will take us to the heart of the US and Americans to educate people who the Akha are and what has become of them.
We need sponsors, we need donors. Apart from the cost of the travels, we will be building a fund for the Akha Human Rights Network and to prevent malaria in Laos.
We need you to go to the link and make a donation, and we thank you for it. Or make a pledge by the mile. Be generous, the ride is 4500 miles long, taking us down to LA, across to New Orleans over to the east coast and up to Manhattan and the UN.
Blog - Top News
Kevin Annett Confronts Church About Location of Buried Indian Children
Kevin Annett's campaign to force the church to reveal where all the children were buried who died in residential schools in Canada pics up steam.
Hidden From History
From Wealthy Micro Biologist to "Custodian" of Little Akha Girls
Starfish Country Home, Chiangmai, Thailand
Richard P. Haugland
We'd like to know how Richard Haugland went from being a micro biologist interested in genetic markers to where he is today? After he sold Molecular Probes in Eugene, Oregon he suddenly showed up in northern Thailand and build a residential compound. He began going to Akha villages and talking Akha parents out of their little girls, promising them a great education. On his site it is a cradle to university strategy. But volunteers at the compound state that he kicks out the "dumb" children and that there is serious phsychological abuse at the school of the remaining children. We find it odd that this man who has an interest in genetics suddenly shows up in Thailand and starts taking away Akha girls as if he is doing some kind of genetic selection. He tosses money around to anyone working with children in the region as if buying his position and protection.
Do Oregonians know what this fellow is up to?
We oppose the removal of Akha children, a wide practice by missions in northern Thailand. The missions represent them as orphans and abandoned when in fact they are not. This is fraud intended to get support from donors.
Mission Sex Abuse Covered Up by Mission Staff
In 1991 Brian Barney, the administrator for DAPA in Chiangrai, stated that Yot Kukaewkasem, the vice administrator and student of Paul W. Lewis, was sexually abusing underage girls at the Dapa hostels. Brian Barney stated that his wife was shocked by these behaviors by mission staff to prey on Akha girls in the hostels and in the villages where Dapa mission staff traveled. Brian Barney stated that after the mission team would visit an Akha village, mission staff would go back immediately to that village and have sex with those girls. Brian Barney stated that the mission was trying to get the mission land out of Yot Kukaewkasem's name.
When Brian Barney quit his position as administrator of DAPA, Yot Kukaewkasem took his place and continues to be the current administrator. There has been no formal investigation into Yot Kukaewkasem behavior. In fact Paul W. Lewis's New Life Center built a Chiangrai Center on the Dapa Properties. The New Life Center claims to save Akha girls from prostitution. Previously run by Lauren Bethel in the early 90's.
Still Yot Kukaewkasem worked as administrator. Aje, Yot Kukaewkasem's brother, then set up shop and opened Akha Outreach Ministries, which he runs with his American born wife, Nancy. The missino name was later changed to Akha Outreach Foundation. (Lori Crouch and Paul Vernon work for AOF, and are financially supported by Salem Alliance Church and Faith Chapel, Arvada, CO.) Both of these organizations continue to receive large and significant funding from Christian groups which appear unconcerned with who the administrative staff is.
Insiders claimed that Aje, the brother, was dismissed from House of Grace ministries for having an affair with an Akha woman who was a ward at the mission.
We would like to know why Yot Kukaewkasem continues to remain at work at DAPA? We would like to know why the missions that support DAPA do not investigate issues of sexual abuse related to their chosen administrator? It is not clear which missions support DAPA, where a large percentage of it's money comes from, while DAPA claims to be a non mission organization so that it can gain volunteers from such places as the Peace Corps.
We call for the removal of Yot Kukaewkasem.
The Protestant and Catholic Mission systems are rife with sexual abuse and exploitation.
Missionary Interference in Akha Naming System Threatens to Dumb Down by Inbreeding and Illegal Marriage
Separated Siblings Marry
The Missionary practice of forcing the Akha children to convert and forbidding their culture increases the likelihood that Akha siblings will inadvertently marry. The Akha have an extensive genealogy system that prevents this but the missions label it as evil, despite extensive biblical geneologies.
Rule of Lords: The Murderous Thai Police
In Thailand the police kill with impunity. Here is one case, not about hill tribes but about how it works anyway. The Thai police will be ruled by people more cruel than themselves.
We would note that this is in stark contrast to the mission websites which never touch on the subject, or would even fain that all the victims of this ruthless murder campaign which has always gone on, somehow deserved the way in which they were slaughtered. Historically christians have often aligned themselves with murderous regimes. How unfortunate, yet how predictable. The truth they don't tell you.
Rule of Lords: Strange fruit in Kalasin
Officers of the Kalasin District Police Station in northeastern Thailand are alleged to have abducted and murdered dozens of people in the last few years. The actual number could exceed 100; many more bodies have been found, but were not properly examined and documented before being cremated.
Among the victims, Kietisak Thitboonkrong and Krischadol Pancha
disappeared from the police station within days of each other in July
2004, shortly after the official close of the first "war on drugs"
declared by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Something Rotten In Thailand's Prisons
Injustice in the Thai Prison System Especially Bad for Minorities Like the Akha. Paul Hunt has worked for years to expose this injustice, and has encountered many problems, even with Amnesty International. We also have enquired of Amnesty International to investigate Akha prisoner cases and profiling, but have not gotten a response.
This article was first printed in Chiangmai City Life.
When the blindfold comes off you are in a room where you are subsequently stripped naked and tortured; your life is then threatened by these police interrogators in their efforts to attain an admission of guilt.
"This is for Thailand," they tell you, "admit you are guilty".
As consolation, they tell you that your sacrifice will help the nation; you are, after all, from a hill tribe and have a debt to the country still standing.
Copyright 1991 - 2008 The Akha Heritage Foundation