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The Queen of Thailand Takes the Land of the Akha People

Index:
Update:
Here is an update, July 17, 2012 on the action SR James Anaya has or has not taken on the Akha Land case at Hooh Yoh Akha and Pah Nmm Akha:
Akha Land Taken by the Queen of Thailand SR James Anaya

Here is the latest documents on the Queen of Thailand taking the land of Hooh Yoh village cluster and the land of Pah Nmm village cluster. The Special Rapporteur Rudolfo Stavenhagen filed a "Letter of Allegation" with the Thai Government. While we are not allowed to see this letter its basic contents are what the Thais respond to in the 2008 letter. We filed our rebuttal to this which is the 2011 letter.
2008 Thai Govt Response to Letter of Allegation
2011 Our Reply to Thai Govt. Rebuttal

Monarchy - The Economist

Killings of Akha People
The Queen Takes Their Land.

What you should know about the Queen of Thailand
Video: To the Queen of Thailand
The Queen's Page
Video: My Statement Against the Queen at the UN

For years we have been protesting how the Queen of Thailand and other Royals come to Chiangrai province and take the land of the Akha for this and that national project in Thailand, selling the project as beneficial to the hill tribe and proof that the Queen loves the hill tribe. How you show your love for a people by taking their land and making them into slaves to farm the land they once owned, is beyond comprehension.

As one Akha woman said after all of her choice vegetable and farming land was taken in Pah Nmm Akha, "They came and told me, hey, its your land, you fix it for the Queen's tea growing land, make terraces for the tea, we'll pay you 3 baht a meter". "That was perfect land, perfect soil."

We oppose the Queen of Thailand for taking the land of the Akha people, thousands of acres, all the lands of entire villages like Hooh Yoh Akha. The Thais laugh, they think this will not become an international incident. They think this will be ok.

But we protest these events each year at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples and we protest it to the highest levels of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at Geneva.

When the truth becomes known to the world, the people of the world will think differently about the Queen of Thailand than she would have them think. "Why does someone who has it all, need to take the land from the poorest who have nothing?"

Feeding the Greedy with Cash:
The Elite of the World Attend $25,000 Dinner in Bangkok and Give the Money to the Chaipattana Foundation of the Queen that Rips Off Akha Land at Hooh Yoh

A fancy dinner in Bangkok, billed as the chance of a lifetime, charged attendees $25,000 a plate and the proceeds were donated to the Queen's Chaipattana Foundation, which is involved in the illegal seizure of Akha Lands at Hooh Yoh Akha.
Epicureans fly to Bangkok for $25K meal
Or Lavish Dinner Feeds the Queen

"High-rolling food lovers flew in from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and other parts of Asia for the 40-seat dinner organized by the Lebua luxury hotel in Bangkok, grandly titled "Epicurean Masters of the World."

This is a classic example of how little clue the public will be given of what really happens to the Akha people, or any people, buried behind the fine print, not visible to someone who does not know where that money really goes and what people really do with it.

Queen's Project Tries to justify taking the land of Hooh Yoh Akha.
Theft of Akha Land

The Queen of Thailand Continues to Seize Vast Akha Lands

The village of Pah Nmm Akha, adjacent to Bpah Mah Hahn, across from the valley of Hooh Yoh Akha which has lost all of its land two years now, Pah Nmm Akha has now had all of its land taken by the Queen of Thailand as well.

We demand that there be accountability. This is unacceptable, ongoing seizure of Akha lands and we will continue to fight it at the UN Level until the truth be known to the world community.

Nothing but cowards, stealing lands from the poorest.

Boycott All Things Thai.

The Queen's Royal Project Seizes the Land of Hooh Yoh Village

Royal Project Should Give Back the Land at Hooh Yoh
Project Tries to justify taking the land
Theft of Akha Land
Update - Volunteers Harrassed by Thai Army
Tourists in one village were harrassed because a foreign tourist had gone and taken a picture of the Project at Hooh Yoh. The Thai Army said "no one can take pictures of this project"
The Army proceeded to go through the inside of the house where tourists were staying, took their photos and checked their passports.
Your Support URGENTLY Needed to Back Up Hooh Yoh Akha
Contact your nearest Thai Embassy. Request that these details be investigated.
Information and Pictures
High Resolution Pics Of Hooh Yoh!
Activist Contact Data for the Queen
In 2003 the Project took away all the land of Hooh Yoh Akha, some 4500 acres (8500 Rai) of land. 1500 Akha villagers are displaced and they are made to work at half minimum wage on the land that belonged to them.
We need volunteers to continue to protest to the Thai Government and Embassies about the seizure of this land.
In addition to this seizure of Hooh Yoh land, the project has gone on to seize tea lands of Pai a Prai Akha village, in the same district, Ampur Mae Fah Luang, Chiangrai Province.
The Thai government terrorizes the Akha in order to keep them suppressed. The occasional brutal murder works to this end. Though there are many Akha who would gladly have their photos on this website, or run a column here, they can not speak out in such a public way if they want to stay alive.
Your protest supports and strengthens the Akha people.

Thai Government Delegation Response at UN Permanent Forum
The Thai government response to allegations of human rights abuses, seizure of land by the Queen of Thailand and human trafficking in Thailand.

We note that no mention is made of drug war killings, that Thailand is rated as one of the centers of child sexual abuse and that in the case of Hooh Yoh Akha land there are no documents clearly illustrating Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Once again the Thai government borrows from the new World Bank wording, "informed consultation" a very different kind of rodent.

We also note that all allegations we make are supported by photographic information and interviews with Akha villagers, at the request of said Akha people.

Documentation can be seen at the "UN" section of the website.

We quote:

Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issue
New York 2005

Draft Statement by the Thai delegation in reply to the statement made by Mr. Matthew McDaniel, the Akha Heritage Foundation:

Madam Chairperson,

My delegation is taking the floor to set the record straight in regard to the allegations raised in the statement by the representative of the Akha Heritage Foundation concerning the situation of the Akha hilltribes in Thailand.

Bearing in mind that the present agenda item of the meeting is to promote dialogue and better understanding the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues should be constructive and we feel that any statement made in this important forum should aim at promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of the indigenous peoples as well as minorities. Unsubstantiated allegations should thus be refrained.

On the seizure of farmland of the Akha in the Mae Fah Luang District in Chiangrai Province my delegation finds the allegations regarding Akha farmlands in Chiangrai Province a complete reversal of truth, an untrue statement.

I wish to point out that the land in Mae Fah Luang District is inhabited by over 80,000 various hilltribe people including the Akha. Traditionally these people engaged in slash-and-burn farming, growing opium, and forest encroachment, which resulted in a massive deforestation. Royally sponsored agricultural development projects, therefore, have been established in the said area with the aim to revitalize the ecological system as well as to promote better economic opportunities to hill people in the area.

The Highland Agricultural Development Center has been created in the area with the objectives of 1) employing the local Akha people so that they will gain the knowledge of various agricultural activities and apply them to their own lands; 2) increasing their incomes; 3) raising environmental conservation awareness. Prior to initiating such projectsm, the Thai authorities concerned consulted the Akha community leaders and villagers and explained to them well about the project. The people in the area therefore understand the project well and render their full cooperation to government agencies concerned. Some local Akha even donated some of their own lands to be part of the project. The project proves to be successful in increasing their income as well as discouraging them from involving with drugs crop or drug related activities.

On the alleged human trafficking and sexual exploitation of the Akha, I wish to stress that the Thai Government considers the problem of human trafficking as one of our top priorities. Anyone who is familiar with this problem in the South East Asia region would recognize the tremendous efforts made by the Thai Government in cooperation with our neighbouring countries in this regard. We are also working closely with the civil society and the UN agencies to address this problem across borders. To allege that the Government ignores and tolerates the situation of human trafficking simply denies the true fact.

My delegation could not respond to other grave allegations not directly addressed to us without any supporting fact. Should concrete facts or evidence to that respect be provided, my delegation will be ready to convey them to authorities concerned. Please rest assured that the Government of Thailand is fully committed to ensure that all people in Thailand regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or cultural background be protected and live with full dignity.

Thank you, Madame Chairperson.

(Editor's note: Under no condition did the Akha give the Queen of Thailand their land.)


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