The Akha Heritage Foundation - www.akha.org
Akha Human Rights - Akha University
You may copy and save this document for later reading.
Please remember to do a site search for other related documents which may not be shown here.
UNESCO and SIL and Missions
The New York Declaration 1 of 3
The New York Declaration
In Thailand UNESCO is working with Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) on an Akha language project to the exclusion of traditional Akha people and organizations which UNESCO could have worked with.
UNESCO has stated that there is NOT activity in Thailand regarding Non-Tangible Heritage when in fact UNESCO itself is working with Summer Institute of Linguistics on Akha language in related projects.
Link to document on SIL site:
We have contacted the following UNESCO related officers repeatedly:
We have filed formal letters of complaint with UNESCO both with Mr. Smeets in Paris and Mr. Shaeffer in Bangkok. We have never received a response to those concerns. We have also identified that UNESCO has partner relationships with mission organizations via its office of External Relations, and has placed three mission organizations on its Bangkok website. These very same organizations are involved in the active destruction of Akha traditional culture and oral literature (Oral Libraries) and in one case, that of New Life Foundation, the founder was responsible for an extensive progrom of sterilizing Akha women. (Paul W. Lewis)
Link to document:
Mission organizations in Northern Thailand, Myanmar, China and Laos are committed to the complete destruction of Akha culture, removal of gates, removal of swings, elimination of traditional naming systems, elimination of elder leadership, elimination of the transmission of Akha oral culture to the children from the elders, the suppression of Akha dress, the elimination of all Akha traditional ceremonies honoring parents, the explicit vilification of all things Akha, the coercive removal of large numbers of Akha children to residential schools for forced conversion which is in direct violation of the Geneva Convention on Genocide (5) and the establishment of churches and conversion practices in Akha villages placing pre-designated pastors in positions of village domination and leadership.
We see it as a failure of moral leadership on the part of UNESCO to be involed with, partnered with or assisting in any fashion a coordination with religious based organizations which have a biased religious, political and racial agenda. We see it as a failure to maintain the separation of church and state. UNESCO has come in direct violation of its own mandate to protect culture rather than work with those who destroy culture.
We call on UNESCO to sever all ties with Summer Institute of Linguistics and all mission organizations world wide.
Copyright 1991 - 2008 The Akha Heritage Foundation