ELL: Akha Human Rights

Matthew McDaniel akha at LOXINFO.CO.TH
Fri Dec 3 00:00:28 UTC 1999

Dear Sir:

In village after village the involvement of several Chinese Churches
from the Maesai Baptist, to Taiwanese Baptist etc, are destroying the
traditional culture of the Akha people, splitting villages, displacing
elders and building churches in the traditional dance grounds of the
Akha people.

Can you please explain how you are protecting the rights of the Akha
people to their own tradition, language and culture as laid out in the
UN documents to which Thailand is a signator?

We have documented numerous villages where the Chinese pastors and
missionaries have totally displaced and forbidden Akha traditional
culture. Hua Mae Kom was overrun by your mission in Maesai against the
wishes of the headman, last year.

Emmanuel Gospel Fellowship in Huai Krai uses your calendars and forbids
traditional Akha culture in the village of their mission, as well as
makes loudspeaker broadcasts of church services to the neighboring
traditional Akha village in violation of their rights.  They have been
requested to stop repeatedly.

Salvation Center has banned traditional culture in several villages here
in the north as well.

I guess, out of curiosity, I might wonder what gives you the right?

Since your calendars and crosses are posted just about everywhere, we
figured that responding to the Maitrichit Baptist Church was only

We also note that your church is funding and assisting the building of
numerous churches for which you have no building permit nor government
authorization in numerous villages.

It can be noted that no village in which you place a church has any
traditional culture left, and we have documented on video, pastors
associated with the Chinese Baptist Church movement claiming that they
are teaching the Akha that the Akha Traditional Village Gate is "the
Devil's Gate".

We feel very clearly that your church is violating the human rights of
the Akha people to their traditions and culture in a time of poverty and
exploitation, which seems to be the fine tradition of missions here in
Northern Thailand.

Since we understand that some of the Chinese Baptist Missions get some
of their funding from the US, it is only logical that we should seek to
file legal action in the US as well, in order to protect the fundamental
human rights of the Akha People in Thailand and to seek the removal of
church buildings which have been constructed under duress of these
communities and with disregard to their traditional culture and right to
practice it.

Although we understand that there are a score of different Chinese
Baptist Churches working here in the north to destroy Akha traditional
culture as evil and not very Chinese, we observe that they all cooperate
extensively through the Maesai Chinese Baptist Church which does receive
support from Churches in the US and is used as a base for Church

As well, we note the vehicles of numerous Chinese Baptist Missionaries
frequenting this compound.

We are opposed to any missionary activity which violates the human
rights of the Akha people, which seems to be just about all of it.

Matthew McDaniel


Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
386/3 Sailom Joi Rd
Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130
Mobile Phone Number:  Sometimes hard to reach while in Mountains.

US Address:

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304

By Visa Card Secure Site:


Donations by direct banking can be transferred to:

Wells Fargo Bank
Akha Heritage Foundation
Acc. # 0081-889693
Keizer Branch # 1842  04
4990 N. River Road.
Keizer, Oregon,  97303 USA
ABA # 121000248

Or In Thailand:

Matthew  Duncan McDaniel
Acc. # 3980240778
Bangkok Bank Ltd.
Maesai Branch

Web Site:

mailto:akha at loxinfo.co.th

Discussion Groups:
akha at onelist.com
indigenousworld at onelist.com

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