ELL: Akha Journal: Hot in the city Aug. 10, 2001

Matthew McDaniel akha at LOXINFO.CO.TH
Fri Aug 10 13:33:29 UTC 2001


Dear Friends:

1.

The conditions in the Akha villages are hot and very difficult.

It is incredibly humid and hot this month with more rains than last
year, this means the rice is better, what got planted, but that the
health of the people is worse.  August is always a critical month.

Rice from last year is running out since there wasn't much rain, and
there is a fever and deep cough running through the villages.  I saw
many children with their fifth day of fever, bodies very thin, eyese red
and glassy, often combined with an eye infection.

Land continues to be taken from the Akha and the message is "move or
die".  Many of the villagers are living under starvation conditions, the
rice running out and no other food in the house.

To make matters worse the district offices have said that any loose
roaming pigs may be killed or injured.  However there is no clear reason
why the pigs should be restricted any more than in the past, any more
than the traditional message which is to tell the owner, "hey, your pig
is in my field."

The Mae Faluang Ampur office MUST take much responsibility for what is
occuring in the villages.

Meanwhile Thai pig farms located next to major creeks where they dump
the pig waste continue to flourish.

2.

Loh Guuh Update.
Further investigation with the villagers who helped to bury Loh Guuh
after he was killed in a police sting operation reveal the following.

He was not the man selling the drugs, had been asked to help with the
money transaction.
An old Thai man had been used to go about asking for anyone who could
help him find the pills.
He requested a specific number of pills.
Loh Guuh was sitting in a patch of corn when he was shot from behind
from a distance of about a meter and a half, in the back of the head
twice, and once more as he fell over, through his kidney and exiting out
of the top of his chest in front.

He did not have a gun or any weapon, and could as easily been aprehended
as two others were at the scene.

He left a wife and three young children behind.
The old Thai man who was used did not have a job, farm, or much to eat.

This appears to be a case of entrapment.

Known Thai Drug runners in Maesai are not shot, let alone shot in the
back of the head at point blank range. Neither are they always
apprehended.

3.

Truck Road Chains Finished

As some of you know the roads here in the rainy season are very
dangerous, steep and muddy, filled with ruts and deep tracks.

It has taken a long time with the machine shop to get them finished but
finally last week I finished the first two of a set of four chains that
make it possible to get into any Akha village in Thailand and safely out
again regardless of road conditions.  Built of heavy chain and large
steel links with iron cleats, the truck can climb or descend without
sliding sideways or getting stuck in the ruts.

4.
The On Line petition reaches 95 signatures
Please take the time to add your name at the link below.

5.
Akha.org has been significantly improved.
Please visit, now as many as a 100 hits a day.
Suggestions to make the site more beneficial and easy to use?

6.
Looking for buyers of Akha Mountain rice in order to help the Akha
protect their rice lands.
Looking for investors in Akha Mountain Tea and Coffee.




Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
Maesai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Join The Growing International Effort To Protect The Akha
Sign The Petition To The Thai Government
On Line At:
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/AkhaZauh/petition.html



http://www.akha.org

Donations:
PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/refer/pal=akha%40loxinfo.co.th

Credit Card Donation Site:
http://www.drugwar.com/store/proddetail.cfm?ItemID=12&CategoryID=6

Your donation goes to infant care, vitamins, medical supplies, wells,
bread and fish for the villages.

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:
The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304  USA

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