ELL: Akha Journal: May 28, 2001

Matthew McDaniel akha at LOXINFO.CO.TH
Mon May 28 05:38:32 UTC 2001

Dear Friends:

I have not been sending out as many updates this month because of a
number of reasons.

A number of projects are near completion and just hanging, so I am
waiting till they are fully finished to announce that.

Overall it has been a very slow spring, this has stalled projects that I
wish were done already.
Your donations are needed.  Few people realize how far a small
contribution will go in Thailand and thus get discouraged from sending
even $10.

$10 is fuel for most of a day to get out to villages.  A good bag of
first aid medicine.  22 kilos of flour for baking.  20 kilos of fish
food. Half the cost of a well pump.

The prolonged border closure has pressed a great hardship on the Akha
from the Burma side.

The bridge closure was artificially contrived.

The road to China was greatly improved, due to be fully completed this
spring, when this artillery assault by the Thai Army on the Burmese
lookout here at Maesai precipitated the bridge closure in a harsh
fashion that would not be soon resolved.

Who ever greased palms to see this event occur, we think CIA here, it
was hardly likely that the local Thai Army and Civil authorities had a
clue as to the long term impact.  The bridge stays closed.  No trade
moves. Maesai is dead.  The river is now swollen with new rains. Many
people will drown trying to cross the river, which happens every time
the bridge is closed during rainy season.  People try to live, try to
work, try to eat.

But one has to ask who could possibly gain by the matter and why?

Did somone oppose a cozy trade relationship between Thailand and China?
A hundred plus miles of good road all that was seperating two big
trading partners?

And then we have the Taiwan, China, spy plane, cobra gold all happening
at the same time, with all this double talk about drugs and the border?

Currently except for the Fang region which is to the south, we see no
border military activity near the northern Akha villages.

According to the newspaper speed pills continue to flow and continue to
be produced, so I am not sure what all was accomplished.

However the border definitely was militarized so some equipment dealers,
probably mostly in the US did make some good cash I would think.

Matthew McDaniel


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Matthew McDaniel and The Akha Heritage Foundation.
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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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