Down here from the north of this quiet and mountainous country for a few days. Catching up on computer work, got the kids out to see the 30th Anniversary fire works celebration in Vientiane. Being from the mountain, they never saw anything like that before, had to get them out of bed, but with blurry eyes they thought it was worth it.
Maybe go up north here again soon to spend more time with the Akha. Last time we pulled together enough people to give one village mosquito nets, about 75 nets. $250.00
Life is abstract. I read the reports, put them up on the website www.akha.org and read them again. They all say the same thing, that the US Drug War that was forced on Laos in exchange for aid, has caused a massive human rights violation and humanitarian disaster that is on going. Course this is the case, its what we saw in the villages, but what is amazing, is that it is almost acceptable. People don’t want to talk about it, the big push is “Eco-Tours” not tragedies. One tourist told me how they trekked to this village where a boy had died the day before, but they still got the experience, great, good for them, visiting the dying sounds like a brave white thing to do, before you go back to prep school or what ever.
UNESCO is up in their neck in this. We tried to get UNESCO to tell us what the process was for Intangible Heritage rights for the Akha. A Mr. Smeets. Mr. Feingold. Couldn’t get an answer, cause I guess it was embarrassing that UNESCO was headed in the other direction, funding missionaries instead of protecting culture like their mandate calls for. Yeah, all on the site, check it out, email them, they got nothing else to do. Oh, yeah, and the one pushing Eco Tours on dying villages? You guessed it, UNESCO. I mean, sell yourself one more time to stay alive, while the NGO’s and Agencies get the big bucks for sitting on their asses.
Same old case, you got to rake their ashes before they do anything, pound on their doors, raise hell. Americans wouldn’t complain so much about the UN if they knew that there are a LOT of american dead beats holding top jobs in the UN.
There aren’t suppose to be missionaries in Laos, but there are. Isn’t hard to find them. Just ask something like “What do you think of the situation for the Akha?” And you get an answer something like “The faster we get rid of Akha culture the better>” Pretty sure bet they are a missionary in hiding. The missionaries call slipping into a country to destroy and posses people “creative access countries”. Something like that. They’d love to rape the Akha over in Laos like they do in Thailand.
Reminds me. People always ask me why missionaries want other people’s kids? Exploitation, the obvious, because they are valuable and damn near free. Take as many as you want, no accountability, say that you are doing it for Jesus, you know, breaking up families. Those good old family values, none of that for the Akha of course, that only counts after the kids are yours.
When I was a kid, these missionaries they took this baby girl, and then the mother found out where she was and chased all over the world trying to find her. She must have been a really evil person for refusing to give up, so what did they do, they just kept moving, no way that mother was going to find out where her daughter was, don’t think she ever did. Must be a hell of a testimony for Jesus, don’t you think?
So the missions end up with these kids, bait for lots of money, advertising them as orphans, brainwashing them for Jesus. Good stuff. Course when you ask the missions about it, the financial value of the kids to THEM, they always drop the subject.
Check out www.imjaihouse.com quite the list they got for brainwashing kids under “spiritual”.
No body is asking about the traditional culture and language of these kids. Not even UNESCO.