Back in 2006, the very first interview published on New Mandala featured pro-Akha activist Matthew McDaniel. Much earlier, when he was based in northern Thailand, McDaniel’s provcatively painted pick-up truck was a regular sight around Chiang Rai province. Since his deportation from Thailand in 2004 McDaniel has lived in Laos and the United States.
When he was forced to leave I am not sure what happened to his old wheels.
Now in the United States, he has recently daubed his new “campaign van” with characteristically blunt slogans. One reads “The Queen of Thailand Takes the Land of the Akha People”. Pictures of McDaniels’ new wheels are available here.
Seemingly as passionate as ever, his current campaigns focus on challenging evangelical church groups who fund Akha evangelisation and on pressuring the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to rescind Paul W. Lewis‘ doctorate. He has also recently devoted particular effort to criticising the Chiang Rai-based missionary work of Paul and Lori Vernon.
New Mandala readers looking to find out more about McDaniel’s brand of activism will find a bounty of information and argument about these and other issues on his website: www.akha.org.