Land of Smiles (8) : The Green transformation
Plum tree blossom at Mae Salong .
Mae Salong is an evident that show the hypocrisy of United State government of their “free world” game. After World war 2, to suppress the communism country, US CIA has “funded” many “communism resistant group” with drugs money and slavery along the drug money.
In the 70’s, stability and welfare of the golden triangle people is never consideration of Uncle Sam policies. Hence, golden triangle is one of the world biggest heroin exporter in the 60-70’s. When the drugs problem backfire to US society, US DEA (Drug enforcement Agency) is nothing but lame duck to help eradicate poppy plant from the region.
After tens of millions US dollar pour, together with many herbicide use, the “drugs war” is yet another USA defeat beside the Vietnam War.
It is “mission impossible” when the current Thai King mother, Srinagarindra return to Thailand and help the King to initiate a sustainable project, to eradicate the poppy from region for good. The idea is pretty simple, instead of destroying the poppy plant, the Doi Tung project are mean to eradicate poverty issue of the hill tribes people. The initiate project started in 1972, with a 100,000 baht seed funds, donate by the royal coffers, a laughable amount compare money spends by many government(including US) that failed to eliminate poppy plant from the golden triangle.
Slowly, the Doi Tung project transform the economy of the region. In 1989, the data show 8000+ hectares has transform into cash crop land and 2500 hectares has been reforested. During the process, the welfare and income in the region has turn many folds compare to the poppy plantation. The idea that initiate by the King Mother has deplete the regional drugs warlord resources : land and man power that they exploit for decades to sustain their troops and lifestyle.
By depleting the golden triangle heroin supplies, Doi Tung project indirectly relief Thailand from the direct impact heroins towards the population. It is no possible for drugs warlord to plant poppy themselves, because the risk are great : their man are expose to the open field that can be taken out easily.
Many western scholar, especially those from US and Uk, love to use to sentences “The King are highly respected and treated as God”. In fact, it is similar to many western media stereotype towards Asian country on various aspect. Such claims show that scholar know nothing about Buddhism, stereotyping the Thai King as Mikado.
The green transformation has show another side of the story : King Bhumibol Adulyadej are not fond of iron fist. The display of the interest on the firearms is none other than self defense , especially after his brother murder in throne in year 1946, at the age of 21, which might be a result of political fight among the constitutional instill monarch vs military warlords and other “powers”.
The project start 37 years ago, show fruitful results after a decade, and continue to run today to help other region that suffer the same issues. The Doi Tung project show the modern Thai monarch elasticity,compassion and patient. Perhaps it is not a miracle for the modern Thai monarch family avoid casualty on various military coup.