An Untimely Cut
This is the terrible story of the Baptist Church of the Golden Triangle and their extensive sterilisation of the Akha people. The Akha people are trapped between Burma, Laos and Thailand and are unwanted by any of them. In a venture between the Baptist Church and the Thai government a sterilisation Programme was established in the 60s to render the troublesome hill tribe people barren. As far as the Thai government was concerned it was a step towards extinction for the Akha and they couldn't believe their luck when a US religious nut agreed to carry out the work. Dr Paul Lewis was the American who relished his task. We went to find him in Thailand where he still lives today. Lewis tells us 'what happened was that we had to get permission from the government. Their encouragement was that we have too many tribal people already so if we can cut down that's great'. We profile Buma, sterilised 20 years ago and today consumed with pain and regret. Central to the Akha way of life is their worship of fertility. Without the ability to produce children many sunk into depression and disease. It's cultural genocide of the worst kind.