Thai Days: Where’s Billy?


Billy’s gone missing. The National Parks staff may have shot him, a drug dealer might have shot him, his relatives may have shot him, timber raiders might have pounded him to death with a Siam Rosewood log destined for Yunnan province in China…Billy’s gone.

Billy was (still might be if he dodged the incoming and if he’s hiding in a bullet proof cave somewhere) a Karen human rights activist and advocate for forest dwellers.

This doesn’t work for me. Sure, dwell in a forest. Just don’t kill everything else living there and cut the forest down for export. Don’t use your forest dwelling for trafficking very young sex slaves, drugs, guns, and other things. Billy wasn’t doing that (the Karens were doing it without him). He was being outspoken. And breaking the law.

Billy was caught with honey and honeycombs. He should not have had them. It is illegal in a Thailand national park. And Billy had more honey than one man, or a family, or a village could consume. This was commercial. The National Parks staff nabbed him. Dripping with honey. The man was released and Billy has vanished.

Billy’s dead. Of this I’m sure.

Who ended his life?

Fingers are pointing at the National Parks. I think not.

Their work is constantly frustrated by violent poaching gangs armed with AK-47s and they do fight back. But they aren’t exterminators. Billy has probably been killed by his own. A Karen.

That’s all I have to say on this thing for the time being.

Cheers from Bangkok!



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