Mae Tao clinic caught in land dispute

The Nation

A legal dispute is underway between a foundation that supports Mae Tao clinic in Thailand’s Tak, founded and run by Magsaysay laureate Dr Cynthia Maung, and a monk who sold the land plot, which is now home to a field hospital and a school.

Well-known Thai social critic Sulak Sivaraksa, founder of the Metta Thammarak Foundation, has called on foundation members to file a lawsuit against Phra Kittisak Kittisophano, who allegedly sold the three-quarter-rai plot of land for Bt2.5 million to Pol Lt-Col Cholthep Maichai, a senior policeman based in Fang. The sale, he said, was in violation of the foundation’s objectives.

A Thai activist, Pipob Udomittipong, said fraud was being considered against Phra Kittisak, because he sold the land plots without authorisation; and a civil lawsuit to invalidate the sale of the land plots, which were sold to the policeman, despite him being the innocent party.


Chalwal Punyapan, a former foundation member, said the land plots housed a hospital and a school, and the sale of the land would affect operations of both services -provided largely to Myanmar refugees and children born to immigrants based or working in Tak province.

Sulak said earlier that Cynthia would not be qualified to lodge a lawsuit herself, as she was not a Thai national, and Mae Tao clinic was not registered as a legal entity. He criticised the monk, now chair of the foundation, saying that he placed more importance over money than on friendship, and seemed to have forgotten the assistance he had received in the past.

Cholthep claimed that he actually bought the plots for Bt2.7 million, from Phra Kittisak, and quoted him as claiming that Mae Tao clinic would be relocated away. A condition in the purchase of the land says Cholthep could not enter the plots or make profits off them before five years, after the sale was made mid last year.

The Thai policeman said Phra Kittisak told him the money would be spent on the charity’s affairs and building more facilities for the Mae Tao clinic when they are built at a new site. Cholthep said he had called the monk but could not reach him.

The policeman said he did not have any business plan to make use of the land plots, and said he, as an innocent buyer, was ready to clarify if queried. He said the seller of the lands must be held responsible, as the land plots were sold in violation of the Metta Thammarak Foundation, thus rendering the sale invalid under the Civil Code.

Chalwal said he had not learned of any illegal activities, including smuggling of illegal immigrants into Thailand, as alleged by Phra Kittisak, throughout more than a decade of the foundation’s or the clinic’s operation. He said Mae Tao clinic officials had tried to convince the monk to hand over ownership to Suwannimit Foundation, which is allied to the Metta Thammarak Foundation and now oversees the Mae Tao clinic, but the monk kept turning them down.

Mae Tao Clinic need your Vote: Temporary Dormitories for CDC Nursery School, Mae Sot, TH

Project: Temporary Dormitories for CDC Nursery School, Mae Sot, TH
Office: Line Ramstad, Albert Company Olmo, Jan Glasmeier
Finished: 2012 May


The result of decades-long armed conflict in Myanmar was that refugees migrated to neighbouring Thailand every day. In Mae Sot, a city on the border of Thailand, many care facilities and educational establishments were created for the refugees. One of these centres is the Children Development Center, that accommodates more than 500 schoolchildren. Due to the acute shortage of space, the centre felt compelled to create new temporary and inexpensive accommodations for additional children of school age. The architects Line Ramstad, Albert Company Olmo and Jan Glasmeier therefore developed the prototype of a temporary form of accommodation that can be built with local materials inexpensively, easily and quickly and whose scale fits in with local features and restrictions. With the support of Luxembourg’s embassy, the first four accommodation units were erected within four weeks. The buildings can each accommodate 25 schoolchildren and feature a large, open airy space on the inside. All the materials can be obtained locally, their application and how to use them are known, and they are therefore inexpensive. In the meantime, other organisations have decided to adopt the design of the temporary homes.

go to page and click the vote until September 20.2012

Mae Tao Clinic Founder Dr Cynthia wins the Freedom to Create Leadership Award


18.November 2011   Today we are very excited to announce that Dr Cynthia has won the Freedom to Create Leadership Award for Women! This award celebrates female change-makers who have identified and implemented a creative way to address a social issue, demonstrating courage, creativity and transformational change for her community. Dr Cynthia is in Cape Town, South Africa this week to recieve the award. To find out more about Freedom to Create, visit their website

Kraisak Choonhavan, deputy chairman of Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party and chairman of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) visits Mae Tao clinic

Monday, 08 March 2010 20:37

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Kraisak Choonhavan, deputy chairman of Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party and chairman of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) said on Monday the caucus is looking for money to support the Mae Tao Clinic. The clinic run by Dr. Cynthia Maung provides medical and education services for refugees, migrant workers and their children in the Thai border town of Mae Sot.

Last December Dr Cynthia Maung told Mizzima that her clinic was in need of emergency funding as an increasing number of migrants and refugees sought medical services at her clinic.

“The number of people who use our services is increasing. Similarly in the education and child care sectors, we need more funds as the number of child patients is also mounting. All organizations providing education and health care services are facing difficulties due to a shortage in funds,” Dr. Cynthia Maung told Mizzima.

Kraisak Choonhavan together with several other members of AIPMC also visited temporary Karen refugee camps at Nong Bua and Mae Usu villages in Thasongyang district. These camps house refugees who came to Thailand last year to escape an offensive by the Burmese military.

Earlier this year the Thai army announced plans to repatriate these newly arrived refugees. The Thai army’s plans drew outrage from numerous human rights groups who worry that the lives of the refugees will be in danger if they are sent home.

Kraisak Choonhavan told Thai reporters today “it would be a tragedy if the Karen refugees were forced to undergo repatriation . . . AIPMC will work with related organizations to support the public health, education and rights of these ethnic people,”. Continue reading “Kraisak Choonhavan, deputy chairman of Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party and chairman of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) visits Mae Tao clinic”