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ASAHI: Khun Sa Agrees to Surrender
Subject: ASAHI: Khun Sa Agrees to Surrender in Burma
KUN SA AGREES TO SURRENDER IN BURMA
Asahi Evening News, January 4, 1996.
RANGOON-- Khun Sa --a key opium warlord in the notorius "Golden Traingle"
for more than three decades--has agreed to surrender to the government in
Rangoon, the Burmese military said Wednesday.
Government troops were advancing on Khun Sa's remote headquarters in
Homong, 400 kilometers northeast of Rangoon, but as of Wednesday morning
had not yet reached the town, said a military officer, who demanded
But some troops from Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army near the Thai-Burmese border
said government troops already had entered Hongmong. There was no fight for
the town, they said, because Khun Sa had ordered them not to resist.
Khun Sa had made no public statement about the surrender, and his
whereabouts have not been confirmed. But the All Burma Students Democratic
Front, a dissidents group based along the border, said Wednesday that Khun
Sa went to Rangoon to negotiate the cease-fire with the government during
the second week of December and was still there.
A mediator from China helped broker the deal, said a high-ranking official
of the Thai Borader Patrol Police, also insisting on anonymity.
Khun Sa's future now remains a mystery.
The Burmese military officer said it has not been determined where he will
be allowed to live.
Khun Sa has been indicted in a U.S. court on charges of heroin trafficking.
Burma and the United States have no extradition treaty. Thailand has said
it will not welcome him.
He is the best known opium trafficker in the lawlwss Golden Triangle, the
area where the borders of Burma, Thailand and Laos meet.
About 60% of the heroin sold on the streets of America originates in the
Khun Sa has portrayed himself as a fighter for the Shan minority, an ethnic
group closely related to the Thais. The Burmese government has called him a
narco-terrorist, and does not recognize his struggle as one of ethnic
"Burma has been trying to improve its image with the release of (democracy
leader) Aung San Suu Kyi, and defeating Khun Sa is another way to do that,"
said the Thai official.
The Burmese army had launched three offensives in the last three years to
try to demolish Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army. The campaigns had limited success.
International drug enforcement officials in Rangoon told The Associated
Press during the last offensive, in April 1994, that Khun Sa's demise would
not affect the flow of opium from the Golden Triangle in a significant way.
Although Khun Sa is the best known opium trafficker, he is no longer the
Larger traffickers have come to terms with the Burmese government and are
allowed to continue their operations, said the officials, who demanded
anonymity. Crop surveys show that vast ammounts of opium are still grown in
the government controlled areas.
Khun Sa has said he taxed opium shipments in his area to fund his fight
against the Burmese. On several occasions, he offered to sell his opium
crop to the U.S. government.