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An:	strider, Internet: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx


January 6, 1996

The expected but unwelcome (to most ) ceremony for the Mong Tai Army's surrender
is due to take place  tomorrow, says an anonymous source in Ho Mong.

MTA soldiers are busy making preparations for the handover of arms to SLORC at
the town's soccer field, which also serves as a place for holding special
festivities . The Burmese soldiers who have taken their position on the hilltop
nearby meanwhile are reported to be behaving themselves reasonably well.

" They leave their weapons behind when they go to the market place. It's just as
well. Because they ought to know they are in a hostile environment with many
among the population who are likely still armed with weapons and liable to
pounce on them any time they make one false move, " says the source.

Across the border, Some Thai authorities think all this is going to turn out
well for all. " If it does, the Burmese shall reopen the Salween crossings.
which will in turn enable us to ease up the border controls. Cross border trade
shall resume and Maehongson will be a boom town again. I don't consider either
side (i.e. Burmese or Shan) is losing. Indeed, I'd say both are winners
considering the enomous benefits the  " Surrender " shall bring to them, " says

" It's easy to see why SLORC has so readily accepted MTA's surrender proposal.
Firstly, it is being offered pie on a platter without having to toil. Secondly,
despite official US disappointment over Burmese refusal to arrest and extradite
Khun Sa to the US, the overall relations between Rangoon and Washington are more
than likely to improve. The SLORC's lobbyists in Washington and New York will
see to that. Thirdly, the SLORC shall inevitably use this diplomatic gain to
neutralize the opposition headed by Aung San Suu Kyi. I wouldn't be surprised if
she and her party found themselves losing their stature both nationally and
internationally, " he said.