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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date:         Sun, 28 Jan 1996 15:34:05 -0500
Sender: Burmese Scholars and Students Around The World
`Unprecedented achievement'
Khun Sa surrender averts long conflict
28.1.96/ Bangkok Post

THE surrender of Burma's reputed drug warlord Khun Sa and his
Mong Tai Army (MTA) represented a major victory for the Burmese
military and averted a long and bloody conflict, a military
official has said.

"The surrender of Khun Sa and his MTA is an unprecedented
achievement for us and we consider it quite a coup given that we
accomplished it single handedly," a Burmese intelligence officer,
Major Hla Min told AFP late Thursday.

"Nearly 11,500 of the MTA have already handed over their arms and
territories under their control in various parts of the Shan
state and we expect another 8,000 or so to do the same," he said.

He said the surrender of the MTA meant that more than 90 percent
of Burma's insurgencies had given up their armed struggles
against the ruling junta in Rangoon.

Hla Min said it would have taken Burmese troops another five
years of fighting to defeat the MTA on the battlefield, citing
the large number of heavy weaponry handed over after their

Some 14 surface to air missiles were included in the nearly 7,000
arms handed over to the government, suggesting that the MTA had
been better equipped than Rangoon forces.

"The losses would have been great in terms of lives and thousands
would have been killed on both sides," he said. "Khun Sa made the
right decision to surrender and the Slorc will see to it that he
does not regret it."

He said that the government had made arrangements to provide
transport to send MTA fighters home and had given them food and

"The military is totally responsible for the safety of the MTA
troops who surrendered as they had to give up their arms and are
now unable to defend themselves," he said.

Washington, which has put a US$2 million price tag on Khun Sa's
head, has made repeated calls for his extradition to the United
States to face drug trafficking charges stemming from a 1991

However, Burmese officials have  said the fate of the warlord is
a Burmese internal issue.

"Now that we've got the trophy, the Americans want to take it
away from us," Hla Min said. "They want him so much  that their
offer of a US$2 million reward for his capture may increase to
three or even more."


Rangoon takes over Ho Mong
Mae Hong Son
28.1.96/Bangkok Post