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   By Sutin Wannabovorn of Reuters
	   BANGKOK, Jan 30 Reuter - Hundreds of guerrillas who surrendered 
to Burmese troops in hopes they could go home have been tricked 
into forced labour while their opium warlord leader Khun Sa 
apparently stays free, guerrilla and Thai intelligence sources said 
	   Other guerrillas who believe Khun Sa has double-crossed them 
have managed to escape, the sources said.
	   They said hundreds of Mong Tai Army (MTA) guerrillas who have 
surrendered since the beginning of January were taken from their 
headquarters at Ho Mong to a camp ringed with barbed wire near 
Langko in northeastern Shan state.
	   From there they were taken to work on a 30km road linking the 
town of Mong Hsat with former MTA strongholds near the Thai border 
to the south, said a Thai intelligence source.
	   "They were lured from Ho Mong thinking they were getting a free 
ride home but once in Langko they found themselves in a big field 
surrounded by barbed wire," the officer said.
	   "Then they were taken to work on the road," he said, adding that 
an estimated 1,300 MTA soldiers and local villagers were working on 
the road.
	   Forced labour is common in Burma and has drawn criticism from 
international human rights groups. The military government says 
what it calls voluntary labour on public projects is a Burmese 
	   The Thai officer and guerrilla sources on the border said 
hundreds of other MTA fighters had fled from Ho Mong after hearing 
of their comrades' fate and many had trekked into Thailand.
	   The Thai officer said the fleeing MTA members were being allowed 
to pass through Thai territory to nearby sections of the border 
where they crossed back into Burma.
	   One guerrilla source said many of those fleeing were stashing 
weapons in the jungle just inside Burma and would retrieve them if 
and when necessary.
	   "Many MTA guerrillas now realise they were double-crossed by 
Khun Sa so they hope to regroup and return to retrieve their 
weapons," one MTA officer told Reuters.
	   The veteran opium warlord Khun Sa surrendered to government 
forces at the beginning of the month, giving up his guerrilla war 
and his Shan state strongholds.
	   Thousands of MTA guerrillas surrendered with their weapons. But 
some factions within the group, in particular Shan nationalists 
seeking autonomy from the Rangoon government, say they will 
continue their fight.
	   Burma's state media has been reporting the surrender of smaller 
groups of MTA fighters over the last two weeks. It said yesterday a 
total of 11,889 MTA members had now "returned to the legal fold" 
bringing with them 7,249 assorted weapons.
	   The Burmese government has refused US requests that the drug 
lord be handed over to face trial in the United States where he has 
been indicted on heroin trafficking charges.
	   Burmese officials say he will be put on trial in Rangoon but MTA 
sources said today Khun Sa was still in his Ho Mong headquarters 
being guarded by his own men and Burmese soldiers.
	   "He has nine of his most trusted security men around him at all 
times and about 100 Burmese troops forming an outer perimeter," the 
MTA officer said.
	   International narcotics suppresssion agencies estimate Khun Sa 
was responsible for about half of Shan state's annual opium crop of 
some 2,000 tonnes.
	   The half-Chinese, half-Shan Khun Sa always claimed he was 
fighting for the independence of Shan state and denied he was a 
narcotics trafficker.
	   He said he only taxed opium traders passing through his zones of 
control to finance his political fight.
	   REUTER sl/de