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S.H.A.N : SHAN STATE NEWS UPDATE
S.H.A.N : SHAN STATE NEWS UPDATE
April 29, 1996
SLORC COLLECTS OPIUM TAX
In late February 1996, SLORC police from Kho Lum, Nam Zarng township, went to
collect tax on opium at Loi Tong, Nam Zerm, Kard Sarng and Kong Horm in Tone
Hoong Long ward, Nam Zarng township.
Also, SLORC LIB no. 246 and 514 at Kun Hing and Lt. Col.Loi Khio's men ( members
of the MTA that had surrendered ) ordered people of Phar Ngarb, Tard Lai, Loi
Ai, Nam Lin villages, Kho Lum ward, Nam Zarng township, to pay opium tax - .05
Viss for one plot of opium. They threatened that poppy plants of those who
failed to pay would be destroyed.
THE PLIGHT OF DISPLACED PEOPLE FLEEING TO THAILAND
Since early April, SLORC troops have been driving people in the areas of Kun
Hing, Murng Nai, Nam Zarng, Loi Lem, Lai Kha, Murng Kerng, Ke See, Murng Su,
etc. to move to places near the towns, motor roads and army camps. However,
people who do not want to obey the orders of the SLORC troops are choosing not
to settle at the designated places, but to continue southward, cross the Salween
and head for Thailand to try and find a means of supporting themselves.
And since mid - April, along the motor roads, starting from Parng Long, Loi Lem,
Nam Zarng down to Murng Nai, Larng Khur, Murng Pan, etc. , not less than 5-6
vehicles crowded with people are seen every day. Each 4-wheel drive pick-up
truck usually carries not less than 30 people. Some even carry up to 38-40.
Most of these people are from the areas of Ke See, Murng Kerng and some are from
Parng Long, Loi Lem, Nam Zarng, Murng Nai, etc. For transport from Parng Long to
( east of Salween ), each passenger has to pay 3,000 kyats. At Murng Tone,
together they hire cars to the Burmese military checkpoint at Pung Par Khem near
the border with Thailand, which usually costs 600 Kyats each.
On 22-23 April, 1996, a car owner at Nong Ook, Tambon Muang Na, Amphur Chiang
Dao, Chiang Mai province, who has a large lychee orchard, brought in 111
displaced people and hid them in his orchard, intending to send them to Chiang
Mai for 1,000-1,500 each as tranport fees.
However, Thai police heard news of this, and arrested them. They were then sent
to the main police station. When asked by the police why they came to Thailand
illegally, they said they could not earn a living in their native areas because
SLORC troops had been forcing them to move around and work for them all the
As punishment for illegal entry, they were detained for 2-3 days and sent to
court, where they had to pay 2,000 baht each and were released. The police told
them that they did not want to take the trouble to send them on or confine them
any more,and they could go anywhere they liked to work provided they promised
not to make any trouble.
Most people who come to Thailand have somehow known about the situation, and do
their best to bring some money with them to the border, to try and reach Chiang
Mai or Bangkok. For them, staying in prison for a while or paying a fine is far
preferable to being a porter or doing other kinds of forced labour under the
Villagers from the Murng Nai area have said that when the SLORC troops came and
ordered them to move from their villages within 5 days, they reasoned that
instead of being forced around at the mercy of the SLORC, they would be much
better off to work in Thailand.
They reported that after villagers had been forced from their homes, the SLORC
troops usually took the corrugated iron roofs and lumber to town to sell. They
also caught or shot the remaining cattle.