U Khun Sa presents his long-cherished double-barrelled rifle as a gift to the Commander of Eastern Comand, Major General Tin Htut after the Ceremony for the Exchange of Arms for Peace at Ho Mong on 7-1-96.

News of unconditional surrender of former drug warlord Khun Sa and his 15,000-strong Mong Tai Army (MTA) in January 1996, and The Myanmar Government's decision not to extradite him to the United States attracted international attention.

The American government indicted Khun Sa for alleged drug trafficking and sought his extradition to the United States.

I welcomed the MTA surrender for humanitarian concern and also for my professional inquisitiveness.

Surrender of the well organized and best equipped MTA amounted to negating or preventing several clashes with the government troops, there by saving lives and limbs of the sons of the country.

I was also curious to learn from Khun Sa's debriefing, his foreign contacts, particularly those which have condemned  him as the drug criminal. After a long wait revelations appeared in November 1998 newspapers.

In his series of articles in the newspaper, under the caption "Why U Khun Sa exchanged weapons for peace," the author "Maung Pho Shoke," quoting a close associate of Khun Sa, revealed the visits of several foreigners to the MTA headquarters at Ho Mong to meet Khun Sa.

The visit to Ho Mong and meeting witg Khun Sa in 1992 by Bette Bao Lord, wife of the American Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord, also donating 500 sets of military uniform for the MTA; the visit the same year to Ho Mong by Patrick King, an agent of the British Intelligence outfit, the Scotland Yard to seek assistance of the MTA to catch a British money-laundering suspect in England, even taking two MTA representatives to London for the purpose; the visit to Ho Mong for one whole week in April 1994 meeting with Khun Sa by Peter Bourne, Narcotic Adviser to the former American President Jimmy Carter and the visit to Ho Mong to meet Khun Sa in 1995 by two CIA agents Shane Wang and Peter Liu, were among the several visits of foreigners to Ho Mong, the Author mentioned in his articles. Photographs of the meetings with Khun Sa were also printed.

The articles also mentioned contacts between Khun Sa and officials and businessmen from Thailand, and media representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand.

The author did not mentioned the details of the talks between Khun Sa and foreign visitors. But he stated in the article that more important specifics were being held as "reserved ammunition" to use against any attempts to refute the mentioned foreign contacts with Khun Sa.

So far no refutation from any quarter was reported. Even without further revelation, the present exposures provide suff1cient evidence of contacts between the alleged drug criminal and the accuser countries, their complicity and hypocrisy.

U Sein Win              
Foreign Correspondents Club
Yangon, Myanmar