EVALUATION OF SHAN STATE ARMY PROPOSAL

Created: 10/10/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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MEMO RAN DL'M Evaluation of Shan State Army Propoaal'

Tho ettochod evaluation wai prepared nt your Any qunotion re-

garding this evaluation should bo addressed to

flbim

FfbllJ! (SI

Attaohnonti Vs

Diatrlbutiont

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MEMORANDUM

Evaluation of Shan Stato Amy Proposal

Control by tho Shan Stato Army (SSA) over opium-producing areas in Burma ic negligible and it is highly doubtful that they havo accessons of raw opium. Raw opium production in all of Burma is estimated to beons annually. arge portion oi this output has boon produced in areas now under tho control of the Burmese Communist Partyost of tho opium produced in non-communist controlled areas is apparently purchased by representatives of the Chinese Irregular Forces (CIF) and independent morchants.

Raw opium exports to tho Burma-Thailand-Laos tri-border area from the producing areas of Burmaittloons annuolly1he bulk of these exports were under the control of the so called Khakwoyol (KKY) and of the CIF. Most of the oxports thus far3 havo been controlled by tho CIF. There is no record of any significant SSA-controllod movements of raw opium to the tri-border during tho past threo yoars.

The ssa appears to bo prlnarily an opportunistic gang cf small-scale opium smugglers and bandits having no real cohesion or subGtantial political organization and following. The number of armed mon in the ssa ia not known but trobobly isangohe position of tho ssa in the Shan stato, like that of other dissidents operating thereho ShanRevolutionary Army, elements of the KKY, cif, and tho Kachin Independenceith tho exception of the bcp, ie becoming more untenable becauso of Burmese and Thai anti-narcotics efforts.

The SSA'a proposalruce to allow it to concentrate on fighting the BCP would be unacceptable to the Burmese Government In view of Rangoon's past experience with independent para-military groups. Forimiliar truce between Rangoon and the KIA2 collapsed because of mutual suspicions over real goals. There were somewhat similar arrangements between tho Burmese government and the KKY in earlier years, but thone eventually resulted in more problems than benefits to the Burmese Government. The KKY used the relationship to become tho largest organization of opium traffickers in tho Shan State.

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On tho general qunstion of narcoticsruco with Rangoon could provide tho SSA and other traffickers freedom to rebuild their disrupted opium trafficking organizations undisturbed by tho Burmoac Army.

Original document.

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