Ex-druglord condition hopeless, says source
A source from Kengtung reported yesterday that the leader of a cease-fire group was discharged from a Chinese hospital recently after being diagnosed as a hopeless case.
Leader of Special Region No. 4 (Mongla), Sai Leun a.k.a. U Sai Lin a.k.a. Lin Mingxian, 53, was paralysed after suffering a second massive stroke in two years on 28 October. He was rushed off to a hospital in Kumming, the capital of Yunnan province, and had been receiving treatment there until lately.
"His wife wanted him to go to Hongkong for further treatment," said the source. "But his lieutenants objected saying it would be too risky given his reputation."
The source said he was still looking for more details about Sai Leun's illness.
He also found that there was general anxiety about who was to succeed him in the event that he was permanently incapacitated.
"If Kyi Myint (Zhang Zhiming, his close associate) is able to prove himself acceptable to the majority, it's okay," he said. "But if he is not, confusion will follow and afterwards the Burmese army."
The Mongkoe Defense Army (MDA), another cease-fire group further north, was blown off into oblivion on 24 November 2000, when the Burmese army entered the fray where two rival factions were fighting for control of the MDA.
Sai Leun, a former communist leader, reached a cease-fire agreement with Rangoon in 1989 along with Kokang, Wa and others. His group, also known as the Eastern Shan State Army, declared Mongla, 60-miles northeast of Kengtung, a drug free-zone in 1997. Two years later his name was scrapped off the US blacklist.
The ESSA has 3 brigades: The 815th commanded by Lo Chingpao, the 911th of Sai Htoon (Sai Leun's brother) and the 369the of Oon-mao. Its deputy commander-in-chief is Khun Sanglu, but he has little influence outside his former brigade, the 369th, according to several sources.