Former Officer: Chances of Khun Sa's Return To Homong Getting Thin
A former officer from druglord Khun Sa's once famed Mong Tai Army recently spoke to S.H.A.N. that the prospects of Khun Sa being allowed to return to his old headquarters, Homong, were getting poor as his health continued deteriorating.
"Although Gen Khin Nyunt did say to us that he would be permitted to visit Homong, we are seeing no progress towards that end as days go by," the ex-commander said.
A former attendant, who visits Khun Sa occasionally, also agreed. "There is nothing for him here anymore. His 5 houses, 3 in Homong and 2 in Mongmai (south of Homong), had been emptied by his minor wives who took every piece of valuable furniture away to their new homes in Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Tachilek. It would also cost a lot even to bring back one of them into shape," she said. "All of them are enclosed by tall grass and bushes, being left uncared for all these yours."
His health is also worsening, according to her. "He has to be spoonfed. If he tries to help himself, he ends by spilling everything over his clothes. His mouth keeps going awry making his speech unintelligible. He also has trouble remembering people and things. He also needs somebody to handle him either to get up or to lie down."
She added that Khun Sa's physicians are whispering it would be a miracle if he could manage to last the year.
The idea of going back to Homong was his own, insisted both. "Even if I got nabbed by the US drug agents, my life in an American jail would be even better than here in Rangoon, not unlike Noriega," he was reported to have written to one of his former aides in Thailand.
However, that was one eventuality that Rangoon did not want, according to the officer. "At first (Gen) Khin Nyunt thought news of Khun Sa's return would attract tourism to Homong. The Burmese also seemed to believe his presence in Homong might help keep former officers and men from joining Yawdserk's Shan State Army units (that are known to be active in his former 'Free Territory of Shan State')."
However, he said, when they considered they would still need him to 'guide' Bomon and Ma Kuo-wen (his former commanders who are militia chiefs in the north) in combatting Yawderk's forces up there and also to harass the two Shan ceasefire groups (Shan State Army North and Shan State Army Central a.k.a. Shan State National Army), they decided to change their minds."
The officer also thought any successful abduction made by either the US or Thai commandoes might result in immense 'loss of face' which he did not believe the junta would be able to bear.
S.H.A.N. reported in March about Gen. Khin Nyunt promising a "home-coming" visit of Khun Sa to Homong.