Ethnic militia accuses junta of forcing opium cultivation

y Mizzima News
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 20:40

New Delhi (Mizzima) – An ethnic armed militia group operating in Southern and Eastern Shan State has alleged that poppy-opium cultivation in the area has increased off late as the Burmese Army is compelling local villagers to cultivate it in order to garner tax from them.

Ailong Khammwe, chairman of the Lahu Democratic Front (LDF), an ethnic militia group operating in the region said, while the Burmese Army is directly involved in growing poppy-opium they are also forcing local people to cultivate it.

Khammwe, who is in Thailand told Mizzima in an interview that poppy cultivation, has been on the rise in Mongsart and Mongtong in eastern Shan State as a result of the Burmese Army’s involvement and encouragement of local villagers to grow poppy-opium.

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