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More [Thai] troops to be moved to p

SECURITY: More troops to be moved to protect Burmese border; Forces along
eastern frontier to pull back

Bangkok Post, 25 August, 2000. Army troops will be pulled out of the border 
Laos and Cambodia in October as security efforts focus on the Thai-Burmese 

Army chief-of-staff Gen Montrisak Boonkhong said the troops would be 
withdrawn from
all areas along the eastern border except Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaew,and Chong 
Mek in
Ubon Ratchathani on Oct 1.

The army would still command military strategy in the area, but day to day 
would be taken over by border patrol police and paramilitary rangers.

Gen Montrisak said funds and firepower would be relocated from the East
to the western border to join the operation against drug trafficking and beef
up border security.

The build up would focus on Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and
Tak provinces, and include the provision of more night-vision goggles for 
stationed there. Production of methamphetamines in Burma was still on the 
although some large drug laboratories had been damaged in fighting
between minority forces along the border.

Spokesman Gen Sanan Kachornklam said the Defence Council is still worried
about the large number of Thais leaving the country to gamble at casinos just
across the border. It also anticipates border problems due to Rangoon's 
of more than 80,000 Wa people, traditional opium growers, to areas near
the Thai border.

Wassana Nanuam