Newsbrief: US-Trained Thai Drug Unit Pulls Back from Burmese Border 12/27/02

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The Thai Army's Task Force 399, an anti-drug unit trained by US Special Forces, is being relieved of its anti-drug activities, according to a report in the Bangkok Post. The report quoted Thai Defense Minister Thammark Isarangkura na Ayudhaya as saying Wednesday that the unit was being pulled back for budget reasons and to ease tensions with neighboring Burma (known by the military dictatorship as Myanmar).

Task Force 399 has been deployed along the Burmese border since it was formed in early 2001 to attempt to slow the flow of heroin and methamphetamines from Burmese territory into Thailand. In May, Burmese authorities accused Thailand of sending the task force across the border under the pretext of fighting drug traffic. The Thai government denied the accusation, but shortly thereafter Defense Minister Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh abruptly pulled the troops back and cancelled ongoing exercises along the border.

The Thai government has been trying to mend fences with Burma, but some in the Thai military are advocating more aggressive measures against the drug traffic from Burma, the Post reported. Looks like they've lost for now.

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Issue #269, 12/27/02 Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: New Zealand MP Tanczos Cleared in Marijuana Probe | Newsbrief: Nevada High Court Voids Meth Drug Ingredient Law | Newsbrief: "What About the Children?" -- Colorado Bills Target Home Meth Labs | Newsbrief: Ohio Supreme Court Backs Workers in Workers' Comp Drug Test Ruling | Newsbrief: Brit MP Calls for Drug Testing 10-Year-Olds, Comments Came in Debate Over Criminal Justice Bill | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: US-Trained Thai Drug Unit Pulls Back from Burmese Border | Newsbrief: Columbia, Missouri, Marijuana Petition Has Enough Signatures | Newsbrief: Tampa Ordinance Would Criminalize "Drug Dealer Behavior" | Newsbrief: Drug Checkpoints at West Virginia NORML Rally Draw Lawsuit | Online Petition Launched Supporting MEPs' Call for Ending Prohibition | Media Scan: Montreal Compassion Club, Impact Press on Marijuana Legalization | DC Job Opportunities at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar

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