- Though not as notorious as Lo Hsing-han or Khun Sa, "Kings of the Golden Triangle" during the Ne Win and early State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) periods, at the beginning of the 21st century Bao is Burma's richest and most powerful "drug warlord," commanding the 20,000-strong United Wa State Army (UWSA). His background is obscure: born in the late 1940s or early 1950s to a local chief in the northern Wa district, he fought in the ranks of the People's Army of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) until the CPB broke up in 1989; thereafter, he headed the UWSA, signed a cease-fire with the SLORC, and expanded the group's trade in opium, heroin, and amphetamines. He has declared that he will make the areas under UWSA control "opium free" by 2005, famously promising that "if we have any more opium here after 2005, you can come and chop my head off."
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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