Forced relocations genesis to Mekong shooting
Latest findings by Thai investigators indicated that the most plausible cause for the attack on a Chinese police patrol boat on 25 February was the forced relocation of Laotian villagers by the $200 million casino project launched by Chinese financiers earlier this year, according to senior security officials on the triangle.
The relocation had displaced 70-80 households in Hueypheung, the village in
Tonpheung district, Bokeo province, opposite Thailand’s Chiangrai province. “To
our knowledge, there had been little or no compensations to the affected
people,” said one officer.
Chinese police patrol boat on 25 February
The project management also refused to hire local people, bringing Chinese laborers from Yunnan instead to work on the site. “Worse, the security personal for the project had fired upon local prowlers earlier in the month thereby killing 2 people, an incident which brought the local people’s anger past the boiling point,” he added.
Another officer chipped in by saying while there was little doubt that the gunmen were members of the armed group led by Naw Kham, a Shan drug fugitive who is believed to have homes on all three countries that form the triangle, they were being supported by the unhappy Laotian villagers.
The casino project site is remarkably near to Bankwan, the scene of the 1967 “Opium War” fought between the late Shanland United Army leader Khun Sa and the ex-Kuomintang forces.
The daylight attack on the Chinese boat on 25 February resulted in 3 police officers seriously injured.