In 1967, Khun Sa was riding high. At age 33, the charismatic Burmese warlord had trafficked in opium on his own for a mere three years, but he had been busy consolidating power, grabbing territory, commanding an army of about 2,000 men, and garnering the loyalty and respect of the hill tribes of his native Shan State in Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle region. Khun Sa’s rapid rise, however, put him in conflict with the powerful Kuomintang of China (KMT), the remnants of the military forces defeated by the Chinese Communists under Mao Tse-Tung. The KMT was forced to flee to Burma (present day Myanmar) in 1949. The KMT was also heavily into drug trafficking, and it viewed the upstart Khun Sa as a dangerous rival.What became known as the Opium War heated up when the KMT ambushed Khun Sa’s caravan about 50 miles outside Ban Khwan on the Mekong River. Six bombers from the Laotian air force dumped 500-pound bombs on both the Khun Sa forces and the KMT. Then General Rattikone arrived on the scene with his government force, but to the surprise of both Khun Sa and the KMT, the general’s forces attacked both sides and took the opium.
About The Author
A native of Thunder Bay, Canada, and based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Ron Chepesiuk is an optioned screen-writer, award-winning author, documentary producer and director, publisher (www.strategicmediabooks.com), and radio host (www.artistfirst.com/crimebeat.htm). He has published thirty-five books and more than 4,000 articles that have appeared in 350 plus magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and USA Today.He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar to Bangladesh and Indonesia, a consultant to the History Channel’s Gangland TV series and a former instructor in UCLA's Extension Journalism program. Three of his books have been optioned for movies. His documentary on the Frank Matthews story has been licensed for viewing by the Discov-ery Channel. Ron’s scripts have placedin the finals of the Philadelphia International Film Festival, the Charleston International Film Festival and the Harlem International Film Festival.He has appeared as an expert interviewee on several crime shows airing on History, Biography, Discovery, ID, Starz and other cable channels.