Pat Ja San: A controversial mission
A group of sickle-wielding vigilantes made its way through Myanmar’s northern Kachin State in January and February, clearing poppy fields nearly ready to be harvested in a quest to end production of the illicit drug. The mission turned farmers whose livelihoods were being cut down into angry and, at times, armed adversaries.
“Militia leaders walk around freely and sit in parliament, while opium farmers face eradication and extortion,” said Tom Kramer, a researcher with the Transnational Institute.
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