Mong Ton

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Mong Ton
Town
Mong Ton is located in Burma
Mong Ton
Mong Ton
Coordinates: 20°18′N 98°56′E / 20.300°N 98.933°E / 20.300; 98.933
Country  Burma
State Shan State
District Mong Hsat District
Township Mong Tong Township
Time zone MMT (UTC+6:30)

Mong Ton, also known historically as Möngtung and Maington, is a town and seat of Mong Tong Township in Mong Hsat District, Shan State in eastern Myanmar near the border with Thailand. Mong is equivalent to Mueang. It is served by Mong Ton Airport.[1] It is located in the Daen Lao Range, in the southern part of the Shan State, east of the Salween River. Mong Ton lies on the National Highway 45 and is also connected to Mong Hsat by National Highway 49 which begins to the northeast of the town.[2]

History[edit]

Mong Ton has had a turbulent and unstable history.[3] According to Shan tradition King Naresuan was cremated and his ashes interred in a stupa in Mong Ton.[4] in 1888, when the area was part of British Burma, Möngtung, Möng Hang, Möng Hta and Möng Kyawt, were claimed by Siam and were occupied secretly by Siamese troops. A fifth district, Möng Hsat, was also claimed by Siam, but no garrisons were posted there.[5] The districts were annexed by Thailand in 1942, following the Japanese invasion of Burma and were added to the Saharat Thai Doem territory. They were returned to British Burma at the end of World War II.[6]

More recently there have been conflicts between the Shan State Army – South (SSA-S) and the Myanmar Armed Forces, although the problem is worse in the Kyethi, Mongkung, and Laihka Townships.[7] In Mong Ton and Mong Hsat Township, the SPDC has demanded the removal of some UWSA military outposts and the Burmese Army is exerting more pressure on Lahu militias to conscript more soldiers and prepare to fight both the SSA–S and the UWSA.[7] The SPDC supported three basic military training courses for the Lahu militia in Mong Ton during 2009.[7]

Given its location near the border with Thailand and internal conflict, the Myanmar Armed Forces have the important IB277 military base just outside of the town. There are five Burmese army battalions in Mong Ton town alone.[8] Trafficking of narcotics is a major problem in Mong Ton and Burma is the number two opium producer in the world after Afghanistan, and one of the leading producers of amphetamines in South East Asia.[8] The Free Burma Rangers have alleged that the army is involved in the production and trafficking of narcotics in order to profit from the trade in opium, heroin and amphetamines.[8] Opium is cultivated and it is not only processed for trade abroad it is also consumed by some local villagers and has created drug addiction problems.[8]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 20°18′N 98°56′E / 20.300°N 98.933°E / 20.300; 98.933