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Myanmar rebels relax with golf

Water-buffalo dung dots the fairways, girl caddies in flip-flops lug the golf bags and firefights with the Burmese Army have broken out a half-hour's drive away.

world Updated: Feb 09, 2012 01:24 IST
NYT

Water-buffalo dung dots the fairways, girl caddies in flip-flops lug the golf bags and firefights with the Burmese Army have broken out a half-hour's drive away.


There is also a camp of 5,000 displaced people around a bend in the road.

A war is under way in Kachin State, but the Laiza Golf Club is unfazed, a reflection, perhaps, of the clientele.

Senior officers of the Kachin Independence Army, the guerrilla force trying to defend its mountainous territory in northern Myanmar against government troops, show up here wearing polo shirts and carrying Chinese-made golf clubs. The dirt parking lot is crowded on weekends with sport utility vehicles driven by generals.

"Golf clears the mind for officers to make decisions," said Col. Maran Zaw Tawng, 45, secretary of the club, after teeing off at the fourth hole, a 392-yard par 4. The six-hole golf course may be among the world's unlikeliest, but it is open to the public, even in wartime. NYT