Yearly decline of poppy production due to close cooperation between the nation and the people Narcotic drugs worth US

Does Drinking Baking Soda and Water Help Pass a Drug Test

Yangon, 26 June –
Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council General Khin Nyunt
attended the ceremony to destroy the seized narcotic drugs for the 17th
time, organized by Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, at the
compound of the Drug Elimination Museum at the corner of Hanthawady and
Kyundaw Streets in Kamayut Township at 8 am today.

IP Ohnmar Yin Mee and IP Ma
Pyone of Myanmar Police Force Headquarters acted as masters of ceremonies.

Secretary of CCDAC
Director-General of MPF Brig-Gen Khin Yi presented a report. He said:

Being an occasion to burn
and destroy narcotic drugs, a menace that can destroy the entire human
race, distinguished guests will clearly witness today how Myanmar is
striving relentlessly to control and eradicate narcotic drugs. We firmly
believe this undertaking as a national cause.

Today is the seventeenth
occasion of burning seized narcotic drugs here in Yangon since 1990. There
have also been 32 occasions where narcotic drugs, chemical precursors and
opium seeds were burnt and destroyed in border areas and other towns.

In addition to these
control measures, a 15-year programme to reduce poppy cultivation and
opium production started in 1999-2000 and is now already in its 5th year
of implementation. As part of this 15-year programme for reducing
supplies, New Destiny Project was launched in April 2002 on a pilot scale.
In project areas, educational campaigns, crops substitution, livestock
breeding, income generation and other development activities are being
initiated with increased momentum and the leaders of different national
races cooperated by laying down directives on informative as well as
prohibitive measures in their own local dialects with active involvement
of the local authorities. Five Cabinet Ministers who are members of the
Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control are in the forefront of these
activities with four Deputy Ministers closely supervising the development
process in respective project areas.

Destroying poppy seeds
surrendered voluntarily to the authorities is also an important element in
this project. Although poppy seeds do not contain morphine and
consequently do not come under international control, the seeds themselves
can be grown into plants. This led to advocate for surrendering them
voluntarily and there have been ten different occasions where the
surrendered poppy pods and seeds were burnt. A total of 165,988 kilograms
of seeds surrendered by poppy farmers in a way prevented 101,646 acres of
poppy being cultivated that can ultimately produce 45 tons of heroin.

In order to eradicate
narcotic drugs, Myanmar and the United States have joined hands to conduct
yield surveys. A total of nine surveys have been conducted since 1993 and
from 1997 onwards, it was found that there has been a marked decline in
poppy cultivation and opium production. Between 2001 and 2002, 26 percent
decline was recorded and recent surveys in 2003 indicate that there will
be further decline in poppy cultivation.

Similarly, CCDAC and UNODC
launched preliminary ground surveys under its joint program to survey
illicit cultivation of poppy plants and estimated that 1097 tons of opium
was produced during 2001. The following year estimation was 828 tons of
opium and this verified that there was a marked decrease in poppy
cultivation and opium production during the year 2002. Furthermore, the
International Narcotic Control Board (INCB), in its 2002 annual report,
recorded a decrease in poppy cultivation and opium production in Myanmar.
This INCB report and the data collected from Myanmar-United States joint
yield surveys manifest that the decline in poppy cultivation and opium
production in Myanmar is the result of a united effort of the regional
authorities and all national races with the Government in the lead. Here I
would like to reiterate that this yearly decline is not due to
unfavourable weather conditions but because of the close cooperation
between the nation and its people.

On one hand, there is
indeed a decline in poppy cultivation and opium production but on the
other, the threat of amphetamine type substances (ATS) is found to be on
the rise in Myanmar. Although the amount of opium and heroin seized had
decreased since 1997, an annual increase in seizure of ATS can be observed
from 1996 up till 2001. The seizure of ATS tablets was down to 9.4 million
during 2002 and for 2003, only 2 million tablets were seized up till

The seizure of chemicals
used for producing these tablets are reported to be over one hundred and
eighty thousand litters in 2001, twenty nine thousand liters in 2002 and
around twenty two thousand liters up till April 2003. Ephedrine, Caffeine
and other chemicals used for producing ATS tables are not produced in
Myanmar. They are been brought in illegally from neighbouring countries
like Thailand, China and India and we know that these countries are taking
measures to prevent chemicals from diversion into illicit trade. However,
unlawful characters are mobilizing all available means to smuggle these
chemicals into Myanmar and accordingly, would like to emphasize that there
is an urgent need to control these products.

I would like to go on to
say that the Chairman of the Central Committee himself attended the 46th
session of United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna in
April this year and reported on Myanmar’s timely fulfilment of obligations
set forth in the Political Declaration of the Special Session of the
United Nations General Assembly on Narcotic Drugs in 1998. These are the
measures to be taken by UN member countries in controlling narcotic drugs.
Myanmar had already promulgated Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substance
Law in 1993 and the Ministry of Health has altogether notified 25
controlled chemicals in 2002. Money Laundering Law was promulgated in 2002
and by-laws have already been drafted for enforcement actions. We have
also held two workshops on drafting a law for cooperation between States
on trans border crimes.

In addition, we have
already signed three UN Conventions on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances and will be signing Protocol (1) attached thereto very soon.
It’s been more than 150 years that we have inherited the history’s dire
legacy of disastrous narcotic drugs. Due to insurgent problems, subsequent
Governments were not successful in fighting against it and only after
1988, the present government was able to bring different armed groups into
the legal fold. The resolute efforts made thereafter for the development
of border areas and national races resulted in a defeat over drug
dependency habits and consequently, Mongla area in Eastern Shan State
became an opium free zone in 1997.

This incited Kokang and Wa
areas to declare their intention to be free of opium by 2003 and 2005
respectively and the local population have joined hands with the
Government to work towards this end. In Myanmar, another significant
development during the year 2002/2003 is the efforts to turn the areas
along the Thai border namely: Tachilek; Kawthoung; and Myawady districts
into narcotic free areas. In Tachilek district, anti-narcotics association
has been formed, educational billboards erected and with the establishment
of drug treatment units and rehabilitation centres, activities are
progressing well.

Similarly in Kawthoung
district, formation of anti narcotic association, introduction of
awareness campaigns among students and youths and construction of
educational billboards are well underway and plans are being made for the
establishment of a drug treatment unit.

Forming anti narcotic
association and conducting awareness campaigns are also part of activities
launched in Myawady district with preparations for establishing a drug
treatment unit and erecting educational billboards gaining momentum.

Another noteworthy feature
is the intensified cooperation with neighbouring countries as well as with
international organizations throughout these years. For Myanmar-China
bilateral narcotic control program, we were able to establish border
liaison offices at Lwei Gyai in Kachin and at Chin Shwe Haw in Northern
Shan States. Also at Tachilek, a border liaison office was established for
Myanmar-Thailand-Laos trilateral cooperation and another one at Myawady
for Myanmar-Thailand cooperation. In 2002/2003, the cooperation with
neighbouring countries led to the capture of 18 drug offenders wanted by
China and were handed over in seven occasions out of which two were by the
Wa Authorities. These events demonstrate the emphasis Myanmar places for
international cooperation.

One of benefits deriving
from this Myanmar-China bilateral cooperation is the decrease in the
movements of narcotic syndicates and drug traffickers along the two
country border.

Cognizant of the fact that
Myanmar’s efforts alone will not bear much fruit in controlling and
preventing narcotic drugs, a new chapter for cooperation at bilateral,
trilateral and sub-regional levels is now being opened and carried out.

Within this sub-region, the
prominent endeavours of our neighbouring country Thailand directly
complement our country’s request for drug control and prevention and we on
our part will further pursue with vigour.

Here, I would like to bring
to your attention that though we have not received international
assistance, Myanmar, in line with the directives laid down by senior
Government officials and in conformity with prescribed strategies and
tactics, has exerted all out efforts to eradicate narcotic drugs utilizing
our own resources.

In conclusion, allow me to
list some of the seized drugs to be burnt and destroyed during this
seventeenth occasion. They are:

Opium                         1125.28 kilos
Heroin                         219.28 kilos
Marijuana                   277.35 kilos
ATS tablets                 605173.00 tablets
ATS powder               15.467 kilos
ICE                             105.20 kilos
Ephedrine powder     1155.174 kilos
Diazepam tablets       346826.00 tablets

Drugs to be destroyed
today, calculated by their street value in United States, is worth around
US dollars 862 millions. From the first up to today’s seventeenth
occasion, the total amount of drugs burnt is worth more than US dollars
12,414 millions. I would now like to invite all our distinguished guests
to test the authenticity of the seized drugs before we destroy them.

Then, cough syrup bottles
with drugs potency were destroyed by rollers. Next, ambassadors, charges
d’affaires, military attaches, resident representatives of UN agencies and
officials tested the narcotic drugs.

CCDAC Chairman Minister for
Home Affairs Col Tin Hlaing, Deputy Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
Ambassador of Singapore Mr Simon Tensing de Cruz and Philippine Ambassador
Mme Phoebe A Gomez pressed the buttons to incinerate the seized narcotic

Also present on the
occasion were Chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council
Commander of Yangon Command Maj-Gen Myint Swe, Chairman of CCDAC Minister
for Home Affairs Col Tin Hlaing, Vice-Chairmen of the Committee Minister
for Foreign Affairs U Win Aung and Minister for Progress of Border Areas
and National Races and Development Affairs Col Thein Nyunt, ministers, the
Attorney-General, deputy ministers, ambassadors, charges d’affaires and
military attaches of foreign missions, resident representatives of UN
agencies, officials of the State Peace and Development Council Office,
departmental heads, members of the CCDAC, members of the work groups,
senior police officers, officials of social organizations, officials of
the Ministry of Information, patron of Myanmar Foreign Correspondents Club
U Hla Htway, President U Sao Kai Hpa and members, correspondents of
foreign news agencies and broadcasting stations, prize winners of the
short story, article, song, poem, painting, cartoon, poster, computer art
and computer poster competitions to mark the International Day Against
Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and guests. After the ceremony, the
Secretary-1 cordially met with those present.


Then, the Secretary-1 and
party and guests viewed the prize winning works of the short story,
article, song, poem, painting, cartoon, poster, computer art and computer
poster competitions to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and
Illicit Trafficking on the first floor of the museum and visited the New
Destiny Project booth on the first floor, the educative documentary with
Myanmar and English CD-ROM versions and the booth on educative work for
students on danger of narcotic drugs on the second floor.