15-Year Plan for Elimination of Narcotic Drugs

Myanmar people generally refrain from taking narcotic drugs for simple reason of their traditional custom and religious faith. There had been instances of smuggling of opium by Arab merchants into lower Myanmar through Pathein and Thanlyin during the 16 Century. However, Myanmar nationals did not engage in consumption of opium at that time. Since the time of ancient Myanmar monarchs, the use of opium had been strictly prohibited by issuing royal decrees and orders. Following the end of Sino-British Opium War, importation of opium into China as well as poppy cultivation in Yunan Province of China were officially permitted, thereby causing the spread of poppy cultivation practice into the adjoining regions in Myanmar territory. After the annexation of Myanmar by the British, poppy cultivation was legalized in eastern areas of Thanlwin River and opium dens were also allowed to be operated without effectively enforcing the then existing Opium Act in the such areas as Shan State, Kachin State and Chin State. This had led to further expansion of poppy growing areas in Myanmar.

Soon after regaining independence in  Myanmar, Kuomintang (KMT) forces led by Chiang Kai-Sheik from mainland China intruded into Myanmar soil in Shan State and launched counter operations against mainland China taking a temporary base inside Myanmar territory. In so doing, KMT engaged in poppy growing and smuggling of opium to finance their activities and for their subsistence and subsequently, the internal armed insurgents in Myanmar also followed suit, thereby further increasing the amount of the poppy cultivation and production . After taking a stronghold in Northeastern Region of Shan State following the year 1970, the Burma Communist Party (BCP) troops themselves engaged in poppy cultivation and production of heroin. The Government of the Union of Myanmar has exerted efforts in eradication of the drugs abuse and production which was implicated with the insurgents, through launching of a string of military operations, promulgation of strict legislation and through cooperation with international organizations. The State Peace and Development Council is strongly committed to exert all out efforts to combat the drug menace as a national duty, regardless of the availability of external assistance in this endeavour. Accordingly, a 15-Year Plan for elimination of narcotic drugs was adopted in line with the guidelines laid down by the leaders of the State.

Adoption of Strategy and Tactics

In order to implement the 15-Year Plan for Elimination of Narcotic Drugs, the following  twin strategies were laid down by the Government;

(a) To exert all-round efforts so as to accelerate anti-drug campaign as a national concern;

(b) To gradually eliminate the practice of poppy cultivation, while improving the economic and social life of the national races and the border areas.

The three tactics namely, (a) Law enforcement; (b) Supply elimination; (c) Demand elimination are also further adopted to implement the above two strategies concerning drugs elimination. Based on the above-mentioned strategies and tactics, the Plan for elimination of narcotic drugs was designed in such a way that will fulfill the needs of the socioeconomic infrastructure in the remote regions of poppy cultivation and uplift the social moral of the local populace, thus enabling them to live in harmony with the law and order. 

Plan for Elimination of Narcotic Drugs within 1 5 Years

The Plan for Elimination of Narcotic  Drugs has been drawn up for the period of 15  years and divided into three consecutive 5-Year  Plans to be implemented as follows; 

(a) First  5-Year Plan         ( from 1999-2000 to 2003-2004)

(b)  Second 5-Year Plan    ( from 2004-2005 to 2008-2009)

(c)  Third 5-Year Plan       ( from 2009-2010 to 2013-2014).

The Plan for elimination of poppy growing and production will be implemented giving priority to a total of 51 townships as follows;

(a) Fist 5-Year Plan Period

(1) 15 townships in northern Shan State
Monkoe, Kong Kyin, Laukkai, Kuan Lon, Ho Pan (excluding Special Region 2), Mong Yai, Tang Yang,            Lashio, Namtu, Mang Tong, Theinni, Kutkhai, Nam Khan, Muse, Kyu Kok, Pan Saing.

(2) 1 township in eastern Shan State
Mongla, Kyaing Tong

(3) 6 townships in southern Shan State
Kun Hein, Mong Pan, Lin Khae, Si Saing, Phae Khon, Mong Kai.

(b) Second 5-Year Plan Period

(1) 4 townships in Kachin State
Kar  Maing, Wai Maw, Moe Mouk, Moe Nyin.

(2) 7 townships in northern Shan State
Hopan (Special Region-2), Mang Wai, Mang Phant, Nar Phant, Mong Maw, Pan Yang (Pan San), Waing kaung (Pan San),

(3) 7 townships in eastern Shan State
Mong Yang, Kyaing Tong (excluding Mongla), Mong Yaung, Mong Sak, Mong Tong, Mong Pyin, Mong Khat.

(4) 3 townships in southern Shan State
Ho Pong, Moe Ne, Panglong,.

(c) Third 5-Year Plan Period

(1) 5 townships in southern Shan State
Kyay Thee, Mong Shu, Nam San, Nyaung Shwe, Lechar.

(2) 2 townships in Kayah State
Loikaw, Demorsoe.

(3) 2 townships in Chin State
Tunzan, Falan.

In order to achieve the main target of elimination of drugs abuse and production, the following are designated as priority actions:

(a) Eradication of poppy growing;
(b) Eradication of drugs abuse;
(c) Law enforcement;
(d) Organizing the local people for their cooperation and  participation;
(e) International cooperation.

In order to implement the three techniques in striving for the eradication of poppy growing, the Government accord priority to delivering basic economic and social activities to the poppy growing regions through effective regional development programmes. To that end, the following actions are designated as priorities for implementation;

( a ) Agriculture;
( b ) Livestock Breeding;
( c ) Construction of roads and bridges; 
( d ) Communications;
( e ) Energy;
( f ) Trade;
( g ) Health;
( h ) Rehabilitation 
( i )  Education;
( j )  Public awareness activities;
( k ) Law enforcement.

Activities and Expenditure Planned for the 1 5-Year Plan 

The planned activities and their estimated expenditure during the 15-Year Plan are as follows: 

(a) Construction of Roads And Bridges

1489 mile-long earth-roads, 2504 mile-long stone-roads, 580 mile-long tar-roads, 25 bridges, 379 buildings for education purposes and 187 buildings for health care will be constructed at a total cost of US dollars 3752.381 million. 

(b) Agriculture Activities

49 agricultural education stations will be set up and 5703.5 baskets of seeds, 735870 tons of sugarcane cuttings, 11347664 kilograms of vegetables, 22800 seedlings of perennials, 6000 liters of pesticides (liquids), 1500 kilograms of pesticides (powder) and 110870 tons of fertilizers will be distributed. It was also planned to reclaim 1350 acres of new farmlands, to build 9 dams, 404100 acres of irrigated lands, to put 963552 acre of farmland under agricultural mechanization by using 39888 numbers of farm machinery and 9 types of farm equipment, to establish 2930 acres of model plantations and to conduct training for local farmers. The expected expenditure for these agricultural activities will amount to US dollars 1063.99 million.

(c) Livestock Breeding Activities

For distribution of livestock breeds,100 heads of bred cows, 400 heads each of bred pigs and poultry will be distributed and 770 heads of sows will also be provided to the villagers for joint raising purpose. Other supports including provisions of medical supplies, materials, training and other contingencies will also be given at a total cost of US dollars11.905 million.

(d) Public Awareness Activities

As part of promotion of public awareness activities, mass media information and public relations will carry out the establishment of eight10W television relay stations and three 50W television relay stations, installation of 3 satellite dishes and production of 45 Myanmar motion pictures on drugs education at a total cost of US dollars 58.947 million.

(e) Communications

Seventy post offices, two 200-linetelephone exchanges, seven 20-lineexchanges and nineteen radiotelegraph offices will be set up with a total cost of US dollars 33.593million.

(f) Energy

23 numbers of 4 KVA generators, 27numbers of 36 KVA generators, 15numbers of 48 KVA generators,7 hydropower stations will be made available at a total cost of US dollars134.322 million.

(g) Health 

As part of health-related activities, health education will be provided to90 percent of the public, ten numbers of medical treatment units will be upgraded, 25 activities of treatment of rehabilitation, six research works and provision of equipment and employment of staff will be carried out at a total cost of US dollars 272.14 million .

(h) Education

For the education activities, a total expenditure of US dollars 62.917 million will be used for the cost of official functions, recruitment of staff and other contingencies.

(i) Trade

To promote trade activities, opening of 4 trading camps, setting up of 1 industry of wine and fruits preservation industry, 1 sugar mill and upgrading of 6 trading camps are planned at a total cost of US dollars 3.94 million.

(j) Rehabilitation

As part of rehabilitation activities,8 numbers of domestic work straining schools, 12 numbers of youth training schools and 12numbers of youth rehabilitation centers for drugs addicts will be opened at a total cost of US dollars30.091 million.

(k) Law enforcement

During the 15-year planning period for drugs elimination, organization of 22 new special task forces, upgrading of central body, Secretariats of Chemistry, criminal police forces, holding of drugs destruction ceremony and rewarding for the arrests and seizure of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances will be carried out at a total expenditure of US dollars 189.343 million.

The total estimated expenditure for the afore-mentioned activities to be implemented during the 15-year planning period will be amounted to US dollars 5613.569 million.

If the international and external assistance such as expertise, modern equipment and materials could be made adequately available, the drugs elimination plan could well be implemented in a shorter period than it has been originally planned. The challenge for elimination of narcotic drugs is not the problem of one country alone, but the concern shared by the international community, posing a great danger to mankind. The challenging task for elimination of narcotic drugs is obviously the common responsibility requiring the concerted efforts of the international community. Just as Myanmar on her part has been exerting all-out efforts with accelerated momentum for the fight against narcotic drugs, the international community also has the responsibility to actively cooperate in this noble cause. The Union of Myanmar on its part is committed to carry out its national duty with a firm determination to achieve its goal of becoming a narcotic drugs free country within the planned period of 15 years.

Myanmar Tatmadaw (Armed Forces) has been taking a leading role in waging the war for elimination of narcotic drugs at a great cost of sacrificing the lives and limbs of members of the armed forces. This great sacrifice deserves to be put on the historic record. Nowhere in the world has a nation or its armed forces sacrificed so much in the fight against this threat to mankind. Likewise, under the guidance of the Head of State, the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) has also been making steadfast efforts by launching the 15-Year Plan for the total elimination of narcotic drugs in the entire country.

It can hardly be overemphasized that the combat against narcotic drugs is not only the responsibility of the citizens of a country alone, but also that of the international community who seems so sensitive to issues of human suffering and degradation. If the international community could lend their support and cooperation to Myanmar's humanitarian efforts for elimination of the scourge of narcotic drugs, this common danger threatening mankind will be eliminated sooner than present target of 15 years .

Myanmar firmly holds the view that that it is of paramount importance to engage in cooperation not only within the sub-region, but also at the regional and intentional level for the prevention and suppression of poppy growing, production and trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.