The New Light of MyanmarWednesday, 15 December, 1999

The New Light of

Wednesday, 15 December, 1999



total annihilation of drug menace 

Today, the danger of narcotic

drug abuse is threatening the entire mankind. It is a global issue, not a

problem of a specific nation or a place. Hence, multilateral co-operation and

coordination is essential in combating this menace.

In carrying out the crusade

against narcotic drugs, Myanmar has all along been unswervingly undertaking its

share of the burden. On its own, Myanmar has laid down two strategies for drugs

control activities. Anti-drug campaign is assumed as a national concern and is

being launched with added momentum.

Poppy fields in border areas

are turned into substitute crops farms. Suppressive action is taken defectively

with participation of the public.

During the period from 1988 to

1999, altogether 548050.5 acres of poppy fields were destroyed together with

refineries. Seized narcotic drugs were incinerated or crushed by rollers in the

presence of foreign diplomats, officials of UN agencies and local and foreign

mediamen for many times in Yangon as well as in border areas.

A significant point is that

Mongla area of special region (4) in eastern Shan State has been declared as a

drug free zone since 222-4-97. Plans are under way to establish more drug free

zones of special regions (1) and (2) in northern Shan State in the years 2000

and 2005.

Target has been set to totally

eliminate poppy cultivation in the entire country within the next 15 years.

As regards drugs control

activities, Myanmar is actively co-operating with regional and international


The Counter Narcotic Centre

(CNC) of US State Department had admitted that there was a drop of 31 percent in

poppy cultivation in Myanmar during 1999 when compared with that of 1998; and 38

percent drop in opium production when compared with that of 1998.

However, CNC reviewed that the

drop in poppy cultivation and opium production was due to bad weather, ignoring

the energetic efforts of Myanmar Government and the people in eradicating the

narcotic drugs.

Anyhow, the drop can be

assumed as the beginning of victory in totally rooting out poppy cultivation and

opium production in Myanmar within 15 years.

Head of State Senior General

Than Shwe himself is giving guidance and central bodies are rendering effective

supervision in implementing the 15-year programme. Local authorities and

respective ministries are taking part in the task with might and main. The

Ministry for Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs

is playing a key role in implementing the task. The national rece leaders and

the local people are also participating in eradicating the narcotic drugs on

their own conviction.

So, prospects of success for

total eradication of drug menace is bright. All should strive to accelerate the

momentum of success so far gained in drug control activities.