The New Light of
17 July, 2000
elimination of drugs
M yanmar has been working consistently and
systematically for the elimination of hard drugs and has made considerable progress.
In the time of Myanmar kings, Myanmar was free from the menaces. There was strict
control even over alcohol, let alone encourage trafficking in opium.
However, after Myanmar fell into servitude order the colonialists in 1886, they introduced poppy
cultivation. When they left after Myanmar regained her independence, there were 216 opium dens and 48,212
addicts in Myanmar. Maybe, the unregistered number was far higher than that.
The evil heritage was put under strict control but with the high dividends from drug deals, success was
far from encouraging. What had worsened the situation was that after the People’s
Republic of China emerged, the stragglers from the Kuomintang army, at the behest of the CIA which. wanted to use them,
were pushed into Shan State and they took up poppy cultivation that had drug money bankrolling their
The Tatmadaw launched intensive campaigns to push the KMT out, and eventually had- to take up the
problem with the United Nations. Though the intruders were said to be airlifted back to the KMT home bases,
they were soon back, with General Li Mi and his CIA collaborators hoodwinking us,
until we acted more firmly.
About two-and-a-half decades ago, strong legislation with equally strong
legislations terms was introduced and the formation of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control and work
formed in 1975 started working more extensively, cutting down cultivation, introduction
crop and income substitutions and taking other measures for improving the lot of the
people of the border areas whose main livelihood had been drug-related~
These and other measures undertaken with the guidance of State Peace and Development
Council Chairman Senior General Than Shwe and the application of proper tactics and
strategies have brought us appreciable results.
Between 1989 and this year the Government has spent over 18 billion kyats and the
long-term 15year opium eradication plan, implemented in short-term 5-year phases, with Opium Free Zones established, have
brought about results the UN agencies and the international community cannot overlook but praise.
The Golden Triangle area, the triangle border region that was once notorious, is today developed, with Tachilek
and environs boasting as boom towns, minus drugs. More work needs to be done, but the future looks
promising, with local nationals joining in the combat against the menace of hard drugs.