The New Light of
20 July, 2000
a drug-free nation
Myanmar has been waging a relentless war on illicit drugs
since regaining her independence in 1948. Successive Governments took measures to
eradicate cultivation of poppy but were largely ineffective and unsuccessful due to
internal strife since independence.
Myanmar fully recognizes the threat posed to mankind by narcotic drugs and the
paramount need to eliminate the problem. Accordingly, the highest political level of the
government gives its full attention and priority to drug matters and has waged war on all
fronts including development of the previous poppy-growing areas. The anti-drug drive has
become more effective with the return to legal fold of armed groups formerly active in
those poppy-growing areas.
Up to now 17 armed groups have made peace and are working all out under government
sponsorship in all-round regional development projects on an unprecedented scale. They
chose to abandon armed struggle and joined hands with the government in launching
development programmes in these far-flung areas. The previous poppy cultivation areas and
trafficking routes, which were under the control of the armed groups, are now under the
administration of the government.
The Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control has striven to implement its law
enforcement effectively in accordance with the prescribed Drug Laws. Myanmar Police Force,
the main agency for law enforcement, the Armed forces, the Customs Department and the
local populace have fully coordinated to combat the menace of narcotic drugs and successes
have been achieved to a commendable extent. Although increased interdiction efforts are
stepped up and conviction and severe penalties have been meted out, illicit drug
traffickers still exist due to enormous profits gained from narcotic business.
Myanmar has drawn up and is implementing a 15-years Narcotic Elimination Plan from
1999/ 2000 to 2013/2014 with our own resources. Opium cultivation decreased 30 per cent
compared with the previous year. This received world recognition.
Some states and organizations have very kindly provided Myanmar with assistance to a
certain extent in our efforts to eliminate narcotic drugs. Although our country has
limited resources, we have invested
millions of Kyats in our fight against drug abuse. The problem of drugs is not confined
to an individual, a race and a country. The is a problem of the whole human race. We will
not waver from our task and continue to fight the global menace until we achieved our
goal-a drug-free nation.