The New Light of Myanmar Thursday, 20 July, 2000

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.