none can it be vied and outdone
of the State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt unveils the signboard of the
commemorating the occasion to declare Mongla area in Special Region 4 Opium Free Zone on
There have been countless numbers of explanations concerning Myanmar’s narcotic
eradication measures inside the country and on international scene.
Efforts of our anti-drug squads destruction of opium plantations and opium refinery camps
in the mountains and valleys, annual destruction of seized narcotic drugs and actions
taken against drug producers and traffickers and drug users according to law were made
known to the nation and international circles.
If we study the anti-narcotic campaign from 1974 to 1988 and during 11 years from 18
September 1988 to 18 September 1999 under the Tatmadaw government, we find as follows:
|From 1974 to 1988|
acides and chemicals
|From 18-9-99 to 18-9-99|
|Poppy plantation and destruction of
opium refinery camps
Our government is well aware of the fact that suppression of narcotic drugs alone will not
be sufficient to put an end to the narcotic drugs problem. So, arrangements have been and
are being made to eliminate the practice of earning a living through poppy cultivation by
enabling the opium poppy growers to turn to agriculture, livestock breeding and other
means as alternative sources of income. A significant proof to this fact is the formation
of the Ministry for Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs in
– 1992 and assignment of specific duties to it. Moreover, the Central Committee for
Development of Border Areas and National Races was formed with the Chairman of the State
Peace and Development Council himself as its head and giving guidance in the task.
Similarly, the Work Committee for the purpose was also formed with Secretary-1 of the
State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt as its Chairman. Since its
formation, the Work Committee has spent funds amounting to over K 15 billion in
infrastructural development. The projects for the development of border areas included
building of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and dispensaries, cultivation of opium
substitute crops, installation of TV re-transmission stations, telephone exchange and
ensuring power supply. The funds did not include any outside assistance and they were
utilized for the improvement of the living conditions of the national brethren, out of
The task of narcotic drugs suppression is so enormous that one single country will not be
in a position to dea1 with it alone. There are drug producing countries and consumer
countries as well. Production side alone will not be able to tackle the problem. Both
consuming and producing nations wil1 have to make concerted efforts in unison for the
accomplishment of the task. They will have to find practicable solutions to the problem.
Success will be achieved if the problem is solved through national and international
programmes in cooperation.
No one can deny the fact that our country has achieved tangible results after finding
practicable solutions to the narcotic drugs problem and taken most appropriate measures.
For instance, it is believed that the best way to combat narcotic drugs production and
trafficking in the country is reconsolidation of national solidarity and development of
border areas and national races there. Accordingly, the Government has implemented the
development projects. As a result, Mongla area in Special Region 4 of eastern Shan State
was declared Opium Free Zone on 22 April 1997. Kokang nationalities led by U Phon Kya Shin
have pledged to declare their area opium free by the year 2000 and are making efforts.
Similarly, Wa nationalities led by U Pauk Yu Chan have pledged to declare their area opium
free in 2005. They too are expediting work on suppressive and combative measures coupled
with cultivation of opium poppy substitute crops and development projects in accordance
with the pledge. Such efforts to have declared and to declare opium free zones benefit not
only Myanmar but also the entire human race. However, foreign nations fail to recognize
the efforts of the nationalities leaders. Instead, they speak ill of the measures and made
We, on our part, have no desire to make false
a1legations against any country. On the international front, we have been amicably
cooperating with our neighbours, the countries in the region, ASEAN member nations and UN
agencies based on constructive engagement. In some areas of national races, projects for
all-round development are being implemented through international cooperation. With the
guidance of the Head of State, a 15-year project for total eradication of narcotic drugs
starting from 1999-2000 to 20132014 divided into three phases is being implemented. It is
believed the project will be completed according to schedule or sooner if the
international community takes interest in the project and renders assistance. On our part,
we are determined to carry on with the job whether we receive outside assistance or not.
In our efforts to combat narcotic drugs, rehabilitate the former
addicts and improve the living conditions of national races, it was not that we have
followed the path strewn with roses at ease. Starting from the Moe Hein Operations and
armed engagements with opium traffickers in 1975 and up to 18 September 1999, 353 Tatmadaw
members sacrificed their lives for the country and I ,431 were injured. They risked their
lives in combating the narcotic drugs and they did so as a national responsibility.
We have not heard of any country that risked so
many lives by hundreds or thousands in combating narcotic drugs. We have not heard of any
country that has consolidated national unity to achieve success in right against narcotic
drugs. In international cooperation too, one will find it difficult-to see a nation like
ours that does not show off in order to receive assistance.
Hence, in endeavouring for eradication of narcotic drugs we would like
to sound a challenge saying that Myanmar cannot be vied with and outdone by any other