Vicious cycle of narcotic drugs will speedily if half is given to be constructive and contributory to regional people to struggle free

Vicious cycle of

narcotic drugs will speedily if half is given to be constructive and

contributory to regional people to struggle free from evil dark shadows

Yangon, 27 Dec – An opening

ceremony of the Drugs Elimination Museum in Laukkai, Kokang Area, Shan State

North Special Region-1, was held at the museum today with an address by Chairman

of the Work Committee for Development of Border

Areas and National Races Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council

Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt.

Also present at the opening ceremony were member of the State Peace and

Development Council Chairman of Shan State (North) Peace and Development Council

Commander of the North-East Command Maj-Gen Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, the

ministers, the deputy ministers, the Colonel Air Staff, officials of the State

Peace and Development Council Office, Brig-Gen Zaw Win of Laukkai Station and

officers, diplomats of Russian Federation, France, Japan, Malaysia, Australia,

China and Singapore, the UNDCP resident representative, the director-general of

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, the manager of the Central Union of

Agricultural Cooperatives, the professor of the Federation of Japan Noodle

Organization, local and foreign journalists, members of the Central Committee

for Drug Abuse Control, the Mandalay-based Consul of China, Kokang national

leader U Phon Kya Shin of Special Region-1 and other national leaders, national

leaders of the Special Region-1 and Special Region-3, guests from the Yunnan

Province of China, delegates of Myanmar Anti-Narcotics Association, district and

township departmental officials, families of Laukkai Station, members of the

Union Solidarity and Development Association, Maternal and Child Welfare

Association, Red Cross Society and Lashio Kokang Youths Social Affairs

Association, national cultural troupes of Kunlong and Laukkai, guests, teachers

and pupils, and local people totalling over 5,000.

Organizer of Kunlong USDA Daw Pyone Myint Han, the master of ceremonies,

announced the agenda in Myanmar and Kokang languages. Chairman of the Work

Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races Secretary-1 of the

State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt made a speech. He said:

First of all I would like to say that it is a matter of honour for the Union as

well as for Kokang area that a drugs elimination museum to educate and organize

the people has been opened on a grand scale even as it is endeavouring with

unrelenting tenacity to get rid of poppy cultivation and production in the area

of the national brethren of Kokang, at a time when the government, the national

race leaders in co-operation with the national people are striving as a national

duty to combat the scourge of narcotic drugs.

Moreover, I would like to say in succession that this Drugs Elimination

Museum would stand as a historical monument till the end of the world expressing

the Kokang national race leaders and regional people’s endeavours to get rid of

poppy cultivation and production once and for all and the Union’s national

resolve as well. It is to the knowledge of all that the fight is being waged

with great momentum, systematically according to plans, as a national duty by

the entire Myanmar people inclusive of all national races of the Union for

complete obliteration in all the Union of the evil of poppy cultivation and

production that had grown with roots taken in remote areas of the Union of

Myanmar due to colonialist influence. The narcotic problem in Myanmar is not

just an economic concern as in other countries but has various other influences

and political and social implications and is also connected with the way of

living of pure and honest regional national races and so demands most subtle,

broad and profound arrangements for its solution.

Accordingly the government has built national solidarity most firmly in

border areas, secured the whole-hearted co-operation of the regional people and

worked for narcotic drugs control arrangements in conjunction with the border

areas development programmes. As the anti-narcotic drugs arrangements have borne

fruit thanks to whole-hearted co-operation of the regional people on that

organizational basis, it has been possible to implement from 1999-2000 the

15-year Narcotic Drugs Eradication Programme aimed at total annihilation of

narcotic drugs in the country, further raising the momentum of success of these

arrangements. The 15 years limitation is for eradication of drugs in the whole

of the country and is calculated on the basis of resources in the country alone,

and so, if there be international co-operation, there will accordingly be

earlier completion of the targets. Likewise, there are region-wise target period

for eradication of drugs depending on their regional development situation and

progress of the socio-economic life of the national people, the people in

regions with earlier periods than the 15-year overall period are endeavouring

for success of works compatible to their regions.

That is why Shan State (East) Special Region (4) that is Mongla has declared

itself drug-free area in 1997 and Kokang too is striving to do so this year. It

will be seen the national races have been successful in eradicating poppy

cultivation and production thanks to emergence of good economic bases with the

successful undertaking of crop-substitution agriculture, livestock and other

productive enterprises by the State, in the border areas.

On the other hand, the State’s building dams, embankments, roads, bridges,

communications and energy development works, and more schools, hospitals,

libraries, television transmission stations and meeting of other social needs

has also helped to contribute towards progress in the life of the regional

people. Especially in Kokang area, success is being achieved in cultivation of

buck-what with special priority for substitution of poppy crop by the State.

Buckwheat was most successful when test-cultivated near Tarshwehtan Village in

Kokang Region in 1997 with the assistance of the Japanese Government, and it was

then extended and regenerated effectively, and the area under cultivation has

been increasing from year to year, with plans to grow 3260 acres in the year


Above all that, sugarcane cultivation was undertaken with the assistance of

the People’s Republic of China, our neighbouring country, and it has been

cultivated on over 40,000 acres. Accordingly, no-poppy areas are being increased

from year to year and in these areas, sugarcane, buckwheat, peboke, corn, rubber

and paddy are being grown in substitution, in order that no-poppy areas may be

increased in cooperation with the regional people by national race leaders of


Today, it has got to the stage of successfully opening the Drugs Elimination

Museum that would effectively promote education of the regional people, that

plays an important role in poppy cultivation and production. Here at this

Museum, the people of the region will at a glance learn about Head of State

Senior General Than Shwe and responsible personalities’ guidance and views on

control of narcotic drugs, the State’s policies on narcotic drugs, the history

of narcotic drugs and the efforts to combat narcotic drugs by successive


Moreover the people of Kokang will also learn of success achieved in national

reconsolidation in the time of our Tatmadaw Government, and success achieved in

prevention and combating of narcotic drugs, all about the 15 year programme for

eradication of narcotic drugs and efforts of the work committees, government

departments and social organizations in agriculture and livestock activities.

All in all, this museum is sure to contribute effectively to efforts for

eradication of narcotic drugs, since it is going to promote the education and

the spirit of the regional people against narcotic drugs. So, in order to

effectively eradicate narcotic drugs in the given period, to keep up the

momentum of successfully changing spiritual, economic and social conditions, it

should be pointed out that not just the government, but friendly countries too,

need to provide effective assistance for regional development and provisions.

Moreover, as narcotic drugs pose a danger to all mankind, it is necessary for

all countries of the world to co-operate in the fight against narcotic drugs.

A review of the emergence of narcotic drugs in the country will show that it

started in the over hundred years of colonialism and then in successive stages,

neo-colonialists and anti-government organisations had deliberately made

concoctions to further expand and deepen the narcotic drugs problem. So it will

be seen that sincere and honest regional people, though involved in the evil

cycle of poppy cultivation, had not become rich, but on the contrary, poppy

cultivation had become just a form of livelihood for them to find their

subsistence for ages.

Today, with increased success in national solidarity, under the leadership of

the government, the national leaders and regional people are endeavouring hand

in hand in unison, and accordingly, there has been considerable successes in

regional development, economic progress and enhanced standard of living, so much

so that the regional people have become more enlightened, they see the evils of

narcotic drugs, and of their own will, they have gradually reduced their poppy


So I would like to say it will still be necessary to continue to help them

with assistance for regional development and economic progress to ensure a

smooth living in addition to organisational work to prevent a relapse of poppy

cultivation. It is especially necessary to effectively and most broadly help to

get the regional people themselves willingly combat and practically abandon

cultivation and production of poppy, with their conviction on the basis of the

region’s historical background and current situation. I would like to say that,

instead of pointing the finger at culprits of history and those who created the

evil results, but blaming as the culprits those who are practically suffering

the evils of this history, it will not be fair and just. It is sure that the

cycle of narcotic drugs will stop speedily if help is given to be constructive

and contributory for the regional people to struggle free from under the evil

black shadows, in order that they are entirely free from the dark shadows of

evils in history, in the past, in the region concerned.

It is firmly believed that, with economic development in border areas where

there had reigned the dark shadows of evils of past history, the regional

people’s life will rise higher, they become enlightened, and they will come to

realise the evils of narcotic drugs, and thus the targets of eradicating

narcotic drugs will be achieved in a short period of time. It is with this

conviction and with due consideration of the nation’s own resources that it has

been reckoned, and self-help measures taken, for annihilation of narcotic drugs

from the face of the Union of Myanmar in a matter of 15 years. For the success

of these endeavours, as is known to all, truly as a member of the community of

world nations the country has been actively co-operating with United Nations

organisations, regional countries, ASEAN countries and world nations.

Accordingly, in 1999-2000 poppy growing season, international organisations

have come to recognise that Myanmar poppy cultivation has been reduced by 31 per

cent and likewise poppy production has been reduced by 38 per cent and also

there has been reductions in seizures of poppy and heroin in all neighbouring

countries. Yet there are still finger-pointing and fault-finding accusations

made on the other hand, instead of helping us, ignoring the endeavours to fight

narcotic drugs being made by Myanmar even to this day.

I would like to say that there is no way other than mutual co-operation on

mutual understanding, rather than finger-pointing accusations against another

country, with the conviction that every nation is responsible as the

annihilation of narcotic drugs concerns all mankind of the world. As an example,

I would like to say that in no way can good results for annihilation of narcotic

drugs be achieved with fault-finding accusations and fabrication of critical

news stories blaming Myanmar in the matter of amphetamines that has got a great

market today.

In Myanmar there is utterly no production of ephedrine that is basic in

production of amphetamines and moreover the production equipment, technology and

skilled persons too came from other countries. Accordingly, in the fight against

drug abuse, not just the producing countries but those prompt and helping them,

those on business terms with them by pernicious greed, those with social ills

and evils of narcotic drugs, those making political profit between producers and

usersĀ  all these countries must co-operate rather than heaping blame on one

another, for only then will there be a genuine cessation of narcotic drugs.

So I would like to urge all to co-operate without saying whose fault it is,

without pointing accusing fingers against any, in the fight against narcotic

drugs. As the Union of Myanmar is systematically implementing the 15-year

programme to eradicate narcotic drugs to be totally free from the scourge of

drug abuse, it will carry on with the work of eradicating poppy cultivation and

production, annihilation of drug abuse, and combating the scourge of narcotic

drugs, and not just that but for educating and organising the regional people,

regional development, a high level of economic life of the people and

co-operation with countries of the world.

In conclusion, I would like to say

– It is necessary to carry on from the newly opened the Drugs Elimination

Museum to educate and organize the regional people to see the evils of narcotic

drugs and clearly see the work they have to do for eradication of narcotic


– the regional national race leaders and the regional people are to strive in

accord with the programme for eradication of narcotic drugs and for peace and

security of life, as the government will be doing so with unswerving

determination to achieve the targets of eradication of narcotic drugs.

Next, Chairman of CCDAC Minister for Home Affairs Col Tin Hlaing delivered an

address. He said that after the second opium war in 1842, Yunnan Province was

allowed to grow poppy, and poppy cultivation spread in Kokang region contiguous

to Yunnan since then. While endeavours are being made to eliminate illegal

cultivation and production the problem of stimulant drugs arose in 1996, and the

precursor chemicals are smuggled into Myanmar from the neighbouring countries.

Col Tin Hlaing noted that the producers and investors engaged in this illegal

trade are those from foreign countries and that with UNDCP assistance, law

enforcement agencies can take more and more arrests, and the drug control

measures are being undertaken with the assistance of UNDCP and Japanese

government and in cooperation with neighbouring countries. In conclusion, he

stated that plans are under way for elimination of narcotic drugs in the region

in the near future through the cooperation of the CCDAC, the Ministry for

Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs, all other

ministries and NGOs.

Afterwards, Kokang national leader U Phon Kya Shin spoke at length on the

efforts for building the Drugs Elimination Museum and regional development

activities. He said: Since the mid-19th century, the entire world has paid

attention widely to

the problem arising from the narcotic drugs. This has been due to physical and

spiritual ill effects caused to the human beings and consequential social

conflicts and instability. Hence, the issue of narcotic drugs control has become

the concern of each and every nation. We are here today to analyze together this

specific issue.

On 11 March 1999, Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt and myself laid the

cornerstone of this Drugs Elimination Museum and its construction then began.

We have built this museum with the aims of educating the public through the

display of photographs featuring how the poppy growing practice originated, the

ill-effects of narcotic drugs and measures taken for narcotic drugs control. It

will continue to exist to serve public interest in the long run.

Kokang area was confronted with the danger of narcotic drugs posed to the

mankind and the extent of the ill effects which the area suffered would

certainly be more, and not less than that of other areas.

After realizing the need to take drastic measures to guard against the danger

of narcotic drugs, which resulted from the spread and the threat of narcotic

drugs in the area, we have decided to launch anti-drug measures in all

seriousness.We have also laid down anti-drug programmes in conformity with the

area’s practical conditions and are implementing the plans step by step.

Initially, educative programmes were carried out to make the public aware of the

grave danger of narcotic drugs and their negative impact on the people.

Moreover, relevant policies have been laid down and drug laws and punitive

measures introduced.

In implementing these action plans, opium refineries, opium refining

instruments, chemicals and narcotic drugs were put to torch several times in

Monkoe and Kokang regions.

The poppy free zone campaign was launched starting from 2000 in order to

implement the objective for eradication of narcotic drugs from the stage of

combating narcotic drugs.

As peace and tranquillity prevails, about ten years’ efforts have brought

about changes, but it is not at all easy to root out poverty and backwardness.

The history of the region shows us that majority of the people earned their

living through poppy cultivation. As we strive for wiping out poppy cultivation,

most of the people face poverty. This is a practical problem. The leaders like

us must necessarily see to this problem to find solutions. Of the bags of rice

displayed at today’s ceremony, some are provided by the government, and some by

Yunnan Province, China. For this, may I express my thanks. Most of the remaining

bags of rice were collected through various ways, and they are to be given to

the people facing insufficiency of food for they can no longer live on poppy

plantation. This amount of rice, however, is inadequate for the people living on

cultivation of poppy in Laukkai region. As far as we know these days, there are

those moving to other regions in search of jobs individually as well as entire

families going to other places. We cannot help but feel sorry for them, for we

have no way yet to persuade them not to leave. Catering for the people to have

adequate food, clothing and shelter need is the greatest challenge in

eradication of narcotic drugs.

” Eradication of narcotic drugs ” is concerned with the

international community. To eradicate narcotic drugs threatening the humanity is

the duty of all human beings. As for us, we will do our utmost to eradicate

narcotic drugs in the region. As we have vividly seen our goal and set our aim

for eradication of narcotic drugs, we will implement action plans to turn our

region into a zone totally free of narcotic drugs in the very near future.

Throughout the history of our region, the people have experienced a sort of

low living standard, being in poverty, due to geographical condition, difficult

access, backwardness in culture and technology and long-term armed conflicts in

the recent years. Thus, we have to face a lot of difficulties and challenges in

the fight against narcotic drugs. We need a great amount of the government’s

support to be able to work well with the project. At the same time, we need

understanding and assistance of international organizations and other social

organizations. Let us all strive for emergence of a clean community free of

narcotic drugs threatening the humanity by working together in the historically

significant project by the turn of a new century.

After Myanmar had lost her independence in 1886, the colonialists allowed

growing of poppy in the east of Thanlwin River and caused the hilly regions to

be unaffected by the opium law.

After independence had been regained, the region could not escape from the

poppy cultivation as it was not peaceful and it lagged in development in various


He spoke of the reasons poppy cultivation had been maintained as the main

source for their livelihood. Mongla Special Region 4 that declared itself the

opium free zone on 22 April 1997 moved other regions and affirmed the

determination of ethnic minorities leaders for elimination of poppy cultivation.

This led to the campaigns and actions for drug-free movements in Kokang and

Wa regions. Kokang national races formerly residing on the hills moved to the

plains in Laukkai to grow sugarcane and this was one of the favourable

conditions for elimination of narcotic drugs.

Unfortunately, the world’s sugarcane market collapsed affecting many

countries including China, and the poppy substitute sugarcane growers lost a

great deal in spite of their successful crops and then they felt rather

reluctant to go on with sugarcane.

Buckwheat cultivation is becoming more and more successful year after year

and today over 3,000 acres can be put under the crop. As the crop is grown with

the assistance of the Japanese government and the produce is purchased by the

sponsor, there can be no concern about the market.

Col Tin Hlaing noted that the quality of buckwheat grown in the region is the

highest in the world market, it is supposed to be the most appropriate crop and

the cultivation project must be expanded.

Action plans for elimination of narcotic drugs are gaining momentum, and

Mongla region, for example, is witnessing development in various sectors. Though

the region also experienced loss due to the collapse of sugarcane market, they

could support their own economy with the achievements in other sectors.

He said that though Wa region is larger and has some difficulties in

transport, it has set the aim to make it totally free of narcotic drugs by the

year 2005. He also spoke of the success being achieved in agriculture and

livestock projects, and noted that due to the success in swine farming in

Kengtung and poultry farming in Tachilek, they duly achieved an FAO award.

The Secretary-1 presented honorary medal of CCDAC to Kokang national race

leader U Phon Kya Shin.

Chairman of CCDAC Minister Col Tin Hlaing presented a certificate of honour

to U Phon Kya Shin.

Minister Col Thein Nyunt presented food, rice, salt, seeds, strains of paddy

and corn for cultivation of opium substitute crops to U Phon Kya Shin. U Phone

Kya Shin presented badges to mark the opening of Drugs Elimination Museum to the

Secretary-1, the commander and the ministers.

The Secretary-1 formally unveiled the stone plaque of the museum. The

commander, Minister Col Tin Hlaing and U Phon Kya Shin formally opened the

museum. The Secretary-1 and party then set free doves. The Secretary-1 and party

inspected booths and signed in the visitors’ book. The Secretary-1, the

commander, the ministers, the deputy ministers and ambassadors and Kokang

national race leaders posed for documentary photo. The Secretary- and party

observed threshing, milling and production of buckwheat. There are seven booths

at the three-storey museum.