CNC of US acknowledges Myanmar’s efforts to reduce poppy cultivation

acknowledges Myanmar’s efforts to reduce poppy cultivation

21 Sept — The Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control held its 2/2004 meeting
at the Ministry of Home Affairs today.

Chairman of the CCDAC Minister
for Home Affairs Col Tin Hlaing said that it is now the start of the second
five-year project of the 15-year narcotic elimination plan, and collective
efforts should be made to implement the second five-year project with added
momentum, based on experiences of the first five years. Concerning the
alternative crops project of the New Destiny project, he said that a target has
been set to put 31,400 acres of land under monsoon and winter crops in five
states covered by the project. Two methods — seed distribution and seed to seed
— will be used in cultivating the crops.

Livestocks have been distributed
in Mongpyin (Thuwunna-shan) region and Monghsat (Yaungkha) region in eastern
Shan State, Mongmaw region in northern Shan State, and Pinlaung region in
southern Shan State. From April to July in 2004, the first year of the second
five-year project, three courses were conducted for teachers concerning the
dangers of drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, stimulant tables and smoking in Kengtung,
Loikaw, Kalay and Tamu districts. The CCDAC provided half the amount of cost of
opening the courses. Drug education campaigns have been launched through the TV,
radio and dailies. Health staff of the rehabilitation hospitals are providing
social rehabilitation and counseling services for the drug addicts. The Ministry
of Health and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement are also
rendering assistance for the rehabilitation project.

With funds of the Department for
Progress of Border Areas and National Races, food has been provided to farmers
who are cultivating alternative crops under the New Destiny Project. The project
provided 2,000 bags of rice and 50 bags of salt for farmers of Wa Special Region
2, Namtip and Pangsang in northern Shan State; and 3,000 bags of rice and 100
bags of salt for farmers of Pinlaung, Pekhon, Mongpang, Hopong and Panglong
regions in southern Shan State for the second time.

Under the food provision
programme, jointly implemented by WFP and DPBANR, 2,400 bags of rice have been
provided to farmers in northern Shan State including Wa and Kokang regions, as
they quit their practice of cultivating poppy. The Government enacted the Mutual
Legal Assistance Law on 28 April 2004. Thanks to the law, Myanmar is able to
cooperate with international and regional organizations, countries of the UN
Convention and neighbouring countries in exchanging information, conducting
investigation, in legal affairs.

On 16 September, the US announced
a list of nations, which according to the US report, failed to curb the drug
problem effectively. The countries that produced large hauls of drugs and
serving as transit centres were included in the list. The report said that the
22 countries including Myanmar failed to eliminate the drugs effectively thought
required by the international agreements and the stipulations contained in the
US anti-drug law, within a period of 12 months. It also said that they failed to
cooperate with others in drug production reduction, elimination and control
activities, enacting laws, taking actions against corrupt staff, and enforcement
of laws related to drugs.

It is a common knowledge that
without taking assistance from any nation, the Myanmar Government has been
achieving success in curbing drugs, relying on harmonious efforts and mutual
trust and understanding of the ministries concerned, local authorities and
national races. The satellite photos and land survey records of the UNODC and
the US have stood witness to the success achieved by Myanmar in rooting out the
drug problem. Blind accusations from the political point of view can be assumed
shameless acts.

Although the UN has acknowledged
Myanmar’s anti-drug drive and efforts to root out poppy cultivation, the US
failed to do so, instead, pointing a finger at the nation; this is an
irresponsible act. As the US, the largest narcotic drug market in the world,
wants to hide its image as the country with a large drug addict population, it
is hurling slanders against others.

The CNC of the US has
acknowledged that Myanmar was able to reduce up to 81 per cent of its illegal
poppy cultivation within a nine-year period, and 88 per cent of the opium

Myanmar enacted the Anti-Money
Laundering Law and Mutual Legal Assistance Law. It has also destroyed billions
of dollars worth of seized narcotic drugs, and it is the result of years of
efforts relying on own resources. But the success was ignored. Myanmar faces
economic hardships and obstacles in her anti-drug drive due to economic
sanctions and the acts of banning Myanmar officials from attending drug
elimination courses abroad. The minister said that he would like to urge the US
to concentrate on demand reduction and make sincere cooperation with Myanmar in
her anti-drug drive in accord with the wish of the global peoples.

The minister elaborated on the
nation’s endeavours to reinforce the 15-year narcotic elimination plan and New
Destiny Project, enact bylaws and cooperate with neighbouring countries to
control and curb chemical agents used in manufacturing stimulant tablets. From
senior official level to ministerial level, the five countries — China, India,
Thailand, Laos and Myanmar — have agreed to hold bilateral meetings or
five-country meetings on transnational drugs-related crimes and are making
active cooperation among themselves. Thus Myanmar is making cooperating with
global countries in addition to the neighbours in her anti-drug drive. According
to the record, Myanmar destroyed 29 million stimulant tablets and 58,637 litres
of chemical liquid in 1999, the first year of the 15-year plan; 27 million
stimulant pills and 8,914 litres of chemical liquid in 2000; 32 million
stimulant pills and 186,509 litres of chemical liquid in 2001; nine million
pills and 29,393 litres of chemical liquid in 2002, four million pills and
39,465 litres of chemical liquid in 2003. As the amount of seizures is
decreasing gradually, it is clear that Myanmar has been giving priority to
elimination of stimulant drugs. The minister also explained the building and
running of youth rehabilitation centres, hospitals and other related facilities
and farming activities in northern Shan State.

Member of CCDAC Minister for
Information Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan reported to the meeting on his ministry’s efforts
to refute the slanderous attacks of the US and some other nations through the
media; Minister for Health Dr Kyaw Myint, on treatment programme for drug
addicts; and Secretary of CCDAC Myanmar Police Force Director-General Brig-Gen
Khin Yi, on progress in materialization of the minutes of meeting 1/2004. Col
Tin Hlaing delivered the concluding address.

Also present were deputy
ministers, who are chairmen of the working bodies and guests.