Burmese govt vows action against drug traffickers

sayarsan's picture
Shan States, Myanma

Burma’s government has pledged to take strong action against drug producers and traffickers across the country.

 Lashio News)

Drug dealers and users were arrested in northern Shan State’s Lashio Township on May 4, 2016. ( Photo : Lashio News)

Speaking to Shan Herald following Tuesday’s Upper House of Parliament session in Naypyidaw, Sai Wan Leng Kham, an MP representing the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, said that a proposal was passed on Tuesday after Upper House lawmakers had urged the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government to take decisive action on those involved in drugs in Burma.

“Deputy Minister for Home Affairs [Maj-Gen Aung Soe] has confirmed that this administration is cracking down on drug trafficking. He said that they will bring to justice those who are involved in the illicit production and trafficking of narcotics, whether they be drug dealers or government officials,” said Sai Wan Leng Kham, who has been active in drug eradication efforts in Shan State’s Lashio Township.

He added that the government must speed up efforts to deal with this issue because it has a major impact on so many people.

“The government must arrest those who are involved in the drugs trade,” he continued. “Drug addicts should be given information about the impact of drug use, and they should be treated at rehabilitation centers.”

Shan and Kachin states are by far the largest producers of opium and methamphetamines in the country. Burma is ranked second only to Afghanistan as the largest producer of opium in the world.

In an unsuccessful bid to eradicate opiates from Burma in 1999, the then ruling military regime declared a 15-year master plan. Then, in October 2012, President Thein Sein announced that the country would be free of opium production by 2019.  Nonetheless production, trafficking and in particular addiction appear to be continuously increasing.

Eyes will be on Suu Kyi’s new National League for Democracy government to assess whether its efforts bear fruit.

By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)



sayarsan's picture

The government in Myanma (Burma) treats us to an episode where a handful of unfortunate villagers are rounded up with a small haul of drugs and paraphernalia, then claims it is doing something about the drug trade.

It would be more impressive if they had intercepted a truck or an aircraft carrying 50 kilos or more of heroin or amphetamines, such is the nature of drug trafficking in this country. Unfortunately these shipments have the protection of high ranking military figures and this ensures their immunity from prosecution.