[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Special Press Briefing Held

                           Special Press Briefing Held

        On the morning of 31st December a special briefing was held at the
Myanmar TV Station in Yangon at 9:00 am.

         The briefing was on the new project which is to be implemented in
1998 on ACCURATE DATA COLLECTION  on narcotic drugs.

         The aim of this project is to collect consensal of drug users in
Myanmar so that a base line data can be obtained for prevention and treatment
A report was read by Col. Kyaw Thein who is the member of the Central
committee for Drug Abuse Control and later on followed by questions from the
invited UN agencies, DEA representatives and the local and foreign media.

           Responsible authorities replied to the questions and concluded the
briefing at 10:00 am. The paper red by Col. Kyaw Thein  "The Achievement of
the Government in Narcotic Drug Control (1988-1997) is as follows:

                Achievements of the Government in Narcotic Drug Control 
                                              (1988 -1997)
	Myanmar has assiduously carried out narcotic drugs control measures
throughout the years, Myanmar has also consistently cooperated with United
Nations organizations, neighbouring countries and countries in the region in
order to expend and increase the suppression and countrol of narcotic durgs,
but these activities will be further heightened with the advent of the State
Peace and Development Council. On 3rd December, 1997, a special meeting of the
Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control presided over by Secretary 1 of the
State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt was
convened, and the Committee itself was reconstituted. This newly re-
established Committee has resolved to immediately undertake as its first step,
a compilation of statistics on a national level, the acreage of poppy
cultivation and the number of addicts, with effect from January, 1998. The
UNDCP and other international organizations have been requested to give
assistance in this collection of vital statistical data and the United States
of America has also been approached with an offer for cooperation in the
matter and although a programme for the collection of such statistical data is
included in the Sub Regional Action Plan drawn by UNDCP no immediate response
have been given because of the high expenditure it would incur. Nevertheless,
the Government of the State Peace and Development Council, realizing the
importance of obtaining Base Line Data for drug eradication, undertook this
task according to its own schedule.
	At present, it will be seen that there is a wide gap in the forecasts on the
acreage and production of opium made respectively by Myanmar and the United
Stated of America. Myanmar's opium cultivation data are based on actual ground
survey and calculations show an average yield of 4.4 kilograms per acre. The
American opium production rates, according to the American survey team, are
based on satellite imageries and the yield per hectare is forecast as 100 per
cent. The American forecast thus fails to take into account crop failure due
to changing weather conditions and wastage during harvestation nor does it
make any allowances for poppy cultivation plots uncovered and destroyed, and
opium and heroin captured and seized. Thus, with a view to obtaining accurate
Base Line Data without discrepancies, a nationwide campaign for the
statistical data compilation was initiated.
	As far as drug interdiction is concerned, the following figures show the
results achieved from the time of assumption of state responsibilities in 1988
up to l5th December, 1997. 
	(a)	 Heroin					3717.35 kilos
	(b) 	Opium					22762.71 kilos
	(c) 	Phensendyl					32717.85 litres
	(d) 	Precursor chemicals & acids		33551 gallons
	(e) 	Stimulant drugs				10800625 tablets
	(f) 	Ephedrine					3789.22 kilos
	(g) 	Heroin refining camps burned		70 Nos.
	(h)	 Burning of seized narcotic drugs
		(Yangon)					11 times
	(i)	 Burning of seized narcotic drugs
		(Border regions/other areas) 		18 times
	In carrying out this crusade against narcotic drugs during the period of
September 1988 to the end of 1997, (766) members of the Armed Forces,
including (20) officers gave up their lives and (2292) members, including (81)
officers were wounded.
	As far as interdiction is concerned, 1997 has seen even more effective
results. From January to 15th December, 1997, anti drug authorities were able
to seize 1396.92 kilos of heroin, 7651.4 kilos of opium, 1093 litres of
phensedyl, 16948 gallons of chemicals and acids, 5043350 tablets of stimulant
drugs and 615.62 kilos of ephedrine. Seized narcotic drugs were burned and
destroyed on 4 separate occasions and 33 heroin refining camps were uncovered
and destroyed. Since 1988, the United States of America and European countries
withdrew all form of assistance to Myanmar including that for antinarcotics
measures. But Myanmar, being fully aware of narcotic drugs as the common enemy
of mankind, has within its limited means, successfully carried on, as a
national duty, an unceasing fight against the narcotic drug menace. Opium
poppy is grown and cultivated mostly in the Shan State and border regions and
the armed national groups in these regions were at one time largely involved
in the drug trade. Hence the reason why the Government gives priority to
border area development and national reconsolidation. Due to the unceasing and
earnest efforts of the Government, the 15,000 strong drug trafficking armed
group led by Khun Sa surrendered unconditionally and entered the legal fold
together with over 9,000 heavy and light weapons and assorted ammunitions and
mines, (15) former armed national groups have also entered the legal fold and
are now working in cooperation with the government. These events have made the
armed forces as well as the other law enforcement agencies to concentrate more
on the fight against narcotic drugs which had resulted the significant
seizures in 1996 and 1997. The cooperation and active participation of the
former armed ethnic groups had also made it possible to establish and proclaim
Opium Free Zone in the Shan State (East) Special Region 4 ( i.e. Mongma /
Mongla ) region in April, 1997. Moreover a three-year project was initiated in
1996 in Shan State (North) Special Region 2, and the year 2000 set as the
target date for Shan State (North) Special Region 1, for establishment of
additional opium-free zones. Plans have been drawn up for the poppy
cultivation season of 1997/98 to carry out crop substitution of tea, wheat,
corn and buckwheat on more than 23,000 acres in the Mongko, Laukkhai, Kongyan,
Kunlong, Hopan, Namtu, Mong yaw / Mongkyet regions of Shan State (North),
where poppy used to be the main crop.

	Compared to the achievement in making large and significant seizures of
narcotic drugs and eradication of poppy cultivations, the enormity of the task
in collecting the base line datas on the acreage of poppy cultivation and the
number of addicts will be more challenging. But as a national cause CCDAC is
determined to meet its goal and would like to urge all the government
agencies, NGO's and the local inhabitants of the respective areas to put their
utmost efforts to make it possible.
	Thank you.