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NEWS - UN Official in Myanmar for D

UN Official in Myanmar for Drug Eradication Talks


         YANGON, May 12 (Reuters) - A senior United Nations
         official has met with Myanmar's ruling military leaders on
         government efforts to eradicate opium production, news
         reports said on Tuesday. 

         Pino Arlacchi, executive director of the U.N. Drug Abuse
         Control and Crime Prevention Organisation, met on Monday
         with Secretary One of Myanmar's ruling State Peace and
         Development Council, Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, the
         official reports said. 

         They discussed combating drug abuse, cultivation of
         opium-substitute crops and development matters, the reports

         Arlacchi, who arrived in Myanmar earlier on Monday, was
         accompanied by U.N. Drug Control Programme (UNDCP)
         representative Richard Dickins. 

         On Tuesday, Arlacchi and government officials flew to
         northern Shan State to study anti-drug activities, a
         Yangon-based UNDCP official told Reuters. 

         ``Mr Arlacchi and his party are scheduled to return to
         Yangon on May 13 and to hold discussions with
         ambassadors, including those from donor countries,'' he

         Western governments in the past have accused the
         Myanmar junta of profiting from the opium trade. The
         government has said it receives insufficient international
         support to help it combat opium poppy cultivation and drug

         Anti-drug agencies estimate more than half the world's opium
         is cultivated in the ``golden triangle,'' the area where
         Myanmar meets Thailand and Laos. 

         In April, the United States promised at an anti-drug seminar
         in Yangon to grant the UNDCP three million dollars and
         Japan offered $800,000 to support drug eradication in