BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


UN urges Myanmar to tackle causes of opium scourge

UN urges Myanmar to tackle causes of opium scourge

MYANMAR: Opium production in Myanmar has “stabilised” at stubbornly high levels, the United Nations said recently, adding the government must address poverty and end the conflicts which drive farmers to grow illicit poppies.

drugscultureland
By AFP

Sunday 10 January 2016, 10:00AM


A Myanmar soldier walks in between two poppy flowers while destroying opium poppies. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

A Myanmar soldier walks in between two poppy flowers while destroying opium poppies. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

Myanmar, the world’s second largest opium producer after Afghanistan, has struggled to stem the tide of narcotics from its remote and violence-scarred border regions despite political reforms that saw Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party win historic elections in November.

“The region’s demand for heroin remains at unacceptably high levels and transnational organised crime groups are making huge profits,” said Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia representative for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Much of Myanmar’s opium feeds demand from China’s more than one million heroin addicts, but the country is also increasingly getting hooked on its own product.

In the 1980s Myanmar was the world’s largest producer of opium. It was overtaken in the early 1990s by Afghanistan, which now accounts for 80 per cent of global production.

But Myanmar’s poppy cultivation has doubled since 2006, while cartels now also churn out millions of methamphetamine tablets.

UNODC in its annual report that Myanmar opium production levels were roughly stable from 2014 at 647 tons, down from a peak of 870 in 2013 when yields spiked despite a Myanmar government pledge to eliminate illicit crops by 2014.

UWC Thailand

Mr Douglas said that while the “stabilisation of poppy cultivation in the past year is encouraging” in Myanmar and Laos – which produced up to 176 tons – the governments of both nations must “face the underlying issues that allow opium cultivation and related trafficking to continue”.

In isolated and mountainous ethnic minority states, particularly Shan and Kachin on the frontiers with Thailand and China, farmers grow opium as a quick way to get money for basic household needs.

Shan state, which is home to a number of ethnic armed groups and government-backed militias, accounts for 91% of all opium poppy production in the Golden Triangle region covering parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Village leaders surveyed by UNODC said buying food was the main reason for locals to cultivate opium.

“The large majority of opium farmers are not rich and grow it for their survival,” the Myanmar Opium Farmers’ Forum said in September, when representatives from across the affected states called for eradication efforts to stop until people could find alternative incomes.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phoenix, stranded and forgotten two years later

It seems that the seizure of operators assets, auctioned by Almo was the most important happeningof ...(Read More)


Phuket hit-and-run driver surrenders to police

Thought she'd hit a power pole, what a load of baloney, there's a big difference between a c...(Read More)


Phoenix, stranded and forgotten two years later

The Phoenix wreck 'restored' and sinking it where it was lifted? At depth to deep for recrea...(Read More)


MP Sira cleared of allegations of interfering in Phuket officials’ ‘handling’ of condo project probe

Certainly worth looking deep into the 57 MPs that tried to oust the one guy that is actually doing w...(Read More)


Task force to be formed to track tourists

This is a warning to all foreign tourists to NOT visit LOS anymore....(Read More)


Government backs ‘monkey business’

Mr Boonyarit idea of approaching foreign diplomats, and foreign retailers will not work. He must goi...(Read More)


Government backs ‘monkey business’

Suggestion: Make a film of monkey-training, their accommodation/treatment and work. Show on Animal P...(Read More)


Phuket hit-and-run driver surrenders to police

This lady didn't die of her lie. The car shows very clear that the damage is not from hitting a...(Read More)


EU opens borders to ‘safe’ countries including Thailand

In the USA, CoV-19 kills Blacks at a rate 4 x that of Whites, thus allowing it to get out of control...(Read More)


Task force to be formed to track tourists

Great, more no-advance- warning, sudden stop check points on highways that accommodate 90 + kph ve...(Read More)