THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

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.

QSI International School Phuket

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.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phoenix finally risen from seabed

I wonder if anyone will learn from this: thai company with basic equipment = failure. Foreign compan...(Read More)


Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Gen Angkoon seems to think that Thais have harder heads or something as he says they're likely t...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Ban them kratongs everywhere! They cause environmental damage both on land and in the sea....(Read More)


Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Same coloured helmets, that will make revenue collection easier... but hey, think about hygiene, who...(Read More)


No passport required: Phuket Immigration confirms ‘passport on person’ not required despite ’Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner’

There has never been any law in Thailand that says anyone needs to carry their passport. There IS a ...(Read More)


God is a DJ - A divine event at Dream Beach Club

I would never go into that place, a monstrosity of a building and blight on the beautiful Layan beac...(Read More)


Phuket van driver falls asleep at the wheel, slams into street lamp

I would also add that the Filipina was immediately drug and alcohol tested, her picture included in ...(Read More)


Thais arrested for charging ‘access fees’ to Freedom Beach

Paully, if stupid people want to pay 200B to enter a beach, that's their problem. Nothing wrong ...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office urges water safety for Loy Krathong

Marine boat operators, don't worry, just hold your breath during 22 Nov only. '''Cap...(Read More)


Phuket officials unveil New Year ‘Seven Days’ road safety campaign strategy

Haha, the 2 times a year safety campaign as like people don't know to drive safe and sober! Str...(Read More)