Myanmar continues to fight drug in 2013 under extended plan

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-1-3 13:08:29

Myanmar will continue to fight drug in 2013 under a revised 15-year drug eradication plan (1999-2014), which has been extended for another five years until 2019 to maintain the momentum of war against drug.

Taking drug elimination as a national duty, Myanmar has been implementing the 15-year plan since 1999 in three five-year phases to fight drug from various aspects and improve the living standard of the citizens. It has applied two strategies with three tactics, namely supply reduction, demand reduction and law enforcement.

The original plan has now reached the fourth year of the final five-year phase before it was extended.

Myanmar's Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control has called for realizing the objective of "ASEAN Drug Free Zone" within the regional member countries by 2015, saying that Myanmar is taking a leading role in fighting drugs and is increasing cooperation with local people, private sector and in strengthening coordination with United Nations agencies.

The committee stressed the need for educative activities at schools, public education and drug prevention programs, effective implementation of family-, school-, workplace- and community-based anti-drug campaigns and drug abuse control programs to constantly and significantly reduce drug abuse.

As Myanmar will take over ASEAN chair along with the responsibility for drug eradication, collaborative efforts of all the groups over the next two years are being called for.

Over the past two years, the government intensified efforts to destroy poppy plantations, control drug traffickers and punish thousands of offenders.

The authorities ceremonially burned seized narcotic drugs worth a total of 102.38 million US dollars in June 2012 on the occasion of the International Day against Abuse of Drug and Trafficking.

In December 2012, Myanmar's Shan State government and the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) vowed to cooperate in drug eradication by growing poppy-substitute crops.

Myanmar is also cooperating with Thailand in implementing alternative development and socio-economic development tasks in Shan state's Tachileik and Monghsat under a memorandum of understanding reached between the two sides.

According to anti-drug authorities, Myanmar destroyed a total of 22,432 hectares of illicit poppy plantations across the country during the poppy cultivation season between September 2011 and February 2012.

In recent years, drug trafficking, once viewed largely as a social and criminal problem, has become a major threat to the health of people and the security of the country.

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