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Statement at the Opening Ceremony (r)

Subject: Statement  at the Opening Ceremony of the Museum on Drugs (2/2)

Statement made by Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt  Secretary (1) of 
the State Law and Order Restoration Council at the 
Opening Ceremony of the Museum on Narcotic Drugs 
held to  Commemorate the total eradication of narcotic 
drugs in Maingla (23-4-97) (part-2)

		With the daily arrival of between 2000 to 3000 
tourists, from Talaw, a town on the other side of the 
border, Maingla now becomes a town which receives 
300,000 to 500,000 tourists annually.

		The leaders of Maingla and its national races 
are examplery to the rest of the world as they prove that 
they, after abandoning the production and trading of 
narcotic drugs which is not only illegal but also a source 
of great harm for suffering to the entire mankind, could 
successfully develop their region through lawful 
economic activities.

		It is a well-known fact that, in Myanmar, the 
Government and the whole populace residing in the 
border areas have wholeheartedly committed themselves 
to  eradicate the narcotic drugs problem. However, some 
western countries, who turn blind eyes to our successful 
efforts in this regard are still unfairly accusing Myanmar 
by disseminating untrue reports and exaggerated news.

		With regard to the opium production the 
International Narcotics Strategy Report for 1996 issued 
by the State Department of the United States reported 
that Myanmar is the World's largest producer of opium 
and heroin; 84% of the opium production in Southeast 
Asia is produced in Myanmar; and legal production of 
opium is commonly found in Kokang and Wa regions in 
Shan State. While poppy plantation recorded 6% higher 
than 1995, opium production registered at 9% increase 
for 1996. In 1996 the total area of poppy cultivation 
reached 163,000 hectares and it was expected that a total 
of 2560 tons of opium would be produced in that year, 
the Report alleged.

		Besides, judging from the scope and dimension 
of the cooperation of the countries where the opium is 
mainly produced and transit countries in combating 
against trafficking and selling of narcotic drugs, the Unite 
States Government issues CERTIFICATION to some 
countries. For 1996-97, CERTIFICATION papers were 
accorded to Myanmar's neighbours namely Thailand, the 
People's Republic no China, India, Laos and Vietnam. 
But Myanmar was accorded with DECERTIFICATION 
on the ground that Myanmar did not cooperate to this 

		In addition to these official allegations, the 
United States Government went on with further 
accusations station that Myanmar is not serious enough 
in taking measures to combat the narcoticv drugs. Despite 
some major achievements in combating narcotic drugs 
in 1996, such as destruction of 11 clandestine drug refin
eries in Eastern and Northern Shan State, seizure of heroin, 
opium and chemicals (precussors), the United States 
downgraded that these successes are very negligible in 
comparison with actual amount of narcotic drugs 

		Indeed, it can be seen clearly for those who 
are able to judge rightly the fact that the United States is 
turing blind eyes on Myanmar anti-drugs efforts and dit 
is merely allegations based on unfounded reports.

		In order to collect the basic data on opium 
cultivation in Myanmar, the responsible officials of the 
United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have 
visited Myanmar in 1993, 1995 and 1997. During their 
visits, arrangements were made so as to enable them to 
freely conduct their survey without any restrictions.

		Besides, Myanmar is still engaged in cooperative activities with the USDEA
by assisting in 
legal affairs and passing intelligence on drugs.

		In addition to its commitment in anti-narcotics 
measures of the United Nations and international 
Organisations and involvement in the regional cooperative 
efforts, Myanmar has also been doubling its coordination 
with her neighbours.

		Since 1963, Myanmarm is a party to the 1961 
United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. 
Myanmar, today, is not only carrying out anti-drugs 
measures in accordance with the decisions of the 
Seventeenth Special Session of the United  Nations 
General Assembly held in New York in 1990, but also 
closely working with her neighbours and other countries 
in the region.

		In June 1991, Myanmar became a state party 
to the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit 
Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic 
Substances. Drawn in accord with this Convention, Laws 
and Regulations on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic 
Substances were enacted in 1993. Memorandum of 
Understanding to Control Illicit Trafficking and Abuse 
of  Narcotic Drugs was signed in 1995 between UNDCP 
and six countries in the region. Again in 1996, the Leaders 
of the six signatory countries to the MOU, UNDP and 
UNDCP also signed the two documents; namely 
Agreement on Precursor Control in East Asia and 
Agreement on Reducing Illicit Drug Use in the Highlands 
of East Asia.

		In the field of anti-narcotic measures, the Union 
of Myanmar has signed bilateral as well as multilateral 
agreements with neighbouring countries with whom she 
shares common borders to eradicate the narcotic drug 
problem. Furthermore, Myanmar together with 
neighbouring countries and the United Nations Drug 
Control Programme signed and agreement to cooperate 
together to eliminate the narcotic drug problem. Myanmar 
is now actively participating under this programme.

		The Union of Myanmar on her part has actively 
participated in the field of anti-narcotic measures to 
eradicate the narcotic drug problem on a globla as well 
as bilateral basis. Myanmar on her own has introduced a 
self reliant programme for development of national races 
in the border areas. This programme emphasizes the 
development of the national brethren living in the border 
areas and now has gained momentum.

		International narcotic problem is an extensive 
problem which the global community faces and is 
threatening the livelihood of the international community. 
Internatioianl narcotic drug problem affects countries of 
the world and n eeds harmonized efforts by all concerned 
to find a solution.

		Instead of blaming one another, we must find 
an answer based on humanitarian considerations between 
countries for the elimination of narcotic drug problem 
which the whole world is now facing.

		Producer countries, transit countries as well 
as user countries must treat ;the narcotic drug problem as 
their national problem and must cooperate positively to 
effectively eradicate the said problem.

		Myanmar on her party sees the eradication of 
the scourge of narcotic drugs as a national problem and 
will continue her efforts to eradicate this problem with 
or without help from others.

		As the Union of Myanmar is seriously taking 
the task of eradicating the narcotic drug problem, the 
countries which are facing the problem of drug abusers 
should also seriously find a solution to the primary cause 
of this social evil. Only when this is accomplished, the 
menace which is threatening the international 
community will disappear from the face of the earth.

		On her part, Myanmar has suppressed the 
production and trafficking of narcotic drugs.By working 
together with leaders of the national races we have 
introduced a programme top educate people who produce 
narcotic drugs to change their auitudes, to uplift their 
living standards and to earn incomes from cash crops.

		The leaders of the Maingla region and the local 
inhabitants stand as testament to the fact that is the method 
of cooperating together is a practical as well a favourable 
one in eradicating the narcotic drug problem in this region.

		In this connection, I would like to point out 
that today's ceremony which commemorated the opening 
of the Museum on the eradication of narcotic drugs in 
the Maingla region will place on record the process of 
producing narcotic drugs, the abhorrent images of narcotic 
drug users and the concerted efforts taken together by 
the Government and the local inhabitants.

In conclusion,

		I would like to congratulate the leaders of the 
national races of the Maingla region and their inhabitants 
in their successful efforts which they have undertaken as 
a national duty to eradicate the narcotic drugs in their 
region. I also would like to wish for the continued 
progress and the prosperity of the Maingla region; for 
the people of the Maingla region to enjoy forever the 
stability and tranquillity which prevails in the region. May 
the resounding echoes of success emanating from the 
Maingla region's eradication of narcotic drugs benefit the 
entire populace of the world.

		By this note, I would like to urge the world 
community to join hands in their efforts to combat the 
scourge of narcotic drugs.