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Drugs

  • Drugs: regional and global

    Individual Documents

    Title: Bouncing Back - Relapse in the Golden Triangle
    Date of publication: 01 June 2014
    Description/subject: "TNI's in depth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has a witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers. This report details the failure of ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy and the need for a new approach..."The illicit drug market in the Golden Triangle – Burma, Thailand and Laos – and in neighbouring India and China has undergone profound changes. This report documents those changes in great detail, based on information gathered on the ground in difficult circumstances by a group of dedicated local researchers. After a decade of decline, opium cultivation has doubled again and there has also been a rise in the production and consumption of ATS – especially methamphetamines. Drug control agencies are under constant pressure to apply policies based on the unachievable goal to make the region drug free by 2015. This report argues for drug policy changes towards a focus on health, development, peace building and human rights. Reforms to decriminalise the most vulnerable people involved could make the region’s drug policies far more sustainable and cost-effective. Such measures should include abandoning disproportionate criminal sanctions, rescheduling mild substances, prioritising access to essential medicines, shifting resources from law enforcement to social services, alternative development and harm reduction, and providing evidence-based voluntary treatment services for those who need them. The aspiration of a drug free ASEAN in 2015 is not realistic and the policy goals and resources should be redirected towards a harm reduction strategy for managing – instead of eliminating – the illicit drug market in the least harmful way. In view of all the evidence this report presents about the bouncing back of the opium economy and the expanding ATS market, plus all the negative consequences of the repressive drug control approaches applied so far, making any other choice would be irresponsible."
    Author/creator: Ernestien Jensema, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, Tom Kramer
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Format/size: pdf (3.6MB-reduced version; 4.6MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-2014-bouncingback-web-klein.pdf
    http://www.tni.org/pressrelease/opium-cultivation-bounces-back-tni-report-shows-dramatic-failure-aseans-drug-free?context=595
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2014


    Title: Myanmar drugs fuel Thai gangs
    Date of publication: 23 October 2007
    Description/subject: CHIANG MAI, Thailand - She's affectionately known as Yai Elle or Yai Aew - or Grandmother Aew - among this city's rough and tumble, narcotics-peddling youth gangs. For more than a decade, Laddawan Chaininpun, 62, has worked to help rehabilitate Chiang Mai's gangs and in the process has won many of their trust. She got involved with the gangs initially because her nephew had joined one of Chiang Mai's most vicious gangs: the Samurais. They earned that nickname because they were often seen wielding long swords while riding motorcycles at high speed through the city at night.
    Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 November 2010


    Title: The Chinese Connection: Cross-border Drug Trafficking between Myanmar and China
    Date of publication: April 2007
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: This report presents findings from a two-year field study of drug trafficking activities between Myanmar (formerly Burma) and China. Interviews were conducted with law enforcement officials, community contacts and informants, incarcerated drug traffickers, active street drug dealers, drug addicts, as well as with other researchers in the field. Observations were made both inside the Golden Triangle and the surrounding regions. People of diverse backgrounds participate in the business of drug trafficking and distribution. Our data showed that most drug traffickers are poorly educated, with few employable skills or alternatives to make a living comparable to their aspirations. Drug traffickers in general do not belong to street gangs, organized crime groups, or terrorist organizations. Most are simply bold risk takers who work with family members, or form alliances with friends or other social contacts whom they come to trust. Drug trafficking operations are carefully planned with ingenious disguises and strategies to evade law enforcement activities. The business of drug trafficking, although dominated by groups of entrepreneurs, resembles a “learning” organism surprisingly adaptive to law enforcement interventions and market uncertainties. Traffickers continue to develop ingenious concealment and transportation schemes to stay ahead of the authorities. As a result, most drug seizures as reported by government news releases or the media are not the result of checkpoint stops or random inspections but of careful cultivation of intelligence from informants. Trafficking is mainly considered a way to make money, although earnings vary tremendously according to the roles individuals play in trafficking operations. We do not believe that, based on our data, large criminal organizations or terrorist groups are systematically involved in the drug trafficking business. Nor did we find signs of turf wars or competition among trafficking groups or street dealers. Drug trafficking and street dealing in China as well as in most parts of Southeast Asia appear to remain entrepreneurial in nature and fragmented in practice. Over the past few decades, drug trafficking between Myanmar and China has evolved in several directions. Shipments of drugs in large quantities have largely disappeared (or perhaps are better concealed) and most drugs are moved in small quantities by large numbers of individuals, or “mules,” who know little about the organizers behind the scene. Between drug manufacturers and end users are multiple and often overlapping layers of transportation and distribution networks, each involving only a few people. These groups of “mules” and their organizers work much like ants moving the contraband piece by piece successively from one location to another. The vast majority of our subjects were involved in heroin transportation. Therefore, our observations and conclusions were mostly based on heroin traffickers, although there is no reason to believe that traffickers of other illicit drugs were much different organizationally and operationally. Harsh punishment and the totalitarian political regimes appear to have hindered the development of large trafficking organizations in China and Myanmar. International pressure and China’s draconian anti-drug policy have also significantly reduced the scale of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar, making any sustained supply of heroin in the future doubtful. By official and addicts’ accounts, heroin trafficking and use have been on a steady but slow decline for years. The street price of heroin has skyrocketed in the past decade or so in China and other parts of the Golden Triangle, making heroin the least affordable illicit substance on the market. This suggests that heroin supply has become scarce. However, the production of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) such as ice and ketamine has increased rapidly in recent years, suggesting changes in the makeup of the addict population as well as changing market demand in the Golden Triangle region. Countries in the Golden Triangle region have all reported widespread availability of ATS, with those made in Myanmar commanding the highest price. Many factors may have contributed to the decline of heroin production and trafficking as well as the sharp rise of ATS in the region. The U.S. and other international involvement in the regional anti-narcotics efforts appear to have produced measurable impact in reducing opium poppy cultivation and heroin manufacturing. Findings from this study underscore the importance of continued collaboration and mutual assistance in international efforts. However, counter-narcotic efforts in the region in recent years have either stalled or been disrupted due to Myanmar’s political situation, despite the recent progress. The United States’ near total cessation of involvement in Myanmar’s anti-drug effort has not produced any intended political outcomes, but has served to diminish whatever influence the U.S. may have had from its past efforts. Continued financial as well as technical assistance through third country programs should be explored for the United States to remain engaged and monitor regional illicit drug manufacturing and distribution activities. Ample intelligence suggests that Southeast Asia is well on its way to become a major ATS supply source in the world. If one thinks the red-hot Asian economy has flooded North America with cheap consumer goods, wait till Asian drug manufacturers and traffickers show off their entrepreneurial prowess. It will happen in due time.
    Author/creator: Ko-lin Chin, Sheldon X. Zhang
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The United States Department of Justice
    Format/size: pdf (643K)
    Date of entry/update: 28 December 2008


    Title: GLOBALIZATION AND NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY ISSUES: A STUDY OF HUMAN AND DRUG TRAFFICKING IN EAST ASIA
    Date of publication: March 2004
    Description/subject: ABSTRACT: East Asia faces a series of non-traditional security challenges that include environmental concerns, infectious diseases and transnational crime. Rather than creating such forms of insecurity, the process of globalization has significantly amplified their spread and impact and accelerated their significance. This paper focuses on illicit drug and human trafficking in China and the Southeast Asian countries and examines these categories of transnational crime in the context of a globalizing world. It argues that the protection of state and human security against drug and people trafficking will increasingly require effective transnational cooperation and some surrendering of state sovereignty. The paper reflects on the depth of such problems in East Asia by analyzing the production, distribution and consumption of narcotics as well as the trafficking of women in the region. It notes an increasing level of multilateral cooperation in East Asia to combat human and drug trafficking. Yet, in addition to the ongoing development of capacity-building and soft mechanisms of cooperation, deeper law enforcement and judiciary collaboration is required at a multilateral level to address these non-traditional security challenges.
    Author/creator: Ralf Emmers
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies Singapore (RSIS Working Paper No. 62)
    Format/size: pdf (525K - 34 pages)
    Date of entry/update: 02 March 2009


    Title: Mong La: Burma's City of Lights
    Date of publication: January 2003
    Description/subject: "Cosmopolitan, garish and connected to the outside world via Internet and mobile phones, visitors to Mong La wonder if they are really in Burma anymore... For a while it seems like a road to nowhere. Only army checkpoints and small clusters of huts indicate some life. Then, quite suddenly, the view widens into a valley and the road changes from dirt to tar. At dusk the city ahead looks like a space shuttle that descended upon earth. Abundant neon lights line the buildings. Along a wide avenue, street lamps flash like fireworks. This is Mong La, the capital of Special Region Number Four in eastern Shan State. One wonders if this is still Burma. "Yuan," demands an old woman selling water when she is given kyat. A Chinese employee in the hotel hands over the key without the form filling and other paperwork so typical of the bureaucratic control elsewhere in the country. A condom in the basket of toiletries suggests there are other freedoms to be enjoyed too..."
    Author/creator: Joan Williams
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 1
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Sowing disorder: Support for the Burmese junta backfires on China
    Date of publication: November 2002
    Description/subject: "In the early 1990s China’s sale of arms to Burma played a crucial role in keeping the Burmese military in power. But this support for the generals in Rangoon is now backfiring, as many of the negative consequences spill over the border into China, writes Andrew Bosson. While China has generally taken a passive stance towards international efforts to pressure Burma to improve its rights record, it would be in Beijing’s best interests to push Rangoon towards economic and political reform, he argues. The relationship between Burma and China has been harmful to both countries, especially following the Chinese arms deals which preserved the junta in power and locked Burmese political and economic life into a stasis from which it has yet to emerge. The generals seem to have very little idea of how a modern economy functions and are essentially running the country as they would an army. Military expenditures continue to take up about 60 percent of the national budget. Thus it comes as no surprise that the economy is in an advanced state of failure. China also has been damaged economically: Burma’s lack of access to economic development assistance and its collapsed economy leave a gaping hole in the regional development projects the impoverished provinces of southwest China so badly need. China also suffers from the massive spread of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and crime that have accompanied the massive quantities of heroin being trafficked from Burma into Yunnan Province. The growth of the drug economy in Burma may be traced directly to the lack of the necessary economic and political remedies, which is an indirect result of China’s intervention..."
    Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: China Rights Forum Journal 2002-03
    Format/size: pdf (140K)
    Alternate URLs: http://iso.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision%5fid=3346&item%5fid=3345
    Date of entry/update: May 2003


    Title: Afghanistan, Annual Opium Poppy Survey, 2001
    Date of publication: 17 October 2001
    Description/subject: "UNDCP survey shows sharp reduction in opium cultivation in Afghanistan in 2001...the results show that a total of 185 metric tons of raw opium were produced in the current year, 94 per cent less than the output in 2000 of 3,276 tonnes and 96 per cent less than the bumper harvest of 4,581 tonnes reported by the 1999 survey...the reductions are clearly the result of the im,plementation of the opium poppy ban..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNDCP
    Format/size: pdf (818.63 MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/search.html?q=Afghanistan%2C+Annual+Opium+Poppy+Survey%2C+2001
    Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


    Title: Afghanistan country brief: Drug Situation Report September 2001
    Date of publication: September 2001
    Description/subject: "...Opium: According to the official U.S. Government estimate for 2001, Afghanistan produced an estimated 74 metric tons of opium from 1,685 hectares of land under opium poppy cultivation. This is a significant decrease from the 3,656 metric tons of opium produced from 64,510 hectares of land under opium poppy cultivation in 2000. The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) also estimates opium production in Afghanistan. The UNDCP estimated a reduction in 2000 opium production from 1999, pointing to a 10 percent reduction in land under opium poppy cultivation and the impact of a protracted drought in the area as the causes for the smaller opium production. Estimates for 2001 have not been released..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Drugs and Burma

    • Drugs and Burma: general reports and articles

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: "BurmaNet News" Drugs archive
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 17 April 2012


      Title: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.) drug pages
      Description/subject: Drug-related articles from 1985
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2008


      Title: Transnational Institute: Drugs and Democracy - Related websites and documents: Burma
      Description/subject: Useful set of links on drugs and Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


      Title: Transnational Institute: Drugs and Democracy page
      Description/subject: Burma/Myanmar is undergoing yet another humanitarian crisis while entering a new critical political stage. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced in 2003, and since mid-2005 no more poppy growing has been allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions where most of the Burmese opiates were produced, adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering. TNI tries to bring nuance to the polarised debate on the Rangoon-focussed political agenda, the demonising of the cease-fire groups and repressive drug policy approaches. Hundreds of thousands of people from the many ethnic minorities in the Shan and Kachin States, who depended on the opium economy, have been sacrificed in an effort to comply with international pressures about drug-free deadlines. Community livelihoods face being crushed between the pincers of the opium ban and tightened sanctions. The unfolding drama caused by the opium bans is forcing the international community to rethink its strategies. Enforcement of tight deadlines has resulted in major food shortages and may jeopardise the fragile social stability in the areas. To sustain the gradual decline in opium production, alternative sources of income for basic subsistence farmers have to be secured. Without adequate resources, the longer-term sustainability of "quick solutions" is highly questionable. Since military authorities are eager to comply with promises made, law enforcement repression is likely to increase, with human rights abuses and more displacement a potential outcome. Already opium production is increasing in southern Shan State and several other areas in the country, while the regional drugs market is experiencing ‘withdrawal symptoms’ and consumer shifts to other substances. Harm reduction approaches need to be introduced to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly in the north of the country where infection rates among injecting drug users are among the highest of the world. The only viable option lies in a simultaneous easing of drug control deadline pressures, introducing more humane policies towards drug users and opium farmers and increasing international humanitarian aid efforts. This requires stronger international engagement of a different kind to that we have seen so far, especially with the cease-fire groups that control most of these parts of the country and that are now under pressure from the military regime to disarm and participate in the 2010 elections. Instead of isolating them, the international community should actively engage with the cease-fire groups on political and socio-economic issues, and find ways to provide humanitarian aid to communities in their territory.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


      Individual Documents

      Title: Bouncing Back - Relapse in the Golden Triangle
      Date of publication: 01 June 2014
      Description/subject: "TNI's in depth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has a witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers. This report details the failure of ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy and the need for a new approach..."The illicit drug market in the Golden Triangle – Burma, Thailand and Laos – and in neighbouring India and China has undergone profound changes. This report documents those changes in great detail, based on information gathered on the ground in difficult circumstances by a group of dedicated local researchers. After a decade of decline, opium cultivation has doubled again and there has also been a rise in the production and consumption of ATS – especially methamphetamines. Drug control agencies are under constant pressure to apply policies based on the unachievable goal to make the region drug free by 2015. This report argues for drug policy changes towards a focus on health, development, peace building and human rights. Reforms to decriminalise the most vulnerable people involved could make the region’s drug policies far more sustainable and cost-effective. Such measures should include abandoning disproportionate criminal sanctions, rescheduling mild substances, prioritising access to essential medicines, shifting resources from law enforcement to social services, alternative development and harm reduction, and providing evidence-based voluntary treatment services for those who need them. The aspiration of a drug free ASEAN in 2015 is not realistic and the policy goals and resources should be redirected towards a harm reduction strategy for managing – instead of eliminating – the illicit drug market in the least harmful way. In view of all the evidence this report presents about the bouncing back of the opium economy and the expanding ATS market, plus all the negative consequences of the repressive drug control approaches applied so far, making any other choice would be irresponsible."
      Author/creator: Ernestien Jensema, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (3.6MB-reduced version; 4.6MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-2014-bouncingback-web-klein.pdf
      http://www.tni.org/pressrelease/opium-cultivation-bounces-back-tni-report-shows-dramatic-failure-aseans-drug-free?context=595
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2014


      Title: Thai Army Increases Troops by DKBA Border
      Date of publication: 04 May 2012
      Description/subject: "BURMA Thai Army Increases Troops by DKBA Border By LAWI WENG / THE IRRAWADDY| May 4, 2012 | Hits: 30 Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email Share on print The Thai Army has increased troop numbers around Mae Sot. (Photo: Reuters) The Thai Army has deployed more troops at border towns around Mae Sot, in northern Thailand’s Tak Province, due to escalating tensions with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) after a faction leader was accused of being a drug trafficker. Thai Army chief Gen Prayut Chan O Cha told Thai Rath news on May 3 that his soldiers are taking extra care by the frontier and the number of troops in the area has been increased. “We are already there, but the situation is not yet risky,” he said. The move comes after the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) placed Saw Lah Pwe, the leader of the Brigade 5 breakaway faction of the DKBA, in the top five of its list of Thailand’s 25 most wanted drug dealers..."
      Author/creator: Lawi Weng
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 04 May 2012


      Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 5: Production and Trade of Illicit Drugs
      Date of publication: 23 November 2009
      Description/subject: "...opium has now become an integral factor in the civil conflict and one that threatens to prolong the suffering of those involved in the cultivation of opium poppy...It is not merely the ethnic conflict regions that have suffered from the effects of drug use in Burma however. Rates of drug addiction, though difficult to quantify, appear to be increasing across the country. Two well documented shifts in drug habits also give cause for concern. Firstly, the transition from opium smoking to heroin smoking and finally to heroin injection, which has led in turn to HIV/AIDS rates increasing to match the levels of intravenous drug use...It is not merely the ethnic conflict regions that have suffered from the effects of drug use in Burma however. Rates of drug addiction, though difficult to quantify, appear to be increasing across the country. Two well documented shifts in drug habits also give cause for concern. Firstly, the transition from opium smoking to heroin smoking and finally to heroin injection, which has led in turn to HIV/AIDS rates increasing to match the levels of intravenous drug use human rights abuses have negated a good deal of the positive effects of this reduction. Forced relocation, deprivation of livelihoods and lack of viable alternatives for farmers who were forcibly evicted from their lands have all been the result of a push by the SPDC to make Burma drug free by 2014 (in line with ASEAN’s stated goal of a drug region by 2015). Thus, while the SPDC preens itself over the eradication of opium cultivation, and largely ignores the problems it has caused in the process, the nation has rapidly become addicted to alternative drugs, which pose just as dangerous a threat to Burma and its neighbours as opium ever did. These are factors which have brought the debate surrounding drug production and trafficking in Burma into the realm of human rights and developmental discourse, international relations and conflict resolution..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
      Format/size: pdf (861K)
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009


      Title: Substance Abuse, Drugs and Addictions: Guidebook
      Date of publication: September 2009
      Description/subject: "Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. It can also be simply defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. Generally, when most people talk about substance abuse, they are referring to the use of illegal drugs. But illegal drugs are not the only substances that can be abused. Alcohol, prescribed medications, inhalants and even coffee and cigarettes, can be used to harmful excess. Substance abuse can lead to dependence syndrome - a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated use including a strong desire to take the drug, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, increased tolerance, and a physical withdrawal state. In this guidebook, based upon the situation in our community, we present the most common substances that are often abused, how they are used, their street names, and their intoxicating and health effects.".....CONTENTS:- Part I: Alcohol... Amphetamine, Yaba, Ecstasy... Benzodiazepines... Betel Nut and Betal Leaf (Kwan-ya)... Cannabis... Cocaine - (Crack)... Codeine... Heroin... Volatile Substance or Inhalants ... Methadone... Opium... Tobacco..... PART II:- General Views of Substance Abuse... Chronic Effects of Alcoholism... Management in Substance Abuse Overdose... Psycho-Counselling for Substance Abuse.
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Aide Médicale Internationale, UNHCR
      Format/size: pdf (13MB - reduced version; 15 MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/DrugGuidebook-LowReso-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 09 September 2009


      Title: Withdrawal Symptoms - Changes in the Southeast Asian drugs market
      Date of publication: August 2008
      Description/subject: The Golden Triangle is closing a dramatic period of opium reduction”, wrote UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa in his preface to the 2007 survey on Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia. “A decade long process of drug control is clearly paying off.” According to the survey, the region produced one-third of world opium production in 1998, now down to only about 5 percent. The once notorious region “can no longer be called Golden Triangle on the reason of opium production alone.” There has clearly been a significant decline in opium production in Southeast Asia over the past decade in spite of a resurgence in Burma (Myanmar) in the last two years. In this study, we try to assess the causes and consequences, and come to the conclusion that the region is suffering a variety of ‘withdrawal symptoms’, leaving little reason for optimism. The rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a ‘success story’. Meanwhile, the market of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has increased rapidly and higher heroin prices are leading to shifts in consumer behaviour. While the total numbers of opium and heroin users may be going down, many have started to inject and others have shifted to a cocktail of pharmaceutical replacements, representing largely unknown health risks. Confronted with harsh domestic repression and little support from the international community, both farmers and users in the region are struggling to find coping strategies to deal with the rapid changes. Drug control officials have presumed that reducing opium production would automatically lead to a reduction in drug consumption and drugrelated problems. The reality in Southeast Asia proves them wrong. Had quality treatment services been in place, more drug users may have chosen that option. In the absence of adequate health care and within a highly repressive law enforcement environment, however, most are forced to find their own ‘solutions’. Harm reduction services are still only accessible to a tiny proportion of those who need them in the region, even though most countries have now adopted the basic principles in their policy framework. China, especially, has started to significantly scale up needle exchange and methadone programmes to prevent a further spreading of blood-borne infections. In 1998, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting signed the declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2020 and two years later even decided to bring forward the target year to 2015. Countries elaborated national plans to comply with the deadline putting huge pressure on rural communities to abandon poppy cultivation and traditional opium use and on police to arrest as many users and traders as possible. This also led to the 2003 ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in which thousands of drug users and small-scale traders were killed. The 2008 status report on progress achieved towards making ASEAN and China drug-free, “identifies an overall rising trend in the abuse of drugs”, however, and acknowledges that “a target of zero drugs for production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs in the region by 2015 is obviously unattainable”. This TNI publication makes extensive use of the research carried out by our team of fifteen researchers working in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Yunnan province in China. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with farmers, users and traders. We cannot thank them enough for their motivation and courage. Most prefer to remain anonymous and continue their research to detect new trends and help fill gaps in knowledge that have become apparent while writing this first report. A more detailed publication incorporating their latest findings is due at the end of this year. We intend to discuss our outcomes with authorities, civil society and researchers in the region with a view to contributing to a better understanding of the changes taking place in the regional drugs market and to design more effective and humane drug policy responses for the future.
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Martin Jelsma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) Debate Papers No. 16
      Format/size: pdf (688K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.idpc.net/publications/changes-in-southeast-asian-drugs-market
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: King of the Highlands
      Date of publication: July 2007
      Description/subject: Few know where he is, but nobody can forget aging drug lord Khun Sa
      Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


      Title: HIV/AIDS and drug use in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: May 2006
      Description/subject: "...The simultaneous spread of HIV/AIDS and the growing number of injecting drug users is fuelling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Current pro-grammes reach only a small proportion of IDUs with harm reduction interventions. There are no existing programmes available for IDUs who are sexually active to protect themselves and their sexual partners from HIV. The second major risk group are sex workers. Current programmes reach only a very small number of them, and the number of AIDS deaths among them is estimated to be high. In order to effectively address the spiralling numbers of HIV/AIDS infected drug users, is it extremely important for all stakeholders involved to acknowledge the HIV/AIDS epi-demic and the need for harm reduction poli-cies. It is key for all sides to de-politicise HIV/AIDS. The international community needs to make a firm international commitment to stem and reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Burma. It should ensure sufficient and long-term financial support for HIV/AIDS and harm reduction programmes. The SPDC needs to provide adequate space for humanitarian aid to take place. The new guidelines that have been proposed by the government should be amended to ensure direct and unhindered access for interna-tional aid agencies to local communities. The space for initial harm reduction initiatives is encouraging, but needs to be scaled up in order to be effective. Perhaps the most serious shortcoming how-ever is the fact that local community-based organisations in Burma have not been able to participate in the debate about interna-tional humanitarian aid to Burma. In parti-cular, in the discussions about the funding for programmes on HIV/AIDS, People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and drug users or the organisations that represent them, have not been consulted or been able to partici-pate in the formulation of polices and deci-sion-making processes that have such tre-mendous impact on their health, livelihoods and lives. The international community should also support and strengthen efforts by drug us-ers and PLWHA to organise themselves. This will enable them to voice their opinion and represent their interests better at the local as well as international level. It will also contribute to civil society building and de-mocratisation in the country."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (354 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/brief17.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: The Wa Conundrum - review of "Trouble in the Triangle"
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Research into Burma’s drug situation provokes different views on how to handle main offenders the Wa, who claim they are stopping opium production... "Trouble in the Triangle: Opium and Conflict in Burma, edited by Martin Jelsma, Tom Kramer and Pietje Vervest. Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai; 2005. P231. Despite decades of drug enforcement activities and costly crop substitution programs, the Burmese sector of the infamous Golden Triangle remains one of the world’s foremost sources of illicit drugs. First, it was opium and its derivative heroin; then, in more recent years, synthetic drugs such as methamphetamines and a low-grade type of ecstasy have been flooding local and world markets. Much of this production takes place in northeastern areas controlled by the United Wa State Army, an offshoot of the now defunct insurgent Communist Party of Burma, which made peace with the Rangoon regime in 1989. To discuss the way forward, and alternative policies to those which had failed, the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute and the Burma Center Netherlands in 2003 jointly started a drugs and conflict project in Burma, and held an international conference to discuss engagement with Burma on drugs policies. This book is a collection of 10 papers which were presented at that conference, but the outcome is a mixed bag of views and assessments..."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: A Pipe Dream?
      Date of publication: October 2005
      Description/subject: “Every day I pray I could provide morphine to some of my patients so they could at least die in dignity” —a Burmese doctor... Burma could free its seized opium for medicinal use... "It is one of the most baffling ironies in this age of globalization that while developing countries like Burma are being urged to destroy their opium stocks and poppy fields, others in the developed world are being encouraged to produce the drug for use in pharmaceuticals...Yet, doctors in one of the major producing countries—Burma—complain of a critical shortage of drugs for pain relief. In hospitals across the country, terminal cancer and AIDS patients, and also people recovering from surgery, are suffering unnecessary pain. There are even doctors who advise the relatives of AIDS patients who can no longer bear to see family members or friends suffer in their final weeks to buy illegal heroin to alleviate their pain..."
      Author/creator: Martin Jelsma (TNI
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


      Title: Drugs Bust Blunder?
      Date of publication: May 2005
      Description/subject: Arrest of “narcotics informant” raises many questions... "A wealthy 60-year-old Wa businessman who reportedly worked for US and Thai anti-narcotics squads is sitting in a northern Thai remand cell, accused of being heavily involved in drugs trafficking. Maha Seng—scion of a leading family in Shan State, former Wa prince, anti-communist fighter, founder of the Wa National Army and vice chairman of Burma’s National Democratic Front armed ethnic alliance—was arrested in Chiang Mai in early April. Maha Seng’s capture came shortly after an arrest warrant was issued by a provincial court in Mae Hong Son, the mountain resort town close to the Thai-Burma border region where he reportedly had free rein as an operative, providing information to Thai and US anti-drugs agencies. Relatives and associates of Maha Seng are asking themselves why an apparently valuable anti-drugs operative has been removed from the arena at such a critical stage of the fight against drugs-trafficking. Was his cover blown deliberately or accidentally? Was he betrayed? Is he guilty of using his special status to make money from a dirty business he was employed to help destroy?..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


      Title: Business as Usual
      Date of publication: April 2005
      Description/subject: Wa drug lords dodge US legal action... "Legal action taken in New York against a suspected Wa drugs lord and seven fugitive members of his gang appears to have done nothing to dent the success of their business ventures in Burma. Wei Hsueh-kang and his comrades control the Hong Pang group of companies, which are involved in jewelry and gems, communications, electrical goods, agriculture, mining, textiles and large construction projects...For decades ethnic suppression, opium wars, narcotics and the Shan separatists and pro-democracy movements have created a complex patchwork of problems, which many believe have only one solution. Khuensai Jaiyen, editor of the Shan Herald News Agency, summed it up: “Without democratic change there is no solution to the drug problem. Democracy, development and an end to the flow of narcotics are all linked.”"
      Author/creator: Tom Fawthrop
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 4
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


      Title: A Failing Grade - Burma's drug eradication efforts
      Date of publication: November 2004
      Description/subject: "...Since the assumption of power of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in September 1988, Burma has experienced a dramatic rise in the production and export of illegal narcotics. Since 1996, opium and heroin production doubled. In the years since there has been a steady decline in opium production and the export of heroin. Far from being the result of government and international efforts, this has been largely the cause of a production and market shift, from opiates to amphetamine type stimulants (ATS). The drug trade in Burma is conducted predominantly by Chinese criminal organizations, protected at every step by ethnic militia armies with links to transnational criminal networks. They are routinely and systematically assisted by members of the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) in a network that has no official approval, but which is so widespread and deep as to be systemic and multi-layered, from the troops on the ground to the generals in Rangoon....The SPDC has failed to resolutely interdict the narcotics trade in Burma. Efforts so far to accord with its stated aims and international obligations have been insufficient to increase the current level of United Nations funding, or for the United States Government to certify the regime as cooperating fully on stopping the drug trade. Narcotics eradication efforts cannot be depoliticized or sequestered from the SPDC's wider aims, which includes the pacification of ethnic people. The humanitarian crisis facing opium farming communities in the Shan State must be urgently addressed by the international community. This should entail greater lobbying of the SPDC to slow down their eradication drive and take a more gradual, sustainable approach to eradication. The regime must demonstrate that their war on drugs is one conducted with greater respect for human rights, providing sustainable alternative incomes and more positive development for the communities. Other communities affected by drug eradication projects, such as Shan displaced by UWSA and UNODC sponsored forced relocations should also be recognized and assisted..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Altsean-Burma
      Format/size: html, pdf (7.18MB - 250 pages)
      Date of entry/update: 14 December 2004


      Title: Abusing Aid, Eliminating Trust
      Date of publication: February 2004
      Description/subject: "Proponents of increased counter-narcotics assistance for Burma should be reminded of how it was misused in the past. As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, or UNODC, lobbies governments to increase their contributions to opium eradication projects, it is worth looking back on the last major phase of international funding of narcotics suppression, to be reminded of what Burma’s military government did with it. In particular, the misuse of US aid should provide a cautionary tale to any bilateral or multilateral donors..."
      Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


      Title: Les territoires de l'opium: Conflits et trafics du Triangle d’Or et du Croissant d’Or (A paraitre chex Olizane)
      Date of publication: October 2002
      Description/subject: "Quelles réalités économiques, politiques et militaires se cachent derrière les phénomènes de société que sont la production de drogues illicites dans les pays du Sud et leur consommation dans les pays industrialisés? Si l'opium est produit et consommé depuis la plus haute Antiquité, sa production à large échelle en Asie est, quant à elle, étroitement liée à la colonisation britannique d'abord et à la guerre froide par la suite. En effet, après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, les troupes nationalistes chinoises dans le Triangle d'Or et, plus récemment, les moudjahidins afghans puis les talibans dans le Croissant d'Or, ont eu recours à l'économie de l'opium pour financer leurs guerres, en bénéficiant de l'appui bienveillant de la CIA dans leurs luttes contre le communisme. Aujourd'hui, ces groupes, ayant perdu leurs motivations et apparences idéologiques, ont donné naissance à d'autres groupes, bien organisés et puissamment armés et qui, à travers leur rôle dans l'économie des drogues illicites, demeurent plus actifs que jamais. En Asie, l'opium, du nerf de la guerre en est devenu l'enjeu, avec ses multiples conséquences géopolitiques dans les pays du Sud et ses retombées sociales et économiques dans nos sociétés occidentales. En comparant l'Afghanistan et la Birmanie, à travers les deux espaces majeurs de production d'opium et d'héroïne que sont le Croissant d'Or et le Triangle d'Or, l'auteur a effectué un véritable travail d'investigation et d'analyse pour identifier les acteurs, localiser les réseaux, évaluer les enjeux géopolitiques et expliquer les logiques fondamentales d'une production qui alimente un marché aux profits vertigineux et aux implications mondiales..." Table des matieres, Introduction, cartes, Compte-rendus et critiques et liens a d'autres documents de l'auteur.
      Author/creator: Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy
      Language: Francais, French
      Source/publisher: Editions d'Olizane
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: QUAND LE MYANMAR CULTIVERA-T-IL SON JARDIN?
      Date of publication: October 2002
      Description/subject: "Notre propos en publiant nouveau cet article n'est pas de remettre encore une fois les litanies simplistes sur le trafic de drogue la une, les journalistes, touristes-crivains et autres spcialistes en herbe s'en chargent avec beaucoup plus de succs que nous ne saurions le faire. Ce n'est pas non plus de rcrire l'histoire ou les pripties du dveloppement dans les tats du nord-est du Myanmar de la culture du pavot opium, non, car ici aussi de vritables spcialistes savent mieux que nous citer des douzaines de noms de groupes rebelles ou officiels, les noms, alias et sobriquets des protagonistes et, pour certains, peuvent mme recrer une chronologie des faits. Non, notre intention est de faire partager en peu de mots une vision plus globale, qui mette en perspective le dveloppement de la culture du pavot dans le dveloppement de l'insatisfaction des peuples du Myanmar, et l'chec conomique d'une gestion centralise et militarise des tats peupls de minorits nationales. Nous pensons aussi ncessaire de dresser en quelques chiffres un portrait plus technique de l'importance pour la rgion de la culture de l'opium. Enfin, et pour situer cette publication par rapport sa premire version, nous y avons apport quelques modifications de franais et des complments dans le domaine de la collusion entre le pouvoir et les trafiquants, un thme qui s'est particulirement toff ses dernires annes, bien qu'il reste trs confus. Le texte toutefois n'a pas subit de modification profonde, il reste celui de 1989, et seules quelques notes bibliographiques font rfrences un des nombreux ouvrages publis en rapport avec notre sujet depuis 6 ans. ..."
      Author/creator: Pierre Lopold
      Language: Francais, French
      Source/publisher: Centre d'tudes et de Documentation sur le Karenni (CdoK)
      Format/size: html (189K), Word (108K) 23 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/0pium-Jardin.doc
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Drugs, Generals and Neighbors
      Date of publication: June 2001
      Description/subject: Drug production, once the domain of insurgents fighting against Rangoon, has become the cornerstone of the mainstream economy. Burma's reputation as a major drug producer is well earned, despite the ruling junta's insistence that it is doing everything in its powers to combat the trade in narcotics. Aung Zaw finds out from drug-industry insiders how the business flourishes under military rule, and examines its impact on relations with Burma's neighbors.
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Drug Trade Booming in Rangoon
      Date of publication: May 2001
      Description/subject: At the end of a three-day meeting held under the auspices of the United Nations International Drug Control Program in early May, Burma's military rulers once again demonstrated their commitment to winning the war on drugs with aceremonial drug-burning bonfire. But while the generals were incinerating what they claimed was $ 920 million worth of narcotics, sources familiar with Rangoon's drug scene were reporting that the trade in heroin for domestic consumption showed no signs of being under fire.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 4 (Intelligence section)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Drugs, Lies and Videotape
      Date of publication: June 2000
      Description/subject: Internal conflict and ideological differences have taken their toll on the decades-old Karenni insurgency, but the Karenni National Progressive Party remains one of the few ethnic-based political organizations in Burma still actively engaged in armed resistance against the Rangoon regime. Now, reports Neil Lawrence, the KNPP is facing a new challenge, as opium and other narcotics once confined to neighboring Shan State make their way into territory controlled by Rangoon's Karenni allies.
      Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: We Have Manpower in the Millions
      Date of publication: April 2000
      Description/subject: On May 21, Col Yord Serk, commander of the Shan State Army South, invited a group of journalists to attend a ceremony marking Shan Resistance Day. In an exclusive interview with The Irrawaddy, the Shan leader discussed his efforts to bring the Burmese regime to the bargaining table.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 4-5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: A War of Figures
      Date of publication: October 1999
      Description/subject: The Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.) examines the facts and figures behind heroin production in Shan State, and concludes that both the Burmese military regime and its critics have got it wrong about the scale of the drug trade in the strife-torn area.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 8
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Drugs in Burma
      Date of publication: March 1999
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol. VI, No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Myanmar Launches Drug Eradication Program
      Date of publication: March 1999
      Description/subject: In late April 1996, hundreds of international diplomats, journalists and government figures gathered for the opening of the world's first museum dedicated to the fight against narcotic drugs. The location of this unusual museum? The small town of Mong La on the remote border between China and Myanmar, in the famous "Golden Triangle" where much of the world's opium crop is grown.
      Author/creator: Stephen Brookes
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol VI, No.1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Narcotics on the Net
      Date of publication: March 1999
      Description/subject: Online Discussion on Drugs in Burma. The decision by the France-based international police organization, Interpol, to hold the Fourth International Heroin Conference in Rangoon February 23-26, sparked controversy among many of its member governments and outside observers..
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol. VI, No.1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The Situation Around Ho Murng
      Date of publication: March 1999
      Description/subject: Report on the human rights situation and increased cultivation of opium since the SPDC/SLORC occupation of the area following Khun Sa's "surrender"
      Author/creator: KHRG
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol. VI, No.1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Beyond the Spotlight
      Date of publication: February 1999
      Description/subject: Col. Yord Serk of the Shan States Army speaks out about the Interpol conference from his jungle hideout.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Burma's Phony Drug War
      Date of publication: February 1998
      Description/subject: "Rangoon needs to show its sincerity in tackling its drug problem and should fully cooperate with neighbouring countries writes Sai Lu..."
      Author/creator: Sai Lu
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6. No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Birmanie, la dictature du pavot
      Date of publication: 1998
      Description/subject: La drogue, petrole, la junte birmane, la France...Le livre de Francis Christophe (moins Introduction et Annexe). DU ROI THEBAW A LA FRENCH-SLORC-CONNECTION; LA MONTEE DE l'OPIUM EN BIRMANIE; L'ARRIVEE EN FORCE DU SLORC; LA REDDITION-REHABILITATION DE KHUN SA; LE SLORC, REINCARNATION DE LA DICTATURE PRECEDENTE; PARRAINAGES ET RESEAUX; LE PARAVENT DE L'ENGAGEMENT CONSTRUCTIF; LES AMIS DU SLORC; INDE-BIRMANIE: L'HEROINE BOUSCULE LE STATU-QUO; NARCO-REACTION EN CHAINE; EXCEPTION FRANCAISE; LA CHUTE de MANDALAY; MIRAGE ET TABOU SUR LA DROGUE; DIPLOMATIE PETROLIERE TOTAL EN BIRMANIE, L'IMPLANTATION; LE FARDEAU BIRMAN; SUCCES SUR LE TERRAIN, DIFFICULTES MEDIATIQUES; LES CIRCUITS POLITIQUES ET ECONOMIQUES; UNE FRENCH-SLORC-CONNECTION? UN ENGAGEMENT DESTRUCTEUR.
      Author/creator: Francis Christophe
      Language: Francais, French
      Format/size: 270K
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The Opium Kings
      Date of publication: 20 May 1997
      Description/subject: Film by Adrian Cowell
      Author/creator: Adrian Cowell
      Source/publisher: "Frontline", PBS USA
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: LI: RIGHT DECISION FOR WRONG REASON
      Date of publication: May 1997
      Description/subject: "Burma has returned accused heroin trafficker Li Yun-chung to Thai control. Li absconded after he was released on bail by a Thai judge in February as his trial for extradition to America was drawing to a close. Burma said publicly it had no knowledge of Li or his whereabouts. That statement has been proved to be false. Our thanks must go to Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. He has regained the confidence of many that the government is serious about battling big-time narcotics trafficking. By refusing to accept Burma’s word it knew nothing of the accused fugitive heroin smuggler, Gen Chavalit and Army Commander-in-Chief Chettha Thanajaro have succeeded in restoring Thailand’s damaged image..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Bangkok Post via "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 5, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 16 February 2009


      Title: Rethinking U.S. Heroin Strategy
      Date of publication: April 1996
      Description/subject: Articles or extracts by Francis Casanier, Adrian Cowell, Maha San, "The New Light of Myanmar" and the United States General Accounting Office (GAO)
      Author/creator: Francis Casanier, Adrian Cowell, Maha San
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol.. III, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Opium and Heroin Production in Burma
      Date of publication: 1996
      Description/subject: Based on Ronald Renard's "The Burma Connection" UNRISD 1996
      Author/creator: Ronald Renard
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Global Hangover Guide
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: The Burmese Connection: Illegal Drugs and the Making of the Golden Triangle
      Date of publication: 1996
      Description/subject: "An assessment of the historical, economic and contemporary impact of illicit drugs on the people, economy and international relations of Burma/Myanmar. This study discusses previous attempts to curb the cultivation of drugs and points out the financial/social costs of such a situation."...Overview of Narcotics in Burma 1 opium, Khun Sa, SLORC Drug Use in British Burma ... Kokang, cannabis, Kachin Narcotics Use in Independent Burma ... Kokang, Khun Sa, Tatmadaw National and International Consequences ... heroin, opiates, morphine Partial History of Decisions Dealing with ... Opium Act, Lower Burma, Karenni Acronyms ... Drug Abuse, Vienna, United Front » Index ...
      Author/creator: Ronald Renard
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNRISD, UNU
      Format/size: pdf
      Date of entry/update: 27 March 2008


      Title: The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (full text)
      Date of publication: 1972
      Description/subject: The classic 1972 study, subsequenstly updated and expanded in McCoy's "The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade" (NY 1991).
      Author/creator: Alfred W. McCoy
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Drugtext.org
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Politics_of_Heroin_in_Southeast_Asia
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


    • Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) - Myanmar

      Individual Documents

      Title: The other China boom - China's youth are driving a booming trade in recreational drugs, turning neighbouring Myanmar into a meth lab (video)
      Date of publication: 03 January 2014
      Description/subject: "China's youth are driving a booming trade in recreational drugs, turning neighbouring Myanmar into a meth lab. In a hidden corner of Asia, where two dramatically different and rapidly changing nations collide, a disturbing trade is taking hold that is endangering lives around the world. With money to burn, China's non-stop party people are turning to drugs in unprecedented numbers, turning neighbouring Myanmar into a meth lab and driving a resuscitation of the bad old days of big-time trade in the Golden Triangle's devastating narcotic heroin. The epic size and industrial scale of the new Asian drug supply is staggering. Intercepts of the methamphetamine Ice or the ingredients necessary for its manufacture are toted up in tonnages. But given authorities only manage to uncover a fraction of the trade that begins in Myanmar, and pours into China, a deadly dangerous drug is in overwhelming flood. Heroin and other dangerous drug traffic are tearing out of a newly unshackled Myanmar and into booming, cashed-up China, infecting towns and big cities that have not experienced a rampant, deadly drug culture before. Beyond China, narcotics and amphetamines are streaming out to western markets. Connect with 101 East Reporter Stephen McDonell takes us right into the heart of the tear-away trade, on patrol with China's drug police struggling against the tide of illicit drugs often carried by poor Myanmar mules prepared to risk everything for a couple of hundred dollars..."
      Author/creator: Stephen McDonell
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
      Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes")
      Date of entry/update: 04 January 2014


      Title: Hpa-an Photo Set: BGF production and sale of yaba in T'Nay Hsah and Ta Kreh townships
      Date of publication: 04 July 2013
      Description/subject: "This photo set includes three still photographs selected from images taken by a KHRG community member; one was taken in April 2013 and two were taken in June 2012. The photographs were taken in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District and depict a tablet form of methamphetamine for sale, which is known locally as yaba, meaning 'crazy medicine' in Thai. The yaba pictured below was manufactured and sold by the Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1016's commander, Mya Khaing, who is based in T'Nay Hsah Township. According to the community member who took these photos, the sale of the drug is pervasive throughout T'Nay Hsah and Ta Kreh townships and has seriously harmed many teenage villagers' lives and put some families in debt as a result.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (150K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b40.html
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


      Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, June 2012 to February 2013
      Date of publication: 05 June 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District between June 2012 and February 2013. The report describes monks demanding money and labour from villagers for the building of roads and pagodas. Also detailed in this report is the loss of money and possessions by many villagers through playing the two-digit lottery. Further, the report describes the cutting down of forest in Yaw Ku and in Kru Per village tracts by the DKBA and the BGF, including 30 t'la aw trees, which villagers rely upon for their housing; the Tatmadaw have also designated land for sale without consulting local villagers. This report also describes the prevalence of amphetamine use and sale in the area, involving both young people and armed groups including the BGF, KPF and DKBA. Finally, the report details the ongoing danger posed by landmines, which continue to stop villagers from going about their livelihoods and are reportedly still being planted by armed groups..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (242K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b30.html
      Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


      Title: Patterns and Trends of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and Other Drugs, Asia and the Pacific, 2012 (Myanmar section and full report)
      Date of publication: December 2012
      Description/subject: Emerging trends and concerns: • Myanmar remains a major source of methamphetamine pills and opiates in South-East Asia, most of which are manufactured in Shan State in the eastern part of the country. • For the first time, a crystalline methamphetamine manufacturing facility was seized in 2012. • Large amounts of methamphetamine in pill and crystalline form originating from Myanmar continue to be seized in neighbouring countries. • Precursor chemicals are trafficked from neighbouring countries to methamphetamine manufacturing centres located near Myanmar’s eastern border, where Government control remains limited. • Preliminary data for 2012 suggests that seizures of illicit drugs and their precursor chemicals have increased significantly. • Opium poppy cultivation has increased in Myanmar for six consecutive years
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (144K-Myanmar_section; 1.32MB-full report)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/eastasiaandpacific/2012/12/ats-2012/2012_Regional_ATS_Report_FINAL_HQPDF_3_Dec_2012_low.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 13 December 2012


      Title: Myanmar: Situation Assessment on Amphetamine-Type Stimulants
      Date of publication: 20 December 2010
      Description/subject: "...According to the latest Myanmar Situation Assessment on Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS), the manufacture, trafficking and consumption of synthetic drugs in the country and region is worsening. Published by UNODC, the report indicates that the impact of methamphetamine and other ATS trafficked from Myanmar affects not only the country's immediate neighbours but also parts of East and South-East Asia. Speaking on this, Deepika Naruka, East Asia and the Pacific Regional Coordinator for the Global Synthetics Monitor: Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) Programme, noted: "There are indications that the methamphetamine problem in Myanmar is becoming more severe. In 2009, large seizures of high purity crystalline methamphetamine were made in Myanmar. Authorities in both Myanmar and Thailand confirm that the manufacture of crystalline methamphetamine is now occurring in the Golden Triangle..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/Myanmar_ATS_Report_2010_lowres.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: Patterns and Trends of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and Other Drugs in East and South-East Asia (and neighbouring regions) 2009 - Myanmar
      Date of publication: November 2009
      Description/subject: Overview of drug use (Myanmar): "The main drugs of use in Myanmar during the past decade have been heroin which is primarily injected and opium which is primarily smoked. Prevalence estimates vary, but the number of opioid users are likely in the hundreds of thousands (UNODC, 2004). Emerging in the mid-1990s, methamphetamine has become a prominent drug of concern. Since 2004, methamphetamine has ranked third in terms of use behind the two leading drugs. Since 2005, methamphetamine has accounted for about a quarter of all drug related arrests, while heroin and opium together have accounted for more than half. A survey in 2005 conducted by the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) among high school students in the towns of Tamu, Muse, Tachilek, Myawaddy and Kawthaung indicates low lifetime prevalence rates for this sub-population of youth. With the exception of cough syrups, drug use prevalence was less than 2%. However, the survey points out that results may have been higher had the survey been expanded to include the significant number of youth who did not attend high school. Illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, primarily in pill form (yaba), continues, particularly in the Shan, Wa, and Kokang autonomous region. The political situation in Myanmar in 2009 is unsettled, with open hostilities between government and ethnic groups previously under cease fire agreement. This instability could affect the current illicit drug production and trafficking dynamics in the region. There is a likelihood that these changing conditions will serve as a push factor for increasing the trafficking of illicit drugs and could result in the relocation of clandestine manufacturing sites across the border. Also, the areas along the Lao PDR and Cambodia border could experience increased trafficking activity with the possibility that clandestine lab operations may be established in these areas..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (516K; 5.8MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/UNODC-2009_Patterns_and_Trends-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009


      Title: A Crazy Business -- review of "Merchants of Madness" by Bertil Lintner and Michael Black
      Date of publication: April 2009
      Description/subject: Merchants of Madness: The Methamphetamine Explosion in the Golden Triangle by Bertil Lintner and Michael Black; Silkworm Press, 2009. P 176..."...FEW international policy makers care to look at a major reason for the decline of opium in Burma. The market shift in production from opiates to amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) saw syndicates in Burma manufacture hundreds of millions of cheap speed pills for sale to neighboring countries. Merchants of Madness, by Bertil Lintner and co-author Michael Black, takes the reader on a wild ride through the history of that transition and exposes the main players behind it: ethnic Wa warlords, Chinese drug lords and local thugs, all protected by the Burmese military to sustain the country's largest export after natural gas..."
      Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 02 April 2009


      Title: Withdrawal Symptoms - Changes in the Southeast Asian drugs market
      Date of publication: August 2008
      Description/subject: The Golden Triangle is closing a dramatic period of opium reduction”, wrote UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa in his preface to the 2007 survey on Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia. “A decade long process of drug control is clearly paying off.” According to the survey, the region produced one-third of world opium production in 1998, now down to only about 5 percent. The once notorious region “can no longer be called Golden Triangle on the reason of opium production alone.” There has clearly been a significant decline in opium production in Southeast Asia over the past decade in spite of a resurgence in Burma (Myanmar) in the last two years. In this study, we try to assess the causes and consequences, and come to the conclusion that the region is suffering a variety of ‘withdrawal symptoms’, leaving little reason for optimism. The rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a ‘success story’. Meanwhile, the market of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has increased rapidly and higher heroin prices are leading to shifts in consumer behaviour. While the total numbers of opium and heroin users may be going down, many have started to inject and others have shifted to a cocktail of pharmaceutical replacements, representing largely unknown health risks. Confronted with harsh domestic repression and little support from the international community, both farmers and users in the region are struggling to find coping strategies to deal with the rapid changes. Drug control officials have presumed that reducing opium production would automatically lead to a reduction in drug consumption and drugrelated problems. The reality in Southeast Asia proves them wrong. Had quality treatment services been in place, more drug users may have chosen that option. In the absence of adequate health care and within a highly repressive law enforcement environment, however, most are forced to find their own ‘solutions’. Harm reduction services are still only accessible to a tiny proportion of those who need them in the region, even though most countries have now adopted the basic principles in their policy framework. China, especially, has started to significantly scale up needle exchange and methadone programmes to prevent a further spreading of blood-borne infections. In 1998, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting signed the declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2020 and two years later even decided to bring forward the target year to 2015. Countries elaborated national plans to comply with the deadline putting huge pressure on rural communities to abandon poppy cultivation and traditional opium use and on police to arrest as many users and traders as possible. This also led to the 2003 ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in which thousands of drug users and small-scale traders were killed. The 2008 status report on progress achieved towards making ASEAN and China drug-free, “identifies an overall rising trend in the abuse of drugs”, however, and acknowledges that “a target of zero drugs for production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs in the region by 2015 is obviously unattainable”. This TNI publication makes extensive use of the research carried out by our team of fifteen researchers working in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Yunnan province in China. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with farmers, users and traders. We cannot thank them enough for their motivation and courage. Most prefer to remain anonymous and continue their research to detect new trends and help fill gaps in knowledge that have become apparent while writing this first report. A more detailed publication incorporating their latest findings is due at the end of this year. We intend to discuss our outcomes with authorities, civil society and researchers in the region with a view to contributing to a better understanding of the changes taking place in the regional drugs market and to design more effective and humane drug policy responses for the future.
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Martin Jelsma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) Debate Papers No. 16
      Format/size: pdf (688K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.idpc.net/publications/changes-in-southeast-asian-drugs-market
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Alles nur Show Business - Rangoons “Krieg gegen die Drogen” im Shan Staat
      Date of publication: 22 June 2007
      Description/subject: Die vorliegende Untersuchung entlarvt den angeblichen “Krieg gegen die Drogen”, den Burmas Militärregime im Shan Staat zu führen vorgibt, als eine reine Farce. Er liefert Beweise dafür, dass die Drogenindustrie vielmehr einen integralen Teil der Regimepolitik darstellt, um das Gebiet des Shan Staats ruhigzustellen und zu kontrollieren. "Pseudo"-War against drugs in Shan-State; Neutralitaion of the Shan
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Burma Riders
      Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


      Title: Hand in Glove - The Burma Army and the drug trade in Shan State
      Date of publication: August 2006
      Description/subject: "...In a way, this report starts off from where our last report "Show Business: Rangoon's War on Drugs in Shan State" (2003) left off. It describes the unimaginable extent of corruption in Burma, and the live-off-the-land policy of Burmese military units that has forced local authorities to turn a blind eye to drug activities. It also exposes how cultivation of opium poppies has increased, and gives insight into the production and trade of methamphetamines, better known as yaba in Thailand and yama in Shan State. The major difference is that whereas "Show Business" focused mostly on opium and its derivative heroin, Hand in Glove puts the spotlight more on yaba. It also highlights the growing role of pro-Rangoon militia in the drug trade, as the regime has begun openly favouring them over the ceasefire groups..." 1. Military collusion in the drug trade: - Rain leaking from the roof; - Military expansion and "self reliance"... 2. Opium trends: - Poppy upsurge since 2004; - Bumper 2005-2006 crop; - Selective slashing; - Opium output decreasing or increasing?... 3. Churning out the pills: - Factories; - The precursors; - Brands... 4. Shipping out... 5. Militia on the rise: - New faces... 6. Crackdown charades... 7. Drug use in Shan State: - Rehabilitation efforts... 8. Conclusion... Appendix: Burma Army units reported to be involved in the drug trade.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/HandinGlove.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 02 August 2006


      Title: Yaa Baa: Production, Traffic and Consumption of Methamphetamine in mainland Southeast Asia
      Date of publication: 2004
      Description/subject: This Google Book "Preview" presents snippets of the full text, including the Table of Contents and selected end-notes... Book overview: "This book's main contribution is that it is the first to deal with methamphetamines in Southeast Asia, the abuse of which is spreading rapidly, especially in Thailand. Until only about a decade ago, the drug, known in Thai as yaa maa (horse medicine), was used mainly by truck drivers and construction workers. But in the early 1990s, large-scale production of cheap methamphetamines (now known as yaa baa, or madness medicine) in Burma began."...addiction amphetamine amphetamine-type stimulants Army baht Bangkok Post become behaviour border Burma Burmese Cambodia cent Chiang children China Chinese Communist consumption country culture dealers Dovert drogues Drug Control drug trade drug trafficking du economic ecstasy effects Ephedra ephedrine et family Farmers Research Centre geopolitical Geopolitique Global Golden Triangle groups heroin Illegal Drugs illicit drug increase individuals International Interview jao pho junta Khun Koong la laboratories labourers Laos Laotian Les Mae mainland Southeast Asia market methamphetamine pills methamphetamine production military Narcotics Control Board Nualnoi Treerat number Office of Narcotics opium production parents Paris Phongpaichit police population prostitution province psychotropic region school Shan social students Study on Illegal substances tablets take Thai Farmers Research Thai society Thailande contemporaine United Nations urban users UWSA village wholesalers workers yaa baa consumers young Thais
      Author/creator: Pierre-Arnoud Chouvy, Joel Meissonier
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: National University of Singapore
      Format/size: pdf?
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


      Title: Yaa baa: Production, trafic et consommation de mthamphtamine en Asie du Sud-Est continentale.
      Date of publication: October 2002
      Description/subject: A PARAITRE (Octobre 2002). Yaa baa, "le mdicament qui rend fou". En Thalande le surnom de la mthamphtamine sonne comme un avertissement, mais il n'a pas dissuad des centaines de milliers de Thalandais, jeunes pour la plupart, de s'y adonner avec plus ou moins de retenue. "Drogue de travail" ou "drogue de loisir", il s'agit d'un vritable phnomne de socit qui n'est pas tranger aux volutions conomiques et aux mutations culturelles qu' connu le royaume au cours de ces dernires dcennies. Ce livre s'efforce de donner des explications un engouement qui touche galement d'autres pays de la rgion. Il replace la consommation de mthamphtamine dans les logiques du narcotrafic dont les ressorts sont rechercher aux marges orientales de la Birmanie, en plein cur du Triangle d'Or." Table des Matieres et INtroduction.
      Author/creator: Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy et Jol Meissonnier
      Language: Francais, French
      Source/publisher: IRASEC - L'Harmattan
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Yaa Baa Finding New Users
      Date of publication: July 2000
      Description/subject: Methamphetamines, or yaa baa, as the latest scourge of Thai society is known locally, are claiming new victims amongst the country's huge Burmese refugee and migrant communities, according to numerous sources.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: War on Drugs, War on the Wa
      Date of publication: April 2000
      Description/subject: In April, Thailand and Burma held a high-level meeting in Tachilek, where Burmese officials agreed to cooperate in fighting the flow of drugs into Thailand. But as it becomes increasingly apparent that Rangoon has no intention of delivering on its promise, Thailand may be looking to take matters into its own hands.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 4-5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: "Mad Pill" Takes Its Toll in Northern Shan State
      Date of publication: August 1999
      Description/subject: A report on the situation of amphetamine abuse in Shan State along the northern borders with China, contributed by the Shan Herald Agency for News.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Burma: opium and heroin

      Individual Documents

      Title: Financing Dispossession - China’s Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: "Northern Burma’s borderlands have undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades. Three main and interconnected developments are simultaneously taking place in Shan State and Kachin State: (1) the increase in opium cultivation in Burma since 2006 after a decade of steady decline; (2) the increase at about the same time in Chinese agricultural investments in northern Burma under China’s opium substitution programme, especially in rubber; and (3) the related increase in dispossession of local communities’ land and livelihoods in Burma’s northern borderlands. The vast majority of the opium and heroin on the Chinese market originates from northern Burma. Apart from attempting to address domestic consumption problems, the Chinese government also has created a poppy substitution development programme, and has been actively promoting Chinese companies to take part, offering subsidies, tax waivers, and import quotas for Chinese companies. The main benefits of these programmes do not go to (ex-)poppy growing communities, but to Chinese businessmen and local authorities, and have further marginalised these communities. Serious concerns arise regarding the long-term economic benefits and costs of agricultural development— mostly rubber—for poor upland villagers. Economic benefits derived from rubber development are very limited. Without access to capital and land to invest in rubber concessions, upland farmers practicing swidden cultivation (many of whom are (ex-) poppy growers) are left with few alternatives but to try to get work as wage labourers on the agricultural concessions. Land tenure and other related resource management issues are vital ingredients for local communities to build licit and sustainable livelihoods. Investment-induced land dispossession has wide implications for drug production and trade, as well as border stability. Investments related to opium substitution should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion. Customary land rights and institutions should be respected. Chinese investors should use a smallholder plantation model instead of confiscating farmers land as a concession. Labourers from the local population should be hired rather than outside migrants in order to funnel economic benefits into nearby communities. China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Chinese authorities need to reconsider their regional development strategies of implementation in order to avoid further border conflict and growing antagonism from Burmese society. Financing dispossession is not development."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer & Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-financingdispossesion-web.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


      Title: South-East Asia Opium survey 2011: Lao PDR, Myanmar
      Date of publication: December 2011
      Description/subject: "...Opium Poppy Cultivation: In 2011, for the fifth year in a row, opium poppy cultivation increased in Myanmar. The total area under opium poppy cultivation was estimated at 43,600 ha, an increase of 14% compared to 2010 (38,100 ha). This upward trend started in 2007 after six years of decline between 2001 and 2006. Shan State accounted now for 91% of opium production in Myanmar, while the largest increase in poppy cultivation was observed in Kachin State (+27%). In Shan State most of the increase in the area cultivated took place in South Shan (+21%) followed by North Shan (+17%). There was no significant change in East Shan (+1%)...Opium yield and production In 2011, the national average opium yield was estimated at 14.0 kg per hectare, which represents a decrease of 8% compared to last year’s yield. Nevertheless, the larger area under cultivation resulted in an increase in total opium production of 5%, from 580 mt in 2010 to 610 mt in 2011... Opium prices: Opium prices in Myanmar have significantly increased in 2011. The average farm-gate price of opium (weighted by the estimated area under cultivation) was US$ 450/kg in 2011, up some 48% from US$ 305/kg in 2010. Opium prices have continued to increase since 2002. The most recent increase can be explained by the strong demand in opium from neighbouring countries as well as the depreciation of the Kyat against the US$ (by some 14% over the past year)... Household income from opium: The average annual cash income of opium-producing households increased by almost 24% in the Shan State, from US$ 830 in 2010 to US$ 1,030 in 2011. However, opium farmers in Myanmar generally remain poorer than non-opium growing farmers. For non-opium cultivating households (including those that never cultivated or have stopped opium poppy cultivation), the average annual cash income was almost US$ 1,200. On average, income from opium accounts for 54% of total cash income among poppy-growing farmers and in South Shan even more than 60%. For Myanmar opium survey 2011 44 these farmers, opium cultivation is the principal income to survive, which is illustrated by the comments of farmers that had stopped cultivating opium and had to purchase food on credit or borrow food and rely on relatives and friends... Addiction: Data on opium and other drug addiction was collected via interviews with village headmen. Headmen were asked about the number of daily opium users and the number of ‘regular’ users of other drugs (without specifying frequency of use). According to the headmen, daily opium use in Shan State and in Kachin affects 0.8% of the population aged 15 years and above. As in previous years, the prevalence rate was higher in opium-growing villages (1.3%) than in non-opiumgrowing villages (0.4%). Although the number of amphetamine type stimulant (ATS) users is increasing, the prevalence rate remained very low, at 0.2% of the population in opium-growing areas which is almost the same ratio as last year. Heroin use is also reported to be very low, affecting less than 0.1% of the population aged 15 and above. However, information on drug use must be interpreted with caution, as respondents may have been reluctant to report opium, heroin and ATS consumption in the context of the Government’s efforts to curb drug use and addiction... Reported Eradication: This survey did not monitor or validate the results of the eradication campaign carried out by the Government of Myanmar (GOUM). According to the GOUM, a total of 7,058 ha were eradicated in the 2010-2011 opium season, which is 15% less the area eradicated in 2009-2010. Most of the eradication continued to take place in Shan State (85% of the total), notably in South Shan (51%). 44% of the eradication concentrated in three townships in the southern part of South Shan, namely Pinlaung, Pekong and Sisaing townships... Food security and coping strategies: Food security remains a major problem in almost all regions where the survey took place for both poppy-growing and non-poppy-growing villages. The erosion of food security is of particular concern because it could trigger a further increase in opium cultivation. In order to meet their food deficit, households across all regions most frequently sought assistance from friends and/or took loans to buy food. The high (and rising) price of opium in Myanmar is making opium production more attractive. In fact, as a proportion of total income, opium income has increased among opium growing farmers. Among opium growing farmers, the proportion of total household income derived from opium production is also now increasing. Between 2003 and 2009, the income generated by opium was a declining proportion of opium-growing farmers’ total cash income falling (from 70% to about 20% during the period). However, in 2010, this trend reversed and the proportion of total cash income coming from opium is now 54%. With the cultivation of one hectare of opium farmers earned 9 times more than from rice cultivation in low lands, and 15 times more than rice cultivated in uplands. This makes it more difficult to convince farmers to abandon opium and switch to other crops. Nonetheless, this survey provides important information to help design and target alternative livelihood-programmes..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf Myanmar section: 1.6MB (low res); Full text: 4.8MB - OBL version; 6.36MB - original
      Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/sea/SouthEastAsia_2011_web.pdf
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/UNODC-Opium_Survey_2011.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 December 2011


      Title: Still Poisoned - Opium cultivation soars in Palaung areas under Burma’s new regime (English, Burmese press release)
      Date of publication: October 2011
      Description/subject: Summary: "Almost one year after Burma’s long-awaited elections were held in November 2010, Palaung communities in northern Shan State are suffering from the effects of an even greater upsurge in opium cultivation than in previous years. Local paramilitary leaders, some now elected into Burma’s new parliament, are being allowed to cultivate and profi t from drugs in return for helping the regime suppress ethnic resistance forces in Burma’s escalating civil war. As a result, drug addiction has escalated in the Palaung area, tearing apart families and communities. Burma’s drug problems are set to worsen unless there is genuine political reform that addresses the political aspirations of Burma’s ethnic minority groups. Research carried out by Palaung Women’s Organisation in Namkham Township shows that: 􀂃 Opium cultivation across 15 villages in Namkham Township has increased by a staggering 78.58% within two years. 􀂃 12 villages in the same area, which had not previously grown opium, have started to grow opium since 2009. 􀂃 A signifi cant number of these villages are under the control of government paramilitary “anti-insurgency” forces, which are directly profi ting from the opium trade. 􀂃 The most prominent militia leader and druglord in the area, “Pansay” Kyaw Myint, from the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, was elected as an MP for Namkham in November 2010; he promised voters that they could grow opium freely for 5 years if they voted for him. 􀂃 Government troops, police and militia continue to openly tax opium farmers, and to collect bribes from drug addicts in exchange for their release from custody. 􀂃 Drug addiction in Palaung communities has spiralled out of control. In one Palaung village, PWO found that 91% of males aged 15 and over were addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is causing huge problems for families, with women and children bearing the burden of increased poverty, crime and violence."
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization (PWO)
      Format/size: pdf (417K; Burmese press release 68K; English press release 85K))
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Still_Poisoned-PR(bu).pdf
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Still_Poisoned-Press_Release(en).pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2011


      Title: South-East Asia Opium survey 2010: Lao PDR, Myanmar - Myanmar section
      Date of publication: December 2010
      Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Government of the Union of Myanmar (GOUM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) jointly conducted the 2010 Opium Survey in Myanmar. Through satellite imagery and village and field surveys, information was gathered to determine the extent of opium poppy cultivation and production, as well as the socio-economic status of farmers. While current levels of opium cultivation remain below the alarming levels of the mid-90s and increases measured in the last three years are still modest, there are two worrying changes: farmers’ incomes remain distressingly low and food security has worsened. Given the high price of opium in Myanmar, this situation makes the growing of opium more attractive. In fact, as a proportion of total income, opium income has increased among opium growing farmers. Between 2003 and 2009, the income generated by opium had a diminishing impact on opium-growing farmers’ total cash income (i.e. the proportion of their income that came from opium fell from 70% to about 20%). In 2010, this trend reversed. Opium poppy is now by far the most lucrative crop for farmers that illicitly cultivate it. With the cultivation of one hectare of opium earning 6.5 times more than that earned from rice cultivation in low lands, and 13 times more than rice cultivated in uplands, the income proportion from opium increased to more than 43%. This makes it difficult to convince farmers to abandon opium and switch to other crops. Nonetheless, this survey provides important information to target alternative livelihood programmes and identifies what crops farmers would be willing to cultivate instead of opium. Opium farmers in Myanmar remain poorer than non-opium farmers. The great majority of farmers who cultivate opium do so to buy food. For them, opium cultivation remains a subsistence exercise. Tellingly, many farmers who stopped cultivating opium, had to purchase food on credit or borrow food and rely on relatives and friends. The pattern of opium poppy cultivation is also changing: some areas became opium-free while others increased their level of cultivation. In South Shan State, farmers introduced new practices such as multi-cropping. Generally, opium fields moved further away from villages and, in certain regions, were subject to eradication. In addition, cultivation shifted to areas previously considered opium-free or to climatically less favourable regions. All these considerations, combined with reduced accessibility and the expected change in cropping pattern, influenced the 2010 survey methodology..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (3.7MB - Myanmar section; 6.6MB - full report)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/sea/SEA_report_2010_withcover_small.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 13 December 2010


      Title: Alternative Development or Business as Usual? China’s Opium Substitution Policy in Burma and Laos
      Date of publication: November 2010
      Description/subject: Conclusions & Recommendations: • The huge increase in Chinese agricultural concessions in Burma and Laos is driven by China’s opium crop substitution programme, offering subsidies and tax waivers for Chinese companies. • China’s focus is on integrating the local economy of the border regions of Burma and Laos into the regional market through bilateral relations with government and military authorities across the border. • In Burma large-scale rubber concessions is the only method operating. Initially informal smallholder arrangements were the dominant form of cultivation in Laos, but the topdown coercive model is gaining prevalence. • The poorest of the poor, including many (ex-) poppy farmers, benefit least from these investments. They are losing access to land and forest, being forcibly relocated to the lowlands, left with few viable options for survival. • New forms of conflict are arising from Chinese large-scale investments abroad. Related land dispossession has wide implications on drug production and trade, as well as border stability. • Investments related to opium substitution plans should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion with a community-based approach. They should respect traditional land rights and communities’ customs.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational InstituteDrug (Policy Briefing No. 33)
      Format/size: pdf (304K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/node/595/by-country/Burma
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


      Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 26 January 2010
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (3.9MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO.pdf (English)
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2010


      Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (English)
      Date of publication: 26 January 2010
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (3.38MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO-bu-red.pdf (Burmese)
      Date of entry/update: 26 January 2010


      Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in South-East Asia: Lao PDR, Myanmar (2009)
      Date of publication: December 2009
      Description/subject: "...In 2009 the annual opium survey in Myanmar covered the Shan State (North, East, and South Shan), Kachin and Kayah States, i.e. all the regions of Myanmar where opium poppy cultivation was reported. As in 2008, the survey included several Special Regions in Shan (Wa Special Region 2, Kokang Special Region 1 and Special Region 4), where rapid assessments were conducted. The survey confirmed the sustainability of the opium-ban in these three Special Regions. In 2009, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar was estimated at 31,700 ha, representing an increase of 11% compared to 28,500 ha in 2008. This upward trend started slowly from 2007 after five years of decline (2002 to 2006)..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (7MB)
      Date of entry/update: 30 January 2010


      Title: From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt ? - The Future of Opium Bans in the Kokang and Wa Regions
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: "In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended over a century of poppy cultivation. The bans have had dramatic consequences for local communities. They depended on opium as a cash crop, to buy food, clothing, and medicines. The bans have driven poppy-growing communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security. Very few alternatives are being offered to households for their survival... Conclusions & Recommendations: • The opium bans have driven communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security and access to health care and education. • The Kokang and Wa authorities have promoted Chinese investment in mono-plantations, especially in rubber. These projects are unsustainable and do not significantly profit the population. • Ex-poppy farmers mainly rely on casual labour and collecting Non-Timber Forest Products as alternative source of income. • Current interventions by international NGOs and UN agencies are still limited in scale and can best be described as “emer-gency responses”. • If the many challenges to achieving viable legal livelihoods in the Kokang and Wa regions are not addressed, the reductions in opium cultivation are unlikely to be sustainable. The Kokang and Wa cease-fire groups have implemented these bans following international pressure, especially from neighbouring China. In return, they hope to gain international political recognition and aid to develop their impoverished and war-torn regions. The Kokang and Wa authorities have been unable to provide alternative sources of income for ex-poppy farmers. Instead they have promoted Chinese invest-ment in monoplantations, especially in rubber. These projects have created many undesired effects and do not significantly profit the population. The Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has also been unwilling and unable to provide assistance. The international community has provided emergency aid through inter-national NGOs and UN agencies. However, current levels of support are insufficient, and need to be upgraded in order to provide sustainable alternatives for the population. The international community should not abandon former opium-growing communities in the Kokang and Wa regions at this critical time..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute (Drug Policy Briefing Nr 29)
      Format/size: pdf (217K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/briefing/golden-triangle-rubber-belt

      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Golden_Triangle_to_Rubber_Belt.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia:: Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand (2008)
      Date of publication: December 2008
      Description/subject: "...In 2008, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar is estimated at 28,500 hectares, representing an increase of 3 per cent from 27, 700 hectares in 2007. Opium poppy cultivation is concentrated, primarily, in Shan State, where 89 per cent of the total opium poppy was grown. The weighted national average opium yield for 2008 is estimated at 14.4 kilograms per hectare, leading to an estimated potential opium production of 410 metric tones. Compared to the estimated yield of 16.6 per cent and the estimated potential opium production of 460 metric tones in 2007, the estimates this year indicate a drop both in the yield and production of opium by 13 and 11 per cent, respectively..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (6.29MB)
      Date of entry/update: 30 January 2010


      Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia: Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand (2007)
      Date of publication: October 2007
      Description/subject: "...In 2007, opium cultivation in Myanmar rose by 29% while production was up 46% thanks to higher yields. These increases are dwarfed by the opium boom in Afghanistan, that produces 20 times more drugs than Myanmar. But they flash a warning sign that reminds us that Myanmar is still, by far, the world's second largest opium producer (at 460 tonnes). Myanmar needs a more effective counter narcotics strategy and more assistance, if it is to reach its target of being opium free by 2014. The situation is particularly worrisome in the South Shan State. Although access for our ground surveyors was difficult, there are signs of significant opium cultivation in this region. Furthermore, there is evidence that double cropping, irrigation and fertilization are resulting in higher yields than in other parts of the country. As in parts of Afghanistan and Colombia where drugs and insecurity overlap, various groups are taking advantage of the situation in the South Shan State to profit from instability. More rural development assistance is essential to reduce the vulnerability to cultivate drugs stemming from poverty. Ridding the Golden Triangle of opium, which has taken a generation, could be quickly undone if farmers see no improvement in their living standards. In Laos, for example, as opium production has fallen, prices have gone up – by 500% in the past five years. Returning to opium is a serious temptation in poor communities which have yet to see the benefits of abandoning poppy. Opium growing regions would also benefit from improved drug treatment in order to cope with disproportionately high rates of addiction. The signs from South East Asia have been encouraging over a number of years. But there is no guarantee that progress can be sustained over time. To consolidate the gains made until recently, national governments and all stakeholders in an opium-free region need to continue their engagement. The Golden Triangle should not be forgotten now that it is no longer notorious..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (9.863K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 October 2007


      Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in the Golden Triangle - Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand (2006)
      Date of publication: October 2006
      Description/subject: Acreage down, yield up...EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "...The 2006 Opium Survey in Myanmar was conducted jointly by the Government of the Union of Myanmar (GOUM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). An extensive survey, combining the use of satellite images and ground verification, was conducted in Shan State where most of the opium poppy cultivation takes place. A rapid ground survey was conducted in Special Region 2 (Wa) to certify its opium free status. Limited ground surveys were also conducted in townships of Kachin and Kayah States to assess the level of cultivation in these areas and monitor possible displacement of opium poppy cultivation. Opium poppy cultivation In 2006, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar was estimated at 21,500 hectares, representing a decrease of 34% compared to 2005 (32,800 hectares). The largest cultivation areas were found in South Shan where 72% of the national cultivation took place. 21% was cultivated in East Shan State. In North Shan State cultivation continued to decrease and reached a negligible level. In Kayah State, which was surveyed for first time this year, only a few hectares could be found. In 2006, there was also some limited cultivation in Kachin accounting for 5% of the total opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar. The most remarkable change was recorded in Special Region 2 (Wa), where there was no opium poppy cultivation this year, while in 2005 this region represented 30% of the national opium poppy cultivation. Opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar has been decreasing continuously over the last years. Since 1998, the year of the United Nations Special Session on Drugs, the area under opium poppy decreased by 83% from 130,000 ha to 21,500 ha. Since 2002, the year of the first joint GoUM /UNODC survey, opium poppy cultivation fell by 73%.Opium yield and production The weighted national average opium yield for 2006 was estimated at 14.6 kg/ha (against 9.5 kg/ha in 2005). Yields ranged from only 8.9 kg/ha in East Shan State over 16.6 kg/ha in South Shan State up to 21.4 kg/ha on the best irrigated fields in Kachin State. In general, weather conditions were favourable for opium production (sufficient and timely rainfall). In addition, irrigation of opium poppy fields and multistage cropping contributed to yield increases. The considerable yield increase in 2006 offset the decrease in the cultivation area. In 2006, the potential production of opium remained with 315 metric tons almost at the level of 2005 (312 metric tons). The survey results show that the largest increase in production took place in South Shan State. Overall opium production in Myanmar has decreased by 75% since 1998 but the downward trend of recent years has come to a halt due to the production increases in East and South Shan State in 2006..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (5.32MB)
      Date of entry/update: 19 October 2006


      Title: Myanmar Opium Survey 2005
      Date of publication: 01 November 2005
      Description/subject: "...Opium cultivation in Myanmar has steadily declined since 2000, and two-thirds of poppy crops have disappeared. Compared with the peak in 1996, the number of hectares devoted to opium has been reduced by 80% in 2005, from 163,000 hectares to 32,800 hectares. When adding the weather factor, influencing opium yields on the fields, an 82% decline in the opium production is registered over the same period of time. While the data included in the report is largely positive, certain worrying factors, with a potential to undo this rapid progress, need addressing. Compared to the previous year, opium production has doubled in the southern Shan State despite the acreage showing only a slight increase. This is in part due to additional rains, however, and more disquieting, also due to improved cultivation practices. The latter, in turn, is an indication of more sophisticated criminal activity, transcending poverty, and not dissimilar to the trends witnessed with ATS production: cross-border networking and transfer of new and improved techniques. Even so and taking note of the exception mentioned, general figures overwhelmingly associate opium with marginal economic conditions typical to remote mountainous areas in which most of the opium is grown. Shocking for anybody less familiar to the opium problem in Myanmar, is the low income of farmers in the Shan State. Non-opium growing households in the Shan State earn an average US$364 annually, against only US$292 for an opium farming household, consisting of both parents and two to four children. Half of the households surveyed in the Shan State report food insecurity; a figure that rises to an astounding 90% in concentrated poppy-cultivation areas. With the loss of opium income, these poor farmers and their families not only lose their coping mechanism to deal with endemic poverty and a chronic food shortage; they equally lose access to health services and to schools. They end up very vulnerable to exploitation and misery – from human right abuses to enforce the opium bans, to internal displacement or human trafficking to survive the bans. For the United Nations, replacing one social evil (narcotics) with another (hunger and poverty) is wrong. Therefore the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime calls on the international community to provide for the basic human needs of those affected. The situation in the Golden Triangle is similar to the one in Afghanistan and the Andeans: some of the poorest people are being affected by the loss of income from drugs as cultivation declines. Thus, the international community must have the wisdom to fight drugs and poverty simultaneously, to eliminate both the causes and the effects of these twin afflictions. In other words, the world will not condone counter-narcotic measures that result in humanitarian disasters. If there is one concrete measure that the Government and its development assistance partners can take now to ensure Myanmar’s future, it is this: food security and income generation programmes must remain in place and be strengthened to support both the farmers’ decisions not to plant opium, and enforcement measures to eradicate the opium that is planted against the law..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (3.8MB)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


      Title: Downward Spiral: Banning Opium in Afghanistan and Burma
      Date of publication: June 2005
      Description/subject: "...Opium farmers in Afghanistan and Burma are coming under huge pressure as local authorities implement bans on the cultivation of poppy. Banning opium has an immediate and profound impact on the livelihoods of more than 4 million people.These bans are a response to pressure from the international community. Afghan and Burmese authorities alike are urging the international community to accompany their pressure with substantial aid. For political reasons, levels of humanitarian and alternative development aid are very different between the two countries. The international community has pledged several hundred millions for rural development in poppy growing regions in Afghanistan. In sharp contrast, pledged support that could soften the crisis in poppy regions in Burma is less than $15 million, leaving an urgent shortfall. Opium growing regions in both countries will enter a downward spiral of poverty because of the ban.The reversed sequencing of first forcing farmers out of poppy cultivation before ensuring other income opportunities is a grave mistake.Aggressive drug control efforts against farmers and small-scale opium traders, and forced eradication operations in particular, also have a negative impact on prospects for peace and democracy in both countries. In neither Afghanistan nor Burma have farmers had any say at all in these policies from which they stand to suffer most. It is vital that local communities and organisations that represent them are given a voice in the decision-making process that has such a tremendous impact on their livelihoods..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (340.59 K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: A young Rakhaing woman was caught red-handed with about 5 grams of heroin
      Date of publication: 30 May 2005
      Description/subject: Cox's Bazaar, May 30, 2005: "A young Rakhaing woman aged 22 was arrested holding 5 grams of heroin by the Narcotics Department in Cox's Bazaar, the southernmost district town of Bangladesh near the Burmese border, on 28 May, according to a local townsperson. She was caught red-handed when narcotics officers raided the woman's house during the day..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Narinjara News
      Format/size: html (8K)
      Date of entry/update: 02 June 2005


      Title: Two Bangladeshi Arakanese women have been arrested for dealing in heroin
      Date of publication: 11 April 2005
      Description/subject: Cox's Bazar, April 11: "Two Bangladeshi Arakanese women were arrested by police in Cox'sbazar, a southern district town of Bangladesh near Burma, for heroin-dealing. The arrest occurred on April 7th, reported a Cox'sbazar-based Bangali newspaper..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Narinjara News
      Format/size: html (9K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 April 2005


      Title: Arakan’s Border Security Chief accused of being involved in heroin traffic
      Date of publication: 25 November 2004
      Description/subject: Maungdaw, Nov 25: "The Acting Chief of the Burmese Border Security forces, or Nasaka, from Maung Daw has been charged with involvement in heroin traffic on November 13, said a police officer but he denied to disclose his name. Lieutenant Colonel Myint Oo was detained at the base of the Light Infantry Division (233) at Buthi Daung Township, and the Chief of Arakan Police Nyo Win is heading the investigation on the Lt. Col’s involvement..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Narinjara News
      Format/size: html (8K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 December 2004


      Title: Myanmar Opium Survey 2004
      Date of publication: 11 October 2004
      Description/subject: "Today, Myanmar, located in the heart of the “Golden Triangle,” is the main opium producer in Southeast Asia. However, despite its reputation as a leading producer, during the last decade, Myanmar has demonstrated a steady and remarkable reduction in opium poppy cultivation. While the number of hectares devoted to opium cultivation was estimated at 160,000 in the mid-1990s, by early 2004, opium poppy cultivation stood at 44,200 hectares - - a reduction of 73% from the peak in 1996. Together with the parallel decline in opium cultivation in Laos, this trend, if sustained, signals a potential end to more than a century of opium production in the Golden Triangle, a fitting close to one of the most tragic chapters in the history of narcotic drugs. However, as history has proved in other countries, often with tragic consequences, Myanmar now faces a critical, two-fold challenge. First, the country needs to support the decline in its opium supply. Second, Myanmar must strive to prevent the humanitarian disaster threatening opium-growing families who at present live on, or below, the poverty line. These two processes must be implemented simultaneously. Supply control will bring more stability to a country that has been plagued by ethnic tensions, tensions that have often been exacerbated by narco-trafficking. At the same time, without provisions designed to ensure that the basic needs of affected families are met, without the necessary human rights guarantees, the current opium reduction programme may prove unsustainable. Democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar, as well as a national commitment to drug control, are goals the United Nations has re-affirmed on several occasions. I would thus encourage the Government of Myanmar to adopt the steps recommended by the Secretary- General in his report on the human rights situation in Myanmar, along with the reduction of opium cultivation. The international donor community also carries a responsibility to support this process by providing alternative sources of income to those families in Myanmar whose livelihoods are affected by the loss of opium-generated revenue. The world has watched as various countries have struggled to eliminate the cultivation of opium. Some states have succeeded – others have failed. Those who were able to realize a reduction in poppy cultivation brought both stability and progress to their nations and their citizens. Those who failed at curtailing the production of opium also failed at providing the security the citizens of these nations need and deserve, both within and beyond national their national borders. While the United Nations welcomes any significant progress in opium reduction, we are very much aware that, in Myanmar, there remains a very fine line between success and failure. We continue to believe, however, that the proposed compact between the Myanmar government and the international community is a powerful alternative to failure, and that this compact has both the potential and the support to turn the current crop reduction effort in Myanmar into a sustainable and successful process..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
      Format/size: pdf (3.02MB)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


      Title: About 30 smugglers killed each other before SPDC seized 830 kilograms heroin
      Date of publication: 06 August 2004
      Description/subject: August 6, 2004: "About 30 heroin smugglers killed each other in the Martaban Sea, southwestern part of Burma, before the the military regime SPDC authorities and Military Intelligence (MI) seized about 830 kilograms (1, 660 pounds) heroin from a Mon smuggler in Hnit-kayin, a coastal village, Ye township, southern Mon State, according to the villagers..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Independent Mon News Agency
      Format/size: html (11K)
      Date of entry/update: 13 August 2004


      Title: MYANMAR Opium Survey 2003
      Date of publication: 18 June 2003
      Description/subject: Executive Summary:- "In Myanmar, the problem of opium and heroin production has deep historical roots that reach back to the 19th century. Second source of illicit opium and heroin in the world after Afghanistan during the last decade, the country has recorded an encouraging decline of illicit opium poppy cultivation since the mid-1990s. Results of the extensive fieldwork and satellite imagery analysis conducted by the last UNODC-supported opium survey confirm the continuation of the positive trend in 2003. With a further one-year decline of 24%, opium poppy cultivation is now down to 62,200 ha (against 81,400 ha in 2002). Since 1996, cultivation has declined by more than 100,000 ha, or 62%...[chart]... The largest cultivation decrease this year took place in the Northern Shan State (- 50%). It is attributed to farmers’ compliance with the Government’s request not to plant opium poppy. Important decreases also took place in the Southwestern (-18%) and Southeastern areas (-26%) of the Shan State. By contrast, cultivation increased by 21% in the Wa Special Region 2, and 6% in the Central Shan region. As a result, the Wa Special region 2 now ranks first for opium poppy cultivation, with 34% of the national total, and the Northern Shan region second with 29%, in 2003. Based on an estimated harvest of about 810 metric tons of opium, and a price of approximately 130 US$/kg, the total farmgate value of the 2003 opium production in Myanmar would amount to around US$ 105 million. The estimated 350,000 households who cultivated opium poppy in the Shan State this year would earn an average of about US$ 175 from the sale of their individual opium harvest. Although seemingly very small, this income makes opium by far the first source of cash for those families, accounting for 70% of their total annual cash income (about US$ 230)"... Table of contents:- INTRODUCTION... FINDINGS: OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION; YIELD AND PRODUCTION OPIUM PRICES AND CASH INCOME; FIELD DAMAGE; ADDICTION; ERADICATION... WA ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT SURVEY FINDINGS: OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION; OPIUM YIELD AND PRODUCTION; OPIUM PRICES METHODOLOGY: ORGANISATION AND STAFF; OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION ESTIMATES; YIELD ESTIMATION... ANNEXES: Annex 1 Satellite images used for the 2003 Opium Survey; Annex 2 Calculation for Opium Area Estimates; Annex 3 Opium Cultivation Area and Production by township; Annex 4 Opium Survey Results By Administrative Zones for 2002 and 2003... Maps: Map 1 2003 Survey Regions; Map 2 2003 Distribution of Opium Poppy Cultivation over Agricultural Areas; Map 3 2003 Opium Poppy Cultivation (by Township); Map 4 Shan State - Change in Opium Poppy Cultivation 2002-03; Map 5 2003 Opium Production (by township); Map 6 WADP townships; Map 7 Sampled village tracts in the Shan State; Map 8 Landsat7 and IKONOS map used for the 2003 Myanmar opium survey; Map 9 Shan State – Administrative Regions.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime
      Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
      Date of entry/update: 19 December 2003


      Title: REPLACING OPIUM IN KOKANG AND WA SPECIAL REGIONS, Shan State, Myanmar
      Date of publication: 2003
      Description/subject: "In March 2003, a joint assessment team comprising international NGOs and UN agencies operating in Myanmar traveled to the Kokang and Wa Special Regions in north-eastern Shan State. Their purpose was to assess the humanitarian impact of the opium ban in the Kokang region, and the potential impact of a similar ban due to go into effect in the Wa region in June 2005. The following is the report submitted by this team after their mission. It is unedited and unabridged. Maps used in the report have been removed to reduce the file size. They are available from the UNODC Myanmar Office upon request."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Joint Kokang-Wa Humanitarian Needs Assessment Team
      Format/size: pdf (83K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


      Title: Les territoires de l'opium: Conflits et trafics du Triangle d’Or et du Croissant d’Or (A paraitre chex Olizane)
      Date of publication: October 2002
      Description/subject: "Quelles réalités économiques, politiques et militaires se cachent derrière les phénomènes de société que sont la production de drogues illicites dans les pays du Sud et leur consommation dans les pays industrialisés? Si l'opium est produit et consommé depuis la plus haute Antiquité, sa production à large échelle en Asie est, quant à elle, étroitement liée à la colonisation britannique d'abord et à la guerre froide par la suite. En effet, après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, les troupes nationalistes chinoises dans le Triangle d'Or et, plus récemment, les moudjahidins afghans puis les talibans dans le Croissant d'Or, ont eu recours à l'économie de l'opium pour financer leurs guerres, en bénéficiant de l'appui bienveillant de la CIA dans leurs luttes contre le communisme. Aujourd'hui, ces groupes, ayant perdu leurs motivations et apparences idéologiques, ont donné naissance à d'autres groupes, bien organisés et puissamment armés et qui, à travers leur rôle dans l'économie des drogues illicites, demeurent plus actifs que jamais. En Asie, l'opium, du nerf de la guerre en est devenu l'enjeu, avec ses multiples conséquences géopolitiques dans les pays du Sud et ses retombées sociales et économiques dans nos sociétés occidentales. En comparant l'Afghanistan et la Birmanie, à travers les deux espaces majeurs de production d'opium et d'héroïne que sont le Croissant d'Or et le Triangle d'Or, l'auteur a effectué un véritable travail d'investigation et d'analyse pour identifier les acteurs, localiser les réseaux, évaluer les enjeux géopolitiques et expliquer les logiques fondamentales d'une production qui alimente un marché aux profits vertigineux et aux implications mondiales..." Table des matieres, Introduction, cartes, Compte-rendus et critiques et liens a d'autres documents de l'auteur.
      Author/creator: Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy
      Language: Francais, French
      Source/publisher: Editions d'Olizane
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Myanmar Opium Survey 2002
      Date of publication: 27 August 2002
      Description/subject: "...The 2002 opium poppy survey was the first comprehensive survey implemented throughout the Shan State of Myanmar by the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) of the Government of Myanmar in co-operation with UNDCP, in the framework of UNDCP?s Illicit Crop Monitoring Programme (ICMP)...The present report consists of three main chapters. Chapter one describes the methodology and the implementation of the survey. Chapter two presents the main findings of the opium survey. A third chapter presents a brief socio-economic profile of the northern Wa Special Region which accounts 22% of the poppy cultivation in Myanmar. This study, the first of its kind, could be used for planning activities to tackle the supply and demand sides of opium use in this area. Several annexes present the breakdown of the estimates as well as maps illustrating some of the survey findings..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNDCP/CCDAC
      Format/size: pdf (3.6MB) 77 pages
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Southeast Asian heroin smuggling methods: containerised cargo
      Date of publication: September 2001
      Description/subject: Drug Intelligence Brief. "Southeast Asian (SEA) heroin traffickers have been operating and conducting drug activity in Southeast Asia for centuries. Typically, these organizations control the cultivation and production levels. They regulate prices, materials, and procedures, allowing for only a small degree of flexibility. At the wholesale level, however, the trafficking process becomes fluid and diversified, and can involve any number of smuggling groups and brokers. Brokers will often have close connections with a particular producer while also arranging transactions with rival producers. Instead of maintaining continuing relationships with the same group every time, SEA heroin traffickers form limited partnerships with different individuals or groups for the purpose of executing specific drug transactions. These procedures ensure business flexibility as well as protection. One of many ways SEA heroin traffickers smuggle bulk quantities of SEA heroin to international markets is by the use of commercial containerized cargo. Heroin processed in the Golden Triangle (Burma, Laos, and Thailand) is smuggled overland to seaports in Burma, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam for transshipment within containerized cargo through Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Korea. From these transit countries in Southeast Asia, the heroin-laden containers are shipped to consumer markets in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States..." INACCESSIBLE, DECEMBER 2008
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: How Junta Protects Mr Heroin
      Date of publication: 08 April 2001
      Description/subject: John Sweeney in Rangoon uncovers the links between Burma's drug barons and a repressive regime that likes to trumpet to the world its tough anti-drugs policy
      Author/creator: John Sweeney
      Source/publisher: The Observer
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation and Heroin Processing in Southeast Asia
      Date of publication: March 2001
      Description/subject: Contents: origin and history of the opium poppy, the opium poppy plant, Opium poppy growing areas, Field selection and land clearing, Land preparation and cultivation methods, opium harvesting methods, Cooking opium, Extraction of morphine from opium, Conversion of morphine to heroin base, Conversion of heroin base to heroin No. 3, Conversion of heroin base to heroin No. 4.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Justice.
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The price dynamics of Southeast Asian heroin
      Date of publication: February 2001
      Description/subject: Drug Intelligence Brief Synopsis: "This report provides an analysis of available data on opium and heroin prices in Mainland Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam). The report is documented with detailed descriptions of the general wholesale price structure of opium and heroin in Asia. While the heroin market spans the globe, much of the Southeast Asian opium and heroin product is sold and consumed within the region. Therefore, the focus in this report is on prices in Southeast Asia with only limited reference made to United States prices. The data used to prepare this analysis are drawn from numerous sources. Opium price data are derived from anecdotal reports provided by confidential sources of the Thai police. Heroin price data are acquired from a variety of sources to include law enforcement reporting, intelligence reports, and open sources of information. There are many factors impacting drug prices..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Intelligence Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the US Dept. of Justice
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Heroin and HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Burma
      Date of publication: December 1998
      Description/subject: Review of "Out of Control 2"..."...A new report, titled “Out Of Control 2”, issued by the Southeast Asian Information Network [SAIN] shows the involvement of Burmese regime officials in narcotics trafficking and the correlation of increased drug trade and rising HIV/AIDS rates in Burma and beyond its borders..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: JUNTA FORCES FARMERS TO GROW OPIUM
      Date of publication: 10 May 1998
      Description/subject: "Burma's military junta is evicting thousands of villagers from previously drug-free areas for refusing to transform their rice fields into poppy plantations as part of a United Nations-backed "drug control" programme. The regime has told its UN sponsors that it is moving villagers away from regions where drugs are being produced and uprooting the poppy fields left behind. However, an investigation by The Sunday Times and two independent human rights organisations, has found that the junta is secretly expanding the number of opium farms in these designated drug control areas. Video footage of burning poppy fields presented to the UN in support of funding applications for schemes worth millions of pounds has been faked."
      Author/creator: Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Sunday Times"
      Format/size: html (10K)
      Date of entry/update: 30 January 2007


      Title: Birmanie, la dictature du pavot
      Date of publication: 1998
      Description/subject: La drogue, petrole, la junte birmane, la France...Le livre de Francis Christophe (moins Introduction et Annexe). DU ROI THEBAW A LA FRENCH-SLORC-CONNECTION; LA MONTEE DE l'OPIUM EN BIRMANIE; L'ARRIVEE EN FORCE DU SLORC; LA REDDITION-REHABILITATION DE KHUN SA; LE SLORC, REINCARNATION DE LA DICTATURE PRECEDENTE; PARRAINAGES ET RESEAUX; LE PARAVENT DE L'ENGAGEMENT CONSTRUCTIF; LES AMIS DU SLORC; INDE-BIRMANIE: L'HEROINE BOUSCULE LE STATU-QUO; NARCO-REACTION EN CHAINE; EXCEPTION FRANCAISE; LA CHUTE de MANDALAY; MIRAGE ET TABOU SUR LA DROGUE; DIPLOMATIE PETROLIERE TOTAL EN BIRMANIE, L'IMPLANTATION; LE FARDEAU BIRMAN; SUCCES SUR LE TERRAIN, DIFFICULTES MEDIATIQUES; LES CIRCUITS POLITIQUES ET ECONOMIQUES; UNE FRENCH-SLORC-CONNECTION? UN ENGAGEMENT DESTRUCTEUR.
      Author/creator: Francis Christophe
      Language: Francais, French
      Format/size: 270K
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The Burma-Singapore Axis: Globalizing the Heroin Trade
      Date of publication: 1998
      Description/subject: Singapore's economic linkage with Burma is one of the most vital factors for the survival of Burma's military regime," says Professor Mya Maung, a Burmese economist based in Boston. This link, he continues, is also central to "the expansion of the heroin trade.") Singapore has achieved the distinction of being the Burmese junta's number one business partner -both largest trading partner and largest foreign investor. More than half these investments, totaling upwards of $1.3 billion, are in partnership with Burma's infamous heroin kingpin Lo Hsing Han, who now controls a substantial portion of the world's opium trade. The close political, economic, and military relationship between the two countries facilitates the weaving of millions of narco-dollars into the legitimate world economy Singapore has also become a major player in Asian commerce. According to Steven Green, llS Ambassador to Singapore, that city-states free market policies have "allowed this small country to develop one of the world's most successful trading and investment economies." Singapore also has a strong role in the powerful 132-member country World Trade Organization. Indeed, the tiny China Sea island of three and a half million people is known far and wide as the blue chip of the region-a financial trading base and a route for the vast sums of money that flow in and out of Asia.
      Author/creator: Leslie Kean and Dennis Bernstein
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Third World Traveler
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 September 2010


      Title: The Opium Kings
      Date of publication: 20 May 1997
      Description/subject: Film by Adrian Cowell
      Author/creator: Adrian Cowell
      Source/publisher: "Frontline", PBS USA
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Rethinking U.S. Heroin Strategy
      Date of publication: April 1996
      Description/subject: Articles or extracts by Francis Casanier, Adrian Cowell, Maha San, "The New Light of Myanmar" and the United States General Accounting Office (GAO)
      Author/creator: Francis Casanier, Adrian Cowell, Maha San
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol.. III, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Opium and Heroin Production in Burma
      Date of publication: 1996
      Description/subject: Based on Ronald Renard's "The Burma Connection" UNRISD 1996
      Author/creator: Ronald Renard
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Global Hangover Guide
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: BRIEF INTERVIEWS REGARDING OPIUM: Testimony of two escaped porters from Shan State
      Date of publication: 01 February 1993
      Description/subject: "Testimony of two escaped porters from Shan State"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: THE BONDAGE OF OPIUM: THE AGONY OF THE WA PEOPLE -
      Date of publication: 1993
      Description/subject: THE PROPOSAL: "We, the leadership of the United WA State Party (UWSP) and the United WA State Army (UWSA) propose to anyone who might be interested, that we eradicate opium growing and stop the production of heroin in all the territory controlled by the WA. This we are willing to do. It can be done very quickly. I have full authority to speak for the United WA State Party and the United WA State Army which has ample power to carry out this proposal... THE PLEA" The plea is a necessary part of the proposal. We need food for our people while we develop substitute crops. Our people are already so poor that to take away opium production without giving them food would mean starvation. Beyond that, we need help of every appropriate kind to make the transition from an opium-based economy to a new agricultural economy..."
      Author/creator: Ta Saw Lu
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Wa State Party (UWSP) Foreign Affairs Department
      Format/size: html (42K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 July 2003


      Title: The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (full text)
      Date of publication: 1972
      Description/subject: The classic 1972 study, subsequenstly updated and expanded in McCoy's "The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade" (NY 1991).
      Author/creator: Alfred W. McCoy
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Drugtext.org
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Politics_of_Heroin_in_Southeast_Asia
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


    • Burma: HIV/AIDS-Heroin Nexus

      Individual Documents

      Title: Drugs and HIV/AIDS Country Programme [Myanmar] (2009-2010)
      Date of publication: December 2008
      Description/subject: Explanatory notes... Introduction... 1. Overview: 1.1. Background; 1.2. Institutionalized Population; 1.3. Human Trafficking; 1.4. UNODC Strategy; 1.5. United Nations Division of Labour; 1.6. UNODC Drugs and HIV/AIDS Policy; 1.7. HIV/AIDS Situation in Myanmar; 1.8. IDU and DU Situation in the Country; 1.9. Legal Environment; 1.10. Myanmar National Drugs and HIV/AIDS Strategy; 1.11. UNODC Country Office Myanmar Strategy... 2. Drugs and HIV/AIDS Country Programme: 2.1. Scope of the Programme; 2.2. Mission Statement; 2.3. Guiding Principles; 2.4. How We Work; 2.5. What Has to Be Achieved?; 2.6. Objectives and Strategies of the Country Programme; 2.6.1. Coverage; 2.6.2. Strategic Information; 2.6.3. Mainstreaming; 2.7. The Work Plan for 2009-2010; 2.8. Coordination and Partnership; 2.9. Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; 2.9.1. Planning and Reporting; 2.9.2. Monitoring and Evaluation; 2.9.2.1. Monitoring; 2.9.2.2. Evaluation... Bibliography... Tables: Table 1. Programme Portfolio
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Drug Demand Reduction, Drugs and HIV/AIDS Unit , United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Country Office Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (1.42MB)
      Date of entry/update: 28 June 2009


      Title: HIV/AIDS and drug use in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: May 2006
      Description/subject: "...The simultaneous spread of HIV/AIDS and the growing number of injecting drug users is fuelling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Current pro-grammes reach only a small proportion of IDUs with harm reduction interventions. There are no existing programmes available for IDUs who are sexually active to protect themselves and their sexual partners from HIV. The second major risk group are sex workers. Current programmes reach only a very small number of them, and the number of AIDS deaths among them is estimated to be high. In order to effectively address the spiralling numbers of HIV/AIDS infected drug users, is it extremely important for all stakeholders involved to acknowledge the HIV/AIDS epi-demic and the need for harm reduction poli-cies. It is key for all sides to de-politicise HIV/AIDS. The international community needs to make a firm international commitment to stem and reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Burma. It should ensure sufficient and long-term financial support for HIV/AIDS and harm reduction programmes. The SPDC needs to provide adequate space for humanitarian aid to take place. The new guidelines that have been proposed by the government should be amended to ensure direct and unhindered access for interna-tional aid agencies to local communities. The space for initial harm reduction initiatives is encouraging, but needs to be scaled up in order to be effective. Perhaps the most serious shortcoming how-ever is the fact that local community-based organisations in Burma have not been able to participate in the debate about interna-tional humanitarian aid to Burma. In parti-cular, in the discussions about the funding for programmes on HIV/AIDS, People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and drug users or the organisations that represent them, have not been consulted or been able to partici-pate in the formulation of polices and deci-sion-making processes that have such tre-mendous impact on their health, livelihoods and lives. The international community should also support and strengthen efforts by drug us-ers and PLWHA to organise themselves. This will enable them to voice their opinion and represent their interests better at the local as well as international level. It will also contribute to civil society building and de-mocratisation in the country."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (354 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/brief17.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Kicking the Habit
      Date of publication: October 2005
      Description/subject: Drug use and harm reduction policies in Burma... "The struggle to combat the twin threats of HIV/AIDS and drug use in Burma is an uphill battle. With an estimated 500,000 drug users, half of whom are categorized as injecting drug users, or IDUs, Burma has a serious drug problem. To compound matters, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been spiraling simultaneously, and infection rates among drug users in Burma, especially in Shan and Kachin states, now rank among the highest in the world. Burma, Thailand and Cambodia have been hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Asia. Burma, however, is the only one of the three where the infection rate is still rising. This is mainly due to the high-risk behavior of IDUs, who commonly share needles and syringes and rarely sterilize them. Such high-risk behavior is especially widespread in the teashops, known locally as shooting galleries, where heroin is sold. Two of the major obstacles to combating the rise of HIV/AIDS and drug use are a general lack of resources and, maybe less predictably, the legal constraints of narcotics laws..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer (TNI)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


      Title: Yunnan’s Sin City - Sex and Drugs Take Their Toll in Border “Playground”
      Date of publication: January 2005
      Description/subject: "...Moe Wai, a pretty 20-year-old Burmese, traveled to Ruili, a Chinese border town, from her home in Rangoon’s South Okkalapa township in 1997. She rapidly found work as a prostitute, touting for trade on Ruili’s infamous Jiegang Road. Two years after taking up the sex trade she discovered she was HIV-positive. AIDS then took its toll, and last October she died. It’s estimated that around 100 young women from Burma work as prostitutes on Jiegang Road, offering their services to a clientele of traders, truck drivers and drug traffickers from Mandalay, Lashio, Myitkyina and other Burmese cities, as well as from China. A further 100 Burmese sex workers operate in the nearby town of Jiegong, which directly borders Muse in Burma..."
      Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005


      Title: Sowing disorder: Support for the Burmese junta backfires on China
      Date of publication: November 2002
      Description/subject: "In the early 1990s China’s sale of arms to Burma played a crucial role in keeping the Burmese military in power. But this support for the generals in Rangoon is now backfiring, as many of the negative consequences spill over the border into China, writes Andrew Bosson. While China has generally taken a passive stance towards international efforts to pressure Burma to improve its rights record, it would be in Beijing’s best interests to push Rangoon towards economic and political reform, he argues. The relationship between Burma and China has been harmful to both countries, especially following the Chinese arms deals which preserved the junta in power and locked Burmese political and economic life into a stasis from which it has yet to emerge. The generals seem to have very little idea of how a modern economy functions and are essentially running the country as they would an army. Military expenditures continue to take up about 60 percent of the national budget. Thus it comes as no surprise that the economy is in an advanced state of failure. China also has been damaged economically: Burma’s lack of access to economic development assistance and its collapsed economy leave a gaping hole in the regional development projects the impoverished provinces of southwest China so badly need. China also suffers from the massive spread of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and crime that have accompanied the massive quantities of heroin being trafficked from Burma into Yunnan Province. The growth of the drug economy in Burma may be traced directly to the lack of the necessary economic and political remedies, which is an indirect result of China’s intervention..."
      Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: China Rights Forum Journal 2002-03
      Format/size: pdf (140K)
      Alternate URLs: http://iso.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision%5fid=3346&item%5fid=3345
      Date of entry/update: May 2003


      Title: Life: Between Hell and the Stone of Heaven
      Date of publication: 11 November 2001
      Description/subject: "More than a million miners desperately excavate the bedrock of a remote valley hidden in the shadows of the Himalayas. They are in search of just one thing - jadeite, the most valuable gemstone in the world. But with wages paid in pure heroin and HIV rampant, the miners are paying an even higher price. Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark travel to the death camps of Burma...Hpakant is Burma's black heart, drawing hundreds of thousands of people in with false hopes and pumping them out again, infected and broken. Thousands never leave the mines, but those who make it back to their communities take with them their addiction and a disease provincial doctors are not equipped to diagnose or treat. The UN and WHO have now declared the pits a disaster zone, but the military regime still refuses to let any international aid in..." jade
      Author/creator: Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Observer (London)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: AIDS Denial
      Date of publication: July 1999
      Description/subject: "The SPDC has finally acknowledged the AIDS epidemic in Burma. But even now, the junta spends more of the country’s dwindling resources on attacking democrats than it does on tackling the disease, Aung Zaw writes..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Heroin and HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Burma
      Date of publication: December 1998
      Description/subject: Review of "Out of Control 2"..."...A new report, titled “Out Of Control 2”, issued by the Southeast Asian Information Network [SAIN] shows the involvement of Burmese regime officials in narcotics trafficking and the correlation of increased drug trade and rising HIV/AIDS rates in Burma and beyond its borders..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Burma's AIDS Epidemic
      Date of publication: February 1998
      Description/subject: Dancing alone o­n the floor of a popular Rangoon nightclub in front of a huge video screen playing music videos, the young Burmese woman repeatedly glances at the very few western men in the disco. She approaches them and makes it clear her charms come at a price. Does she use condoms?
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6. No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Out of Control 2: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Burma
      Date of publication: 1998
      Description/subject: A new report, titled “Out Of Control 2”, issued by the Southeast Asian Information Network [SAIN] shows the involvement of Burmese regime officials in narcotics trafficking and the correlation of increased drug trade and rising HIV/AIDS rates in Burma and beyond its borders. The report states that the last several years have produced a mounting body of evidence indicating high-level involvement of some junta members in the illicit narcotics industry. Routes and methods of transportation and export of Burmese narcotics are described in this report.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Southeast Asia Information Network (SAIN)
      Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=1521
      Date of entry/update: 26 October 2010


    • Drugs and Burma: UN System

      • UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

        • UNODC (formerly UNDCP and ODCCP) (English)
          This entity has gone through various names. It is now known as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

          Websites/Multiple Documents

          Title: UNODC: search for "Myanmar"
          Date of publication: 27 March 2008
          Description/subject: 6396 results, August 2002; 13300 results, November 2005; 16300 results, October 2006; 2730 results, March 2008; 3020 results, July 2009
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: html, pdf
          Date of entry/update: 27 March 2008


          Title: UNODC Country Office Myanmar -- Library and Links
          Description/subject: Lots of good links including TNI and ICG as well as UNODC reports
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: html, pdf
          Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


          Title: UNODC Myanmar Country Office
          Description/subject: "UNODC and its predecessors, the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC), have been active in Myanmar since 1978 to reduce the cultivation, production, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs. In all its projects, UNODC promotes a participatory approach that serves to empower local communities and strengthen civil society, where the focus is on community development rather than relying on top-down methodologies. Because the current scale of intervention efforts is marginal in relation to the magnitude of drug-related problems in Myanmar, the Office focuses on expanding expertise and assistance through partnerships with other UN agencies and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs)..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNODC
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


          Title: World Drug Report archive
          Description/subject: Formerly "Global Illicit Drug Trends". Online from 1999...Search for Myanmar
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNODC
          Format/size: html, pdf
          Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


          Individual Documents

          Title: Patterns and Trends of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and Other Drugs, Asia and the Pacific, 2012 (Myanmar section and full report)
          Date of publication: December 2012
          Description/subject: Emerging trends and concerns: • Myanmar remains a major source of methamphetamine pills and opiates in South-East Asia, most of which are manufactured in Shan State in the eastern part of the country. • For the first time, a crystalline methamphetamine manufacturing facility was seized in 2012. • Large amounts of methamphetamine in pill and crystalline form originating from Myanmar continue to be seized in neighbouring countries. • Precursor chemicals are trafficked from neighbouring countries to methamphetamine manufacturing centres located near Myanmar’s eastern border, where Government control remains limited. • Preliminary data for 2012 suggests that seizures of illicit drugs and their precursor chemicals have increased significantly. • Opium poppy cultivation has increased in Myanmar for six consecutive years
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (144K-Myanmar_section; 1.32MB-full report)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/eastasiaandpacific/2012/12/ats-2012/2012_Regional_ATS_Report_FINAL_HQPDF_3_Dec_2012_low.pdf
          Date of entry/update: 13 December 2012


          Title: South-East Asia Opium survey 2012 (Myanmar section)
          Date of publication: October 2012
          Description/subject: "...In 2012, the annual opium survey in Myanmar covered Shan State (North, East, and South Shan), and Kachin State, which constitute the country’s principal opium poppy-cultivating regions. The UNODC rapid assessment survey found no evidence of opium poppy cultivation in the Special Regions in Shan (Wa Special Region 2, Kokang Special Region 1 and Special Region 4). However, limited satellite imagery and findings from ground surveillance did find evidence of limited opium poppy cultivation in Chin, though the region was not fully covered in the survey. The total area under cultivation in 2012 was estimated at 51,000 hectares, representing an increase of one sixth on the 2011 level of 43,600 hectares and the sixth consecutive year-on-year increase since the low 2006 level of 21,600 hectares...This increase in opium poppy cultivation was not confined to a specific region, but was actually observed in East, North and South Shan, as well as in Kachin. The area under cultivation continued to be dominated by areas in South and East Shan, which continued to account for more than three quarters of the estimated total, but the increase was most pronounced (in relative terms) in North Shan, where the area rose by nearly half (from 4,300 hectares in 2011 to 6,300 hectares in 2012), and in Kachin, which registered an increase of more than a third (from 3,800 hectares to 5,100 hectares). This explains why the share of the total attributable to Kachin and North Shan (collectively) edged up from 19% in 2011 to 22% in 2012. In absolute terms, East Shan, North Shan and South Shan all registered an increase of approximately 2,000 hectares. The increase in East Shan followed a relatively stable trend over the preceding two years, while the increases in each of the other regions represented a continuation of the recent trend. These figures do not include cultivation in Chin, which, based on limited data, was assessed to be in the order of several hundred hectares in 2012..." [the primary URL does not contain the Lao PDR section, which can be found in the secondary link]
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (4.1MB) with Lao section, 5.55MB)
          Alternate URLs: https://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/sea/SouthEastAsia_Report_2012_low.pdf - full report, containing the LAO PDR section
          Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


          Title: World Drug Report 2012
          Date of publication: June 2012
          Description/subject: 1. RECENT STATISTICS AND TREND ANALYSIS OF ILLICIT DRUG MARKETS: A. Extent of illicit drug use and health consequences... B. Illicit opiate market... C. Cocaine market... D. Cannabis market... E. Illicit market for amphetamine-type stimulants..... 2. THE CONTEMPORARY DRUG PROBLEM: CHARACTERISTICS, PATTERNS AND DRIVING FACTORS: A. What are the fundamental characteristics of the contemporary illicit drug problem... B. How have the patterns of the drug problem shifted over time... C. Which factors shape the evolution of the problem... D. Conclusion..... Myanmar features prominently in this report, but there are no country chapters....Search for Myanmar.
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (11.7MB)
          Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


          Title: South-East Asia Opium survey 2011: Lao PDR, Myanmar
          Date of publication: December 2011
          Description/subject: "...Opium Poppy Cultivation: In 2011, for the fifth year in a row, opium poppy cultivation increased in Myanmar. The total area under opium poppy cultivation was estimated at 43,600 ha, an increase of 14% compared to 2010 (38,100 ha). This upward trend started in 2007 after six years of decline between 2001 and 2006. Shan State accounted now for 91% of opium production in Myanmar, while the largest increase in poppy cultivation was observed in Kachin State (+27%). In Shan State most of the increase in the area cultivated took place in South Shan (+21%) followed by North Shan (+17%). There was no significant change in East Shan (+1%)...Opium yield and production In 2011, the national average opium yield was estimated at 14.0 kg per hectare, which represents a decrease of 8% compared to last year’s yield. Nevertheless, the larger area under cultivation resulted in an increase in total opium production of 5%, from 580 mt in 2010 to 610 mt in 2011... Opium prices: Opium prices in Myanmar have significantly increased in 2011. The average farm-gate price of opium (weighted by the estimated area under cultivation) was US$ 450/kg in 2011, up some 48% from US$ 305/kg in 2010. Opium prices have continued to increase since 2002. The most recent increase can be explained by the strong demand in opium from neighbouring countries as well as the depreciation of the Kyat against the US$ (by some 14% over the past year)... Household income from opium: The average annual cash income of opium-producing households increased by almost 24% in the Shan State, from US$ 830 in 2010 to US$ 1,030 in 2011. However, opium farmers in Myanmar generally remain poorer than non-opium growing farmers. For non-opium cultivating households (including those that never cultivated or have stopped opium poppy cultivation), the average annual cash income was almost US$ 1,200. On average, income from opium accounts for 54% of total cash income among poppy-growing farmers and in South Shan even more than 60%. For Myanmar opium survey 2011 44 these farmers, opium cultivation is the principal income to survive, which is illustrated by the comments of farmers that had stopped cultivating opium and had to purchase food on credit or borrow food and rely on relatives and friends... Addiction: Data on opium and other drug addiction was collected via interviews with village headmen. Headmen were asked about the number of daily opium users and the number of ‘regular’ users of other drugs (without specifying frequency of use). According to the headmen, daily opium use in Shan State and in Kachin affects 0.8% of the population aged 15 years and above. As in previous years, the prevalence rate was higher in opium-growing villages (1.3%) than in non-opiumgrowing villages (0.4%). Although the number of amphetamine type stimulant (ATS) users is increasing, the prevalence rate remained very low, at 0.2% of the population in opium-growing areas which is almost the same ratio as last year. Heroin use is also reported to be very low, affecting less than 0.1% of the population aged 15 and above. However, information on drug use must be interpreted with caution, as respondents may have been reluctant to report opium, heroin and ATS consumption in the context of the Government’s efforts to curb drug use and addiction... Reported Eradication: This survey did not monitor or validate the results of the eradication campaign carried out by the Government of Myanmar (GOUM). According to the GOUM, a total of 7,058 ha were eradicated in the 2010-2011 opium season, which is 15% less the area eradicated in 2009-2010. Most of the eradication continued to take place in Shan State (85% of the total), notably in South Shan (51%). 44% of the eradication concentrated in three townships in the southern part of South Shan, namely Pinlaung, Pekong and Sisaing townships... Food security and coping strategies: Food security remains a major problem in almost all regions where the survey took place for both poppy-growing and non-poppy-growing villages. The erosion of food security is of particular concern because it could trigger a further increase in opium cultivation. In order to meet their food deficit, households across all regions most frequently sought assistance from friends and/or took loans to buy food. The high (and rising) price of opium in Myanmar is making opium production more attractive. In fact, as a proportion of total income, opium income has increased among opium growing farmers. Among opium growing farmers, the proportion of total household income derived from opium production is also now increasing. Between 2003 and 2009, the income generated by opium was a declining proportion of opium-growing farmers’ total cash income falling (from 70% to about 20% during the period). However, in 2010, this trend reversed and the proportion of total cash income coming from opium is now 54%. With the cultivation of one hectare of opium farmers earned 9 times more than from rice cultivation in low lands, and 15 times more than rice cultivated in uplands. This makes it more difficult to convince farmers to abandon opium and switch to other crops. Nonetheless, this survey provides important information to help design and target alternative livelihood-programmes..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf Myanmar section: 1.6MB (low res); Full text: 4.8MB - OBL version; 6.36MB - original
          Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/sea/SouthEastAsia_2011_web.pdf
          http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/UNODC-Opium_Survey_2011.pdf
          Date of entry/update: 21 December 2011


          Title: World Drug Report 2011
          Date of publication: 23 June 2011
          Description/subject: Search for Myanmar (84 references)..."...While [opium] cultivation in Afghanistan remained stable, the global trend was mainly driven by increases in Myanmar, where cultivation rose by some 20 per cent from 2009. Consequently, opium production in Myanmar increased from 5 per cent of global production in 2007 to 12 per cent in 2010..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (10.54MB)
          Date of entry/update: 01 July 2011


          Title: World Drug Report 2010
          Date of publication: May 2010
          Description/subject: 109 references to Myanmar
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (10.9MB) - 313 pages
          Date of entry/update: 30 June 2010


          Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in South-East Asia: Lao PDR, Myanmar (2009)
          Date of publication: December 2009
          Description/subject: "...In 2009 the annual opium survey in Myanmar covered the Shan State (North, East, and South Shan), Kachin and Kayah States, i.e. all the regions of Myanmar where opium poppy cultivation was reported. As in 2008, the survey included several Special Regions in Shan (Wa Special Region 2, Kokang Special Region 1 and Special Region 4), where rapid assessments were conducted. The survey confirmed the sustainability of the opium-ban in these three Special Regions. In 2009, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar was estimated at 31,700 ha, representing an increase of 11% compared to 28,500 ha in 2008. This upward trend started slowly from 2007 after five years of decline (2002 to 2006)..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (7MB)
          Date of entry/update: 30 January 2010


          Title: World Drug Report 2009
          Date of publication: June 2009
          Description/subject: Search for Myanmar...85 references including in opium, ATS and cannabis
          Language: English (also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish)
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (9MB)
          Date of entry/update: 28 June 2009


          Title: World Drug Report 2008
          Date of publication: February 2009
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime
          Format/size: pdf (7.3MB)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/WDR.html (links to earlier Word Drug Reports0
          Date of entry/update: 15 February 2009


          Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia:: Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand (2008)
          Date of publication: December 2008
          Description/subject: "...In 2008, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar is estimated at 28,500 hectares, representing an increase of 3 per cent from 27, 700 hectares in 2007. Opium poppy cultivation is concentrated, primarily, in Shan State, where 89 per cent of the total opium poppy was grown. The weighted national average opium yield for 2008 is estimated at 14.4 kilograms per hectare, leading to an estimated potential opium production of 410 metric tones. Compared to the estimated yield of 16.6 per cent and the estimated potential opium production of 460 metric tones in 2007, the estimates this year indicate a drop both in the yield and production of opium by 13 and 11 per cent, respectively..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (6.29MB)
          Date of entry/update: 30 January 2010


          Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia: Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand (2007)
          Date of publication: October 2007
          Description/subject: "...In 2007, opium cultivation in Myanmar rose by 29% while production was up 46% thanks to higher yields. These increases are dwarfed by the opium boom in Afghanistan, that produces 20 times more drugs than Myanmar. But they flash a warning sign that reminds us that Myanmar is still, by far, the world's second largest opium producer (at 460 tonnes). Myanmar needs a more effective counter narcotics strategy and more assistance, if it is to reach its target of being opium free by 2014. The situation is particularly worrisome in the South Shan State. Although access for our ground surveyors was difficult, there are signs of significant opium cultivation in this region. Furthermore, there is evidence that double cropping, irrigation and fertilization are resulting in higher yields than in other parts of the country. As in parts of Afghanistan and Colombia where drugs and insecurity overlap, various groups are taking advantage of the situation in the South Shan State to profit from instability. More rural development assistance is essential to reduce the vulnerability to cultivate drugs stemming from poverty. Ridding the Golden Triangle of opium, which has taken a generation, could be quickly undone if farmers see no improvement in their living standards. In Laos, for example, as opium production has fallen, prices have gone up – by 500% in the past five years. Returning to opium is a serious temptation in poor communities which have yet to see the benefits of abandoning poppy. Opium growing regions would also benefit from improved drug treatment in order to cope with disproportionately high rates of addiction. The signs from South East Asia have been encouraging over a number of years. But there is no guarantee that progress can be sustained over time. To consolidate the gains made until recently, national governments and all stakeholders in an opium-free region need to continue their engagement. The Golden Triangle should not be forgotten now that it is no longer notorious..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (9.863K)
          Date of entry/update: 11 October 2007


          Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation in the Golden Triangle - Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand (2006)
          Date of publication: October 2006
          Description/subject: Acreage down, yield up...EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "...The 2006 Opium Survey in Myanmar was conducted jointly by the Government of the Union of Myanmar (GOUM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). An extensive survey, combining the use of satellite images and ground verification, was conducted in Shan State where most of the opium poppy cultivation takes place. A rapid ground survey was conducted in Special Region 2 (Wa) to certify its opium free status. Limited ground surveys were also conducted in townships of Kachin and Kayah States to assess the level of cultivation in these areas and monitor possible displacement of opium poppy cultivation. Opium poppy cultivation In 2006, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar was estimated at 21,500 hectares, representing a decrease of 34% compared to 2005 (32,800 hectares). The largest cultivation areas were found in South Shan where 72% of the national cultivation took place. 21% was cultivated in East Shan State. In North Shan State cultivation continued to decrease and reached a negligible level. In Kayah State, which was surveyed for first time this year, only a few hectares could be found. In 2006, there was also some limited cultivation in Kachin accounting for 5% of the total opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar. The most remarkable change was recorded in Special Region 2 (Wa), where there was no opium poppy cultivation this year, while in 2005 this region represented 30% of the national opium poppy cultivation. Opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar has been decreasing continuously over the last years. Since 1998, the year of the United Nations Special Session on Drugs, the area under opium poppy decreased by 83% from 130,000 ha to 21,500 ha. Since 2002, the year of the first joint GoUM /UNODC survey, opium poppy cultivation fell by 73%.Opium yield and production The weighted national average opium yield for 2006 was estimated at 14.6 kg/ha (against 9.5 kg/ha in 2005). Yields ranged from only 8.9 kg/ha in East Shan State over 16.6 kg/ha in South Shan State up to 21.4 kg/ha on the best irrigated fields in Kachin State. In general, weather conditions were favourable for opium production (sufficient and timely rainfall). In addition, irrigation of opium poppy fields and multistage cropping contributed to yield increases. The considerable yield increase in 2006 offset the decrease in the cultivation area. In 2006, the potential production of opium remained with 315 metric tons almost at the level of 2005 (312 metric tons). The survey results show that the largest increase in production took place in South Shan State. Overall opium production in Myanmar has decreased by 75% since 1998 but the downward trend of recent years has come to a halt due to the production increases in East and South Shan State in 2006..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (5.32MB)
          Date of entry/update: 19 October 2006


          Title: Myanmar Opium Survey 2005
          Date of publication: 01 November 2005
          Description/subject: "...Opium cultivation in Myanmar has steadily declined since 2000, and two-thirds of poppy crops have disappeared. Compared with the peak in 1996, the number of hectares devoted to opium has been reduced by 80% in 2005, from 163,000 hectares to 32,800 hectares. When adding the weather factor, influencing opium yields on the fields, an 82% decline in the opium production is registered over the same period of time. While the data included in the report is largely positive, certain worrying factors, with a potential to undo this rapid progress, need addressing. Compared to the previous year, opium production has doubled in the southern Shan State despite the acreage showing only a slight increase. This is in part due to additional rains, however, and more disquieting, also due to improved cultivation practices. The latter, in turn, is an indication of more sophisticated criminal activity, transcending poverty, and not dissimilar to the trends witnessed with ATS production: cross-border networking and transfer of new and improved techniques. Even so and taking note of the exception mentioned, general figures overwhelmingly associate opium with marginal economic conditions typical to remote mountainous areas in which most of the opium is grown. Shocking for anybody less familiar to the opium problem in Myanmar, is the low income of farmers in the Shan State. Non-opium growing households in the Shan State earn an average US$364 annually, against only US$292 for an opium farming household, consisting of both parents and two to four children. Half of the households surveyed in the Shan State report food insecurity; a figure that rises to an astounding 90% in concentrated poppy-cultivation areas. With the loss of opium income, these poor farmers and their families not only lose their coping mechanism to deal with endemic poverty and a chronic food shortage; they equally lose access to health services and to schools. They end up very vulnerable to exploitation and misery – from human right abuses to enforce the opium bans, to internal displacement or human trafficking to survive the bans. For the United Nations, replacing one social evil (narcotics) with another (hunger and poverty) is wrong. Therefore the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime calls on the international community to provide for the basic human needs of those affected. The situation in the Golden Triangle is similar to the one in Afghanistan and the Andeans: some of the poorest people are being affected by the loss of income from drugs as cultivation declines. Thus, the international community must have the wisdom to fight drugs and poverty simultaneously, to eliminate both the causes and the effects of these twin afflictions. In other words, the world will not condone counter-narcotic measures that result in humanitarian disasters. If there is one concrete measure that the Government and its development assistance partners can take now to ensure Myanmar’s future, it is this: food security and income generation programmes must remain in place and be strengthened to support both the farmers’ decisions not to plant opium, and enforcement measures to eradicate the opium that is planted against the law..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (3.8MB)
          Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


          Title: Myanmar Opium Survey 2004
          Date of publication: 11 October 2004
          Description/subject: "Today, Myanmar, located in the heart of the “Golden Triangle,” is the main opium producer in Southeast Asia. However, despite its reputation as a leading producer, during the last decade, Myanmar has demonstrated a steady and remarkable reduction in opium poppy cultivation. While the number of hectares devoted to opium cultivation was estimated at 160,000 in the mid-1990s, by early 2004, opium poppy cultivation stood at 44,200 hectares - - a reduction of 73% from the peak in 1996. Together with the parallel decline in opium cultivation in Laos, this trend, if sustained, signals a potential end to more than a century of opium production in the Golden Triangle, a fitting close to one of the most tragic chapters in the history of narcotic drugs. However, as history has proved in other countries, often with tragic consequences, Myanmar now faces a critical, two-fold challenge. First, the country needs to support the decline in its opium supply. Second, Myanmar must strive to prevent the humanitarian disaster threatening opium-growing families who at present live on, or below, the poverty line. These two processes must be implemented simultaneously. Supply control will bring more stability to a country that has been plagued by ethnic tensions, tensions that have often been exacerbated by narco-trafficking. At the same time, without provisions designed to ensure that the basic needs of affected families are met, without the necessary human rights guarantees, the current opium reduction programme may prove unsustainable. Democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar, as well as a national commitment to drug control, are goals the United Nations has re-affirmed on several occasions. I would thus encourage the Government of Myanmar to adopt the steps recommended by the Secretary- General in his report on the human rights situation in Myanmar, along with the reduction of opium cultivation. The international donor community also carries a responsibility to support this process by providing alternative sources of income to those families in Myanmar whose livelihoods are affected by the loss of opium-generated revenue. The world has watched as various countries have struggled to eliminate the cultivation of opium. Some states have succeeded – others have failed. Those who were able to realize a reduction in poppy cultivation brought both stability and progress to their nations and their citizens. Those who failed at curtailing the production of opium also failed at providing the security the citizens of these nations need and deserve, both within and beyond national their national borders. While the United Nations welcomes any significant progress in opium reduction, we are very much aware that, in Myanmar, there remains a very fine line between success and failure. We continue to believe, however, that the proposed compact between the Myanmar government and the international community is a powerful alternative to failure, and that this compact has both the potential and the support to turn the current crop reduction effort in Myanmar into a sustainable and successful process..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
          Format/size: pdf (3.02MB)
          Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


          Title: Abusing Aid, Eliminating Trust
          Date of publication: February 2004
          Description/subject: "Proponents of increased counter-narcotics assistance for Burma should be reminded of how it was misused in the past. As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, or UNODC, lobbies governments to increase their contributions to opium eradication projects, it is worth looking back on the last major phase of international funding of narcotics suppression, to be reminded of what Burma’s military government did with it. In particular, the misuse of US aid should provide a cautionary tale to any bilateral or multilateral donors..."
          Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


          Title: Myanmar: Country Profile and Strategic Programme Framework for 2002
          Date of publication: 04 September 2003
          Description/subject: Strategic Programme Framework UN Drug control activities in Myanmar... "The proliferation of drugs over the past 30 years is an example of the previously unimaginable becoming reality very quickly."... Table of contents:... List of acronyms 2 Drug control overview and situation update;;The role of the UN and drug control; Past and present activities: I. Internal fighting hinders effective drug control (1976 to 1988); II. National unification dominates drug control (1988 to 1996); III. Drug control successes (1996 to 2001); IV. Funding shortfall (2001 to 2003)... Discussion: I. Drug control fits within the wider UN agenda for Myanmar; II. Financial constraints hold back the ongoing interventions; III. Strategic alliances; IV. Innovation through involvement of the civil society... Proposed strategy: Resource requirements; Annexes: A Map of Myanmar; B Map of ongoing UN drug control interventions in Myanmar; C Map of Shan State – Special regions; D Map of Shan State – Opium cultivation; E Map of alternative development pilot project in Special Region 2 of the Shan State; F Letter of the UN Country Team in Myanmar; G ODCCP 2001 Country Profile; H UNDCP programme in Myanmar - Matrix 1976 to 2005; Opium poppy flower (Southern Wa); Picture: UNDCP Yangon.
          Source/publisher: Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP)
          Format/size: pdf (2.94MB)
          Date of entry/update: 19 December 2003


          Title: MYANMAR Opium Survey 2003
          Date of publication: 18 June 2003
          Description/subject: Executive Summary:- "In Myanmar, the problem of opium and heroin production has deep historical roots that reach back to the 19th century. Second source of illicit opium and heroin in the world after Afghanistan during the last decade, the country has recorded an encouraging decline of illicit opium poppy cultivation since the mid-1990s. Results of the extensive fieldwork and satellite imagery analysis conducted by the last UNODC-supported opium survey confirm the continuation of the positive trend in 2003. With a further one-year decline of 24%, opium poppy cultivation is now down to 62,200 ha (against 81,400 ha in 2002). Since 1996, cultivation has declined by more than 100,000 ha, or 62%...[chart]... The largest cultivation decrease this year took place in the Northern Shan State (- 50%). It is attributed to farmers’ compliance with the Government’s request not to plant opium poppy. Important decreases also took place in the Southwestern (-18%) and Southeastern areas (-26%) of the Shan State. By contrast, cultivation increased by 21% in the Wa Special Region 2, and 6% in the Central Shan region. As a result, the Wa Special region 2 now ranks first for opium poppy cultivation, with 34% of the national total, and the Northern Shan region second with 29%, in 2003. Based on an estimated harvest of about 810 metric tons of opium, and a price of approximately 130 US$/kg, the total farmgate value of the 2003 opium production in Myanmar would amount to around US$ 105 million. The estimated 350,000 households who cultivated opium poppy in the Shan State this year would earn an average of about US$ 175 from the sale of their individual opium harvest. Although seemingly very small, this income makes opium by far the first source of cash for those families, accounting for 70% of their total annual cash income (about US$ 230)"... Table of contents:- INTRODUCTION... FINDINGS: OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION; YIELD AND PRODUCTION OPIUM PRICES AND CASH INCOME; FIELD DAMAGE; ADDICTION; ERADICATION... WA ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT SURVEY FINDINGS: OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION; OPIUM YIELD AND PRODUCTION; OPIUM PRICES METHODOLOGY: ORGANISATION AND STAFF; OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION ESTIMATES; YIELD ESTIMATION... ANNEXES: Annex 1 Satellite images used for the 2003 Opium Survey; Annex 2 Calculation for Opium Area Estimates; Annex 3 Opium Cultivation Area and Production by township; Annex 4 Opium Survey Results By Administrative Zones for 2002 and 2003... Maps: Map 1 2003 Survey Regions; Map 2 2003 Distribution of Opium Poppy Cultivation over Agricultural Areas; Map 3 2003 Opium Poppy Cultivation (by Township); Map 4 Shan State - Change in Opium Poppy Cultivation 2002-03; Map 5 2003 Opium Production (by township); Map 6 WADP townships; Map 7 Sampled village tracts in the Shan State; Map 8 Landsat7 and IKONOS map used for the 2003 Myanmar opium survey; Map 9 Shan State – Administrative Regions.
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime
          Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
          Date of entry/update: 19 December 2003


          Title: Making Inroads - an interview with Jean-Luc Lemahieu
          Date of publication: May 2003
          Description/subject: "Jean-Luc Lemahieu is the Rangoon representative of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime. His office works with both the military and ethnic minority groups to wipe out drug production and trafficking in Burma. Through ground research and satellite surveys, the UNODC has made significant progress in identifying production sites and supply routes. He spoke to Aung Zaw... Question: You’ve spoken about evidence of gradual political will from Rangoon in combatting the drug problem. What do you mean by that? Answer: I mean the government still has a long way to go if it they want to be the best student in the class. If you consider the class as the international community, and if every member of the community has obligations to enforce international drug control efforts, you can definitely say this government has good reports. Nonetheless, in the academic world you have primary school, secondary school, you have university. Overall, you could say in terms of drug control we are now here in secondary school ready to go to university. The fact that the money laundering legislation has been approved, that the mutual legal assistance legislation is being formulated is a positive sign. Once that is in place, we can go to university. But getting into university demands added effort from the government. We’re gradually moving forward... Q: What do you make of the drug burning shows, organized by officials in Burma? A: What is more important, the burning of the drugs, or the interception of the drugs? I think the burning of the drugs has a symbolic value and it can serve certain purposes, it can serve as an indicator and as a message of good will, there are different ways to look at it. But obviously, the interest is not how high the flames of the drug burning go, but how we can intercept more drugs. Q: Is a drug-free Burma realistic? A: We’re not aiming for a drug free Burma. We’re aiming for a Burma where drug problems do not negatively affect the daily lives of the thousands of people as it does today..."
          Author/creator: An Interview with Jean-Luc Lemahieu
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 4
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 02 July 2003


          Title: Alternative Development: Sharing Good Practices, Facing Common Problems
          Date of publication: 06 March 2003
          Description/subject: Regional Seminar on Alternative Development for Illicit Crop Eradication Policies, Strategies and Actions. 16-19 July 2001, Taunggyi, Myanmar...List of Contents: Alternative Development is a Polity for Rural Justice, Freedom and Peace - - Foreword by Dr. Sandro Calvani; Working Together Towards an Enhanced Alternative Development Strategy in East Asia - - Dr. Sanong Chinnanon; Opium Poppy Control and Alternative Development Efforts Promoted by the Yunnan Provincial Government in the Border Areas of Its Neighboring Countries - - Mr. Song Shiyin; A Balanced Approach to Elimination of Opium Poppy Cultivation in Lao People’s Democratic Republic - - Mr. Kou Chansina & Mr. Shariq Bin Raza; UN - Nonghet Alternative Development Project - - Dr. Bounpone Sirivong; Long Alternative Development Project (LADP)- Mr. Khamsao & Mr. Krister Winter; Beng Alternative Development Micro-Project - Mr. Houmphanh Bouphakham; The Lao-German Drug Control Project - Ms. Andrea Kuhlmann; Village Based Development Component in a Pilot Project on Stabilization of Shifting Cultivations in Houaphan Province - Mr. Mahinada Kurukulasuriya; Myanmar Country Paper - Mr. U Nyi Nyi & Lt. Colonel Wa Tin; Wa Alternative Development Project - Mr. Xavier Bouan; Support for Opium Eradication Programmes in Kokang Special Region No.1 and Nam Tit Township, Wa Special Region No.2, Shan State - U Kyaw Thu; Thailand Country Paper - Mr. Pittaya Jinawat; The Role of Non-Agricultural Development in the Doi Tung Development Project - - Mom Rajawongse Putrie Viravaidya; Royal Project Foundation - Dr. Santhad Rojanasoonthon; Thai-German Highland Development Program (TG-HDP) in Northern Thailand - Mr. Hagen Dirksen; Sustainable Agricultural Development Project - Mr. Prasong Jantakad; Eliminating Opium : Lessons From Thailand - Dr. Ronald Renard; Vietnam: Results of Drug Control Programme in 1998-2000 and Future Directions in 2001-2005 - Mr. Ha Dinh Tuan; Ky Son Alternative Development Project in Vietnam - UNDCP Hanoi; An Overview Of Alternative Development And Illicit Crop Eradication Policies, Strategies and Actions in The Region - Mr. Leik Boonwaat Summary of Key Issues Raised after Presentations and During Discussions; Consolidated Summary of Recommendations from Group Discussions; Appendices: Consultations and Sharing Best Practices: Seminar Proceedings; Elimination of Illicit Drugs is a National Duty for Myanmar - Police Major General Soe Win; Opening Welcoming Remarks - Colonel Win Hlaing We Look Forward to an Enhanced Cooperation - Dr. Sanong Chinnanon; Concluding remarks from heads of delegations; Seminar Programme; Summary of Evaluation from the Seminar; Karamosia International Japan; List of Participants and Contact details.
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNDCP Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific
          Format/size: pdf (2.5MB)
          Date of entry/update: 19 December 2003


          Title: REPLACING OPIUM IN KOKANG AND WA SPECIAL REGIONS, Shan State, Myanmar
          Date of publication: 2003
          Description/subject: "In March 2003, a joint assessment team comprising international NGOs and UN agencies operating in Myanmar traveled to the Kokang and Wa Special Regions in north-eastern Shan State. Their purpose was to assess the humanitarian impact of the opium ban in the Kokang region, and the potential impact of a similar ban due to go into effect in the Wa region in June 2005. The following is the report submitted by this team after their mission. It is unedited and unabridged. Maps used in the report have been removed to reduce the file size. They are available from the UNODC Myanmar Office upon request."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Joint Kokang-Wa Humanitarian Needs Assessment Team
          Format/size: pdf (83K)
          Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


          Title: Myanmar Opium Survey 2002
          Date of publication: 27 August 2002
          Description/subject: "...The 2002 opium poppy survey was the first comprehensive survey implemented throughout the Shan State of Myanmar by the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) of the Government of Myanmar in co-operation with UNDCP, in the framework of UNDCP?s Illicit Crop Monitoring Programme (ICMP)...The present report consists of three main chapters. Chapter one describes the methodology and the implementation of the survey. Chapter two presents the main findings of the opium survey. A third chapter presents a brief socio-economic profile of the northern Wa Special Region which accounts 22% of the poppy cultivation in Myanmar. This study, the first of its kind, could be used for planning activities to tackle the supply and demand sides of opium use in this area. Several annexes present the breakdown of the estimates as well as maps illustrating some of the survey findings..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNDCP/CCDAC
          Format/size: pdf (3.6MB) 77 pages
          Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


          Title: The Drug Control Situation in the Union of Myanmar
          Date of publication: 21 February 2001
          Description/subject: A Compilation of UN Data and Sources Prepared by the UNDCP Office for Myanmar "...This report provides a general overview of the drug situation in Myanmar using UN data and sources with the objective of providing a detached and technical view...".....This document is no longer accessible on the UN site but is archived at www.archive.org ...Graphic features like photos and maps are not available, though some can be seen at the original source, e.g. the World Drug Report for 2000.
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNDCP
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Burma: drug production and trafficking

      Individual Documents

      Title: Burmese Daze
      Date of publication: November 2008
      Description/subject: The decline of opium production in the Golden Triangle masks serious flaws in the effectiveness of drug eradication efforts in the region.... "...To prevent exacerbating the hardships already being suffered by rural communities and undermining the sustainability of achievements to date, drug-control policies should be development-oriented. They should take a longer-term perspective and concentrate on putting alternative livelihoods in place for opium farmers. It is vital that the international community does not abandon the Golden Triangle at this crucial time. Without such approaches, it is unlikely that the reduction in opium production will be sustainable..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2008


      Title: Doing Wrong to Do Good - review of Tom Kramer's "The United Wa State Party: Narch-Army or Ethnic Nationalist Party?"
      Date of publication: December 2007
      Description/subject: The ethnic Wa party says its nationalist agenda is not funded by the drug trade, but is that the real story? ..."The title of this book is somewhat misleading. It is not either/or: it is perfectly possible to be both. Fifteen years ago, observers argued whether Khun Sa’s Mong Tai Army was a narco-army or a basically political organization. It was also both..."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 12
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


      Title: The Chinese Connection: Cross-border Drug Trafficking between Myanmar and China
      Date of publication: April 2007
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: This report presents findings from a two-year field study of drug trafficking activities between Myanmar (formerly Burma) and China. Interviews were conducted with law enforcement officials, community contacts and informants, incarcerated drug traffickers, active street drug dealers, drug addicts, as well as with other researchers in the field. Observations were made both inside the Golden Triangle and the surrounding regions. People of diverse backgrounds participate in the business of drug trafficking and distribution. Our data showed that most drug traffickers are poorly educated, with few employable skills or alternatives to make a living comparable to their aspirations. Drug traffickers in general do not belong to street gangs, organized crime groups, or terrorist organizations. Most are simply bold risk takers who work with family members, or form alliances with friends or other social contacts whom they come to trust. Drug trafficking operations are carefully planned with ingenious disguises and strategies to evade law enforcement activities. The business of drug trafficking, although dominated by groups of entrepreneurs, resembles a “learning” organism surprisingly adaptive to law enforcement interventions and market uncertainties. Traffickers continue to develop ingenious concealment and transportation schemes to stay ahead of the authorities. As a result, most drug seizures as reported by government news releases or the media are not the result of checkpoint stops or random inspections but of careful cultivation of intelligence from informants. Trafficking is mainly considered a way to make money, although earnings vary tremendously according to the roles individuals play in trafficking operations. We do not believe that, based on our data, large criminal organizations or terrorist groups are systematically involved in the drug trafficking business. Nor did we find signs of turf wars or competition among trafficking groups or street dealers. Drug trafficking and street dealing in China as well as in most parts of Southeast Asia appear to remain entrepreneurial in nature and fragmented in practice. Over the past few decades, drug trafficking between Myanmar and China has evolved in several directions. Shipments of drugs in large quantities have largely disappeared (or perhaps are better concealed) and most drugs are moved in small quantities by large numbers of individuals, or “mules,” who know little about the organizers behind the scene. Between drug manufacturers and end users are multiple and often overlapping layers of transportation and distribution networks, each involving only a few people. These groups of “mules” and their organizers work much like ants moving the contraband piece by piece successively from one location to another. The vast majority of our subjects were involved in heroin transportation. Therefore, our observations and conclusions were mostly based on heroin traffickers, although there is no reason to believe that traffickers of other illicit drugs were much different organizationally and operationally. Harsh punishment and the totalitarian political regimes appear to have hindered the development of large trafficking organizations in China and Myanmar. International pressure and China’s draconian anti-drug policy have also significantly reduced the scale of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar, making any sustained supply of heroin in the future doubtful. By official and addicts’ accounts, heroin trafficking and use have been on a steady but slow decline for years. The street price of heroin has skyrocketed in the past decade or so in China and other parts of the Golden Triangle, making heroin the least affordable illicit substance on the market. This suggests that heroin supply has become scarce. However, the production of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) such as ice and ketamine has increased rapidly in recent years, suggesting changes in the makeup of the addict population as well as changing market demand in the Golden Triangle region. Countries in the Golden Triangle region have all reported widespread availability of ATS, with those made in Myanmar commanding the highest price. Many factors may have contributed to the decline of heroin production and trafficking as well as the sharp rise of ATS in the region. The U.S. and other international involvement in the regional anti-narcotics efforts appear to have produced measurable impact in reducing opium poppy cultivation and heroin manufacturing. Findings from this study underscore the importance of continued collaboration and mutual assistance in international efforts. However, counter-narcotic efforts in the region in recent years have either stalled or been disrupted due to Myanmar’s political situation, despite the recent progress. The United States’ near total cessation of involvement in Myanmar’s anti-drug effort has not produced any intended political outcomes, but has served to diminish whatever influence the U.S. may have had from its past efforts. Continued financial as well as technical assistance through third country programs should be explored for the United States to remain engaged and monitor regional illicit drug manufacturing and distribution activities. Ample intelligence suggests that Southeast Asia is well on its way to become a major ATS supply source in the world. If one thinks the red-hot Asian economy has flooded North America with cheap consumer goods, wait till Asian drug manufacturers and traffickers show off their entrepreneurial prowess. It will happen in due time.
      Author/creator: Ko-lin Chin, Sheldon X. Zhang
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The United States Department of Justice
      Format/size: pdf (643K)
      Date of entry/update: 28 December 2008


      Title: Bizarre Night Bazaar
      Date of publication: June 2006
      Description/subject: Burma’s contraband trade flourishes in a floating market... "Beyond prying eyes on shore, the dark waters of the Andaman Sea off the island-dotted coast of southeast Burma’s Mon State frequently host a bizarre night market. Scores of fishing vessels line up side by side, switch on their neon lights and begin buying and selling. The crews and vessel owners trade in everything from women to Mercedes Benz cars. Most of the trade is coming into Burma illegally, but the most prized commodity is outgoing—drugs. Despite claims by the junta that it is curbing opium and methamphetamine production, and an acknowledgement by the US State Department that poppy growing in Burma is today less than 20 percent of mid-1990s levels, Burmese drug manufacturing is still a multi-million dollar-a-year business. Burma remains the world’s second-largest opium producer, after Afghanistan, and last year processed about 380 tonnes, said a State Department report earlier this year..."
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 December 2006


      Title: Die Wa in Gefahr. Nach dem Opiumbann droht in der Special Region 2 eine humanitäre Katastrophe
      Date of publication: 29 December 2005
      Description/subject: In den Grenzregionen des Shan State im Nordosten Burmas, die seit 1989 unter der Kontrolle der United Wa State Army (UWSA) ist, werden 65 Prozent des gesamten Opiums des Landes angebaut. Trotz der Bereitschaft der Landwirte konnten wegen minderwertiger Bodenbeschaffenheit und klimatischer Bedingungen bisher noch keine Erfolg versprechenden Alternativen zum Opiumanbau realisiert werden. Seit dem kompletten Bann im Jahre 2005 werden tiefgreifende humanitäre Konsequenzen für die Region in Form von Menschenhandel, Armut und mangelnder Sicherheit befürchtet. keywords: ethnic minorities, Wa, Shan State, opium production, opium trafficking, resettlement
      Author/creator: Michael Tröster
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: Asienhaus Focus Asien Nr. 26; S. 45-55
      Format/size: pdf
      Date of entry/update: 20 March 2006


      Title: Trading Against Allah
      Date of publication: February 2004
      Description/subject: "Koranic law proscribes using money earned from trading in drugs. But many Burmese Muslims in China can’t resist the benefits of joining in. By Naw Seng/Ruili, China Picture this: Two young Burmese Muslims are hanging out, wearing neat, bright clothes and American Ray-Ban sunglasses with golden hand chains. Near them is a Chinese-made chopper, and around them are bustling Chinese and Burmese Muslims stealthily unwrapping pieces of cloth to reveal their wares of jade. Are they jade traders, or Mafiosi? At the corner of the market, a thirty-something Burmese Muslim named Bushi sits in his small store and sells seasonal fruits on the street. He was once like the traders, but last year he lost nearly all of his property. He has no friends and no money. "No one wants to talk to me," he says. "I have been Hkali." In Burmese Muslim usage, Hkali means zero or nil. Bushi came to China thirteen years ago. For five years he had trafficked heroin, but he stopped after taking a big loss. Before last year, he was a respected leader of the Muslim community in Ruili, a Chinese town on the border with Burma. At that time he had dozens of aides and spent more than 5,000 yuan (US $600) per day in drug earnings. "I understand heroin kills people," he said. But then he had no choice. Now he does. "I don’t want that hell."..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


      Title: Southeast Asian heroin smuggling methods: containerised cargo
      Date of publication: September 2001
      Description/subject: Drug Intelligence Brief. "Southeast Asian (SEA) heroin traffickers have been operating and conducting drug activity in Southeast Asia for centuries. Typically, these organizations control the cultivation and production levels. They regulate prices, materials, and procedures, allowing for only a small degree of flexibility. At the wholesale level, however, the trafficking process becomes fluid and diversified, and can involve any number of smuggling groups and brokers. Brokers will often have close connections with a particular producer while also arranging transactions with rival producers. Instead of maintaining continuing relationships with the same group every time, SEA heroin traffickers form limited partnerships with different individuals or groups for the purpose of executing specific drug transactions. These procedures ensure business flexibility as well as protection. One of many ways SEA heroin traffickers smuggle bulk quantities of SEA heroin to international markets is by the use of commercial containerized cargo. Heroin processed in the Golden Triangle (Burma, Laos, and Thailand) is smuggled overland to seaports in Burma, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam for transshipment within containerized cargo through Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Korea. From these transit countries in Southeast Asia, the heroin-laden containers are shipped to consumer markets in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States..." INACCESSIBLE, DECEMBER 2008
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Opium Poppy Cultivation and Heroin Processing in Southeast Asia
      Date of publication: March 2001
      Description/subject: Contents: origin and history of the opium poppy, the opium poppy plant, Opium poppy growing areas, Field selection and land clearing, Land preparation and cultivation methods, opium harvesting methods, Cooking opium, Extraction of morphine from opium, Conversion of morphine to heroin base, Conversion of heroin base to heroin No. 3, Conversion of heroin base to heroin No. 4.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Justice.
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The price dynamics of Southeast Asian heroin
      Date of publication: February 2001
      Description/subject: Drug Intelligence Brief Synopsis: "This report provides an analysis of available data on opium and heroin prices in Mainland Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam). The report is documented with detailed descriptions of the general wholesale price structure of opium and heroin in Asia. While the heroin market spans the globe, much of the Southeast Asian opium and heroin product is sold and consumed within the region. Therefore, the focus in this report is on prices in Southeast Asia with only limited reference made to United States prices. The data used to prepare this analysis are drawn from numerous sources. Opium price data are derived from anecdotal reports provided by confidential sources of the Thai police. Heroin price data are acquired from a variety of sources to include law enforcement reporting, intelligence reports, and open sources of information. There are many factors impacting drug prices..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Intelligence Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the US Dept. of Justice
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Opium and Heroin Production in Burma
      Date of publication: 1996
      Description/subject: Based on Ronald Renard's "The Burma Connection" UNRISD 1996
      Author/creator: Ronald Renard
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Global Hangover Guide
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: THE BONDAGE OF OPIUM: THE AGONY OF THE WA PEOPLE -
      Date of publication: 1993
      Description/subject: THE PROPOSAL: "We, the leadership of the United WA State Party (UWSP) and the United WA State Army (UWSA) propose to anyone who might be interested, that we eradicate opium growing and stop the production of heroin in all the territory controlled by the WA. This we are willing to do. It can be done very quickly. I have full authority to speak for the United WA State Party and the United WA State Army which has ample power to carry out this proposal... THE PLEA" The plea is a necessary part of the proposal. We need food for our people while we develop substitute crops. Our people are already so poor that to take away opium production without giving them food would mean starvation. Beyond that, we need help of every appropriate kind to make the transition from an opium-based economy to a new agricultural economy..."
      Author/creator: Ta Saw Lu
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Wa State Party (UWSP) Foreign Affairs Department
      Format/size: html (42K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 July 2003


    • Cease-Fires With Drug Armies

      Individual Documents

      Title: Whither the Wa?
      Date of publication: October 2005
      Description/subject: Statements of intent aren’t enough to make the UWSA respectable... "This year’s international anti-drugs day was supposed to be a special occasion for the United Wa State Army, reputedly the world’s largest armed drug trafficking group. The shadowy outfit, said to control a sizeable portion of the Burmese sector of the Golden Triangle, was supposed to announce in front of some 200 diplomats, aid workers, journalists and anti-narcotics officials at its Panghsang headquarters on the Sino-Burmese border that the organization has officially kicked the habit. Opium would from now on be prohibited in the UWSA-controlled region, officially known as Special Region 2. The UWSA planned to announce that this past season was the last opium harvest for the poor farmers who for generations had grown poppy because there was nothing much else they could cultivate in this mountainous region. Hundreds of invitations were sent out to various international agencies and VIPs, but there was one slight problem. The language wasn’t right. The Burmese government didn’t have anything against the fact that the invitation cards were written in Chinese. What irked the generals in Rangoon was that the invitation for the event, which was supposed to coincide with the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, explicitly stated that the host of this event was the “Government of the Wa State.” For the generals in Rangoon, there is only one government in Burma. And so they called off what was to be an historic event for the Wa and possibly a turning point in the history of Burma’s opium politics. The wording on the invitation cards was the UWSA’s way of telling the junta that Special Region 2—together with areas along the Thai border that they had taken from former drug warlord Khun Sa after they defeated his Mong Tai Army in 1996—was their turf..."
      Author/creator: Don Pathan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


    • Drug bans and poppy crop substitution

      Individual Documents

      Title: Financing Dispossession - China’s Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: "Northern Burma’s borderlands have undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades. Three main and interconnected developments are simultaneously taking place in Shan State and Kachin State: (1) the increase in opium cultivation in Burma since 2006 after a decade of steady decline; (2) the increase at about the same time in Chinese agricultural investments in northern Burma under China’s opium substitution programme, especially in rubber; and (3) the related increase in dispossession of local communities’ land and livelihoods in Burma’s northern borderlands. The vast majority of the opium and heroin on the Chinese market originates from northern Burma. Apart from attempting to address domestic consumption problems, the Chinese government also has created a poppy substitution development programme, and has been actively promoting Chinese companies to take part, offering subsidies, tax waivers, and import quotas for Chinese companies. The main benefits of these programmes do not go to (ex-)poppy growing communities, but to Chinese businessmen and local authorities, and have further marginalised these communities. Serious concerns arise regarding the long-term economic benefits and costs of agricultural development— mostly rubber—for poor upland villagers. Economic benefits derived from rubber development are very limited. Without access to capital and land to invest in rubber concessions, upland farmers practicing swidden cultivation (many of whom are (ex-) poppy growers) are left with few alternatives but to try to get work as wage labourers on the agricultural concessions. Land tenure and other related resource management issues are vital ingredients for local communities to build licit and sustainable livelihoods. Investment-induced land dispossession has wide implications for drug production and trade, as well as border stability. Investments related to opium substitution should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion. Customary land rights and institutions should be respected. Chinese investors should use a smallholder plantation model instead of confiscating farmers land as a concession. Labourers from the local population should be hired rather than outside migrants in order to funnel economic benefits into nearby communities. China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Chinese authorities need to reconsider their regional development strategies of implementation in order to avoid further border conflict and growing antagonism from Burmese society. Financing dispossession is not development."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer & Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-financingdispossesion-web.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


      Title: Alternative Development or Business as Usual? China’s Opium Substitution Policy in Burma and Laos
      Date of publication: November 2010
      Description/subject: Conclusions & Recommendations: • The huge increase in Chinese agricultural concessions in Burma and Laos is driven by China’s opium crop substitution programme, offering subsidies and tax waivers for Chinese companies. • China’s focus is on integrating the local economy of the border regions of Burma and Laos into the regional market through bilateral relations with government and military authorities across the border. • In Burma large-scale rubber concessions is the only method operating. Initially informal smallholder arrangements were the dominant form of cultivation in Laos, but the topdown coercive model is gaining prevalence. • The poorest of the poor, including many (ex-) poppy farmers, benefit least from these investments. They are losing access to land and forest, being forcibly relocated to the lowlands, left with few viable options for survival. • New forms of conflict are arising from Chinese large-scale investments abroad. Related land dispossession has wide implications on drug production and trade, as well as border stability. • Investments related to opium substitution plans should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion with a community-based approach. They should respect traditional land rights and communities’ customs.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational InstituteDrug (Policy Briefing No. 33)
      Format/size: pdf (304K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/node/595/by-country/Burma
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


      Title: From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt ? - The Future of Opium Bans in the Kokang and Wa Regions
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: "In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended over a century of poppy cultivation. The bans have had dramatic consequences for local communities. They depended on opium as a cash crop, to buy food, clothing, and medicines. The bans have driven poppy-growing communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security. Very few alternatives are being offered to households for their survival... Conclusions & Recommendations: • The opium bans have driven communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security and access to health care and education. • The Kokang and Wa authorities have promoted Chinese investment in mono-plantations, especially in rubber. These projects are unsustainable and do not significantly profit the population. • Ex-poppy farmers mainly rely on casual labour and collecting Non-Timber Forest Products as alternative source of income. • Current interventions by international NGOs and UN agencies are still limited in scale and can best be described as “emer-gency responses”. • If the many challenges to achieving viable legal livelihoods in the Kokang and Wa regions are not addressed, the reductions in opium cultivation are unlikely to be sustainable. The Kokang and Wa cease-fire groups have implemented these bans following international pressure, especially from neighbouring China. In return, they hope to gain international political recognition and aid to develop their impoverished and war-torn regions. The Kokang and Wa authorities have been unable to provide alternative sources of income for ex-poppy farmers. Instead they have promoted Chinese invest-ment in monoplantations, especially in rubber. These projects have created many undesired effects and do not significantly profit the population. The Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has also been unwilling and unable to provide assistance. The international community has provided emergency aid through inter-national NGOs and UN agencies. However, current levels of support are insufficient, and need to be upgraded in order to provide sustainable alternatives for the population. The international community should not abandon former opium-growing communities in the Kokang and Wa regions at this critical time..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute (Drug Policy Briefing Nr 29)
      Format/size: pdf (217K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/briefing/golden-triangle-rubber-belt

      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Golden_Triangle_to_Rubber_Belt.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Country Studies on Mainstreaming Drug Control: Myanmar
      Date of publication: 22 September 2007
      Description/subject: Executive summary:- Key Findings: 1. Trends. There are credible reports that poppy cultivation, and production, has rapidly declined over the last 8 years. From 2006 – 2007 there has been an increase in poppy production. South and East Shan State are the main producers... 2. Policy coherence. Drug Control (DC) policy is largely incoherent in Myanmar. This has had dire humanitarian consequences on its population... 3. Controversies. There are many examples of controversies surrounding DC in Myanmar. There are considerable tensions between DC targets achieved through compressed and time-bound poppy bans and development objectives... 4. Experiences with mainstreaming. The Kokang and Wa Initiative (KOWI) represents an effort to bring coherence and coordination to multi-sectoral integrated programming in a poppy-growing area. It is evolving into an organisation that could support mainstreaming in a strategic manner. Mainstreaming is happening in a promising, albeit embryonic fashion, from the demand-side. There has been an encouraging expansion of Harm Reduction (HR) programs in the last few years. Mainstreaming is perhaps best exemplified by a contemporary shift from HR to a ‘Drugs and Society’ approach... 5. ‘Mainstreaming without a stream’. Government of the Union of Myanmar (GOUM) expenditure on social sector spending is amongst the lowest in the world. Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) in Myanmar is very limited. It is problematic, perhaps impossible, to mainstream in a meaningful fashion without social sectors to mainstream through: 6. Dedicated funding. Allocations of funding to supply-side. initiatives are miniscule. Allocations to HR and Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) are more generous but radically inadequate to deal with the scale and magnitude of needs..... Key Recommendations: 1. ODA. Increase ODA for social development sectors with great urgency. This will avert a humanitarian crisis. In addition, increased financing for social development sectors provides programs through which drugs mainstreaming can be achieved... 2. ODA allocated to DC and development. Allocate ODA to DC measures. In contemporary Myanmar DC, from the supply-side, is receiving radically inadequate funding allocations... 3. A multi-sectoral, multi-institutional partnership should be established in South and East Shan State where there are upward poppy cultivation/production trends. Its goal would be similar to KOWI’s in Wa and Kokang... 4. There should be a move away from the politicisation of DC. Efforts should be made to ensure that DC is more humane, evidence based and depoliticised... 5. The ‘Drugs and Society’ approach should be supported and funded.
      Author/creator: Marc THEUSS
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
      Format/size: pdf (185K)
      Date of entry/update: 14 December 2010


      Title: Access Denied
      Date of publication: April 2006
      Description/subject: "Thai opium crop substitution program in Burma hits problems... A Thai project under royal patronage to wean farmers in Burma's Shan State away from opium production is encountering problems because of political changes in Rangoon. Since the fall of prime minister and military intelligence chief Gen Khin Nyunt, staff of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation in northern Thailand have been denied direct access to the project, known as Doi Tung 2, established at Yong Kha in southeastern Shan State. Project staff say the four-year-old crop substitution project is still functioning, but with local supervision..."
      Author/creator: Michael Black and Roland Fields
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 4
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


      Title: A Downward Spiral
      Date of publication: October 2005
      Description/subject: Proposed opium bans could spark a humanitarian crisis in Burma's drug-rich north... "United Wa State Army chairman Bao Yuxiang said on June 24, after proclaiming Special Region 2 a �drugs source free zone"How are the farmers going to survive after the poppy ban? This is the big question that every level of local authorities encounters."The lives of the people will become more difficult, and we do expect the international community will give us more assistance to let the people be able to overcome the difficulties and achieve the historical commitment." The Wa and Kokang regions in northern Shan State have traditionally been the major opium-producing areas in Burma, but this could change. The UWSA has declared the areas under their control opium free as of June 26, 2005. In the Kokang region an opium ban has been in effect since 2003, while the Mong La region in eastern Shan State has had a similar ban since 1997. The implementation of these opium bans in one of the world's largest opium-producing areas may sound promising to international anti-narcotics officials, but for the opium farmers living there it could spell disaster..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer (TNI)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


      Title: Downward Spiral: Banning Opium in Afghanistan and Burma
      Date of publication: June 2005
      Description/subject: "...Opium farmers in Afghanistan and Burma are coming under huge pressure as local authorities implement bans on the cultivation of poppy. Banning opium has an immediate and profound impact on the livelihoods of more than 4 million people.These bans are a response to pressure from the international community. Afghan and Burmese authorities alike are urging the international community to accompany their pressure with substantial aid. For political reasons, levels of humanitarian and alternative development aid are very different between the two countries. The international community has pledged several hundred millions for rural development in poppy growing regions in Afghanistan. In sharp contrast, pledged support that could soften the crisis in poppy regions in Burma is less than $15 million, leaving an urgent shortfall. Opium growing regions in both countries will enter a downward spiral of poverty because of the ban.The reversed sequencing of first forcing farmers out of poppy cultivation before ensuring other income opportunities is a grave mistake.Aggressive drug control efforts against farmers and small-scale opium traders, and forced eradication operations in particular, also have a negative impact on prospects for peace and democracy in both countries. In neither Afghanistan nor Burma have farmers had any say at all in these policies from which they stand to suffer most. It is vital that local communities and organisations that represent them are given a voice in the decision-making process that has such a tremendous impact on their livelihoods..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (340.59 K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: REPLACING OPIUM IN KOKANG AND WA SPECIAL REGIONS, Shan State, Myanmar
      Date of publication: 2003
      Description/subject: "In March 2003, a joint assessment team comprising international NGOs and UN agencies operating in Myanmar traveled to the Kokang and Wa Special Regions in north-eastern Shan State. Their purpose was to assess the humanitarian impact of the opium ban in the Kokang region, and the potential impact of a similar ban due to go into effect in the Wa region in June 2005. The following is the report submitted by this team after their mission. It is unedited and unabridged. Maps used in the report have been removed to reduce the file size. They are available from the UNODC Myanmar Office upon request."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Joint Kokang-Wa Humanitarian Needs Assessment Team
      Format/size: pdf (83K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005


    • Drug rehabilitation programmes

      Individual Documents

      Title: Smacking of Irony
      Date of publication: January 2004
      Description/subject: "It used to be home to the Golden Triangle’s most infamous drug lord, now it’s a place where addicts come to kick the habit. As northern Thai mountain towns go, Baan Thoed Thai is thriving—the legacy of piles of cash made from the heroin trade not so long ago..."
      Author/creator: Shawn L. Nance
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2008


    • Drugs and Burma: US Government reports

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Official information and services from the U.S. government
      Description/subject: A search for "Burma Drugs" got 96 hits (March 2009)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Govt.
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Alternate URLs: http://search.usa.gov/search?query=Burma+Drugs&USA.gov+Search.x=49&USA.gov+Search.y=13
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: US Department of State's International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports
      Description/subject: Narcotics Control Reports: Reports back to 1996...The Department of State's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) -- due to Congress March 1st annually -- is prepared in accordance with §489 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the "FAA," 22 U.S.C. §2291). The INCSR is the United States Government's country-by-country two volume report that describes the efforts to attack all aspects of the international drug trade, chemical control, money laundering and financial crimes. [Note: The annual Narcotics Control Reports have been renamed starting with the March 2005 report to reflect the year they were released to the public. Therefore, there is no "2004 INCSR." The 2005 report covers 2004. The 2006 report covers 2005, etc.]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Dept. of State
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


      Title: US State Department
      Description/subject: A search of the US State Dept. website for Burma Drugs got more than 1000 hits (March 2009)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Dept. of State
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume I: Drug and Chemical Control
      Date of publication: 01 March 2010
      Description/subject: Summary: "The annual U.S. government estimate for Burma’s opium production showed that poppy cultivation increased 4 percent to 22,500 ha in 2008 from 21,700 ha in 2007. The U.S. survey found that potential opium production increased 26 percent to 340 metric tons, sufficient to produce 32 metric tons of pure heroin. Ninety-four percent of poppy was grown in Shan State, with limited cultivation observed in Kachin State. A significant downward trend in poppy cultivation observed in Burma since 1998 was reversed in 2007. Preliminary results from “off-season” UNODC surveys of poppy cultivation and production in Burma indicate growers are producing crops during periods not previously associated with poppy cultivation, perhaps to avoid government eradication efforts. The Government of Burma (GOB) made significant steps in poppy eradication efforts over the last decade, a period during which Burma sunk to a distant second after Afghanistan, in world poppy cultivation rankings, but it would seem the direction of cultivation and production have reversed in response to very high regional opium prices in Southeast Asia. Opium farmers are also reportedly taking advantage of efficiencies provided by improved inputs (fertilizer and irrigation systems) to increase yields. The GOB has not provided most opium farmers with access to alternative development opportunities, though UN and other international programs have had some impact. Production and export of synthetic drugs (amphetamine-type stimulants, crystal methamphetamine and Ketamine) from Burma continue unabated. Despite Burma’s overall decline in poppy cultivation since 1998 a dramatic surge has taken place in the production and export of synthetic drugs. The Golden Triangle, where the borders of Burma, Thailand and Laos converge on the Mekong River, is now dotted with drug labs producing synthetic drugs for the Asian market and beyond. Burma is a significant player in the manufacture and regional trafficking of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). Drug gangs based in the Burma-China and Burma-Thailand border areas, many of whose members are ethnic Chinese criminals, produce several hundred million methamphetamine tablets annually for markets in Thailand, China, and India, as well as for onward distribution beyond the region. There are also indications that groups in Burma have increased the production and trafficking of crystal methamphetamine, known as “Ice.”..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: pdf (115K - Burma section; 2.87MB - full report)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/137411.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2010


      Title: 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) - Volume I: Drug and Chemical Control: Burma
      Date of publication: 27 February 2009
      Description/subject: Extracts on Burma: "Both UNODC and U.S. surveys of opium poppy cultivation indicated a significant increase in cultivation and potential production in 2007, and production and export of synthetic drugs (amphetamine-type stimulants, crystal methamphetamine and Ketamine) from Burma continued unabated. (Note: 2008 UNODC Cultivation Report statistics were not available by our printing deadline.) The significant downward trend in poppy cultivation observed in Burma since 1998 was reversed in 2007, with increased cultivation reported in Eastern, Northern and Southern Shan State and Kachin State. Whether this represents a sustained change in poppy cultivation in Burma, which remains far below levels of 10 years earlier, remains to be seen. It does indicate, however, that increases in the value of opium are driving poppy cultivation into new regions. An increased number of households in Burma were involved in opium cultivation in 2007. While Burma remains the second largest opium poppy grower in the world after Afghanistan, its share of world opium poppy cultivation fell from 55 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2006, and rose slightly in 2007. This large proportional decrease is due to both decreased opium poppy cultivation in Burma and increased cultivation in Afghanistan, which is now by far the world’s largest opium poppy cultivating region. Burma has not provided most opium farmers with access to alternative development opportunities. Recent trends indicate that some opium farmers were tempted to increase production to take advantage of higher prices generated by opium’s relative scarcity and continuing strong demand. Increased yields in new and remaining poppy fields (particularly in Southern Shan State), spurred by favorable weather conditions in 2007 and improved cultivation practices, partially offset the effects of decreased cultivation in 2006. Burma’s overall decline in poppy cultivation since 1998 has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the production and export of synthetic drugs, turning the Golden Triangle into a new “Ice Triangle.” Burma is a significant player in the manufacture and regional trafficking of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). Drug gangs based in the Burma-China and Burma-Thailand border areas, many of whose members are ethnic Chinese, produce several hundred million methamphetamine tablets annually for markets in Thailand, China, and India, as well as for onward distribution beyond the region. There are also indications that groups in Burma have increased the production and trafficking of crystal methamphetamine or “Ice”."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: pdf (119K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2009/vol1/116520.htm (full report0
      Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


      Title: 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) Volume II: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: Burma
      Date of publication: 27 February 2009
      Description/subject: "...The Government of Burma has in place a framework to allow mutual legal assistance and cooperation with overseas jurisdictions in the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes. To fully implement a strong anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing regime, Burma must provide the necessary resources to administrative and judicial authorities who supervise the financial sector so they can apply and enforce the government’s regulations to fight money laundering successfully. Burma must also continue to improve its enforcement of the new regulations and oversight of its financial sector, including its banks, its DNFBPs as well as its NPOs. The GOB should end all government policies that facilitate the investment of drug money and proceeds from other crimes into the legitimate economy. The reporting threshold for cash transactions should be lowered to a realistic threshold that fits the Burmese context and the FIU should become a fully funded independent agency that is allowed to function without interference. Customs should be strengthened and authorities should monitor more carefully the misuse of trade and its role in informal remittance or hawala/hundi networks. Burma should become a party to the UN Convention against Corruption. The GOB should take serious steps to combat smuggling of contraband and its link to the pervasive corruption that permeates all levels of business and government. The GOB should criminalize the financing of terrorism. Finally, the GOB should adhere to all laws and regulations that govern anti-money laundering and terrorist financing to which it is committed by virtue of its membership in the UN and the APG."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: pdf (92K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2009/vol2/index.htm (full - global - report)
      Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


      Title: 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume I - Drug and Chemical Control : Burma
      Date of publication: 29 February 2008
      Description/subject: "Burma failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts during the last 12 months to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and the counternarcotics requirements set forth in section 489 (a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. Burma still is the largest source of methamphetamine pills in Asia, and pill production continues to grow. Burma’s military government has taken no consistent action against the largest methamphetamine pill manufacturing and trafficking group in Asia, the United Wa State Army, an armed semi-autonomous ethnic minority organization, which has caused considerable hardship for Burma’s neighbors in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. On occasion, Burmese authorities have accepted casualties, in the enforcement of Burma’s anti-narcotics laws, but overall Burma has not mounted a serious, direct, and effective confrontation of the known narcotics manufactures and traffickers operating from its territory. The military regime appears to deal inconsistently with suspected drug traffickers, in some cases moving sharply against them to enforce anti-narcotics laws and, in other cases, seeming to tolerate their criminality, if not encourage it. Declining poppy cultivation has been matched by a sharp increase in the production and export of synthetic drugs..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: pdf (129K)
      Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


      Title: 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume I Drug and Chemical Control
      Date of publication: 29 February 2008
      Description/subject: Search for Burma... "Burma failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts during the last 12 months to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and the counternarcotics requirements set forth in section 489 (a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. Burma still is the largest source of methamphetamine pills in Asia, and pill production continues to grow. Burma’s military government has taken no consistent action against the largest methamphetamine pill manufacturing and trafficking group in Asia, the United Wa State Army, an armed semi-autonomous ethnic minority organization, which has caused considerable hardship for Burma’s neighbors in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. On occasion, Burmese authorities have accepted casualties, in the enforcement of Burma’s anti-narcotics laws, but overall Burma has not mounted a serious, direct, and effective confrontation of the known narcotics manufactures and traffickers operating from its territory..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: pdf (92K - Extracts; 6.43MB - full report))
      Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/102583.pdf (full - global - report)
      Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


      Title: 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume II Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: Burma
      Date of publication: 29 February 2008
      Description/subject: Extracts on Burma: "Burma, a major drug-producing country, has taken steps to strengthen its anti-money laundering regulatory regime in 2007. The country’s economy remains dominated by state-owned entities, including the military. Agriculture and extractive industries, including natural gas, mining, logging and fishing provide the major portion of national income, with heavy industry and manufacturing playing minor roles. The steps Burma has taken over the past several years have reduced vulnerability to drug money laundering in the banking sector. However, with an underdeveloped financial sector and large volume of informal trade, Burma remains a country where there is significant risk of drug money being funneled into commercial enterprises and infrastructure investment. Traffic in narcotics, people, wildlife, gems, timber, and other contraband flow through Burma. Regionally, value transfer via trade is of concern and hawala/hundi networks frequently use trade goods to provide counter-valuation. Burma’s border regions are difficult to control and poorly patrolled. In some remote regions active in smuggling, there are continuing ethnic tensions with armed rebel groups that hamper government control. Collusion between traffickers and Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), allows organized crime groups to function with virtual impunity. Although progress was made in 2007, the criminal underground faces little risk of enforcement and prosecution. Corruption in business and government is a major problem. Burma is ranked 179 out of 179 countries in Transparency International’s 2007 Corruption Perception Index..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: pdf (92K)
      Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


      Title: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report-2001
      Date of publication: 01 March 2002
      Description/subject: (Section on Southeast Asia and the Pacific). Scroll down for Burma. 'The "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)" for 2001 is the Department of State's annual report on illicit drug-control and money laundering activities in more than 140 countries. It is the only comprehensive United States Government publication that addresses global illicit drug-control activities outside the United States. The report covers countries that range from major drug producing and drug-transit countries, where drug control is a critical element of national policy, to small countries or entities where drug issues or the capacity to deal with them are minimal. The reports vary in the extent of their coverage, depending on the information available from host country authorities...'
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: (US) Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      Format/size: HTML and PDF (737K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/8699.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 2000
      Date of publication: March 2001
      Description/subject: Scroll down for Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
      Format/size: HTML (317K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2000/891.htm
      http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35910.htm
      Date of entry/update: 11 June 2010


      Title: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1999
      Date of publication: March 2000
      Description/subject: Scroll down for Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, SE Asia and the Pacific
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1998
      Date of publication: February 1999
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1997
      Date of publication: March 1998
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: US Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
      Format/size: Scroll down for Burma
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1996
      Date of publication: March 1997
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
      Format/size: Scroll down for Burma
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Drugs and conflict

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Links on drugs and conflict in Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: Withdrawal Symptoms - Changes in the Southeast Asian drugs market
      Date of publication: August 2008
      Description/subject: The Golden Triangle is closing a dramatic period of opium reduction”, wrote UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa in his preface to the 2007 survey on Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia. “A decade long process of drug control is clearly paying off.” According to the survey, the region produced one-third of world opium production in 1998, now down to only about 5 percent. The once notorious region “can no longer be called Golden Triangle on the reason of opium production alone.” There has clearly been a significant decline in opium production in Southeast Asia over the past decade in spite of a resurgence in Burma (Myanmar) in the last two years. In this study, we try to assess the causes and consequences, and come to the conclusion that the region is suffering a variety of ‘withdrawal symptoms’, leaving little reason for optimism. The rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a ‘success story’. Meanwhile, the market of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has increased rapidly and higher heroin prices are leading to shifts in consumer behaviour. While the total numbers of opium and heroin users may be going down, many have started to inject and others have shifted to a cocktail of pharmaceutical replacements, representing largely unknown health risks. Confronted with harsh domestic repression and little support from the international community, both farmers and users in the region are struggling to find coping strategies to deal with the rapid changes. Drug control officials have presumed that reducing opium production would automatically lead to a reduction in drug consumption and drugrelated problems. The reality in Southeast Asia proves them wrong. Had quality treatment services been in place, more drug users may have chosen that option. In the absence of adequate health care and within a highly repressive law enforcement environment, however, most are forced to find their own ‘solutions’. Harm reduction services are still only accessible to a tiny proportion of those who need them in the region, even though most countries have now adopted the basic principles in their policy framework. China, especially, has started to significantly scale up needle exchange and methadone programmes to prevent a further spreading of blood-borne infections. In 1998, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting signed the declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2020 and two years later even decided to bring forward the target year to 2015. Countries elaborated national plans to comply with the deadline putting huge pressure on rural communities to abandon poppy cultivation and traditional opium use and on police to arrest as many users and traders as possible. This also led to the 2003 ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in which thousands of drug users and small-scale traders were killed. The 2008 status report on progress achieved towards making ASEAN and China drug-free, “identifies an overall rising trend in the abuse of drugs”, however, and acknowledges that “a target of zero drugs for production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs in the region by 2015 is obviously unattainable”. This TNI publication makes extensive use of the research carried out by our team of fifteen researchers working in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Yunnan province in China. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with farmers, users and traders. We cannot thank them enough for their motivation and courage. Most prefer to remain anonymous and continue their research to detect new trends and help fill gaps in knowledge that have become apparent while writing this first report. A more detailed publication incorporating their latest findings is due at the end of this year. We intend to discuss our outcomes with authorities, civil society and researchers in the region with a view to contributing to a better understanding of the changes taking place in the regional drugs market and to design more effective and humane drug policy responses for the future.
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Martin Jelsma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) Debate Papers No. 16
      Format/size: pdf (688K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.idpc.net/publications/changes-in-southeast-asian-drugs-market
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Downward Spiral: Banning Opium in Afghanistan and Burma
      Date of publication: June 2005
      Description/subject: "...Opium farmers in Afghanistan and Burma are coming under huge pressure as local authorities implement bans on the cultivation of poppy. Banning opium has an immediate and profound impact on the livelihoods of more than 4 million people.These bans are a response to pressure from the international community. Afghan and Burmese authorities alike are urging the international community to accompany their pressure with substantial aid. For political reasons, levels of humanitarian and alternative development aid are very different between the two countries. The international community has pledged several hundred millions for rural development in poppy growing regions in Afghanistan. In sharp contrast, pledged support that could soften the crisis in poppy regions in Burma is less than $15 million, leaving an urgent shortfall. Opium growing regions in both countries will enter a downward spiral of poverty because of the ban.The reversed sequencing of first forcing farmers out of poppy cultivation before ensuring other income opportunities is a grave mistake.Aggressive drug control efforts against farmers and small-scale opium traders, and forced eradication operations in particular, also have a negative impact on prospects for peace and democracy in both countries. In neither Afghanistan nor Burma have farmers had any say at all in these policies from which they stand to suffer most. It is vital that local communities and organisations that represent them are given a voice in the decision-making process that has such a tremendous impact on their livelihoods..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (340.59 K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: DRUGS AND CONFLICT IN BURMA (MYANMAR): Dilemmas for Policy Responses
      Date of publication: December 2003
      Description/subject: "Burma is on the brink of yet another humanitarian crisis. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced last year, and by mid-2005 no more poppy growing will be allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering. TNI tries to bring nuance to the polarised debate on the Rangoon-focussed political agenda, the demonising of the ceasefire groups and repressive drug policy approaches. Hundreds of thousands of farmers who depend on the opium economy risk being sacrificed in an effort to comply with international pressures about drug-free deadlines. Community livelihoods face being crushed between the pincers of the opium ban and tightened sanctions. The unfolding drama caused by the opium bans is forcing the international community to rethink its strategies. Enforcement of tight deadlines will result in major food shortages and may jeopardise the fragile social stability in the areas. To sustain the gradual decline in opium production, alternative sources of income for basic subsistence farmers have to be secured. Without adequate resources, the longer-term sustainability of ‘quick solutions’ is highly questionable. Since military authorities are eager to comply with promises made, law enforcement repression is likely to increase, with human rights abuses and more displacement a potential outcome. The only viable and humane option lies in a simultaneous easing of drug control deadline pressures and increasing international humanitarian aid efforts. Both require stronger international engagement of a different kind to that we have seen so far."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/archives/reports/debate9.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: From Pyusawhti to the Present
      Date of publication: January 2003
      Description/subject: Burma’s history of militias immersed in corruption dates back a long way...In a military effort to contain the southward spread of communism, a convoy of military vehicles relocated Kokang and Wa warlords and landlords from Tangyan to mountain areas closer to the border. The increase in traffic meant that heroin could transit freely in mule caravans from Tangyan to Doilerng under military protection. The genie was out of the bottle. Khun Sa and his army set up a sovereign kingdom of their own in places once haunted by the Kuomintang. With profits from the burgeoning drug trade, Khun Sa could rest easy in his mountain kingdom. It wasn’t until 1973, when the international community begged for something to be done about Burma’s flourishing drug trade, that the junta dissolved the kakweye. But the junta’s response was too little, too late. And though there has been campaign after campaign against armed opposition forces, the Burmese army has never called for a serious military campaign to quell or wipe out drug barons. Why would they? Top military leaders enjoy all kinds of favors and kickbacks from drug traders..." "
      Author/creator: Pho Thar Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Drugs and money laundering

      Individual Documents

      Title: Drugs, Generals and Neighbors
      Date of publication: June 2001
      Description/subject: Drug production, once the domain of insurgents fighting against Rangoon, has become the cornerstone of the mainstream economy. Burma's reputation as a major drug producer is well earned, despite the ruling junta's insistence that it is doing everything in its powers to combat the trade in narcotics. Aung Zaw finds out from drug-industry insiders how the business flourishes under military rule, and examines its impact on relations with Burma's neighbors.
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: How Junta Protects Mr Heroin
      Date of publication: 08 April 2001
      Description/subject: John Sweeney in Rangoon uncovers the links between Burma's drug barons and a repressive regime that likes to trumpet to the world its tough anti-drugs policy
      Author/creator: John Sweeney
      Source/publisher: The Observer
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Above it all
      Date of publication: February 2001
      Description/subject: "Burmese banks are thriving, even as the country’s economy suffers its worst slump in years. Their secret, say businessmen in the know, is the nexus of generals and drug lords..."
      Author/creator: Maung Maung Oo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9, No. 2
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Betting on the Border
      Date of publication: September 2000
      Description/subject: "The popularity of cross-border casinos is proving to be problematic for the Thai Government, which is having enough trouble controlling the local gambling industry.
      Author/creator: Helen Anderson & Pat Brown/Chaeng Saen, Poipet
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 9
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Labor Practices Draw Fresh Fire
      Date of publication: July 2000
      Description/subject: A month after the United Nations' International Labor Organization issued an ultimatum to Burma's ruling junta to end its use of forced labor within five months or face expulsion, the country's dismal labor record has come under renewed scrutiny on other fronts.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Drugs and the SLORC/SPDC

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Myanmar Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control
      Description/subject: Opium yield surveys, seizures, photos of drug burnings etc
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SPDC
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ccdac.gov.mm/
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (English)
      Date of publication: 26 January 2010
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (3.38MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO-bu-red.pdf (Burmese)
      Date of entry/update: 26 January 2010


      Title: Alles nur Show Business - Rangoons “Krieg gegen die Drogen” im Shan Staat
      Date of publication: 22 June 2007
      Description/subject: Die vorliegende Untersuchung entlarvt den angeblichen “Krieg gegen die Drogen”, den Burmas Militärregime im Shan Staat zu führen vorgibt, als eine reine Farce. Er liefert Beweise dafür, dass die Drogenindustrie vielmehr einen integralen Teil der Regimepolitik darstellt, um das Gebiet des Shan Staats ruhigzustellen und zu kontrollieren. "Pseudo"-War against drugs in Shan-State; Neutralitaion of the Shan
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Burma Riders
      Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


      Title: Hand in Glove - The Burma Army and the drug trade in Shan State
      Date of publication: August 2006
      Description/subject: "...In a way, this report starts off from where our last report "Show Business: Rangoon's War on Drugs in Shan State" (2003) left off. It describes the unimaginable extent of corruption in Burma, and the live-off-the-land policy of Burmese military units that has forced local authorities to turn a blind eye to drug activities. It also exposes how cultivation of opium poppies has increased, and gives insight into the production and trade of methamphetamines, better known as yaba in Thailand and yama in Shan State. The major difference is that whereas "Show Business" focused mostly on opium and its derivative heroin, Hand in Glove puts the spotlight more on yaba. It also highlights the growing role of pro-Rangoon militia in the drug trade, as the regime has begun openly favouring them over the ceasefire groups..." 1. Military collusion in the drug trade: - Rain leaking from the roof; - Military expansion and "self reliance"... 2. Opium trends: - Poppy upsurge since 2004; - Bumper 2005-2006 crop; - Selective slashing; - Opium output decreasing or increasing?... 3. Churning out the pills: - Factories; - The precursors; - Brands... 4. Shipping out... 5. Militia on the rise: - New faces... 6. Crackdown charades... 7. Drug use in Shan State: - Rehabilitation efforts... 8. Conclusion... Appendix: Burma Army units reported to be involved in the drug trade.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/HandinGlove.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 02 August 2006


      Title: Alles nur Show Business, Rangoons "Krieg gegen die Drogen" im Shan Staat
      Date of publication: December 2003
      Description/subject: Übersetzung des Berichts "Show Business" Die vorliegende Untersuchung entlarvt den angeblichen "Krieg gegen die Drogen", den Burmas Militärregime im Shan Staat zu führen vorgibt, als eine reine Farce. Er liefert Beweise dafür, dass die Drogenindustrie vielmehr einen integralen Teil der Regimepolitik darstellt, um das Gebiet des Shan Staats ruhigzustellen und zu kontrollieren. Die Schlussfolgerung liegt auf der Hand: Die Drogenproblematik in Burma kann nur auf dem Wege politischer Reformen angegangen werden. Inhalt Die Hintergründe des Schlafmohnanbaus im Shan Staat Der "Krieg gegen die Drogen" der SPDC im Shan Staat Zur aktuellen Situation des Drogenhandels im Shan Staat
      Author/creator: Shan Herald Agency for News- Deutsche Übersetzung: Freunde der Shan
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: Freunde der Shan
      Format/size: html (23kb)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2006


      Title: SHOW BUSINESS: Rangoon's "War on Drugs in Shan State" (1st edition)
      Date of publication: December 2003
      Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This investigative report exposes as a charade the Burmese military regime's "War on Drugs" in Shan State. It provides evidence that the drug industry is integral to the regime's political strategy to pacify and control Shan State, and concludes that only political reform can solve Burma's drug problems. In order to maintain control of Shan State without reaching a political settlement with the ethnic peoples, the regime is allowing numerous local ethnic militia and ceasefire organisations to produce drugs in exchange for cooperation with the state. At the same time, it condones involvement of its own personnel in the drug business as a means of subsidizing its army costs at the field level, as well as providing personal financial incentives. These policies have rendered meaningless the junta's recent "anti-drug" campaign, staged mainly in Northern Shan State since 2001. The junta deliberately avoided targeting areas under the control of its main ceasefire and militia allies. The people most affected have been poor opium farmers in "unprotected" areas, who have suffered mass arrest and extrajudicial killing. The anti-drug campaign was not waged at all in Southern Shan State, and in only a few token areas of Eastern Shan State. Opium is continuing to be grown in almost every township of Shan State, with Burmese military personnel involved at all levels of opium production and trafficking, from providing loans to farmers to grow opium, taxation of opium, providing security for refineries, to storage and transportation of heroin. The diversification of drug syndicates into methamphetamine production since the mid-90s has also been with the collusion of Burmese military units. S.H.A.N. has documented the existence of at least 93 heroin and/or methamphetamine refineries in existence this year, run by the regime's military allies, with the complicity of local Burmese military units. Raids on refineries carried out during the regime's "war on drugs" have targeted only smaller players and served to consolidate control of the refineries into the hands of the major drug operators such as the United Wa State Army. High-profile drug-traffickers continue to operate with impunity, many using legal businesses as a front. None have been prosecuted under the new anti-money laundering legislation introduced in 2002. While colluding in and profiting from the drug business, the regime has taken no serious measures to deal with its social impacts. It has failed to implement public health campaigns against drug abuse, leading to growing addiction problems, particularly with methamphetamines, which Shan villagers are now routinely taking as "energy" pills. The lack of state drug treatment centres has led many communities to set up their own. The junta's token attempts at crop substitution, often with international assistance, have also failed miserably, due to poor planning, coercive implementation and complete disregard for the welfare of local populations. Under the so-called "New Destiny" project launched in April 2002, farmers in many townships have been forced to plant a new strain of rice from China, which has failed in each locality. The report also questions the latest figures for opium cultivation given by UNODC in its 2003 Burma opium survey, which show a decrease of 24% since the previous year, and an overall decrease of 62% since 1996. Data collected by S.H.A.N. in Mong Yawng, show that the actual amount of land under opium cultivation in the township during the 2002-2003 growing season was at least four times higher than that listed in the UNODC survey. The UNODC field teams surveyed only along the main roads, collecting data from villagers who were too intimidated to reveal the truth about the extent of poppy growing in the area. Given the regime's use of the drug trade within its political strategy to control Shan State, it is clear that no amount of international aid will succeed in solving the drug problem unless there is political reform. As Shan analysts have reiterated for decades, this can only be achieved through the restoration of genuine peace, democracy and the rule of law in Burma."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 December 2003


      Title: From Pyusawhti to the Present
      Date of publication: January 2003
      Description/subject: Burma’s history of militias immersed in corruption dates back a long way...In a military effort to contain the southward spread of communism, a convoy of military vehicles relocated Kokang and Wa warlords and landlords from Tangyan to mountain areas closer to the border. The increase in traffic meant that heroin could transit freely in mule caravans from Tangyan to Doilerng under military protection. The genie was out of the bottle. Khun Sa and his army set up a sovereign kingdom of their own in places once haunted by the Kuomintang. With profits from the burgeoning drug trade, Khun Sa could rest easy in his mountain kingdom. It wasn’t until 1973, when the international community begged for something to be done about Burma’s flourishing drug trade, that the junta dissolved the kakweye. But the junta’s response was too little, too late. And though there has been campaign after campaign against armed opposition forces, the Burmese army has never called for a serious military campaign to quell or wipe out drug barons. Why would they? Top military leaders enjoy all kinds of favors and kickbacks from drug traders..." "
      Author/creator: Pho Thar Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: JUNTA FORCES FARMERS TO GROW OPIUM
      Date of publication: 10 May 1998
      Description/subject: "Burma's military junta is evicting thousands of villagers from previously drug-free areas for refusing to transform their rice fields into poppy plantations as part of a United Nations-backed "drug control" programme. The regime has told its UN sponsors that it is moving villagers away from regions where drugs are being produced and uprooting the poppy fields left behind. However, an investigation by The Sunday Times and two independent human rights organisations, has found that the junta is secretly expanding the number of opium farms in these designated drug control areas. Video footage of burning poppy fields presented to the UN in support of funding applications for schemes worth millions of pounds has been faked."
      Author/creator: Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Sunday Times"
      Format/size: html (10K)
      Date of entry/update: 30 January 2007


      Title: BRIEF INTERVIEWS REGARDING OPIUM: Testimony of two escaped porters from Shan State
      Date of publication: 01 February 1993
      Description/subject: "Testimony of two escaped porters from Shan State"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Drugs by State and Division

      • Drugs in Shan State

        Websites/Multiple Documents

        Title: Shanland Drug News
        Description/subject: Reports and interviews from 1985 on drugs in Shan State, including the Wa, Lahu and other groups.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shanland.org
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


        Individual Documents

        Title: Still Poisoned - Opium cultivation soars in Palaung areas under Burma’s new regime (English, Burmese press release)
        Date of publication: October 2011
        Description/subject: Summary: "Almost one year after Burma’s long-awaited elections were held in November 2010, Palaung communities in northern Shan State are suffering from the effects of an even greater upsurge in opium cultivation than in previous years. Local paramilitary leaders, some now elected into Burma’s new parliament, are being allowed to cultivate and profi t from drugs in return for helping the regime suppress ethnic resistance forces in Burma’s escalating civil war. As a result, drug addiction has escalated in the Palaung area, tearing apart families and communities. Burma’s drug problems are set to worsen unless there is genuine political reform that addresses the political aspirations of Burma’s ethnic minority groups. Research carried out by Palaung Women’s Organisation in Namkham Township shows that: 􀂃 Opium cultivation across 15 villages in Namkham Township has increased by a staggering 78.58% within two years. 􀂃 12 villages in the same area, which had not previously grown opium, have started to grow opium since 2009. 􀂃 A signifi cant number of these villages are under the control of government paramilitary “anti-insurgency” forces, which are directly profi ting from the opium trade. 􀂃 The most prominent militia leader and druglord in the area, “Pansay” Kyaw Myint, from the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, was elected as an MP for Namkham in November 2010; he promised voters that they could grow opium freely for 5 years if they voted for him. 􀂃 Government troops, police and militia continue to openly tax opium farmers, and to collect bribes from drug addicts in exchange for their release from custody. 􀂃 Drug addiction in Palaung communities has spiralled out of control. In one Palaung village, PWO found that 91% of males aged 15 and over were addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is causing huge problems for families, with women and children bearing the burden of increased poverty, crime and violence."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization (PWO)
        Format/size: pdf (417K; Burmese press release 68K; English press release 85K))
        Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
        http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Still_Poisoned-PR(bu).pdf
        http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Still_Poisoned-Press_Release(en).pdf
        Date of entry/update: 25 October 2011


        Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (Burmese)
        Date of publication: 26 January 2010
        Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
        Language: Burmese
        Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
        Format/size: pdf (3.9MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO.pdf (English)
        Date of entry/update: 29 January 2010


        Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (English)
        Date of publication: 26 January 2010
        Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
        Format/size: pdf (3.38MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO-bu-red.pdf (Burmese)
        Date of entry/update: 26 January 2010


        Title: From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt ? - The Future of Opium Bans in the Kokang and Wa Regions
        Date of publication: July 2009
        Description/subject: "In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended over a century of poppy cultivation. The bans have had dramatic consequences for local communities. They depended on opium as a cash crop, to buy food, clothing, and medicines. The bans have driven poppy-growing communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security. Very few alternatives are being offered to households for their survival... Conclusions & Recommendations: • The opium bans have driven communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security and access to health care and education. • The Kokang and Wa authorities have promoted Chinese investment in mono-plantations, especially in rubber. These projects are unsustainable and do not significantly profit the population. • Ex-poppy farmers mainly rely on casual labour and collecting Non-Timber Forest Products as alternative source of income. • Current interventions by international NGOs and UN agencies are still limited in scale and can best be described as “emer-gency responses”. • If the many challenges to achieving viable legal livelihoods in the Kokang and Wa regions are not addressed, the reductions in opium cultivation are unlikely to be sustainable. The Kokang and Wa cease-fire groups have implemented these bans following international pressure, especially from neighbouring China. In return, they hope to gain international political recognition and aid to develop their impoverished and war-torn regions. The Kokang and Wa authorities have been unable to provide alternative sources of income for ex-poppy farmers. Instead they have promoted Chinese invest-ment in monoplantations, especially in rubber. These projects have created many undesired effects and do not significantly profit the population. The Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has also been unwilling and unable to provide assistance. The international community has provided emergency aid through inter-national NGOs and UN agencies. However, current levels of support are insufficient, and need to be upgraded in order to provide sustainable alternatives for the population. The international community should not abandon former opium-growing communities in the Kokang and Wa regions at this critical time..."
        Author/creator: Tom Kramer
        Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute (Drug Policy Briefing Nr 29)
        Format/size: pdf (217K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/briefing/golden-triangle-rubber-belt

        http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Golden_Triangle_to_Rubber_Belt.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


        Title: Alles nur Show Business - Rangoons “Krieg gegen die Drogen” im Shan Staat
        Date of publication: 22 June 2007
        Description/subject: Die vorliegende Untersuchung entlarvt den angeblichen “Krieg gegen die Drogen”, den Burmas Militärregime im Shan Staat zu führen vorgibt, als eine reine Farce. Er liefert Beweise dafür, dass die Drogenindustrie vielmehr einen integralen Teil der Regimepolitik darstellt, um das Gebiet des Shan Staats ruhigzustellen und zu kontrollieren. "Pseudo"-War against drugs in Shan-State; Neutralitaion of the Shan
        Language: German, Deutsch
        Source/publisher: Burma Riders
        Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


        Title: Die Kuomintang (KMT)
        Date of publication: 20 June 2007
        Description/subject: Zwei Faktoren trugen wesentlich zum Machtzuwachs der ‚burmesischen’ KMT bei: ihre Rückendeckung durch den amerikanischen CIA gegen die Bedrohung durch das kommunistische China und ihr Einstieg in das Drogengeschäft auf industrieller Basis. Ohne eigene ökonomische Grundlage in den Shan Bergen erkannten die Chinesen sehr schnell die Möglichkeit durch Raffinierung und Schmuggel von Opiaten ihre Armee zu finanzieren.
        Language: German, Deutsch
        Source/publisher: Burma Riders
        Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


        Title: Hand in Glove - The Burma Army and the drug trade in Shan State
        Date of publication: August 2006
        Description/subject: "...In a way, this report starts off from where our last report "Show Business: Rangoon's War on Drugs in Shan State" (2003) left off. It describes the unimaginable extent of corruption in Burma, and the live-off-the-land policy of Burmese military units that has forced local authorities to turn a blind eye to drug activities. It also exposes how cultivation of opium poppies has increased, and gives insight into the production and trade of methamphetamines, better known as yaba in Thailand and yama in Shan State. The major difference is that whereas "Show Business" focused mostly on opium and its derivative heroin, Hand in Glove puts the spotlight more on yaba. It also highlights the growing role of pro-Rangoon militia in the drug trade, as the regime has begun openly favouring them over the ceasefire groups..." 1. Military collusion in the drug trade: - Rain leaking from the roof; - Military expansion and "self reliance"... 2. Opium trends: - Poppy upsurge since 2004; - Bumper 2005-2006 crop; - Selective slashing; - Opium output decreasing or increasing?... 3. Churning out the pills: - Factories; - The precursors; - Brands... 4. Shipping out... 5. Militia on the rise: - New faces... 6. Crackdown charades... 7. Drug use in Shan State: - Rehabilitation efforts... 8. Conclusion... Appendix: Burma Army units reported to be involved in the drug trade.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/HandinGlove.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 02 August 2006


        Title: Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma,
        Date of publication: 09 June 2006
        Description/subject: "'Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma', based on interviews with eighty-eight wives and mothers of drug addicts, shows how women in Palaung areas have become increasingly vulnerable due to the rising addiction rates. Already living in dire poverty, with little access to education or health care, wives of addicts must struggle single-handedly to support as many as ten children. Addicted husbands not only stop providing for their families, but also sell off property and possessions, commit theft, and subject their wives and children to repeated verbal and physical abuse. The report details cases of women losing eight out of eleven children to disease and of daughters being trafficked by their addicted father. The increased addiction rates have resulted from the regime allowing drug lords to expand production into Palaung areas in recent years, in exchange for policing against resistance activity and sharing drug profits. The collapse of markets for tea and other crops has driven more and more farmers to turn to opium growing or to work as labourers in opium fields, where wages are frequently paid in opium. The report throws into question claims by the regime and the UNODC of a dramatic reduction of opium production in Burma during the past decade, and calls on donor countries and UN agencies supporting drug eradication programs in Burma to push for genuine political reform..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
        Format/size: pdf (632K), Word (360K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.pdf
        http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.doc
        Date of entry/update: 08 June 2006


        Title: Show Business: Rangoon's "War on Drugs" in Shan State (2nd Edition)
        Date of publication: April 2005
        Description/subject: Message for Second Edition: "It has been 15 months since the first edition of Show Business was published. The positive response from readers has necessitated a second printing, for which we have had to go through the whole report to correct mistakes and add updated data to each chapter. We therefore hope readers will find this new edition worthwhile. Suffice it to note here that Yang Fengrui, Deputy Chief of China's narcotics bureau, complained on 14 July 2004 that despite the war on drugs in Burma, 95% of heroin that entered the Middle Kingdom still came from the Golden Triangle, according to AFP."..... EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This investigative report exposes as a charade the Burmese military regime's "War on Drugs" in Shan State. It provides evidence that the drug industry is integral to the regime's political strategy to pacify and control Shan State, and concludes that only political reform can solve Burma's drug problems. In order to maintain control of Shan State without reaching a political settlement with the ethnic peoples, the regime is allowing numerous local ethnic militia and ceasefire organisations to produce drugs in exchange for cooperation with the state. At the same time, it condones involvement of its own personnel in the drug business as a means of subsidizing its army costs at the field level, as well as providing personal financial incentives. These policies have rendered meaningless the junta's recent "anti-drug" campaign, staged mainly in Northern Shan State since 2001. The junta deliberately avoided targeting areas under the control of its main ceasefire and militia allies. The people most affected have been poor opium farmers in "unprotected" areas, who have suffered mass arrest and extrajudicial killing. The anti-drug campaign was not waged at all in Southern Shan State, and in only a few token areas of Eastern Shan State. Opium is continuing to be grown in almost every township of Shan State, with Burmese military personnel involved at all levels of opium production and trafficking, from providing loans to farmers to grow opium, taxation of opium, providing security for refineries, to storage and transportation of heroin. The diversification of drug syndicates into methamphetamine production since the mid-90s has also been with the collusion of Burmese military units. S.H.A.N. has documented the existence of at least 93 heroin and/or methamphetamine refineries in existence this year, run by the regime's military allies, with the complicity of local Burmese military units. Raids on refineries carried out during the regime's "war on drugs" have targeted only smaller players and served to consolidate control of the refineries into the hands of the major drug operators such as the United Wa State Army. High-profile drug-traffickers continue to operate with impunity, many using legal businesses as a front. None have been prosecuted under the new anti-money laundering legislation introduced in 2002. While colluding in and profiting from the drug business, the regime has taken no serious measures to deal with its social impacts. It has failed to implement public health campaigns against drug abuse, leading to growing addiction problems, particularly with methamphetamines, which Shan villagers are now routinely taking as "energy" pills. The lack of state drug treatment centres has led many communities to set up their own. The junta's token attempts at crop substitution, often with international assistance, have also failed miserably, due to poor planning, coercive implementation and complete disregard for the welfare of local populations. Under the so-called "New Destiny" project launched in April 2002, farmers in many townships have been forced to plant a new strain of rice from China, which has failed in each locality. 5 The report also questions the latest figures for opium cultivation given by UNODC in its 2003 Burma opium survey, which show a decrease of 24% since the previous year, and an overall decrease of 62% since 1996. Data collected by S.H.A.N. in Mong Yawng, show that the actual amount of land under opium cultivation in the township during the 2002-2003 growing season was at least four times higher than that listed in the UNODC survey. The UNODC field teams surveyed only along the main roads, collecting data from villagers who were too intimidated to reveal the truth about the extent of poppy growing in the area. Given the regime's use of the drug trade within its political strategy to control Shan State, it is clear that no amount of international aid will succeed in solving the drug problem unless there is political reform. As Shan analysts have reiterated for decades, this can only be achieved through the restoration of genuine peace, democracy and the rule of law in Burma."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (4.8MB)
        Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


        Title: Alles nur Show Business, Rangoons "Krieg gegen die Drogen" im Shan Staat
        Date of publication: December 2003
        Description/subject: Übersetzung des Berichts "Show Business" Die vorliegende Untersuchung entlarvt den angeblichen "Krieg gegen die Drogen", den Burmas Militärregime im Shan Staat zu führen vorgibt, als eine reine Farce. Er liefert Beweise dafür, dass die Drogenindustrie vielmehr einen integralen Teil der Regimepolitik darstellt, um das Gebiet des Shan Staats ruhigzustellen und zu kontrollieren. Die Schlussfolgerung liegt auf der Hand: Die Drogenproblematik in Burma kann nur auf dem Wege politischer Reformen angegangen werden. Inhalt Die Hintergründe des Schlafmohnanbaus im Shan Staat Der "Krieg gegen die Drogen" der SPDC im Shan Staat Zur aktuellen Situation des Drogenhandels im Shan Staat
        Author/creator: Shan Herald Agency for News- Deutsche Übersetzung: Freunde der Shan
        Language: Deutsch, German
        Source/publisher: Freunde der Shan
        Format/size: html (23kb)
        Date of entry/update: 11 August 2006


        Title: SHOW BUSINESS: Rangoon's "War on Drugs in Shan State" (1st edition)
        Date of publication: December 2003
        Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This investigative report exposes as a charade the Burmese military regime's "War on Drugs" in Shan State. It provides evidence that the drug industry is integral to the regime's political strategy to pacify and control Shan State, and concludes that only political reform can solve Burma's drug problems. In order to maintain control of Shan State without reaching a political settlement with the ethnic peoples, the regime is allowing numerous local ethnic militia and ceasefire organisations to produce drugs in exchange for cooperation with the state. At the same time, it condones involvement of its own personnel in the drug business as a means of subsidizing its army costs at the field level, as well as providing personal financial incentives. These policies have rendered meaningless the junta's recent "anti-drug" campaign, staged mainly in Northern Shan State since 2001. The junta deliberately avoided targeting areas under the control of its main ceasefire and militia allies. The people most affected have been poor opium farmers in "unprotected" areas, who have suffered mass arrest and extrajudicial killing. The anti-drug campaign was not waged at all in Southern Shan State, and in only a few token areas of Eastern Shan State. Opium is continuing to be grown in almost every township of Shan State, with Burmese military personnel involved at all levels of opium production and trafficking, from providing loans to farmers to grow opium, taxation of opium, providing security for refineries, to storage and transportation of heroin. The diversification of drug syndicates into methamphetamine production since the mid-90s has also been with the collusion of Burmese military units. S.H.A.N. has documented the existence of at least 93 heroin and/or methamphetamine refineries in existence this year, run by the regime's military allies, with the complicity of local Burmese military units. Raids on refineries carried out during the regime's "war on drugs" have targeted only smaller players and served to consolidate control of the refineries into the hands of the major drug operators such as the United Wa State Army. High-profile drug-traffickers continue to operate with impunity, many using legal businesses as a front. None have been prosecuted under the new anti-money laundering legislation introduced in 2002. While colluding in and profiting from the drug business, the regime has taken no serious measures to deal with its social impacts. It has failed to implement public health campaigns against drug abuse, leading to growing addiction problems, particularly with methamphetamines, which Shan villagers are now routinely taking as "energy" pills. The lack of state drug treatment centres has led many communities to set up their own. The junta's token attempts at crop substitution, often with international assistance, have also failed miserably, due to poor planning, coercive implementation and complete disregard for the welfare of local populations. Under the so-called "New Destiny" project launched in April 2002, farmers in many townships have been forced to plant a new strain of rice from China, which has failed in each locality. The report also questions the latest figures for opium cultivation given by UNODC in its 2003 Burma opium survey, which show a decrease of 24% since the previous year, and an overall decrease of 62% since 1996. Data collected by S.H.A.N. in Mong Yawng, show that the actual amount of land under opium cultivation in the township during the 2002-2003 growing season was at least four times higher than that listed in the UNODC survey. The UNODC field teams surveyed only along the main roads, collecting data from villagers who were too intimidated to reveal the truth about the extent of poppy growing in the area. Given the regime's use of the drug trade within its political strategy to control Shan State, it is clear that no amount of international aid will succeed in solving the drug problem unless there is political reform. As Shan analysts have reiterated for decades, this can only be achieved through the restoration of genuine peace, democracy and the rule of law in Burma."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: The Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 12 December 2003


      • Shan Drug Watch Newsletter

        Individual Documents

        Title: Shan Drug Watch Newsletter, Issue 5, June 2012
        Date of publication: 26 June 2012
        Description/subject: Political settlement: A win-win solution for all... 2011-12 opium season: More output... More poppy destroyed, more grown... Mekong godfather run down ... Burma Army makes record seizure but owner gets away... Chemists displaced by war moving east... Drug use unstoppable in Shan State North... SSA: Cooperation from Burma Army essential against drugs... Drug production and abuse come together... Book Review: The Hunt for Khun Sa
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (1.49MB)
        Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


        Title: Shan Drug Watch Newsletter, Issue 4, October 2011
        Date of publication: October 2011
        Description/subject: Message to the Reader... Countdown to 2014... Results of SDW opium survey: 2010-2011 season... 2010-2011: The best output in 3 years ... Poppy fields return to the north ... How to deal in drugs without fear ... Naw Kham: Who is he serving? ... Druglords in Parliament ... Restless neighbors ... Loan wolves ... Crop substitution for whom? ... Rising drug use ... How drugs are taken ... Taking action against offenders
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (1.85MB)
        Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


        Title: Shan Drug Watch Newsletter Issue 3, October 2010
        Date of publication: October 2010
        Description/subject: Contents: Message from the Editor; Acreage up, output down; Junta’s drug elimination plan way behind schedule; Results of S.H.A.N.’s survey of opium cultivation during the 2009-2010 season; Burma Army “draws pay from the hills”; Drug-free Burma by 2014?; Lower opium prices despite poor harvest; Junta militias stepping into the Wa vacuum; Poor addicts face jail, rich go free; Wa still the whipping boy of the Triangle; Rise of the new “politically correct” drug bosses; Yaba flooding Shan State; Crop substitution for whom? Drug smugglers using ever new tricks
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (1.27MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.english.panglong.org/images/stories/independence/Shan-Drug-Watch-2010.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 02 October 2010


        Title: Shan Drug Watch Newsletter Issue 2, June 2009
        Date of publication: June 2009
        Description/subject: Contents: Ten Years After (S.H.A.N evaluates the first decade of the 15-year drug eradication policy undertaken by Burma’s ruling State Peace and Development Council in 1999)... Evaluating SPDC’s 15-year master drug elimination plan (After ten years, according to S.H.A.N research, the regime has failed to eradicate opium in 29 of the 51 targeted townships)... Update for 2007-2008 (S.H.A.N summarizes developments in Burma’s drug trade from June 26, 2007 to June 26, 2008 so as to provide an update to our 2007 Drug Watch newsletter)... Wa vow to hang on ("According to a Shan Drug Watch interview on 18 April, 2009, the Wa are finding it increasingly difficult to return to poppy cultivation...")... Want to pluck the moon? Try glue sniffing ("Glue sniffing has been becoming a new phenomenon among youth in Shan State replacing other drugs, according to several sources...")... Generals’ offspring involved in drug scandal ... Naw Kham - Back in action ("On 18 February 2009, a Chinese cargo ship on the Mekong was shot up and one of its crew members killed and at least three others wounded: The blame was placed on Naw Kham, 48, a former Mong Tai Army (MTA) officer, who has been running a protection racket in the Golden Triangle, where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet. Until 2007, the Burmese side of the Triangle was an operational area of the anti- Naypyitaw Shan State Army (SSA) “South”. But during the year, the SSA was chased out by the Burma Army. The resultant vacuum was filled up by Naw Kham, who had become a pro-junta militia chief, and later went underground in 2006...")
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.english.panglong.org/images/stories/reports/shan-drug-watch-2009.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 26 June 2009


        Title: Shan Drug Watch Newsletter Issue 1, June 2007
        Date of publication: June 2007
        Description/subject: Wa sacrifice at what price? Two years on, the opium ban in the Wa region is causing growing social problems... Smell of drug trade lingers in Panghsang: Millions of pills continue to be traded behind closed doors in the Wa capital... Burma Army members increasingly turning to poppygrowing: Cash-strapped Burmese soldiers are now not only taxing but also growing opium... Opium ban drives Wa into drug fugitive Wei's hands: Facing financial difficulty after the opium ban, Wa leaders have resorted to appointing druglord Wei Hsuehkang in charge of trade in the Wa area... Druglord given public land: Wei Hsuehkang has been presented 2,000 acres of land seized from local farmers by the junta... Flying the Burmese flag to sell drugs: A pro-junta militia on the China-Burma border is openly selling drugs to Chinese customers... The politics of drug eradication in Shan State: A map showing political divisions in northern Shan State gives the lie to UNODC claims that areas under Burma Army control are mostly poppy-free... Really poppy-free? A random survey by SHAN finds ongoing poppy-growing in northern Shan townships designated as "poppy-free" by UNODC... More opium output in the north: Opium output has increased in areas of northern Shan State controlled by the Burma Army and its allies... Druglord appointed Namkham USDA leader: Notorious Chinese druglord Pansay Kyaw Myint is rewarded for his loyalty to SPDC leaders... A model of SPDC drug eradication? Photos of Special Region # 4 in E Shan State reveal the continuing gulf between rich and poor despite being proclaimed a successful drug eradication area by SPDC... Poppy areas swell in Shan State deep south: Opium growing areas have swelled by 50% in Hsihseng, Mawkmai and Faikhun townships during the past season.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
        Format/size: pdf (627K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.english.panglong.org/images/stories/independence/shan-drug-watch-2007.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 26 June 2007


    • Drugs: domestic consumption - Burma/Myanmar

      Individual Documents

      Title: Bitter pills - Breaking the silence surrounding drug problems in the Mon Community
      Date of publication: 19 June 2013
      Description/subject: "The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) released a report on drug problems in the Mon community, drawing on testimony from 140 individuals. The report aims to give a preliminary account of drug use and trading in Mon populations, exploring issues that range from the causes of rising youth drug use to the New Mon State Party’s (NMSP) recent anti-drugs campaign. HURFOM’s aim is to encourage a new focus on the issue, breaking a long-held silence to call for collaborative action from all relevant authorities...The report highlights that drugs are prevalent in Mon communities, and in particular are being abused by Mon youth. A man from Ye township is recorded as saying, “It is easy to buy drugs. We can buy them at the betel nut shop for around 3,000 to 5,000 kyat per tablet. It is easy to get drugs if you have friends in Koemine or Hnin Sone villages, or in Ye Township.” The report also explains how corruption amongst various authorities has both enabled the rise of drugs in the Mon community and prevented effective action on the issue. According to one 32-year-old community volunteer from Kamarwat village, Mudon Township, “Most people want the drug problem to be dealt with. But who, or which organization, can make it stop when the military and authorities themselves are involved? Most of the people selling drugs are related to military forces, authorities and ceasefire groups.”..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
      Subscribe: http://rehmonnya.org/upload/Bitterpills.pdf
      Format/size: pdf (2.9MB) - 65 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Hurfom-Bitterpills-en.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013


      Title: MYANMAR: Producing drugs for the region, fuelling addiction at home
      Date of publication: 25 June 2010
      Description/subject: "...In the 1990s, Min Thura regularly shared needles with other drug users in Mandalay. "About 50 drug users were queuing up and giving their arms to inject heroin with only one needle. Many of my friends with whom I shared needles to inject drugs have already died," said Min Thura, who has been clean for four years. Now, he said, there is more awareness about HIV and clean needles..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=89622
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Withdrawal Symptoms
      Date of publication: November 2008
      Description/subject: The days of the opium pipe are passing. Nowadays, more Burmese drug users are injecting heroin—while youngsters opt for methamphetamines
      Author/creator: Martin Jelsma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 16 November 2008


      Title: Burnt Dreams
      Date of publication: September 2008
      Description/subject: "Burma’s drug traffickers rake in cash from the ashes of destroyed narcotics... RANGOON — PICTURES of seized illegal drugs being burnt by Burmese authorities make good publicity. But they don’t tell the full story. More than 60 public ceremonies in which confiscated drugs are burnt have been held in Burma in the past two years, 20 of them in Rangoon. What the authorities fail to mention in the publicity surrounding the ceremonies, however, is that the drugs aren’t totally destroyed. The charred remains of the burnt drugs are recovered and resold as joe kyan, meaning “burnt remnants.” A vial of ashes fetches 5,000 kyat (US $4.17), while a small block of charcoal sells for 3,000 kyat ($2.50). “The charcoal and ashes of joe kyan are then ground into powder,” a market trader said. “Users mix this with cheroot tobacco and smoke it.”..."
      Author/creator: Kyi Wai
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 9
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 13 November 2008


    • The humanitarian impact of opium bans

      Individual Documents

      Title: From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt ? - The Future of Opium Bans in the Kokang and Wa Regions
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: "In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended over a century of poppy cultivation. The bans have had dramatic consequences for local communities. They depended on opium as a cash crop, to buy food, clothing, and medicines. The bans have driven poppy-growing communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security. Very few alternatives are being offered to households for their survival... Conclusions & Recommendations: • The opium bans have driven communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security and access to health care and education. • The Kokang and Wa authorities have promoted Chinese investment in mono-plantations, especially in rubber. These projects are unsustainable and do not significantly profit the population. • Ex-poppy farmers mainly rely on casual labour and collecting Non-Timber Forest Products as alternative source of income. • Current interventions by international NGOs and UN agencies are still limited in scale and can best be described as “emer-gency responses”. • If the many challenges to achieving viable legal livelihoods in the Kokang and Wa regions are not addressed, the reductions in opium cultivation are unlikely to be sustainable. The Kokang and Wa cease-fire groups have implemented these bans following international pressure, especially from neighbouring China. In return, they hope to gain international political recognition and aid to develop their impoverished and war-torn regions. The Kokang and Wa authorities have been unable to provide alternative sources of income for ex-poppy farmers. Instead they have promoted Chinese invest-ment in monoplantations, especially in rubber. These projects have created many undesired effects and do not significantly profit the population. The Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has also been unwilling and unable to provide assistance. The international community has provided emergency aid through inter-national NGOs and UN agencies. However, current levels of support are insufficient, and need to be upgraded in order to provide sustainable alternatives for the population. The international community should not abandon former opium-growing communities in the Kokang and Wa regions at this critical time..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute (Drug Policy Briefing Nr 29)
      Format/size: pdf (217K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/briefing/golden-triangle-rubber-belt

      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Golden_Triangle_to_Rubber_Belt.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Withdrawal Symptoms - Changes in the Southeast Asian drugs market
      Date of publication: August 2008
      Description/subject: The Golden Triangle is closing a dramatic period of opium reduction”, wrote UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa in his preface to the 2007 survey on Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia. “A decade long process of drug control is clearly paying off.” According to the survey, the region produced one-third of world opium production in 1998, now down to only about 5 percent. The once notorious region “can no longer be called Golden Triangle on the reason of opium production alone.” There has clearly been a significant decline in opium production in Southeast Asia over the past decade in spite of a resurgence in Burma (Myanmar) in the last two years. In this study, we try to assess the causes and consequences, and come to the conclusion that the region is suffering a variety of ‘withdrawal symptoms’, leaving little reason for optimism. The rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a ‘success story’. Meanwhile, the market of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has increased rapidly and higher heroin prices are leading to shifts in consumer behaviour. While the total numbers of opium and heroin users may be going down, many have started to inject and others have shifted to a cocktail of pharmaceutical replacements, representing largely unknown health risks. Confronted with harsh domestic repression and little support from the international community, both farmers and users in the region are struggling to find coping strategies to deal with the rapid changes. Drug control officials have presumed that reducing opium production would automatically lead to a reduction in drug consumption and drugrelated problems. The reality in Southeast Asia proves them wrong. Had quality treatment services been in place, more drug users may have chosen that option. In the absence of adequate health care and within a highly repressive law enforcement environment, however, most are forced to find their own ‘solutions’. Harm reduction services are still only accessible to a tiny proportion of those who need them in the region, even though most countries have now adopted the basic principles in their policy framework. China, especially, has started to significantly scale up needle exchange and methadone programmes to prevent a further spreading of blood-borne infections. In 1998, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting signed the declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2020 and two years later even decided to bring forward the target year to 2015. Countries elaborated national plans to comply with the deadline putting huge pressure on rural communities to abandon poppy cultivation and traditional opium use and on police to arrest as many users and traders as possible. This also led to the 2003 ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in which thousands of drug users and small-scale traders were killed. The 2008 status report on progress achieved towards making ASEAN and China drug-free, “identifies an overall rising trend in the abuse of drugs”, however, and acknowledges that “a target of zero drugs for production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs in the region by 2015 is obviously unattainable”. This TNI publication makes extensive use of the research carried out by our team of fifteen researchers working in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Yunnan province in China. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with farmers, users and traders. We cannot thank them enough for their motivation and courage. Most prefer to remain anonymous and continue their research to detect new trends and help fill gaps in knowledge that have become apparent while writing this first report. A more detailed publication incorporating their latest findings is due at the end of this year. We intend to discuss our outcomes with authorities, civil society and researchers in the region with a view to contributing to a better understanding of the changes taking place in the regional drugs market and to design more effective and humane drug policy responses for the future.
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Martin Jelsma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) Debate Papers No. 16
      Format/size: pdf (688K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.idpc.net/publications/changes-in-southeast-asian-drugs-market
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: A Downward Spiral
      Date of publication: October 2005
      Description/subject: Proposed opium bans could spark a humanitarian crisis in Burma's drug-rich north... "United Wa State Army chairman Bao Yuxiang said on June 24, after proclaiming Special Region 2 a �drugs source free zone"How are the farmers going to survive after the poppy ban? This is the big question that every level of local authorities encounters."The lives of the people will become more difficult, and we do expect the international community will give us more assistance to let the people be able to overcome the difficulties and achieve the historical commitment." The Wa and Kokang regions in northern Shan State have traditionally been the major opium-producing areas in Burma, but this could change. The UWSA has declared the areas under their control opium free as of June 26, 2005. In the Kokang region an opium ban has been in effect since 2003, while the Mong La region in eastern Shan State has had a similar ban since 1997. The implementation of these opium bans in one of the world's largest opium-producing areas may sound promising to international anti-narcotics officials, but for the opium farmers living there it could spell disaster..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer (TNI)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


  • The human impact of drugs in Burma

    Individual Documents

    Title: Woman raped and killed in Pa'an District, October 2012
    Date of publication: 11 December 2012
    Description/subject: "This report information was submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Pa'an District, during October 2012. On October 14th, a 21-year-old M--- villager, named Naw W---, was killed after being raped by a 23-year-old man from P--- village, Saw N---. Saw N--- reportedly used amphetamines that were manufactured and distributed by Border Guard Battalion #1016. According to villagers in T'Nay Hsah Township, the drug has caused problems for local communities, which are looking for ways to control use and distribution."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (38K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b85.html
    Date of entry/update: 23 December 2012


    Title: Voices for Change: Domestic Violence and Gender Discrimination in the Palaung Area (Burmese)
    Date of publication: 25 November 2011
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report documents how women in the Palaung area are affected by domestic violence and gender discrimination. Survey results collected by PWO show that almost all respondents had experienced or seen physical violence within families in their community, and that physical violence is occurring with alarming frequency, in many cases on an almost daily basis. PWO’s research shows that gender discrimination is widespread in the Palaung area, and that many people’s attitudes conform to traditional gender stereotypes which assume that women must fulfil the role of homemaker and accept sole responsibility for childcare duties. Since the 2010 election, Burma’s military-backed regime has failed to take any effective action to promote women’s rights and gender equality, or to uphold its commitments to CEDAW. Burma remains one of only two ASEAN countries lacking a specific law criminalising domestic violence, and PWO’s research has found that there are no government-led projects to raise awareness of domestic violence and women’s rights in the rural areas of northern Shan State, where the vast majority of the Palaung population live. The ‘new’ regime has yet to address the economic and social crises fuelling domestic violence in the Palaung area. The economic crisis afflicting the Palaung people as a direct result of the state’s monopoly of the tea industry, as well as the increase in opium cultivation and addiction in the Palaung area since the 2010 election have directly contributed to the problem of domestic violence, as males resort to physical violence as a means of expressing their anger and frustration with their situation. More than five decades of civil war have bred a culture of male domination, fear, and violence in Burma. Palaung people, especially males, have been socialised into this culture, and see violence as a necessary means of asserting their authority over their wives, in the same way as the state uses violence to assert its authority over Burma’s ethnic nationalities. The regime appears to have no intention of bringing an end to Burma’s culture of violence, and continues to wage war against ethnic rebels in northern Shan State. 5 Domestic violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. Apart from the obvious physical impact of domestic violence, women also suffer psychologically. Domestic violence threatens the stability of the family unit, often has a negative impact on children’s education, and acts as an obstacle to community development. Burma’s military-backed regime needs to recognise domestic violence and gender discrimination as obstacles to achieving a peaceful society in Burma, and to embark upon a program of genuine political reform which addresses the social and economic factors fuelling domestic violence and gender discrimination."
    Language: Burmese
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization (PWO)
    Format/size: pdf (1.91MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
    Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


    Title: Voices for Change: Domestic Violence and Gender Discrimination in the Palaung Area (English)
    Date of publication: 25 November 2011
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report documents how women in the Palaung area are affected by domestic violence and gender discrimination. Survey results collected by PWO show that almost all respondents had experienced or seen physical violence within families in their community, and that physical violence is occurring with alarming frequency, in many cases on an almost daily basis. PWO’s research shows that gender discrimination is widespread in the Palaung area, and that many people’s attitudes conform to traditional gender stereotypes which assume that women must fulfi l the role of homemaker and accept sole responsibility for childcare duties. Since the 2010 election, Burma’s military-backed regime has failed to take any effective action to promote women’s rights and gender equality, or to uphold its commitments to CEDAW. Burma remains one of only two ASEAN countries lacking a specifi c law criminalising domestic violence, and PWO’s’ research has found that there are no government-led projects to raise awareness of domestic violence and women’s rights in the rural areas of northern Shan State, where the vast majority of the Palaung population live. The ‘new’ regime has yet to address the economic and social crises fuelling domestic violence in the Palaung area. The economic crisis affl icting the Palaung people as a direct result of the state’s monopoly of the tea industry, as well as the increase in opium cultivation and addiction in the Palaung area since the 2010 election have directly contributed to the problem of domestic violence, as males resort to physical violence as a means of expressing their anger and frustration with their situation. More than fi ve decades of civil war have bred a culture of male domination, fear, and violence in Burma. Palaung people, especially males, have been socialised into this culture, and see violence as a necessary means of asserting their authority over their wives, in the same way as the state uses violence to assert its authority over Burma’s ethnic nationalities. The regime appears to have no intention of bringing an end to Burma’s culture of violence, and continues to wage war against ethnic rebels in northern Shan State. 5 Domestic violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. Apart from the obvious physical impact of domestic violence, women also suffer psychologically. Domestic violence threatens the stability of the family unit, often has a negative impact on children’s education, and acts as an obstacle to community development. Burma’s military-backed regime needs to recognise domestic violence and gender discrimination as obstacles to achieving a peaceful society in Burma, and to embark upon a program of genuine political reform which addresses the social and economic factors fuelling domestic violence and gender discrimination."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organisation
    Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
    Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


    Title: Still Poisoned - Opium cultivation soars in Palaung areas under Burma’s new regime (English, Burmese press release)
    Date of publication: October 2011
    Description/subject: Summary: "Almost one year after Burma’s long-awaited elections were held in November 2010, Palaung communities in northern Shan State are suffering from the effects of an even greater upsurge in opium cultivation than in previous years. Local paramilitary leaders, some now elected into Burma’s new parliament, are being allowed to cultivate and profi t from drugs in return for helping the regime suppress ethnic resistance forces in Burma’s escalating civil war. As a result, drug addiction has escalated in the Palaung area, tearing apart families and communities. Burma’s drug problems are set to worsen unless there is genuine political reform that addresses the political aspirations of Burma’s ethnic minority groups. Research carried out by Palaung Women’s Organisation in Namkham Township shows that: 􀂃 Opium cultivation across 15 villages in Namkham Township has increased by a staggering 78.58% within two years. 􀂃 12 villages in the same area, which had not previously grown opium, have started to grow opium since 2009. 􀂃 A signifi cant number of these villages are under the control of government paramilitary “anti-insurgency” forces, which are directly profi ting from the opium trade. 􀂃 The most prominent militia leader and druglord in the area, “Pansay” Kyaw Myint, from the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, was elected as an MP for Namkham in November 2010; he promised voters that they could grow opium freely for 5 years if they voted for him. 􀂃 Government troops, police and militia continue to openly tax opium farmers, and to collect bribes from drug addicts in exchange for their release from custody. 􀂃 Drug addiction in Palaung communities has spiralled out of control. In one Palaung village, PWO found that 91% of males aged 15 and over were addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is causing huge problems for families, with women and children bearing the burden of increased poverty, crime and violence."
    Language: English, Burmese
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization (PWO)
    Format/size: pdf (417K; Burmese press release 68K; English press release 85K))
    Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
    http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Still_Poisoned-PR(bu).pdf
    http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Still_Poisoned-Press_Release(en).pdf
    Date of entry/update: 25 October 2011


    Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (Burmese)
    Date of publication: 26 January 2010
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
    Language: Burmese
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
    Format/size: pdf (3.9MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO.pdf (English)
    Date of entry/update: 29 January 2010


    Title: Poisoned Hills - Opium cultivation surges under government control in Burma (English)
    Date of publication: 26 January 2010
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: Community assessments by the Palaung Women's Organisation during the past two years reveal that the amount of opium being cultivated in Burma's northern Shan State has been increasing dramatically. The amounts are far higher than reported in the annual opium surveys of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and are flourishing not in "insurgent and ceasefire areas," as claimed by the UN, but in areas controlled by Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Between 2007-2009, PWO conducted field surveys in Namkham and Mantong townships, and found that the total area of opium cultivated increased almost fivefold over three years from 964 hectares in the 2006-7 season to 4,545 hectares in the 2008-9 season. Namkham and Mantong are both fully under the control of the SPDC. The areas have an extensive security infrastructure including Burma Army battalions, police, and pro-government village militia. These militia are allowed to engage in illicit income-generating activities in exchange for policing against resistance activity, and are being expanded in the lead up to the regime's planned 2010 elections. Local authorities, in "anti-drug teams" formed by the police in each township, have been systematically extorting fees from villagers in exchange for allowing them to grow opium. During the 2007-8 season in Mantong township, at least 37 million kyat (US$37,000) in bribes in total were collected from 28 villages. PWO data shows that the "anti-drug teams" are leaving the majority of opium fields intact, and are filing false eradication data to the police headquarters. PWO found that only 11% of the poppy fields during the 2008-9 season had been destroyed, mostly only in easily visible places. The fact that authorities are profiting from drug production is enabling drug abuse to flourish. In one village surveyed in Mantong, it was found that that the percentage of men aged 15 and over addicted to opium increased from 57% in 2007 to 85% in 2009. Around the town of Namkham, heroin addicts flock openly to "drug camps," and dealers sell heroin and amphetamines from their houses. PWO's findings thus highlight the structural issues underlying the drug problem in Burma. The regime is pursuing a strategy of increased militarization in the ethnic states to crush ethnic resistance movements, instead of entering into political negotiations with them. For this, it needs an ever growing security apparatus, which in turn is subsidized by the drug trade. The regime's desire to maintain power at all costs is thus taking precedence over its stated aims of drug eradication. Unless the regime's militarization strategies are challenged, international funding will make little difference to the drug problem in Burma. A negotiated resolution of the political issues at the root of Burma's civil war is urgently needed to seriously address the drug scourge which is impacting the region..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
    Format/size: pdf (3.38MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Poisoned_Hills-PWO-bu-red.pdf (Burmese)
    Date of entry/update: 26 January 2010


    Title: Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma,
    Date of publication: 09 June 2006
    Description/subject: "'Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma', based on interviews with eighty-eight wives and mothers of drug addicts, shows how women in Palaung areas have become increasingly vulnerable due to the rising addiction rates. Already living in dire poverty, with little access to education or health care, wives of addicts must struggle single-handedly to support as many as ten children. Addicted husbands not only stop providing for their families, but also sell off property and possessions, commit theft, and subject their wives and children to repeated verbal and physical abuse. The report details cases of women losing eight out of eleven children to disease and of daughters being trafficked by their addicted father. The increased addiction rates have resulted from the regime allowing drug lords to expand production into Palaung areas in recent years, in exchange for policing against resistance activity and sharing drug profits. The collapse of markets for tea and other crops has driven more and more farmers to turn to opium growing or to work as labourers in opium fields, where wages are frequently paid in opium. The report throws into question claims by the regime and the UNODC of a dramatic reduction of opium production in Burma during the past decade, and calls on donor countries and UN agencies supporting drug eradication programs in Burma to push for genuine political reform..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
    Format/size: pdf (632K), Word (360K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.pdf
    http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.doc
    Date of entry/update: 08 June 2006