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Drugs: domestic consumption - Burma/Myanmar

Individual Documents

Title: Silent Offensive: How Burma Army strategies are fuelling the Kachin drug crisis
Date of publication: 08 October 2014
Description/subject: “Silent Offensive” by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) reveals how the Burma Army is allowing its local militia to grow opium and produce heroin and other drugs in exchange for fighting against the KIA. As Burmese troops and their allies have progressively seized control of KIA areas, drug production has been increasing. The main opium growing areas in Kachin State are now in Chipwi and Waingmaw townships, under the control of the Burma Army and its local Border Guard Forces led by Zakhung Ting Ying, a National Assembly MP. In northern Shan State, opium is booming in areas under the Burma Army and thirteen government militia forces, four of whose leaders are MPs in the Shan State Assembly. Opium, heroin and methamphetamines are flooding from these government-controlled areas into Kachin communities, worsening existing problems of drug abuse, particularly among youth. It is estimated that about one third of students in Myitkyina and Bhamo universities are injecting drug users. The report details the harrowing impacts of the drug crisis on women, who struggle to support their families while husbands and sons sell off household property and steal to feed their addiction. Frustrated with the authorities’ lack of political will to deal with the drug problem, women are taking a lead among local communities in setting up their own programs to combat drugs. KWAT critiques UNODC and other international donors for not focusing on the role of the war, and particularly the anti-insurgency policies of the government, in fuelling the drug problem in Burma. KWAT urges all stakeholders to focus on finding a just political settlement to the conflict as an urgent priority in tackling the drug crisis.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand
Format/size: pdf (2.6MB-en; 4.2MB-bu)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/KWAT-Silent_Offensive_Drug_Report-bu-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2014


Title: Silent Offensive: How Burma Army strategies are fuelling the Kachin drug crisis ျမန္မာတပ္မေတာ္၏ နည္းဗ်ဳဟာေၾကာင့္ ကခ်င္ေဒသမ်ားတြင္ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀
Date of publication: 08 October 2014
Description/subject: ျမန္မာတပ္မေတာ္၏ နည္းဗ်ဳဟာေၾကာင့္ ကခ်င္ေဒသမ်ားတြင္ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးျပႆနာ ေၾကာက္ခမန္းလိလိ ၾကီးထြားလာျခင္း
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2014


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


Title: The Hidden Epidemic: A situation assessment of drug use in Southeast Asia in the context of HIV vulnerability (Myanmar section)
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: "From available information, Myanmar has the worst national epidemic of HIV among IDUs in the Asian region. With very large numbers of IDUs and a very high proportion of these already infected with HIV, Myanmar has a IDU/HIV problem of major significance for itself and its neighbours. Much more ongoing surveillance and many more harm reduction programs are required. With only a handful of agencies currently targeting HIV among IDUs, emphasis should be on the development of harm reduction programs that are feasible in the current political climate. This is an issue of concern for both Myanmar, where the problem is largely unacknowledged, and for neighbouring countries, who receive the largest proportion of the illicit drugs (especially heroin and amphetamines) coming into their countries from across its borders. These countries also face a continuing influx of HIV infection and have citizens who are often infected with HIV as a result of imprisonment in Myanmar. Myanmar is truly a 'core' country for this epidemic for the whole of Asia and therefore of the highest priority for action, in terms of both ongoing assessment and the urgent development of responses... Current Situation - Drug Taking Practices - Prevalence - Government Responses to Drug Control (including penalties) - Government response to drug use and HIV - National AIDS Policy - Non-government responses - Myanmar: - Activities - Contact for situation report - Myanmar: - References. "Prior to colonisation by the British in 1852, opium use was not widespread in Burma. Soon after the annexation of lower Burma, British administrators began importing large quantities of opium from India and established a government controlled opium monopoly. In 1878, the Opium Act made it illegal for any Burmese to smoke opium, which could be sold only to 'registered addicts', most of whom were Chinese. Prior to the prohibition, many Burmese had been introduced to opium smoking and developed an addiction. The trading of opium was declared illegal by 1906 but such legislation had minimal impact..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Harm Reduction Network
Alternate URLs: http://www.ahrn.net/regional/myanmar.html
http://www.ahrn.net/regional/index.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003