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Drugs: regional and global

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Geopium
Description/subject: Useful site with some full articles (most in French) on the global drug economy, including sections on Burma. Links. Site utile qui contient bien de documents (la plupart en francais) sur l'economie mondiale des drogues, y incluse la birmanie.
Author/creator: Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy
Language: Francais, French (some English)
Source/publisher: Geopium
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: China's drug habit fuels return of the Golden Triangle
Date of publication: 17 September 2015
Description/subject: "By the end of this year Myanmar should have been free of narcotics. Instead, production of opium is soaring and the East Asian country, once part of the fabled Golden Triangle, is the second largest producer in the world. Axel Kronholm investigates why..."
Author/creator: Axel Kronholm
Language: English
Source/publisher: BBC
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 September 2015


Title: Bouncing Back - Relapse in the Golden Triangle - တစ္ေက်ာ့ျပန္။ ။ မူလအေျခအေနဆိုးသို႔ ျပန္လည္ဆိုက္ေရာက္လာသည့္ ေရႊႀတိဂံေဒသ
Date of publication: 14 June 2014
Description/subject: စကားခ်ီး။ ။ ဤပံုႏွိပ္ထုတ္ေ၀မႈသည္ TNI ၏ ၂၀၀၉ ခုႏွစ္တြင္ ထုတ္ ေ၀ခဲ့သည့္ ‘ေရႊၾတိဂံနယ္ေျမမွ ေဆးျပတ္စေ၀ဒနာမ်ား၊ ဖရိုဖရဲျဖစ္ေန သည့္ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးေစ်းကြက္’ (Withdrawal Symptoms in the Golden Triangle: A Drugs Market in Disarray) ဟူသည့္ အစီရင္ခံစာ၏ ေနာက္ ဆကတ္ အဲြ က်ဳိးဆက ္တစခ္ ျုဖစသ္ ည။္ ဤအစရီ ငခ္ စံ ာသည ္အေရ႔ ွေတာင္ အာရွမူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးေစ်းကြက္၏ ေျပာင္းလဲမႈကို ေလ့လာသံုးသပ္၍ အစား ထိုးအေျပာင္းအလဲ ျပဳလုပ္ႏိုင္မည့္ ေရြးခ်ယ္စရာမူ၀ါဒမ်ားကို ေရးဆြဲေဖာ္ ထုတ္ရန္ ႀကိဳးပမ္းခဲ့သည့္ ကနဦးအားထုတ္မႈတစ္ရပ္ျဖစ္သည္။ အစီရင္ခံ စာ၌အေရ႕ွ ေတာင ္ အာရေွ ဒသတစလ္ ာႊ းမ ွ ဘနိ း္အဓကိ စကုိ ပ္ ်ဳိးထတု လ္ ပု ္ လ်က္ရိွသည ့္ ေရၾႊတဂိ ဟံ ု လူသိမ်ားသည့္ ျမန္မာ၊ လာအိုႏွင့္ထိုင္းႏိုင္ငံ တို႔၌ ၁၉၉၈ မွ ၂၀၀၆ ခုနွစ္အတြင္း ဘိန္းစိုက္ပ်ိဳးထုတ္လုပ္မႈ သိသိ သာသာေလ်ာ့က်သြားေစခဲ့သည့္ အဓိကေမာင္းႏွင္အားမ်ားႏွင့္ ေနာက္ ဆက္တြဲသက္ေရာက္မႈမ်ားကို ဆန္းစစ္သံုးသပ္ထားျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။ ထို႔ျပင္ အိမ္နီးခ်င္းတိုင္းျပည္မ်ားျဖစ္သည့္ အေရွ႕ေျမာက္အိႏိၵယႏွင့္ တရုတ္ႏိုင္ငံ၏ ယူနန္ျပည္နယ္မ်ားရွိ ဖြံ႕ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးလုပ္ငန္းမ်ား ႏွင့္လည္း ဆက္စပ္လ်က္ရွိသည္။ အစီရင္ခံစာအတြင္း ျမန္မာႏွင့္ လာအို ႏိုင္ငံရွိ ဘိန္းတိုက္ဖ်က္ေရးလုပ္ငန္းမ်ား၏ ေရရွည္တည္တံ့ခိုင္ၿမဲမႈကို ေမးခြန္းထုတ္ခ့ဲၿပီး အျခားေဒသမ်ားသ ႔ုိ ေရ႕ႊ ေျပာငး္ ပ်႕ံ ႏ႕ံွသာြ းခသ့ဲ ည ့္ ဘနိ း္ စိုက္ပ်ိဳးထုတ္လုပ္မႈလမ္းေၾကာင္းမ်ားကို မီးေမာင္းထိုးျပထားသည္။ ‘ေဆးျပတ္စေ၀ဒနာမ်ား’ (Withdrawal Symptoms) ကို ပံုႏွိပ္ ထုတ္ေ၀ခဲ့ခ်ိန္မွစ၍ အေရွ႕ေတာင္အာရွ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးေစ်းကြက္အတြင္း သိသိသာသာ ေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားကို ေတြ႕ရွိလာရသည္။ သိသာထင္ရွားမႈ အရွိဆံုးျဖစ္ရပ္တစ္ခုမွာ တစ္ေက်ာ့ျပန္ ဘိန္းစိုက္ပ်ိဳးထုတ္လုပ္မႈသည္ ၂၀၀၆ ခုႏွစ္ ထုတ္လုပ္မႈပမာဏထက္ ႏွစ္ဆေက်ာ္ ျမင့္မားလာခဲ့ျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။ ဤသို႔ျမႇင့္တက္လာျခင္းေၾကာင့္ လက္ရွိတည္ဆဲ မူးယစ္ ေဆး၀ါးတားဆီးႏွိမ္ႏွင္းေရး မူ၀ါဒမ်ား၏ ထိေရာက္အက်ိဳးရွိမႈႏွင့္ အာဆီယံအဖြဲ႕၀င္ႏိုင္ငံမ်ား၏ ၂၀၁၅ မူးယစ္ကင္းစင္ေရးေဒသတြင္း ရည္မွန္းခ်က္ပန္းတိုင္ႀကီးကို လက္လွမ္းမီႏိုင္ျခင္းရွိမရွိ ေမးခြန္းထုတ္ စရာျဖစ္လာခ့ဲသည္။ ျခဳံငသုံ းုံသပရ္ မညဆ္ ပုိ ါက ေဒသတငြ း္ ရ ိွ မးူယစ္ ေဆး၀ါးဆုငိ ္ရာ ျပႆနာရပမ္ ်ားအေပၚ ကငုိ တ္ ယြ သ္ ည ့္ မ၀ူ ါဒမ်ားသည္ တားဆီးခ်ဳပ္ခ်ယ္မႈ တင္းက်ပ္လြန္းအားႀကီးသည္။ ယင္းမူ၀ါဒမ်ားသည္ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးထုတ္လုပ္ျခင္း သို႔မဟုတ္ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးသံုးစြဲလ်က္ရွိသည့္ လူအုပ္စုမ်ားအတြက္ ဆိုးရြားျပင္းထန္သည့္ ေနာက္ဆက္တြဲဆိုးက်ိဳးမ်ား သာျဖစ္ေပၚေစခဲ့သည္။ အထူးသျဖင့္ အပယ္ခံ လူ႔အသိုက္အ၀န္းမ်ားႏွင့္ အဆင္းရဲဆံုး ရပ္ရြာလူထုမ်ားအမ်ားဆံုး ထိခိုက္ခံစားၾကရသည္။ ‘တစ္ေက်ာ့ျပန္’ အစီရင္ခံစာသည္ ေဒသတြင္းရွိ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါး ထုတ္လုပ္မႈႏွင့္ သံုးစြဲမႈဆိုင္ရာအေျခအေနမ်ား၏ အေၾကာင္းတရား မ်ားႏွင့္ သက္ေရာက္ထိခုိက္မႈမ်ားကို ေလ့လာဆန္းစစ္ထားျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။ ျခငြ း္ ခ်ကမ္ ရိွ တားဆီးပိတ္ပင္ျခင္းႏွင့္ ရက္အကန္႔အသတ္အေပၚအေျခ ခံ၍ စဥ္းစားေတြးေခၚမႈသည္ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါးႏွင့္ပတ္သက္သည့္ ျပႆနာ ရပ္မ်ားကို ပိုမိုႀကီးထြားလာေစေၾကာင္း ေ၀ဖန္သံုးသပ္ထားျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။ အစီရင္ခံစာ၌အဆိုျပဳထားသည့္ ေရြးခ်ယ္စရာမူ၀ါဒမ်ားသည္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ အေလ့အထေကာင္းမ်ား၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးစံ သတ္မွတ္ခ်က္မ်ားႏွင့္ ကိုက္ညီမႈရွိသည့္ အျပင္ကရုဏာတရားႏွင့္ အေထာက္အထားအေပၚ အေျချပဳ၍ ယုတၱိက်က်ျဖင့္ ထိထိေရာက္ေရာက္အေကာင္အထည္ေဖာ္ ႏိုင္သည့္ မူ၀ါဒမ်ားလည္းျဖစ္သည္။
Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Ernestien Jensema, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, Amira Armenta, Sophie Broach
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
Format/size: pdf (7.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2015


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-as...
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://www.hrichina.org/en/content/4784
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)
Alternate URLs: http://ns1.afgha.com/alamut/Biblio/dea/Afghanistan%20Country%20Brief.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003