Yangon, 29th August 1993
Secretary-1 of the State Law and Order Restoration Council and members, Resident Representatives of UN agencies, Diplomats and Military Attaches, Representatives of the UN Drug Control Programme and PRC Drug Control Division, Foreign Media Personnel, Local Media Personnel, Department Heads and Invited Guest.
PRESENTATION BY JOINT SECRETARY OF CENTRAL COMMITTEE FOR DRUG ABUSE CONTROL POLICE COLONEL NGWE SOE TUN AT THE SEVENTH EXHIBITION ON DESTRUCTION OF NARCOTIC DRUGS SEIZED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
Esteemed Chairman and Members of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control Secretary-1 of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, heads of departments, Resident Representatives of the UN Agencies in Yangon, Ambassadors, Military Attaches, local and foreign journalists and specially invited guests from the United States of America.
I am Police Colonel Ngwe Soe Tun, Joint Secretary of the Central committee Drug Abuse Control and Director of the Narcotics Division of the People's Police force.
I would first of all like to express, on behalf of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, our thanks to all for spending their time in attending the seventh exhibition to destroy seized narcotic drugs being held in Yangon today.
I will clarify matters in two portions -- the first being the policy on narcotic drugs being practiced by our country and the activities relating to drug abuse control work, committees which are practically engaged in it, the duties and the work carried out them and a summary of the significant points regarding the situation on Myanmar cooperation with our neighbouring countries and the United Nations Agencies related to drug abuse control work.
As for the second part it is connected with the situation of narcotic drugs which will be destroyed at the present Seventh Exhibition.
Dealing with the first portion, the main policy of our country regarding narcotic drugs is -- "To fight against the danger of drug abuse in all aspects with high intensity a national campaign"
The committee which is mainly implementing this policy in Myanmar is the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control formed with the Minister for me Affairs as Chairman.
Under this Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) there are committees or sectors which are formed Ministry wise. The two main tasks being implemented by this Central Committee and work committees are:-
- Supply Reduction and
- Demand Reduction.
There are four committees responsible for supply reduction. They are:
- Law Enforcement Supervisory Committee,
- Law Enforcement Sector,
- Crop Substitution Sector and Livestock Breeding Sector.
The committees responsible for demand reduction are Medical Treatment Sector, Rehabilitation Sector, Sector for Educating the Students and Youths and Mass Media Information Sector.
In addition to these committees, the International Relation Sector and administrative Committee were also formed separately. Regarding the activities of these committees they will not be dealt with in detail due to the limited time. However, it 11 be seen when viewing the central level exhibition on narcotic drug abuse education. Priority will be given in presenting the promulgation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law.
The most significant point in 1993 was the promulgation of Narcotic Drugs d Psychotropic Substances Law No. 1/93, by the State Law and Order Restoration Council. It was enacted on 27 January, 1993. The main objectives of promulgating this law are:
(1) Myanmar became a state party to the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
(2) the need to amend the formerly promulgated Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs Law of 1974, so that it would be in accord with the Provisions contained in the 1988 UN Convention.
(3) as more cases of drug abuse regarding psychotropic substances were found in Myanmar, in addition to the abuse of medicines in the form of tablets, pills, capsules and liquids which contain narcotic drug effects.
Due to these points, the existing Narcotic Drugs Law of 1974 was repealed and the 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law was enacted.
The prime objectives of promulgating this Law are:-
(1) to prevent the danger of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances which can cause degeneration of mankind, as a national responsibility;
(2) to implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances;
(3) to carry out more effective measures for imparting knowledge and education on the dangers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and for medical treatment and rehabilitation of drug users;
(4) to impose more effective penalties on offenders in respect of offences related to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
(5) to co-operate with the State Parties to the United Nations Convention, international and regional organizations in respect of the prevention of the dangers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
This Law contains nine chapters and 31 sections. The formation of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control and the functions and duties of the Central Committee in Chapter III and explicitly prescribed in Section 4, 5 and 6.
Among the duties of the Central Committee, the provision to manage and direct as may be necessary in matters concerning the exhibits of moveable and immovable property involved, money derived from transfer, financial records and data are also prescribed.
Moreover, in chapter IV are included provisions on formation of Sectors and Regional Committees. In the previous Law, the Regional Committees were formed based on townships, but now this has been changed and based on Wards and Village Tracts. Chapter V includes provisions on registration, medical treatment and de-registration of drug abusers. Chapter VI includes provisions relating to the rehabilitation work. The law also includes provisions on imposing more effective punishment on those who are guilty of the offence for the second time and provisions on making a person who habitually commits or is notorious of committing any offence to live under a bond for good behaviour during a period not exceeding three years.
According to this law, an offender is liable to receive imprisonment ranging from a minimum of three years to a maximum of death sentence. Moreover, Section 22 is a new provision. Under this section an offender shall be liable to the maximum punishment on any of the acts provided in the respective sections have been committed by being a member of organization or group which commits crime involving narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or communicating with and participating in such organizations or groups; handling and using arms or explosives in committing the offence; making use of children who have not completed the age of 16 years in committing the offence; or committing or causing to commit an offence by making use of the influence or power of public servant.
Therefore, this law is effective not only in taking more action against individual offenders of crimes related to narcotic drugs but also against group offenders.
Regarding the steps taken in co-operating with our neighbouring countries and United Nations Agencies in combating the danger of narcotic drugs abuse, at present cooperation in this field is being carried out between Myanmar/China/Thailand/United Nations International Drug Control Programme. The undertakings include Regional rejects, Law Enforcement Project and Demand Reduction Project. Work such as making field trips to collect and gather records and data required in implementing these projects; coordinating with the departments concerned; opening of offices and camps, gathering of materials and motor vehicles and appointing of service personnel is being carried out. Arrangements are being made to start implementing the three years project soon.
Yesterday, we went to look into the practical aspect of regional development and drug abuse prevention project in the Silu area of Monyang Township, Keng Tung district.
The American study group visited the nationals in the opium poppy cultivation area of Silu-Pankang and ascertained their true nature. They were of the opinion that he regional development and anti-drug action would have to be undertaken in all poppy cultivating areas including Silu-Pankang in order to achieve desired eradication with the effective assistance of the United Nation Drug Control Programme and with firm commitment and project.
Therefore, eradication will be possible only it' the uplift of the low standard ,f living of the cultivators is made possible through short and long-term plans. Today, our nation has accepted this fact and has been making endeavor toward development if the national races and the border areas with the establishment of a separate Ministry or that express purpose.
An agreement to co-operate in narcotic drug abuse control work with our neighbouring country, India was signed on 30 march 1993 in Yangon. It is reported that the coordination meeting will likely be held soon in India.
A series of coordinations with the Laos People's Democratic Republic were reached and agreements reached and soon coordinations will be carried out with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and afterwards it is expected that agreements will be signed.
The above agreements will be projects on co-operating with the neighboring countries. In Myanmar also, with the technical and financial assistance provided by the UNDCP, plans are a foot to implement a small project for assessment drug addicts in the country during this year.
In February this year, under the Joint co-operation of Department of Agriculture the United States of America, the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control and Departments Concerned successfully carried out opium poppy sampling in Shan State. The opium yield survey is carried out using modern techniques, the exact figures can show with ample proof. Members of the Central committee for Drug Abuse Control departmental personnel attended the conferences, seminars and courses conducted by United Nations and International Drug Abuse Control Agencies and from time to time with diplomats and foreign journalists and explained to them the drug abuse control issues carried out in the country. Some members of the diplomatic corps and members he United Nations Drug Control Programme were taken to the project areas and were permitted to study the prevailing situations of the areas.
I will now clarify the second part which deals with the situation of the narcotic drugs seized by the drug enforcement agencies and which will be destroyed at the current seventh exhibition. The narcotic drugs to be destroyed are:
Opium 1838.338 kilos
Heroin 221.431 kilos
Opium Oil 14.971 kilos
Liquid Opium 1.518 kilos
Marijuana 201.166 kilos
Phensedyl (One litre 25 bottles) 25.000 litres
Phensedyl 60 ml. 46 bottles 2.760 litres
Phensedyl 100 ml. 24 bottles 2.400 litres
Phensedyl 125 ml. 10773 bottles 1346.625 litres
Total 1376.785 litres
Glycodine 60 ml. 11 bottles 0.77 litres
Promedyl 100 ml. 100 bottles 10.00 litres
Teradyl Cough Linctus 91.986 litres
The narcotic drugs to be destroyed to day are those seized by the Tatmadaw, People's Police Force and the Customs Department cases of which were tried and completed at the courts and deposited to the Criminal Investigation Department. In the future also, destruction of such drugs which are deposited after completion of cases will be carried out at similar exhibitions whenever opportunity arises.
Esteemed officials and guests,
Our country is one which presents matters as they are and correctly, most honestly and frankly according to what has been carried out. We do not blame, criticize have wrong impression of others. The dangers posed by narcotic drugs today is faced only by one human being, one family, or race or one country, but by the entire mankind over the world and all the nations of the world to some extent. Therefore, the cooperation and active participation of all the people and nations of the world is necessary combat and totally wipe out the danger of narcotic drugs.
The motto "Join hands to combat the scourge of narcotic drugs, the nation's enemy" which represents only our country singularly should be replaced with the motto, countries unite to combat the scourge of narcotic drugs mankind's enemy" which represents all mankind and all nations. I would like to conclude by urging all to unit according to this motto.