Yangon, 9 February 1996
Secretary-1 of the State Law and Order Restoration Council and members, Resident Representatives of UN agencies, Diplomats and Military Attaches, Special Guest Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Executive Director of the UN Drug Control Programme, Foreign Media Personnel, Local Media Personnel, Department Heads and Invited Guest.
Report presented by Police Colonel Ngwe Soe Tun, Joint Secretary of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control at the Tenth Destruction of Narcotic Drugs seized by Law Enforcement Agencies
Esteemed Secretary-1 and Members of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Vice-Chairmen and Members of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, Heads of Departments, our special guest Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Executive Director of UNDCP, Resident Representatives of United Nations Agencies, Members of the Corps of Diplomats, media personnel and invited guests,
Let me first convey our thanks, on behalf of the CCDAC, to all of you, for giving some of your valuable time to attend today's significant occasion, at which narcotic drugs seized within the Union of Myanmar will be publicly set ablaze for the tenth time.
Today's report will he presented in two parts. the first of which will be by me. For the second portion, I will give the floor to Police Colonel Maung Maung Than, Director of the Criminal Investigation Division and member of the Law Enforcement Sector.
I will first bring to your notice that the Union of Myanmar has undertaken drug eradication measures according to the two-point National Strategy for Narcotic Drugs Control. In doing so, the CCDAC has delegated its authority to ten sectors and to regional supervisory groups in the state/division down to the village levels.
In accord with the two point National Strategy, the CCDAC has outlined three principal duties, namely supply reduction, demand reduction and last but not the least, law enforcement. In today's presentation, achievements in the law enforcement sector will necessarily be given emphasis.
The State Law and Order Restoration Council promulgated its Law No.1/93, which is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law 1993, to meet the demands of time. Sections (7) and (8) of Chapter Four of this law provides for the formation of a Law Enforcement Supervisory Committee, the Law Enforcement Sector and special narcotic task forces.
The Committee for Management of Administrative Reforms In the Myanmar Police Force, in resolution 3/94 of Its coordination meeting held on 24 June 1994, specified narcotic drugs control as an objective of the Myanmar Police Force, In addition to its primary duty of ensuring the role of law and prevalence of community peace.
Therefore, combating the scourge of narcotic drugs has become the prime task of Myanmar Police Force both by virtue of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law 1993, and also by mandate.
In practice, the Defense Services has taken the leading role in striving for a drug-free land, hand in hand with the Myanmar Police Force, the Customs Department, regional authorities and the entire public. This is to say that drug eradication is given top preference as a national duty.
The list of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances seized from traffickers within the period 18 September 1988 and end of 1995 is as follows:
Opium 13,808.29 kg
Heroin 1,815.82 kg
Opium oil 58.15 kg
Liquid opium 91.66 kg
Marijuana 5,673.44 kg
Phensedyl 29,834.91 litres
Cough mixtures containing Codeine 446.47 litres
Acetic Anhydride 4,694.24 gallons
Other precursor chemicals 1,721.80 gallons
In 26,223 drug offences, 46,997 male and 8,948 female offenders were convicted, making a total of 55,945.
During the same period, 26,370.24 acres of poppy fields were destroyed countrywide, including 25,258.26 acres from Shan States. A total of 20 opium refineries were also destroyed.
Narcotic drugs destroyed in 14 separate occasions by the duty-conscious national races residing in the border areas are as follows:
Heroin 379.5529 kg
Morphine 181.00 kg
Opium 328,913 kg
Phensedyl 689.75 litres litres
Acetic Anhydride 65.00 gallons
Poppy fields 7,336.00 acres, together with other precursor chemicals, various refineryqitensils and 20 opium refineries.
Allow me to elucidate to which extent the Myanmar Defence Services has sacrificed life and limb in the noble task of eradicating the threat of narcotic drugs. During the tenure of the State Law and Order Restoration Council,
Heroin 443.6759 kg
Opium 5131.7496 kg
Opium oil/Liquid opium 81.5033 kg
Phensedyl 807,405 litres
Marijuana 327.8344 kg
Acetic Anhydride 970.74 gallons
Acid 4,233.60 litres were confiscated.
26,370.24 acres of poppy fields were mowed down and 6 opium refineries were destroyed.
During the 857 engagements with drug traffickers, 16 officers and 569 other ranks from the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces) made supreme sacrifice for the country, 55 officers and 1,771 other ranks were wounded in battle.
Enemy casualties amounted to 759 captured dead, 135 captured alive, 275 surrendered and 787 assorted weapons seized.
These figures stand witness how the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces), with a fine and glorious tradition behind it, is carrying out drug eradication as a national duty. These relentless efforts and deliberate offensives brought about the unconditional renunciation of armed struggle by the Mong Tai Army (MTA) led by U Khun Sa very recently. Updated to 31 January 1996, a total of 12,690 members of MTA have brought in 7,5 10 assorted arms and returned to legal fold. Many more are also coming in daily.
I would like to quote the Secretary-1 of the State Law & Order Restoration Council, who, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Health Committee, addressed his immediate audience at the opening session of the 42nd Myanmar Medical Association on 18 January 1996. He said:
"Let me, at this opportune moment, expound the efforts of the State in eradicating the abuse, supply and trafficking of narcotic drugs, which are the cardinal causes of deterioration of the health, physical fitness and moral character of the entire new generation.
Poppy cultivation, operation of opium dens and trading of opium was first legalised by the imperialist administration. Later on, renegade KMT troops which were forced out of mainland China trespassed our borders, and with the clandestine assistance of a self-styled "champion of democracy" superpower, camped within Myanmar territory and took to destructive acts. They made easy living by growing poppy, processing opium and trafficking it out of the country, thus greatly promoting the drug trade.
These malicious super powers were soon alarmed when the destructive impact of narcotic drugs knocked on their own door; only then they took to the evil option of heaping the blame on our country.
Furthermore, these derogatory elements took pains to belittle, hinder and slander the efforts of the State Law & Order Restoration Council as regards narcotic drugs control. They even stood in the way so as to seal off international assistance in this direction.
The international community is well aware of our efforts exerted in a national scale, not excluding the gallantry of the Myanmar Defence Services ; the lives and limbs they had sacrificed in the cause of making this country a drug free land. Irrespective of the hardships encountered, the Defence Services have dauntlessly stood in the vanguard of narcotic drug control, and will keep on doing so.
In the closing days of 1995, our Defence Forces launched a major offensive in the Myanmar-Thai border regions infested by U Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army. This group not only understood the futility of armed conflict against the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces), but also the abhorrent nature and the evil impact of drug trafficking on humanity; they began to realize the benevolent volition of the government on the national brethren and the vindictive nation-building endeavours that are bearing fruit day by day. Thus the MTA, commencing 5 January 1996, unconditionally turned in their arsenals to the government and entered the legal fold. The international community should indeed rejoice in this event which would certainly lead to the reduction of drug trade to a considerable extent.
We have leant that the United States spent millions of dollars in drug control measures taken along the Myanmar-Thai border for the last thirty years. The effectiveness of these measures can be gauged by the volume of narcotic drugs finding their way into the world drug market. The renunciation of drug trade by the MTA is a feather in our cap; the Myanmar government, standing on its own feet, has achieved the total eradication of opium cultivation and drug trafficking in Loilang and Homain regions along the Myanmar-Thai border. The truth is glaring right into our faces. Our success in causing U Khun Sa's return to the legal fold amounts to delivering humanity from the horrid threat of narcotic drugs.
The Union of Myanmar will carry on with her dedication to the total elimination of drugs from the surface of the earth; on the other hand, we welcome U Khun Sa's MTA, who are our own blood brethren. We will look after them well on humanitarian grounds and for the sake of national spirit.
I would like to exhort all medical practitioners not to lose sight of the government's efforts aimed at the health and physical fitness of the next generation; to keep in pace with the objective situation and recent developments in the field of drug abuse control; to see through the wily schemes designed by vicious elements lurking behind drug cartels; and to ward off attempts to undermine our diligent efforts in drug eradication.
The State Law & Order Restoration Council, with complete reliance on the unity within the country, is determined to carry out the nation-building task it has set out for, regardless of whatever obstacles that lie en route. I invite all the social volunteers of Myanmar Medical Association to lend us a hand and join in this noble task with full vigor and vitality."
Only when the standard of living of the national races residing in the far flung border areas is promoted, then there can be gradual elimination of poppy cultivation in those localities. To this end, the government has drawn up and implemented border area development projects on an extensive scale. Up to 21 January 1996, the government expenditure for the development of border areas is K 3,353.61 million.
The Central Committee for the Development of Border Areas and National Races (CCDBANR) had spent K.5.8 million on Myanmar/Thai/UNDCP joint programme in Tachilek/Ahdee/Santu areas, and K.37.912 million on Myanmar/China/UNDCP joint programme in Mongyang/Silu/Pangkai areas.
A pilot project for the development of southern Wa region, i.e. Hotaung and Mongphyan in Mongyang Township, is also launched. A 5-year project will soon follow.
Recognizing the sincere efforts of the Government to develop and upgrade the socioeconomic status of the border areas , the national races residing in those areas have responded by designating the whole of Kachin State, and Pang Kham, Wam Tip, Ho Tan, Na Wee, wing Kaung, Lai Saw, ban Ti in the Wa Region; Maing La, Maing Ma, Nam Pan, Wan Kyin, Sam Tamk in the Eastern Shan State Region as "OPIUM FREE ZONE" and combating narcotic drugs with momentum.
I will now go on to the international relations sector. The Union of Myanmar became a state party to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 on 29 July 1963; to the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 on 20 December 1995; and to the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances on 9 September 1991. Myanmar had also cooperated with UNFDAC for 15 years, from 1976 till 1991, and still doing so with UNDCP.
The Union of Myanmar sent delegates to the 17th special session of the United Nations General Assembly convened at New York in February 1990 and the World Ministerial Summit held in London in April of the same year. It was resolved at these two sessions that all participating countries should cooperate in drug control matters on sub-regional, regional and global scales.
In line with the resolutions, Myanmar, in addition to domestic endeavours, cooperated with her next-door neighbours, People's Republic of China and Thailand. Our efforts gained recognition at, the 36th session of the UN Narcotics Commission held in Vienna, Austria, on 29 March 1993.
The Union of Myanmar has signed agreements to participate in Myanmar/Thai and Myanmar/China UNDCP drug control programmes on 12 June 1992 in Yangon. In addition to these two main projects, a pilot project as proposed by UNDCP was implemented in southern Wa region within the period October 1994 to October 1995. Then the project was extended for another six months. A multifaceted 5-year plan is now under way for the development of this region.
Myanmar, China, Laos and Thailand, together with representatives of UNDCP, signed a MoU to control illicit trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs at the UN Headquarters, New York on 26 October 1993. High level officials from the four countries met in Vientiane on 31 June and 1 July 1994 to discuss follow up actions on the MoU. The draft plan drawn up by the UNDCP has now been agreed upon by the signatory countries.
The ministerial conference of the four member nations was held in Beijing, People's Republic of China, on 27 May 1995. The highlight of the conference was the joining in of Cambodia and Vietnam, elevating the four-nation sub-regional endeavour to regional status.
At this conference UNDCP outlined 6 enforcement programmes, 2 on supply reduction and 3 on demand reduction, making a total of 11. Out of these, the Programme for Reduction of Drug Abuse among Hill Tribes in East Asia and the Programme on Controlling Precursor Chemicals are under perusal by member nations including Myanmar.
While cooperating with UN agencies as well as countries in the subregion, the Union of Myanmar has also signed agreements with her immediate neighbours, namely India, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Myanmar and the Russian Federation have made plans to exchange drug-related intelligence and for mutual cooperation.
Before I conclude the first parl of the presentation, I would like to make a clarion call to our good friends, "Countries of the world unite to fight the scourge of narcotic drugs".
Report presented by Police Colonel Maung Maung Than, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department and Member of the Law Enforcement Sector, CCDAC
I am honoured to be allowed to carry on with the second part of the report. I am Police Colonel Maung Maung Than, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Myanmar Police Force, and member of the Law Enforcement Sector of CCDAC.
The Myanmar Defense Services, the Myanmar Police Force and the Customs Department, in their line of duty to eradicate drug abuse in our country, has confiscated a substantial amount of narcotic drugs, which were handed over to CID after the trial of cases in court. I will first present to you the list of narcotic drugs soon to be set ablaze for the tenth time in your esteemed presence.
Opium 1471.372 kg
Heroin 82.707 kg
Opium oil 12.131 kg
Liquid opium 0.876 kg
Marijuana 197.396 kg
Phensedyl 1918.552 litres
Cough mixtures containing opium 112.336 litres
Injections containing opium 150ampuless
Now I will read out the accumulated list of narcotic drugs already destroyed in the nine previous occasions plus those to be destroyed today.
Opium 11,146,752 kg
Heroin 1,537,293 kg
Morphine 63,435 kg
Opium Oil 82,031 kg
Liquid opium 117,888 kg
Marijuana 4,082,168 kg
Phrawdyl 25,170,899 litres
Cough mixtures containing opium 672,295 litres
Injections containing opium 953 ampules
Please feel free to inspect the seized drugs displayed before you prior to torching these drugs with your own hands. I will now cut my report short for the great event, with a solemn promise that drugs seized in the future will be similarly dealt with.
Thank you very much.