Relocation Planned from Opium Areas

Relocation Planned from Opium Areas
Posted by FoM on January 17, 2000 at 21:54:15 PT
Looking to stamp out drugs by 2005 in one of the world's biggest narcotic production zones, the Myanmar government has announced plans to relocate 50,000 people off of prime opium-growing land.
The announcement is bound to be greeted with skepticism in international law enforcement circles. Myanmar's military government is widely accused of benefiting from drug money, and the former insurgents who control the region are described by the U.S. State Department as the world's largest drug-trafficking organization and southeast Asia's leading producer of heroin reaching the United States.The insurgent group is called the United Wa State Army. The Wa, who made peace with the Myanmar military in 1989, retain their weapons and control large areas of this country's rugged border with Thailand and China. That has enabled them to become major producers of heroin and, increasingly, lucrative methamphetamines.But both the government's anti-drug czar, Col. Kyaw Thein, and Wa leaders told reporters flown by the government into Wa territory on Saturday that they are committed to eradicating drugs from Myanmar within 15 years, with the biggest areas being taken out of production within five.Published: January 17, 2000Related Web Site:Frontline: The Opium Kings
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