The Karen National Union (KNU) said it is taken action to curb the sale and use of drugs in its controlled area.

Pado Saw Maung Shwe, KNU chairman for Win Yay Township in Dooplaya District, said that since June his soldiers have arrested over 200 people as part of the ceasefire group’s anti-narcotics campaign.

“We educated some of them,” he said, but drug traffickers face more serious consequences.

Despite the challenges faced in stopping the stem of illicit drugs in Karen State, the KNU will continue its anti-narcotics campaign, he said, because drugs not only destroy the user’s future but also hurts the unity of the entire nation.

Maung Shwe said ninety percent of those caught with illicit drugs were youths. Most were sent for drug education at KNU holding stations in Thitkatite and Hpa-pya villages in Win Yay Township. While drug traffickers are sent to police to be tried under a court of law.

Saw Win Htoo from Kha Lal village said that although the numbers of young people using is decreasing there are always someone that is willing to peddle drugs in the community.

“I have seen cases of people killing not only their relatives or wives but also their own parents while they were high. I want to urge the KNU, the police, and the Border Guard Force to eradicate this bad narcotic,” he said.

The KNU has suffered criticism from the community for not drafting a detailed plan for its anti-narcotic tasks in Win Yay Township. Some say that their efforts have been less effective because it isn’t formally cooperating with the government on this issue.

Link: http://www.bnionline.net/news/karen-state/item/2186-knu-takes-action-against-illicit-drugs.html