Drugs


Vigilante drug eradication programs in northern Kachin State have been able to sustain momentum, despite threats to several volunteers’ lives last month.
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The Kachin State based anti-narcotics vigilante group Pat Ja San began destroying poppy fields in eastern Myitkyina district on Tuesday, with the protection of a security detail.
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Tensions are high in Kachin State after members of anti-drug vigilante group Pat Ja San faced off with local opium farmers on Monday.
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The Kachin State government has promised to provide security for a group of anti-drug campaigners in Waingmaw Township after a teenage member was shot dead last week while clearing poppy fields in the state.
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As the methamphetamine drug known in Thailand as “yaa baa” spreads among Bangladesh youth, the authorities seized 2.8 million tablets this week in two raids.
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Hundreds of anti-drug crusaders in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township are awaiting permission from the state government before carrying out poppy eradication efforts in the surrounding area, with local authorities telling the campaigners their safety cannot yet be assured.
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A member of a controversial anti-drug vigilante group was killed in Kachin State on Friday.
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Drugs worth over 210.6 million kyat were seized near Namkai village, Maipasho village-tracts, Kyailak Township, Tachileik district.
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The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) says its ambitious drug eradication plans have gone nowhere due to a lack of cooperation from the regional military command in Shan State, the epicenter of Burma’s opium problem.
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Opium production in Burma has stabilized for a third year, the United Nations said on Tuesday, but remained a daunting challenge for the untested government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi that takes power in February.
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Unsuccessful jade scavengers in Myanmar seeking to assuage their despair are swelling a tide of drug abuse in Kachin state that presents a challenge for the untested government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi after its landslide election win.
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It is harvest time in the shadow of mist-covered mountains in southern Shan State – not for the rice or pulses growing elsewhere, but in the fields that will supply heroin to voracious markets, in Myanmar and across international borders.
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Armed with batons and the bible, church-backed vigilantes are taking the fight against northern Myanmar’s heroin epidemic into their own hands — deepening the fallout from a drugs trade already feeding conflict and corruption in the region.
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Myanmar’s conflict-ridden and remote borders have helped make the country the second-biggest narcotics market in the world after China, say the police.
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Police have seized another large quantity of stimulant tablets as part of a months-long investigation following a major drug bust in Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township in late July.
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Police have seized another large haul of stimulant tablets linked to a massive drug bust in Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township earlier this year, with a police officer in the commercial capital saying the new find came during a raid on a house of the key suspect in the case. (more…)

Almost two months since authorities in Rangoon seized a mammoth haul of narcotics worth over US$100 million on the outskirts of the commercial capital, police claim to have detained a key suspect on the Thai-Burma border.
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While Myanmar is “failing demonstrably” to counter its booming drug production and trafficking networks, according to the US State Department, the US president has decided to waive sanctions that could accompany such a dire prognosis.
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The Obama administration has once again named Myanmar and Laos to its list of twenty-two countries determined to be major drug trafficking countries or major drug transit countries. The White House memo, issued on Monday, noted that Myanmar “failed demonstrably during the last twelve months to make sufficient or meaningful efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.” The United States, however, did extend Myanmar a National Interest Waiver to promote democracy and avoid reduction of aid to Burma as a result of the designation.
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The United States declared Monday that Myanmar, Bolivia and Venezuela have “failed demonstrably” to do enough to fight drug-trafficking from their countries over the past year.
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