Drugs


In recent months, Pat Jasan, an ethnic Kachin public movement, has made headlines with its vigilante-style march on opium-producing poppy plantations, which its volunteers cut down in an effort to curb rising drug abuse in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State.
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Fighting between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) troops and those from a government backed People’s Militia Force broke out in Kachin state’s Kampaiti last Tuesday March 22nd. The clash appears to have been triggered by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Third Regiment’s efforts to eradicate opium in the area.
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The creation of Pat Jasan and its ‘people’s war on drugs’ have brought to light a number of key drug-related problems facing not only the Kachin State but also the rest of the country. Praised by some Kachin activists for finally addressing drug problems, they are also criticized by others for violating human rights and not providing any services to marginalized communities, including drug users and poppy farmers.
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The Burma Army raided a drug rehabilitation centre in Muse Township, Central Shan State and arrested 72 people, most of them patients, for involvement in the drug trade on 20 March, said treatment centre staff.
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The Lao People’s Army patrol boat was custom-made in China with night-vision capability and two of the most powerful engines on this remote stretch of the Mekong River.
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An Arakan State-based journalist claims to have been targeted for his media outlet’s coverage of controversial issues, holding a press conference in Rangoon on Monday to discuss an explosion last week at his home in Sittwe that he characterized as an attack.
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Leaders of the Christian Kachin-based anti-narcotic group Pat Ja San (PJS) said on 6 March that they were unaware that the group is being sued by U Zakhung Tin Ying’s family.
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Members of a controversial drug vigilante group are being investigated by police, following an attack on the home of a Kachin militia leader.
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Police in Mandalay’s Pyigyidagun Township said drugs and precursor chemicals used in the production of heroin, worth more than 36 billion kyats (US$29.5 million), were seized over the weekend.
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Police in northern Burma’s Kachin State are questioning members of anti-drug vigilante group Pat Jasan concerning a violent brawl between the group and local opium farmers in Waingmaw Township last week.
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Myanmar citizens holding the UNHCR refugee card allegedly constitute the majority of foreigners detained for drugs here, in 2015 and 2014.
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Graphic warnings will have to be included on tobacco products sold in Myanmar from September 1, according to a story in The Myanmar Times.
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A protest march, against recent attacks on members of the opium eradication group Pat Ja San (PJS), was held in Myitkyina, the Kachin State capital, on the morning of 26 February.
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Over twenty Kachin anti-opium campaigners, members of the vigilante group Pat Jasan, were injured after being attacked en route to destroy poppy fields in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township on February 25.
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Arakan Army officers have strongly denied a government accusation that they fund their military activities and weapons purchases through the sale of illegal drugs. The United League for Arakan, the group’s political wing, has lashed out at a story in state-owned media yesterday that stated the movement funded its activities with illegal narcotics sales.
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An anti-poppy group in northern Burma has called off their immediate plans to destroy poppy in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township citing a lack of protection from authorities after a recent clash with armed assailants last week.
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A Kachin politician yesterday blamed China for undermining Myanmar’s efforts to root out rampant opium poppy cultivation. In defending an urgent proposal put to parliament, MP U La Gan Zal Jone said that more than 10,000 acres of opium fields that residents want destroyed in Kachin State are owned and run by “the rich neighbouring country”.
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A grassroots anti-drug organization whose members are on a march through northern Myanmar to destroy opium poppies in farmers’ fields say 14 of their members were wounded when they were attacked with automatic weapons and hand grenades.
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The leaders of thousands of anti-drug vigilantes vowed to destroy opium poppy fields in northern Myanmar after they said they reached a deal Tuesday to end a standoff with authorities blocking their path.
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Police seized more than 6 million amphetamine pills from a vehicle loaded with sandstone on Tuesday in Tachilek, Shan State.
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