Myanmar’s Strongest Ethnic Armed Group Says Drug Label ‘Not Fair’

PANGSAN, Myanmar: Myanmar’s most powerful ethnic armed group, accused by the United States of running a narco-empire that has flooded Asia with illegal drugs, has rejected the allegation, saying Washington has blacklisted its leaders for political reasons. The United Wa State Army (UWSA) boasts some 30,000 soldiers who control a secretive, China-dominated statelet the size of Belgium in the remote hills on Myanmar’s eastern border. After decades of […]

Mekong states band together to tackle drug scourge

MEKONG RIVER • The Lao People’s Army patrol boat was custom- made in China with night-vision capability and two of the most powerful engines on a remote stretch of the Mekong River. Today, like most days, it sits idle for lack of petrol, guarded by a single Laotian soldier in flip-flops. Even occasional patrols by […]

Myanmar’s high opium output a huge test for Suu Kyi government: UN

Opium production in Myanmar 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. Myanmar produced an estimated 647 tons of opium in 2015, second only to Afghanistan, the United Nations Office […]

Solving Southeast Asia’s Drug Problem

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 […]

Myanmar becomes a major producer of heroin: TNI

The Transnational Institute’s recent report says Myanmar has become a major producer of heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and drug injection has been blamed for the spread of HIV/ AIDS. According to the report, drug production and consumption trends have changed over the years. Myanmar, currently the second largest producer of raw opium after Afghanistan […]