Myanmar Opium Cultivation in Decline: UN Report

CHIANG MAI, Thailand—Opium cultivation in Myanmar decreased last year, continuing the downward trend that started in 2014 due in part to the continuing shift in the regional drug market towards synthetic drugs, according to a new UN survey. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Myanmar Opium Survey 2019, released on […]

The Rise and Fall of an Australian Media Mogul in Southeast Asia

ROSS DUNKLEY was thinking of quitting journalism when he met Rupert Murdoch, a fellow Australian, on a friend’s yacht off the coast of Rhode Island during the America’s Cup boat race in 1983. He had grown tired of working for other people in a newsroom; he wanted to return to his family roots and become […]

Muse: Myanmar’s militia-run, billion-dollar gateway to China

With tinted windows and their militia name emblazoned on the side of their Ford truck, “Pan Say” fighters cruise the sleazy streets of Muse, Myanmar’s main gateway to China and awash with weapons and cash from casinos, drugs and sex. Ten armed groups run the Shan State border town of Muse, which is separated by […]

Myanmar’s opium crop plummets while meth stalks SE Asia

A “dramatic” drop in opium cultivation in Myanmar underscored a regional boom in demand for illegal synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine, which many Asian countries are struggling to combat, a senior UN official said on Wednesday. The area under opium poppy cultivation dropped by a quarter between 2015 and 2017, the UN Office on Drugs […]

Can Coffee Replace Opium in Southern Shan State?

In the hills in southern Shan State surrounding Taunggyi, in Myanmar, up a tangle of roads barely passable in a Hilux, deep into an ocean of opium poppy fields barely clinging to the hillside, a few islands of other crops have sprung up. They are most prominently coffee and rubber – all part of a […]