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October 15, 2019

Saying no to drugs, yes to peace

  • Narcotic drugs are a blight on the human race. We can clearly see the problems they are causing in Myanmar, as our societies are forced to face their negative consequences. Some of the modern elements threatening our stability and rule of law are heroin, cannabis and alcohol. These drugs cause problems for families, as well as society.
    Narcotic drugs are usually behind the majority of crimes and cases of vandalism. It is because there are producers of these drugs that there are consumers, so if production is reduced, then consumption will follow suit, as well. Currently, authorities are focusing more on apprehending the end user, but if we can significantly reduce the producers, then drug usage will noticeably drop, as well.
    A key ingredient to most narcotic drugs is the opium poppy. As long as poppy plantations exist, drugs will never fade away. Poppy plantations are a side effect of internal conflicts. Conflict zones create instability and people turn to poppy plantations as a source of quick income. This is why it is important for us to work together towards regional peace and development.
    Narcotic drugs are a serious challenge, not just for the people of Myanmar, but for everyone around the world, as well. There are many hardships to eliminating drug suppliers and introducing alternative crops to poppy plantations. We need to establish genuine peace to resolve this problem and elevate the lives of poppy farmers, so that their perspectives are changed for the better.
    For replacing poppy plantations with alternative crops to succeed, relevant authorities need to ensure the development of borders, better production paths in rural development, proper electrification, planting short-term and long-term crops, technological support, fixing farmlands, access to proper water supplies, and creating a space for the alternative produce in the wider market. The most important factor, however, is regional stability, which requires a peace processes to succeed.
    The Union Government is the main facilitator for projects replacing poppy plantations with alternative crops, and if private businesses were to cooperate in this, it could further benefit the local people and reduce problems arising from drug abuse. There have been similar projects deployed before, but they were largely unsuccessful due to ongoing conflicts in those regions. The people need to adopt the understanding that this project is designed to instill stability in their region.
    Drug plantations and their illegal trade still exist in Southeast Asia and our neighboring countries, but the steady tasks of preventing and eradicating drugs has produced considerable results. Myanmar has also vowed to strengthen cooperation with its neighbors in that regard.
    The Union Government has been working hard to finalize the peace process by regularly holding political dialogue with the Hluttaws, Tatmadaw and ethnic armed organizations.
    We urge every citizen to cooperate with us to encourage more alternative crop plantations and reduce the dangers of narcotic drug use.

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