Concerns grow over increase in Chin ‘illegal drug’ users
11 October 2013: The number of Chin youths residing in Kalay and Tamu Districts of Sagaing Region who use illegal drugs is on the rise.
One of the community leaders told Chinland Guardian that they didn’t have the exact data but they were aware that the situation was getting worse.
A young drug user from an Indo-Burma border town of Tamu said in the Yangon Times that about 60% of youths he knew were on drugs in his area.
Kalay Police Department said that their current records indicated an enormous increase in illegal drug use among young people and that 161 arrests had been made in 2013 alone.
They also said that a total of 651 comprising 574 males and 77 females had been listed as addicts in Kalay Town, where more than 50% of the population are estimated to be Chin.
According to recent reports, an increasing number of students at the Kalay University are taking ‘illegal drugs’, some being smoked in cigarettes or chewed in betel nuts.
Evidence showed that many different kinds of drugs were used including opium mainly traded from Tonzang and Tedim Townships of Chin State, heroin and stimulants such as amphetamines and pseudo-ephedrine tablets.
Speaking to the Yangon Times, Chin MP Zo Zam, of the Chin National Party (CNP), said that opium poppy had been cultivated in northern Chin State for years.
He also expressed his concerns over the ‘legal status’ of Meitei rebels from India’s Manipur State who were seen freely moving in the areas in association with Burma’s border security forces.
In June this year, Kalay and Tamu District Office senior officers and Township Police Forces were arrested in allegations of involvement in drug smuggling.#