Govt fails to keep promises on drug eradication in Chin State
11 December 2013: The government of Chin State has reiterated that it would take action to destroy poppy fields in the northern parts of the country’s western state.
Dr. Ba Maung, Minister of Social Afffairs of the Chin State government, said that the government meeting last Tuesday had made a decision to destroy the ongoing poppy cultivation.
He said in the Myanma Freedom Daily: “Destroying poppy fields is our national duty. We will begin in Tonzang Township because it is known to cultivate the largest amount of opium in the state.”
A community leader from Hakha said that the government made promises each year to uproot the poppy fields but has not taken proper action to this day.
In late 2011, the government of Chin State had organized an event where poppy seeds were surrendered in an effort to eradicate the cultivation.
It had indicated that it would bring an end to the opium poppy plantation and provide necessary assistance to local farmers to start income-generating agriculture.
However, the State government has taken no further action although Chin political parties, university students, youth groups and communities have voiced their concerns several times.
Sources confirmed that the Burma Army battalions stationed in Chin State and Sagaing Region have been collaborating with the Meitei rebel armed group from Manipuri State of India in controlling the plantation areas.
Recently, grave concerns have been raised over the increasing number of Chin youths who use illegal drugs and opium products.#