Myanmar destroys seized drugs worth $93million
KYAINGTONE: Myanmar burnt 93 million dollars worth of seized drugs on Tuesday and called on the international community to help tackle its narcotic problem.
Prime minister Thein Sein was joined by invited diplomats, journalists and local people at the burning ceremony in the town of Kyaingtone in eastern Shan state, designed to display the junta's efforts to combat drugs.
"All the drugs, chemicals and affiliated paraphernalia we have seized and are about to burn and destroy here are valued at... over 93 million (US dollars)," said national police chief Brigadier General Khin Yi.
The drugs, seized in the state since June, included about seven million amphetamine tablets, more than 800 kilos of heroin, 10 kilos of "ice" or methamphetamine and more than 156 kilos of raw opium.
"The government... is scaling up law enforcement measures to combat the menace of drugs and to reduce their production," Khin Yi said.
"Myanmar is fully conscious of the fact that it cannot single-handedly combat and eradicate narcotic drugs and definitely requires cooperation with the international community," he added.
The junta has vowed to make the country drug-free by 2014 by following a 15-year elimination plan drawn up in 1999.
But Myanmar remains the world's second largest producer of opium after Afghanistan and has also become a hub for amphetamine production.
The drugs burning ceremony was the fifth in Myanmar since 1997.
AFP 8 December 2009, 07:51pm IST