All the News about Sandro Calvani and his activities from 1997
Burma is now one of the most committed states in the fight against drugs, according to the head of the United Nations Drugs Control Programme ( UNDCP ) in Bangkok.
It even contributes financially, says Dr Sandro Calvani. For years the international community blamed the Burmese military regime for the spiralling traffic of illicit drugs out of the Golden Triangle - the border area of Thailand, Burma and Laos.
Burma now says it is cracking down. "On drugs we have nothing to hide," says an internal government document.
The number of seizures of illicit drugs more than doubled in 2001. There has also been an increase in arrests of traffickers - in China, Thailand and Burma. "Co-operation between Burma, China, Laos and Thailand has been very effective," the Thai Foreign Minister Surakiat Sathirathai tells the BBC.
"The exchange of information and intelligence between the four countries has led to the seizure of millions of metamphetamines in Burma, China, Laos and Thailand." Drugs production While now all the countries of the region may be committed to the eradication of the drugs trade, it is not before time. It also comes as there are increasing fears that the production of illicit drugs from the Golden Triangle is set to increase. With the opium production virtually at an end in Afghanistan, there are fears that production in Burma may increase to replace that supplied by Afghanistan.
In the past few years, Burma’s opium production has fallen. But in the meantime the manufacture of synthetic drugs like methamphetamines has risen dramatically. From 100 million tablets two years ago to 800 million now - the equivalent of 12 tablets for every man, woman and child in Thailand. Most narcotics experts blame the Wa and Kokang - two ethnic groups with large armed forces which have signed ceasefire agreements with the Burmese military regime - for much of the mass production of amphetamines. As a result of joint Thai and Burmese pressure, the Wa leaders have promised to make their region drug-free by 2005. The Thai and Burmese governments are convinced that the Wa are sincere, and so is the UN.
"The Wa have honoured every agreement they have ever made," says Dr Calvoni. Village plan So confident is everyone, that the Thais have offered the Burmese and Wa $2m to help fund a crop-substitution programme there. The initial part of this project will involve establish a pilot scheme along the lines of the Thai model of "Drug-Free Villages", which proved very successful in northern Thailand.
A senior Thai military commander in the region, says it took 30 years to work there, but is optimistic about the Burma programme. "I think it will be even faster in Burma, and could take only 10 years before all the farmers are won over," he says.
The Thais will also provide non-monetary support, like training, computers for data collection, technical support and marketing advice for the sale of substitute products.
Burmese drug officials concede the real problem is now in the Kokang areas. "The Kokang are already producing more amphetamines than the Wa," says a senior Burmese anti-drug police commander.
UN officials also say that the Kokang are totally out of control.
Chinese help But senior Burmese anti-narcotics agents are confident they can bring the Kokang under control.
"We are going to do that with the help of our Chinese counterparts," says Major General Soe Win, the Director General of the Burmese Police Force. "We have stepped up our operations against them, and with close co-operation with the Chinese authorities we have begun to have an impact." Over the past year or so Burmese and Chinese officials have stepped up the exchange of intelligence on locating the routes and identifying the drug barons. As a result there has been an increase in seizures and arrests. The Chinese are also helping train Burma’s anti-narcotics agents. Twelve officers are off to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in two month’s time for a six-week intensive course. The Chinese have also agreed in principle to help fund crop-substitution programmes in Kokang areas, along the lines of the Thai projects in the Wa region. "So far its only promises," says Major General Soe Win.
BBC News, 19 Jan 2002
The ya ba floods henceforth the Thailand: about 800 million tablets orange entered the realm the last year, against 100 millions in 1998, and pillules 25.000 would be sold every day in Bangkok, according to United Nations. The Thailand would count three in four million regular consumers.
The ya ba, made in dozens secret laboratories on the Burmese border, was until 1997 the drug of the poor men - taxi drivers and long-distance lorry drivers to remain awake(sharp) - but it goes henceforth on the rampage among the youth in the discotheques, turnip parts(parties), and certain schools and secondary schools of Bangkok.
Supabun crossed(spent) the last 11 months in the biggest detoxification centre of the country, the Thanyarak hospital of Bangkok.
" We have about 700 patients (in detoxification) and 80 % are consumers of m?tamph?tamines against 30 % five years ago ", explains Boonruang Triruangworawat, director of the establishment.
While the consumers of heroine are generally trentenaires, the amateurs of m?tamph?tamines are much less old and the youngest patient in cure to the hospital not in than... Eight years.
Nanda Krairiksh, of the ESCAP (Economic and Social Council for Asie-Pacifique), explains that the average age of the first grip of ya ba fell of 17 years, two years ago, in 13 years.
" Many young people consume for their relaxation " she explains, one finds the ya ba in all the social circles "and" everywhere, in every school, every university ". And even to temples Buddhists.
The charm of the ya ba lives(lies) in its ease of consumption, its weak price, sometimes hardly more than a dollar the tablet - and the false, but wide-spread idea, which it does not create dependence. The long-term effects on the body are not still well known.
" It looks like the aspirin, it is very cheap, easy to set " confirms Sandro Calvani, representative of the agency against drugs of the UNO, the UNDCP, adding that China and Japan begin also to be very got(touched).
" It is the drug which stimulates brain, allows to have more sexual pleasure, more fast to dance, and which provokes a deep dependence because of the pleasure which she(it) brings " he says.
The distribution networks are terribly effective. " The dealers choose in a given school three or four children with problems, as poor children " explains Viroj Somyai, assistant General Secretary of the Office(desk) of control of narcotics. " They make them enjoy the ya ba, make them dependent and give them free of charge their drug provided that they bring it in their school and sell it to their classmates " he explains.
As for the profits, they are widely assured(insured): a tablet which will be sold between 1 and 3 dollars is made for only 4 hundred.
The international community is placing increasing importance on the concept of human security, as illustrated by the over-whelming attendance at the first discussion in a series of "Brown Bag Lunches" held early 2001. The event was jointly organized by the ESCAP Human Resources Development (HRD) Section and the United Nations Inter-agency Project on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children in the Mekong Subregion.
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