View Full Version : Shift from Afghanistan to Burma for opium

Magda Hassan
12-18-2012, 01:01 AM
Now that the State Department is best friends with The Generals again in Burma business is booming.
Poppy cultivation jumps in Burma, Laos

Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:04 Mizzima News

Despite efforts to stem poppy growth in Burma and Laos, production increased for the sixth straight year, according to a UN drug agency report released on Wednesday.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that opium cultivation in the region had doubled since 2006, despite officials reports from Laos, Burma and Thailand that nearly 25,000 hectares (61,766 acres) of poppies were eradicated in 2012, the report said.

http://www.mizzima.com/images/NewsPhotos/NOV12/unodcdrugreport.jpgThe UNODC said that the vast majority of regional demand for opium comes from China, and that the trade there is helped by porous borders in the country's southwest.

In Burma, poppy cultivation grew 17 percent in 2012 to 51,000 hectares (126,000 acres) from 43,000 hectares (106,250 acres) in 2011, the UN said.

The Burmese government more than tripled its eradication efforts in 2012, the report said, destroying nearly 24,000 hectares (59,300 acres) of poppy fields during the growing season from fall 2011 to early summer this year from just over 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) the year before.

But despite the unprecedented anti-poppy program, the UNODC said that the significant increase in area of cultivation nationwide threatened to derail Burma’s plan to end its opium problem by 2014.

Gary Lewis, the UNODC Regional Representative for East Asia and the Pacific, said the significant increase in opium poppy cultivation in Burma “reflect[s] a growing human security threat to the region.”

"Despite the increase in eradication what really matters is the increase in cultivation,” Lewis said.

“Cultivation indicates intention. And unless the farmers have a feasible and legitimate alternative to give them food security and reduce their debt, they will continue to plant poppy.”

Burma is the world’s largest opium producer after Afghanistan, the UNODC said, adding that the country currently accounts for 25 percent of global illicit poppy cultivation and—together with Laos—as much as 10 percent of global opium production. Afghanistan accounts for almost all of the remaining 90 percent.

The UNODC estimates Burma’s total 2012 opium production at 690 metric tons—a 13 percent increase from 2011 and the highest level of production since 2003.

The report said that the center of Burma’s illicit drug production remains in Shan state, which accounts for 90 percent of opium poppy production in the country, while the remaining 10 percent is mainly produced in Kachin state.

Jason Eligh, the UNODC Country Manager in Burma, said that eradication alone is not the answer to reducing opium cultivation.

“We must remember why farmers grow poppy. In most cases it is because they need cash to buy food to feed their families,” he said.

“Growing opium poppy provides much-needed food security for many of them.”

“A sustainable long-term solution to poppy can only come through significant investment in stability, the rule of law and alternative development,” Eligh said.

The amount of land used for opium cultivation in Laos soared by 66 percent in 2012 to 6,800 hectares (16,800 acres), up from 4,100 hectares (10,130 acres) in 2011, and almost to 2004 levels, the report said.

The UN said as many as 38,400 households in Laos cultivated poppy fields in 2012, it said, up from as many as 20,000 a year ago. http://www.mizzima.com/news/regional/8331-poppy-cultivation-jumps-in-burma-laos.html

Meanwhile in Afghanistan......shifting allegiances and foreign policy objectives and even more black money to play with.
Afghan poppy crops down 40% since '08 as key towns secured

By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

Updated 6/17/2012 8:09 PM
Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan's key opium producing region has declined 40% over the past four years as coalition and government forces have secured key towns and villages and the Afghan government has ramped up eradication.

http://i.usatoday.net/news/_photos/2012/06/12/Afghanistan-poppy-crops-down-40-since-2008-JG1MIJCN-x.jpg (http://i.usatoday.net/news/_photos/2012/06/12/Afghanistan-poppy-crops-down-40-since-2008-JG1MIJCN-x-large.jpg)
By Jawed Dehsabzi, AP
Afghan security forces conduct a poppy eradication operation in Baghlan province, Afghanistan, on June 1.

By Jawed Dehsabzi, AP
Afghan security forces conduct a poppy eradication operation in Baghlan province, Afghanistan, on June 1.

This year farmers grew poppy on about 143,000 acres in Helmand province, down from its peak of nearly 256,000 acres in 2008, according to Regional Command Southwest.
"In all countries we see links between cultivation and security," said Angela Me, an analyst at the U.N. (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/U.N) Office on Drugs and Crime. "The areas that are more secure are where we had less opium."
Since insurgents are supported by drug revenues, the decline in poppy cultivation has cut into the Taliban's ability to launch operations, according to Regional Command Southwest.
"This funding shortfall has led to increased competition between insurgent groups over scarce funds and significantly reduced their ability to sustain operations," Regional Command Southwest said in a statement.
Afghanistan is the source of more than 90% of the world's heroin poppies, and most of the crop comes from Helmand. The coalition command in Helmand expects to see a 6% to 7% decline in cultivation this year over last. The United Nations (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Government+Bodies/United+Nations) said it expects to report that cultivation will be little changed this year.

Poppy farmers were slammed with uncooperative weather this year, which hurt yields, said Wes Harris, the agricultural adviser for the regional command. It was the second time in the past three years that yields were hurt by weather.
"Life has not been good for them this year," Harris said of narcotics traffickers.
The overall reduction in cultivation is due to increased security, Afghan government eradication and programs designed to encourage farmers to shift to legal crops, U.N. and military officials said.
Much of the initial surge of U.S. (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/U.S) forces ordered by theWhite House (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Places,+Geography/Landmarks,+Landforms/White+House) two years ago was concentrated in Helmand and the province's sprawling farming region of Marjah, a key poppy growing area largely controlled by insurgents. Only about 5% of Marjah's farmland is growing poppy today, down from about 60% to 70% before the offensive, the regional command said.
Me said the Afghan government's program to combine eradication with intensified efforts to get farmers to grow wheat and other legal crops has helped. Wheat cultivation increased 10% to 15% over the past several years to about 220,000 acres, Harris said.

Farmers report that the Taliban have begun to attempt to tax wheat crops. "That does not endear themselves to the farmers," Harris said. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-06-12/poppy-afghanistan-opium/55655966/1

Jan Klimkowski
12-18-2012, 07:50 PM
Magda - fascinating.

The Burmese generals have been getting a lot of soft press recently, despite some brutal repression.

I wondered why. Now we know.

And the band played on....

Phil Dragoo
12-21-2012, 11:57 PM
Hillary Clinton barefoot in (Burma)

She is the first U.S. secretary of state to visit in more than 50 years, and U.S. officials say they still know little about a country many view as both hermetic and hard to read.

Obama's visit to Myanmar marks 'new chapter' in US-Myanmar relations

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2012/1119/Obama-s-visit-to-Myanmar-marks-new-chapter-in-US-Myanmar-relations?nav=407662-csm_article-bottomRelated (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2012/1119/Obama-s-visit-to-Myanmar-marks-new-chapter-in-US-Myanmar-relations?nav=407662-csm_article-bottomRelated)

As Myanmar tiptoes toward democracy, Obama - the first US president to visit the former pariah state - denied he was endorsing the government amid criticism that his visit came too soon.Obama announced the resumption of US aid programs in Myanmar during his visit. An administration official said the USAID (http://www.csmonitor.com/tags/topic/U.S.+Agency+for+International+Development) program would include assistance of $170 million in total for fiscal 2012 and 2013, but this would be dependent on further reforms.

Agee on USAID:

Ex CIA officer Phillip Agee affirmed that DAI, USAID and NED “are instruments of the US Embassy and behind these three organizations is the CIA.“

http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5000 (http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5000)

Honduras revisited:

Not so long ago Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama et al threw a hissy fit at Honduras for its “coup” expelling the president seeking an unconstitutional extended term in office.

The four planes of drugs a day he was running my have been more on their minds than the stated objection to the parliament’s action.

Just as arming Sinaloa and granting immunity to Los Zetas plus invading Afghanistan source of 90% of the world’s heroin may indicate the everpresent drug leg of the arms-oil-drugs tripod of government by RICO.

And here Bill Ayers in for Obama in Dreams said never heroin.

We never increase the dosage. Only tonight because tonight is special.

Magda Hassan
04-25-2013, 02:13 PM
Rohingya massacres: Myanmar president to get peace prize (no joke!) (http://darkernet.in/rohingya-massacres-myanmar-president-to-get-peace-prize-no-joke/)Posted on April 24, 2013 (http://darkernet.in/rohingya-massacres-myanmar-president-to-get-peace-prize-no-joke/) by admin (http://darkernet.in/author/admin/)
http://darkernet.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/BIhF_h6CAAAEQgb.jpg-large-212x300.jpg (http://darkernet.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/BIhF_h6CAAAEQgb.jpg-large.jpg)
Myanmar president Thein Sein is to bepresented (http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/32613)with the ‘In Pursuit of Peace’ award by the International Crisis Group “in recognition of the democratic reforms and peace efforts that he has introduced”, thus adding insult to injury (literally). Meanwhile Anonymous have launched another campaign to highlight the fate of the Rohingya people, releasing a very graphic video that shows the violent attacks the Rohingya people have suffered. [Parts 1 - 4 of the video are below, with an extra video at end] Anonymous hope the campaign will mean the peace award to Thein Sein will not go ahead.
Around a month back, online news sites such as Darker Net reported on the series of massacres that were taking place or were being warned of in Myanmar against the Rohingya people and Muslim minorities in other parts of Myanmar. We provided evidence as well as photos and videos. Anonymous also intervened by promoting awareness of what was happening and also to block Myanmar Government sites. The Myanmar Government, at the time, was undergoing delicate negotiations with Western powers to get the economic blockade lifted. Myanmar democracy leader Aung Sung Suu Kyi was party to these negotiations and when asked about the plight of the Rohingya and other Muslim groups in Myanmar was dismissive. Now – four weeks later – the mainstream press are finally taking an interest in what is happening to the Rohingya (see below). Had the mainstream press reported on this when the blogosphere did and Anonymous intervened, perhaps there would have been less casualties and far less people displaced.
Maybe this is a sign of things to come: news in the mainstream appearing suitably late to allow over-cautions media proprietors to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s before going ahead with a story and ensuring the usual ‘balance’ is adhered to, leaving more immediate commentary or news reporting to the blogosphere, which, despite its often amateurish nature, dares to jump in and convey a fairly up-to-date if sometimes flawed presentation of what is happening in the world.
Here is the recent report (http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/04/22/all-you-can-do-pray)by Human Rights Watch on what has been happening with the Rohingya people – in particular last October’s massacre.
Here are details of the people who run the International Crisis Group (http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx)(the body awarding the prize).
So, let’s see what we previously reported re the plight of the Rohingya (followed by what some of the mainstream media are now saying)…
A. Darker Net
March 25: ‘Genocide of Rohingya happening right now – no bullshit’ (http://darkernet.in/genocide-of-rohingya-happening-right-now-no-bullshit/)Initial report plus photos about how a third wave of massacres of the Rohingya people was happening.
March 26: ‘Leaking of planned Rohingya massacres (plus cautionary tale)’ (http://darkernet.in/leaking-of-planned-rohingya-massacre/). In case anyone had doubts, we included a leaked report plus other evidence that a massacre was planned for today.
March27: ‘Rohingya massacres: you want verified photos – here! (lots)’ (http://darkernet.in/Rohingya%20massacres:%20you%20want%20verified%20ph otos%20%E2%80%93%20here!%20(lots)). Photos of attacks on Rohingya people that took place between March 20-22.
March30: ‘Myanmar: violence escalates, president calls for deportation of all Rohingya (muslims), Anonymous re-engaged…’ (myanmar: violence escalates, president calls for deportation of all Rohingya (muslims), Anonymous re-engaged%E2%80%A6). This article describes how the genocide of the Rohingya people was taking place over months, involving attacks on Rohingya villages and towns, the dispersement of Rohingya people into concentration camps (where many are dying from poor health, starvation etc) and the exiling of Rohingya people by forcibly dispatching them to sea into small, crowded boats, never to be seen again. We also included a day-by-day breakdown of attacks/massacres that took place over the previous 10 days.
B. Mainstream media
With the exception of an earlier article in March article (http://www.newstatesman.com/voices/2013/03/massacre-meiktila-was-my-friend)in the New Statesman, there was been scant coverage of the Rohingya massacres of that point in time (March 2013) in the Western mainstream media.
21 April 2013: From The Economist ‘When praying is not enough’ (http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2013/04/myanmar%E2%80%99s-communal-violence). This article is mainly about last year’s massacres. Referring to the Human Rights Watch report the article adds: ‘It points out that the government since the massacres has done nothing to punish the guilty, nor to reverse the ethnic cleansing of parts of the state, nor has it done enough to allow aid into the Rohingya camps. Thein Sein, the president lauded for his democratic reforms, last year called for the Rohingyas to be given a home overseas. Most are stateless, denied Burmese citizenship, even though many have been in Myanmar for generations.’
22 April: From The Independent: ‘Burmese government accused of complicity in ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya’ (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/burmese-government-accused-of-complicity-in-ethnic-cleansing-of-rohingya-8581847.html). This concentrates on a damning report by the New York based Human Rights Watch on an earlier massacre – that of October 2012. No mention is made in the article of the attacks in March or of the June 2012 massacre.
22 April: From Al Jazeera: ‘Report documents ‘Rohingya persecution” (http://m.aljazeera.com/story/2013421135240814468). Same as above.
22 April: BBC: ‘Burma riots: Video shows police failing to stop attack’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22243676). Finally we get an article – and video coverage – of the March massacres, albeit three weeks late. It documents how 43 people were killed in Meiktila, though does not mention the other massacres/attacks.
23 April: The Independent: ‘The Rohingya of Burma are on the edge of disaster. Why won’t the world act?’ (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-rohingya-of-burma-are-on-the-edge-of-disaster-why-wont-the-world-act-8513536.html). Clearly, prompted by the Human Rights Watch report, this article starts to delve. It says, “The international media, with a few honourable exceptions, has shown scant interest in conveying the suffering of this persecuted people…” Also: “It is fair to say that both the international community and the global media have been shamefully unresponsive to the Rohingya’s plight. This is something they may regret in the coming months. Indications are that the Rohingya face a triple threat from starvation, violence and disease that will result in a devastating but preventable humanitarian crisis; a calamity of such proportions that it will make their previous travails look minor by comparison. The signs are already there. At present the threat of mass starvation due to confinement is growing by the day in the towns of Maungdaw, Min Pya and Mrauk , according to a source within Burma. Those that have tried to flee or collect food and goods by boat were drowned by hostile ethnic Rakhine locals…”
23 April: BBC TV report, syndicated around the world. Includes video clips from the March 20-23 massacres, showing police officers standing by while Buddhist rioters attacked minority Muslims in the Burmese town of Meiktila. A man is seen on fire. It also includes a brief interview with Aung Sung Suu Kyi, who says that the problem of violence should not be linked to the lifting of sanctions against Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the warnings are still there. The danger has not passed. The mainstream media – or certain sections of it – are taking note. But in the West’s zeal to appease a government in Myanmar where big bucks are at stake, will these attacks remain largely ignored, or will it be the blogosphere and Anonymous who once again take the lead in intervening?


Jan Klimkowski
04-25-2013, 06:15 PM
Just as when war criminal Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize, satire is dead...

Again. And again. And again.

Jim Hackett II
04-25-2013, 07:20 PM
Henry the K gets a Peace Prize, yup.
Lets reincarnate General Win so we can bestow another Peace Prize to another war criminal. I suppose the current "Prez" will have to do for the war criminal stand-in, yup.


Danny Jarman
07-16-2013, 01:45 PM
The Burmese president has been enjoying tea and biscuits in Chatham house with David Cameron during his European "tour"...

Burma to free all political prisoners, says Thein Sein (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23318296)

Cameron offers Burma more military co-operation (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23316812)

Burmese sleepwalking into “ethnic cleansing” (http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/07/16/burmese-sleepwalking-into-a-full-blown-genocide-rwanda-style/)

It's so crystal clear what's going on that you don't even need eyes wide open to see...


Danny Jarman
11-12-2015, 09:19 AM
Poppy cultivation in Myanmar has nearly tripled since 2006, reaching close to 150,000 acres, according to surveys carried out by the United Nations. - NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/world/myanmar-returns-to-what-sells-heroin.html?_r=0)