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Cablegate: Burma: Incsr I Drugs and Chemical Control

VZCZCXRO2176
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGO #1130/01 3251031
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211031Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6872
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1614
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4268
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0097
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 1244
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1170
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 RANGOON 001130

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS, INL, SCT
DEPT OF JUSTICE FOR AFMLS, OIA, OPDAT
VIENNA FOR UNODC OFFICE

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: SNAR PGOV PREL BM
SUBJECT: BURMA: INCSR I DRUGS AND CHEMICAL CONTROL

REF: STATE 136782

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This report responds to reftel request for the INCSR I
Drugs and Chemical Control Report update.

I. Summary

Burma took many wrong turns in 2007, including in the war
on drugs. Both UNODC and U.S. surveys of opium poppy
cultivation indicated a significant increase in cultivation
and potential production in 2007, while production and
export of synthetic drugs (amphetamine-type stimulants,
crystal methamphetamine and ketamine) from Burma continued
unabated. The significant downward trend in poppy
cultivation observed in Burma since 1998 halted in 2007,
with increased cultivation reported in Eastern, Northern
and Southern Shan State and Kachin State. Whether this
represents a sustained reversal in poppy cultivation in
Burma, which remains far below levels of 10 years earlier,
remains to be seen. It does indicate, however, that
increases in the value of opium are driving poppy
cultivation into new regions. An increased number of
households in Burma were involved in opium cultivation in
2007. While Burma remains the second largest opium poppy
grower in the world after Afghanistan, its share of world
opium poppy cultivation fell from 55 percent in 1998 to 11
percent in 2006, and rose slightly to 12 percent in 2007.
This large proportional decrease is due to both decreased
opium poppy cultivation in Burma and increased cultivation
in Afghanistan. The Golden Triangle region in Southeast
Asia no longer reigns as the world's largest opium poppy
cultivating region, now producing 5 percent of the world's
opium.

Despite increased cultivation in 2007, Burma's opium
cultivation declined dramatically between 1998 and 2006.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates a
decrease from 130,300 hectares in 1998 to 21,500 hectares
in 2006, an 83 percent decrease. Cultivation in 2007
increased 29 percent, from 21,500 hectares in 2006 to
27,700 hectares. The most significant decline over the
past decade was observed in the Wa region, following the
United Wa State Army's (UWSA) pledge to end opium poppy
cultivation in its primary territory, UWSA Region 2. UWSA
controlled territory accounted for over 30 percent of the
acreage of national opium poppy cultivation in 2005, but
almost no poppy cultivation was reported in the Wa region
in 2006 and 2007. However, there are indications that
cultivation has increased in regions closely bordering UWSA
Region 2.

Burma has not provided most opium farmers with access to
alternative development opportunities. Recent trends
indicate that some opium farmers were tempted to increase
production to take advantage of higher prices generated by
opium's relative scarcity and continuing strong demand.
Increased yields in new and remaining poppy fields
(particularly in Southern Shan State), spurred by favorable
weather conditions in 2007 and improved cultivation
practices, have partially offset the affects of decreased
cultivation. Higher yields in some areas may also signal
more sophisticated criminal activity, greater cross border
networking, and the transfer of new and improved
cultivation technologies.

Burma's overall decline in poppy cultivation since 1998 has
been accompanied by a sharp increase in the production and
export of synthetic drugs, turning the Golden Triangle into
a new "Ice Triangle." Burma is a significant player in the
manufacture and regional trafficking of amphetamine-type
stimulants (ATS). Drug gangs based in the Burma-China and
Burma-Thailand border areas, many of whose members are
ethnic Chinese, produce several hundred million
methamphetamine tablets annually for markets in Thailand,
China, and India, as well as for onward distribution beyond
the region. There are also indications that groups in
Burma have increased the production and trafficking of

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crystal methamphetamine or "Ice" - a much higher purity and
more potent form of methamphetamine than the tablets.

Through its Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control
(CCDAC), the Government of Burma (GOB) cooperates regularly
and shares information with the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) on
narcotics investigations. In recent years, the GOB has
also increased its law enforcement cooperation with Thai,
Chinese and Indian counter-narcotics authorities,
especially through renditions, deportations, and
extraditions of suspected drug traffickers.

During the 2007 drug certification process, the U.S.
determined that Burma was one of only two countries in the
world that had "failed demonstrably" to meet its
international counter-narcotics obligations. Major
concerns remain: unsatisfactory efforts by Burma to deal
with the burgeoning ATS production and trafficking problem;
failure to take concerted action to bring members of the
United Wa State Army (UWSA) to justice following the
unsealing of a U.S. indictment against them in January
2005; failure to investigate and prosecute military
officials for drug-related corruption; and failure to
expand demand-reduction, prevention and drug-treatment
programs to reduce drug-use and control the spread of
HIV/AIDS. Burma is a party to 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Burma is the world's second largest producer of illicit
opium. Eradication efforts and enforcement of poppy-free
zones combined to reduce cultivation levels between1998 and
2006, especially in Wa territory. However, in 2007, a
significant resurgence of cultivation occurred,
particularly in eastern and southern Shan State and Kachin
State, where increased cultivation, favorable weather
conditions, and new cultivation practices increased opium
production levels, led to an estimated 29 percent increase
in overall opium poppy cultivation and a 46 percent
increase in potential production of dry opium.

According to the UNODC, opium prices in the Golden Triangle
have increased in recent years, although prices in Burma
remain much lower than the rest of the region due to easier
supply. Burmese village-level opium prices or farm-gate
prices increased from $153 per kg in 2004 to $187 in 2005,
to $230 in 2006 and to $265/kg in 2007. Burmese opium sales
contribute about half of the annual household cash income
of farmers who cultivate opium, which they use to pay for
food between harvests. Forty-five percent of the average
yearly income ($501) of opium cultivating households in
Shan State was derived from opium sales in 2007.

In 2007, the UNODC opium yield survey estimated there were
approximately 27,700 hectares planted with opium poppies,
with an average yield of 16.6 kg per hectare (significantly
higher than the 2006 average yield of 14.6 kg per hectare).
[Independent U.S. opium poppy cultivation surveys also
indicated increased poppy cultivation and estimated opium
production to approximately 27, 700 hectares cultivated and
270 metric tons produced]. The UNODC's opium yield survey
concluded that cultivation had increased 29 percent in
Burma from 2006 levels, with a 46 percent increase in
potential production to 460 metric tons. This represented
a 67 percent increase in the total potential value of opium
production in Burma, from $72 million in 2006 to $120
million in 2007. Nonetheless, both surveys indicated that
opium production is still down 90 percent from its peak
production in 1996.

The general decline in poppy cultivation in Burma since
1996 has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the local
production and export of synthetic drugs. According to GOB
figures for 2007, the GOB seized approximately 1.5 million
methamphetamine tablets, compared to 19.5 million seized in
2006. Opium, heroin, and ATS are produced predominantly in

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the border regions of Shan State and in areas controlled by
ethnic minority groups. Between 1989 and 1997, the Burmese
government negotiated a series of cease-fire agreements
with several armed ethnic minorities, offering them limited
autonomy and continued tolerance of their narcotics
production and trafficking activities in return for peace.
In June 2005, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) announced
implementation in Wa territory of a long-delayed ban on
opium production and trafficking. While the cultivation of
opium poppies decreased in the Wa territory during 2006 and
2007, according to UNODC and U.S. surveys, there are
indications from many sources that Wa leaders replaced
opium cultivation with the manufacture and trafficking of
ATS pills and "Ice" in their territory, working in close
collaboration with ethnic Chinese drug gangs.

Although the government has not succeeded in persuading the
UWSA to stop its illicit drug production and trafficking,
the GOBQs Anti-Narcotic Task Forces continued to pressure
Wa traffickers in 2007. UWSA also undertook limited
enforcement actions against rivals in Shan State in 2006
and 2007. In May 2006, UWSA units found and dismantled two
clandestine laboratories operating in territory occupied
and controlled by the UWSA-South in Eastern Shan State.
When the UWSA units entered the lab sites, a firefight
ensued, with eight people fatally wounded, four arrested,
and 25 kg of heroin and 500,000 methamphetamine tablets
seized by the raiding UWSA units. In June 2006, the UWSA
passed custody of the contraband substances to Government
of Burma (GOB) officials. The prisoners remained in the
custody of the UWSA. These UWSA actions likely were
motivated more towards eliminating the competition in their
area than by a desire to stop drug trafficking. In Burma,
opium addiction remains high in places of historic or
current opium production, ranging from 1.27 percent of the
total adult population in Eastern Shan State to 0.97
percent in Kachin State and an estimated 0.83 percent in
the Wa region, the main area of opium production until
2006.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2007

--Policy Initiatives. Burma's official 15-year counter-
narcotics plan, launched in 1999, calls for the eradication
of all narcotics production and trafficking by the year
2014, one year ahead of an ASEAN-wide plan of action that
calls for the entire region to be drug-free by 2015. To
meet this goal, the GOB initiated its plan in stages, using
eradication efforts combined with planned alternative
development programs in individual townships, predominantly
in Shan State. The government initiated its second five-
year phase in 2004. Ground surveys by the Joint GOB-UNODC
Illicit Crop Monitoring Program indicate a steady decline
in poppy cultivation and opium production in areas
receiving focused attention, due to the availability of
some alternative livelihood measures (including crop
substitution), the discovery and closure of clandestine
refineries, stronger interdiction of illicit traffic, and
annual poppy eradication programs. The UNODC estimates
that the GOB eradicated 3,598 hectares of opium poppy
during the 2007 opium poppy cropping season (ranging
between July-March is most regions), compared to 3,970
hectares in 2006.

The most significant multilateral effort in support of
Burma's counter-narcotics efforts is the UNODC presence in
Shan State. The UNODC's "Wa Project" was initially a five-
year, $12.1 million supply-reduction program designed to
encourage alternative development in territory controlled
by the UWSA. In order to meet basic human needs and ensure
the sustainability of the UWSA opium ban announced in 2005,
the UNODC extended the project through 2007, increased the
total budget to $16.8 million, and broadened the scope from
16 villages to the entire Wa Special Region No. 2. Major
donors that have supported the Wa Project include Japan and
Germany, with additional contributions from the UK and
Australia. The United States previously funded the UNODC

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Wa project, but halted funding over issued by UWSA
leadership against U.S. DEA agents following the January
2005 indictment of seven UWSA leaders in a U.S. district
court for their role in producing and smuggling heroin to
the United States.

As part of its 15-year counter-narcotics plan, in 2002 the
Burmese Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC)
initiated the "New Destiny" project, which calls for the
complete eradication of poppy cultivation nationwide and
its replacement with substitute crops. The GOB, under its
1993 Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law,
issued notifications controlling 124 narcotic drugs, 113
psychotropic substances, and 25 precursor chemicals. Burma
enacted a "Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Law" in
2004.

--Law Enforcement Measures. The CCDAC, which leads all
drug-enforcement efforts in Burma, is comprised of
personnel from the national police, customs, military
intelligence, and army. The CCDAC, under the control of
the Ministry of Home Affairs, coordinates 27 anti-narcotics
task forces throughout Burma. Most are located in major
cities and along key transit routes near Burma's borders
with China, India, and Thailand. As is the case with most
Burmese government entities, the CCDAC suffers from a
severe lack of adequate funding, equipment, and training to
support its law-enforcement mission. The Burmese Army and
Customs Department support the Police in this role. In
2005, CCDAC established two new anti-narcotic task forces
in Rangoon and Mandalay, supplementing existing task forces
in both cities.

Burma is actively engaged in drug-abuse control with its
neighbors China, India, and Thailand. Since 1997, Burma
and Thailand have had 11 cross-border law enforcement
cooperation meetings. The most significant result of this
cooperation has been the repatriation by Burmese police of
drug suspects wanted by Thai authorities: two in 2004, one
in 2005 and one in 2006. According to the GOB, Thailand
has contributed over $1.6 million to support an opium crop
substitution and infrastructure project in southeastern
Shan State. In 2007, Thailand assigned an officer from the
Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) to its mission in
Rangoon. Burma-China cross border law enforcement
cooperation has increased significantly, resulting in
several successful operations and the handover of several
Chinese fugitives who had fled to Burma. While not
formally funding alternative development programs, the
Chinese government has actively encouraged investment in
many projects in the Wa area and other border regions,
particularly in commercial enterprises such as tea
plantations, rubber plantations, and pig farms. China has
assisted in marketing those products in China through lower
duties and taxes. There are also indications that China
conducted its own opium cultivation and production surveys
in 2007 in regions of Burma bordering the PRC, although
they have not shared data resulting from those surveys with
other parties.

After Burma and India signed an agreement on drug control
cooperation in 1993, the two countries have held cross
border Law Enforcement meetings on a biannual basis, the
last being held September 11, 2004, in Calcutta.
The GOB has to date taken no direct action against any of
the seven UWSA leaders indicted by U.S. federal court in
January 2005, although authorities have taken action
against other, lower ranking members of the UWSA syndicate.
In 2007, one of the indicted leaders, Pao Yu-hua, died of
natural causes and another indicted leader, Ho Chun-t'ing,
was captured by Hong Kong Police. He is currently
imprisoned in Hong Kong while U.S. and Hong Kong officials
discuss his extradition to stand trial in the U.S. Another
notorious Burmese drug lord, Khun Sa, who was held under
house arrest in Rangoon following his surrender to the GOB
in December 1996, died from natural causes in October 2007.


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--Narcotics Seizures. Summary statistics provided by
Burmese drug officials indicate that through September
2007, Burmese police, army, and the Customs Service
together seized 1154 kgs of raw opium, 354 kgs of low
quality opium, 73 kgs of heroin, 91 kgs of marijuana,
approximately 1.5 million methamphetamine tablets, 455 kgs
of methamphetamine powder, 395 kgs of methamphetamine ICE,
238 kgs of ephedrine, 3,116 kgs of powdered precursor
chemicals, and 8,723 liters of precursor chemicals.

On January 19, 2007, based on DEA and AFP information, the
Lashio CCDAC ANTF dismantled a heroin refinery in the Man
Lin Hills near Lashio, Shan State. This operation resulted
in the arrest of two defendants and the seizure of
approximately 20.3 kgs of heroin, 20.3 kgs of brown opium,
1.02 kgs of opium residue, 1,100 kgs of ammonium chloride,
770 kgs of sodium chloride, 1,470 liters of ether, 438
liters of hydrochloric acid, 183 liters of chloroform, and various
equipment used in the refining of heroin.

On February 14, 2007, based on DEA and AFP information, the
Muse CCDAC ANTF dismantled a heroin refinery near Khar Li
Khu Village, Mong Ko Township, Burma. This operation
resulted in the arrest of 7 individuals, and the seizure of
7 kgs of brown opium, 89 kgs of ephedrine, 22.75 liters of
mineral spirit, 3 kgs of sodium hydroxide, 2 liters of
hydrochloric acid, 183 liters of chloroform, and various
equipment used in the refining of heroin.

On April 21, 2007, the Tachilek ANTF seized a total of
approximately 264,000 methamphetamine tablets.

On April 23, 2007, based on DEA and AFP information, CCDAC
ANTF seized 224.3 kgs of opium, 300 grams of heroin, opium
seeds, 7.1 million kyat (approximately $6,000), and 50,000
Chinese Yuan (approximately $6,250) in Pan Se, Nam Kham
Township, Burma.

During a May 26, 2007 raid on a heroin refinery in Kokang
region, the Muse ANTF captured a Kachin Defense Army (KDA)
major. Returning from the refinery, ANTF was ambushed by
approximately 60 armed individuals. In the ensuing
firefight, the KDA major was rescued and the opposing force
escaped with the drugs and money seized at the refinery.
Four ANTF officers were killed and two were wounded. The
attackers were identified as KDA and were believed to be
primarily interested in recovering the KDA major.

On June 7, 2007, based on DEA information, the Taunggyi
ANTF seized 195.2 kgs of opium from three locations and
dismantled a heroin refinery.

--Corruption. Burma signed but has not ratified the UN
Corruption Convention. Burma does not have a legislature
or effective constitution; and has no laws on record
specifically related to corruption. While there is little
evidence that senior officials in the Burmese Government
are directly involved in the drug trade, there are credible
indications that mid-and-lower level military leaders and
government officials, particularly those posted in border
and drug producing areas, are closely involved in
facilitating the drug trade. The Burmese regime closely
monitors travel, communications and activities of its
citizens to maintain its pervasive control of the
population, so it strains credibility to believe that
government officials are not aware of the cultivation,
production and trafficking of illegal narcotics in areas it
tightly controls. A few officials have been prosecuted
for drug abuse and/or narcotics-related corruption.
However, Burma has failed to indict any military official
above the rank of colonel for drug-related corruption.

--Agreements and Treaties. Burma is a party to the 1961 UN
Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (and became a member of
the 1972 Protocol to the Single Convention in 2003), the
1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988
UN Drug Convention.

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--Cultivation and Production. According to the UNODC opium
yield estimate, in 2007 the total land area under poppy
cultivation was 27,700 hectares, a 29 percent increase from
the previous year. The UNODC also estimated that the
potential production of opium increased by 46 percent, from
315 metric tons in 2006 to 460 metric tons in 2007. The
significant increase in potential opium production in 2007
indicated in the UNODC estimates reflect improved
agricultural methods and an end to several years of
drought, resulting in more favorable growing weather in
major opium poppy growing areas, such as Shan State and
Kachin State.

Burma as yet has failed to establish any reliable mechanism
for the measurement of ATS production. Moreover, while the
UNODC undertakes annual estimates of poppy cultivation and
production, the U.S. has been unable to conduct its annual
joint crop survey with Burma since 2004 due to the GOB's
refusal to cooperate in this important area.

--Drug Flow/Transit. Most ATS and heroin in Burma is
produced in small, mobile labs located near Burma's borders
with China and Thailand, primarily in territories
controlled by active or former insurgent groups. A growing
amount of methamphetamine is reportedly produced in labs
co-located with heroin refineries in areas controlled by
the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the Shan State Army-South
(SSA-S), and groups inside the ethnic Chinese Kokang
autonomous region. Ethnic Chinese criminal gangs dominate
the drug syndicates operating in all three of these areas.
Heroin and methamphetamine produced by these groups is
trafficked overland and via the Mekong River, primarily
through China, Thailand, India and Laos and, to a lesser
extent, via Bangladesh, and within Burma. There are
credible indications that drug traffickers are increasingly
using maritime routes from ports in southern Burma to reach
trans-shipment points and markets in southern Thailand,
Malaysia, Indonesia, and beyond. Heroin seizures in 2005,
2006 and 2007 and subsequent investigations also revealed
the increased use by international syndicates of the
Rangoon International Airport and Rangoon port for
trafficking of drugs to the global narcotics market.

--Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The overall level of
drug abuse is low in Burma compared with neighboring
countries, in part because most Burmese are too poor to be
able to support a drug habit. Traditionally, some farmers
used opium as a painkiller and an anti-depressant, in part
because they lack access to other medicine or adequate
healthcare. There has been a growing shift in Burma away
from opium smoking toward injecting heroin, a habit that
creates more addicts and poses greater public health risks.
Deteriorating economic conditions will likely stifle
substantial growth in overall drug consumption, but the
trend toward injecting narcotics is of significant concern.
The GOB maintains that there are only about 65,000
registered addicts in Burma. According to several HIV
Estimation Workshops conducted in 2007 by the National AIDS
Program and the World Health Organization, there are an
estimated 60,000 to 90,000 injecting drug users in Burma.
Surveys conducted by UNODC and other organizations suggest
that the addict population could be as high as 300,000.
According to the UNODC, BurmaQs opium addiction rate is
high, at 0.75 percent. NGOs and community leaders report
increasing use of heroin and synthetic drugs, particularly
among disaffected youth in urban areas and by workers in
mining communities in ethnic minority regions. The UNODC
estimated that in 2004 there were at least 15,000 regular
ATS users in Burma.

The growing HIV/AIDS epidemic has been tied to intravenous
drug use. According to the National AIDS Program, one
third of officially reported HIV/AIDS cases are
attributable to intravenous drug use, one of the highest
rates in the world. Information gathered by the National
AIDS Program showed that HIV prevalence among injecting

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drug users was 46.2 percent in 2006 ? a figure that
remained stable in 2007. Infection rates are highest in
Burma's ethnic regions, and specifically among mining
communities in those areas where opium, heroin, and ATS are
more readily available.

Burmese demand reduction programs are in part coercive and
in part voluntary. Addicts are required to register with
the GOB and can be prosecuted if they fail to register and
accept treatment. Altogether, more than 21,000 addicts
were prosecuted between 1994 and 2002 for failing to
register. (The GOB has not provided any data since 2002.)
Demand reduction programs and facilities are limited,
however. There are six major drug treatment centers under
the Ministry of Health, 49 other smaller detoxification
centers, and eight rehabilitation centers, which, together,
have provided treatment to about 70,000 addicts over the
past decade. Prior to 2006, the Ministry of Health treated
heroin addicts with tincture of opium. However, based on
high levels of relapse, the Ministry of Health in 2006
began to treat heroin addicts with Methadone Maintenance
Therapy (MMT) in four drug treatment centers, found in
Rangoon, Mandalay, Lashio, and Myitkyina. The Ministry of
Health also began dispensing methadone treatment in three
additional sites, two in Kachin State and one in Rangoon.
By August 2007, the Ministry of Health had treated more
than 370 patients using MMT.

As a pilot model, in 2003 UNODC established community-based
treatment programs in Northern Shan State as an alternative
to official GOB treatment centers. UNODC expanded this
program, opening centers in Kachin State. In 2007, UNODC
operated 16 drop-in centers. Since 2004, more 2,000
addicts received treatment at UNODC centers. In 2006 and
2007, an additional 8,028 addicts have sought medical
treatment and support from UNODC-sponsored drop-in centers
and outreach workers who are active throughout northeastern
Shan State. The GOB also conducts a variety of narcotics
awareness programs through the public school system. In
addition, the government has established several demand
reduction programs in cooperation with NGOs. These include
programs coordinated with CARE Myanmar, World Concern, and
Population Services International (PSI), focus on
addressing injected drug use as a key factor in halting the
spread of HIV/AIDS.

However, while maintaining these programs at pre-existing
levels, Burma has failed to expand demand-reduction,
prevention, and drug-treatment programs to reduce drug use
and control the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund, which
had a budget of $98.5 million to fight AIDS, TB, and
Malaria in Burma, withdrew in 2005. In 2006, foreign donors
established the 3 Diseases Fund (3DF) to provide
humanitarian assistance for AIDS, TB, and malaria. The
3DF, with its budget of $100 million over five years,
supports the work of local and international NGOs, the
United Nations, and the Ministry of Health. In 2007, the
3DF supported HIV/AIDS programs such as HIV surveillance
and training on blood safety. The 3DF also provided funds
for antiretroviral therapy and the MMT program.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

--Policy and Programs. As a result of the 1988 suspension
of direct USG counter-narcotics assistance to Burma, the
USG has limited engagement with the Burmese government in
regard to narcotics control. US DEA, through the U.S.
Embassy in Rangoon, shares drug-related intelligence with
the GOB and conducts joint drug-enforcement investigations
with Burmese counter-narcotics authorities. In 2006 and
2007, these joint investigations led to several seizures,
arrests, and convictions of drug traffickers and producers.
The U.S. conducted opium yield surveys in the mountainous
regions of Shan State from 1993 until 2004, with assistance
provided by Burmese counterparts. These surveys gave both
governments a more accurate understanding of the scope,
magnitude, and changing geographic distribution of Burma's

RANGOON 00001130 008.2 OF 008


opium crop. In 2005, 2006 and again in 2007, the GOB
refused to allow another joint opium yield survey. A USG
remote sensing estimate conducted indicated a slight
increase in opium cultivation in 2007 and a significant
increase in potential opium production, mirroring UNODC
survey results. Bilateral counter-narcotics projects are
limited to one small U.S.-supported crop substitution
project in Shan State. No U.S. counter-narcotics funding
directly benefits or passes through the GOB.

--The Road Ahead. The Burmese government must reverse the
negative direction of narcotics production in 2007 to
restore the significant gains it made over the past decade
in reducing opium poppy cultivation and opium production.
This will require greater cooperation with UNODC and major
regional partners, particularly China and Thailand.
Large-scale and long-term international aid - including
increased development assistance and law-enforcement aid -
could play a major role in reducing drug production and
trafficking in Burma. However, the ruling military regime
remains reluctant to engage in political dialogue within
Burma and with the international community. Its barriers
to those offering outside assistance have limited the
potential for international support of all kinds, including
support for Burma's counter-narcotics law enforcement
efforts. Furthermore, in order to be sustainable, a true
opium replacement strategy must combine an extensive range
of counter-narcotics actions, including crop eradication
and effective law enforcement, with alternative development
options, support for former poppy farmers and openness to
outside assistance. The GOB must foster closer cooperation
with the ethnic groups involved in drug production and
trafficking, especially the Wa, refuse to condone continued
involvement by ceasefire groups in the narcotics trade,
tackle corruption effectively, and enforce its counter-
narcotics laws more consistently to reach its goals of
eradicating all narcotics production and trafficking by
2014.

The USG believes that the GOB must further eliminate poppy
cultivation and opium production; prosecute drug-related
corruption, especially by corrupt government and military
officials; take action against high-level drug traffickers
and their organizations; strictly enforce its money-
laundering legislation; and expand prevention and drug-
treatment programs to reduce drug use and control the rapid
spread of HIV/AIDS. The GOB must take effective new steps
to address the explosion of ATS that has flooded the region
by gaining closer support and cooperation from ethnic
groups, especially the Wa, who facilitate the manufacture
and distribution of ATS. The GOB must close production
labs and prevent the illicit import of precursor chemicals
needed to produce synthetic drugs. Finally, the GOB must
stem the troubling growth of domestic demand for heroin and
ATS.

VILLAROSA

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With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>