Burma's misguided Drug War
Keen to impress the West and get sanctions lifted, Burma is cracking down on opium production. But hundreds of thousands may be left in poverty.
But while the government presses forward toward its stated goal of “wiping out the opium problem by 2014,” some experts remain unimpressed. “It looks more like a public relations gesture than a serious attempt to tackle the country’s drug problems,” says Tom Kramer, an expert on narcotics with the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute. Indeed, to some, the anti-opium drive seems more about wooing Western governments into lifting sanctions than getting to the root of the issue.
“It’s a signal to the U.S. for more engagement,” Kramer says.
Tom Fawthrop is a Thailand-based journalist and producer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Al-Jazeera and the New Statesman, among other publications.
- Articles & Videos