Commonly found in Southeast Asia including in Myanmar, leaves from the kratom tree have long been used as a traditional medicine to treat various health conditions, including diabetes, diarrhoea, fever and pain. Kratom is currently banned in Myanmar, and the WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) is discussing this week whether it should be placed under international drug control. Instead of criminalisation, however, this commentary argues that legal regulation of kratom could contribute to building safer communities, promoting development and supporting peace efforts in Myanmar and beyond.
After decades of conflict, it is often said that that political struggle in Myanmar has three groupings: military, pro-democracy and ethnic. But, as Cheery Zahau argues in this commentary, the ethnic nationality cause is frequently marginalised and misunderstood. Paradigm shifts in political behaviour and perspectives are required on all sides if the failures of the past are not to be repeated.
Between 10 and 25 June 2017, the Transnational Institute organised a Southeast Asian advocacy fellowship programme on drug policy reform, attended by seven participants from Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar. One of the participants, Viona Wijaya from Indonesia, shares her experiences in this article.
Myanmar is better known for its serious drug problems - including large-scale illicit drugs production and trafficking and high rates of heroin use - than for implementing progressive drug policies that prioritise the health of its population. However, this could change in the near future.
The strategy of Asean's 10 member countries to become "drug free" by 2015 is failing dramatically. In the last decade, opium cultivation in the region has doubled, drug use -- especially of methamphetamines, a powerful synthetic stimulant -- has increased significantly, and there remain strong links between drugs, conflict, crime and corruption.
Jennifer Franco, Danny Carranza, Joann Fernandez (Rightsnet)
07 Octubre 2011
A Philippines biofuel project would appear to fit the World Bank's definition of a "win-win" scenario with its promise of jobs and conversion of 'idle land'. However a closer look unveils corporate manipulation, political corruption and exploitation of subsistence farmers that typically accompanies so-called "responsible investment"
Between 20 and 21 September 2011, 40 ASEAN campaigners and experts met in Manila to share knowledge and experiences, articulate common strategies and discuss alternatives to the current investment regime.
The Philippines' decision 16 years ago to close down a US military base made history and marked a significant victory for anti-base campaigners. But backdoor deals have delivered the largest ever US military presence. Philippines illustrates the latest strategy of US imperialism to create agile, flexible forces to maintain dominance.