Lt-Gen Yawdserk, interviewed on the eve of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, 26 June, said as long as Naypyitaw is handle, the drug problem as a political game, the problem will not be resolved.
“It’s time drugs equal rebels accusations are stopped,” he told SHAN.
He was speaking to SHAN two days after the Thai government presented him and the Shan State Army (SSA) with a Gold Eagle Award for cooperation in the campaign against drugs. The award given by Gen Pichitr Kullavanich, Privy Councilor in Bangkok, was received by the SSA representative Sai Aye on 23 June.
The group had also submitted a drug eradication project to the Burmese government on 19 May. Its representatives also met the government-run Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) earlier this month to work out the details. However, no concrete agreement has reached so far. “We are pressed for time,” he said. “If we wait too long, it’ll be too late to do anything. At the same time, no single agency can deal with the problem on its own. We need cooperation from all to do it.”
Cooperation from all armed groups are also necessary. “It’s time we show the world we can survive without drugs,” he said.
Naypyitaw has set 2014, two years from now, as its target date for drug eradication. So far, most of its targeted townships in Shan, Kachin, Chin and Kayah states as well as non-targeted townships in Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe are also also growing poppies, according to Shan Drug Watch 2012 report published by SHAN yesterday.