Thai Deputy Premier Chalerm fingers Myanmar at ASEAN ministers’ drug meeting


BANGKOK, Aug 31 – ASEAN’s hope for achieving drug-free status by 2015—a goal endorsed at a special ASEAN anti-drug meeting in the Thai capital which ended today—depends upon Myanmar, according to Thai Deputy Premier Chalerm Yubamrung.

Thailand hosted a special meeting of ministers from the 10-nation Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the capital to fight against drugs and to achieve ASEAN’s status as a drug-free zone in 2015.

“Drug situations change all the time,’’ Mr Chalerm said. ‘’New products emerge. ASEAN’s hope depends on Myanmar.’’

Despite the fact that the Myanmar government is not involved in the drug making and/or smuggling activities, Mr Chalerm said that Tachilek in Myanmar, at Thailand’s Mae Sai district in the northern province of Chiang Rai, is known to be the main channel of the drug problem for Thailand.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm presided over the ceremony at Shangri-la Hotel on Friday.

The ten ASEAN member countries are jointly planning policies and strategies to fight against drugs from the production process, trade and the use of illegal drugs.

The plans are to be made tangible by ASEAN senior officials. The result of today’s meeting will be reported to the next ASEAN summit among regional leaders.

The Thai deputy premier said ASEAN [already] described itself as drug-free region, which means the drug problem is controllable and does not affect society.