The European Rohingya Council (ERC) urges international and South and South-East Asian actors, including neighbouring governments, international organisations and various civil society groups, especially the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (hereinafter referred to as “UNODC”) to take strict and immediate action against Myanmar’s state sponsored narco-terrorist activities. We submit that the Burmese army and police forces, aided by the government in Naypyidaw have been using narcotic substances as a weapon of war to completely destroy Rohingya and Bangladeshi society and its people. This undeclared weapon is not less than an atomic weapon because its destruction will be felt by generations.

Myanmar´s golden triangle under the control of the then drug lord Khun Sa was once known to be the largest producer of heroin that flooded the USA and western countries with this deadly substance. The US government even placed a bounty of 2 million dollar on his capture because Myanmar didn’t take any action against him. He was then sheltered by Tatmadaw when the US was about to capture him, and he became their partner in both conventional and drug business. In the early 21st century Tatmadaw opened a new frontier in northern Arakan because this drug not only gives them cash but also plays the role of destructive weapons against people of Arakan and Bangladesh. There are more than a dozen mobile drug laboratories in Arakan state that are relentlessly producing amphetamine (Yaba) pills. We can comfortably say that Myanmar once again becomes the world’s largest supplier of amphetamine pills.

All sources point to Myanmar Border Guard Police and military with their local syndicates from both sides are transporting tens of millions of Yaba pills into Bangladesh, Rohingya camps in Cox Bazar and beyond. These acts besides monetary gains, are aimed towards completely annihilating the social fabric of Rohingya society. They have had the effect of pushing Rohingya youth into criminal activities, increased gunfights and killings in camps, increasing divorce rates amongst couples, more and more Rohingya children being pulled out of schools, poor health and even premature deaths. This has also had a domino effect of adversely affecting the society of Bangladesh, as harmful and deadly drugs are being injected into their society. It is clearly evident that with these criminal activities, Myanmar and her syndicates want to create complete chaos in Rohingya camps as they don’t want repatriation of Rohingya refugees to their own homeland.

We would like to bring to the notice of the international community that Myanmar’s activities are blatantly illegal, unethical and in complete violation of its domestic and international obligations. Myanmar has ratified the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, that is one of the main treaties under the auspices of The UNODC. This treaty expressly prohibits abetment of trade in narcotics, such as Yaba pills. We call upon The UNODC to take strict action against Myanmar in this regard in order to put an end to the destruction of our people who are caught in this dark web of helplessness to escape the genocide and to provide food for their children.

It is also notable that the Yaba pills don’t just move from Myanmar to Bangladesh, but they also pass through international territories, including through the Indian State of Mizoram. Myanmar’s illegal activities are having the effect of disturbing the peace of the entire region of South Asia and South-East Asia, and hence swift action against it is the need of the hour. Also, we cannot ignore that the trade in Yaba pills that is aimed towards destroying the lives and health of Rohingya people, is an additional evidence of the unfortunate genocide that is taking place in the Ararkan valley. Time and again this genocide has been recognized by the global community as a crime against the collective conscience of humanity at large. We urge the international community to hold Myanmar accountable and responsible for the genocidal acts that it has been committing.

We take this opportunity to alert the UNODC, other international organisations, regional governments of South and South-East Asia and the entire international community at large to Myanmar’s state sponsored narco-terrorism. This is a grave threat to peace in the region, especially Bangladesh. We urge you to proceed swiftly before our society and our people are completely destroyed, and it is too late to act.


 More information:
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