Poppies Blooming In Burma Thanks To Military Junta

After a six year decline in opium cultivation, the amount of opium being grown in Burma shot up by at least 46%. Burma, Thailand, and Laos constitute the Golden Triangle of opium production in Asia although Afghanistan remains the main center of opium cultivation in the world. Most opium in Myanmar comes from the southern part of the Shan state which borders on Thailand. According to Shariq Bin Raza of the UN office in Burma, “it’s a combination of corruption, law enforcement and border control.”

Recent protests against the military junta mainly focused on political issues, but economic issues are equally of concern for the Burmese people. The military junta has failed to develop Burma’s potential and most probably are engaged in collusion with criminal gangs in order to use opium as a source of wealth. Most experts believe Myanmar has tremendous natural resources which could be channeled into creating a vibrant economy that would benefit the entire nation. The military junta is more concerned with their own interests than those of the Burmese people.