The Washington Post's November 22 issue reported that U.S. Department of State officials are close to recommending Burma's removal from a list of "major" drug producers.
However, Josef Silverstein, currently a visiting lecturer in Southeast Asian Studies at Princeton University and Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, said there is no justification for such a move.
Professor Silverstein stated that Burma is also the major source of amphetamine-type stimulants in Asia, producing an estimated 800 million tablets a year.
On November 25, Burma's military rulers said that the country reduced opium production. The government stated the difficulty of waging war against amphetamine tablets because they are chemical based and are easily produced by using mobile laboratories.
Dr. Sein Myint, advisor for Justice for Human Rights in Burma said it is too early to remove Burma from the list of "major" drugs producers. He believes that Burma's ruling military is not effectively taking action against the drug lords.
Removal of Burma from the "major" drug producers list would allow the repressive Southeast Asian nation to press for significant counternarcotics funding.