Drugs are widely available in Namkham and the neighboring Kachin township of Manwiang but local authorities are taking no action against this state of affairs, report locals.
“In Manna quarter, young people, age around 20, begin arriving at 4 in the evening, as though there is a celebration,” said a townsman. “No.1 most used is yaba (methamphetamine) and No 2 is heroin.”
Raw opium is also available there.
In Manwiang, one of the shops selling drugs is just 300 meters from the police station. “But no action is taken against the owner,” said the local. “There are even rooms to be let there.”
Manwiang is known for its cattle market. Many cattle dealers are therefore seen among the users.
Preparation of fields for the year’s poppy season has also started in many of the townships, especially in Kutkhai, Hsenwi and Lashio townships where SHAN researchers have visited.
Rural areas in the said townships are run by Burma Army-supported People’s Militia Forces (PMFs).