Today, Myanmar, located in the heart of the “Golden Triangle,” is the main opium producer in Southeast Asia. A bitter, yellowish-brown, strongly addictive narcotic drug prepared from the dried juice of unripe pods of the opium poppy is a Golden Triangle urban legend, romanticized by many modern artists.
“There were opium dens where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new” (196). Or so, at any rate, asserts the histrionic narrator of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). The opium den episode in Wilde’s novel is in many ways typical of a genre that flourished in late Victorian novels, tales, and periodicals–a genre that provides a glimpse, if not of the dens themselves, of the strategies used to represent the opium den.
Opium and its various constituents exert effects upon the body ranging from analgesia, or insensitivity to pain, to narcosis, or depressed physiological activity leading to stupor. Opium users describe experiencing a feeling of calm and well-being. Opium addicts in otherwise good physical and mental health whose drug needs are met are thought to experience no debilitating physiological effects from their addiction, although there is some evidence that immune function is compromised. However, their preoccupation with the drug and its acquisition can lead to malnutrition and general poor self-care and an increased risk of disease.
The Myanmar Mike opium saga just began. Wait and see.
For today something special from last decay.
SLORC is ignoring or supporting new opium cultivation in Northern Chin hills
and Nagaland land. It was repeatedly mentioned by foreign medias and
international narcotic agencies. It is also confirmed by local people. A
police officer, joining No.8 police station, Mandalay, on transfer from
Northern chill division in 1991 assured me - that the whole of Northern Chin
Hills are beautifully covered with opium flowers in season. VOA & BBC
insisted existence of Heroin labs, “always” close to a SLORC army battalion
base - in border areas close to India. Later news tell of other new
cultivations being started in Southern Chin Hills. There are also
possibilities of new cultivations in Putao Area and other northernmost part
of Burma. Gen. Khin Nyunt makes assurances publicly again that there will be
no more opium cultivation in coming few years in and around golden
triangle. He is absolutely right - because the opium cultivation will be
shifted from golden triangle to Western and Northern high lands of Burma.
However, opium produced in Chin areas are “Watery” liquid and refuses into
a solid mass, and it is evidently of low quality to bring high price in the
market, The watery opium is blotted with a gauge, when collected and it is
marketed as such. the quality of those Chin Hill products are yet to
More heroin labs are expected to be established in border areas close to
India, because the supply of Acetic Anhydride, a major chemical used to
purify heroin into best marketable quality 8 Di- hydroxy morphine) is easily
available from India, with no additional transport charges. Nagaland and
Assam on the other hand are now already being used as transit areas and a
“new golden triangle” is surly expected to be established west of Chindwin
River in a few decades. For this, India might have anticipated it and before
the trouble has escalated to an international problem, it tries to stop this
by making agreements to take bilateral anti-narcotic measures in early 1994.
However, India`s “unilateral” efforts to stop this narcotic business is very
much doubtful to success.