PM confirms govt's anti-drug stance
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong has reiterated the government's commitment to the war on drugs, saying all sectors are continuously directed to impose serious measures to curb drug abuse.
Mr Thongsing confirmed the government's position in a message delivered to the public to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which occurs today.
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong delivers a message on the impacts of drug abuse.
In the message, he referred to the dangers that drugs hold for humans, the obstacles they pose to development, their strong links to crime and corruption, and the lives lost by people who fall prey to drugs.
Along with other countries around the world, Laos has marked this day every year throughout the 28 years since it was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987.
“We have educated people, especially the younger generation, on the dangers and terrible consequences of drug abuse through the regular dissemination of policies, regulations and decisions related to drug issues,” Mr Thongsing said.
The prime minister spoke about the steps the government has taken to help people in remote areas improve their living standards through sustainable forms of livelihood, instead of cultivating opium poppies. The government has also helped drug addicts to undergo rehabilitation and vocational training programmes every year.
Mr Thongsing said local authorities had clamped down on drug traffickers and successfully dealt with a number of drug-related cases. Traffickers and their associates had been arrested and quantities of various drugs had been seized.
He also noted that Laos was carrying out its obligations under the international conventions it is a party to, saying this was the fruitful outcome of the contribution of all sectors, and cooperation and assistance from friendly countries and international organisations.
“On behalf of the government, I would like to take this opportunity to praise all sectors at the central and local levels, as well as people of all ethnic groups throughout the country, for their active contribution in preventing and addressing the drug issues in our country,” he said.
The prime minister also thanked countries, international organisations, international financial institutions, non-government organisations and domestic and foreign business operators for their support in addressing drug issues in Laos.
Mr Thongsing reminded his audience of the rapid growth in drug production and distribution, which he said had become a trans-national activity, and global attempts to address the issue.
Drug trafficking in Laos has spread from urban to remote rural areas. More people are becoming addicted to drugs and have become a burden on society, as well as creating trouble for their families. Drug abuse is also increasingly responsible for theft, road accidents, and violence.
He gave advice on ways to limit the spread and dangers of drugs, recommending that public campaigns on the disastrous impacts of drugs be continued through various channels. He also advised further assistance for people who had given up opium poppy cultivation, and called for close monitoring to ensure they did not revert to growing the crop.
The message also contained advice on rehabilitation and vocational training for drug addicts. The prime minister said addicts should be a central focus of the movement to strengthen the political grassroots and comprehensive rural development at the village and village group levels.
He stressed the need to meet targets related to drug issues in a timely fashion, and the use of decisive legal measures against drug traffickers.
The prime minister suggested that an anti-drug fund be established in each province, and the organisational structure of drug control bodies be improved for better coordination, and that international cooperation be strengthened in the war on drug traffickers.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update June 26, 2015)