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Christian Group Seeking to Eradicate Drug Use in Myanmar is Attacked with Machetes

Veronica Neffinger | iBelieve Contributor | Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Christian Group Seeking to Eradicate Drug Use in Myanmar is Attacked with Machetes

A Christian group which is trying to eradicate drug use in Myanmar has been attacked by a group who profits from the drug trade.

According to Christian Today, the Christian group known as Pat Jasan was attacked with machetes when 300 of its members were en route to a poppy plantation in Waingmaw Township.

The group, established by the Kachin Baptist Church, was attempting to destroy poppies used to extract opium.

"They first tried to stop us as we were about to enter the poppy fields there. Later they beat us and threw stones at us. Then they burnt tents and took away our food," a member of Pat Jasan, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Irrawady, a Burmese news source.

The Christian group had divided up into six smaller groups to begin destroying the poppy plantations. One of the group was badly beaten and injured. The exact number of those injured remains unknown.

Although Myanmar’s police have promised to help Pat Jasan, government help remains uncertain.

“We feel that there's no protection for us yet despite the Parliament in Naypyidaw discussing our anti-poppy campaigns. We urgently need full support and protection from the government," said Kham Thu Dan Shaung, a central committee member of Pat Jasan. 

"Our campaign is to help and support the government's plan to eliminate drugs and poppy plantations. Since we were attacked like this, it is a sign that some people still want to profit out of drug production and that's not good for our country's future,” he continued.

After an emergency discussion following the attack, Myanmar’s parliament approved a motion calling for more support of Pat Jasan.

Myanmar is second only to Afghanistan in producing opium.

Publication date: March 2, 2016