Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There's dope in them thar hills!

As a nation, we are expert at being unable to predict and prevent trouble, and past master at regretting it - and of ourselves being the cause.

The government seems determined to pull out troops from the Chittagong Hill Tracts. One of the consequences of such a move will be acceleration in poppy cultivation.

According to a reliable source, poppy is already cultivated in Thanchi Upazila. The circumstances are typical: insurgency around a border area.

The Burmese government has, with considerable difficulty, reduced the area under opium in its border areas. There are reports that opium still finds its way into Bangladesh through the border.

One can imagine the impact that wide-spread poppy cultivation will have on Bangladesh. We will rapidly go from failed state to narco-state: every institution, including the army, will become involved. That means, there will be no remedy for the disease when it begins to spread. Unlike Burma, Bangladesh is, unfortunately, ruled by civilians – and very criminal civilians at that.

Poppy farmers will not include only hill people – Bengali settlers will be heavily involved, making it impossible for a democratic government to root out the evil.

And the evil will include the sale of opium and heroine outside our schools and universities. Opium creates its own demand: some of it may initially be given away free, or at dirt-cheap prices. Once sales take off, profit-taking will begin.
So, if we want to see our children addicted to heroine, we should support the government's lunatic manouevres in the Hill Tracts – in cahoots with foreigners who don't have to live here.

No comments: