Yangon: Myanmar has extended its 15-year drug eradication plan by another five years, media reported Saturday.

The programme was to end in 2014 but has now been extended till 2019. The Golden Triangle, covering an area of 950,000 sq km, is one of Asia's major illegal opium-producing areas.

The region overlaps with Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Myanmar is taking a lead role in fighting drugs and is increasing cooperation with various stateholders, Home Minister Lieutenant-General Ko Ko said.

He called for realizing ASEAN's (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) objective of eradicating drug use within member countries by 2015.Ko, who chairs the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, stressed the need for effective programmes in schools, workplace and community the tackle the menace.

He said the government has intensified efforts to destroy poppy plantations and control drug traffickers. Ko said about 3,900 offenders were punished in 2011. Most of the world's heroin came from the Golden Triangle until the early 21st century when Afghanistan became the world's largest producer.

(Agencies)

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