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Concert sings out against drugs

Author: Vientiane Times Reporters
Published: 27/06/2011
Newspaper section: International Cooperation

The Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) on Friday sponsored a concert to launch a drug prevention campaign and mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Trafficking.

The event was held at the National Culture Hall and showcased a variety of performances including dancing by Lao Bangfai, poetry by the Lanexang Heritage Preservation Group, and music by well known artists like The Cells, Aluna, May, Tee and Baby Rock - all of whom were chosen by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to act as youth ambassadors.

Other highlights of the event were a fashion show by a Lao designer and a music competition for the best band of the night.

LCDC Chairperson Mr Soubanh Srithirath spoke at the opening and expressed his pride at organising the concert and commended the hard work of the Lao government in the fight against drugs over the past decade.

"Our plan to eradicate opium poppy cultivation, begun in 2000, has seen remarkable achievements and contributed to anti-drug policies for people throughout the country and the region.

But we would not have had this level of success without the help, participation and sacrifice of police officers, soldiers and the public," Mr Soubanh said. "Drugs were challenging and threatening the stability and peace of the nation, neighbouring countries, and the international community.

That's why the Lao government prioritised this issue in the national master plan and focused on ending drug abuse and stopping the cultivation and the production of opium and other crops used as ingredients for illicit narcotics."

Other anti-drug initiatives focus on the rehabilitation of addicts, raising public awareness of the effects of drug abuse, and facilitating cooperation between Laos and other countries to tackle the problem of drug production and trafficking.

"Despite the progress we've made, there are still challenges posed by our shared borders with other countries and we need to continue to work with our neighbours, nations in the region, and the international community to ensure that drug abuse is eradicated," he said