The Government in Thailand has held a public ceremony to highlight its declared intention to combat the drug problem in that area of South East Asia.
GV: soldiers unloading drugs from lorry (2 shots)
GV: soldiers carrying drugs to burning place (2 shots)
GV: soldiers putting woods into the burning place.
SV: Thanin arrives surrounded by newsmen (2 shots)
SV: Thanin ignites the fire. (2 shots)
SV: Thanin talking with military officers.
GV: more drugs put into fire. (2 shots)
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Background: The Government in Thailand has held a public ceremony to highlight its declared intention to combat the drug problem in that area of South East Asia. The Prime Minister , Mr Thanin Kraivichien personally burnt more than 116 million pounds Sterling (US dollars million) worth of narcotic on Monday (22 August).
Thailand's northern border areas form part of the so-called Golden Triangle taking in parts of Burma and Laos where at least 500 tons (tonnes) of opium are produced each year.
SYNOPSIS: What's probably one of the world's most expensive bonfires took place at an Army base in Bangkok. More than four point eight tons (tonnes) of narcotics had been collected and among the haul was 623 pounds weight (283 kgms) of heroin and two point five tons (tonnes) of marijuana.
The drugs had been seized by authorities in 1973 and 1974. Officials said more narcotics confiscated from drug smugglers would be burnt in the next few months.
The bonfire was lit a by the Prime minister Mr Thanin. Last March he also ordered the execution without trial of a Lao-Chinese heroine trafficker. At Monday's ceremony, Mr Thanin said that about 450 thousand Thai people were drug addicts, or about one percent of the population. About 37 percent of court cases involved narcotics offenses. The Government was determined to stem the menace.