Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Interior minister calls for drug-free villages

Interior minister calls for drug-free villages

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister Sar Kheng talks to people at a pagoda in Preay Veng province on April 11. SAR KHENG VIA FACEBOOK

Interior minister calls for drug-free villages

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has instructed municipal, provincial and district administrations and police chiefs to conduct geographical updates on areas where illegal drugs are not accessible and make plans to designate them “white villages” and “white communes”, a term which means they are drug-free.

Sar Kheng gave the order on April 11, during the inauguration ceremony of the Po Kum pagoda in Russey Srok commune of Prey Veng province’s Peam Chor district. He said authorities must strive to fight against drug crime and turn those places into white villages and communes.

He instructed all local administrations to prevent the use and trafficking of drugs, saying that this is not just a job for the police, but also for the village and commune authorities, and every family. All of them should keep an eye on the children and youth, to make sure they are not tempted by the allure of illegal drugs.

“In some places, there are no drugs yet, so it is necessary to ensure those areas remain drug-free. When drugs come in, they risk ruining people’s lives, especially those aged 15 to 40. People in this age group are particularly susceptible to drugs,” he said.

National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) secretary-general Meas Vyrith told The Post on April 12 that Cambodia has not yet completed a report which determined which villages and communes were free of the influence of narcotics, but said the NACD has laid out plans to keep villages and communes “white”, starting with the provinces along the borders.

He said six provinces have been preparing to introduce the mechanisms which will operate white villages and communes.

Separately on April 12, the NACD general secretariat and the General Department of Prisons agreed to cooperate in organising education and dissemination of the effects of drugs to prison officials and detainees in correctional centres and municipal and provincial prisons.

NACD deputy secretary-general Thong Sokunthea said this cooperation is important as it helps prison officers and detainees to gain a clear understanding of the consequences of drug use.

It could help them avoid future drug problems and they would share their newfound knowledge with their families once they were reunited with their loved ones, he said.


  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’