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Words in the News
Monday 03 March 2003
Thailand's war against drugs
Drugs being burnt International concern has been growing after more than 1,100 people were killed during the first month of Thailand's war on the drug trade. The government said that most of the victims were gangsters, trying to get rid of informants. But human rights groups have accused the authorities of ordering unlawful executions. This report from Phil Mercer:

Listen Listen to the story
More than fifty diplomats gathered at the ministry of foreign affairs to hear what the Thais had to say about this controversial and bloody campaign. They were briefed by senior civil servants and police officers who told them Thailand's drugs problem was so severe that decisive action was needed. The crackdown, they insisted, would not allow the security forces to operate outside of the law. Those who did would face prosecution.

The police have said every death will be investigated. It'll be a tough task; more than a thousand people have been killed since this ninety-day crusade began, just over a month ago. Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said most were the victims of inter-gang fighting. He's urged people not to worry about the high number of deaths. Their concern, he said, should focus on the millions of Thais whose lives have been blighted by drug addiction.

Phil Mercer, BBC News, Bangkok.
Listen Listen to the words
if a subject is controversal it causes lots of discussions and arguments
bloody campaign
a planned action for a specific amount of time that results in injuries and death
if you brief someone you give them information on a particular topic
so severe
so serious, so bad
a strong, sharp action to stop something from continuing
to operate outside of
to work or do something without following the usual rules and guidelines
a tough task
a very difficult job
a long and dedicated effort to achieve something that is believed to be very important – in this case, an end to the drug trade
inter-gang fighting
fighting between gangs
blighted by
spoilt or damaged by
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