14 Aug 2019

No need for drugs inquiry: Fiji govt

6:15 am on 14 August 2019

Fiji's government says there is no need to establish a committee to look into drug-related crime across the country.

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Photo: Supplied

The opposition's motion for an investigation into the crime and drugs' situation in the country was defeated in Parliament last week.

The Minister for Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu said Suva is safe with increased lighting and police presence on the capital's streets.

Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya suggested more police posts be set up around the city.

"Will erecting more police posts prevent robberies and attacks that are allegedly being fuelled by drugs? Is having more police patrols on the ground going to prevent another 1634 children becoming victims of drug-related cases such as those reported in schools in 2018?"

Inia Seruiratu said Fiji is safer in comparison to many other countries.

But he urged the MPs to be more proactive and take responsibility equally.

He said new legislation would also help the government's "war on drugs" and he called on the opposition to support the state's efforts.

The opposition said an investigation into the cultivation, production, distribution, trade and use of illicit substances and drugs in Fiji is needed.

National Federation Party member Pio Tikoduadua recommended that all MPs undergo public drug tests to show leadership.

The motion was also defeated.

Minister Seruiratu said the war on drugs will not be held in Parliament and on its committees but out in the streets, schools and communities.

He said there is already a volatile substance abuse control bill and the narcotics bill is undergoing the consultation process.

He said the battlefield was not in Parliament and in the parliamentary committees but out in the streets, schools and communities.

Mr Seruiratu said while new legislation was about to be introduced in an effort to combat drug production, trade and use, the government is prepared for the fallout expected from the social menace.

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