Drug issue in Fiji has exploded, says Rabuka

Leader of Opposition and Shadow Minister for Economy Sitiveni Rabuka during a parliament break. Picture: RAMA

OPPOSITION Leader Sitiveni Rabuka says the drug issue in Fiji has exploded.

However, he adds that it is sad that the country has now arrived at this stage, given the ‘drips’ and ‘little springs’ that had come up before the situation exploded, making reference to past “so-called drug busts”.

“Unfortunately, we have not seen …  while we do not want to interfere with the machinery of the disciplinary arms of Government and the Judiciary … we tend to anticipate follow-up actions on such little busts,” Mr Rabuka said.

“When those are not forthcoming, we ask, and when we get to a stage where the Honourable Minister or a Minister is compelled to make a national statement in the national assembly, it means that we are in dire straits,” he said, in response to Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu’s ministerial statement on fighting crime and the war against drugs in Fiji.

“Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is not criticising the Government, it is our joint effort in maintaining national discipline and our national respect for law and order.

“There have been many issues that we relate to human rights, fundamental rights, children’s rights – they all relate to imparting a sense of discipline, not enforcing a sense of discipline on our children and our young people.

“Unfortunately, those communal and community, societal, societies and schools, et cetera, they are machinery to instil discipline but have been degraded by so-called rights.

“What about now? We are talking about the rights of the nation to have a proper and respectable standard of national discipline.

“If we try and instil that sense using whatever facilities that are available to us in the family, schools, villages, communities and the church, we should not be confronted with an issue as big as this.”

Mr Rabuka said everyone were victims of the trend and the imposition of the use of drugs into our communities.

He said initially, it was the over-use of yaqona, alcohol and then marijuana and now into hard drugs.

“I commend the Minister for his statement; I commend the police for the work that they are trying to do; and other aspects of enforcing discipline, but if we can just relook at our whole social structure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, where we can instil discipline at a very young age so that we ensure maximum discipline, when we get older, I am sure we will solve the future problems.”

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