Seruiratu: No need for committee to look into drug issue

Minister for Defence,National Security and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu. Picture: RAMA/FILE

THERE is no need for a bipartisan parliamentary committee to look into Fiji’s drug issue, says Defence and National Security Minister Inia Seruiratu.

He made the comment in Parliament last week in response to a motion — which was later defeated — from the Opposition for the establishment of a committee to look into the cultivation, production, distribution, trade and use of illicit substances and drugs in the country.

Mr Seruiratu said Suva City was safe with the increased lighting and police presence on the streets and the war against drugs would be further enhanced with the introduction of new legislation.

He said this was where Government would need support from the Opposition.

“We already have the Volatile Substance Abuse Control Bill which hopefully, when we undergo the final with the Office of the Solicitor-General, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Women, Ministry of Education, civil society organisations and non-government organisations, definitely will come into the House — that is when we need their support,” he said.

“The National Narcotics Bureau Bill is also going through the consultation process now.”

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

He said Government had completed the first round of consultations which focused on improving drug rehabilitation in Fiji, and while new legislation was about to be introduced in an effort to combat drug production, trade and use — Government had also taken a proactive step in preparing for the fallout expected from the social menace.

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