Church Leaders Call for Unified Action Against Drugs; Concern Over Canteens Selling Glue

There is concern that there are canteens allegedly selling glue that children use to sniff.

Avinesh Chand from the Ram Charith Manas Gurukul in Suva said complaints have been made to relevant authorities yet they are aware that these outlets are still selling glue.

“Look around Suva. See the amount of children walking around homeless, loitering and living on the streets and see the effects of glue sniffing. It’s ruining the lives of our children. And now they’re selling it in canteens,” Chand said.

“This is so dangerous. That these shopkeepers are making money out of something so bad that the young people of Fiji are addicted. It is destroying lives. It is destroying the young generation in our country.”

Chand was part of a gathering of church leaders, and those of other religions in Suva who came together to discuss the worrying spike in drug cases in Fiji.

New Methodist Christian Fellowship Qase Levu Talatala Atu Vulaono said the social ills befalling Fiji is an indication of the collapse of a family structure.

“We are not addressing the issue. We are barking up the wrong tree. All these things that are happening all point to one thing, the breakdown of family communications, and the lack of or non-existent belief in God,” Talatala Vulaono said.

He said the excessive consumption of kava and cigarettes were all contributing factors.

“Just take a look around us. People are drinking too much kava and smoking so much. Why then are we surprised at things like illicit drugs found and young people using getting into it. It’s because addiction didn’t just start there, it started with things like kava.”

Opening the meeting, at the Salvation Army Hall in Suva, Assistant Minister in the PM’s Office, Sakiusa Tubuna said there needed to be more discussions followed by positive action by all stakeholders in addressing this issue.

“Drugs is everywhere. We need to work together. We can’t just depend on Government or the religious organisations, everyone needs to work together.” Tubuna said.

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