Today, all stakeholders in the nation are concerned about a raging phenomenon: that of drug consumption by our young people as well as trafficking by unscrupulous dealers. News on Sunday called upon some young professionals so as to gather their opinions on this staggering and debilitating issue.
Ravish Kumar Bundhun : “We need to call for in-depth investigation”
Our youth and our country’s future are in a serious crisis: that of being consumed by one of the worst social evils, says Ravish Bundhun. “For the sake of our future and for a better generation, we must voice out our dissatisfaction and raise our concerns on the incumbent situation. This Commission Drug Report has given us a golden opportunity to address and eradicate the problem from the source itself. Together, with the full-fledged cooperation of both public and our leaders, we can make a difference and deal with the drug problem.”
According to him, we need to call for in-depth investigation, to bring new drug law reforms, to assert harsh penalties and punitive measures on drug related offences and to formulate new strategies to combat the infiltration of drugs in certain ghettoes of our country. “We are all directly or indirectly concerned with these drug crimes and diseases, increasing poverty among addicts, overcrowded prisons, social and family disruption and human suffering, to name a few.
Let us hope that in the years to come, we shall see a drastic reduction in the number of drug addicts. Hope is one thing but reality is another matter. As long as we have self-serving politicians, an inefficient police force and certain money-minded so-called ‘do-gooders’ just to be in the limelight, we fear the worst to come.”
Hema Ramnarain : “Bold decisions should be taken”
Now that the report is with the appropriate authorities, all stakeholders should get together and redress the situation, believes Hema Ramnarain. “Laws and regulations should be amended. The police have to review their methodology in dealing with importation and distribution.
The population should be able to see concrete actions being taken. The report enumerates a series of issues that need to be addressed. Drug dealers who are in custody have to be under strict surveillance, including their access to facilities such as mobile phones and visits.”
Most importantly, according to her, the authorities must take urgent actions by seizing and / or putting a seal on all financial and other properties of those involved in the drug business as per the report. “The implementation of the above does not seem to be that easy. However, bold decisions ought to be taken as immediately as possible. This will bring hope among the population and a blow to the drug business.”
Mayur Nunkoo : “It has to be enforced with utmost impartiality”
The finalized report by the Drug Commission Enquiry, chaired by former Judge Lam Shang Leen, has raised our hopes in solving the drug scourge in Mauritius, highlights Mayur. “It is a quantum leap to dismantling the drug time bomb; preponderant initiatives have to be envisioned to attain the end goal. The Drug Commission report will denounce the drug cartels and serve as deterrent, when appropriate incarceration follows. Implementation might not be the easiest, but it will reflect the true democracy and transparency we preach.
It will further reiterate the ‘zero tolerance’ policy announced at the beginning of the Government’s mandate, strengthening the credibility as a justice-driven nation. It has to be enforced with utmost impartiality, even if it may topple the game of politics.”
Mayur states that it is indeed a giant step, but more proactive measures have to be taken to win the battle. “Corrupted persons have already made billions, and as long as the black money keeps on circulating, it will impede our progress. Demonetization or even dollarization policies may be considered to discourage money laundering. This will ultimately lead to a decrease in corruption and criminal offences. It is also high time to revise the stance on the ‘Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Bill and the Constitution Amendment Bill’.”
Kevin Rawoteea : “Youngsters should learn to say no”
The Commission is striving to find solutions of how to eradicate the spread of drugs, says Kevin. “The Commission is doing a great job and the Commission Drug Report will without the least doubt affect our society in a positive way.
Education of the population is very important and the spreading of awareness between various age groups is of vital importance. Youngsters should learn to say no to such phenomenon. Laws must be more severe and more policemen should be formed in this respect.”
He argues that the implementation of the rules and regulations might be a challenge to the representative of the Commission. “Such implementation should be designed according to the market taking into consideration the mentality of people without neglecting the environment they have grown into. Without such a Commission, Mauritius would have faced many disasters and we would have seen a downfall of our economy.”