- 22 August, 2016:
The Bishop of Mauritius, Cardinal Maurice Piat, and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean, Most Reverend Ian Ernest, paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this morning at the Treasury Building in Port Louis.
In a statement following the courtesy call, Cardinal Piat said that discussions with the Prime Minister focused on the fight against drugs more particularly on prevention, rehabilitation of drug users, as well as follow-up and support.
Cardinal Piat laid emphasis on the need to stop being indifferent so as to win this fight. The scourge of drugs, he said, is a national concern and all stakeholders should be on board to tackle this issue namely the government, parents, social workers and civil society. According to him, a change in attitude and policy can help eradicate this scourge.
He also highlighted the need to change our perceptions as regards drug users since, he said, they are sick people and not criminals. The drug scourge, he added, is a health and not a criminal issue. Speaking about detainees, he recalled that 80% of those in prisons are drug users adding that it is necessary to put at their disposal rehabilitation facilities.
For his part, Most Reverend Ian Ernest pointed out that the Council of Religions is also very much concerned with this national issue and is intensifying its fight against drugs. He expressed his appreciation for the promptness of the Prime Minister to meet them while adding that the meeting with Mr Pravind Jugnauth was very cordial.
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