President Mohamed Nasheed has said that a detoxification centre to treat drug addicts will be opened in the Maldives soon. The President made this statement in his radio address to the nation which was broadcast on the Voice of Maldives 7.15 this morning. The centre is expected to be established next month.

As today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the President’s radio address was centred on the drug issue faced by the country.

The President said that successfully rehabilitating drug addicts required detoxification and therefore the government attached a high priority to opening a detoxification centre.
Today is also marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The President said, in the Maldives, drug abuse and inhuman torture by the government authorities in the past were linked. He said that youngsters convicted of drug abuse had in the past been subjected to torture, which, he said, had not resolved the issue of drug abuse.
Underlying that there were several issues faced by the health care providers in the Maldives, the President said the government was addressing those issues. He said the services available at the hospitals and other centres would see significant improvement within the next three months.

On the foreign currency shortage, the President attributed the problem to the reduction in tourist arrivals due to the global economic recession.

He said providing letters of credit to importers of basic food items and other necessary commodities would ease the problem.

He also said the government was in discussion with several banks to tackle the problem.
In his radio address, the President also discussed the judiciary. Underlying the existing shortcomings in the judiciary, the President noted the importance of strengthening the judiciary for good governance.

The President concluded the radio address by saying that he was confident that the Maldives would see greater prosperity, development and happiness for the people.