THE GOVERNMENT is urged to pay compensation to the children, women and men of South Guadalcanal who came under fire from the patrol boat owned by the state between the years 2001 and 2002.
Provincial Member for Vatukulau Ward in South Guadalcanal, Rollen Seleso, made the call, Thursday.
“I was amongst the people at Veramogho village when one of the patrol boats owned by the government was shooting indiscriminately at us,” MR Seleso recalled.
The Vatukulau Provincial Ward member added that it was a sad day indeed as people were covering up behind rocks and undergrowth, hiding from the blazing bullets from the patrol boat that was supposed to protect them and not shooting at them.
Mr Seleso stated that if those who are carrying out the operation and other many operations are receiving money from the state coffers, the victims of the patrol boat shooting should be compensated accordingly.
“If government is paying former combatants $3 million and another unverified amount of $1.4 million, on behalf of my people I’m demanding the government to pay compensation to us as well,” Mr Seleso insisted
“If the perpetrators are benefiting directly from the government, I don’t see any valid reason for the victims- my people- to be left out from similar reparation from government,” he added
Mr Seleso also demands the government to reveal who made the authorization for the patrol boat to be dispatched to South Guadalcanal and carried out what could be now described as a ‘genocide’ attempt.
“Who authorized the patrol boat to South Guadalcanal? The person(s) who put ink to paper to allow the boat to travel to South Guadalcanal should face the full brunt of the law.
“Law must take its course so that those who deserved justice will have the confidence of the legal system and the whole apparatus of the government.”
Mr Seleso added that government must not be misled to believe that peace is dependent on a few people; the sustainable peace of this country rests upon all Solomon Islanders.
“The long term peace of this country depends on every Solomon Islanders, therefore, government must not entertain the provision of free handouts to a few people at the expense of all Solomon Islanders.”