The policy of the present regime is to answer through the bullet the people who raise a voice for their rights by way of peaceful protests, but it is not the policy of the UNP, said national organizer of the party, eastern provincial council opposition leader Daya Gamage.
He was speaking at a function at St. Sebastian Church in Chilaw, where a handover of three fishing boats, educational scholarships up to university education and books among three fisher families, whose sole breadwinners were the victims of a police shooting on a peaceful demonstration, held without any political provocation, aginast the fuel price increase.
One of the fishermen, Anthony, was killed in the shooting, while another, Kingsley, committed suicide by hanging after being dejected about his failure to support his family as he had lost a leg in the shooting.
Rev. Fr. Claude Icing organized the function, which was also attended by UNP MP Dr. Anoma Gamage and provincial councillors Shanthini Kongahage, Shantha Sisira Kumara and Hector Appuhamy.
Speaking further, Mr. Gamage noted that the UNP regimes had listened to the people and extended a helping hand to them, instead of making them helpeless like the present government.
He said that after consultation with the UNP leader, it was decided to support these fisher families.
This unfortunate loss of lives came about in a scenario where fishermen are unable to decide a price for their catch, due to the unprecedented increase in fuel prices.
The repression unleashed on their protest only led to the loss of lives and several families becoming helpless, he said.
Mr. Gamage said he was sorry that the donations could not be made three weeks earlier, or Kingsley would have been living today.
He went onto say that even by spending Rs. 5,000, one cannot buy the goods that cost Rs. 500 during the UNP regimes.
Very soon, this government will have to print Rs. 50,000 notes, but such a note will not be able to buy what people had bought during the UNP regimes for Rs. 500, he said.
Despite strong objections by the UNP leader, the government went ahead with borrowing, which will have to be repaid by the innocent people of the country.
Stressing the need for unity to change the system and rebuild the country, Mr. Gamage added that the entire country knew about the inabilities of the present regime, which is all the more reason for the need for a UNP government.
He requested that a Dayasarana Society be set up in the area through which he will be able to extend the maximum possible assistance to shape the future of the people of the area.