Reconciliation will not be between students and administration, says Dr Mann

The University of Papua New Guinea’s proposed reconciliation will not be between students and the administration, says acting chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann.

Dr Mann told Loop PNG that the administration, nor its staff, went around harassing and intimidating the students.

“The biggest enemy in the campus was not the staff or the security forces.

“The peace reconciliation must be between the students themselves; the different groups, the different factions, the pro-boycott and anti-boycott group and the different provinces.

“Students themselves had gone in and harassed lecturers and those attending class.”

Dr Mann said the reconciliation will involve students assuring their colleagues that they will stop the intimidation. They will also promise the staff that they are serious about their education and will not deviate from it.

However, student leader Cameron Wari, when contacted by Loop PNG, said he was surprised by the arrangement.

“There is nothing wrong with the students. There was no internal conflict between students from different ethnic groups, like Unitech or University of Goroka.

“There is unity between the students of the University of Papua New Guinea,” said Wari.

“The allegations of intimidation of students and staff are without proof.”

He said their expectation is for the administration to reconcile with them then they will return to class.

“Everyone is in this issue together.”

He was concerned that the student leaders, who will be leading their colleagues in the reconciliation process on Friday, have been kept in the dark.

However, he urged the students to let the normal process of reconciliation take place.

“The issue of student leaders being terminated will be dealt with by the student leaders and the administration,” he said.

“Students should not involve themselves in it but focus on their studies.”

(UPNG acting chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann, left, with VC Professor Albert Mellam.)

Carmella Gware