More than 250 women mourn for UPNG students

The women were in an adult literacy class in a church at the back of the University of Papua New Guinea, opposite Fort Banner, when they heard shots being fired.

“We looked out and saw what looked like a live movie, unfolding in front of our eyes,” a spokeswoman told Loop PNG. “Students were running into bushes, trying to hide from police. It was like rebels trying to hide from Government officers. We are not a Communist country.”

UPNG students and staff feel the squeeze

Malakai Tabar's comment comes after the UPNG yesterday suspended the first semester and gave about 5,000 students occupying its campuses 48 hours to leave.

For almost four weeks they've boycotted their classes while demanding that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill stand aside and face police questioning over an alleged fraud case.

UPNG students gathered in their thousands to demand that the prime minister Peter O'Neill stand aside to face questioning over a fraud case. Photo: upng4png

Praise for leadership of PNG students over protest

Students at the University of PNG in Port Moresby have been boycotting classes for three weeks and last week issued Peter O'Neill an ultimatum to step down over a major fraud case he is implicated in.

The prime minister hasn't acceded to the demand, but commended the students on the mature manner in which the petition was presented to the government delegation at UPNG.

The delegation included the National Capital Governor, Powes Parkop, who commended the over 15-thousand students for their commitment to PNG's future.

No end in sight for student boycotts

Peter O'Neill has not acceded to the demands of students at the University of PNG, who are calling on him to resign over a major fraud case he is implicated in.

Police fraud squad officers had secured an arrest warrant for Mr O'Neill over the matter two years ago, but his lawyers have launched a series of challenges which are yet to be finalised in court.

A spokesperson for the university's student representative council, Gerald Tulu Manu-Peni, said the students were pondering their next move, which could include a mass withdrawal from courses.

Students to continue boycott

Last Thursday, the students gave Prime Minister Peter O’Neill a 24-hour ultimatum, to which he responded.

They called on him to respect the integrity of the prime minister’s office and step aside until all allegations against him are cleared.

In a letter dated May 20 (Friday), O’Neill said UPNG and the University of Technology’s petitions contained issues that are technical and legal in nature.

“It is therefore not possible for the Government or the Office of the Prime Minister to provide any responses in a manner requested.

Students application to restrain Cops on campus fails

The Waigani National Court this afternoon refused an application filed by University of Papua New Guinea Student Representative Counsel seeking removal of the ‘Heavy police presence’ on campus.

The Human Rights Enforcement application came before Justice David Cannings seeking three interim orders. It was filed by the SRC’s lawyer Robbie Yansion on May 17.

They were seeking orders;

UPNG staff shocked with police presence

A senior UPNG personnel confirmed with Loop PNG today (Tuesday) that the vice-chancellor’s circular was released late yesterday afternoon, when most of the staff had already gone home.

“Police presence will be witnessed on the Waigani and Taurama campuses due to the increased activities by some students that borders on criminality,” Professor Albert Mellam said in the statement.

“Police is called upon to perform its constitutional duty to protect lives and properties, and will discharge this accordingly at the University of Papua New Guinea as well.”

O’Neill calls for normalcy in university campuses

O’Neill said he has the greatest respect for the students, their rights and all the academic institutions in the country.

In a statement, O’Neill said his government, when it came into office in 2011, committed to invest in education for the children because investments in quality education, and giving every child an education, is vital for the economic health, prosperity and unity of the country.

“To date, this government is investing billions of kina in upgrading and building new educational infrastructure everywhere in the country.

Academic staff declare support for students

In an official statement given to Loop PNG, NASA said: “Like many other stakeholders in the country and especially the UPNG student body, NASA is deeply concerned about the economic mismanagement of the country and the need for the preservation and maintenance of the Constitution and the rule of law.”

The association said the principle that each citizen must subject himself/herself to the rule of law, irrespective of economic, power, social and political disposition or persuasion.

Students refuse to give Tabar their petition

“We will only give this petition to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill,” UPNG president Kenneth Rapa said this afternoon in front of more than 5,000 students.

The students had waited for the Prime Minister since 10am this morning at the UPNG Forum Square, Waigani campus.

Around 3pm, the ministers convoyed with police escorts to the campus. Accompanying Tabar was Petroleum Minister Ben Micah, Finance Minister James Marape, Works and Implementation Minister Francis Awesa, chief secretary Isaac Lupari and OHE director general Professor David Kavanamur.