​Church condemns violence at UPNG

The Catholic Church of PNG and Solomon Islands has called on the students of the University of Papua New Guinea not to use violence to resolve their issues.


In the same way, it has also called for parliament to be recalled so urgent matters like the ongoing university stand offs can be debated to find a way forward.

Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands, Fr Victor Roche, raised these concerns following fresh violence at the university yesterday and today that saw the burning down of cars and buildings and destruction of university properties.

“The CBC appeals to the parliamentarians to go back to the parliament. This issue I think can be better handled in the parliament because I see now the situation is out of hand, whether it is Goroka University, or in Unitech in Lae or in UPNG in Moresby, the situation is out of control. So it is very good that the parliamentarians should go back and resolve these issues,” said Fr Victor.

His call was supported by the Catholic chaplain at the university, Fr Joseph Wojem who appealed to students to work towards reconciliation, instead of resorting to violent acts and behaviour.

“On behalf of the chaplains, I am appealing to the students and the student leaders, please violence is not the way forward. It only brings bad impression to the students and also you cannot achieve anything with violence.

“We have to safeguard the properties too. When we have that anger in us, we don’t know what we are doing, our actions go beyond what we think so we are appealing to students not to take things into your hands.”

The church was looking forward to the reconciliation ceremony today but that has been disrupted again with new acts of violence.

Fr Victor said despite this, the church is adamant that a round-the-table dialogue in the Melanesian way is the way forward and is encouraging parties to come together to find an end to this.

He also called on Christians around the country to pray unceasingly for peace at this time.


Ruth Rungula