Damage to universities estimated to be K20 million

The riots and arson at Papua New Guinea’s major universities following the continuous boycott has caused damages of about K20 million.

These include the University of PNG, University of Goroka and PNG University of Technology.

At UPNG, five vehicles and the Uni Venture building were burnt, a slate of glass which walls the Michael Somare Library was shattered while the canteen at the Forum Square area was nearly cracked open.

At Unitech, fire was set to the SRC president's residence, DODL and ATCDI buildings and the mess. These buildings suffered substantial damage from the fire.

Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (HERST) Secretary Professor David Kavanamur said damages are inclusive of the prolonged boycott.

Kavanamur said the cost of damage at Unitech is escalating so fresh assessment will indicate the exact figure.

HERST Minister Malakai Tabar has directed a high powered Government Team to carry out investigation to determine whether a State of Emergency (SOE) will be declared at Unitech and UPNG.

Tabar said in the interest of the majority of students, parents and stakeholders, he is directing that law and order is enforced immediately to secure lives, properties and freedom of university communities.

He said that criminal elements that have infiltrated our universities will be dealt with by Law enforcement agencies.

Quintina Naime