UPNG staff shocked with police presence

Some University of Papua New Guinea staff were quite shocked when they arrived at work today only to find the campus crawling with police officers and vehicles.

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.”

A member of UPNG’s student representative council attributed the confusion to miscommunication between the administration and its personnel.

“In the morning the staff members were just standing around the campus with this ‘what is going on’ look on their faces. Some of them went back home.

“They were also intimidated by the heavy police presence on campus.”

In a bid to restore normalcy on campus, the academic senate reached out to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. This resulted in more than 50 police vehicles entering the main campus at around 4.45am today.

However, students are still refusing to attend classes.

The lecture rooms are open but empty, the SRC member told Loop PNG. And they will remain that way until the prime minister responds to their petition to step aside and be investigated.


(Caption: UPNG vice-chancellor Prof. Albert Mellam at the main Waigani Campus today.)


Carmella Gware