Students to continue boycott

The University of Papua New Guinea students will be continuing their boycott, a member of the student representative council says.

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.

“I can however assure you that appropriate response will be provided as soon as the Government has received satisfactorily advice from the State Agencies.”

A student leader told Loop PNG today (Sunday) that the PM’s “vague” response was a disappointment to the students.

The SRC is discussing the next course of action.

“We have come this far. We will never give up,” another student leader said.

Police presence increased from 3pm till 6pm at the main Waigani campus last Friday.

“They were probably anticipating a violent reaction from the students after the PM’s response,” a student told Loop. “But instead, students quietly broke into their regional groups to discuss the next move to take.”

A senior lecturer at UPNG said: “The students’ behaviour so far should be commended.”

Unitech students are also continuing their boycott of classes.

“They are with us in this fight,” a UPNG SRC member said.

Caption: (Students and the general public during the presentation of the petition last Thursday at UPNG main campus.)



Carmella Gware