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UPNG campus in crisis as admin buildings looted


A MONTH-LONG POWER BLACK-OUT at the University of Papua New Guinea’s Waigani Campus has incited angry residential students to loot the Administration and other buildings.

UPNG students on popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter have reported that tensions are high at Waigani and are demanding the Administration act immediately to fix the situation.

The black-outs started a month ago when an underground electricity service cable became faulty and could not provide electricity to the majority of dormitories in the main campus.

Next week will see examinations go into full gear on campus and students are frustrated at the frequent disruptions to their studies.

Last night many students felt that it was not fair to conduct exams when they were not afforded the proper facilities to study.

At about 7.30pm the temporary generator servicing the dormitories Tuloan, Luavi, Lasitewa, Poroman, Veari and Toa 2 and 3 failed and frustrated students mobilised in the darkness and spilled out on the road and attacked the Gunther Administration Building, breaking glass and blocking off the entrance road.

A meeting was held between security personnel, Police and student leaders during which, among other things, it was agreed that the students return to their rooms and properly address the situation this morning. \

A University security spokesperson was reported to have said that, while the looting of school property was not good, the black-out was causing problems for security operations as well.

A Police spokesperson said that Police were there upon calls from concerned parents but would only enter the campus grounds upon request of university security.

Student leaders condemned the Administration for stalling in rectifying the black-out situation for over a month and called for a swift response of face further action. The Administration could not be reached for comment.


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Peter Kranz

Moais - I hope you are being an agent provocateur.

"Authoritan rule and dictatorship" is the last thing PNG needs. Plus many PNG people I have spoken to say it wouldn't work anyway.

PNG for all it's problems is not a fertile field for dictatorship - which is one great plus for Melanesian-style democracy.

Negotiation, give-and-take and then reconciliation is the way things usually work. How else could 800 plus cultures have resolved their differences over millenia?

My tambus told me today (including the son of a Minister and current member standing for re-election) that this will be resolved in a traditional non-violent Melanesian way.

There may be protests and disruption, and some violent actions by a few stupid people, but these are very specific and not a precusor to major civil conflict. That's not the way we do things.

To loot a building or two is preferably to murder.

Moais Gabuar

I can understand the students frustrations about the ongoing blackout which has disrupted their preparations for the oncoming exams.

However what I cannot comprehend is why they would vent their frustrations through their 'unlawful act' of destroying taxpayers' property.

Such an attitude is simply unbecoming of present and future elites and leaders of this country.

After serious consideration, perhaps Belden Namah's path towards authoritarian rule and dictatorship would be the best option so to curb such ill-discipline we are witnessing in our country at present.

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