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DWU on edge after journalism student killed by settlers

KEITH JACKSON | Twitter reconstruction

TENSIONS are running high at Divine Word University in Madang after a journalism student was stabbed and killed last night by inhabitants of the Gav Stoa squatter settlement and a resultant fight between students and settlers.

PNG political commentator, Martyn Namorong, who is familiar with the settlement, said elements had been causing trouble – “continuous harassment” - for too long and he hoped the Madang Provincial Government “evicts those bastards”.

“Governor Jim Kas will have community support to get rid of those animals. He better strike now while the iron is hot,” an emotional Namorong said on Twitter.

Bernard Yegiora, a lecturer at the university, reported that in an address to students late last night, Governor Kas said he had foreseen such chaos and pushed for the eviction of squatters some 13 years ago.

The President of Divine Word University, Fr Jan Czuba, reinforced this saying that the PNG Maritime College, Madang Technical College and all other institutions will now take collective action to push for eviction

Provincial police commander Kalut also told students not to take the law into their own hands but students were fighting settlers again this morning.

Yegiora added that only three days ago settlers fought with Tusbab students after which school was suspended for two days and a student at the maritime College had been “chopped” last month.


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Ludmilla Salonda

Eviction should always be an option. The people of this settlement have had way too many chances given to them to better their lives and live as good neighbours with the surrounding communities.

No, they continue to thumb their noses at everybody including authority.

In fact, they have become more emboldened to the point of feeling invincible. I'd say, they have long overstayed their welcome and depleted any feeling of sympathy that has been extended their way time and time again.

If your house is infested with killer ants, you don't deal with the infestation by killing the few ants you find. The better strategy is to fumigate the house, kill the colony and put a stop to the breeding cycle.

Bernard Yegiora

Obed a possible research project for you.

Obed Ikupu

I don't think the eviction reasoning will justify the cause. There is one way and that is the legal process of justice. Jail time for the youths responsible!

This sort of behavior is not new as it is common in all parts of the country and the world. And the process is known to the wide majority.

Eviction is not the correct avenue of resort in such a devastating period.
We all have to rationalize our options to make way for normalcy by considering the costs and benefits. If eviction was to be the result of this occurrence, this may cause an impingement in the provincial spending's on development projects which has already been budgeted.

Moreover, the people responsible affecting a few may even cause more disagreements and distortion to ultimatums or court orders.

It's time for NGOs, governmental bodies and the business community to work to together to bring about positive change in this community.

Eviction is not a proper approach to this uprising therefore, I suggest the concerned parties to follow the normal process of justice and hopefully after the whole process; create a law and order program(s) engaging the youths of that area to change their mindsets on crime and violence.

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