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UPNG suspends studies; gives students 48 hours to leave campus

Students protestJOY KISSELPAR | Australian Broadcasting Corporation

THE University of Papua New Guinea has suspended the school's first semester for an indefinite period, effectively ending a student boycott of classes.

Students have been boycotting for more than two weeks, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill over alleged corruption and mismanagement.

Acting chancellor Dr Nicolas Mann said the university council's decision is based on recommendations from the university senate.

The senate consist of lecturers, professors and heads of schools within the university.

Students were told they have 48 hours to vacate the campus and that all support amenities for students will cease after that time.

The council will review the academic calendar and decide a date of resumption for the university's academic programs.

Dr Mann said students are expected to reflect on the current situation while they are away from campus.

"We expect normalcy in the campus when students return," he said.

The students at the University of PNG and the University of Technology in Lae have been boycotting classes for more than two weeks in protest against Mr O'Neill's refusal to comply with a two-year-old warrant for his arrest for corruption.

They say they also have concerns over the Government's financial management and dealings.

The students petitioned the Prime Minister after police occupied the University of PNG campus in Port Moresby, shutting down the noisy demonstrations which had occupied the centre of campus.

On Monday, Peter O'Neill published a lengthy response to a petition from students and said he would not be stepping aside.


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Marcus Mapen

These are senseless words from an inhuman person. Port Moresby residents must now organise and get ready to support the students in terms of food and accommodation (if the need arises). Everyone is a parent or a sibling of a child, even this senseless man Tabar (or may be not).

Lindsay F Bond

Infomercial as crusade: crucial to get across not only belief but base evidence.

Robin Lillicrapp

In effect, the beginning of a nation-wide infomercial as the students act as proxy political ambassadors to highlight and promote understanding among their people of the aspects of the present day crisis engulfing the country.

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