Alexander McCall Smith - role model for the humble writer
Your fate is entirely in your hands, Somare tells Bougainvilleans

Answers still needed two years on from UPNG shootings

Wounded protester carried to safety
Comrades run away with a wounded protester after the student shootings - it was great good fortune that no one was killed


VERONA - In any democracy, even flawed ones, police or army shooting of university students who are peacefully protesting is taken very seriously. Not so in Papua New Guinea.

After the 8 June 2016 shootings on the University of PNG campus (which also caused great unrest at the University of Technology in Lae where I was vice-chancellor), an inquiry was promised by prime minister Peter O’Neill, who said that the police had only fired warning shots and tear gas.

But nothing has eventuated. It is now 28 months ago, and counting and I am leading the call for the promised inquiries, if they occurred, to deliver their findings.

Oro governor Gary Juffa like Mr Schram has qualms about the delay in investigating the shootings, which he puts down to a lack of police resources.

As I told the ABC, who recently broadcast a program segment on the shooting, “It came at a very convenient moment. It was the last day of parliamentary [sittings] where the opposition was allowed to [present] a motion of no confidence in the government.

"Somebody in government circles, and nobody knows who, must have given the orders that anything had to be done to prevent the students from their peaceful demonstration at parliament."

As we can hear in the broadcast interviews, opposition MPs Kerenga Kua and Gary Juffa do not agree with the hypothesis that orders were given and special police moved in beforehand.

But we all agree that an inquiry into the campus shooting is called for. On this video, you can clearly hear that there were hundreds of rounds fired. It is clear that more than one police officer was shooting. Here you can see yourself what transpired on the UPNG and Unitech campuses.

As a footnote, I should add that, in due time, I will reveal much more on the shenanigans and crimes of Unitech Council and management team members who without hesitation threw me under a bus earlier this year. I have no sympathy or compassion for them.

For those who thought all this was over, it isn't. We have not even started.

Dr Schram was dismissed from his post at the PNG University of Technology and later arrested by police on trumped up charges believed to have been proffered by an aggrieved academic enemy. Amidst substantial international publicity and concern he and his wife managed to leave the country while he was on bail


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)