Papua New Guinea University students burn cars, block roads

Papua New Guinea University students burn cars, block roads

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - BRISBANE, Australia - Jul 26, 2016 - Recently, students of one of the premium and biggest university in Papua New Guinea had a violent encounter with the security guards of the university as well as the police. They wanted to protest for political reason against the Government, and that has led to an outrage among students, burning trucks and cars. Police stated that they entered into the campus peacefully to be able to negotiate with the student protesters, and they have not used any method of violence. Naturally, if not initiated by the police, it is not clear what has induced such unprecedented conflict involving university students. However, there is speculation that this conflict might be a result of the growing tension between two groups of students, the one who wants to go back to class and the other who wants to continue their strike. The Federal Government feels that this conflict has nothing to do with political protests going on for a month in the university campus. A Government spokesperson stated, “Today’s unfortunate incident at the main campus of UPNG was due to conflict amid clusters of young men/students, several came from outside, that involved the alcohol consumption and subsequently, induced conflict that went out of control”. The entire episode of protests can be dated back to this year’s April, when students from this university began boycotting their classes in a protest against thepresent Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, as major corruption allegations raised on him. Over these three months, several meetings have happened between various student organizations and the university. And the administration has constantly pursued the students to return to their classes, so that the current academic year can be completed.

Various student organizations, on the other hand, feel that there is a complete lack of cooperation from the university administration and the Government at large. One of the leaders of a leading organization stated that, “the administration was not interested to listen to our concerns, rather they just want to create pressure on us to withdraw our boycott. We are also determined to continue, unless we are heard to the highest level”. After this recent conflict and the intervention by the police, the portion of the students supporting the boycott is extremely agitated and feel that they are cheated and subjected to brutal force. One of the students says, “If the administration continues to behave like this, we are not going to change our position”.

In this kind of a situation, the university administration has decided to call a joint meeting with the student groups and the police, to possibly resolve the grievances on the part of the students. There areeven cross allegations that students who want to return to their classes are constantly troubled and harassed by some groups of students who want otherwise. Some of the students feel that the violence was initiated by groups who want to continue the strike, but there are speculations that some people from outside the campus joined with a few students to create the massacre.

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