Papua New Guinea
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Student unrest continues

Studnets at the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE), Vudal campus, are requesting for a mass withdrawal.

Police officers who were monitoring the situation at Vudal yesterday stated the students marched peacefully this morning (Monday) to the Bursar’s office requesting for airplane tickets to be processed.

ENB provincial police commander Chief Inspector Januarius Vosivai, who was on the scene, indicated that the bursar informed the students that the Vice Chancellor is the only authority who will approve the release of airline tickets or any other issues presented by the student body.

Police are now stationed at the campus to monitor the student unrest. Six vehicles including a motor bike have so far been torched as well as school properties damaged.

PPC Januarius Vosivai said police moved in on Friday, September 22 and Saturday,

September 23 to make arrests but were prevented by the student leaders.

“We reminded the students on Tuesday (September, 19) when the unrest first escalated that their plight had been heard, and responsible authorities are working together to address some of their concerns.

“However, the students went ahead and burned two more vehicles on Thursday,” PPC Vosivai stated.

PPC Vosivai said the demands to present the petition has now been shifted to students calling for mass withdrawal.

The students alleged that there have been malpractices within the UNRE’s Senior Management Team (SMT) and called for their sacking.

They also claimed that the climate change course offered at the university has not been accredited by the DHERST. The Secretary for DHERST flew in to Kokopo last week to receive the petition but was refused access to the petition.

PPC Vosivai said no one has access to the petition even the ENB Governor Michael Marum.

“It’s a bit confusing at the moment, whether there’s an actual petition prepared or the students going on their own way,” he said.

“We are here at the campus to protect the properties as well as the lives that are at risks,

“We are sorry that it has come to this, but common sense must prevail,” he said.