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17 May 2016

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At least one UPNG student, after bumming around for some time, went on to become a world class poet.

But many, many more students went on to become the selfish, self-serving, schmucks who have done their best to take care of themselves but sadly failed to rise above the mediocrity of their existence.

They need to get a real life.

I remember some strikes during my years at uni. Very much regret. The student leaders went on to become politicians. Most missed out completely.

No jobs for university graduates in a corrupted and bankrupt economy
Fight or suffer and die in silence
Fight now or fight when it’s too late
No pain no gain

Yesterday I bought a small 'Clouring Book to cool the mind' from the secondhand bookshop here in Wabag for my small daughter. In it I was surprised to find some quotes from some ordinary Australians.

One Sandra James from Heathcore, Victoria said: 'A year from now you will wish you had started today.'

Another from Sharryn Foster of Kirwan, Oueensland says 'People may forget what you said or what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel."

Have courage students, have courage and believe in your individual selfs.

This reminds me of what I had to put up with in 1981 during the Keravat NHS riots. The Headmaster of Keravat NHS collapsed and I, as the deputy, had to take over.

The police moved in and I set them up in one of the classrooms. We organised to send all students home for their holidays for a few weeks to cool off.

Some of the staff had been encouraging the students and they were very much against me. I had to discipline the students but at the same time show that I cared for them and wanted to see them achieve good marks in their exams.

When the students returned I encouraged them to settle down and concentrate on their studies. Some of them are now holding top jobs today throughout PNG. Some probably regret the riots and have never achieved what they wanted. I sorted out their grievances in other ways.

Last year O'Neill did a good job sending in people like Joseph Sukwianomb and Dr.John Kola to get Goroka University up and running again.

As I said at the start of this tension, I think the matter of the Paraka case should have been left to the law courts and if people wanted to get rid of O'Neill they should have left it to the next elections.

I do not agree with the tactics of using students to achieve the overthrow of the government. It is such a waste.

There are enough people in the parliament who know how they could bring down O'Neill. When they wake up they might. But in the meantime the students are the scapegoats.

So, what now? Will students be herded to lectures at gun point?

Do Commissioner Baki & VC Mellam seriously think this is doing the RPNGC & UPNG anything other than more reputational harm?

Whatever their "cunning plan" is to suppress student dissent, history strongly suggests that the most likely result is that they will merely exacerbate the situation. Even success will have long term adverse consequences, leaving a legacy of bitterness and suspicion on campus.

I hope that the students can remain resolute and "maintain the rage" long enough to finally trigger some action by those good and honest Papua New Guineans who know that their so-called leaders have betrayed them.

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