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03 September 2016

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UPNG - the premier university in the Pacific? That must be a joke.

I was born and raised on the UPNG campus and observed its steady decay over three decades. I attended UPNG and know intimately how dysfunctional it has become.

The sad reality is that there are academic and non-academic staff who try to do their best for the students.

UPNG's current poor status as an institution of higher learning is not an indication of their ability, but rather the result of consistently poor funding and support from the government of Papua New Guinea.

UPNG is a shadow of its former glory, its administration haunted by ghouls and a nursery of free thinkers guarded by trolls.

People who think the UPNG administration's decision is correct are the result.

There is no reasonable justification for permanently suspending the students, i.e., within the spirit of democratic governance and the true spirit of the law for which administrative regulations are mere guard posts.

You reap what you sow. University education in PNG is a privilege. Not everybody is fortunate to secure a place. So humble ourselves, do not intimidate others, do not play politics and concentrate on your studies. UPNG is the premier university in the Pacific; do not tarnish its name.

Last week Enga Governor Grand Chief Sir Peter Ipatas was telling parents of Enga students attending the University of Technology in Lae to contribute K1,000 and one pig each to pay compensation for the Mendi student killed on campus.

Some parents agreed to pay the compensation while others said they must wait the outcome of the court case against the three student suspects in police custody. Still others said he, Govenor Ipatas, and Peter O'Neill should pay the because the issue was a national issue.

Now this news about the UPNG council banning the 60 students because they 'breached all laws of PNG, including the Criminal Code Act and the Summary Offences Act.'

The way the University of Goroka administration organised the recent reconciliation ceremony was accepted by all parties. Genuine tears flowed from all parties concerned.

The UPNG Council should reconsider its stance, accept the 60 students back and hold another peace ceremony involving all stakeholders.

After all this is PNG where laws are broken, tribal fights are fought, compensation is paid and former enemies walk side by side again.

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