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No End in Sight for PNG Stu­dent Boy­cotts

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Stu­dents in Pa­pua New Guinea who have been boy­cotting classes for more than a week are pon­der­ing their next move af­ter the Prime Min­is­ter ig­nored their ul­ti­ma­tum to step down. Peter O’Neill has not ac­ceded to the de­mands of stu­dents at the Univer­sity of PNG, who are call­ing on him to re­sign over a ma­jor fraud case he is im­pli­cated in.

Po­lice fraud squad of­fi­cers had se­cured an ar­rest war­rant for Mr O’Neill over the mat­ter two years ago, but his lawyers have launched a se­ries of chal­lenges which are yet to be fi­nalised in court.

A spokesper­son for the univer­sity’s stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cil, Ger­ald Tulu Manu-Peni, said the stu­dents were pon­der­ing their next move, which could in­clude a mass with­drawal from cour­ses. “Stu­dent lead­ers have agreed, when the ul­ti­ma­tum lapsed, they have con­sulted their pro­vin­cial and re­gional groups and all have come to a res­o­lu­tion that we will con­tinue on with the in­def­i­nite boy­cott for the com­ing week,” said Mr Manu-Peni. But de­spite the grow­ing pres­sure on Mr O’Neill, he still re­tains the sup­port of his gov­ern­ment MPs.

Photo: UPNG4PNG

Stu­dents boy­cotting classes.

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