‘Tense calm’ prevails at PNG university after another student killed
Port Moresby: An uneasy calm prevails around the University of Technology in the Papua New Guinea city of Lae, after a student was killed there last Saturday night. A mob armed with bush knives attacked a first-year student sleeping in a dormitory in an apparent targeted attack before setting fire to various buildings on campus.
Police eventually restored control with the use of tear gas early on Sunday.
It is still unclear what motivated the attack, although there have been lingering differences among students about whether to continue a weeks-long boycott of classes calling for the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, step aside to face fraud allegations.
The university’s vice chancellor, Albert Schram, said the campus was in a state of tense calm yesterday morning.
“We’re still in shock because nobody saw this coming. There’s no way it could have been prevented. And of course the wanton destruction of university buildings and of course the mess has obliged us to ask the students to leave the campus because we can’t feed them any longer,” said Dr Schram. He indicated that three weeks time would be the earliest he would expect the semester to resume, and that this was dependent on whether promised government support materialised.