By VICKY BAUNKE
A PEACE and reconciliation ceremony took place between Southern Highlands and Engan students at University of technology’s (Unitech) Okari Campus in Lae yesterday.
The ceremony was witnessed by delegates from the Enga and Southern Highlands peace committees, Unitech administration, students from the two respective provinces, representatives from the Enga and Southern Highlands governments, the family of the late Graham Romanong, church leaders and the peace and reconciliation committees.
The ceremony continued to the Unitech East Taraka campus.
The event marked a significant step forward for students as student leaders from Enga and Southern Highlands gathered to make peace and reconcile after the murder of Romanong in the campus.
Three Engan students have been charged with the murder of their fellow student.
University of Technology staff and delegates, acting academic pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Ora Renagi, Unitech registrar Veronica Thomas and Kaul Gena, led by Chancellor Sir Nagora Bogan, thanked the students and provincial governments for their efforts in the process.
Southern Highlands student president Kency John welcomed peace and reconciliation with Engan students while Enga’s student leader Colin Kuti pleaded for peace with the Southern Highlanders.
Family and community representative from Mendi and Southern Highlands Ferman Manua assured students on behalf of Romanong’s family that they wanted peace and classes to resume.
He also apologised to students from other centres of the country who were affected by the unrest that led to the violence.
“I am here to declare peace,” Manua said.
“I declare that no one is to make any more trouble in the name of late Graham.”
The total cost of the ceremony was about K20,000 prior to the main event at the East Taraka campus. The process will continue in the respective provinces.
By VICKY BAUNKE