Final talks

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The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

CHIEF Secretary Isaac Lupari plans to meet the vice-chancellors of the four State universities today to sort out student issues once and for all, and end the disruptions to classes.
It comes as some university students in Goroka and Lae were involved in fights among themselves, while some University of PNG students in Port Moresby painted themselves in mud as a sign of mourning as they made their way to campus yesterday.
Lupari said he would today meet the vice-chancellors from the University of Goroka, University of Technology, University of PNG and the University of Natural Resources and Environment to discuss recent events which had been disrupting classes and unrest in the campuses.
Lupari also called on leaders to urge students to resume classes.
He also advised students to complete their studies “to become good leaders of tomorrow”.
In Goroka, a fight between university students from the Highlands spilled into town. It was the continuation of a fight last week between two groups from the University of Goroka.
A student who declined to be named told The National that the fight last week had been resolved. But it broke out again yesterday when students returned to discuss the issue.
Around 50 students were treated for injuries at the Goroka Provincial Hospital and the North Goroka clinic.
A source said the fight erupted between final-year students who wanted to continue classes and those who wanted to continue boycotting classes.
Eastern Highlands provincial police commander Superintendent Alex N’Drasal said from Lae that police were doing all they could to contain the situation in Goroka.
In Lae, a student was injured on Monday during a fight among a group of Unitech students over the decision to end their boycott of classes.
Student Representative Council president David Kelma urged students to respect the leaders they voted into office to represent them.
“We have done very well in our fight (boycott) and came this far,” Kelma said.
“We will continue with the fight but I am appealing to fellow students to remain focused on what we are fighting for.
“As university students we must behave as elites and intellectuals. We must behave properly and paint a good picture of ourselves to the public and potential future employers who want to employ us.”
Kelma said everything done at the Unitech campus must be done for the good of the nation and of the students and no one must take advantage of anybody.
Kelma said all students must respect the decisions and actions taken by the SRC. He said the SRC had on Monday advised that students should return to classes this week and end the boycott.
Some students opposed this decision resulting in the fight.
Kelma said the student leaders of the 22 provinces and the SRC had signed an agreement that they would return to classes this week but some students did not like the idea.