Kapal: University slack in dealing with ethnic clashes

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, June 16, 2011

THE governing body and administrators of the PNG University of Technology (Unitech) in Lae, Morobe, are too slack in dealing with the ethnic clashes among students and other problems in the campus, Philip Kapal said.
Kapal, the former premier of Western Highlands and now chairman of the Jiwaka Transitional Authority, said this yesterday while receiving the casket of the late Kapal Imbal, a final year electrical engineering student of Unitech, who was named after him.
The late Imbal was the son of the former North Waghi MP Imbal Aipe, from Wara Karl village, outside Banz town, in Western Highlands.
He was gunned down outside the university campus in Lae last Friday night.
Kapal said Unitech hit the headlines because too many ethnic clashes among the students resulted in deaths.
He said he and his people did not know the people involved in the killing but believed it might be related to the continuous ethnic clashes on campus.
He said for students to have the primitive payback mentality system was wrong.
Kapal said university students must respect one another and the institution where they went to learn.
He said it was a big loss to his people, Jiwaka and country.
He said he and his people were not happy when an innocent student died in such a manner especially when he had four months left to complete his studies.
Kapal said he expected to see his namesake return home with a degree and not in a casket.
He said that was “heart breaking” .
He said he wanted the culprit who pulled the trigger to be put behind bars.
He told Unitech students who accompanied the body that if they knew of people involved in the killing, he wanted to know.
Family member Andrew Aipe urged the government to address the problem at Unitech seriously.
Aipe said students must feel free to move around and get education.
He said the Imbal’s death was a great loss to him, the family, his tribesmen and the Jiwaka people.
 Student Representative Council president Charlene Mell described Imbal as an “easy going and peace-loving man”.
She said the late Kapal had a bright future ahead of him but his life had been cut short by lunatics.
Mell said Jiwaka and Western Highlands students behaved well and did not retaliate.