The National, Tuesday February 11th, 2014
PARENTS joined their children in a peaceful protest march at Fatima Catholic Mission, at Banz, Jiwaka, calling for the resumption of classes there.
That follows the announcement by Catholic Archbishop of Mt Hagen, Douglas Young on Sunday to close all operations undertaken by church institutions at 4.06pm yesterday if the week-long roadblock by landowners continued.
The protest march was from Warakar to the Banz district office and was led by Seminarian James Gising, who said students’ rights to education and their potential to become future human resource was being denied by a roadblock by Fatima station landowners claiming compensation for their land from the government.
The landowners said their fight was against the government for compensation of K13 million and they remained steadfast they would not give in unless they got a favourable response.
Representing between 2,000 and 3,000 students, parents, staff and workers Gising asked the provincial and national governments to act quickly to find a solution to avoid a possible closure to the mission.
Bishop Young said there was nothing to show regarding this issue between the State and landowners. As a result he decided that the station should be closed permanently. “We do not want that to happen. Our concern is the students’ rights and that Fatima to be opened,” he said.