By PISAI GUMAR
TWO students and a pastor were killed in Kainantu’s Norikori Valley after villagers clashed over the removal of a school principal and board members.
The Tairora High School is in Obura-Wonenara, Eastern Highlands.
The fighting forced the closure of schools, the Barabundora Health Centre as teachers and health workers fled to Goroka, Kainantu and Lae.
Aiyura police confirmed three deaths and more than 100 houses burnt last Friday.
Eastern Highlands police commander Acting Supt David Seine Jr told The National that it was wrong for the villagers to argue over school administrative decisions.
“Appointments of public servants in any government organisation and agency are done on merit and performance,” he said.
The incident occurred between the Kobuta and Barabundora people. He said the provincial education board had appointed a new principal and changed the board members.
However, the Norikori villagers resisted and wanted the old principal to remain.
Seine said the three killed were a grade 10 and grade 11 students and a Salvation Army pastor.
Acting Supt Seine Jr said principals, head teachers and teachers were appointed on merit and performance by the provincial education board (PEB).
“It is foolish for village people to (oppose) an authorised body’s decision,” Seine Jr said.
He urged the PEB to ensure appointments were done transparently.
He said a similar incident occurred at the Ifiufa High School in Asaro but police restored normalcy.
He said Aiyura police were based at Barabundora monitoring the situation.
By PISAI GUMAR