Pastor, students killed

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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.


  • This only happens in the highlands of PNG, when will primitives from this region change their attitudes?? Please bring more salt to this region.

  • The principals are to be blamed because the out going cannot accept the PEB dicision. They act as if the school is their private and now lives are lost.

  • Condolence to the two young gentlemen who lost their lives. I think people won’t fighting unless something is wrong with the former principle and board members. Therefore, let the voice of the people be heard because it’s their school and they know what they are doing for their goodness and their generations to come.

  • 1. School Managers/Principals and Teachers should not be posted to schools in their locality.
    2. Schools’ Board of Managements should not be allowed to participate in any transactions involving money.
    3. The culture of ‘spin-off benefits’ is creeping into the education/school system.
    4. Discipline at schools are now a concern.
    If we don’t address these issues, PNG is heading into a bleak future.

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