By DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
STUDENTS at the National Polytechnic Institute in Lae, Morobe province, have expressed total disgust at the Government’s attempts to remove certain powers of the Ombudsman Commission.
In a forum last Friday, the entire student body said they were against the amendment.
They said the amendment would only pave the way for corrupt politicians to “fill their already filled pockets” with money that should be used for providing better services for the people.
Interim SRC president Yol Donigi said the Government must uphold standards of a democracy.
He said Parliament’s intention to remove the Ombudsman’s powers without the consent of the nation is a step towards dictatorship.
Student representative for the Sepik students, Charles Tavanu said the amendment would only allow for misconduct and misappropriation of funding.
He said that the disadvantaged people in the villages and settlements would suffer.
Mr Donigi said if the Ombudsman Commission, “in all its efforts to eradicate corruption has not succeeded 100%, what guarantee is there that a parliamentary Ombudsman committee will do us any good”.
Another student questioned whether Moses Maladina and all the other parliamentarians had the right to make the amendment.
He asked whether there was an independent legislative body responsible for making amendments to the powers of the Ombudsman Commission.
The forum was staged at the request of the student association of the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).
UPNG plans to petition the Government after it gets the backing of students from universities and colleges around the country.
The students signed forms to show that they did not support the move to make the amendment.
The forms will be sent to the UPNG today. All other student representative councils from other
universities and colleges have been asked to do the same.