Students request

Letters

WE write to you at a solemn and precarious time in our nation’s history.
Most, especially in regards to the state our economy and the state of our national affairs, both which are and have been for so long lagging in the mire of our own moral degradation and corruption.
It seems that the greatest flaw and the greatest blessing of human existence is the fact that all men purport and claim to do the right thing.
It was with such at heart, that starting sometime in May 2016, I, myself, and thousands of young students at the University of Papua New Guinea and other institutions throughout this great nation, Viz.
University of Technology and University of Goroka, rang a cry throughout the corridors and offices of power in this nation.
We, the students, assumed the mantle of God’s Eternal Purpose to be the Voice of the Silent Majority and called for our Prime Minister (at that time) to be accountable to his own people and to the honour, integrity, and dignity of the office and the chair that he occupied.
We did not request.
Nay, we demanded that he humble himself before the laws of our nation and yield himself to the process and proper authorities to go in for questioning in relation to the allegations and questions that were demeaning and denigrating the office and the chair.
At that time, contrary to a sect of popular belief, we had no personal agendas.
We had no political agendas.
We only had the people’s agenda.
We only had the agenda of those unborn generations.
We felt and believed that it was our right, we were entitled to demand, for a change of captaincy, a replacement of hands at the helm of ship.
In respect of our fight and cause in 2016, there were many students who sacrificed and suffered for our nation.
My team of leaders and I bear a responsibility towards those students and their parents.
As such, we humbly request your office and the offices of the ministry responsible to:
1) Order the conduction of the Commission of Inquiry in relation to the 2016 student unrests. Especially in regards to whether:
i. Processes and protocols required in the conduct of engaging the students/protesters were fully discharged with properly;
ii. The rules of engagement required on the part of the deployed personnel and whether they kept to the rules of engagement; and
iii. The deployed personnel and their commanding officers had the authority to act beyond the processes, protocols, and rules of engagement.
2) Reinstate with full power and authority all the Student Representative Councils in every tertiary institution in which they have either been dissolved or demoted in power.
The importance of the role of student voice, student organisation, and student movements in our nation’s history is undeniable. They have become a valuable facet of our democracy. And;
3) Tabling of the investigations into the student unrests caused conducted by the Ombudsmen Commission if and when they are ready.

KENNETH RAPA
UPNG SRC President 2016

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