The National – Tuesday, June 28, 2011
UNIVERSITY of Technology students representative council president Charlene Mell is disappointment at media reports suggesting Sepik students feared for their lives.
Mell said the fears reportedly expressed by a Sepik student, who did not want his name published out of fear of being targeted, “are misplaced”.
She said Western Highlands and Jiwaka students, and the close relatives of the slain student, had given their assurance during the funeral service at Unitech that they would allow the law to take its course.
Mell said the comments made by the relatives of the murdered student when the body was taken home to Western Highlands for burial had been misinterpreted.
She said the relatives were upset at the loss of their son, and the comments they made may have been said in the “heat of the moment”.
She said she had led the group of students and staff that took the body of the late Kapal Imbal Jr home and had told the relatives that the students would leave the matter to police to investigate.
She said the media had only highlighted sensational aspects of the comments by the chairman of the Jiwaka Transitional Authority.
“The relatives of the late Kapal Imbal Jr were upset and angry at the murder of a son who had so much promise, as he was to complete his studies this year and graduate,” Mell said.
“The relatives even stated they were against ethnic violence; that the primitive mentality of payback must be stopped and for students to concentrate on their studies.
“There were no threats made against any group of students, nor was there any blame directed to anyone or any group,” she said.
She said students should not go to the media to raise unnecessary fears and anxiety, “but bring their concerns through the appropriate authority, which for the university are the SRC and senior management”.