Unitech rival student factions make peace

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The National,Thursday June 16th, 2016

UNIVERSITY students from two rival groups sought forgiveness as they hugged each other in a reconciliation ceremony on Tuesday in Lae.
One student was injured when the two groups clashed at the University of Technology Taraka campus in Lae on Monday.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Albert Schram said the ceremony at the university’s council room was attended by the university management, student provincial group leaders and representatives from the fighting factions.
Schram said a public reconciliation ceremony regarding the fight would be held sometime later.
He said the students resolved that:

  • No retaliation or vengeance would occur and there was to be no intimidation of each other;
  • bush knives they have in their possession must be surrendered to the chief security officer; and,
  • The gate be opened with student groups rotating to make sure no weapons or police officers entered the campus.

Schram identified the injured student as Richard Tumu from Enga, a first-year Datec student.
“He is in Flores Hospital and our doctor visits him every day,” Schram said. He said the Unitech management would pay Tumu’s hospital bill but students were also raising funds to pay part of it.
“The disagreement is about the tactics of the student movement. One group believed the boycott has run its course, and that there are other effective means to advance the cause of the students,” he said.
“Another group believed the boycott should continue.”