UPNG students oppose amendments

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday July 15th, 2013


OPPOSITION is mounting to the Government’s proposed constitutional amendment on the vote of no confidence.

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Papua New Guinea joined the Opposition in condemning the proposed legislation that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill gave notice in parliament last week.

The students also said they opposed the death penalty and tough laws that were enacted by parliament earlier this year.

The SRC said in a statement that their concerns were “in the best interest of the “silent majority and students throughout the country”.

“We see that the laws made do not reflect the PNG society’s perception in one way or the other and a total divergence from the true spirit of law to bring harmony, control and peace and order into the society.  

“It is also an expensive exercise that will cost the tax payers’ money, and promote more corruption. 

“Thus, we strongly go against the amendments based on our findings and professional analysis with moral consciousness as future leaders of this Christian country,” the SRC said.

The students proposed the following:

  • Proposed Amendment to Sections 145 and 124 of the Constitution must be removed in its entirety.
  • Remove death penalty. This will avert chaos and promote PNG as a Christian country in this democratic society.
  • Re-enact the sorcery act 197 1and empower the village courts system to use custom to deal with sorcery.
  • In place of death penalty on rape, strengthen the existing law by imposing life imprisonment without parole on aggrevated rape.
  • Strengthen the existing law enforcing mechanisms to tackle high crime rate in the country
  • Stealing or misappropriation of public resources at the value of K10, 000 to K100,000 should carry 50 years imprisonment, and K100,000 and above should carry life year imprisonment. 

In regard to recommendation 5, a politician or public official if convicted for that offence, should not be banned from entering any public office but liquidating his or her assets, financial or physical property and divert them to the state. 

The SRC added that the proposed amendment to the Constitution was a “dangerous trend” for the country.

“The proposed amendment to sections 124 and 145 of the Constitution is a reflection of dictatorial type of government.”