Sunday, 25 September 2016

A female PNG Unitech second year business student was found dead hanging on a tree: Could this be mere suicide or a planned murder?

by JOE SALAMBI

IF you are offended by this photo of tragedy of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (Unitech) second year business student loss of life, go hide your head in the sand and run away from the problem. It happened one way or the other because of gross government and administrative incompetence. A disgusting story is coming to light despite efforts to hide the details from the public. The worst smells come from government lies and pressure on university administrators to do what they have now proven incapable of doing. The police on state of emergency (SOE) presence are beginning to show their usual unprofessionalism.

The incident occurred close to campus but outside university boundaries. Maybe that lets the new Higher Education Minister Francis Marus to escape his pledge and guarantee to the students of their safety if they returned to all university campuses.

Obviously this is either murder or is suicide. Obviously if it is suicide it is because of stress of one sort or another. Maybe a romantic dispute but whatever was the cause one does not have to look far to find out about all the stresses affecting Unitech students at the moment.

Not having a proper mess was the start of the student stress, there is not enough seating for the students so they eat here, there everywhere. The initial reconciliation between Engan and SHP students was reported to gone well and that helped with stress level. What has not gone well is on the academic side.

Teachers pushing students to remember what they last had studied from February to April in early September, then after 2 weeks of Semester 1, leaving it unfinished and beginning Semester 2 instruction. UPNG is doing the same or similar but who came up with this crazy idea? Forgetting about Semester 1, pushing the students to absorb an entire month of Semester 2 instruction, then dropping Semester 2 instruction and giving Semester 1 final exams.

Expecting students brains to fast forward then flip backwards then fast forward again when Semester 1 finals completed, only 1 week break, then returning back again to Semester 2 to start Week 5. A crazier scheduling would be hard to design unless the goal was to totally confuse students make there heads spin and replace guarantee of safety by a guarantee that students would remember next to nothing of this recovered 2016 school year.

Back around the end of April are when students were already abandoning class before the boycott officially started. This means there was an additional lost week the administration has never admitted do and pretends was normal. The truth: eliminate Week 10 of Semester 1 as an instruction week. Add another lost week called Week 11 of Semester 1 when boycotts began. In total students could not have had more than 9 weeks of instruction for Semester 1. Let it go on record that students attending Unitech in the 2016 school year had at best only 9 weeks of instruction before they were all sent home.

Semester 1 was supposed to be 15 weeks to give decent education. It was cut back and back to serve political interests and throw academic quality into the rubbish bin at both Unitech and UPNG. Semester 1 is only 9 weeks of instruction and 2 weeks of review, not the intended 14 weeks of instruction and 1 week of review.

Semester 2 has also been cut from 15 weeks to weeks of instruction and 1 week of review weeks which then has been screwed up inserting Semester 1 finals after Week 4 of Semester 2. Teachers from Unitech have spoken out that they were told to make up the rest of the lost teaching with after hours and weekend teaching.

A teacher rebellion is in progress at Unitech below the radar screen but no one is teaching these extra hours and the students have enough headaches without going to class every night and all weekend to get 5 more weeks of instruction pushed into their heads. The Academic board of Unitech should be investigated immediately and thoroughly to determine why they approved totally unacceptable compromises in length of semester and the schedule itself and now are pushing the students to the limits of their tolerance by saying classes should be on weekends and nights. The academic schedule they approved was unconscionable against the standards they are supposed to be uphold.

Administration turned deaf ears to the stressed students pleas to be given some relief from all this. Is it the students fault that they were willing experiments in Isaac Lupari’s plan to salvage Peter O’Neil’s reputation in the eyes of parents by getting the students back to school?

The students are there because the government and their parents pushed them to come back by threats of scholarship loss, having to come up with an extra year school fees and similar. Government, students, administration and teachers all of whom should be grownups with experience and know better instead pushed in place a ridiculous schedule that could not help but achieve very poor academic results. The only thing the schedule would have achieved was to make our Prime Minister look good for saving the day even though he is the one more responsible for mishandling the entire boycott issue, spreading to 4 PNG university campuses at one point. Yet we all can take note that the Prime Minister never once went to the media and guaranteed students safety if returning to campus.

Whoever took the lead and made the strongest pressure to get students back to class this year at either UPNG or Unitech must bear full responsibility for the mess being created.

Back to the deceased student. Did the student tie the rope herself, it looks quite hard to make that kind of knot and get up so high. Will police be competent enough to take fingerprints on the rope and elsewhere and such or will they spoil all the evidence because too little attention to their police work and too much attention to duty allowances. Also there is likely to be immediate political pressure on the police if there is any indication they might have determined this to be murder. No one will want to call it a murder even if it is a murder because we all know that murder could mean the end of the school year at Unitech. 


Who will be the watchdog to make sure there is no cover up because it is in the best interest of the Unitech administration to call it a suicide so they can save the school year. It is in the Prime Minister's and Chief Secretary's best interest to call it suicide. Who is going to believe anything these people say about the death, none of them have any credibility because they already show that they serve the master known as the Prime Minister. The government made the university issue this year into a political one.

Students are already in rebellion over the 10pm curfew and it is breaking down fast. The administration says there should be night classes and weekend classes and students have to study all this material and go back and forth to find a wireless place to use the internet that they say are pushing them to be outside late. The rebellion has already taken power away from the administration. Students have told the police to stay out of the dormitory and school building area and just patrol around the fences or well away from where the students are.

During the day mobile squad police sit at tables under umbrellas drinking tea and talking, very little patrolling. Yet they started getting angry at no duty allowances being paid as promised which the government is totally to blame for.

Unitech and UPNG administrators should be reporting to the newspapers daily how much money they have been given but have become meek as lambs and not saying anything. Report is that the government has not paid anywhere near the K40 promised to get the school year back to normal for Unitech with UPNG in a similar situation. Seems that only K1 million was paid to Unitech out of K40 million. The government is not keeping its promises to anyone neither the police or anyone else.

Sure the students are getting stressed out over this and other matters because they are nothing more than pawns in a political game and no one cares if they learn anything or not. All eyes are on making sure the faked 2016 school year can be completed on paper for the sake of the Prime Minister and his reputation.

Recently phone texts started going around between students revealing names of other students who had turned in the Engan students arrested for murdering the SHP student Romanong. How did this information leak out of the security office now it creates serious security concerns for the students whose names are being passed around. Administration said that the text messages had been turned over to police but everyone knows that finding the source of the messages is next to impossible and misses the point. The point is that the names leaked and it turns out they were not involved at all in the arrests of the Engans but were the ones who shared what they saw at a student forum when an Engan student was slashed.

The administration sent out a notice to students that no one should believe what is on social media or texts about what is going on at campus. This is typical escapism from reality the moment administration says that all students rush to their phones and get on social media to see what was said.

Alcohol is being smuggled in again and everyone but security and administration seems to know how its done. Student drops a bag either between Telikom and back gate, or on the road called the speedway. They push the bag under the unitech fence, then walk off. A second student waiting inside the campus then goes and retrieves the bag of home brew and walks off. Home brew is being hid all around campus including an area the students call agriculture farm and where there are lots of trees.

These are many incidents and descriptions that tell the same story of a campus security going slack in many directions. Students say that anyone can stand at uni-gate and watch for themself how irregular vehicle inspection is. University staff are let to come into campus without vehicle inspection. Why is this allowed when it is well known that staff take ethnic sides as much as students and staff can easily be bring in guns or bush knives attached to the underside of their vehicles or hidden behind the seats. No one would believe these stories if the inspections were done properly. Students are seeing themselves the slack inspections or no inspections of vehicles.

In response to this building mess, administration has alerted students to be aware there will be an inspection of their dorm rooms shortly to look for weapons, alcohol and any other illegal material. What is the point to tell them ahead of time so they can temporarily hide anything so they don’t want to be caught with them. After the inspection it goes back to business as usual. Students expecting to fail their courses in the upcoming exams are the ones starting to fall apart with the home brew and drugs.

The poor Unitech business student died because of some kind of stress. She is the symbol of the undeniable stress that are affecting all students at the moment because of everything being pushed at them and the crazy schedule that is guaranteed to make sure they remember next to nothing of all the subjects taken in 2016.


The Prime Minister and his government must be held accountable for creating this mess of a school year on the university campuses by their gross incompetence. They need to stop promising K40 million and only delivering K1 million. All parents and relatives of UPNG and Unitech students should demand now that the government pay all the promised money upfront and no further delay. They always seem to find millions to pay for political actions so come up with K39 million next week and pay it to unitech and relieve the stress.

The second demand is for the academic schedule and do-ability for 2016 to be brought to the table immediately, the inability of security to prevent further deaths on campus be admitted up front by the administration and the government. The academic board must be held fully accountable for approving a ridiculous schedule which has no potential to achieve anything satisfactory in the students studies. The academic board must be removed from whatever situation made it an pawn of political interests. Academics outside PNG should make the decision to continue or modify or cancel the school year as there is no one in PNG who will not be put under pressure by the Prime Minister to do the wrong thing.

The deceased student is a symbol of a politically inspired and pressured resumption of a school year that is going amuck. Let this student’s death not be ignored or brushed aside as irrelevant to the big mess going on right now at UPNG and unitech.

Source: PNG Blog

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