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January 15, 2021

Unitech Protest Rally

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Students from Lae’s University of Technology have called for the reinstatement of Taskforce Sweep and suspended senior police officers. 

In a protest Rally in Lae today, they also called on the Prime Minister to step aside and clear his name.


The calls come two days after the Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru, said he is standing by the O’Neill-Dion government.


The downpour this morning didn’t prevent the planned rally. Yesterday, Lae’s Metropolitan Superintendent, Ivan Lakatani, gave permission for the rally despite concerns by the Lae Chamber of Commerce.


At Eriku Oval, a crowd gathered, watched closely by several police units from Lae and Bulolo.


This was a rally to gather the public’s opinion, on the political situation in Port Moresby, and to express the Student Council’s position.


The University of Technology has refused to be dragged into the political arguments and allegations.


They are calling for the suspended police officers to be reinstated, and for the Task Force Sweep Team, to be restored.


They’ve given 48 hours for the government to respond, but the provincial government has expressed a deferring view.


Morobe governor, Kelly Naru said that earlier this week, the government shouldn’t be changed because it is a good government.


Naru maintains that O’Neill-Dion government has played an important role in making major infrastructure developments in Lae city.


While Police road blocks have prevented Port Moresby residents from attending large gatherings, they’ve been public forums in various parts of the country including Kundiawa and Wewak, calling for the prime minister’s resignation.


They’ve also been rival forums and demonstrations in places like Southern Highlands in support of the prime minister.


And what stood out in all of this, is the maturity shown by Papua New Guineans to ignore debates along ethnic lines.


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