PNG PM threatens curfews to calm university tensions

11:18 am on 27 June 2016
The remains of a building after it was set alight during violent clashes at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

The remains of a building after it was set alight during violent clashes at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Photo: Supplied / Albert Schram

Papua New Guinea's prime minister says his cabinet will meet to discuss ways to ease tensions at the country's universities.

Violent clashes at the University of Technology in Lae on Saturday killed one person and saw several buildings burned in what appears to be a targetted attack.

Crowds set fire to a number of buildings at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea, leaving extensive damage.

Crowds set fire to a number of buildings at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea, leaving extensive damage. Photo: Supplied / Albert Schram

The university has evacuated students from the campus and promised a full investigation.

In a statement, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says he is disgusted by the acts of brutality and those responsible will be brought to justice.

The incident at Unitech follows weeks of protests by students around the country who are calling on Mr O'Neill to stand down to face fraud allegations.

The remains of a building at the University of Technology in Lae, PNG, after it was burned to the ground in violent clashes.

The remains of a building at the University of Technology in Lae, PNG, after it was burned to the ground in violent clashes. Photo: Supplied / Albert Schram

Earlier this month, police opened fire on students from the University of PNG in the capital, Port Moresby, as they tried to march on parliament in support of a no-confidence motion against Mr O'Neill.

While not mentioning this specifically, Mr O'Neill says students must not become political footballs and outsiders should not interfere in student affairs.

He says cabinet will discuss options to ease tensions, which could involve imposing curfews. However, there is already a curfew in place at Unitech.

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