27 Jul 2005

UPNG suspect politicians stoked student violence

4:36 pm on 27 July 2005

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea campus in Port Moresby have again clashed with police and security officers in a third week of protests at the way the GPA or grade point average is applied.

Dozens of students confronted university security officers this morning with both sides throwing rocks at each other before armed police arrived to disperse the students.

The latest clash follows a violent confrontation on Monday night in which police fired warning shots and allegedly beat up students after two university buses were torched.

The University Council, which has brought in a curfew, believes politicians have been inciting the protesting students.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Les Eastcott, says the disruption on Monday followed an inflammatory and inaccurate speech by a politician in parliament.

"It appears not to be co-incidental that within half an hour of that statement being broadcast on TV the disruptive action by the students began again. We also have evidence that a provincial governor has offered money to students to find out information about the GPA."