PNG uni students not allowed to protest, say police

11:18 am on 5 May 2016

Papua New Guinea university students will not be allowed to stage a protest march over their call for the prime minister to resign, according to the country's police command.

The Police Chief of Operations, Jim Andrews says that due to concerns over public safety and security issues, police in the National Capital District will not allow students to stage any protest.

Deputy Commissioner Andrews said the students had not properly sought permission to hold a protest.

Papua New Guinea university students.

Papua New Guinea university students. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

However despite his comments, the main students body at the University of Papua New Guinea had already said that it opted not to stage a street protest, but instead to boycott classes for the entire week.

The students have called on Mr O'Neill to step aside to face corruption allegations

Deputy Commissioner Andrews said he didn't think the students should get involved in matters that are before the courts.

He has urged the students to concentrate on getting an education.

However the calls for the prime minister to resign are spreading through other tertiary institutions in the country.

Meanwhile, PNG's police force is mired in division over its handling of a major fraud case in which fraud squad detectives claim the prime minister is linked.

Mr O'Neill for his part has described the fraud squad investigation as having been politically compsomised.

But his refusal since 2014 to go in for police questioning about the case has fuelled discontent on PNG university campuses.

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