Business as usual in PNG capital in spite of civil society strike call


PNG Tonight presenter John Eggins says Papua New Guinea went from a state of high anxiety after civil society groups called for a strike in support university students calling for the prime minister to step down.

But yesterday played out as “business as usual”.

In the NBC flagship television news programme last night, coverage was given to many community groups in peaceful protests, mostly waving the PNG national flag.

National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop and a parliamentary delegation with high ranking police officers went to the University of Papua New Guinea to receive a petition calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stand aside and cooperate with an investigation into corruption allegations.

The UPNG protest was peaceful, but more than 5000 students demanded a “positive” response to their demand that O’Neill stand down, or there would be a mass withdrawal from classes.

The students claim that O’Neill is undermining the national constitution and not obeying the rule of law.

O’Neill later acknowledged in a statement that he had received the petition and would answer the points made by the students.

He has repeatedly denied the allegations by students and civil society groups, saying there is no evidence to support the claims.

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