Enga students at the University of Technology has once again shown more leadership and maturity than Southern Highlands Governor William Powi and Treasury Minister, Patrick Pruaitch put together.
Their latest statement dispels the fear and uncertainty created by the violent attack on one of their own. The leaders simply refused to be drawn into a tit-for-tat with the minority that caused harm.
The Engans have also refused to publicly name who was responsible. It is a far cry from the usual Engan approach of identifying the culprit and responding in kind.
For that, Engan student leaders must be highly commended.
Their approach is a far cry from the immature fear mongering by Southern Highlands Governor, William Powi, who sent buses to collect Southern Highlands students days after the fighting had been brought under control.
The “Honorable” William Powi also issued veiled threats that the LNG could be shut down by the Hela and Southern Highlands people.
Without their consent, the Southern Highlands Governor, disrespected the people of Hela Province by claiming to speak for them in the absence of a political voice from Hela.
Powi attempted to create distrust by isolating and separating the Engans and Southern Highlands students by indicating that there were roadblocks along the highlands highway targeting Southern Highlands and Hela students. Who gave you the right to speak for Hela?
Papua New Guineans must see the division that the politicians are trying to create.
Patrick Pruaitch has also been put to shame by students who have demonstrated maturity both in Lae and Port Moresby. Even after the shooting, there was NO retaliation. Yet, Patrick Pruaitch, the high and mighty, Minister of government mocked the student protests and ridiculed the injuries inflicted by tools of the government.
There has been no payback and no retaliation – the kind politicians would have liked to see. The kind that would warrant the use of guns and excessive force.
We, as students, will never give you the right to use force on our people. Our non-violence has rendered your weapons ineffective.
We understand that violence begets violence and we will not go down that road.
We are the people of Papua New Guinea!