If you read between the lines, the government MPs and the Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari, are looking at ways to restrict student representative councils (SRC) as a political voice or remove them altogether.
They will, of course, deny it once this blog article is widely distributed and Isaac Lupari comes to hear about it.
But it has become apparent that the SRCs are too much of a political threat to those in positions of power. The SRCs have amplified the voice of people so much so that many government MP’s and bureaucrats feel that their hold on political power is
Of course, they can’t do it through other means. That would be obviously dictatorial and Mugabe-like. So as legislators, they may propose to introduce laws to control the SRCs by gladly heeding to recommendations proposed by the commission of inquiry and the current university councils of UPNG and other stakeholders. It will of course be – as they always conveniently put it – in the interest of nation and the silent majority.
Take my word that nobody will openly say the SRC will be controlled through legislation. But they will try to make it happen. Students have to be aware of this coming development.
Students must understand that SRCs are an integral part of our democracy. They represent the majority of Papua New Guineans who don’t have the ability to speak out on national issues. SRC’s are crucial in this time when workers unions are weak and indecisive.
Speaking in Goroka after the UOG unrest, Police Minister, Robert Atiyafa, said
Universities should be “corporatized” meaning run as a business and students should be given loans to pay for school fees. We don’t want to be in the state the country is in right now… in debt and struggling.
Atiyafa didn’t say it but he is itching to control SRCs like his other colleague MPs who feel politically threatened and don’t want to see a repeat of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) decimation at the 2017 elections.
If they remove the SRCs we can say goodbye to the people’s voice and the students voice. We will become a bunch of timid sheep controlled and fenced in by undemocratic, dictatorial legislation.
Over time, new students will come to accept it and our democracy will be lost as they settle into the comforts of mental slavery.