Oh the irony! Students breaking the law to insist on the rule of law.

By PNG Echo.

Let’s be blunt: the students – or the militant minority, have got exactly what they want.

Page four of yesterday’s Post Courier foretold it all:

Kenneth Rapa - President of the Students' Representative Council
Kenneth Rapa – President of the Students’ Representative Council

According to reporter Nellie Setapano, an illegal forum had been overseen by Students’ Representative Council President, Kenneth Rapa and attended by less than 300 students where a strategy was formed to deliberately defy and provoke police.

The stated aim of the militant ones was to get themselves arrested in order to gain public attention, sympathy and support.

But even with this pitifully poor turnout, it was reported that a large number of the attendees were less than enthusiastic anyway – but it did not stop their stated “life or death” strategy from going ahead.

Then, after the mêlée, it is thought that agitators had subsequently and knowingly spread false reports of resultant deaths of students killed by police to international media outlets in a bid for overseas support and the attendant condemnation leading to the international embarrassment of the PNG government.

The Minister for Police, Robert Atiyafa, condemned the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who falsely reported that there had been four deaths after buying the maliciously spread propaganda.  He said:

The ABC should get out and report the facts, not just repeat what they read on Facebook [where a plethora of misinformation was transmitted by those who should have known better – and probably did].

Law-breaking students.

Police try to stop students leaving the campus
Police try to stop students leaving the campus

The students were warned not to go outside the campus, yesterday, yet they did.

They provoked the police by throwing stones, they refused to allow the police to carry out their orders and arrest Kenneth Rapa. They were violently provocative.

What did they expect would happen?

And while police, arguably, should have used more restraint and less gun power – they’re not exactly known for restraint – something of which Rapa would have been well-aware when he formulated his callous plan.

Everything they did was illegal and against the rule of law.

Yet their catch cry is for the Prime Minister to step down and submit to the rule of law – what a pity Rapa didn’t do likewise, if he’d submitted to arrest,  perhaps those few who were seriously hurt (and I believe none of them critically) may not have been.

Honestly, has the irony of their stance been completely lost on them?

There has been much talk in the PNG parliament lately of intelligence and who’s got what amount – judging by the poor decisions of this militant minority of students, the combined IQ here would be countable of the fingers of not too many hands – either that or they are dastardly manipulative.

Because surely, the leading protagonists are aware of who’s funding them – and make no mistake, someone is (I mean, what student can afford to hire buses to be on stand-by for transportation – which they reportedly were) and unless they are really as stupid as they are presenting themselves to be then they’d understand the motivations behind their financiers and even have a few motivations of their own.

It is the leaders of the students who are using their fellows as cannon fodder for someone’s base political motives.

Anyway, the gauntlet has been thrown down by the militant students and it has been picked by the authorities who have started an investigation into who is leveraging, influencing and funding them. The investigation will also include looking at the culpability of social media.

I guess these young people are about to get a timely lesson in consequences – a lesson the injured are well on their way to learning already.

It’s political – of course it is.

The protests have been clearly political and someone in opposition is odds-on favourite for being behind this – and it’s despicable.

The students voiced their concerns, the Prime Minister answered them – and the silence from the students in response to the PMs statement has been absolute, indicating acceptance.

Therefore, the students have no more issues – and the majority have accepted that.

It is clear that it is not the rule of law that concerns this militant remainder of student protestors as they go about deliberately breaking any and every law they but up against. No, it’s someone else’s political agenda and I could fathom a guess as to whose – you whistle, I’ll point.

Yes, Mr Rapa and his cohorts got exactly what they wanted yesterday, exactly what they asked for, in fact, I’d say they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams – they just need to keep off the moral high ground, it doesn’t belong to them.

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