Jeannette Hyde published an editorial in the Sunday, October 12, 2003 edition of The Observer asking "Why put the Boot into Bali?".
Ms. Hyde fair and squarely asks the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth Office why it continues to penalize its own citizens and the people of Bali by warning against "all non-essential travel" to Bali.
Frankly, we couldn't agree more with Ms. Hyde.
Lest we forget, the problem is international terrorism. When three almost simultaneous terror attacks occurred on the same day on September 11, 2001, - all on U.S. soil – no thought was given to advising the citizens of the world to avoid 'non-essential' travel to America. Although, one could have reasonably argued at the time, that the U.S. was clearly a country under siege. Nor, in the wake of the 9-11 attacks that cost the lives of U.K. Citizens, did the U.K. Foreign Office warn its citizens to give their American cousins the cold shoulder.
On the contrary, New York's Mayor went to the airways reminding everyone that New York was the victim, and that courage is the best response to those who use terror as a weapon.
We join Ms. Hyde in asking: Why treat the Balinese differently?
The ongoing and successful prosecution of more than 30 suspects in connection with the Bali bombing attack of October 12, 2002, should leave no doubt in anyone's mind on where the people of Bali stand in the war on terror. We've increased our level of policing to among the highest in the world and security is a major agenda item for every major tourism operator on the Island. Yet, despite these efforts, the United Kingdom continues to add to the economic desperation of the people of Bali by refusing the simple succor of friendship and company from its eager masses yearning for a holiday on our beaches.
Has the Stiff Upper Lip Gone Limp?
We feel it is high time that "friends" who post warnings against travel to Bali urgently re-examine their actions from the perspective of consistency and fairness of application. If the people of Indonesia are truly your allies in the "war on terror" then the very least our allies owe us is a clear enumeration of what remains to be done to warrant a removal of these "official" non-tariff barriers to tourism traffic. Keeping us in the dark on a matter so central to our economic well-being is hardly the behavior befitting a friend.
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