On Friday, January 27, 2006, representatives of the stakeholder organizations of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) joined the BTB Chairman, Bagus Sudibya, for an extended roundtable discussion with Bali's new Chief of Police, Inspector General Drs. Sunarko Danu Ardanto.
Appointed in late December to replace outgoing Bali Police Chief Made Pastika, General Sunarko has held a series of high-ranking jobs at regional police posts across Indonesia, including a period as National Police Spokesperson in Jakarta, before assuming the top law enforcement job in Bali.
In a more than two hour meeting, Bali's Police Chief exchanged ideas and information on a number of topics with Bali's tourism leaders ranging from general security, gambling, terrorism and community relations
Some of the highlights of General Sunarko's meeting with Bali's tourism leaders, included:
• The national crackdown on terrorist continues with numerous arrests over the weeks since the police shoot out and death of Malaysian terrorist Dr. Azahari on November 9, 2005. A number of those arrested for playing a role in the October 1, 2005 bombing have been transported to Bali where they are now undergoing active interrogation by police.
• The increasingly vigilant moves to combat terrorism in Bali include close and intensive coordination between the police, military and the various intelligence services of the Country now cooperating under a common umbrella of the Coordinating Body for Bali Security.
• General Sunarko's former role as a public spokesman for the National Police have left him a firm believer in the importance of an open and ongoing dialogue with the community. As a result, he pledged to continue to seek input – including both criticism and suggestions - from all levels of the community.
• Because Bali is a world class tourism destination, the Chief acknowledged the necessity of providing a high level of police service to Bali's many visitors. He warned that hotels found to be lax in protecting the security interests and safety of their guests face the possibility of losing their security accreditation.
• General Sunarko pledged that his department would not discriminate in the application of the law and all violators, both foreign and domestic, can expect to be brought to justice.
• The Bali police are prepared to work closely with all elements of the tourism community in providing security on a day-to-day basis as well as for special events and conferences in Bali. The police will also continue to play an active role in assisting BTB in communicating the many steps for improved security now in place in Bali to overseas markets and visiting press delegations.
• The Chief also touched on trans-national crime and its impact on Bali, exchanging information with the BTB delegation on the Internet, current specific problems in that area, and the Internet's role in promoting Bali.
As a continuance of the dialogue now commenced with the tourism community and BTB, General Sunarko accepted an invitation from BTB to soon schedule an informal lunch-time meeting with Bali's entire tourism community in order to further strengthen his connection with Bali's leading industry.
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