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Bali’s Regents Refuse to Move Against Illegal ‘Kafes’ Cited as a Source of HIV/AIDS, Choosing Political Expediency Over Public Health.


Bali News: Cafe Society ala Bali
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(7/29/2011)

That Bali’s illegal roadside “kafes” have become a significant source of Bali’s current HIV/AIDS epidemic. While this “fact” is not contested, it remains strangely ironic that Bali’s regional authorities remain steadfast in their resistance to any moves to shut down the infectious dens.

Bali’s Governor Pastika has not been shy to in diagnosing both the problem and its solution. Said the governor, “an increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS is due in part to the increase in ‘kafes’ existing in the regencies and municipalities across Bali.”

As reported by The Bali Post, the governor has expressed his agreement with the warning issued by the Golkar fraction of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) who have labeled the HIV/AIDS contagion in Bali as a “time bomb.” Because of this, the governor has repeatedly urged regents and mayors to tighten control on ‘kafes’. Bemoaned the governor: “I have twice written to the regencies and municipalities in Bali calling on them to bring the ‘kafes’ into line. But this has never been done by the regents.”

Pastika has accused the regents of gross inaction. He told the press of how a regent once explained to him that he was unprepared to move against the ‘kafes’ in his region. These businesses, which often serve as fronts for prostitution, are owned by local constituents, supposedly making them politically untouchable.

The "community leaders" in the regions, who own many of the ‘kafes,’ object to any action that will trim their personal profits, even at the cost of a raising death toll from HIV/AIDS infection. As a result,  the regents would prefer that the provincial government tackled the delicate problem, but the legal ability to move on the businesses currently rests completely with the regional governments.

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[Governor Calls for Closure of Illicit Cafes]

 


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