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One Bali Community's Answer to Political Activity

Tanjung Benoa Says 'No' to Party Politics.

(12/1/2003) The people of the hamlet of Tanjung Benoa, a village immediately east of the Nusa Dua Complex in South Bali, have declared that their area will be "campaign free" for the three months immediately prior to the April 5 national elections.

Because the community of Tanjung Benoa has scheduled a major religious ceremony - Karya Agung Memunkah at their temple Pura Dalem Kahyangan to occur on April 6, 2004, the villagers have decided any desire for local political activity must take a second priority to maintaining harmony and ritual purity in all areas surrounding the temple in the period leading up to the sacred event.

According to the Village Chief of Tanjung Benoa, Mr. Wayan Dibya Adnyana, the desire to maintain a "campaign free" zone in Tanjung Benoa has been socialized to the 6 major political parties active in Bali who have reportedly accepted the decision of the local population in this matter.

To emphasize local solidarity and national unity in the current period prior to the moratorium on campaign activities, all 6 parties flew their party flags together at Tanjung Benoa on Friday, November 28, 2003. Each party raised their flag on a single pole together with the national flag of Indonesia.

Tougher Stance on Non-Residents

In announcing the ban on political campaigns in Tanjung Benoa, the village leader, Mr. Wayan Dibya Adnyana, also revealed that his office is adopting a much tougher stand on non-indigenous people living in Tanjung Benoa who cannot produce complete certificates of identity and demonstrate full-time employment.

Mr. Adnyana complained that many outside workers from other islands employed on construction projects at Tanjung Benoa have remained in the village long after their employment has finished. This, he claims, has created a burden on local resources and created tensions in the community.

The new "get tough" policy in which "floating residents" will be asked to move on, is in line with recent calls by Bali Chief of Police, Inspector I Made Mangku Pastika, for local communities to be more vigilant in supervising local residency issues and his request that people going to Java for the holidays not to bring back family members and friends hoping to look for work in Bali.