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Four Seasons Sayan Protest Ends

Protest Launched by Local Residents Demanding Money and More Jobs Disrupts Operations for Three Day.

(3/1/2004) Street protests launched by members of the Banjar Kutuh demanding larger cash contributions and more jobs from the Four Seasons Resort in Sayan has been resolved following a signed pledge from local villagers and their community leaders to maintain the peace and obey all local laws and regulations.

On Saturday, February 21, 2004, a group of local villagers gathered at the entrance to the world-famous resort in Ubud, demanding larger cash contributions from the hotel and a greater number of employment positions for people from the local community. To make their point, some of the villagers removed pavements stones from the properties entrance, closing access to and from the hotel for a period.

The following day saw Gianyar Police apprehend a number of local residents involved in the protests for questioning in connection with the incident. Claiming that the arrests were illegal, villagers relaunched theirs protest on Tuesday, February 24, demanding the release of those held by the police and restating their demand that the Resort hire more locals, increase the size of cash payments made each month to the Banjar, and provide 100 kilograms of rice and meat for every major religious celebration carried out by the Community.

At the height of the protest the police dispatched two platoons of mobilized police (Brimob) to the hotel who encountered spirited resistance from locals demonstrators resulting in minor injuries to several police officers.

By the evening of February 24, tensions had eased at the Resort as local villager leaders promised to keep the peace and avoid further illegal acts in pursuing their demands.

By the close of the week, local press reports stated that 13 local villagers where in the custody of local police facing criminal prosecution for their actions in connection with the service disruption at the Resort. Among those arrested was a local resident who sounded the kulkul bulus the wooden alarm bell traditionally used to raise the alarm in a Balinese village.

During the protest action, guests at the resort were temporarily relocated to the Resort's sister property in Jimbaran Bay. Operations had returned to normal by the end of the week.