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A Monumental Dilemma

Questions Arise Over the Care and Management of Bali's Bombing Monument.

(9/24/2005) On the eve of the third commemoration of Bali's tragic bombing of October 12, 2002, the regional government of Badung has been asked to clarify who is responsible for the care and management of Bali's Ground Zero Monument built to honor the 202 people who died in the terrorist attack.

Calling for clarification on the lines of responsibilities surrounding the monument, the village chief (Lurah) of Kuta, I Made Suardika, told the Indonesian-language DenPost, "a clarification on who is responsible for the monument's management is important given its role as a new tourist attraction in Kuta."

Of concern to the Kuta village leader is the care, cleaning, maintenance and security of the bombing memorial and surrounding areas.

Growing Level of Complaints

Local leaders report an increasing number of complaints from monument visitors regarding poor supervision at the attraction addressing non-functioning fountains and the presence of beggars, street traders and unlicensed guides surrounding the area.

Suardika has also called for the establishment of an information center at Ground Zero to supply visitors with background on the monument and the tragedy that prompted its construction.

Who's in Charge?

As regards the bombing memorial, Suardika has asked if the local community government, provincial tourism office, local community associations, or the traditional village structure bear final responsibility for Ground Zero's management.

The Kuta district leader (Camat), I Nyoman Predanagga, has downplayed Suardika's concerns and criticisms saying his office has handled cleanliness and security at the monument with maintenance still in the hands of its builders and developers. According to the Camat, day to day security at the monument is provided by a Kuta district security force.