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Love Your Ancestral Lands!

Megawati Asks the Balinese to Adopt a Long-Term View on Land Sales and Agriculture.

(1/7/2006) Repeating a warning made during her presidency and reported on balidiscovery.com [ Stop Selling Your Land!], Megawati Soekarnoputri was in Bali last week renewing her call on the Balinese to maintain their control of the island's real estate and renew their interest in agriculture.

On the Island to attend rallies for the Bali branch of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Megawati urged the Balinese not to be motivated solely by economic factors to sell their lands to "outsiders," warning the Balinese would eventually find their island controlled by non-Balinese interests.

Focus on Agriculture

The former Indonesian President led a rally of 4,000 supporters at Pura Ulun Danu in Bali's mountain-lake district where she supervised the planting of 6,000 trees, the distribution of basic food supplies to local residents, and the release of new fish stocks into Lake Buyan.

Calling on the Balinese to renew their love of agriculture and land, Megawati decried the receding water levels of Baliís fresh water lakes which she blamed on deforestation and bad agricultural practice.

According to the former President, the Balinese must continue to preserve and protect traditional crops such as coffee, cloves and nutmeg and not be tempted to cut down the trees that produce these crops at the first sign of a price drop. Pointing to the bitter lessons learned by the clove farmers of Manado (North Sulawesi) who adopted similar tactics, she called on farmers to preserve their traditional tree crops in order to conserve the natural environment, avoid tragic land slides, and be in a position to reap the financial benefits when the crop price cycle again peaks.

Megawati asked her followers where the Balinese will live if they only seek short term profits from their lands and sell their properties to non-Balinese interest. Urging the people to avoid Godís eventual wrath for their short-sightedness, Megawati told the rally: "Dont suffer karmapala for destroying nature. Remember, nature is the Almighty's gift (to us) and it must be protected and preserved. Fail to do this and Bali will eventually be destroyed."