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Bali's Tourism Chief Speaks Up

Statement from Dr. Pitana Explains Why Bali is Different and Why Bali is Safe.

(9/27/2001) On September 25, 2001, the Chief of Tourism for the Province of Bali, Dr. Pitana issued a formal statement representing Bali's official view on the tragedy at the WTC in New York City and the furtive attempts at "sweeping" against U.S. visitors in Central Java. balidiscovery.com takes this opportunity to present Dr. Pitana's comments in their entirety:

Statement by Dr. Pitana, Chief of Bali Tourism

In response to developments in connection with the destruction of the WTC in the United States and the rumors of large-scale "sweeping" actions against U.S. citizens in Indonesia, herewith please find my response on these matters on behalf of the Department of Tourism for the island of Bali.

1. As in the past, Bali continues to be safe, life goes on as normal, and Bali remains a safe and enjoyable destination for tourism.

2. The rumored threat of "sweeping" actions against U.S. citizens in Bali cannot possibly occur for the following reasons:

a. Relations between the tourism industry and the local traditional villages continue to be very positive, with all tourism facilities throughout Bali enjoying the protection of their local traditional village, wherever those tourist facilities may exist in Bali.

b. Generally, the people of Bali - whether they are Hindus, Moslems, Christians or Buddhists, all understand that tourism plays a central role in improving the quality of their lives. With this understanding, any activities or actions that could disturb Bali's tourism industry will be rejected by the community.

c. Many Moslem leaders, both in formal and non-formal capacities, together with the majority of Balinese Moslems, are strongly opposed to any "sweeping" activities that could disturb public peace and disrupt tourist activities in Bali.

d. Any "sweeping" activities carried out against foreign visitors to Bali represent a violation of law; with such actions remaining the exclusive right of our law enforcement authorities. In this context, the police authorities in Bali have underlined that they will deal decisively with anyone attempting to undertake such activities.

e. The Minister of Defense for the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Matori Abdul Jalil, has strongly emphasized that all foreigners in Indonesia, and especially U.S. Citizens, will receive protection from any possible attacks by Islamic extremists. Moreover, the Minister has accepted that it is the responsibility of the Government of Indonesia to protect all foreign individuals living in Indonesia.

Based on the explanation above, I ask that all components of Bali's tourism community endeavor to persuade visitors and potential visitors that there is no basis for concern for their personal safety and, certainly, no reason to cancel or postpone their visit to Bali.

Thank you for your attention in this matter and in anticipation of the cooperation and support of all members of the tourism community in relaying this message to their clients and friends, I remain,

Sincerely,

Chief of the Bali Tourism Service

Dr. Pitana

NIP. 131475036



GDE PITANA

Dinas Pariwisata Bali / Bali Tourism Service

Jalan S. Parman Renon Denpasar

Telp. 0361 - 222387

Fax. 0361 - 226313