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A Bali Demolition Derby Part IV

Badung's Regent Insists Principles of Desa-Kala-Patra Must Apply in Resolving the 5 km No-Build Zone at Pura Uluwatu.

(5/24/2008) Participating in a public dialog on the increasingly controversial polemic on permissible construction within 5 km of Pura Uluwatu, the Bupati of Badung, Anak Agung Gde Agung, has called on the people of Bali to view the problem within the specific context of existing conditions at Pecatu; applying the Balinese principles of desa kala patra. The principles of desa-kala-patra demand that human activity be put into a balance of place-time-context together with the absolute requirement to maintain balance in relationships between man and God, man and nature, and man and man.

Speaking at an open dialog on the requirement for a sacred radius that must surround all religious sites, Agung insisted that all buildings and villas at Uluwatu already conform to the regulations.

The Chief of the Badung Regency told the audience that he agrees with the 5 km sanctified cordon surrounding Pura Uluwatu. He explained to the audience that, in fact, the 5 km "ring" is divided into three concentric "rings": the alas kekeran or most sacred rings measuring from the temple to one km away in which no construction of any kind is allowed; a "ring" of one km to three km in which only agriculture and dwelling houses for local residents are permitted; and a final third "ring" of three to five km in which villas are permitted but starred hotels are forbidden.

Local residents from Pecatu who, according to NusaBali, dominated the attendees at the Hindu Dharma (IHDN) University insisted that they have long honored the alas kekeren ring at Uluwatu but said that traditional rules on construction must be made to accommodate local conditions in their area.

The Chairman of the Council on Hindu Affairs (PHDI), I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, an organization that has been vocal in calling for a strict application of the "no-build" rule in a 5 km radius from the temple, remained non-committal at the dialog where Sudiana was badly outnumbered by antagonistic local residents critical of the building prohibition. Sudiana told the group he acted only as the "messenger" of PHDI's pronouncements in the ongoing controversy over buildings in close proximity to Pura Uluwatu.

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