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Suspicious Fire at Pecatu Hotel-Apartment Project

Fire Affects 12 Buildings in Pecatu Resort Complex Owned by Tommy Soeharto.

(8/16/2008) A fire on the evening of Sunday, August 10, 2008, at the Bali Pecatu Putera (BPG) project site for the Hotel Le Grand in South Bali spread to 12 separate buildings before finally being brought under control by local firefighters.

According to NusaBali, two of the affected buildings house luxury apartments already occupied. Some of the other buildings affected by the blaze will form part of hotel component of the resort development.

Police report that the fire started at 9:30 pm and spread quickly to other parts of the complex. While some of the structures were still in their construction phase, a number of project offices, storerooms and a staff cafeteria were housed in those building and were damaged by the fire.

The fire which is being viewed suspiciously by the police, follows by two weeks public complaints by the National Committee for Human Rights (Konmas HAM) that the land for the project was obtained at the expense of the human rights of 215 local farmers.

Police refused to site a cause or an origin for the fire, insisting the case was still being studied by the police forensic team.

A local farmer, Made Rama, told NusaBali that in the week before the fire some 200 farmers whose lands were sacrificed to the BPG project gathered at his home to state their desire to demand the return of their farmlands.

According to local press reports, the BPG project is owned by Tommy Soeharto, the Son of Indonesia's second president.

A spokesman for BPG estimates the damage suffered as a result of the fire to come to billions of rupiahs.