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Governor Denies Plans to Replace 2005 Zoning Laws.

Pastika Calls for Dialogue and a Halt to New Villa Building Permits for Pecatu and Uluwatu.

(10/3/2008) The Chairman of the Bali's Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Ida Bagus Wesnawa, has lashed out in the local press at reports that Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika plans to revise the 2005 zoning regulations

According to the Bali Post, Wesnawa was most vocal in announcing his opposition to any efforts to revise Bali's zoning and building code, seeing the enforcement of the current rules as essential to saving Bali. According to Wesnawa, the 2005 zoning and land-use rules are based on Bhisama religious decrees of the Hindu Dharma Council (PHDI) and, as such, have a non-negotiable spiritual basis that cannot be compromised merely to meet the demands of commercial investors.

Insisting that the current zoning and building rules in Bali are based on religious rules agreed in 1994 created to protect religious sites, Wesnawa said any effort to change the current rules require that all elements of Balinese society be consulted to ensure that Bali's cultural and religious heritage are not sacrificed in the process.

Meanwhile, IGN Sudiana, Chairman of Parisada Hindu Dharma Ė Bali, the ranking Hindu religious organization in Bali, endorsed Wesnawa's position, saying the established building rules setting no-build zones surrounding religious temples were based on religious dictum and therefore not subject to compromise.

The Governor Responds

Indicating that earlier press reports that he intended to revise the 2005 zoning law were inaccurate, Governor Pastika has renewed his promise to crack down on zoning violators within the no-build zone surrounding Pura Ulawatu. Pastika challenged reports in Radar Bali suggesting he intended to change Bhisama-based regulations. He told Radar Bali: "Please help me. Let's not muddy the atmosphere. Let's sit together in good faith. I want to discuss the Uluwatu case so we can come to a firm conclusion and not allow the situation to go on and on."

Pastika continued: "I'm very open. You can ask me anything you want at anytime. But, please don't try to make my statements tendentious . . . donít depict me as being opposed to the people."

Pastika said he would take a firm stand against illegal construction at Uluwatu. He also pledged to hold future meetings on the issue in which he would include the board of the PHDI Bali, the national PHDI, traditional village officials and members of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD Bali).

As an interim step, Pastika called on the Badung Regional Government to order an immediate stop to villa construction at Pecatu and Uluwatu.

Pastika warned that if construction continues he will consider such acts as reflecting a lack of respect for the governor's office. "In such a position, should Badung continues to issue permit for villas, that would be too much (to tolerate)," explained Pastika.