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5 Thousand in Bali Protest Pornography Law

Defending National Pluralism, Balinese Take to the Street to Protest New Anti-Pornography Law.

(10/18/2008) More than five-thousands protestors paraded through the streets of Bali's capital city of Denpasar on Saturday, October 11, 2008, protesting plans to introduce an unpopular national law against pornography. Joining the protests was Kajeng Gusti Ratu Hemas the wife of Yogyakarta's Sultan and Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, national film maker Garin Nugroho and singing-star Franky Sahilatua.

Addressing the protest rally, Ratu Hemas said: "the Indonesian people embrace pluralism. Because of this the people of Bali and other groups in Indonesia must reject the Law on Pornography.

The parade marched from the Niti Mandala Monument Square to Puputan Square opposite the Governor's residence to protest the culturally divisive nature of the proposed legislation, seen by man as an Arabisation of traditional Indonesian culture by outlawing a very broad list of daily activities deemed to have the potential of arousing sexual desire. Some critics have claimed that traditional forms of dress, dances, art, monuments and even the dress mode of visiting tourist are threatened by the proposed legislation.

Reflecting the widespread unpopularity of the bill, Bali's Governor has written to the President and the national legislature registering the island's objection to the pornography bill.

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