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Protesting to Save Bali's Cultural Heritage

Hindu Youth Protest in Bali Against Developers and Thieves Seeking to Destroy Island's Culture.

(10/23/2010) Tens of Balinese youth proclaiming themselves the Hindu Youth Movement of Concern for Bali (Gerakan Pemuda Hindu Peduli Bali-Gandi) held peaceful protests in front of the Bali House of Representatives Building (DPRD) on Thursday, October 21, 2010.

Covered by Jakarta Post and Kompas.com, the student protesters were demanding that the government and the police take a firm stand against those they see as defaming and destroying Balinese tradition and culture. One case focused on by the demonstrators was the recent bust of an international crime ring dealing in stolen sacred objects from Balinese temples.

"We demand that the thieves of ‘pratima' (editor: Balinese sacred objects) be punished to the highest possible extent, if needed by execution," said one of the protests, Kadek Sumardiarta.

The members of Gandi also voiced their opposition to any efforts to change or review the new zoning law (RTRW) now before the Supreme Court. Developers are trying to challenge parts of the new law which prohibit buildings within 5 kilometres of major religious temples in Bali.

The protesters were eventually received by members of Commission IV of the DPRD-Bali, the legislative section charged with oversight on social and cultural matters. The protesters left the Bali legislature and then continued their peaceful demonstration in front of the governor's office.

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