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Can't We Just Talk it Over?

Bali House of Representatives Appoints Special Sub-Committee to Help Defuse Volatile Zoning Confrontation.

(2/21/2011) The Balinese House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) has taken a decision to create a special sub-committee to review the provincial 2009 Zoning laws (RTRW). The formation of the RTRW sub-committee took place at a specially-convened plenary session of the DPRD-Bali on Friday, February 18, 2011, in the hope of reducing growing tensions between the governor of Bali and the island's regents and mayors over violations of construction prohibitions within a 5 kilometer radius of Bali's six most sacred temples.

The chairman of the DPRD-Bali, A.A. Ngurah Oka Ratmadi, said: "We have formed the special sub-committee in order to seek harmony and protect the common interest of the Balinese people. We hope the special sub-committee will work to the maximum without partisanship or favor."

As reported by Kompas.com, Ratmadi also emphasized his desire that the special sub-committee will bridge the current difference of opinion between the regents and the governors, especially as relates to buildings within sacred areas following the revelation of 25 "non-confirming structures" surrounding the Pura Luhur Uluwatu.

30 of the total 55 members of the DPRD-Bali have been appointed to the special sub-committee on zoning. Ratmadi said the job is not to revise the RTRW but to address the sharp differences between the governor and regional leaders of Bali.

An environmental activist from Denpasar's Gumi Bali Forum, Wayan Surdhana, bemoaned that the current conflict originates from the regional heads of Bali who should be united in protecting Bali's future. Moreover, he believes that the RTRW of 2009 is in complete conformance with the Bali-Hindu Religious Council's (PHDI) religious dogma (Bhisama) of 1994 on sacred areas.

Separately the PHDI Bali have supported governor Pastika's efforts to bring structures into line that have been built within the "no-build" 5-kilometer radius of the Uluwatu temple, condemning the protests that have been launched by Bali's regents and mayors.

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