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Bali Students Want Zoning Law to Stay

Bali Students and Environmentalists Use Demonstrations and Street Theatre to Demonstrate Support for Governor Pastika's Zoning Law.

(2/26/2011) Efforts by regents and mayors across Bali to overturn or revise the 2009 Zoning Law (RTRW) are meeting strong opposition from student and environmental group who are uniting to reject efforts to change a law they see as essential to protecting the island's culture.

Kompas.com reports that tens of students and environmental protesters marched on the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, to demonstrate their solidarity and urge legislators not to be lured into changing the 2009 zoning law. The demonstrators read statement proclaiming that the RTRW is needed to protect local values through the controls it places on the height of buildings and its no-build limitations within a 5 kilometer radius of major religious temples.

"Those who want to revises the RTRW are only using political, economic and tourism industry arguments to make their case," said one of the field coordinators of the protest. He continued: "We firmly reject any policy that revises the RTRW, as a revision is not the correct solution that will guarantee the welfare of the people and the preservation of Bali's environment and culture."

While staging their protests, the demonstrators also engaged in street theatre. Using an analogy of a soccer match with the RTRW as the ball, the protesters feigned a contest between opposing teams of investors and environmentalists. A scorecard showed the investors winning the match 2-1.

Protesters were disappointed that not a single member of the legislature came out of the building to meet with them during their demonstration.