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Sanur Traders in Stand Off Against Hotel Project

Sanur Beach Traders in Bali Want Government to Revoke Licenses of Hotel Developer.

(3/7/2011) As many as 56 local traders working on Mertasari Beach in Sanur, Bali are threatening legal actions to halt their eviction by PT Sanur Dinamika Mentari (SDM) - the developer of a luxury hotel on Sanur Beach.

As reported by NusaBali, the traders are threatening a class-action suit against the provincial government of Bali if PT Sanur Dinamika is allowed to go ahead with the hotel development and plans to evict the beach side traders who work from the area.

Made Mangku, a representative of the 56 traders, claims the development agreement signed SDM and the provincial government, headed by then governor Ida Bagus Oka in 1995, is no longer valid under law.

Mangku alleges that the 1995 agreement contained a stipulation that if SDM failed to complete the project within five years from the signing then the entire contract was null and void. "This agreement was signed by the governor, IB Oka, on behalf of the province and by Daniel Atmaja, representing PT SDM in 1995," explained Mangku.

Mangku contends that the original agreement no longer has any legal standing as the five year time limit has long expired, nullifying SDM's right to develop anything on the 3-hectare site.

Moreover, Mangku says the expired validity clause is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of a number of legal shortcomings confronting the hotel's developers. He also points to the business license issued in Jakarta to PT SDM which lists the company allowed areas of business activities as limited to the sale of chemical equipment and medicines with no mention of tourism activities. "This does not make sense and its clear this land is being used used merely as a launching pad for PT SDM to sell (the project) to another investor. This is just part of the (legal) inconsistencies; when the time is right we will reveal many more legal problems," threatened Mangku.

Mangku went on to say that if the provincial government goes ahead under the agreement with PT SDM, his group is prepared to file a class action suit against Bali's provincial government.

With the proof of many legal shortcomings in hand, Mangku said he is prepared to not only defend the traders of Mertasari but the local residents via a class action suit as the government is not keeping to the its agreement of 1995 which automatically expired in 2000.

"Why do we have to demand the protection of the rights to an investor who has already failed to fulfill his agreement with the province of Bali? Isn't it better is the common folks are given an (economic) opportunity?" Mangku implored.