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Gardener of Paradise

Gardener at BTDC Arrested, Interrogated and Released After Penetrating Presidential Security Detail at Opening of ASEAN Fair 2011 in Nusa Dua.

(10/28/2011) A hapless 45-year old gardener working at the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) Nusa Dua Complex found himself at the center of an unwanted maelstrom of public and national media attention when he unwittingly pedaled his bicycles to the very edge of stage occupied by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and a large group of official dignitaries attending the opening of ASEAN Fair 2011 on Monday, October 24, 2011,

The gardener, Nyoman Minta, like countless mornings before over the past years, had spent the morning tending the BTDC gardens abd beaches when he began to ride his  bicycle home, carrying refilled water bottles and a coconut harvested in the course of his morning gardening. Unnoticed by the presidential and VIP security detachments, the man rode his bicycle through several layers of security guards who were otherwise preoccupied, heads held aloft, watching an aerobatic display by the Indonesian Air Force.

According to the Bali Post, Nyoman Minta and his bicycle’s sudden appearancein the area adjacent to the stage containing the President, members of his family and key cabinet members meant the man had somehow managed to penetrate 3 security rings, much to the embarrassment of the Commandant of the Presidential Security Details (Pasampres), Major General Agus Sutomo, who admitted to the Bali Post that his security detail guards had been derelict in the performance of their assigned duty to protect the president.

“There were a number of members of my detail who were watching the aerobatic demonstration, and not performing their duty. Although this failure lasted only a moment, it was (fortunately) proven that the threat to the president was benign,” explained General Sutomo. The head of the president’s security detail said those members of this detail who allowed the breach of security have been given sanctions. He declined, however, to reveals details of any sanction, insisting this information was confidential and internal to the president’s security detachment.

Before the President’s entourage left Bali by mid-day Monday, both the Chief of the National Police and the Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces explained the security breach and offered apologies to President Yudhoyono then called for an enhancement in the quality of security systems.

Sutomo said the President had witnessed the apprehension of the gardener and issued orders to all concerned that the unsuspecting laborer be treated humanely during his period of interrogation.

Sutomo was wry to admit that the gardener was tackled and seized by security personnel after managing to get within 8-10 meters of the Indonesian president, bypassing the presidential security detail, the police and special forces member of the military,

Nyoman Minta, is a member of the local gardening staff of the BTDC who lives at Mumbul, not far from the Nusa Dua Complex,

Apparently Minta was briefly taken into custody at the time of the incident, released , and then picked up again by police to participate in a reenactment of the incident at 4:00 p.m. on the same afternoon.

Minta supposedly recounted to the police how his daily routine called for him to pass through the area of his arrest 4 times on his way to and from the beach he is assigned to keep clean for the BTDC.

Traumatized by his arrest and the humiliation of having to participate in a reconstruction in which he was paraded before the public wearing a sign displayed around his neck identifying him as a suspect in a crime, Minta is reported;y now unafraid and unable to return to work. In order to regain his composure, he is asking BTDC’s help to perform religious ceremonies at the site of his apprehension in order to restore order and calm to his cosmos.

The man, who earns US$5 a day working as a gardener and rides an old bicycle to and from work each day, admitted to the authorities he did not actually know much about President or even that the head of state was attending a ceremony at Nusa Dua.