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Let There Be Peace in Bali

Religious Rites Held to Restore Peace and Harmony in Bali

(12/23/2011) The chairman of the Head Council for Traditional Villages in Bali (MUDP), Jero Putu Suwena Upadesha, announced that the people of Bali would soon undertake a Bumi Sudha Ceremony in an effort to restore harmony to Bali.

The ceremony to be held in three locations in Bali that, according to Hindu teachings, are guardian gates of  sanctity, Suwena explained on Thursday, December 22, 2011, to The Bali Post.

He confirmed that the Bumi Sudha Ceremony was set for December 24, 2011, at Pura Pengubengan Besakih in Karangasem starting at 9:00 a.m.; Pura Ulundanu Batur in Bangli at 10:00 a.m. and Pura Watuklotok in Klungkung at 11:00 a.m..

Attending the ceremonies were the Vice-Governor at Besakih, the Chairman of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) at Pura Ulundanu Batur; and the Governor at Pura Watu Klotok.

While the main ceremonies will take place at the three designated temples, people all across Bali participated in prayers held in their respective locations.

Explained Suwena in the days leading up to the ceremony: “In addition to offering prayers, there are offering that must be made at sacred places surrounding their households. To people of other faiths, we ask that they also offer prayers in accordance with their own beliefs in order guard the natural harmony of nature in Bali.”

He continued, outlining how the ceremonies will also offer the momentum needed for the people of Bali to reflect on their activities in 2011 and how to improve our actions and outcomes on nature and each other in the future.

“Our people have been made uneasy with the conflicts and arguments that have occurred over the past year in our region. Several cases involving traditional villages have erupted into violence; the people have been confronted arguments both for and against large projects, such as the Bali International Park; disputes about building over the mangrove forest at Benoa; and debates over the exploration of geothermal energy in Bedugul, Tabanan,” said Suwena, enumerating areas of ongoing controversy in Bali.

Through the holding of a Bumi Sudha Ceremony, he said, it is hoped that peace and harmony can be restored on the island of Bali. The ceremony, held once each year, was started in 2009.

Meanwhile, an environmental expert from Bali’s Udayana University, Dr. Luh Kartini, said the ceremony represents a needed reflection for those involved in development activities in Bali.

“Any kind of development needs to be controlled and the carrying capacity of our island considered. Don’t let our small island of Bali be squeezed by physical development. Hopefully all the parties involved will choose (in the end) to value Bali,” said Kartini.