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Closed Until Further Notice

Sanur Beach Traders Protest as Businesses Blocked by Mertasari Beach Developer

(5/13/2012) Scores of café and small shop owners under the banner of the Mertasari Eco Community (MEC) have joined forces to protest the fencing off of large stretches of beachside land by PT Sanur Dinamika Mentari (SDM) along Mertasari Beach.

MEC is complaining that the fencing off of lands undertaken by PT Sanur Dinamika Mentari was done with little warning. Made Rasna, on behalf if MEC, said: “We object to the sudden fencing off of this area, undertaken suddenly and without any explanation - either from the investor, the government or village authorities. Because no explanation has been made, we ask that any fencing work be postponed for now.”

Quoted in Bali Post, Rasna said all the occupants of the beachside land were shocked by the sudden fencing erection. He also contends that the fencing not only encompassed the land leased to the project by the government but also trespassed the entrances to shops and small restaurants, making it impossible for those affected to carry on their business.

Rasna said the erection of the fences took place after a letter was issued by the office of the village of Sanur dated May 7, 2012, calling for the lands to be vacated. The sudden, forced closure of the local small businesses was made all the more bitter following extensive lobbying efforts with the government to seek a compromise that would allow the local traders to continue to operate their businesses.

Rasna argued that Ketut Sarma, the representative of SDM, had once promised compensation to the local traders and a separate area that would allow the vendors to stay in business. Rasna complained that Sarma had not kept his promise and 62 traders are suddenly without a source of income.

As reported by Balidiscovery.com in March 2011, the land owned by the province has long been problematic. In 1995, the then governor or Bali, Ida Bagus Oka, granted a 30-year lease to Daniel Atmaja of PT SDM on the 3-hectare plot. That license from the government reportedly carried the stipulation that if PT SDM failed to complete the project within five years, the contract with the province would become null and void and the use of the land would revert to the province.

Other critics of the project contend that the areas of business listed on the letters of incorporation for PT SDM indicated that company’s allowed areas of business activities were limited to the sale of chemical equipment and medicines with no mention of tourism activities.

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