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At a Loss for Words

Dispute with Baturiti Village Closes Joger Outlet in North Central Bali

(3/17/2013) Joger - Bali’s famous “factory of words” – a company known internationally for its creative range of Balinese souvenirs and unique t-shirts bearing clever slogans and sayings, has closed its branch at Baturiti in north central Bali.

The popular stop for tourists traveling to and from Bedugul has closed as a result of an ongoing dispute with local villagers who demanded “contributions” paid by the retail outlet should suddenly be doubled.

The District Head at Baturiti, Putu Adi Supraja, quoted in The Bali Post, stated his disappointment with the closure that he blamed on a simple misunderstanding. Supraja pledged on March 14, 2013, that he would take immediate steps to put an end to the polemic between the well-known Bali business and the local community.

Supraja said there are 32 companies operating in his area, but only Joger has refused to accept a request for an increase in contribution to be paid to the surrounding village.

News reports state that the Joger outlet in Baturiti closed its doors on Monday. March 11, 2013, saying they felt they no longer had a meaningful contribution to make to the local community. The closure came after a continuing disagreement with the local banjar.

Underlining Joger’s displeasure and intent to no longer have a presence in Baturiti, the signboard in front of their shop was concealed beneath a white sheet installed by the company.

According to a member of the Joger family, the company was prepared to voluntarily close their outlet because they felt they no longer made a meaningful contribution to the local community. The closure is linked to the request for regular contributions made by the store by the surrounding banjar wanting to increase by 100%, increasing from the value of one sack of rice to two.

Meanwhile, the banjar chief is defending the request, saying the contribution requested (US$150 a month equal to two sack of rice) is reasonable and reflects the higher cost of ceremonies conducted by the banjar.