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Minister: Considered Approach in Travel Bans

Ardika: Fight Terrorism Not Indonesia.

(10/21/2002) Speaking at a meeting of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in Surakarta, Central Java, the week after the tragic bomb blast in Bali, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Gede Ardika has called for a considered approach by foreign powers in issuing their travel bans and warnings pertaining to the country.

Reminding the world that Bali and Indonesia were also victims of the terrorist attacks and that the goal of the perpetrators was economic disruption, the Minister suggested one of the means to fight the threat of terrorism is to support his efforts to rebuild tourism in the wake of the attack.

Minister Ardika said, "we ask for the understanding and assistance of the world to come to the aid of the Balinese people who love and cherish peace. It makes no sense to isolate them (the people of Bali). If we compare, when the WTC was attacked no one issued a travel ban on the U.S.A., did they?"