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Nusa Penida Villagers Attack Quicksilver

Day Cruise Operator Suffers Damage to Pontoon and Submersible Vessel.

(10/28/2002) Disgruntled over what they viewed as a lack of sufficient jobs filled by locals, a group of about 40 villagers from Toya Pakeh village on Nusa Penida Island attacked the docking pontoon of Quicksilver Cruises on Monday, October 21, 2002.

According to executives of the cruise company quoted in the Indonesian language Bali Post, the Monday attack damaged dressing rooms on the pontoon and a banana boat and followed similar attacks 3 days before resulting in a fire on the companies sub-sea vessel.

During a dialog between the villagers of Toya Pakeh and the managers of Quicksilver, village chiefs demanded that 80% of the jobs generated by the day cruise operation be exclusively reserved for local residents of the small island visited by the boat and that a local "donation" to the village cooperative paid by the company be increased 50%.

While readily agreeing to increase the size of their donation, the Cruise Company insists the 80% employment figure is impossible for them to fulfill citing job and technical qualifications for many of the positions required by the sea-tourism operator and the fact that many of the positions in question are controlled by company sub-contractors.

Following the recent spat of attacks by the villagers, the dialog with village elders have ended and the owning company of Quicksilver have requested police protection in the face of mounting threats and increasingly violent actions by local villagers on Nusa Penida Island.

According to press reports, no arrests have yet been made by the authorities in connection with the mob attacks on the property of the cruise operator.