Peace Park Plan Still On Despite ‘Club Construction,’ Says Group
An announcement previously erected by the authorities at the Sari Club site says a peace park and museum will be built on the land, whose owner is requested to contact local officials.
LEGIAN ~ The organisers of a peace park on the site of the Sari Club, which was bombed in 2002, is going ahead and has the “strong support” of the Bali authorities, the group behind the initiative told The Bali Times this week.
Construction on the site began last week of what a foreman said would be a bar, restaurant and nightclub, in a story reported in The Bali Times and picked up by Australian media. Eighty-eight Australians died in the October 2002 blasts, the most of any nation.
The Bali Peace Park Association, based in Perth, has been hoping to build a peace park on the site, and its founder, Dallas Finn, said last week that purchase of the land was being negotiated with its owner, a businessman based in Jakarta.
However, the association said in a statement sent to The Bali Times on Tuesday that Finn had been expelled from the group.
“Dallas Finn is no longer a member of the association and does not represent it. He was expelled previously because of repeated activities during the past eight months which were not authorised by the association,” the statement said.
Reached by The Bali Times on Wednesday morning, Finn said that he had only been notified of his expulsion the day before, by email. Finn, who was on a trip to Bali and was due to return to Australia on Saturday, said he would be exploring the reasons for his dismissal upon his return.
“I will be speaking to my lawyers when I get back,” he said.
Asked for any possible reasons for being expelled from the association, he said: “I have taken a stand on a number of issues, cultural and political.” He declined to elaborate.
Meanwhile, the association said it was hopeful the peace park could go ahead.
“The Bali Peace Park Association remains committed to the project and positive about its success. Information from meetings with the governor of Bali, Made Pastika, the bupati of the Badung Regency, AA Gede Agung, and local government representatives has indicated the authorities’ strong support.
“To this end, the government placed a sign on the property early this year (pictured) stating that a museum and peace park would be built on the former Sari Club Site,” the statement said.
The association declined to comment directly on the new construction work at the bombed site.
“We are purely campaigning to have the site developed as a Peace Park and are not involved in discussions regarding other proposed developments,” secretary Rebecca Britten told The Bali Times separately.
“We remain committed to the project and are confident of its success,” she said.
[Editorial, Pg 8: No Respect]Filed under: Headlines