We’ll Build Our Peace Park, Say Aussies
LEGIAN ~ The Australian-based Bali Peace Park Association, which has been trying for years to turn the site of the Sari Club in Legian into a memorial to 2002 bomb victims, said this week it was confident it could establish a peace park there by late next year.
Spokesman Phil Britten, speaking from Perth, told The Bali Times the association believed plans by Bali businessman Kadek Wiranatha to build another restaurant-bar complex on the site were inappropriate and an insult to the local and international community.
“We would hope that given the moves that are happening within Bali and Australia that the land will be rezoned to be developed into a peace park as the Bali government wishes,” he said.
“Contrary to claims, the association is well organised as we negotiate what is a significant development between international gover-nments and communities.
“If not for earlier ad hoc actions and the failure to establish a proper legal structure recognised by governments, I am sure the project would have prog-ressed further and more quickly.
“Now we have a strong organisation with sound legal backing and we are in communication with both the Australian government and the various local authorities in Bali.
“Everyone who deals with the Association and this project can have confidence it has strong backing from governments and community members in both countries. Given this, we stand by our aim to establish the peace park by late 2010.”
Key to the association’s fundraising prospects in Australia is tax exemption for donations. It has applied for exemption.
A spokesman for Australian treasurer (finance minister) Wayne Swan told The Bali Times:
“Obviously this project is one that is very close to the hearts of the Australian and Balinese people, particularly those who have lost loved ones. The government is working through the issues relating to this application and an outcome is expected soon.”
Wiranatha bought a 30-year on the site from its Jakarta owner in February this year and in August announced his redev-elopment plans for the land – saying he didn’t care what anyone thought of them. His leading opponents on the building plan include both the Badung regent AA Gede Agung and Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika.
The Sari site is now home to a car park and an informal warung serving local food.Filed under: Headlines