Bali sends peaceful message to the world

Governor Made Mangku Pastika has strongly urged all the Balinese to shed their feelings of anger, sadness and revenge brought about by the inhumane terrorist attacks in Legian, Kuta, that claimed 202 lives 10 years ago on Oct. 12, 2002. “The Balinese people, survivors of the Bali Bombing and their families have been going through an extremely difficult period following the tragedy. Pain and anger still linger in many people’s hearts and minds. But don’t let these feelings stop us from starting a new and peaceful life,” the governor told thousands in an audience gathered at an event entitled “Gema Perdamaian (Echo of Peace)”, at Bajra Sandhi Monument in Renon on Saturday afternoon.

Governor Pastika, who at that time led the multi-national investigation into the bombings, remembered vividly that the terrorists had completely failed to sow hatred in the multi-cultural Indonesian people, especially the Balinese. “They also failed to disturb the relations between Indonesia and other countries, especially Australia. The relations between both countries are even closer than before,” Pastika said. Soon after the bombings, Pastika recalled, leaders of the communities and inter-faith groups worked hand-in-hand to unite against the terrorists and to calm down the angry people. “Balinese people are religious and tolerant people.

We live in harmony among people of diverse religious backgrounds. These terrorists did not count on these facts,” the governor continued. Separately, John Howard, former prime minister of Australia, also stated in Australian newspaper The Age that: “This evil attack would bring a closer relationship between Australia and Indonesia, taking it to a level of intimacy not previously experienced. “There would emerge the interfaith dialogue, which brought together representatives of Christian denominations, the Jewish faith, Buddhism and, of course, Islam, united by a common abhorrence of terrorism and based on the peaceful nostrums of all of those religions.”

Howard was the Australian prime minister when the first Bali Bombing occurred. He immediately flew to Bali to be with the Indonesian government, survivors and families of the 88 Australian victims. “Ten years on we remember with sadness the great loss of so many Australians; we thank the Indonesian authorities for their cooperation in bringing to justice those responsible, and we renew our commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms. Finally, and importantly, we should calmly note that far from this terrible act driving a wedge between Australia and Indonesia, it had the opposite effect. The perpetrators had wanted to sow greater hatred.

In that they failed.” Early last week, Howard also hosted a fundraising event in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, to help Sanglah Hospital in Bali. “We are very grateful to have had such huge support from the Australian government and its generous people to help us survive after the tragedy,” said Pastika, who was scheduled to attend the fundraising event but had to cancel for health reasons. Acarya Arita Wibawa, chairman of the organizing committee, said that Gema Perdamaian was held to remind people that Bali is a peaceful place. “It is the responsibility of all people in Bali, and elsewhere in the world, to instill peace and harmony.“

source : bali daily





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