Security on the resort island of Bali has been heightened for the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in Nusa Dua. Police personnel were deployed to safeguard public places and other locations, including government offices and consulate general offices. Tight security is also being implemented at the island’s main entry points, such as Ngurah Rai International Airport in Tuban, Benoa Port, Gilimanuk (West Bali) and Padangbai (East Bali) ferry ports, as well as traditional fishing ports along the island’s coastline.
As rallies are being held by a large variety of parties during the WTO meeting, the police have decided to concentrate all of them in the Denpasar area. “We are only allowing rallies to be held around Denpasar. We don’t want them entering Nusa Dua. We have also deployed our personnel to Nusa Dua to anticipate any possible problems,” Denpasar Police chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Djoko Hariutomo told journalists Wednesday. However, Djoko assured: “We will safeguard all activities by those against or supporting the WTO meeting,” adding that the Denpasar Police had deployed 425 personnel specifically to safeguard rallies around Denpasar.
Djoko added that police had also heightened security at all consulate general offices on the island by deployed extra security officers. “We are elevating routine security standards to special security operations. If in the routine procedure we deployed only two personnel, now we will deploy 10 at each office,” Djoko said. Djoko admitted that police had especially tightened security at the US consulate general building on Jl. Hayam Wuruk and the Australian consulate general building on Jl. Tantular, both in Renon.
“We can always increase the number of police there, as needed, depending on the situation.” Separately, the Badung Military District commander Lt. Col. I Made Kusuma explained that the military were backing up the police to safeguard the province during the WTO summit. “We are cooperating with the police to do our best to safeguard Bali,” he said. Several rallies have been staged by various parties during the WTO ministerial meeting. On Tuesday morning, activists from Gerak Lawan voiced their opposition to the global trade organization by cycling around Puputan Margarana, a vast field that lies in the heart of the administrative district in Renon.
On the same day, scores of students Grouped under Youth Solidarity Festival, organized a rally with a similar message in front of the tightly guarded US consulate general office. Numerous NGOs — under the Gerak Lawan and the Social Movements for an Alternative Asia alliance — also held a public discussion at the Yuwana Mandala sports hall in Denpasar on Monday, during which they called for the dissolution of the WTO. On Wednesday, the alliance marched around Renon Park demanding the conference be terminated. A rally was also held by student alliances.
source : bali daily