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Governor Pastika Orders Bupati to Play by the Rules

Karangasem Regent Gerebeg Ordered to Revoke Local law Allowing Building of Chateau de Bali Project at Padang Bai.

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The Bupati of Karangasem, I Wayan Gerebeg, has received a third formal written order dated January 28, 2009, from the governor demanding that he withdraw regional law Number 1 of 2008 that altered the legal status of a block of land at Bukit Mimba at Padang Bai to allow the construction of a new resort. The latest order from Governor Made Mangku Pastika mirrors two previous orders sent by Bali's previous governor Dewa Made Beratha.

A copy of the governor's letter was obtained by reporters from the Bali Post on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, with copies of the document sent to the Chairman of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), the Chairman of Karangasem Planning Commission (Bappeda) and the Chairman of the Karangasem House of Representatives (DPRD-Karangasem). The essence of that letter said that while the governor supports efforts to change the status of the Candidasa Tourism Zone, which includes Padang Bai, any change must follow established protocols. Those protocols require the recommendation for any such change be issued first by the governor. Because these procedures were not followed, the Regent's law that allowed the project is without legal basis and must be withdrawn.

The regent of Karangasem, via his official spokesperson, told the press that the governor's order is being taken under advisement.

At the center of the controversy is the Chateau de Bali (CDB) Project standing in a half-completed state at Padang Bai in close proximity to local religious sites on a no-build "green zone." The development of the project has arrested, presumably due to the current international financial crisis and its failure to obtain all the required zoning permits.

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