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Time to Kiss and Make Up?

Governor Pastika Signals Readiness to End War with Bali Post

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Made Mangku Pastika, Bali Post, desa pakraman, traditional villages, legal suit, freedom of the press, defamation
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(8/12/2012) reports that Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika is ready to end his ongoing conflict with the island’s largest daily paper Bali Post, saying his door is open to accept an apology from the publication.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012,  as a further sign of his desire for reconciliation, Pastika said that the newspaper does not need to meet him directly to offer its apology.

Pastika said the problem of his polemic with the Bali Post was now a matter of the past. Nonetheless, the governor said it was time for the Bali Post to also demonstrate its desire to put the conflict at an end by withdrawing its legal appeal of the Court’s decision that declared the governor victorious in his defamation claim against the paper.

“I have forgiven them. But, don't appeal (the Court’s ruling). Because, if they (The Bali Post) appeal, the legal matter will continue. Legal teams will become involved again. If forgiveness has been granted, then let the matter end there. Everything (can be considered) finished.” said the governor.

Pastika said there are many more pressing issues that need to be addressed than continuing his conflict with the Bali Post. “Many of Bali’s assets are under legal threat. Some are being claimed in legal proceedings where there are unclear issues. We are weary of trying to address all these matters. It would better if these things were taken care of,” explained the governor.

The governor's conflict with the Bali Post originates from a report in the paper with the title “After Battles in Kemoning-Budaga, Governor Declares: Just Dismantle the Traditional Villages.” Pastika denied ever making a call for the dismantling of all traditional villages (Desa Pakraman), suggesting that this solution was put forth for only two warring villages unable to peaceably resolve their differences. The governor felt the Bali Post report was inaccurate prompting him to eventually seek a legal resolution of his published misrepresentation.

The Bali Post continues to claim the news was accurately presented.

The Bali District Court recently ruled in favor of the governor, granting him damages of Rp. 170 million (US$18,280) and requiring the Bali Post to publish full page apologies for six consecutive days in The Bali Post and a number of other major newspapers.

The Bali Post has filed a formal appeal of the court’s ruling.

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