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Are the Balinese an Endangered Cultural Species?

Bali Politician and Community Leader Bemoans the Increasing Marginalization of the Balinese in their Homeland

(2/17/2012) Beritabali.com quotes the founder of the Forum to Fight for the Rights of Bali (Forum Perjuangan Hak Bali – FPHB) and a member of Bali’s House of Representatives, Nyoman Dhamantra, as complaining that the native Balinese are becoming increasingly marginalized on their own island.

“The Balinese have small hopes (for the future). The investment in Bali has caused the marginalization of the Balinese. Investment has not allowed the Balinese to become masters on their own island. Because of this, investment that marginalizes the Balinese must be stopped,” said Dhamantra.

Dhamantra said the increasing marginalization of his people is also due to the low competitive capacity of the Balinese.

“In this condition, the most commonly blamed ‘black sheep’ are Bali’s new residents. In fact, this is the failure of the government to safeguard the existence of its local citizens. The government has poor urban management,” complained Dhamantra.

“The government should enhance the competitive position of the Balinese. Issues of prioritizing local content needs serious attention. The high costs associated with Balinese culture must be reduced so the people can be more competitive. If incomes remain stable, but the cost burden of culture increases, how can they (the Balinese) be competitive?” he asked.

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