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Asphalt Jungle

Following Civil Unrest in Baliís Capital, Governor Wants Mass Organizations Registered and Controlled

(10/18/2013) Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has called on a number of mass organizations operating in Bali to be registered in order that the government can know their leadership and can help guide these groups.

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Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the Governor said: “The government cannot disband organizations that make mistakes if those organizations are not formally registered with the Political Solidarity Bureau (Kesbangpol). How can we disband them is they aren’t registered?”

The Governor’s comments come after two Denpasar groups – Baladika and Laskar Bali participated in street fights on Monday, October 14, 2013, on Jalan Mahendradatta. The Governor said the two groups involved in public unrest are not registered with Kesbangpol.

Referring to the violent outbursts in downtown Denpasar, Pastika added: “If these people embraced the principle of brotherhood (persaudaraan), the this incident would not have happened.”

Pastika took the opportunity to express his appreciation for the peaceful steps initiated between the two organizations following a facilitation processes initiated by Bali Chief of Police and leaders of the community, while at the same time insisting legal steps must be taken in relation to the recent unrest.

“Because of this I wish to remind that violent acts cannot be tolerated. If damage is done and injuries inflicted, then there must be a legal response,” said Pastika.

The governor acknowledged that freedom of association is guaranteed by the 1945 Indonesian Constitution, which means that the government cannot outlaw mass organizations providing these groups are peaceful and do not involve themselves in open conflict.

Baladika and Laskar Bali reached a peace agreement on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, after one participant in street violence suffered a serious stab wound the day before.

The “peace agreement” was signed by the head of Laksar Bali and Baladika, witnessed by I Gusti Nguruah Jayanegara on behalf of the City of Denpasar and the chief of the Denpasar Police Precinct Djoko Hariutomo.

Also attending the signing were the military commander of Military District 1611/Badung Lt. Col. I Made Kusuma, Col. Anton Nguroho of the 1633/Wirasatya Military Command and Bali’s Police Chief General Albertus Julius Benny Mokal.

The Bali Chief of Police said the root cause of the recent violent conflict between the two groups was a personal problem and a simple misunderstanding.

He warned both groups that if future conflict erupts the Bali police would enforce the letter of the law.

It remains unclear if any prosecutions will result for the most resent outbreak of violence that caused property damage, resulted in injuries and disrupted a large area of downtown Bali.