Bandit Island after all? (Bali Post, 22 October 2009)

On 21 October last, the Provincial Head of Police, Police Inspector General Sutisna, set foot on Nusa Penida for the first time, albeit only for a few hours. Together with the Head of Denpasar City Police (Kapoltabes) and police representatives at Sub-district level of Nusa Penida (Kapolsektif) he took a closer look at the arid conditions of the island, and he also saw more of the island's beauty renowned for its beach areas.

sampalan harbour 01

He addressed a number of officials at the Wantilan (open hall outside of the temple) of Pura Penataran Ped: prominent figures representing the people of Nusa Penida, village heads, heads of UPT, a group of seaweed farmers and fishermen. He and his entourage came to this temple not only to express joy after setting foot on Nusa Penida and to pray, but he had a rather grim message to convey as well.

In his speech he underlined that the threat of terrorists seeking refuge on Nusa Penida is imminent. Given the fact that the many smaller vessels operating between mainland Bali and the island still are traditional (and cannot be checked regularly by security forces?), he warned that there is a real chance that terrorists might choose Nusa Penida as a safe haven to find shelter, especially in the remote interior far from the local population. Therefore, he urged all Nusa Penidians to be watchful and keep a close look at who enters the island. Nusa Penida must not become a hiding place for terrorists.

What exactly prompted Sutisna to express these concerns is not clear. Nor did he say if bandits had already been identified. As of 2006, a regular ferry connection has been in service between Padangbai on mainland Bali and the harbour of Buyut at Sampalan (Nusa Penida).

Source

  • "Waspadai, Nusa Penida Jadi Sarang Persembunyian Teroris", by "kmb20″ in the Bali Post, Thursday 22 October 2009

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