Mass Sunday protests in Bali cause absolute gridlock


Protestors from more than 20 villages from across Bali have “apologized in advance” for certain disruptions at entrances to Bali’s airport on Sunday, March 20, 2016, the result when thousands will congregate at the Ngurah Rai roundabout at Tuban and the airport entrance to the Bali Mandara toll.

These are the words of John Daniels of Bali Discovery Tours on his Facebook post today.

Sunday’s protest will be a repeat of protests held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, when thousands of Balinese protestors wearing traditional dress effectively closed all three entrances and exits to the toll road for hours.

Clearly there is growing anger among the Balinese who are unified in great numbers against the redevelopment of Benoa Bay by businessman Tommy Winata and the reluctance of the President, Governor,

Parliamentarians and political parties to speak out in support of what is a historically unparalleled “peoples’ movement” opposed to the plans to eradicate once-protected mangrove forests and encroach on areas deemed sacred by Balinese-Hindus in Benoa Bay.

The announcement of the plan to close access to both the airport and the toll road does not apparently mention a beginning and ending time for Sunday’s protest.

Anyone arriving or leaving on a Sunday flight or planning to travel between Nusa Dua and Kuta should take heed and be prepared for absolute grid lock that may go on for hours.

Police are largely powerless to prevent or close down the promised protests. The political fallout of uniformed officials in open physical altercations with Balinese men wearing traditional dress would almost certainly galvanise the current situation and likely precipitate a new phase of open physical conflict in the continuing reclamation polemic.