News release
 

Bali cleanses the evil spirits of terrorism

Kuta, Bali Indonesia - December 1 - During a recent promotion tour which included stops in Bali, Sumatra and Mentawai island of Sipora surf travel adventure author Tony Garcia took part in the Tawur Balik Sumpah or Cleansing Ceremony in Bali.

The usually busy street of Jalan Legian which runs through the heart of Kuta Beach was closed down in front of the burnt out building which housed the Raja Restaurant. This was the site of one of the three terrorist bomb attacks on the island in October which took the lives 23 people including the three bombers.

The Kuta Beach traffic was brought to a standstill as the hundreds of the island's people came together to remember those who died. The ceremony was initiated to help liberate the souls of the dead and to cleanse the evil spirits which are plaguing Bali.

Offerings to the gods and animal sacrifices were made as Brahmin priests invoked incantations and puppet plays and dances were performed all in an effort alleviate the negative energy that has shattered the community's sense of harmony.

The island's tourist trade has suffered greatly in the latest terrorist attacks with hotel bookings and flights down by 30%. The island whose economy is 80% reliant on the tourist trade was just seeing a return to normality after the Sari Club bombing of November 2002 which claimed more than 200 lives.

On October 1, 2005 the first two explosions occurred at 6:50 p.m. local time, near a Jimbaran Beach warung and the third at 7:00 p.m. in Kuta Square at the Raja restaurant.

The coordinated attacks were carried out by at least three suicide bombers. The backpack bombs used in the attack appear to have differed from 2002 Sari Club blasts in that most deaths and injuries were caused by shrapnel, rather than chemical explosion.

The bombings occurred just days before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and 11 days before the third anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombing. The attack coincided with Australian school holidays and it was estimated that some 7,500 Australians were vacationing in Bali.

The bombs blasts have shattered many lives, not only those of the victims and their relations, but of ordinary Balinese who are  suffering  economic as well as the psychological hardship due to the cruel acts fueled by of religious intolerance.

The publishers of the surf travel adventure books Tracks of Tiger: G-land & Bali, Indonesia, Ollie's Point: Witches Rock & Tamarindo, Costa Rica and Sword of the Prophet:  Anchor Point & Taghazoute, Morocco wish the Balinese people a speedy economic recovery and a return to its rightful harmony with the universe.

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