The owner of the  Sari Club site held a cleansing ceremony. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
The owner of the Sari Club site held a cleansing ceremony. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Row over Sari Club bombing site compo

A MEETING aimed at breaking an impasse over the fate of the Sari Club site in Bali has broken up with no resolution.

Bali Peace Park Association chairman David Napoli emerged from the lengthy meeting late on Monday, saying he was not optimistic of a resolution just yet.

The site's owners have offered to sell 700 square metres of their 1500 square metre block to the peace park for $4.9 million.

However, they also want compensation for lost business opportunities given they would be shelving plans for a five-storey restaurant complex on the site.

This it seems is a sticking point and the site's owners are keen to begin construction if no deal is reached this week.

 

The owner of the  Sari Club site held a cleansing ceremony at the scene of the Bali bombings. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
The owner of the Sari Club site held a cleansing ceremony at the scene of the Bali bombings. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Bali Peace Park Association chairman David Napoli said the owners of the Sari Club are seeking between $5-10million in compensation in addition to $4.9 million for the land.

He said duing the meeting, after agreeing on a price for the land, the owners then requested a compensation package.

"Then they hit us for a compensation package for potential income foregone and expenses incurred already," Mr Napoli said.

"I made the point really strongly that we are interested in buying the land, not as a potential income source and if anyone should compensate them for the past expenses it should be the Bali authorities," he said.

Negotiations are now at a stalemate with the owners saying they will begin construction on May 9 if there is no agreement.

"It was a long meeting and we don't have a resolution yet. I am hoping that we will but I am not confident," Mr Napoli said. "I am not optimistic."

Mr Napoli would not discuss details of the sale price of the land, saying it was a commercial arrangement.

"We have gone a long way to meet their needs and (we are ) disappointed that it was not completed."

The land owners left the meeting without comment.

Badung Tourism Authority chief, Made Badra, who was also at the meeting, said 700 square metres of the land was being offered to the Bali Peace Park Association for 7 Billion Rupiah or about $700,000 per square metre, making the total amount $4.9 million.

Mr Badra said the parties needed to meet further to discuss the compensation sought by the owners.

The site housed the Sari Club, which was hit by the Bali bombers in 2002. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro)
The site housed the Sari Club, which was hit by the Bali bombers in 2002. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro)

Australia's Consul General to Bali Dr Helena Studdert was also at the meeting but she did not comment.

The 1500-square metre site, which housed the Sari Club, was hit by terrorist bombings in 2002, killing 200 innocent people, 88 of them Australians.

Since then the site has sat vacant, used as a car park and with a small warung or coffee shop on it, as wrangling continued over its future.

The Australian-based Bali Peace Park Association was set up in the aftermath of the bombings with the aim of raising money to build a peace park and lasting memorial to those who lost their lives 17 years ago.

But there has never been any agreement with the site owners to buy the land and only recently the local Government granted them a permit to build a five-storey restaurant complex on the site, with a museum at the top.

News that construction was about to start was slammed by victims and families of those killed in the bombings and, stung by criticism, the local authority put a temporary halt to the construction which was due to begin last week.

The stop was aimed at allowing further meetings between all parties in a bid to reach a resolution.

It is understood more meetings are now planned as there is no agreement yet about the amount of compensation.

News that construction was about to start was slammed by victims and families of those killed in the Bali bombings. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
News that construction was about to start was slammed by victims and families of those killed in the Bali bombings. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro