Almost 10 years to the day since the Bali bombing, the Sari Club site is barren and dirty.
Painted across two of its walls in both English and Indonesian are signs to warn off the random drunks who wander in from surrounding bars seeking relief: “This area is strictly not a public toilet - but ladies are welcome”
“It’s a bit disheartening,” survivor Phil Britten said yesterday, as he stood on the spot where seven of his friends died.
“I wish it wasn’t happening, but it is.”
Despite years of protracted negotiations by the Perth-based Bali Peace Park Association and support from both the Australian and Indonesian governments, the site seems no closer to being turned into the memorial park that survivors and relatives had spent years pushing for.
When the Peace Park project was first mooted, the hope was to have it completed in time for the tenth anniversary of the tragedy.
With just two days to go, the only recognition of the spot yesterday where many of the 202 victims died was an Australian flag which had been draped anonymously on the fence overnight, the faces of the Australian victims glued on to it.
“In the past we tried to plant trees there,” Mr Britten said. “There were beautiful banana plants but they got taken down.”
Bali Governor Made Pastika has backed the move, stating that no development except the park would be permitted on the site.
But the Indonesian owner of the site — which sits opposite the Bali bomb monument — has repeatedly refused offers to buy it, demanding up to seven times the $1 million the association believes it is worth.
Until the impasse is broken, the barren land on Kuta’s nightclub strip is being used as a makeshift carpark.
“We all want to come out with a win, however long that takes,” Mr Britten said.“As long as there’s hope, as long as there are people wanting it then we’re going to keep pushing for it. That’s all we can do.”
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.