Bali attacks remembered, 10 years on
Survivors, relatives and heads of state at memorial service
The Indonesian government held a ceremony today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings that killed 202 people. About 1,000 survivors and family members of those killed came from around Indonesia as well as Australia and Japan to take part in the ceremony. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former premier John Howard both attended. “This remembrance is a valuable opportunity to renew and reiterate our collective commitment to strengthen the voice of moderation, tolerance and mutual understanding among different communities,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty M. Natalegawa said. Natalegawa said that the terrorists sought not only to kill and maim but also to destroy the core values of freedom, tolerance and compassion and to sow discord and divisions. “Their attack was nothing less than an assault on humanity. In all these, they have utterly failed,” he said. The terrorist attack on October 12, 2002, took place in the popular tourist area of Kuta, on the island of Bali. Members of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamist group, were convicted, including three people who were later executed. The attack included a suicide bomber and a car bomb, which were both detonated in or near nightclubs, and another small explosion near the US consulate. An audio recording, allegedly by Osama bin Laden, said that the attacks were in retaliation for Indonesia's support for the US-led war on terror and for Australia's actions in Timor Leste. Yesterday's ceremony, at a large cultural park in Jimbaran, was held under tight security following an alert announcing a “credible” terror threat to the island.