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Balinese band cancels WWF gig in protest over attack on People's Water Forum

Detik Bali - May 22, 2024

I Wayan Sui Suadnyana, Denpasar – The Balinese music group Navicula has cancelled a planned performance at the Water Vaganza event, part of the 10th World Water Forum (WWF) being held in Bali, over the intimidation and forced closure of the People's Water Forum (PWF).

"We decided to cancel playing at the Vaganza Water event scheduled as part of the World Water Forum", said Navicula vocalist and guitarist I Gede Robi Supriyanto in a video uploaded on the @Naviculamusic Instagram account on Wednesday evening, May 22.

In the video, Supriyanto said that Navicula was to have performed at the Water Vaganza on Friday May 28. They decided however to cancel the gig as a form of solidarity with observers, academics and water rights activists whose discussion and activities were obstructed and forcibly closed down.

"This is purely a form of our solidarity. I hope there are no more closures of events or any other forms of discussion that are intellectual and academic. These (kind of discussions) should be stimulated and all forms of dissolution or silencing of democracy in our opinion violates the law", he asserted.

According to Supriyanto, international activities that discuss vital things such as water should involve more public participation in making decisions. Public participation is important to determine the future of water use in Bali, Indonesia and the world.

"May it be, our hope is that Bali will have the opportunity to talk about water so that it can be realised according to the mandate of the law, namely the earth, water and natural wealth contained within in it is controlled in the sense of it being maintained and cared for by the state and used as much as possible for welfare and prosperity of the ordinary people", explained Supriyanto.

Earlier, an ormas (social or mass organisation) called the Nusantara Garuda Patriots (PGN) closed down a PWF discussion at the Oranjje Hotel in Denpasar city. The PGN committed verbal and physical violence against the discussion participants.

One of the PGN organizers, Pariyadi, argued that the PWF was closed down based on a regulation by the Bali governor (Pergub). "The governor's regulation prohibits activities like this. We the Nusantara Garuda Patriots oppose there being [such] activities and it wasn't' right", said Pariyadi.

Meanwhile acting Bali Governor Sang Made Mahendra Jaya asserted that there was no prohibition of the PWF discussion that was organised by the non-government organisation (NGO) Bali Pro-Democracy (Prodem).

"I very much regret this, I say we have never prohibited or restricted any of our citizens from expressing [themselves], especially in an academic forum", Mahendra said at the Bali Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in Denpasar on Wednesday.

Mahendra explicitly said that he had never issued a written or oral prohibition on community discussion activities. He even said that he did not know there was an ormas called the PGN.

"I don't know [about them], I also didn't know there was a PGN, I've never met with them face to face", he continued. (hsa/hsa)

The attack on the People's Water Forum can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3vokpDNJAg

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Navicula Batal Manggung di WWF Imbas Intimidasi Diskusi People's Water Forum".]

Source: https://www.detik.com/bali/berita/d-7353958/navicula-batal-manggung-di-wwf-imbas-intimidasi-diskusi-peoples-water-foru