Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bali Bombers Party?

Nothing speaks more clearly about how screwed up Indonesia is than this. Westerners take note.

Bali bomber's party outrages victims

BALI bombing survivors are outraged that the man who planned the attacks five years ago was temporarily released from prison to party with Indonesia's anti-terror chief.

Indonesia's Brig-Gen Surya Dharma hosted an unguarded party for 20 hard-liners and former terrorists at his house last month.

Among them was Mubarok who is serving a life sentence for his involvement in the planning and carrying out of the 2002 Bali bombings.

Brig-Gen Dharma put on a feast of kebabs for those who had displayed a commitment to help authorities and shown "regret" for their actions.

The feast was timed to break the fast Muslims impose upon themselves during the holy month of Ramadan.

The party is in line with the Indonesian Government's new "soft" approach of building up a web of paid informants and former militants working to persuade hard-liners to change sides and reject terrorism.

"We approach the terrorists with a pure heart," Brig-Gen Dharma said.

"We are all Muslims. We make them our brothers, not our enemy."

But Melbourne survivor Shelley Campbell, 30, who lost friends Belinda Allen and Amber O'Donnell in the Sari club blast said it was "insane". "I find it offensive," Ms Campbell said.

"I just don't understand how they can be let out to have a party with food and laughs when half the world will be mourning today for the 202 people who died. But that's OK to let these guys party. Are they insane?"

Ms Campbell said the outing was a disgrace and a feeble excuse for reformation.

"So they think if they treat the Bali bombers nicely they're going to turn into nice people do they?" she said.

"It's highly unlikely that those people are going to turn into nice people and work for the greater good.

"I find it ridiculous.

"They let them out without being guarded . . . you may as well let them go then. It's appalling."

Former AFL hardman Mick Martyn, who was injured in the Bali bombings, said discovering former terrorists were at a party was a slap in the face for survivors and victims' families.

"It's sending an example that it's fine to go and kill people," he said.

The dual Kangaroos premiership player said he was unhappy with the way Indonesia handled its criminals, but accepted things worked differently over there.

"The way the judicial system works over there and the way they're all being pardoned from the death sentence is typical of the Indonesian Government," he said.

Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities say their fresh approach is working, yielding intelligence from reformed militants and helping them convert others headed down the path towards extremism.

Ali Imron -- another former militant serving life for the Bali bombings who says he's turned his back on terrorism -- believes he is doing the right thing.