TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - While the 2018 annual meeting of IMF-World Bank Groups entered its third day in Nusa Dua Bali, the parallel global civil society conference has been hassled by local venue organizers in Bali due to central government’s ban of public events in Bali during the IMF-WBG Annual meetings.
“The Radio Republik Indonesia(RRI) and Nirmala Hotel management team have cancelled our meeting venue reservation last minute. We were told that this was because our meeting is anti-IMF and against Indonesian national policy of hosting international meetings,” said Kurniawan Sabar from the organising committee for People’s Global Conference against IMF-WBG meetings(PGC).
The PGC is a civil society conference outside of the official IMF-WBG Annual Meetings in Bali to discuss the impacts of IMF-World Bank’s policies to people and communities with more than 300 Indonesian and global civil society representatives.
After six months of preparation, the conference was expected to held in October 12-14, RRI Bali auditorium but was cancelled in October 10.
“They didn’t submit the national police permit to organize the event so we cancelled the reservation,” said Edi from RRI management team in Bali.
But the organising committee of PGC blamed last minute demand of the national police permission while they have notified their event with Bali regional police recommendation letter to central police office twice for last three months.
Nirmala Hotel, the alternative venue of the PGC’s two-day meeting after RRI’s rejection of hosting also have cancelled the reservation to support IMF-WBG Annual meetings in Bali.
International participants are concerned about shrinking civic space and curving people’s rights in Bali during IMF-WBG meetings. “We feel tensed and worried about the situation. While we have our basic democratic rights of assembly and expression, we still have to respect the law of concerning country,” said Balgram from All Nepal Peasant Federation, who came to Bali to attend PGC.
The local police officer also expressed difficulties in handling the conflicting situation in Bali during the IMF-WBG Annual meetings.
“Some just want peaceful event hosting and some wants to speak up against the IMF-World Bank event. We feel difficulties in between these two opposing demands,” said Jamar, the director of Intelligence unit in Bali regional police office.