Ten years ago today I was deeply immersed in the impact of the tragedy of the first Bali bombings of 12 October, 2002.
Prior to this Bali had been a place of peace for me.
This was a life changing event for me. For several years I grieved quite openly for those who had suffered or paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving up their lives in this tragic act of terrorism. I learned much about suffering and much about myself.
Yesterday I was given the chance to reflect in an interview with Scott Levi
You can listen to this interview online, or download it, here
Some recent comment on the bombings 10 years on
On Friday 12 October hundreds of survivors and their families gathered in Bali to remember the tragedy. The ABC’s Lateline program provided some coverage
The Australian press ran hot with reflections and commemorations. The Bali Bombings 10 Years On – Newsline – ABC News provided a succinct account of the tragedy and some useful analysis of the security situation in Indonesia.
I thought also that Waleed Aly’s piece in The Monthly, In it together: Australia and Indonesia since the Bali bombings, shed an interesting light on subsequent Australia and Indonesia relations.
In a story entitled Bali residents recall Horror of Bombs the Jakarta Globe reminded us that “Worshipers at the Ar-Rahmat mosque in the Indonesian town of Kuta, Bali have prayed every night for the past 10 years for the victims of bombs that blew up in their tourist town on Bali island in 2002.”
The ABC presented a radio program on the way the Indonesian press been covering the 10th anniversary of the bombings and its differences from Australian media coverage – The Bali Bombings an Indonesian Perspective – Media Report – ABC.
How I’ve travelled
The first three years were the hardest for me. I was quite self absorbed and introspective. Initially I felt great emotion that sometimes could erupt into moments of unreasonableness, impatience and even anger. Gradually these intense feelings subsided. It took me seven years to prepare for a return to Indonesia. In the interim I made many visits to Coogee the place of my childhood and the site of Sydney’s commemorative monuments to those killed by the blast.
When I eventually arrived in Bali I waited for a few days in Ubud, re-engaging with old friends and gaining a sense of Bali seven years on. Finally I made my way to Sanglah Hospital where I read the prayers for the departed, then to the bomb site to read them again. I returned again the following year and spent time at the site in prayer. This year I returned with members of the Indonesian Orthodox Church and friends from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. We held a Commemorative service for the Departed at the bombing memorial, in Kuta. (I’ll post some images of this shortly – watch this space)
At this sad time I remember the suffering of many and I grieve with those who have lost loved ones or who were maimed. I continue to pray for those who departed this world as a consequence of this dreadful act of violence.