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Megawati makes surprise visit to Bali bombsite KUTA - Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, under fire for what is seen as a passive response to the Bali bomb attack, made a surprise visit to the resort island on Tuesday. "The president is in Bali now. She will visit the Legian area," palace official Garibaldi Sudjatmiko told Reuters by telephone, referring to the tourist strip where bomb blasts on October 12 killed more than 180 people, most of them young foreigners.
Sudjatmiko said aside from visiting the bombsite, Megawati would meet local officials before returning to Jakarta. She made the unannounced stop in Bali after attending a summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Mexico. Since the Bali blasts, Megawati has said little about the attack, or how she plans to tackle the militant threat in the world's most populous Muslim nation, leaving most of the talking to senior officials.
Indonesian newspapers have carried regular reports quoting politicians and analysts critical of the taciturn leader's handling of the Bali bomb crisis as international pressure bears down on Jakarta to take decisive action. Megawati did visit the bombsite the day after the explosions ripped the heart out of the fabled tourist isle, and also went to the hospital where many foreign and Indonesian wounded were being treated, but said nothing to the media at the time.
All that has raised questions about whether Megawati is up to the political challenge of her life. However, the government has taken some steps, such as issuing an anti-terror decree that makes it easier to hold suspected terrorists and prosecute them. Police are expected to release sketches, possibly on Tuesday, of three men of Indonesian appearance whom they have said were suspected of being the perpetrators of the Bali blasts.



Posted in Terrorism @ 29 October 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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