Military in Bali to clamp down on unauthorized traditional ceremonies during PPKM

Bali Governor and Deputy Governor attending an authorized traditional ceremony in Bali, where such activities are commonplace and important for the local residents. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
Bali Governor and Deputy Governor attending an authorized traditional ceremony in Bali, where such activities are commonplace and important for the local residents. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

Authorities in Bali say they are ready to step in should they find unauthorized ceremonies taking place on the island, in accordance with existing COVID-19 restrictions limiting such activities. 

“As long as there is no cure for COVID-19, the task of the Indonesian Military (TNI) is to enforce discipline of health protocols,” Made Alit Yudana, who heads the Military District Command in Badung regency, said today.

“We will sanction [them]. There’s monitoring by the traditional village, and non-commissioned TNI officers (Babinsa) and public order officers (Bhabinkamtibmas). If people don’t report their activities, we will reprimand and act on it. Right now there are no such reports,” Made said. 

Religious and traditional ceremonies in Bali are still permitted under the current tiered Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM), though an official circular says participants must be limited and such events have to be authorized by the local COVID-19 Task Force. 

Following a two-month long spike in coronavirus cases, Bali is currently seeing a gradual decline. Though daily cases peaked at over 1,900 in mid-August, they have been reduced to the hundreds this past week. At the national level, however, the province still has the most COVID-19 “red zones.”

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