- Title: INDONESIA: Bali pauses for prayer as hunt for bombers widens
- Date: 5th October 2005
- Summary: MORE OF PRAYERS (2 SHOTS) PULL FOCUS FROM INCENSE BURNING TO MAN PRAYING MORE OF HOLY WATER GIVEN TO FAMILY MEMBERS (2 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 20th October 2005 13:00
- Location: Indonesia
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVAC44CBLNCWVVATJ51INOBP8TLD
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Balinese celebrated the triumph of good against evil as they participated in the rituals of the major Hindu religious festival, Galungan on Wednesday (October) 5).
Families across the island visited temples to pray and give offerings to Indra, the Hindu God of Virtue.
Based on a Balinese myth, Galungan celebrated the triumph of Indra in a battle against King Mayadanawa -- a ruthless King who once governed Bali.
The Galungan day came only days after Saturday's deadly bombings in Bali that killed at least 22 people.
"To curse and condemn the killers is not for us here to do according to our Hindu belief. Matters related to the recent bombings in Bali are handled by the authorities," said Gusti Bagus Putu Yasa.
The bombings were the second attack on the resort island in three years.
In October 2002, bomb blasts on Bali, Indonesia's premier holiday destination, killed 202 people -- mostly foreign tourists.
The attacks were the latest of a series of bombings in Indonesia in recent years. Several have been against Western targets, hurting tourism and raising investors' security fears.
"Special prayers this time are for Indonesia to achieve peace, for no more problems. We hope that all human kinds would be given peace and be protected from any kind of danger," said Wayan Tamat, a temple priest.
Hindus traditionally conduct prayers throughout the day, which celebrates the victory of good over evil.
Dozens of Hindu residents stopped by blast sites at two Jimbaran beach restaurants on their way to temples. Women wore traditional long kebaya dresses while men were in white scarves and shirts and colourful sarongs.
The blasts killed 22 and wounded 138, and police have launched a nationwide hunt for the masterminds, which a senior officer said was focussing on Bali and the capital Jakarta.
Attention has centred on the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah network or an offshoot of it. In particular, fugitive Malaysian militants Azahari bin Husin and Noordin M. Top, believed to be somewhere in the vast country, are being sought.
The two are senior figures in the shadowy network, blamed for attacks on Western-related targets in Indonesia, including nightclub bombings in Bali three years ago which killed 202.
Bali is a majority-Hindu enclave in the world's most populous Muslim nation. Although most Indonesian Muslims are moderates, some are showing signs of growing militancy.
The government intended to press on with efforts "to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence through empowering the moderates of our society", Ambassador Rezlan Ishar Jenie said.
But on Bali, where the lifeblood tourism industry is at risk, some seemed more interested in revenge than words of tolerance.
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