Sunday, November 9, 2008


Its done. Early this morning the 3 Bali Bombers were executed by firing squad. The slow, ineluctable legal process leading towards their eventual capture, trial, sentencing, and death has reached an ending. Now that they are gone I can only hope that all the free press their friends and supporters are receiving will wither and die along with them.

The memories of this bombing have somewhat faded from my mind. I can remember driving past both clubs on my bike, deciding it was too crowded to stop, and continued on to the hard rock cafe. When the bombs went off I had initially thought it was a gas bottle explosion. Only when people started streaming towards the beach did I realise that it was something much more serious and sinister. I made my way back back to my cafe which was a few hundred metres from the bombsite. It was empty- the staff and guests had panicked and fled when they heard the explosion. My next stop was my kost. This had filled up over the last hour or so with a mix of foreigners and locals. I think we were all in shock, some people were crying and some, like me, were just numb. Most people were trying to call anyone they knew, looking for loved ones, and to reassure others that they too, were ok. Some tried to return to the site, only to be turned away by police. Many would have done more if they'd known what to do and how to do it.

The next few days saw it raining glass from the shop windows. Benesari street was covered with the stuff. In my cafe it was busy for a couple of days with people trying to arrange their trips home. Nobody was talking. The cleanup on Jalan Legian took years to complete - now there is a small memorial where Paddys used to be. Many of the witnesses have moved on - Kuta is like that - few stay for a long time.

In the grand scheme of things this sad episode counts for little. But for those who were there I hope that in some way they can put the events of 2002 behind them and put the Bali 3 from their hearts.


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