A series of videos of a woman claiming she was kicked out from a beach in Sanur, Denpasar has circulated widely and reignited discussions on beach privatization in Bali, with one official promptly emphasizing that there is no such thing as private beaches in the area.
In videos uploaded to Instagram, user @mirahsugandhi said she was kicked out of the beach in front of a hotel in Sanur, appearing to be in utter shock over what just happened to her.
Mirah claimed that a security staff from the hotel approached her and asked whether or not she’s a guest at the hotel, before telling her to leave the beach area right in front of the hotel and move to the one next to it.
“I’m just now learning that a hotel can own a beach. Oh my goodness I’m still in shock, why was I kicked out? Who owns this beach anyway?” Mirah said in the video.
In a follow-up Instagram story, Mirah said the incident reminded her of how the beach had always been a playground for her and her friends.
“If all hotels make such rules, then which beach should us locals go to?”
The clips she uploaded are circulating widely today and have since been reposted by Balinese community accounts, with many users commenting that such incidents occur quite often, and not only in that particular area. Some said this most recent incident should be made viral, while stressing that beaches are public property.
“Such an incident should not have occurred, maybe we will approach the hotel to clarify the incident. The beach belongs to the public, not any hotel, that is clear. So such things should not have happened,” Dezire Mulyani, Head of Denpasar Tourism Agency, told Kompas today.
Beaches across Indonesia are indeed free and open to the public, as reflected in a 2016 Presidential Regulation that sets a minimum of 100 meters boundary limit from the highest tide point to land. In practice, however, those who own lands located on the coast have co-opted the beaches as part of their resorts or hotels, which makes some beaches only privately accessible. In addition, many establishments in Bali, such as hotels and restaurants, disregard the boundary limit and develop their businesses in much closer proximity to the beach.
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