Bali remembers, without SBY

Today (Friday) marks the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks that rocked the resort island of Bali. The bombings on Oct. 12, 2002 at two nightclubs in the Kuta resort area killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. They were the first major terrorist attacks in the country since the 9/11 events in the United States.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former prime minister John Howard and some 800 family members of the 88 Australian victims in the 2002 bombings are among the 4,000 people expected to attend the commemoration service today at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Jimbaran.

Three of the perpetrators of the 2002 bombings: Amrozi, Muklas and Imam Samudra, have been executed. A fourth man, Ali Imron, Amrozi’s brother, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role. Subsequent counterterrorism operations at home have managed to arrest or kill some 770 JI members, including key leaders Hambali, Azahari bin Husin and Noordin M. Top.

In a move that may be viewed as showing a lack of empathy, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will not attend Friday’s commemoration.