Saturday, October 08, 2005

Australian papers' weekend wrap up on Bali Bombings Round Two

Noordin Top and Azahari Husin.

First, some breaking news. SBS reports that Nooradin Top, one of the two Malaysian suspected bombmakers who stand accused in the media of being behind both Round One and Round Two, fled a house in Purwanto, central Java, hours before it was raided. It seems that but for worries about taking precautions against getting blown up themselves, the police might have got him. One wonders what would happen then: there have been calls by the supposedly placid Balinese for the terrorists to be tortured before being executed.

The Australian's wrap is here. It mentions some interesting modes of investigations: examining the remains of computers at the scene, presumably to ascertain when their clocks stopped, is hoped to pinpoint the time of the attacks. And it's hoped that seismological equipment might do likewise. It also makes the interesting point that the Raja Restaurant (which I had never heard of, or seen) was popular with Japanese, and that it was next to a Japanese tourist office. And there were many Javanese dining at the two beachside seafood restaurants on Jimbaran Bay, but few foreigners.

The Age has a Saturday feature too, dealing in detail with some of the stories of those directly affected. Here is just one:
"'We got a call, there's been a bomb,' his wife Michelle Allen-Childs says. Childs grabbed his cameras while she pulled out clean towels. 'By the time I got down there . . . the scene was surreal,' he says. 'Like watching a movie knowing it's real, but thinking, "This is not right." This shouldn't be how Jimbaran looks because we walk past there every day with the dogs. I looked up and there's a man, I think it's a man, slouched over a table, not moving, and I went, "well there's no point to go and help him".' Elsewhere was a severed leg.

'We wandered around and found Bruce and Jennifer Williamson from Newcastle, found them in the sand, lying there,' he says. 'You couldn't see anything. You've got to imagine this is a fish cafe with candles on the beach, it was really, really dark.'

Michelle and a friend, Steve Jeisman, helped get the Williamsons - who had been with the Newcastle group at the Menega Cafe - off the beach while Jason shot photos 'and did what I could'. His pictures show the couple covered in blood. Mr Williamson appeared to have been blinded, he says. 'He couldn't see. All he could see was the flashes of the camera.'

Mrs Williamson was writhing in pain, Michelle recalls. 'Her leg had been pretty much severed with shrapnel wounds like you would see in a Vietnam War movie.' She tied a towel as a tourniquet 'and we kept her talking, saying 'stay with us, don't go' and we tried to be positive.'

Her husband was remarkably calm. 'He was amazing. He sat me down and he said "Michelle, I am Bruce Williamson. This is Jennifer". He said, "Michelle my son is not here. He is in the hotel in Kuta, Bali Gardens Hotel. We had two rooms". He gave me both room numbers but he couldn't remember which one they were staying in.

'And he goes: You have to call him and tell him what's happened.'

So Allen-Childs found the courage to ring 16-year-old Duncan to tell him that his parents had been caught in a bomb blast.

They had lifted his mother on to a table out of the sand and debris and waited until she could be taken to hospital. She was wearing some good jewellery, which they removed in case it 'disappeared' at the hospital.

'We took it to the hospital (the next day) hoping to see her and hand it back to her,' Jason Childs says and his voice begins to break. '. . . and she'd died.'

I would be grateful for links to any similar treatments of the stories of the Indonesian victims in the Indonesian press. If you can translate from Indonesian to English, a translation of just one story, like that above, would be good.


Post a Comment

<< Home