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Jakarta Post

Bali cancels tobacco event after groups protest

The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Wed, February 26, 2014

The Inter-Tabac Asia 2014, a global tobacco trade fair which was set to take place at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Bali, on Feb.27 and Feb 28, has been canceled following protests by domestic and foreign health groups.

According to information from the BNDCC, the Inter-Tabac organizer had applied for an event permit by attaching a security clearance permit from the National Police. A German-based company which initiated the event, Westfalenhallen Dortmun GmbH, announced on its website three days ago that it had decided to cancel the trade fair.

Domestic and international organizations, institutions and communities that are concerned with tobacco control had voiced their opposition to the event.

Max Vollmer, a Deutscher Jugendschutz-Verband (German Association Youth Protection) activist, teamed up with '€œCigarette-Free Indonesia'€ movement initiator, Yosef Rabindanata Nugraha, to develop an online petition against the Inter-Tabac event, which they posted on the website on Dec.1, 2013.

More than 12,000 netizens signed the petition. Of the total, 8,000 petitioners are Indonesian citizens and 3,000 are German nationals with the remainder coming from other countries.

The online petition movement and a string of dialogue sessions conducted by tobacco-control activists led the Bali governor, the Badung regent and the BNDCC management to reject the proposed 2014 Inter-Tabac event.

'€œWithout the support of tobacco-control activists both in Indonesia and Germany, it would have been unlikely for us to win the fight. This is our victory. To Westfalenhallen: We don'€™t want the Inter-Tabac Asia exhibit! Just go away from Indonesia and other countries in Asia!'€ Yosef said in a release made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. (ebf)