Moved: Julia Gillard pays her respects at the Bali bombings memorial monument. Photo: Justin McManus
THE Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has laid a wreath at the Bali bombings memorial, capping a 24-hour period in which survivors and families have marked the 10th year since the bombings.
''This has been a very emotional 24 hours in Bali,'' the Prime Minister told reporters after laying the wreath at the remembrance wall, on the site of the destroyed Paddy's Bar, at the centre of Kuta's nightclub district.
Security was tight as the Prime Minister paused to observe the names on the memorial wall of the 202 who died in the attack. She then moved to the site of the Sari Club, across from the official memorial, to speak with victims' families.
Bali Bombing 10th anniversary
Friends and families of victims of the 2002 Bali bombings gather to remember their loved ones 10 years on from the tragedy. The memorial concluded with a candlelight vigil and a 'paddle for peace' at sunset on the beach in Kuta, Bali. Photo: Justin McManus
Ms Gillard spoke with 20-year-old Robyn Ross from Perth, whose brother, David, who had died on an end-of-season trip with the Kingsley Football Club. She nominated the conclusion of Friday morning's official memorial, in which the full list of 202 victims was read out, as the trip's most emotional moment. ''It was an incredibly powerful moment to just hear name after name,'' she said.
The site is now used as a parking lot, an activity which interrupted the vigils. A police convoy parked in the lot drove out about 10:30pm, forcing mourners to move.
Fairfax Media revealed earlier this week that the site was used casually as a urinal, causing dismay among many victims' families, who advocate it should be turned into a peace park memorial.
That effort is being stymied by the site's landowner, an Indonesian businessman, Tija Sukamto, and the leaseholder, one of Bali's most powerful magnates, Kadek Wiranatha, who have refused efforts to encourage them to part with the land, including an offer of more than $1 million.