In response to two Australian men on death row in Bali, Australians have started a campaign to boycott Bali as a travel destination. But is this the way to respond to the situation?
Bali is high on the list of must-see travel spots for Aussies. It’s relatively close, in Australian terms, it’s cheap and the beaches and the people are beautiful. But some have taken to social media with the recently trending hashtag, #BoycottBali, asking others not to travel to Indonesia in protest against two Australian men, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, on death row.
Foreign minister, Julie Bishop, herself suggested during a radio interview that Australians would “register their deep disapproval [of the executions], including by making decisions about where they wished to holiday.”
The thing is, though, before one visits a country, we read up on the local customs and big no-nos. And I hate to be the one saying it, but before you attempt to smuggle drugs out of a country, should you be silly enough to do something like that in the first place, you have to be prepared that maybe, just maybe, not everything will go to plan. And if that is the case in Bali, then your head is on the chopping block, literally.
I get that we all make mistakes and that we are all worthy of redemption, and these two men are certainly worthy of that considering all the great work they have done from their prison cells, but who are we as Australians to impose our own beliefs on another country? Who are we to implore our governments to get involved in a situation that is one of cultural significance?
I’m not saying I’m for capital punishment, because I’m not. But it is very widely known and widely reported that being caught trafficking drugs in Indonesia results in death by firing squad and that has been the case since 1964, although the first execution didn’t occur until 1973.
— Ben Simons (@c3169181) February 18, 2015
Jetstar recently came under attack for sharing a $99 sale to Bali. Insensitive, definitely. And I’m sure there aren’t many Australians who’d feel comfortable sipping cocktails and partying knowing two compatriots were awaiting their deaths not too far away. This is how people have been reacting to the situation using the #BoycottBali hashtag.
Some have used it as a personal and unwarranted attack on a whole nation:
#boycottbali was never going to that hell hole anyway! The indo people plant drugs on you and serve you drinks that are far worse then alcho
— Tim Lawton (@Timmo193) February 18, 2015
Others are using the hashtag to protest capital punishment:
— No Name (@RudyUban) February 18, 2015
— Dr. Kara Burns (@karaburns) February 18, 2015
While others implore people to look at the big picture:
— Aku ingin (@bonasfa) February 18, 2015
And some Indonesians say the country will be all the better without Australian tourism:
— IG: rockadocta (@rockadocta) February 17, 2015
#boycottbali well is nice to have less bogan in Bali…so yes pls stop coming anytime mates!!!
— Tanty (@Ratu300) February 18, 2015
What do you think? Will you #BoycottBali? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.