A restorative justice agreement has been reached between an elementary school in Kerobokan in Badung Regency and a Russian family after their son was caught red-handed spray painting the school’s wall. The young boy was caught by Balinese entrepreneur and social justice activist Ni Luh Putu Ary Pertami Djelantik, who goes by Niluh Djelantik. The incident occurred in the very early hours of Saturday 29th, and was recorded live by eyewitnesses and Djelantik’s group.
Djelantik is highly regarded in Bali for her straightforward and uncompromising approach to calling out foreigners who have disrespected or broken the law in Bali. She has facilitated dozens of restorative justice and community mediation conversations and always has what is best for Bali at heart. This time around, she caught the vandal in the act. The young boy was caught alone, spraying graffiti on the wall of the Kerobokan 4 Elementary School on Friday night.
Videos of the incident quickly spread across local viral video accounts, and Djelantik has been keeping her online community up to date with how the situation played out. In the initial video, Djelantik can be seen approaching and reprimanding the young boy. When he tried to make a run for it, he was apprehended by the witness and held as he was questioned. This caught the attention of other foreigners who were passing by and came to the boy’s defense, trying to understand why the group of locals appeared to have accosted him.
The situation calmed down, and officers from North Kuta Police attended the scene. Together with Djelantik, they got to the bottom of where the boy’s family was. One officer told reporters, “Because the young foreigner was taken into custody by the residents together with Niluh Djelantik , the foreigner accused Niluh of doing nonsense. However, Niluh continued to convince the foreigner that she only wanted to meet the perpetrator’s parents.”
The boy is reported to have been taken home by North Kuta Police. Over the weekend, Djelantik shared screenshots of a WhatsApp message from the boy’s father, who agreed to mediation and offered to repaint the school wall. On Monday, 30th January, Djelantik shared on her Instagram account the full 90-minute mediation conversation. The young vandal and his father were in attendance, along with representatives from North Kuta Police, the local Banjar, and the school.
Djelantik chaired the meeting in a combination of both English and Indonesian. The boy’s father took the microphone and said that he wanted the mediation to serve as an example to people to respect Bali.
He said, “This [meeting] is for your publicity so that other people, the community, can see that if someone makes a mistake, this is what we do, we speak to people, and after that, people come and change what they did, fix what they did with their own hands. This is a good message; this is my opinion. Thank you”.
In the caption of the video, Djelantik wrote, “We love peace. A dialogue of agreement. MEDITATION like NILUH DJELANTIK. Bali needs tourism, while Bali also has the right to maintain the order of life in accordance with norms, culture, and customs. The mediation process was smooth, cool, and peaceful. Please watch and prepare the popcorn. Ketjup Sayang for all the parties who attended. Together we keep Bali strong and dignified”.
The wall has now been repainted by the young boy with the help of his father. It appears that since all parties have been satisfied with the outcome of the mediation. No criminal charges will be bought against the youngster, nor will the situation be investigated by immigration authorities, as assured by Djelantik in the mediation meeting.
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