SEATCA Award presented to Bali Governor for courage in standing up to the tobacco industry

4 March, Bali, Indonesia: Regional advocates for tobacco control today honored Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika for rejecting a tobacco industry trade event scheduled for 27-28 February in Bali.
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Pastika was conferred the SEATCA Award “for his courage and principles that placed his people’s public health interests above profits,” said Bungon Ritthiphakdee, director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).

Indonesian advocates, supported by the regional and international tobacco control community, have been waging a campaign against the Inter-Tabac conference for months. Inter-Tabac is the largest gathering of global tobacco players. This year’s gathering was organized by the City of Dortmund,Germany.

Over the past months, anti-tobacco campaigners launched protests andpetitions to convince Indonesian leaders to reject the event. More than 12,000 signatures were collected internationally and handed to the Mayor of Dortmund who refused to accept the petition. SEATCA, alongside advocates in Germany, joined in the international efforts by sending a protest letter to the City of Dortmund and an appeal letter to Indonesian Ministers of Health, and Trade.

The Governor of Bali demonstrated commitment to uphold smoke-free programmes already in place in Bali. He has stood firm on his stance to protect public health in Bali, even as the tobacco industry claimed to have the necessary permission to proceed with the trade fair.

“This is about a fight between public health, against an industry which sells a hazardous product that kills half its customers. And health won! SEATCA wants to acknowledge the courage demonstrated by the Governor for standing up to the tobacco industry,” the alliance said in a statement. In January the regional alliance wrote to congratulate the Governor, stating that his “action will inspire the whole country to reject Inter-Tabac out of the country and enable Indonesia to protect your people from the tobacco companies.”

Today it formally recognized Gov. Pastika’s courageous effort. A plaque was awarded to the Governor with the following dedication:

The SEATCA Award is presented to Governor Made Mangku Pastika of Bali, Indonesia for LEADERSHIP and COURAGE in putting HEALTH BEFORE PROFITS and PROMOTING STRONG TOBACCO CONTROL MEASURES

The SEATCA Award is bestowed upon individuals or organizations that best embody and exemplify the principles and values behind SEATCA’s advocacy for tobacco control. It expresses appreciation and recognition for enduring commitment and courage in countering the tobacco industry. It also recognizes outstanding leadership and untiring efforts in standing up against tobacco industry interference and tactics to promote tobacco.

IMG_7998Dr. Mary Assunta, SEATCA Senior Policy Advisor announcing the SEATCA Awardee, Bali Gov Made Mangku Pastika IMG_8001
Dr. Somsak Chunharas, hands the award and certificate to Pak Kadiskes, head of the Bali Health Dept, who received the award on behalf of the Bali Governor
SEATCA Director Bungon Rithiphakdee congratulating Pak Kadiskes and the City of Bali