RELATIVES of the Bali killers, Amrozi and Mukhlas, prepared the bombers’ last meal yesterday in anticipation of their appointment with a firing squad as early as this morning.
Parents who lost children in the 2002 Bali bombings had mixed feelings about the impending executions.
"I just want it all to be over," said Cynthia Foley, whose 34-year-old son Shane was among the 202 people who were murdered in the blasts.
"I’m not the type of person that would have wanted [execution], but they seem to have been partying in prison. It’s not right."
But Gayle Dunn, the mother of 18-year-old Craig, still opposes the death sentence for her son’s killers.
"I just think they’re getting what they wanted," she said. "They’re just going to become martyrs."
Ms Dunn has channelled her grief over Shane – "a great kid who loved surfing, camping, fishing" – into raising money for a community centre in Ulladulla that will help young victims of loss and trauma.
Brian Deegan, who lost his 22-year-old son Josh, has vocally opposed the death penalty since it was first proposed for the bombers. "It’s a violent
episode, and it’s being used partly in my son’s name. And that’s something that I take no pleasure in," he said.
In the East Java village of Tenggulun the killers’ family were packing dates, flat breads and sweets from the Middle East for the condemned and sarongs as gifts for other prisoners.
They left for Nusakambangan prison late yesterday to see the brothers and their fellow death-row inmate Imam Samudra.
Jaffar Sidik said his brothers must "accept their situation and take it as a test from God".
Tariyem, the elderly mother of the bombers and 12 other children, is expected to stay behind, and is being comforted by female relatives and attempting to avoid the intrusive media glare.
Like many of his relatives and a fringe of hardline Islamists, Sidik believes in a complex conspiracy theory that the Bali bombers are innocent, or at last only set off the smaller bomb, and the real bombers were the CIA or in Ridik’s words "a third party".
"Amrozi and the others love Australians," he insisted. "Amrozi and friends are not against Australia. They [the bombers and Australia] are just being put against each other by a third party."
Who is the third party?
"I don’t know," he responded.
The comments are ludicrous given the weight of evidence against the men, their pride in their crimes and the fact that they regularly exhort jihadists to kill more Westerners to avenge their impending deaths.
Most in this quiet village – where bullocks and their weather-beaten drivers amble through the streets and chickens wander – are deeply opposed to killing innocent civilians.
But they are becoming frustrated with the large media contingent waiting impatiently for the executions, blocking the streets with their cars and satellite dishes and poking their cameras into classrooms and homes.
There is also a significant security presence here. As camera crews followed Tariyem, men who were presumably members of Indonesia’s intelligence services filmed them.
There are concerns that members of the Islam Defenders Front – a violent and radical group – are preparing to descend on Tenggulun. Elaborate plans are in place to ensure that any violence is kept in check, including flying the bodies in by helicopter and setting up roadblocks to stop undesirables from attending the funeral service.
So far, none have turned up and most of the villagers have shown patience with the media and welcomed Australians as a surreal and morbid scene slowly unfurls.