By any measure, October 2003 promises to be a very busy month for the island of Bali.
Most hotels in and around Nusa Dua are expecting high occupancies through the first 10 days of the month as they host the FIATA world-wide conference of freight forwarders from September 30 Ė October 3; followed by the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit October 4 - 7; and the Summit Meeting of ASEAN leaders October 7 - 8, 2003. This impressive line-up of major meetings and conferences is followed by a visit by Australian Prime Minister John Howard leading a delegation of 1,500 families and survivors of the October 12, 2002 terror attack in town to commemorate the tragedy.
Massive Security Effort
The ASEAN Summit has precipitated a massive security effort on the island costing more than Rp. 39.9 billion (approximately US$ 4.6 million) and involving the additional deployment of more than 4,400 police and military personnel. Scheduled to attend the ASEAN Summit and appear as speakers at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit which precedes it are 13 separate heads of state representing the ten member states of ASEAN plus the People's Republic of China, Japan, and India.
Security measures on the island generally, and in particular around Nusa Dua will be intense, including large groups of plain clothed officers, military aircraft, and patrol vessels from the Indonesian Navy.
Commemorating October 12th
The Australian Government is financing the visit of 1,500 survivors and family members of the October 12, 2003, terrorist attack on a Bali nightspot, a delegation that will be led by Prime Minister John Howard.
A special memorial service is planned for the morning of October 12th including an appearance by Australian singing star John Williamson scheduled to perform "Waltzing Matilda."
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