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Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1102 - 16 October 2017

IN THIS UPDATE


Misadventure After Midnight
Norwegian Teen Drowns in North Kuta, Bali During Midnight Swim

A group of nine foreign tourists were swept out to sea by a large wave while swimming at Batu Menjan Beach in Canggu, North Kuta on Monday, October 9, 2017. Tragically, one member of the group drowned in the incident with the remaining 8 managing to escape to safety on shore.

Nusa Bali reports that a Norwegian man, Jorge Vikan (19), drowned at 4:45 am in a late night swim following a night of drinking at a beachside bar. The eight surviving the incident were Kammila Elizabeth Wilner of Austria (18); Rebbeca Wiman of Sweden (19); Stefan Marjanovic of Sweden (21); Oscar Erik Bertil Petterson of Sweden (20); Carl Aanderson Berntsson of Sweden (21); Nils Victor A. Svensson of Sweden (20); Aurora Betten Hansen of Norway (19) and Brutht B. Patrick of Belgium (24).

Eyewitness accounts report the group was drinking at the Sand Bar on Batu Mejan Bar when they embarked on a nighttime swim starting at 1:00 am.

Bars in Bali are forbidden by law to sell alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.

The group had been swimming for approximately 30 minutes at a distance of 20 meters from shore when a large wave swept over the group with Vikin being overwhelmed by the water and drowning.

The young man’s body was found on the beach approximately 1.5 hours after he disappeared at 5:00 am.

The group reportedly told police they were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

A preliminary forensic examination of the Norwegian’s body indicated Vikan was a victim of drowning. Police said a blood test would confirm what role, if any, alcohol consumption or drug may have played in the Norwegian’s death.


Who’s Counting?
Bali Governor Expresses Disappointment at Miscalculated Counts of Mount Agung Evacuees

Bali officials are recalculating the total number of Bali residents forced to evacuate their homes in 28 villages located within the designated danger zones surrounding volcanic Mount Agung.

DenPost reports that a revised total of 185,685 evacuees has been announced by Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika. The Governor at a coordination meeting held at the Karangasem Regency with village chiefs, and disaster mitigation officials at the Tanah Ampo Command Post on Monday, October 9, 2017, revealed the updated count and higher totals.

Governor Pastika said the dramatic increase from the earlier reported total of only 70,000 evacuees was based on initial misinformation supplied by panicking officials in Karangasem.

Expressing his disappointment on the incorrect figures initially provided to his office, he called on the Regent of Karangasem, IGA Mas Sumantri, to dismiss the regional official who supplied the unreliable data. The Governor said he was particularly unhappy that the initially faulty data was shared with President Joko Widodo when he visited Bali.

The Governor said the incorrect data will complicate budgeting and plans to issue evacuee identity cards that will enable those living in temporary camp in obtaining logistical support, health care, temporary shelter, educational services and hospital care.

The Governor said that the data is now being revised and consolidated.


The Contestation of Reclamation
PT TWBI Pushing Ahead for Governor’s Recommendation on Benoa Bay Reclamation

Balipost.com reports that while Bali focuses its attention on developments with volcanic Mount Agung, a letter from PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (TWBI) has surfaced requesting an official recommendation to proceed with the reclamation of Benoa Bay and the construction of a major resort and residential complex in what was once a protected mangrove.

The request for a recommendation was sent to Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika on August 31, 2017, and is linked, according to BaliPost.com, to another request to proceed with the reclamation sent by TWBI to the Minister Maritime and Fisheries.

A member of the
Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), A.A. Ngurah Adhi Ardhana, asked: “How can a recommendation to proceed be made if the required environmental studies, both the environmental impact study the strategic environmental impact study, are not already in hand? The Governor is mistaken if he issues the requested recommendation.”

Adhi Ardhana also insisted that the granting of permission to reclaim the land from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has no connection to the Governor. In other words, Adrdhana says TWBI is off-target in seeking a recommendation from the Governor of Bali. Adding: “Ya, it’s off target and I pity the Governor that he receives continual complaints from the public. It would be a big mistake for the Governor to issue a recommendation that has been misdirected to his office.”

Separately, the spokesman and head of protocol for the Provincial Secretariat, I Dewa Gede Mahendra Putra, said he yet to see the subject letter (requesting a recommendation) from TWBI. Moreover, Putra complained that his office is preoccupied with evacuating local residents from the danger zones close to Mount Agung. “Later, I will check again, I haven’t seen the letter. If I find the letter, we will study the request. The Provincial Secretariat doesn’t know about this,” explained Mahendra.

The Provincial Secretary for Bali, Cokorda Ngurah Pemayun, confirmed the provincial spokesman’s comments. The purported letter from PT TWBI, said Pemayun, has not been received nor read by his office. At the same time, he said he would check on the whereabouts of the letter sent in late August.

Pemayun said that if such a request were received, he would immediately check if the environmental permits based on the reqquired studies have been issued by Jakarta. Pemayun said: “All permits for reclamation are controlled by Jakarta. We only add our technical considerations. How can we issue a recommendation? This would be against the rules.”

Meanwhile, the political coordinator of the anti-reclamation ForBALI movement, Suriadi Darmoko, said a letter of recommendation from the Governor is an additional requirement to the stipulation that an environmental impact permit be also in hand.

In 2014, the Governor of Bali issued a recommendation to PT TWBI to allow the company to seek formal permission to undertake the reclamation of Benoa Bay.

Continuing, Suriadi, who is also the executive director of Green Earth Bali (WALHI Bali), explained: “If based on the Governor’s 2014 recommendation, the location for the reclamation that is proposed by PT TWBI involves the villages of Kuta, Tuban, Kedonganan, Jimbaran, Benoa, Tanjung Benoa, Pemogan, and Pedungan. From all the mentioned villages there is not a single one traditional village unit that supports the plans to reclaim Benoa Bay by TWBI.

Suriadi questioned why TWBI is ignoring the rejection from traditional villages and continuing to try to force the reclamation project on a non-supporting public?

ForBALI and other members of the Bali community opposed to reclamation continue protest against plans reclaim Benoa Bay and have staged a number of demonstrations at the Governor’s office urging Made Mangku Pastika to reject plans to change the once-protected mangrove into a tourism and entertainment center.

ForBALI is calling on Bali’s Governor to write to the Central Government and ask that Presidential Decision No. 51 of 2014 signed by then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono approving the project be withdrawn.


Poisonous Gas Detectors Installed on Mount Agung
Bali’s Experts Monitoring Gasses Emanating from Volcanic Mount Agung

The Center for Volcanoes and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) has installed specialized equipment to detect dangerous gasses emanating from Mount Agung.

Kompas.com reports a Multiple Gas Analyzer has been supplied to PVMBG from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that allow instantaneous analysis of gasses emitted from Mount Agung. A chemist from the PVMBG, Ugan Saing, said the detection equipment is portable allowing it to be brought into residential areas if local residents smell sulfuric gas aromas.

The Gas Analyzer, according to Ungan, has been specially designed for volcanic settings and can be used to detect both dangerous gasses and concentrations such a Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S).

The PVMBG has also installed a “tragger” – the stationary version of the portable Multiple Gas Detector.

Experts say while it may be that Mount Agung may prove to emit little or no gaseous fumes, PVMBG cites the need to be able to quickly detect gas emissions and determine if they pose a threat to nearby human populations.


Garuda’s Aging Jumbo Jets Put Out to Pasture
Garuda Indonesia Retires it Remaining Fleet of Boeing 747-400 Aircraft

The Jakarta Post has announced the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced on Monday, October 9, 2017, that its aging fleet of three Boeing 747-400 aircraft has been retired.

The three airplanes have been flown by Garuda since 1994 and have logged some 89,900 hours of flying time.

Garuda’s CEO Pahala N. Mandury confirmed the retirement of the three planes as part of an overall fleet revitalization that will now rely chiefly on modern Boeing 777-300 ER and Airbus A330-300 - aircraft that are more fuel-efficient.

The last flight by one of the Garuda Boeing 747-400s was on October 6, 2017, from Medina, Saudi Arabia to Makassar in Indonesia.

The outgoing Boeing aircraft were configured to carry 428 passengers.


Death in Sidarkarya
Illness Suspected in Death of Dutch Man at His Denpasar Accommodation

A 50-year-old Dutch national, Albert Leonardus Siegers, was discovered dead in his rented accommodation at the Graha Mertasari Housing Development in Sidakaraya, Denpasar on Monday, October 9, 2017 at mid-day.

Beritabali.com said a masseuse summoned to massage the man discovered the dead body.

Police were called to the scene and sent the man’s body to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar for forensic examination.

Papers and medications found in the man’s room showed Siegers was under medical care by a clinic in Denpasar.

Police found no signs of violence on the deceased man’s body, leading to a preliminary finding that Sieger’s died due to illness.


Volcanoes as a Source of Inflation
KADIN Warns Mt Agung Slowing Bali’s Economy Impacting Construction, Unemployment and the Tourism Sector

Balipost.com reports that the Bali economy weakened in Q4 of 2017, due to a large degree to the continuing high alert status on volcanic Mount Agung.

The impact of fears about an impending volcanic explosion has been most felt in the tourism sector of the Island’s economy. Meanwhile, other sectors or the Island's economy are adopting a “wait and see” stance that also contributes to a sluggish economy. The chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Chamber of Commerce (KADIN-Bali), AA Ngurah Alit Wiraputra, explained on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, “For example, people wanting to buy a new car are delaying the purchase.”

Wiraputra said the effects of Mount Agung are also being felt in inflating prices for sand used in construction. “(Inflation) is particularly felt in construction where materials, such as sand and stones, are now in short supply. This trending has caused some construction projects to come to a halt.”

The current price of a truckload of sand is Rp. 2.5 million, when in more normal times the price was Rp. 1-1.2 million per truckload. Because of this, KADIN is seeking alternate sources of sand and stones more removed from the danger zone surrounding Mount Agung, such as West Nusa Tenggara.

Many companies that have won construction tenders have suspended work, as builders do not want to suffer losses and do not want to continue work until costs are reviewed.

“Originally, the cost of sand was calculated at Rp. 1.5 million per truck but is now costing Rp. 2.5 million per truck. There needs to be a policy from the provincial and central government that extends deadlines. If this doesn’t happen, losses will be suffered. If on the other hand, these materials are sourced from outside Bali the transportation costs will then be of a higher cost. Or the government could provide a price incentive, allowing price variations of 5-10% in order that projects can be completed,” explained Wiraputra.

Inflation is not only being felt in the cost of construction materials, but essential commodity prices are also expected to rise. KADIN is discussing with the State Logistic Agency (Bulog) and Bali Cooperatives in how to ensure a smooth flow of essential commodities. With the Balinese high holidays of Galungan and Kuningan coinciding with the year-end holiday period, KADIN expects the cost of sugar and cooking oils to rise unless abundant and regular supplies of these items are not fortified.

The KADIN chief warned that unemployment would also rise because of the continuing situation at Mount Agung. Wiraputra said as many as 150,000 people may be unemployed as the result of the volcano warnings, adding to an existing number of 70,000 already unemployed.

Wiraputra also said cancellation of hotel bookings in connection with Mount Agung is rattling the Island’s tourism economy, causing hotels and accommodation providers to focus on means of preserving and expanding bookings from domestic sources.


Expect Delays
Major Traffic Detours Planned for 10–months During Construction of New Underpass at Entrance to Bali’s Airport

The construction of the new underpass at the entrance to Bali’s Airport is scheduled to commence on October 17, 2017, with completion targeted for August 2018.

Beritabali.com warns that the accelerated construction project is expected to become a major source of traffic congestion across a wide area of Kuta. The underpass project sits at the crossroads on the way to Bali’s airport, Nusa Dua, Uluwatu and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument.

A survey conducted by Bali’s traffic and police authorities has resulted in a plan to close the airport access road and divert traffic using the Jalan Sunset Road, Jalan Dewi Sri, Jalan Raya Kuta and Jalan Raya Tuban.

Police have been preparing the alternative routes in the lead up to the commencement of construction by discouraging on street parking on the affected roadways.

Parking will also be controlled in front of the traditional Desa Adat Kuta public market, the Agung Asasutagwa Mosque, and Al-Azhar Mosque.

Police promise to continually monitor the impact of the construction project, seeking new ways to keep traffic flowing through and around the central cross road at the airport’s entrance.


Caught and Caught Again
Australian Man Caught with Drugs and Narcotics at Bali Airport Tries to Escape Police Custody

An Australian man, Joshua James Baker (37), arrested at Bali’s Airport on October 10, 2017, for being in possession of sedatives and marijuana, complained to custom's officers that he was feeling unwell and was taken the Trijata Hospital in Denpasar where he subsequently escaped police custody via a bathroom window.

A short time later, Baker was re-arrested at the Hotel LV8 in North Kuta where he was enjoying a seaside lunch.

Beritabali.com report that police are in the process of preparing a case against the Australian to be handed over for prosecution via the examination of evidence and laboratory testing of the man’s urine.


A Natural End
Australian Man Dies in his Rented Villa in North Bali

A 68-year-old Australian tourist, Warren Patrick, was discovered dead in his contracted housing in Buleleng, North Bali on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

The Australian had been staying in the newly renovated rented accommodation for only three days prior to his death.

NusaBali say that the man was in ill health at the time of his death.

Warren, who had rented the house for Rp. 10 million a year, was found dead in the early morning hours by the owner of the house, Kadek Budiarta. The day before his death, Warren had complained of pain near his waist and shortness of breath, and was brought to a nearby hospital by his landlord.

Doctors at the hospital recommended the Australian be admitted for care, but this was refused by Warren who opted to be treated on an out patient basis. He then returned to his home where his condition worsened over the night.

When the hospital arrived at the home in the early hours of October 10th they discovered the Australian had expired in the night.

The man’s body is being held at the hospital pending final disposition by his family.


Cashless Shopping
South Korean Woman Goes on Stealing Spree at Kuta Area Stores

A South Korean student, Jihyang Lee (26), has run afoul of the law during a Bali holiday after apparently going on a shoplifting spree in Kuta.

As reported by Balipost.com, Lee was arrested at the Beachwalk Shopping Center in Kuta on Thursday, October 5, 2017, after an employee of the Topshop noted merchandise missing from the store, that included two dresses and a blouse with a retail value of Rp. 999,000.

When the store clerk summoned police to the shop officers from the Kuta Police Precinct reviewed CCTV footage that identified the South Korean as the thief.

Police then launched a search of area shops apprehending Lee who had in her possession at the time of her arresy perfumes, scents and other merchandise with a value of Rp. 1,032,000, presumably taken from Toko Bath and Body Works. Lee had also take other clothing worth Rp. 898,000; a bag from Pull and Bear worth Rp. 359,000; a scarf worth 299,900 from Stradivarius; clothing, three bags and perfume worth Rp. 6,018,700 from Zara.

The woman, who told police she was a frequent visitor, is suspected by police of being a serial shoplifter.


Be Our Guest!
Tourism Minister Wants Hotels to Not Charge for Hotel Rooms on the Day When (and if) Mount Agung Erupts

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, is urging hotels in Bali to give a 100% discount to tourist visitors if Mount Agung erupts during their stay on the Island.

As reported by Metrobali.com, the Minister explained his reasoning, saying: “If an eruption takes place, people will want to quickly return home. So a good scenario is to extend a big discount when the incident (an eruption) takes place so people will delay leaving.”

Minister Yahya’s comments were made during a coordination meeting with the Bali Tourism Board on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

Yahya told the gathering that every person visiting another country for a holiday focuses on three factors: flight accessibility, accommodation, and attractions.

The Tourism Minister said that several airlines have extended special extra day stays if Mount Agung erupts and several hotels and villas in Bali have indicated discounts of up to 70% in an emergency situation are possible and even free accommodation on the first day. 

The Minister is urging hotels and villas to give a 50% discount and even larger discounts or free rooms on the day any actual eruption actually takes place.


A Batu Belig Bái Bái
Chinese Female Tourist Commits Suicide in Kerobokan Road Side Shed

A 31-year-old woman from China was discovered hanging in a small shed in the Batu Belig area of Bali on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

The death of Zhao Xue is being treated by police as a suicide after the woman was found hanging from the ceiling of the shed located neer the Hotel Bali Sani at 7:00 am by a local resident.

NusaBali reports that a doctor summoned to the scene by police pronounced the woman dead with indications that the condition of the body was consistent with suicide by hanging.

A handbag found near the woman contained personal identification, a wristwatch, Iphone, passport, driver’s licenses and ATM card.

Police say Zhao Xue was born in Hebei China on October 24, 1985.

Police have yet to uncover a motive for the woman’s suicide.

Photo: Bali Tribune


Revealing Victoria’s Secrets
Garuda Indonesia to Fly Eight Times a Week From Bali to Melbourne

The Jakarta Globe reports that Garuda Indonesia will increase the number of flights between Bali and Melbourne to eight times a week beginning on December 15, 2017, in order to meet strong passenger demand for travel to Bali.

Garuda currently offers seven flights per week. The additional flight will operate on Fridays leaving Denpasar at 9:00 am arriving in Melbourne at 4:35 pm.

Garuda said the extra capacity is needed to meeting growing demand and help the Indonesian Government meet its target of 20 million foreign tourists in 2019.

In total, Garuda now operates 34 flights each week to Australia flying 4 times from Jakarta to Melbourne, 4 times between Jakarta and Perth, 5 times between Jakarta and Sydney, 7 times between Bali and Perth, 7 times between Bali and Sydney, and 7 times between Bali and Melbourne.

The new flight from Bali will bring to 8 the numbers of weekly services between Bali and Melbourne.

Garuda uses Airbus 330-200/300 aircraft on all its Australian routes with the exception of the Jakarta-Perth service that flies Boeing 737-800 NG jets.

Garuda remains that Australian tourism to Bali will continue to grow, unaffected by the volcano warning in place in connection with Mount Agung in Bali.

A Task Force operated by the Bali Tourism Board advises that 98% of the land mass of Bali remains outside the “danger zone” surrounding Mt. Agung making Bali eminently safe for tourist visits to all other areas of the Island.


Commemorating Unspeakable Tragedy
Bali Governor Urges Forgiveness on the 15th Anniversary of Bali Bombings

On October 12, 2017, Bali marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic terrorist bombing in Legian that cost the lives of 202 people and injured scores of others.

Attending a simple commemoration ceremony held at the “Ground Zero” monument, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the events of 15 years ago must be forgiven but never forgotten.

Before becoming Governor, Pastika served as the Chief of Police for the Province of Bali and is credited with bringing the terrorist perpetrators to justice, two of whom were sentenced to death and died before a firing squad.

Pastika that urged all elements of society, especially those who were victims or lost family members in the 2002 act of terror, to set aside any desire for revenge. “Let us eliminate urges for revenge. This commemoration I hope is not to reopen wounds demanding revenge, but will be used as an opportunity to extend forgiveness,” said Pastika.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Governor Pastika said the ceremony should teach all that peace does not fall from the sky and can only be achieved when each person is at peace with him or herself.

Pastika told those in attendance that he was moved deeply by a letter read by two children who had lost a parent in the 2002 terrorist bombing at the brief ceremony. He urged the victims and the families of victims to remain strong and demonstrate that we cannot be frightened or cowed by acts of hatred and terror.

Pastika used the occasion to extend thanks to the Isana Dewata Foundation that has been a constant companion and source of support for the victims of the Bali bombing.

The commemoration also marked the launching of a book published by the Isana Dewata Foundation titled “Luka Bom Bali” (The Wounds of the Bali Bombing) containing the stories of 15 victims of Bali Bomb I and Bali Bomb II. Pastika enthusiastically purchased the first 50 copies of the book.

Members of the Bali-based diplomatic corps, the Deputy-chairman of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), the head of the Udayana Military Command, the chairman of the Bali Interfaith Forum (FKUB-Bali), the Deputy Regent of Badung Regency and others.


Fine Mexican Dining on the Peninsula
Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali Presents a Mexican Wine Dinner with Chef José Manuel Morales October 24-27, 2017

Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali will present a series of Mexican Wine Dinners with Chef José Manuel Morales from October 24-27, 2017.

Presented on the cliff top setting provided by the luxurious Banyan Tree Ungasan, the gourmet Mexican cuisine paired with wines will showcase Bali-made Hatten wines, promote cooking classes and four private wine dinners with Chef Morales.

Chef Morales, the Executive Sous Chef of Banyan Tree Mayakoba, has worked at various restaurants and resorts in Mexico for more than 19 years. His dishes are widely considered Mexican culinary masterpieces that reinterpret classic dishes and reflect the freshest of ingredients, and presentation.

Chef Morales’ has prepared a multi-course set menu that includes signature authentic Mexican cuisine. The evening dinner will start off with a Trilogy of ceviche incorporating shrimp, fish and octopus’ as an appetizer. The second course will highlight ‘Slow cooked lamb rack with mole sauce and roasted root vegetables". The meal closes with a ‘Hojarasca’ dessert - a ‘Tequila-marinated strawberry and mango with cinnamon crispy tortilla and raspberry ice cream"

During the festival, the Resort will present special cooking class with the Chef for guests who want to learn authentic cooking styles from several regions of Mexico.

Open to all, a four-course set dinner served from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm on October 24-27, 2017 is priced at Rp. 1.2 million per person plus tax and service.

The private afternoon cooking class is available for Rp. 500,000 plus tax and service per person.

Space is limited for both events and advance booking is required.

For more information or reservations telephone the Banyan Tree Ungasan at +62- (0)361- 300 7000 or Email 


Artotel on the March
Artotel Indonesia Group Blossoms and Transforms with Opening of the Artotel Beach Club And Artotel Haniman-Ubud

Formerly known as a hotel management company focusing on art-inspired designer hotels, ARTHOTEL Indonesia embarked on a transformation in September 2017 operating as the ARTOTEL Group.

With three integrated lines of business, the ARTOTEL Group now specializes in hospitality, event management, and curated merchandise.

As part of its overall transformation, ARTOTEL is busily launching two new Bali properties: ARTOTEL Beach Club in Sanur, Bali and ARTOTEL Haniman-Ubud.

TEL Beach Club is a restaurant concept with a beachfront resort atmosphere featuring contemporary design, international cuisine and a regular program of beachside entertainment.

ARTOTEL Haniman-Ubud is a hotel with a contemporary restaurant targeted to be Ubud’s lifestyle destination for accommodation and relaxed dining.

The ARTOTEL Beach Club and ARTOTEL Haniman-Ubud are set to open before the end of 2017.

ARTOTEL properties are currently in operation in Surabaya, Jakarta, and Bali – all featuring artworks as an integral part of each property.

New hotels are slated for imminent opening in Ubud and Yogyakarta. In 2018, xL will open new properties in Jakarta, Bandung and Lombok.

Bobotel

The Company’s budget hotel brand, Bobotel will feature well-planned 15 square meter rooms locate in major and secondary cities in Indonesia. Bobotels will open soon in Kelapa Gading and in 2018 in Tanjung Pinang, Lombok, Bekasi, and Jakarta (Slipi).

Curated Collection

Curated Collection is a boutique five-star hotel concept suitable for those craving for a sense of luxury in their vacation or business visit. Curated Collection properties are in the pipeline for Canggu, Bali, and Lombok.


Why Bali Remains Safe
98% of Bali Landmass Outside of ‘Danger Zone’ of Any Potential Mount Agung Eruption

The Bali Tourism Board’s Hospitality Media Center recently proclaimed that 98% of the landmass of Bali is perfectly safe for holidaymakers despite the current high alert status for volcanic Mount Agung.

Dewa Gede Ngurah Byomantara, the chairman of the media division of the Bali Hospitality Task Force told the State News Agency Antara, “In accordance with information provided by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the tourist areas of Bali remain safe in the event of a volcanic eruption of Mount Agung.”

Byomantara said that should an eruption occur, only 2% of Bali is in a ”danger zone” that includes the Besakih Temple, Tulamben Beach area, and Tirta Gangga. Adding: “Kuta, Ubud, Nusa Dua and Sanur are far removed from Mount Agung. At this time the areas considered at risk during an eruption is limited to a radius of 12-kilometers from Mount Agung’s crater.”

The Task Force and Media Center, operating under the auspices of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), includes a Press Center at the Provincial Tourism Office in Renon, Denpasar. The Press Center is operating to counter hoax news reports on Mount Agung by providing up to the minute and accurate reports the volcano and other tourism-related news from Bali.


A Bookable Event
Shaping Up to be The Best Ever: 14th Ubud Writers and Readers Festival October 25-29, 2017

The 14th Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) returns to Bali October 25-29, 2017 with its well-deserved reputation as a global hub of education, inspiration and empowerment attracting more than 150 of the world’s leading authors, artists and activists from 31 countries presenting what promises to be the most diverse program yet in the event’s history.

From Indonesia to Iran, Canada to South Korea, the Philippines to Pakistan and dozens of countries in between, the five-day program of impassioned in-conversations, intimate literary lunches, and powerful live performances promise a world of stories, ideas and solutions at a time when amplifying diverse voices is more critical than ever.

Among the leading literary luminaries are the UK’s king of crime writing, Ian Rankin; Canada’s newest literary star, Madeline Thien; Revered Indonesian journalist and novelists Seno Gumira Ajidarma and Leila S. Chudori; Malaysian minority rights activist and author Marina Mahathir; and one of Indonesia’s most prolific and respected writers, feminist icon Nh. Dini.

They’ll be joined by one of the world’s best-loved authors Jung Chang, whose Family autobiography Wild Swans sold over ten million copies after being banned in China; eminent British writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Winchester whose bestseller Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded has long been a firm fixture on bookshelves across the region; and one of Indonesia’s favorite and most prolific poets Joko Pinurbo.

French-Indonesian co-director of the Despicable Me franchise and the voice of the Minions, Pierre Coffin, will be on hand to delight the young and young at heart.

As ever, Southeast Asia’s leading journalists, writers, and activists will address the regions most pressing concerns, with the line-up including Andreas Harsono who has covered Indonesia for Human Rights Watch since 2008; Putu Oka Sukanta, the recipient if the inaugural Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Award; factory worker-turned writer and social commentator, Lijia Zhang; Founder of the Georgetown Literature Festival, Bernice Chauly; esteemed writers and journalist, Michael Vatikiotis; and Nisi Hajara, Asia editor of Bloomberg News’ editorial page.

Amid political division, climate change will be tackled by industry leaders including acclaimed climatologist Tim Flannery; Head of the Climate Change Unit at the British Embassy Jakarta Tom Owen Edmunds; and Robert Crocker, a researcher in the field of design for sustainability.

As Latin America continues to make headlines, insights will be revealed by its prominent authors, poets and playwrights – Hector Abad from Colombia, Carmen Boullosa from Mexico, Sergio Chejfec from Argentina; along with journalist and art critic Victoria Stigger, and writer and artists Victor Heringer from Brazil.

The power of poetry in public discourse – both written and performed – will be a strong focal point of the Festival. Illustrious English poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage will be joined by Balinese poet and theater director Kadek Sonia Piscayanti; one of Portugal’s foremost contemporary writers m Ana Luisa Amaral; award-winning American writers and poet based in Japan, Leza Lowitz; Singaporean poet and photographer Marc Nair; the man credited as the catalyst for Australia’s Poetry Slam Champion, Arielle Cottingham.

After Iran was the guest of honor at this year’s Beijing International Book Fair, Iranian literatures – rooted in one of the world’s oldest literary traditions – will be explored by its rising star, Shokoofeh Azar, and the award-winning poet, playwright and literary translator, Sholeh Wolpe.

Upholding its reputation as a festival of fresh voices, UWRF will welcome “the wild child in the South Korean experimental literary scene”, Han Tujoo; editor of the first English language anthology of Tibetan fiction, Tenzin Dickie; and Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz , who wrote the Philippine’s first sole-author collection of lesbian-themed stories.

Alternative forms of storytelling will be explored by comic, artist and illustrator, and author of the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction, Sonny Liew; comic artists Rachel Ang, Art Director of Penciled In – a magazine championing the work of Asia-Australian writers and artists; Raziqi R, Mosmarth, Head of the Indonesian Comic Society; and Ary Wicahyana, who uses a traditional style if Balinese painting to address contemporary issues. Rocking against prejudice and smashing stereotypes, a performance by the groundbreaking all-girl Indonesian Muslim metal band Voice of Baceprot will present a little-heard perspective.

As Bali continues to top lists of the world’s favorite holiday destinations, travel and travel writing will be explored through the extraordinary stories of Paula Constant, who walked 12,000 km through eight countries; Indonesia’s leading travel writer Trinity; and Swedish writer Per Andersson, author of The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love.

Foodies will be sated by the insights of lifetime food traveler Joanna Savil and Britain’s leading expert on Chinese cuisine, Fuchsia Dunlop. They’ll be joined by Guardian Australia senior writers Brigid Delaney, whose recently released Wellmania takes a wry look at the global wellness industry.

The Festival continues to celebrate Indonesia’s burgeoning film industry with one of this year’s most anticipated releases, Istirihatlah Kata-kata (Solo, Solitude), directed by Yosep Anggi Noen, and hUsH, the latest film from one of Indonesia’s most controversial writers and filmmakers, Djenar Maesa Ayu.

“With the number of nations represented at this year’s Festival, it’s clear why previous UWRF speaker Dr. Anita Heiss called it ‘the most multicultural, political, and diverse events on the literary calendar,” said founder & firector Janet DeNeefe.

As a time when the severity of regional and global events leave us feeling disempowered, it is vital to hear as many different perspectives as possible and to share with the world Indonesia’s national motto – Unity in Diversity.”

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Website


Too Many? Too Late?
PHRI Chairman Says Badung Regency Taking Measures to Limit the Building of New Hotel Accommodation

The number of hotel rooms in Bali is in a serious state of over-supply, yet construction of new hotels in the southernmost regency of Badung continues apace.

The chairman of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, said on Friday, October 13, 2017, that steps are underway to deal with the excess inventory of rooms in Badung. The PHRI-Bali chairman blamed new building projects in Badung on pre-existing building permits that are now being used to build new properties.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Tjokorda said the Governor of Bali recommended a moratorium on new hotels in 2012 for the Badung regency. In 2014, the regency issued a policy that did not forbid the construction of new hotels but tried to bring new projects under control. This policy has imposed rules on the minimum land area needed to open a hotel in areas such as Tuban and North Kuta.

“While the Governor of Bali has recommended a moratorium, the final right to issue permits rests with the Regency. Most of the rooms are in Badung Regency. In the past, someone with only 10 are (1,000 square meters) of land could construct hundreds of hotel rooms. Now there are restrictions on new construction,” said the PHRI-chairman.


A Mountain of Debt
Financial Service Authority (OJK) Seeking to Ease Debt Burden of Company’s Affected by Mount Agung Alert Status

Kompas.com reports that the Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan-OJK) for Bali and Nusa Tenggara is predicting that non-performing loans in the region may hit Rp. 1 trillion because of the effect of the threat of an eruption of Mount Agung.

The Deputy Director of inter-agency relations for OJK for Bali-Nusa Tenggara, Jufri, said the Rp. 1 trillion figure was arrived at after coordinating data from public banks, regional credit unions and Bank Pembangunan Bali (BPD-Bali).

“The effect of an eruption of Mount Agung on non-performing loans has already been calculated,” said Jufri at a media gathering with the press on Friday, October 13, 2017.

The declining ability to service debt will happen to debtors living within 12 kilometers of Mount Agung. Those working and living in this area are unable to operate their businesses and have been compelled to evacuate to other areas.

Based on data collated by OJK, through October 2017, the potential for non-performing loans at 50 Public Credit Unions (BPR) totals Rp. 146.52 billion, at 8 public banks headquartered in Jakarta totals Rp. 570.86 billion, Bank Pembangunan Bali (BPD-Bali) totals Rp. 781,12 billion and Bank MANTAP (Bank Mandiri, Taspen, Pos) total Rp. 479 billion.

To date, non-performing loans of Rp. 80 billion have been recorded by BDP Bali and Rp. 54 billion by Bank Mantap.

In the anticipation of a possible eruption of Mount Agung, OJK is putting into place contingency plans that can be implemented if and when an eruption occurs. These steps will include redefining what constitutes a non-performing-loan due to the natural disaster. A number of banks have already allowed delayed payment on loans for customers living in the designated “danger zone” surrounding Mount Agung.


Stay Calm and Look at the Facts
Bali Tourism Board Chairman: Foreign Consuls Asked to Be Moderate and Fair in Assessing and Communicating Safety in Bali.

The chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Ida Bagus Partha Andyana, has confirmed that 10 countries have published travel advisories for Bali in connection with the threat of an eruption of Mount Agung.

“The ten countries that have issued travel advisories about travel to Bali are Australia, Singapore, USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and India,” said Andyana.

The BTB chairman said the issuance of travel warnings is a valid act by any country wishing to protect its citizens, but the impact on the subject destination is almost immediate. Speaking on Saturday, October 14, 2017, he added: “In the threat of an eruption of Mount Agung, we have already explained to all the tourism stakeholders that Bali remains a safe destination for stakeholders with only 2% of the Island’s landmass, limited to an area within the Regency of Karangasem. Meanwhile, the rest of the Island remains safe to visit.”

Andyana confirmed that a number of formal statements have been made by Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika who has personally met with foreign consuls in Bali and the positive effect of those meetings have been remarkable. Of the 10 countries that have issued travel advisories, India accepted the information provided by Bali's Governor  and revised its travel advisory declaring that Bali remains safe for holiday visitors.

The BTB chairman said the BTB Task Force is working as a united team to persuade the world that Bali is safe to visit. Information has been provided on safeguards and contingency plans in place should an eruption occur, including transportation plans, free accommodation for a limited period at Bali hotels, offers of complimentary meals, and how tourists can be evacuated by land if Bali’s airport is forced to close temporarily due to volcanic ash.

He underlines that 98% of the Island of Bali will remain unscathed should an eruption occur.

Andyana hopes the transparent and informative way Bali is managing information on Mount Agung will allow countries to avoid making negative travel advisories regarding the safety of visiting Bali and encourage the world to continue their plans for a Bali holiday.


A Triathlon for the Soul
Herbalife Bali International Triathlon Attracts Record Numbers and Record Times

Despite past Bali International Triathlon champion Andi Wibowo's absence from the 2017 Herbalife Bali International Triathlon in order to represent Indonesia at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, the 10th running of an event labeled as “The Triathlon with a Soul” attracted a record number of participants from 29 countries cheered on by thousands of eager spectators.

Some 2,000 participants in the Olympic distance, sprint distance and 5-km fun run crossed the starting and finish lines located at Mertasari Beach in Sanur, Bali, with the first group undertaking a swimming start shortly after 6:00 am on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

Winning the Olympic Distance Event that included a 1.5 km swim, 42 km bike race, and 10 km road run was Australian Mitch Robins who turned in a total time of 2:02:55. This was the second Herbalife Bali International Triathlon win for Mitch.

Coming in second and third as overall winners, respectively, were Indonesian athletes Jauhari Johan and Yan Bachtiar.

Robin, a two-time Ironman champion, congratulated the race organizers on the decision made in 2016 to move the event to Sanur, done to accommodate the steady growth in the size of the Bali-based event. The Australian winner also congratulated the strong performance turned in by Indonesian athlete Jauhari Johan.

In the Sprint Distance Division, covering half the distance of the Olympic Distance course, Japanese athlete Yoshiaki Miura crossed the finish line first with a time of 01:09:07 followed closely in second place by German Jen Voigt with a time of 01:09:17.

Voight, a 46-year-old former professional cyclist and Tour de France star was making his first appearance at the Bali International Triathlon. Lagging in the opening swimming start, Voight made up time in the cycling and road race segment to secure second-place.

Voight told Radar Bali that he has fallen in love with the triathlon and, in particular, the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon, declaring his intent to return for the 2018 event with eyes set on joining the longer, Olympic distance event. Voight pledged he will dedicate the next year to becoming a stronger swimmer.

Results of Herbalife Bali International Triathlon


Not Running in Fear
Anindya Bakrie: Herbalife Bali International Triathlon Shows the World that Bali Remains Safe for Holidays

As reported by VIVA.co.id, the president director of PT Visi Media Asia, Anindya Bakrie, proclaimed his empathy for the people of Bali affected by alerts issued in connection with a threatened eruption of Mount Agung.

Bakrie called on all to feel empathy for the displacement of communities surround Mount Agung now living in temporary camps while awaiting for the mountain to return to a sleeping state.

Speaking at the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon on Sunday, October 15, 2017, where he was one of the participating athletes, Anindya said: “Firstly, I feel that the disaster of possible explosion of Mount Agung should create an awareness among all people that mankind is never stronger than nature." He called on everyone to call forth their humanitarian feelings and assist the thousands now living in temporary camps.

Anindya described the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon in Bali as representing solidarity with the people of Bali, showing the firm resolve of the participants and spectators to travel to Bali and demonstrate the Island remains very safe for holidays despite a heightened volcanic alert status for Mount Agung.

The Herbalife Bali International Triathlon attracted some 2,000 athletes from 29 countries who swam, cycled and ran on the roadways of South Bali.

“Why am I here? Even though man people urged me to be careful in traveling to Bali, I know that Mount Agung is 60 kilometers from the race area. I want to show to the world and to Indonesia that Bali remains safe,” sdeclared Anindya.

Anindya said that the Triathlon turns the world’s attention to Bali and shows that the Island remains safe to visit and there is no reason to fear visiting Bali.

The Indonesian media tycoon said sports tourism has a very positive impact on the National economy.


 
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Bali Update #715
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Bali Update #714
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Bali Update #713
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Bali Update #712
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Bali Update #711
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Bali Update #710
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Bali Update #709
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Bali Update #708
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Bali Update #707
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Bali Update #706
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Bali Update #705
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Bali Update #704
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Bali Update #703
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Bali Update #701
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Bali Update #700
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Bali Update #699
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Bali Update #697
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Bali Update #696
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Bali Update #695
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Bali Update #694
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Bali Update #693
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Bali Update #692
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Bali Update #691
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Bali Update #690
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Bali Update #689
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Bali Update #688
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Bali Update #687
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Bali Update #686
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Bali Update #685
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Bali Update #684
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Bali Update #683
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Bali Update #682
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Bali Update #680
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Bali Update #679
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Bali Update #678
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Bali Update #675
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Bali Update #673
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Bali Update #671
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Bali Update #670
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Bali Update #669
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Bali Update #667
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Bali Update #666
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Bali Update #665
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Bali Update #664
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Bali Update #663
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Bali Update #662
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Bali Update #661
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Bali Update #660
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Bali Update #659
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Bali Update #658
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Bali Update #657
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Bali Update #656
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Bali Update #655
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Bali Update #654
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Bali Update #653
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Bali Update #652
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Bali Update #651
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Bali Update #650
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Bali Update #649
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Bali Update #648
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Bali Update #647
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Bali Update #646
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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #641
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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #632
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #630
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Bali Update #626
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Bali Update #625
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Bali Update #624
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #622
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Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #617
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #614
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #599
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Bali Update #598
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #592
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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