W. Java Polio Outbreak No Threat to Bali Travelers
Ministry of Health and World Health Organization Moving Quickly to Immunize 5.2 Million Children in West Java to Interrupt Virus Transmission.
After managing to remain free of new cases of polio infection for nearly 10 years, on April 21, 2005, the National Polio Laboratory in Bandung, West Java, confirmed a case of wild poliovirus isolate from an acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case affecting an eighteen-month-old girl in the village of Giri Jaya, Sukabumi District, West Java.
As of May 5, 2005, a total of 4 cases of polio have been confirmed - 3 in the same village where the first case was discovered and an additional infection in an adjoining village.
Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health have responded quickly to contain the outbreak and interrupt a chain of transmission that has been tracked from Sudan (Africa) and mirrors recently isolated viruses in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Among the steps underway by authorities in Indonesia are active house-to-house searches for paralyzed children in communities in the area of confirmed cases; official notices to all provinces in Indonesia to aid in the identification of any widening of the outbreak; and a massive mopping up immunization of all children age 5 or less in West Java, Banten and Jakarta that is being conducted over the months of May and June 2005 targetting 5.2 million children.
According to information provided by the WHO, experience in polio eradication demonstrates that outbreaks can be quickly contained with high quality immunization campaigns aimed at children under the age of five years. Due to global eradication efforts the number of cases have been reduced from 350,000 in 1988 to just 1,267 cases in 2,004.
Indonesia has been an active participant in the world-wide polio eradication campaign, a factor expected to help quickly interrupt the just-discovered chain of transmission. Nation-wide immunization campaigns were carried out in Indonesia each year from 1995 to 1997 with sub-national campaigns in 1999, 2000 and 2001. A renewed national campaign was implemented in 2002 to maintain high levels of immunity among Indonesian children. As a result, over 90% of all Indonesian children are immunized with the newest cases affecting children who have not been vaccinated.
What You Need to Know
Most people get polio vaccines, given in 4 doses, when they are children starting at 2 months until approximately 5 years of age. Children and adults are therefore usually not at risk of a polio infection if they have been immunized.
Adults who have never been vaccinated should get three doses of Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) administered over a period of 6 months to one year.
Please Note: Always seek the direct advice of your physician for what you need to do to ensure you're adequately vaccinated against polio and other contagious diseases.
No Current Polio Threat to Bali Visitors
Visitors to Bali are not considered at risk in the current polio outbreak for a number of reasons, including:
• Because of almost universal vaccination against polio, most visitors already posses an immunity from the disease.
• The current outbreak of 4 cases in Indonesia is in a very limited geoghraphical area - limited to two adjacent villages in West Java.
• An immediate immunization response in the affected villages in conjunction with a massive mopping up immunization in West Java is expected by officials to halt the current chain of transmission.
• Intense disease surveillance measures have now been put in place that should ensure any new cases of the disease in West Java or elsewhere in Indonesia are immediately identified.
President Appoints Anti-Corruption Team
Powerful 48-Member Team Headed by Special Prosecutor.
In a special ceremony at the National Palace in Jakarta on Friday, May 4, 2005, President Susilo Bambang Yudhhoyono installed the 48 members of a newly-formed Coordination Team for the Elimination of Corruption (Tim Task Tipikor) which will be chaired by a Special Prosecutor, Hendarman Supandji. Widely seen as an important step forward in President Yudhoyono's pledge to fight corruption, the Anti-Corruption Team includes specially selected members drawn from the police services and the State Audit Board. The elite group will report directly to the President.
The Presidential mandate handed to the Anti-Corruption Team empowers its members to investigate and charge corruptors under existing laws as well as take all necessary legal steps to protect and reclaim national assets now in the hands of corruptors. The President told the newly-appoint corruption fighters that their's was a difficult but sacred task - and their work will help restore the honor and trust needed between the Country, the Government and People. The group is also charged to keep the President constantly informed on their progress, filing a formal report to the President, Attorney General, Chief of Police and the State Audit Board every three months.
Tasking the Team to move on corruptors currently on the run from the Indonesian police, the President set the tone of the future work of the group instructing them to "speak little and work much." The President went on to say, "Your duty is to achieve the target of fighting corruption. You need not give speeches, run seminars or appear on talk shows in the mass media."
Cautioning the team members not to fall prey to corruption in the course of their duties, the President said, "Fortify yourself and your families. Don't fall prey to temptation and follow corrupt practices. Hold sacred your oath. Protect yourself and your families from all kinds of attacks."
In assuming the job of the Special Prosecutor heading the Anti-Corruption Team, Hendarman Supandji said his first step would be to clean up any corrupt practices surrounding the Presidential Palace, the Cabinet Secretariat and the National Secretariat. At the same time, he pledged his team would attack the special task given them by the President to clean-up 16 state-owned enterprises, 4 departments, 3 private corporations and 12 fugitive corruptors presently evading arrest. A special sub-unit from the Coordinating Minister for Law and Order have been designated to assist the Anti-Corruption team in efforts to capture corruptors, currently living abroad as fugitives.
Insisting he did not want to see his position dissolve into a slogan-only campaign against corruption, Special Prosecutor Hendarmin Supandji, told the press that before accepting the appointment he had asked the President what would happen if his investigations discovered corruption involving friends of the President or his assistants? The President told Hendarmin that regardless of whomever was found to be involved in corruption, he should carry on with his duties.
Saying that the public was fed up with corruption, Hendarmin asked the president to be even-handed and never apply a double standard in fighting corruption. Hendarmin reportedly told the President not to only take action against his enemies, but that he must also be prepared to move against friends, colleagues and family relations.
Claiming he has "nothing to lose" in fighting corruption, the 25-year veteran from the Attorney General's office who was once given an official award from the Government for being energetic and honest, explained that prior to his most recent appointment he "was drowning" in various bureaucratic roles in his department and his latest appointment will allow him to cap his career by performing a lasting and meaningful service to the Nation.
I La Galigo Coming to New York July 2005
Created at Bali's Purnati Center – Epic Dance Drama to Make U.S.A. Debut at Lincoln Center Festival July 13-16, 2005.
Critically acclaimed by audiences in Singapore, Holland, Spain, France and Italy - the Indonesian dance and drama masterpiece I La Galigo is scheduled for its U.S.A. premier at Lincoln Center Festival in New York, July 13, 14, 15, & 16, 2005.
A visionary work of theatre, dance, music and poetry created by the renowned Robert Wilson, I La Galigo is inspired by Sureg Galigo (the Galigo Manuscripts) – an epic poem of the Bugis people of Sulawesi retelling the creation of a Middle World and the lives of six generations of descendents of the gods. The exploits and adventures of these main characters illustrate the ancient Bugis cosmology via the use of music, dance, costumes and symbolism still found in the ritual life of the Bugis people today.
The presentation of I La Galigo's story line, which is no less complex than the ancient Mahabharata epic, in the contemporary theatre language of Robert Wilson involves a company of 50 actors, dancers and musicians. Coming primarily from South Sulawesi, the cast also includes artists from other Indonesian islands including Bali, Irian Jaya, Java, and Sumatra. The music was researched and composed by Indonesian master-musicologist Rahayu Supanggah, while the creative team behind the production is comprised of Robert Wilson and a group of International artists collaborating with performing artists, designers and craftsmen from all over Indonesia.
Bali Purnati Center for the Arts
Introduced to Robert Wilson by Rhoda Grauer and Restu Kusmaningrum, the Galigo Project was nurtured into its present dazzling theatrical production at The Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in partnership with Change Performing Arts of Milan, Italy.
Founded in 1999, the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts is an international non-profit cultural foundation dedicated to the preservation, promotion, presentation and creation of new directions in the performing, visual and design arts. It is also a center devoted to the documentation, in words and pictures, of various traditional and new artworks.
The Purnati Center's idyllic campus and performance venue surround by rice terraces on the outskirts of Bali's cultural heart of Ubud, served as the center for research and pre-production work during the 2 year incubation period before I La Galigo embarked on its world tour in 2004. During that period, more than a hundred dancers, actors and musicians arrived from many different provinces in Indonesia came to the Center to work closely with Wilson and a team of international production assistants to develop this great operatic piece about one of the world's most recently discovered major epics about the Bugis seafaring people.
Tickets are now on sale for the Lincoln Center Festival Performance of I La Galigo in July 13-16, 2005.
Introduction of New Traffic Patterns Delayed for Two Weeks While New Parking Rules are Introduced.
As reported on balidiscovery.com in our coverage[Trafficking in Confusion] major changes in the traffic grid are planned in the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak area.
While earlier reports in the local press indicated the many changes in one-way streets and traffic flow would take effect from May 1, 2005, subsequent reports now say that the traffic changes will only be gardually introduced after a two week socialization of new parking rules in the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak area.
Under the program of traffic changes new parking prohibitions are being introduced on Jalan Legian, Jalan Singosari (formerly Jalan Bakungsari), Jalan Dewi Sartika, Jalan Pantai Kuta and Jalan Raya Kuta.
In addition, policies limiting the areas in which taxis and public transport can embark and disembark passengers are also being introduced under the traffic revamp.
Local police and traffic authorities are vowing to use a "soft-gloved" approach during the initial introduction of new parking regulations, seeking the public's cooperation before introducing more draconian enforcement measures.
President Opens Legal Conference in Bali
Indonesia's President Opens the Inter-Pacific Bar Association Conference at Nusa Dua.
On Wednesday, May 4, 2005, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono traveled to Bali to open the 15th Annual Meeting of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) at Nusa Dua.
The IPBA is an international association headquartered in Tokyo whose membership is comprised of 2,000 business and commercial lawyers representing 67 jurisdictions around the Pacific rim.
The Bali conference, which took place May 4 – 7, 2005, featured workshops and presentations discussing the latest issues and trends affecting legal practice in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Indonesian President's remarks before the nearly 500 legal practitioners urged the legal profession to always safeguard high professional and ethical standards in carrying out their work. Admitting that the law is a powerful tool for good in the right hands, President Yudhoyono also cautioned that the law, if practice irresponsibility, can bring chaos and disorder to society. "We must avoid the situation in which there is much law, but little justice," the President warned.
The President also showed his more humorous side in his remarks before the legal conference. Claiming he was overwhelmed to be standing before so many lawyers, he congratulated the IPBA for being able to gather so many attorneys in a single room.
The President explaining that during his time as a soldier serving with U.N. Forces in Bosnia, he had occasion to memorize a number of lawyer jokes. The conference attendees laughed when President Yudhoyono confessed that while his inclination was to share some of his jokes about the legal profession, he was prevented from doing so on the "advice" of his own attorney.
Also attending the IPBA Conference were Indonesia's Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hamid Awaluddin; the American Ambassador to Indonesia, B. Lynn Pascoe; and the Director of the World Bank in Indonesia, Andrew Steer.
Bali Consortium Forming for Air Paradise
Local Business Leaders Preparing to Invest in Helping Air Paradise Grow into a Major Aviation Player.
Bali Business - a division of Bisnisbali.com, reports that a group of 90 local entrepreneurs are joining forces to create a financial consortium to back the Bali-owned airline - Air Paradise International (API). At a recent meeting led by the Airline's Founder, "Kadek" Made Wiranatha - the Chairman of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Entrepreneur's Association (Apindo) Panudiana Kuhn and Bagus Sudibya the Chairman of the Bali branch of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) joined discussions with a large group of leading business people regarding the possible future expansion scenarios for the Airline and the potential costs involved.
Operating successfully out of 5 major cities in Australia to Bali, Air Paradise currently operates a fleet of leased Airbus aircraft with full maintenance support program with SIAEC ( Singapore International Airlines Engineering Company). The Airline also offers scheduled services from Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
Saying he would welcome the participation of local business people as investors in his airline as a means of fulfilling his dream of a Balinese-owned airlines of world stature, Wiranatha told the businessmen, "I open API to all of you to bring in foreign tourists as many as you can. I want API to be the Balinese Airline, not just belonging to me and my family."
ASITA's Chairman, Bagus Sudibya, who enthusiastically endorses the consortium plan, has called on the Balinese to gradually reclaim their birthright by becoming the lead investors and owners of the island's tourism industry.
VOA Nets US$10.6 Million in Q1 of 2005
Immigration Official Hints More Countries Likely to Be Added to Visa-On-Arrival Eligibility List.
According to the Chief of Public Relations for the Director General of Tourism, Soepriatna Anwar, a total Rp.103.59 billion Rupiahs were collected through the visa-on-arrival process nation-wide during the first three months of 2005. The equivalent more than US$10.6 million dollars was collected from tourists who paid US$25 for a 30 day visa and US$10 for a 3 day visa at one of Indonesia's main gateways.
Anwar told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia that discussions are currently underway between various departments of the government considering which countries might be added to the those allowed to purchase a visa at their arrival sea or airport.
During the first three months of 2005:
• 153,629 tourists visited Indonesia after having first obtained a visa from an overseas Indonesian consulate of embassy.
• 504,909 visited Indonesia from countries allowed visa-free visits.
• 513,355 purchased visas upon arrival expending Rp. 103.59 billion (approximately US$ 10.6 million) in the visa process.
The Slow Boat from China
Why Indonesia Doesn't Get its Share of the Mainland Chinese Market.
According to an article in the Saturday, May 5, 2005 edition of Bisnis Indonesia, the number of Chinese traveling abroad increased 42% in 2004, as compared from just one year before. Of the resulting 29 million Chinese taking foreign holidays in 2004, Indonesia attracted some 80,000 Chinese visitors – a miniscule share, with Bali netting only 29,651 Chinese visitors for 2004. Meanwhile, China's offshore neighbor of Taiwan produced a whopping 183,624 visitors to Bali in 2004.
Why Mainland Chinese Don't Visit Bali
While Indonesia’s ASEAN neighbors are doing a bumper trade in Mainland Chinese (PRC) visitors who represent about 20% of all tourist arrivals to ASEAN, this market accounts for a tiny 2% of visitors to Bali.
According to tourism industry observers, the two greatest impediments stopping Indonesia from getting its share of the Chinese travel market are complicated visa procedures and a lack of tourism promotion to that market.
Currently, Chinese nationals wishing to visit Indonesia must pay substantial fees and apply for a visa through the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing. Fortunately, the problem of a single visa issuing office for such a large country has been partially remedied with the opening of a second visa issuing office at the Indonesian Consulate in Guangzhou on April 21, 2005.
Recommendations from the Department of Culture and Tourism to increase the inflow of Chinese tourists to Indonesia by granting visas from the Indonesian Consulates in Shanghai and Kunming are still under review together with the call for including China on the list of countries able to purchase a visa on arrival when landing in Indonesia.
Clearly, adding the PRC to the list of countries issued visas upon arrival in Indonesia would fundamentally change the basic market mix of inbound tourism arrivals.
Addressing the issue of a lack of tourism promotion, Yanti Sukamdani Harjoprakoso, the Chairperson of the Chinese Market Focus Group at the Department of Culture and Tourism, said any desire to increase the size of the Chinese inbound market has to be combined with a commitment to spend more promotional funds. According to Yanti, who also heads the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), in order to achieve a quarter of a million Chinese tourist arrivals she estimates the Government must be prepared to spend at least US$1.5 million on tourism promotion to the Chinese market.
Oh! You're So Sexy!
Bali's Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa Named to List of World's 100 Sexiest Hotels.
After evaluating over 1,000 hotels around the world, Sexy, Inc. have announced their list of the "World's 100 sexiest Hotels."
Included in the list is Bali's Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa along with 99 other prestigious properties ranging from sleek central city hotels, cliff-side retreats, to plantation cottages on tropical isles.
Intrigued to find out what it takes to be considered "sexy" in the hotel industry, balidiscovery.com contacted the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa's General Manager, Danny McCafferty, who explained that winners of the "sexiest hotel" honor were chosen on the basis of their style, ambiance, service mood and emotion.
As further explained by the founder of Sexy, Inc., Marc Holland, "Sexy has nothing to do with price, size, or reputation, but rather how all those elements come together to create a sensual experience that evokes a feeling of true transcendence for the guest."
World's 100 Sexiest Hotels is a luxury travel-ranking co-venture between Sexy, Inc., Sky Radio Network, and SkyAuction.com.
The 100 "sexy" winners will be featured over the coming months in audio and video network presentations on American, United, Northwest, US Airways, America West, and Aloha Airlines before an estimated audience of 162 million passengers.
Commenting on the widespread coverage this latest award promises to the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Danny McAffery said "face it, there's no such thing as 'over exposure' when it comes to being considered sexy."
Like the old addage says, "if you’ve got it, flaunt it!"
Local Legislator from Kuta Joins Chorus Calling for Sterner Enforcement Against Those Cheating Bali's Visitors.
Concerned that continued failure to effectively crackdown on illegal money changers short-changing tourist visitors to Bali could result in more instances of brutal "street justice" from Balinese villagers, a local parliamentarian from the Kuta district, I Wayan Puspanegara, has joined those calling for a clean up of illegal and dishonest money changers.
As reported on balidiscovery.com in our coverage [Giving Illegal Money Changers a Black Eye ], local villagers in Legian recently dispensed harsh street justice on a money changer caught in the act of stealing money from an Australian tourists.
Fearing similar incidents in the future, Puspanegara has called on the Police and the Association of Foreign Exchange (APVA) to no longer delay measures to clean up the illegal and dishonest money changers from Bali's streets.
Responding to the legislators call and quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, I Made Saputra, the Chairman of the APVA, commended Puspanegara's call to action complaining that the dishonest action of a few traders have soiled the general reputation of Bali's professional money changers.
According to Saputra, he will soon seek an appointment with Bali's Chief of Police, Irjen Drs. Made Mangku Pastika to discuss concrete steps to clean up the dishonest money changers.
Public Lacks Interest in Museums
Minister Wacik Calls for Renewed Interest in the State of Indonesia's Museums.
In remarks at the 227th Anniversary of the founding of the National Museum in Jakarta on May, 2, 2005, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, bemoaned the lack of public interest in the Nation's museums.
Citing museums as the repositories of the Nation's history and cultural roots, Minister Wacik compared the relatively poor attendance at Indonesia’s museums with the interest shown in museums abroad where people are prepared to line-up and pay substantial admission prices to view collections.
Calling on the public to cherish Indonesia's museums as a source of inspiration for the Nation's unity, the Minister said it was time for more attention to be paid to the operation of museums. Minister Wacik said the Government's desire to promote the Country's museum was demonstrated by President Yudhoyono's decision to include a visit to Bali Archaeological Museum on a recent visit to the Island.
An Exhibition of Paintings by Edo Pillu and Joko Sulistiono at Jenggala Keramik Bali Through June 30, 2005.
Both graduates of Yogyakarta's Indonesian Institute of Arts (ISI), Edo Pillu and Joko Sulistiono's current exhibition at Jenggala Keramik Bali draws its inspiration from the rich Javanese traditions that shape the character and interests of people born on Indonesia's most populous island.
Recipients of the Philip Morris International Arts Award, Joko and Edo have exhibited their works in solo and group exhibitions both abroad and in Indonesia.
The exhibition is open daily at Jenggala Keramik Bali on Jalan Uluwatu II in Jimbaran and runs through June 30, 2005.
For more information, call Jenggala Keramik Bali at ++62-(0)361-703311.
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