"I would like to personally thank you all at Bali Discovery for supporting my efforts to help boost Tourism back to Bali and raise funds for [Zero To One] through my song Forever Precious. The [article] you did on me for your website was amazing and a great help. All my love!"
Article in The Weekend Australian Suggests Closer Australian-Indonesian Relations May Be Unexpected Result of Latest Terror Attack.
An October 8, 2005, article in The Weekend Australian suggests that one of the unexpected consequences of the October 1, 2005, bombing attack on three Bali dining venues is a growing sense of mutual admiration and appreciation between Jakarta and Canberra.
The article - "New Bali Bombings Bring Neighbors Closer Together" details a private visit by Australian Federal Health minister Tony Abbott to Bali on dates that coincided with the October 1st bombing and serve as the departure point for demonstrating the increasingly cordial feelings Australians feel for Bali, the oversea holiday destination of choice for most folks from "down under."
Suggesting that the current dip in arrivals is most likely to be a temporary phenomenon, the article points out: "It is not to trivialize the suffering of those caught in terrorist outrages to point out that the statistical likelihood of getting caught up in such violence is very slight. There were perhaps 7,000 Australians in Bali on the night that four, tragically, were murdered. Something not far short of 200,000 Australians altogether may visit Bali this year, 1 per cent of our population."
The article, published before last week's visit to Indonesia by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, correctly predicted the number of bilateral agreements that visit precipitated towards enhancing security and overall cooperation between the two neighbors.
Speaking from one of Australia's most respected newspapers, the article underlined the fact that Canberra has cast itself as one of Indonesia's leading advocates and lobbyists, arguing for the world to take an active interest in the ongoing democratization process now underway in Indonesia.
Recent terror attacks on Bali, when seen within the context of the existing friendship between Australia and Indonesia, have the unexpected result of fostering even closer relationships and a firmer joint resolve to reign victorious in the ongoing war against international terror.
An Exhibition of Paintings by Nyoman Sujana “Kenyem” at Jenggala Art Gallery October 21 - December 15, 2005.
If you've seen only one exhibition by the talented young Balinese artist Nyoman Sujana (Kenyem) it's safe to conclude that you most definitely have not seen all his considerable talents have to offer.
Bold and imaginative, Kenyem uses each new exhibition to bring us along on the next installment on a very special journey of discovery. Amazed and enchanted by the world around him, attending a Kenyem show is like witnessing a small child discover a new aspect of the world about us for the first time and, through these eyes, perhaps experiencing on a new level what we have seen for years but till now failed to truly take in.
An Abstraction of Leaves
In his latest exhibition, Kenyem uses leaves to explore both reality and imagination. On canvas Kenyem employs leaves to explore movement, color, space, light and emotion. Balinese to his very core and seeing man, nature and God as interdependent parts of a common whole, Kenyem's anthropomorphous approach to objects, on its most basic level, manages to "personify" all of nature - the essence of the Balinese view of man and nature.
Born in 1972 in Sayan, Bali, Kenyem trained as an artist at the Young Artists Community in nearby Penestanan. Shifting to abstract express in 1992, Kenyem continued his studies at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Denpasar. After graduating in 1998, he has exhibited extensively in the region and won numerous awards.
Nyoman Sujaana – Kenyem – Abstraction of Leaves will be on show daily at the Jenggala Art Gallery in Jimbaran from October 15 through December 15, 2005.
Truly Asia, Truly Helpful
Malaysia Launches 'To Bali with Love' Campaign to Assist in Bali Tourism Industry's Recovery.
Recognizing a friend in need, a number of Malaysian companies and the media have taken concrete steps to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Bali following the heinous bombing attack of October 1, 2005.
Don't Turn Your Back on Bali
The New Straits Times Press Berhad and its group of newspapers, together with Malaysia's leading television channels TV3 and 8TV have launched a huge campaign reminding Malaysians to "Don't turn Your Back on Bali." The campaign, officially launched on October 12, 2005, includes a series of public service advertisements offering prizes to viewers who send SMS messages telling why they won't turn their backs on Bali. 1,000 lucky winners will each win a return trip to Bali, courtesy of AirAsia.
AirAsia to the Rescue
In addition and separate to the 1,000 seats for TV viewers in Malaysia, the Kuala-Lumpur based low-fare airline AirAsia announced that they would give away 5,000 seats to people booking through the airlines website. The booking period for the free tickets was from 10-14 October, 2005, for travel between October 17 and December 31, 2005.
In commenting on the "Don't Turn Your Back on Bali Campaign," AirAsia's CEO, Datuk Tony Fernandes said: "Bali has been good to AirAsia, and now it is time to repay our friends in their time of need. . . The quick time in which Malaysians have rallied behind our Indonesian friends shows the commitment between our two great countries. We in AirAsia have always believed in the spirit of ASEAN, and today in our small way we show that the ASEAN spirit is alive."
Arrivals Down, But for How Long?
Bali by the Numbers: Arrivals Drop After Latest Bomb as Industry Waits to Know Depth and Length of Business Downturn.
While damage to Bali's tourism industry incurred by the October 1, 2005, bombing is still being calculated, the general consensus in the marketplace is that the business downturn this time around may prove less severe and of shorter duration than that experienced following the October 12, 2002, bombing.
A preliminary look at the figures indicates:
• For the first 11 days of October 2005 compared to the same period in 2004, arrivals are down 27.46%.
• If statistics are corrected for October 1-3, 2005, days which did not yet fully reflect the potential downturn in business as many holding bookings continued to arrive on Bali, the downturn in average foreign arrivals to Bali suggest that overall arrivals are down between 35-40%, at least for the short term.
• Anecdotal evidence from Japanese and Australian operators and airlines indicates that business from these markets is currently down by as much as 50%.
• The Bali Hotel Association (BHA) reports substantial drops in average occupancies, falling from an average 90-95% on October 1st to 45-50% on October 13, 2005.
• No data is yet available showing the impact of the most recent attacks on Bali's important domestic market, estimated in normal times to represent as much as 60% of total Bali arrivals. All eyes will be focused on the coming Lebaran Holidays (November 2-3, 2005) a period which should give a clearer indication of whether or not the Indonesian market is shying away from the island following the October 1st bombing.
Dead Men Flying
Three Convicted Bali Bombers Moved to Safer Refuge at Nusa Kambangan Island.
On Tuesday, October 14, 2005, on the eve of the terrorist bombing for which they were convicted, three of the infamous Bali bombers were quickly evacuated from their prison cells at Bali’s Kerobokan prison and flown by police to Indonesia’s maximum security prison on Nusa Kambangan Island, off Java's south coast.
The three - Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron – were all occupants of Bali's death row following their conviction for masterminding the October 12, 2002, bombing of two Bali night spots that claimed 202 lives.
Citing overcrowding at the Bali prison facility and mounting security concerns for the three, Indonesia's Justice and Human Rights Ministry ordered the transfer performed under tight security in the midst of demonstrations by angry crowds in front of the prison calling for the death of the three.
According to Indonesian law, the three bombers can only be executed after they have exhausted every appeal and pardon process available to them.
Held in isolation in the Bali prison to prevent attacks by other prisoners, the 3 Bali bombers were reportedly greeted by jeers and shouted threats by other inmates upon arrival at Nusa Kambangan prison. Officials at the maximum security prison are reportedly holding the convicted mass murderers in solitary confinement, separated from the general prison population.
Local press reports quoting legal experts indicate that the final execution of the three before a firing squad, once the appeal process is completed, must take place in Bali.
Bali Jazz Festival November 18-20, 2005
Gathering of Top Jazz Musicians Adopt 'The Spirit of Love & Music' as Theme During Three Days of Jazz Performance & Workshops.
Organizers of the Bali Jazz Festival to be held in Bali November 18-20, 2005, have indicated participating musicians from around the world are undeterred by recent events with all parties moving forward with plans to make Bali swing to the sounds of outstanding musicality for three days in late November.
Friday, November 18, 2005
The following groups are scheduled to appear on the opening day of the festival at various venues across Bali:
• Soulmate featuring Eko Sumarsono and friends, with Maya Hasan (Jakarta)
• Piece of Cake (Japan)
• Yuri Mahatma Band (Bali)
• Gadis V & Bass G (Jakarta)
• Jaco Quartet
• Park Drive (Jakarta)
• Urs Ramsmeyer Trio (Switzerland)
• James Taylor Quartet (UK)
Saturday, November 19, 2005
• Bali Lounge featuring artists from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore
• Albert Yap (Malaysia)
• Maliq n D’essentials (Jakarta)
• KJK Band (Jakarta)
• Cherokee (Jakarta)
• ISI Big Band + Dian Pratiwi (Yogyakarta)
• Eero Koivistoinen Trio (Finland)
• Rio Sidik with Saharadja (Bali)
• Rudresh Mahanthappa MSG (USA)
• Ron Davis Quartet (Canada)
• David Sills (USA)
• Kul Kul Band (Jakarta)
• Krakatau (Jakarta)
• Jack Lee Group
Sunday, November 20, 2005
• Harvey Mason Trio (USA)
• SOVA (Jakarta)
• Indra Lesmana, Pra Budi Dharma + Jegog Bali (Jakarta & Bali>
• Zefa with Rudi Aru and Friends (Bandung)
• Koko Harsoe Band (Bali)
• Tomorrow People Ensemble – Bogg Quartet (Jakarta)
• Jazzyphonic (Jakarta)
• ISI Big Band + Emiliano Loconsolo (Yogyakarta and USA)
• Jan de Haas (Belgium)
• Balawan and Batuan Ethnic Fusion (Bali)
• Anane (Indonesia)
In all, musicians from 10 countries are expected to appear at beach side and open air venues in Bali's Kuta Beach area, plus special spontaneous "on the street" performances are also planned for those visiting Bali during this period.
Respected Leaders and Religious Figures call for Calm and Positive Action to Assist Victims of Bombing Attack.
In a joint meeting in the week following the latest Bali bombing held between the Bali branch of the Indonesia Ulamas Council (MUI), prominent community figures, and representatives of various Islamic political parties the actions of those suspected to have acted as suicide bombers were unanimously condemned with the meeting's participants extending their heartfelt condolences to those who have suffered as the results of October 1, 2005, bombing attacks.
Reflecting sentiments expressed by virtually all religious groupings throughout Indonesia, a statement signed by MUI Bali President, Haji Hasan Ali, and MUI secretary, Sigit Sunaryanto, called on Indonesia’s security forces and the government to swiftly bring the culprits responsible for the latest bombing to justice and impose the harshest penalties provided under the law.
In issuing the statement, the local Islamic leaders urged the people of Bali, in particular Muslims, to remain calm and not to be provoked by those who wish to fracture the prevailing peace in Balinese society. The MUI also called upon Islamic leaders and religious groups in Bali to set up crisis centers to assist the victims and their families of the October 1st bombings.
Green Belt Building Violations Rife
Zoning Officials Find it Difficult to Move Against Those Building in Bali's Green Zones.
In the face of blatant disregard for building-restriction codes, illegal building in government-defined "green belts" is now largely out of control, according to the Denpasar Head of Zoning and Building, I Gusti Bagus Agung Sutedja, quoted in the Indonesian-language daily DenPost.
"Green-belt" zones are posted areas of the island in which is is specifically prohibited to erect any permanent structures.
According to Sutedja, dating from the beginning of the current reformation period in Indonesian there has been a laxity of enforcement of building restrictions. As a result, unauthorized building in designated "green zones" along Jalan Sedap Malam, Jalan Cokroaminoto, and Jalan Waribang is now widespread. By his estimates, more than 30% of conserved "green belt" lands along Jalan Sedap Malam have suffered from prohibited construction activity.
In explaining the obvious contempt for the law represneted by buildings standing in designated "green zones," the zoning official say violators always respond to enforcement moves by pointing to other illegal structures in the same area pre-dating the construction of their buildings. Such excuses, however, do little to clarify how so many people have managed to erect building without first obtaining required building permits in areas prominently posted with "green belt" warning signs.
Enforcement of building prohibitions, Sutedja says, are further complicated when construction activity happens in "green belt" areas removed from the side of public roads and therefore less susceptible to the scrutiny of zoning inpsectors.
With large numbers of buildings already erected in blantant violation of "green belt" rules, officials are in a quandary as to how to address new violations in the same area against the background of the lack of political will to crack down on existing violators by tearing down permit-less structures standing in "green belt" zones.
Security Now Takes Center Stage in Bali
Bali’s Tourism Chief Declares Security as Key to the Recovery of Island’s Tourism Industry.
Speaking before a press conference held for visiting members of New Zealand's travel industry in Bali on Monday, October 10, 2005, Bali's Chief of Provincial Tourism, Gede Nurjaya declared that "security" was now the central issue affecting the recovery of the tourism industry on the island.
The Road to Recovery
According to Nurjaya, while cancellations in the days immediately following the bombing attack were largely unavoidable, the impact and the length of the downturn in business could be lessened if the government, the tourism industry and the people of Bali were prepared to cooperate and take definitive steps tohgether. Nurjaya warned, "security systems must become the central priority for all parties."
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Bali, Nurjaya, who is Bali's top-ranking tourism officials, said Bali's main tourism producing countries are asking his office regarding the standardization of security measures on the island for hotels and restaurants.
Nurjaya went on to explain how major changes are now underway in Bali to secure the safety of visitors, including the introduction of community policing programs and the installation of CCTV surveillance systems.
Spreading the Word
Nurjaya also underlined the need for widespread publicity regarding the steps being taken to improve Bali security via the world's media, saying, "without good publicity the world will not be aware of what we (Bali) has done (for security)."
Speaking of the need for a coordinated approach to publicity, Nurjaya added, "we need factual information on a continuous basis emanating from a single source. We (also) need ongoing promotion supported by professional public relations.."
Garuda Issues a Profit Warning
National Carrier Says Recent Bali Bombing Will Side-Track Current Profitiability Drive.
Following the most recent Bali bombing, Garuda Indonesia's management have become increasingly pessimistic that they will manage to bring the airline to a break even point in the current operating year. At best, according to inside observers at the Airline, losses for 2005 may come in at something less than the Rp. 811 billion (approximately US$79.1 million) recorded in 2004.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language daily Kompas, the Airline's Financial Director Alex Maneklaran said, "After the Bali bombing, I feel the break even point target will be difficult to achieve. At the most, we will work to hold losses at less than those of the previous year."
Speaking in Jakarta on October 10, 2005, Maneklaran said that after the October 1st bombing in Bali Garuda saw a 20% cancellation rate of Japanese and a 15% cancellation rate of Australian travelers booked to holiday in Bali. "We are concerned that fears by Japanese and Australian tourists will persist through the end of the year. In fact, it is precisely the end of the year when peak passenger loads are achieved," he added.
Preliminary operating figures for August indicated that Garuda managed to book an operating profit of Rp. 25 billion (approximately US$2.44 million) against revenues of Rp. 860 billion (approximately US$83.9 million).
Bali Security Council
Steps Now Underway to Establish an Island-Wide Body Charged with Coordinating Security Policy for Bali.
If a recent agreement reached at a meeting on Thursday, October 13, 2005, between representatives of Bali's provincial government, the armed forces, Bali's police and the island's Regents (Bupatis) comes to fruition, a Bali Security Council will soon be in operation charged with coordinating general security policies.
According to local press reports, the establishment of a Bali Security Council (BSC) was put forth by Bali's Police Chief Ir. Jen. Made Mangku Pastika who desires a broad involvement by local community elements in the proposed BSC, including local community security officers (pacalang). Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Chief Pastika said the organization and operation of the BSC would be done by working groups who would devise security strategies, with the Police carrying out their decisions in the field.
More Security on Boarding Houses
Bali's top law enforcement officer also called for a more detailed approach to monitoring Bali's large urban population living in rented rooms and boarding houses. He called on the provincial government to introduce local regulations requiring more detailed documentation for Bali's city dwellers, including ID cards and photos for those renting apartments and rooms in Bali.
Honorary Police Officers
In addition to his proposal to establish the BSC, Chief Pastika has also proposed the appointment of honorary police officers comprised of key figures from various nationalities and ethic groups found on Bali. These unpaid "police officers' would be selected to their various nationalities or local ethnic grouping to operate as a liaison between the police and their respective communities.
Call for New Legislation
Bali's Police Chief used the occasion to underline the need for a more systematic appraoch to security in Bali. Among the steps proposed is the introduction of a regional law requiring security systems be installed in all hotels, restaurants, and public places.
Separately, Chief Pastika stated that the Bali Police need a minimum of Rp. 16.6 billion (approximately US$1.6 million) just to finance current police facilities and operations.
A Matter of Urgency
Bali’s Vice-Governor has pledged to work hard to see the establishment of the Bali Security Council before November, promising to immediately bring the proposal of its establishment to the attention of Bali’s Governor Dewa Made Beratha.
Bali Echoes Peace
Hundreds Gather at Denpasar Heroes' Monument to Remember the Many Victims of Terror.
On the late afternoon of Wednesday, October 12, 2005, more than a thousand people representing every ethnic and religious group who make Bali their home gathered at the Bajra Sandhi Heroes' Monument in downtown Denpasar to commemorate those who have died in Bali at the hands of international terrorists.
Initially planned to coincide with the tragic bombing of two Bali night spots 3 years before on October 12, 2002, this year's commemoration - dubbed Gema Perdamaian III or Echoes of Peace III, was made especially poignant by recent events in Bali where another 23 lives were lost in an October 1, 2005 attack on three popular dining venues.
A Most Hallowed Late Afternoon
The commemoration service began at 4:00 p.m. with a solemn processiob led by a traditional belaganjur orchestra around the vast perimeter of the monument. The following four hours were filled with prayers lead by all the religious leaders sharing a common stage; the sounding of Bali's famous peace gong; performances by local choirs; traditional dancer and gamelan orchestra performances; and the release of balloons into the evening sky.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.