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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 #982 - 29 June 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


Feeling Like a Million, or Two
Indonesia Tourism Minister Says Indonesia will Grow by 2 Million Foreign Tourists Every Year

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya has made the bold prediction that foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia will increase by 2 million each year as a result of the recent liberalization of visa policy extending “visa – free” status to the citizens of 45 countries.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Yahya said: "It can be predicted easily. There will be a rise of at least 20 percent from the 10 million (targeted tourist visits for 2015); we will have 2 million more tourists.”
 
The Minister’s predictions would produce 20 million foreign tourists for Indonesia by 2020, a projection made by President Joko Widodo during his successful run for office.
 
Underlining the reasoning behind Indonesia’s change in visa police, Yahya continued, saying: "Thailand and Malaysia implemented the free visa policy. Despite not being too different from Indonesia in terms of natural beauty, foreign tourists choose Thailand over Indonesia."
 
Thailand welcomes some 29 million tourists each year and Malaysia 26 million, leaving Indonesia far behind with the hope, based on the Minister’s projection, of achieving 12 million tourist visitors by the end of 2015.
 
The Minister is confident that, over time, Indonesia will surpass both Malaysia and Thailand in the number of foreign tourists due to the Country’s greater range and variety of tourist destinations and attractions.


Monumental Injustice
Bal Lawyer Calls for Corruption Investigation of GWK Monument Park

A Balinese lawyer, Wayan Sudirta, is urging the National Anti-corruption Commission (KPK) to investigate the management of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument Park (GWK) in order to safeguard the Government’s investment in the project.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Sudirta said: “I urge the KPK to look into the existences of government assets that are not transparent in reports presented by the Park’s management.”

Sudirta’s comments were made following a meeting with shop owners at the Plaza Amata Jimbaran shop complex. Owners of the shop complex have complained that the current management of GWK is barring access to their shops.

“By deploying the KPK to GWK it is hoped that the government’s assets can be accurately accounted for and the public can be made aware of those assets that are under the management of a private party,” said Sudirta.

Sidarta, who is a member of the legal team representing the members who comprise the Association of Plaza Amata Shop Owners (PPTPA), pointed out that since the initial opening of the GWK the management of the park has changed hands on several occasions without the completion of the proposed iconic gargantuan monument.

“The question must be asked of the Park’s management: Why is the GWK statue planned to be the tallest in the world still uncompleted? When, in fact, there have been numerous injections of cash from the government, the donation of government lands, and private donations to help complete the GWK monument,” Sidarta lamented.

He said that new problem of limited access at GWK had emerged following the appointment of PT Alam Sutera Reality (ASR) as Park managers, including the blocking of access to some 200 shops locates at Plaza Amata.
 
Following protests by the shop owners, the deputy-governor of Bali Ketut Sudikerta has tried to mediate the growing confrontation and re-secured access to the shop from ASR.


Four Days Only
Paul Ropp’s Factory Outlet Sales July 6-11, 2015

Paul Ropp’s much-awaited Factory Outlet Sale returns July 6-11, 2015 each day from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm.

Made in Bali and renowned the world round, Paul Ropp describes his clothing in the following terms: “My inspiration is based on sun and fun. My clothes are for people who want sensual freedom and movement or prefer to be naked.”
 
Sought by the fashion conscious the world over, Paul Ropp's line of clothing for men and women and fashion accessories are on clearance to make way for new lines.
 
A four-day event traditionally descended upon by hordes of eager shoppers, discount of as much as 70% will be featured on clothes so bright and colorful they’ll make you feel happy and leave you smiling.
 
Paul Ropp Factory Outlet Sale
July 6- 11, 2015

Open Daily 9:00 am until 7:00 pm
Jalan Pengubengan No. 1X
Kerobokan, Bali

For more information: Telephone +62-(0)0361 - 730023

Paul Ropp Website


Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Celebrate Bastille Day in Bali 10 Days Early on July 4, 2015

Members of Bali’s French community, the Island’s diplomatic community and assorted Francophiles will gather on the evening  of Saturday, July 4, 2015 on the beach of Nusa Dua to celebrate Bastille Day.
 
Celebrated in France as La Fête Nationale – Bastille Day marks the commencement of the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille that took place on July 14, 1789 and the Fête de la Fédération that took place exactly one year later on the same date.
 
Le quatorze Juillet will be advanced ten days and celebrated on July 4, 2015 on the beach of the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua commencing at 6:00 pm.

Welcoming the guests will be H.E. Corrine Breuze, France’s Ambassador to Jakarta and Geneviève Famy, honorary consul of France in Bali.
 
As the tropical sun sets, cocktails, Champagne, a fashion show, and an exhibition of paintings and sculptures will form highlights of the evening together with a sumptuous buffet gastronomique and a firewalk demonstration.

Raffle prizes will be drawn during the evening including a grand prize of a round trip ticket Denpasar to Paris.

Cost of admission is only Rp. 390,000 (US$29) for advance purchase and Rp. 500,000 (US$38) at the door. Admission covers welcoming Champagne and canapés, French buffet, fashion show and art exhibition.
 
Raffle tickets cost Rp. 100,000 for two tickets or 150,000 for four tickets.

All nationalities are welcome!

Tickets can be purchased in advance at:
  • Cake Moka
  • Bahiana
  • French Consulate
  • Assiette Restaurant
  • Kaima Café
  • Café Bali
  • The Junction
  • Poule de Luxe
  • Alliance Francaise
 
Bastille Day Celebrations in Bali
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beachfron
t
Commencing at 6:00 pm


Take the Days Off
Indonesian National Holidays Announced for 2016

Three Ministries have officially signed and ratified the dates for National Holidays and Joint Holidays recognized by the Government of Indonesia in 2016.

The three Ministers ratifying the National Holidays for the coming year were Yuddy Chirsnandi, the Minister for Administrative And Bureaucratic Reform; Lukman Hakim Saifudin, the Minister of Religion; and Hanif Dhakiri, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration.

Announcing the holiday dates for 2016 were the Coordinating Minister for Human and Cultural Development, Puan Maharani who revealed that the official announcement includes 15 national Holidays and four joint holidays designed to provide extended weekends as a means of stimulating Indonesian domestic tourism.

Yuddy Chrisnandi issued a warning to civil servants who abuse the official calendar of holidays, saying sanctions and penalties would be imposed on government employees who sought to extend days off beyond those set by the government.

Indonesian  National Holidays and Joint Holidays for 2016
  • Friday, January 1, 2016 – New Year Day
  • Monday, February 8, 2016 – Chinese New Year (Tahun Baru Imlek 2567)
  • Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – “Nyepi" Bali Hindu New Year (Saka 1938)
  • Friday, March 25, 2016 – Good Friday
  • Sunday, May 1, 2016 – International Labor Day
  • Thursday, May 5, 2016 - The Ascension of Jesus Christ
  • Friday, May 6, 2016 - Ascension Day of the Prophet Muhammad
  • Sunday, May 22, 2016 - Buddhist Holy Day of Waisak 2560
  • Monday and Tuesday, July 4 & 5, 2016 – Shared Holiday
  • Wednesday and Thursday, July 6 & 7, 2016 - LebaranHari Raya Idul Fitri 1437 Hijriah
  • Friday, July 8, 2016 – Shared Holiday
  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - Indonesian Independence Day
  • Monday, September 12, 2016 - Idul Adha 1437 Hijriah
  • Sunday, October 2, 2016 - Islamic New Year 1438 Hijriah
  • Monday, December 12, 2016 - The Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
  • Sunday, December 25, 2016 – Christmas Day
  • Monday, December 26, 2016 – Shared Holiday
The list of holidays does not include Balinese holidays, other than Nyepi.


The Search for Power
Bali Governor Reject Plans for Thermal Power Plant in Bedugul

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has underlined his unwavering opposition to the establishment of a geothermal energy project in the hills of Bedugul in Bali’s Tabanan region.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Pastika said: “I have never agreed to that (geothermal) project’s continuance. The people need to have no fears or concerns on that point.”

Pastika’s comments were made while he received a group of community activists lead by Professor LK Suryani on Thursday, May 25, 2015.

The Governor said that Bali has sufficient electrical supply and that the provincial administration of Bali continues to explore alternative supplies of electricity that are environmentally friendly.

Pastika confirmed that the coal-driven steam generating plant (PLTU) at Celukan Bawang in North Bali is now in operations providing an additional 1,200 megawatts of electrical power.
 
Pastika also reported that the Province has plans to convert the power generating plants at Pesanggaran, Pemaron and Gilimanuk from diesel to liquefied gas.
 
Moreover, Governor Pastika said serious discussion with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to build a new power generating station in Karangasem, East Bali. The completion of a Karangasem facility would, according to Pastika, see every corner of Bali with its own power plant.

Efforts are under way to establish a hydroelectric power plant at the Titab and Telaga Wajah dams and a solar energy center in Bangli.


The Sheriff and His Deputy
Former Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Sapta Nirwandar Called by KPK

The Indonesian Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK) have interrogated Indonesia’s former deputy-minister of tourism, Sapta Nirwandar, as a witness in the developing corruption case being developed by KPK against former Tourism Minister Jero Wacik.
 
Nirwandar was quizzed by interrogators regarding several fictive projects operated by the then Ministry of Tourism and Culture under Wacik’s tenure.
 
According to Detik.com, Sapta Nirwandar reported to the KPK office at 10:30 am on Thursday, June 25, 2015, but refused to comment to the waiting press.

In addition to Sapta, the KPK have announced their intention to continue to interview Wacik.
 
Wacik continues to be held at the Cipinang Prison near Jakarta while the KPK prepares its charges against former Minister Wacik for misdeeds committed while holding the tourism and Energy and Mineral Resources ministerial portfolios.

KPK sources claim that Wacik’s misuse of power while serving as Tourism Minister cost the State losses amounting to Rp. 7 billion (US$525,00).


The Ideal Balinese Family includes a Ketut
Two Kids or Four? A New Statue in West Bali Raises Some Interesting Questions about Family Planning

A sign of changing times and viewpoints in Bali is demonstrated by the recent replacement of a family planning statue standing at the border between the villages of Baluk and Banyubiru in Negara, West Bali.
 
The Monument – named the “Patung Keluarga Lestari” or the “Family Statue an Everlasting Bali” was first built in the 1980 depicting the ideal of a Balinese family with two children endorsed by the National Family Planning Board.
 
Wear and tear occuring over three decades recently necessitated the statues replacement but this time featuring a mother, father and four children.
 
A village official from Baluk, I Ketut Suasana, confirmed the change in the replacement statue as being a truer reflection of the Balinese norm and tradition of four children.
 
“The Balinese concept has four separate names for offspring’s starting with the first child Wayan or Gede/Putu, the Second Nengah or Kadek, the third Nyoman or Komang and the fourth child named Ketut,” explained Suasana.
 
Suasana rejected any interpretation of the modified statue as opposition to the national family planning program of “two children are enough.” Adding: “In our village the family planning program is successful, moreover in grade schools it is rare to find a student with the name of Komang or Ketut. Let the people interpret (the statue), we are not making any recommendations. The concept (of the statue) is merely to preserve the local genius that exists in Bali.”

The new statue was made by a local artist, Gede Subawa, financed from the public funds allocated in the 2015 budget.
 
The village chief of Baluk, I Ketut Sinda, told Metrobali.com that he was aware that the monument with four children and that the village members supported the new composition with four children instead of two. “I think the statue is a symbol of Bali’s sustaining culture. There is no intention to invite, persuade or influence – just to preserve culture.”


Where the Majority Lives as Minority
Bali’s Oldest Mosques in Klungkung Dates from 14th Century

While Bali continues to be an overwhelmingly Hindu dominated Island, Islam has long been present on the Island as evidenced by Bali’s oldest mosque standing in the Moslem enclave at Gelgel, Klungkung. The Nurul Huda Mosque traces its roots back to the 14th century when it was first built by Moslem residents who had travel to the Island from Java.
 
From Bali’s capital of Denpasar, Bali’s oldest mosque is about a one-hour drive and stands in the middle of an Islamic community of about 1,000 people.

As shared by Beritabali.com, visitors to the Nurul Huda Mosque will immediately see an ancient minaret standing 17 meters high.
 
The head of Kampung Islam in Gelgel says that the mosque was built in the early 14th century at a time when Bali was controlled by the Kingdom of Gelgel under Ketut Dalem Ngulesir.
 
Historical records of the time tell of how Raja Ngulesir had traveled to a conclave of Kings convened by the Majapahit Dynasty held in Java. When he returned to Gelgel, he was escorted by 40 Majapahit troops. The military escort, comprised primarily of Moslems, stayed on in Gelgel and spread their religious teachings with local residents. In time, they built a mosque that still stands and has become the iconic landmark for Kampung Islam over the ensuing centuries.
 
The ancient Islamic place of worship continues to be lovingly preserved by the people of Kampung Islam who live peaceably surrounded by their Hindu neighbors.


Giving Peace a Chance
Prolonged Battle Between Sky Garden Discothèque and Former Security Guards Ends with a Negotiated Settlement

Metrobali.com reports that a peaceful settlement has been achieved between the management of the Sky Garden Discothèque and the establishment’s former chief of security Florianus Ture.
 
The industrial settlement between PT ESC Urban Food Station (Sky Garden) and Florianus was signed at the Social and Manpower Service Office for Badung on Thursday, June 25, 2015, witnessed by the Social and Manpower chief, I.N. Oka Dirga and staff member I Made Gunartha.
 
Signing on behalf of the Sky Garden was their attorney HM Rifan while Florianus Ture’s attorney Fredrik Billy signed on behalf of his client and 32 fellow security guards once employed by the nightspot.
 
Under the agreement, Sky Garden will honor national labor law in the termination of Florianus and his security team, As a result, Florianus Ture will be paid twice the specified severance pay totaling Rp. 150 million while the 31 security guards will be paid the standard severance, honor payments and 75% of their monthly salary.
 
Payments will take place in six stages.

Related Articles


Regional Police Cooperation
AFP and Indonesia Police Cooperating to Fight Terrorism and the Sexual Abuse of Children

On Thursday, June 25, 2015, three officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were deployed to Buleleng Police Headquarters in North Bali in order to share information on matters of international security.
 
The three AFP officers – Michael McTiernan, Keaton Martino and Nicholas Arley  - were received by Police Superintendent (AKBP) Kurniadi.
 
As reported by Metrobali.com, AFP officer McTiernan told Superintendent Kurniadi that some one hundred Islamic State (ISIS) members have managed to enter Australian territory with information that at least two had transited Bali on their way to Australia.
 
“Based on these facts,” said McTiernan, “we need to discuss and share information on the spread of ISIS internationally, the protection of children from pedophiles, other forms of crime, narcotics and money laundering.”  He went on to describe how in 2015 the AFP had managed to thwart 300 Australians suspected of pedophilia from enter Bali and other parts of Indonesia.” Adding, “These were all convicted sex offenders.”

Responding to McTiernan’s comments, Superintendent Kurniadi said that during his assignment as the head of the Buleleng Police Precinct there had been no reported cases of pedophilic acts against children committed by foreigners.

Kurniadi said the last pedophile case in Buleleng occurred in 2012 and resulted in an 8-year prison sentence.

Following the meeting with AFP officers Kurniadi pledged to work with his Australian counterparts to prevent predatory sex acts against children.

In order to assist Indonesian police in supervising visiting Australian linked to pedophilia the AFP have stated their readiness to share data on Australians suspected of being pedophiles to police in Buleleng.


I Did it My Way
Bali Governor Launches Autobiography

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has launched an autobiography titled “Percikikan Perenungan dari Jaya Sabha” (A Sprinkling of Reminiscences from Jaya Sabha) containing a collection brief writings touching upon the past three years of his leadership.
 
Jaya Sabha is the official residence of Bali’s governor in central Denpasar.
 
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Governor Pastika said: “At some point, I am certain that these writings will be of use to others and become material for discussion by its readers or, at the very least, to help me remember.”
 
The launch of Pastika’s autobiography coincided with the 64th birthday of the Governor who was born in the village of Sanggalangit in the North Bali regency of Buleleng.
 
The 139-page book contains writings from 2013 when Governor Pastika was elected to a second term in office as Bali’s top executive.


A Flat Property Market
Government Preparing Regulations to Allow Foreign Ownership of Luxury Apartments.

While foreigners are banned from owning property in Indonesia, the Minister of Public Works Basuki Hadimuljono has disclosed that the Government plans to open limited ownership to non-Indonesians.
 
The plans now under consideration would allow ownership via strata titles on apartments and would not include single-family dwellings on separate plots of land.
 
As reported by Tempo.co, the plan to allow foreigners to purchase apartments awaits the formal agreement of President Joko Widodo.
 
“The (entry) price (for foreign ownership) will also be controlled,” said Basuki following a meeting with the Housing Commission of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR-RI) on Friday, June 24, 2015.

According to Basuki, the new law now under consideration would set a minimum apartment price of Rp. 5 billion (US$375,00) for apartments purchased by foreign nationals.
 
The government may also set a limit on the total number of apartments made available for purchase by foreigners.

President Widodo has reportedly already endorsed the principle of allowing foreigners to own property in Indonesia, accepting a proposal put forth by Real Estate Indonesia in order to help stimulate the national property market and match market opportunities enjoyed by Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia where foreign ownership of land is permitted.
 
Basuki said the necessary regulations were being drafted by the Minister of Finance.
 
At this time, foreigners are only allowed to build a home on lease hold land contracted for a maximum 25 years, with options sometimes granted for an additional 25 years.

Past efforts to allow foreign ownership of property in Indonesia have been rejected by the Indonesian Constitutional Court.


Cell Therapy for Former Klunkung Regent
Former Klunkung Regent Sentenced to 12 Years Prison for Corruption

I Wayan Candra, the foreign Regent of Klungkung who served in that capacity for two terms, has been sentenced to 12 years prison for corruption in the acquisition of land for the Gunaksa Pier Project, illegal gratification and money laundering.
 
In addition to the prison sentence Candra has been ordered to repay government losses of Rp. 1.2 billion (US$90,000) in the sentence handed down by the anti-corruption court in Denpasar on Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
 
As reported by NusaBali, Candra, who served as Regent of Klungkung for two terms between 2008 to 2013 and head of the PDIP party in Klungkung, was told that he has thirty days to repay state losses or face the possible confiscation of his remaining personal assets and/or the addition of two year to his sentence.
 
The Court also ordered the seizure by the State of 60 personal assets owned by Candra, but did not follow prosecutors recommendation to revoke the former regent’s “political rights” barring him from seeking political office or participating in party politics.
 
The sentence handed down by the court was substantially less that the 15 years sought by prosecutors and the repayment of losses to the Sate totaling Rp. 42.6 billion.
 
Candra’s lawyer has told the press that his client is considering whether or not to appeal the court’s decision.


Fatal Fall for UK National
UK Tourist Dies After Falling from Second Floor of Kuta, Bali Hotel.

A 50-year-old UK tourist has died after falling from the second floor of a Kuta area hotel on Monday, June 22, 2015.
 
Merdeka.com reports that Mervyn Robert Greer checked into the hotel two days earlier on June 20, 2015 for an intended stay of five days.
 
Kuta police suspect that Greer suffered from vertigo and fell from his first floor balcony into an adjoining garden area.
 
A female traveling with Greer told police that the man had a medical history of headaches and nausea.
 
Police continue to investigate the death.


Rules to Apply
Water Police Pledge to Bring Order and Regulation to Ferries and Fast Boats from Bali to Gili Island and Lombok

The Water Police of West Nusa Tenggara plan to control and bring order to the tourist boats and fast ferries traveling from Bali to the Gili islands and Lombok.

Plans to impose more order on these boat services was revealed at a gathering of the Directorate of Water Police for West Nusa Tenggara held at the port of Bangsal.

Local citizens are calling on police to take control of the ferry and fast boat operations coming from Bali and other locales and disembarking passengers on the Gili Islands of Lombok Island.

During the meeting the public asked that ships carrying tourists use only formal ports for embarking and disembarking passengers – such a the Port of Bangsal and the Port of Teluk Nare, Port of Carik in order to support the local economies of those living near these gateways.

As reported by Beritabali.com, a spokesman for the Water police pledged that tighter control would be taken over fast boats and ferry, and the related operating companies to bring order to the laissez-faire and unregulated fashion in which water transport to and from the Gili and Lombok now operate.
 


Pop! Goes the Hotel
Debate Erupts in North Bali Over Setback of Only 18.35 Meters from Seashore of Hotel Pop Singaraja

Metrobali.com reports that the Coordinating Office For Permits And Licenses in Buleleng (KPT), North Bali is coming under scrutiny for building permits (IMB) issued to companies that appear to be violating zoning and building regulations.

Among others, complaints have been leveled regarding an IMB issued to PT Prapat Agung Permai at the tourist site of Batu Ampar in the village of Pejarakan. Recently, the KPT office has also received widespread criticism in connection with the permits granted to the Hotel Pop Singaraja that is alleged to violated setback rules from the high water mark in its seaside location east of the former port of Buleleng.

The third-vice-chairman of the Buleleng House of Representative (DPRD-Buleleng), Ketut Sumardana, he remains uncertain as to whether or not the Hotel Pop Singaraja holds the required building permit.

Sumardana said that the beach location of the hotel requires a 100-meter setback from the high water mark and the new hotel is in obvious and flagrant violation of that rule.

Meanwhile, the head of the KPT office in Buleleng, Putu Karuna, told the press that the Hotel Pop Singaraja holds the required building permit (IMB) issued in 2011. Continuing, Karuna said: “It is indeed correct that the hotel building is only 18.35 meters from the water’s edge. This is a clear violation of the setback rules from the beach. At the same time there are exceptions to this rule in which construction within the setback area is allowed. The rule is not inflexible and must be adjusted to the local situation.”

Karuna said the regional zoning rules do allow the use of the setback zone form the ocean’s edge when situations demand an exception, such as in the case of the Hotel Pop Singaraja.

Karuna cited the heavy abrasion of the shoreline in Singaraja as justifying a substantially reduced setback rule for the hotel’s construction and the issuance of its IMB.


Controlling your Employment Branding
Free Lecture by Stenden University Bali on Employment Branding in the Hospitality Industry

Stenden University Bali is organizing another free lecture of interest and value to hospitality professionals.

Dr. Sjoerd Gehrels, Professor in Innovation in Hospitality from Stenden University will be speaking on “Employment Branding for the Hospitality Industry” on Monday, July 6, 2015 at the Best Western Premier Hotel on Jalan Sunset Road No. 9 in Kuta.

Employment Branding is the way in which an organization is perceived by applicants and its current employees, Dr. Gehrils will discuss ways in which a company can actively engage its stakeholders in enhancing its image as a place to work and build one’s career.
 
Dr. Sjoerd Gehrel worked in Michelin-starred restaurants before embarking on an academic career in 1989. At Stenden he is course leader in International Service Management and, since October 2014, became a Professor of Applied Sciences – Innovation in Hospitality within Stenden Hotel Management School’s Academy of International Hospitality Research.

Gehrel holds a MSc (University of Surrey 1999), MBA (Oxford Brookes University 2004) and EdD (University of Stirling 2013). His doctorate thesis looked at how the contextual characteristics of successful small upper segment culinary restaurant owners could potentially influence hospitality management education.

Open to all without charge, the lecture will run from 7:00 pm -9:00 pm and will be of interest to hospitality students, human resource directors, managers and other senior management members working in tourism.

For more information [Email]


Picking Up Good Vibrations
Thousands Gather for Yoga and Meditation in Downtown Denpasar, Bali on the International Day of Yoga

On Sunday, June 21, 2015 Denpasar’s Bajra Sandhi Monument Park in was abuzz with thousands of people who began gathering from 5:30 a.m. Thronging to the Park were young children, families, yoga enthusiasts, yoga practitioners, yoga gurus, students, teachers, and followers of numerous meditation techniques – all eager to join a mass Yoga practice and participate in a record-making event marking the first International Day of Yoga in Bali, Indonesia.

hand were celebrities, fitness experts, the media, members of diplomatic corps, visiting tourists and senior officials of the Bali Provincial Government.

June 21st was declared as the “International Day of Yoga” by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported by the United Nations.


d by the Consulate General of India in Bali in cooperation with Provincial authorities, socio-cultural institutions, schools, universities, yoga clubs and scores of other Balinese organizations – more than 3,600 Balinese Yoga enthusiasts joined the event, creating a new record for maximum number of people practicing Yoga at a single location in Indonesia. The Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) recorded the event and presented an award to the Consulate General of India.


Balinese celebrities participated, including Ade Rai – national fitness icon and an avid yoga practitioner who joined Balinese musician, Gus Teja who performed on his Balinese flute. Balinese singer, Ayu Lakshmi, sang a spiritual song while her performance partner performed a Yogic dance. Famous Balinese cultural personality and choreographer/puppeteer, Made Sidia, presented a colossal dance-drama performed by 40 young artists inspired by the ancient Ramayana epic.

Swami Purnamritananda of Mata Amritanandamayi Math, currently visiting Bali, gave a spiritual discourse on the art of meditation, peace & love and recited his famous flute meditation. Dr. Prakriti Bhaskar, eminent Bharatanatyam exponent, and her three-member troupe presented a Bharatanatyam dance-drama.

After brief yoga prayers and the recitation of Gayatri Mantra the crowd of more than 3,600 people performed Surya Namaskar (sun salutation), followed by the asanas within the 35-minute Common Yoga Protocol.


kha Khanna, Yoga guru from India, and Raka Panji Tisna of AOL, Denpasar led the Yoga practice, along with more than 15 demonstrators and scores of other volunteer teachers assisting the yoga practitioner in performing the asanas in the right manner.

Governor, reading a speech on behalf of the Governor of Bali, emphasized the importance of self disciplline and the daily practice of Yoga to maintain peace and promote good health.


When Housekeeping Cleans Up
Austrian Guest Has In-Room Safe Robbed by Housekeeping Supervisor at Seminyak Boutique Hotel.

A housekeeping supervisor, I Made Sartika (42), working at the Destiny Boutique Hotel on Jalan Drupadi in Seminyak, has confessed to police in Legian Kuta that he stole money from the in-room safe of an Austrian guest staying at the hotel.

The arrest was made by police on Sunday, June 21, 2015 after Sartika was caught stealing the cash on CCTV camera.

The guest told police that a total of Rp. 15 million (US$1,130) was taken the safe deposit box. Sartika, however, told police that he took only Rp. 3 million that he used for the birthday celebration of his youngest child.

Upon reviewing the tapes of the CCTV camera, Sartika was seen entering the room on three separate occasions.

Police continue to hold Sudirta as they prepare charges against the man and investigate the case.


Death by Drowning?
7-Year-Old Indian Boy Dies in Swimming Pool of Kuta Hotel

A seven-year-old Indian boy, Vivan Khomar Jain, has died in the swimming pool of a beachside hotel on Jalan Wanasegara in Kuta.

The incident occurred when Vivan was swimming with his parents in the hotel’s pool in the late afternoon of Friday, June 26, 2015.

Just moments before the boy’s body was found at the bottom of the pool his parents left him alone briefly in the pool. When his parents returned, the boy’s body was discovered at the bottom of the pool at a water depth of 1.5 meters.

Initial examination of the boy’s body by forensic doctors at the Sanglah General Hospital found no evidence of drowning.

The State News Agency Antara reported that doctors are unable to confirm the cause of death. While there was no physical evidence to support death by drowning, there were bruises on the chid’s chin and legs.

The death remains under police investigation.


Holey, Holey, Holey
Bali’s Blind Protest the Sad State of the Island’s Sidewalk

Tens of blind residents of Bali’s capital of Denpasar staged a “red cane” march and protest on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in order to draw to the attention of the government the poor maintenance of sidewalks in Bali and the resulting threat posed to the visually-impaired.
 
To Bali's blind community sidewalks are the main highways traveled when leaving their homes.  Ningsih, one of the blind protestors, said: "There are now many sidewalks with holes; while others are used by roadside food stalls. We are often forced to walk on the roads to arrive at our homes or our place of work. This is dangerous because of the many cars on the roads. Among our friends, many have been grazed by motorcyclists."
 
The protest by Bali’s blind community was supported by the Bali Legal Aid Agency (LBH) and the Bali Society for the Blind (PERTUNI). The protestors and their supporters are seeking that sidewalks be restored to their original designated function and repairs be made so the sidewalks no longer pose a dangerous  hazard to the blind.
 
It is estimated that Bali is home to 400 blind, 90 of which are members of PERTUNI. Many blind people in Bali are trained masseurs while other are taking courses to acquire skills that will lead to gainful employment.
 
The march and protest began from the Secretariat of PERTUNI Bali and traversed Jalan Serma Gede, Jalan Diponegoro, Jalan Yos Sudarso and Jalan Sudirman before returning to the PERUNI headquarters. Some of the marchers carried banners calling on the government to make sidewalks useable for the blind.
 


Professional Golf Come to Bali
Australian Golfer Matthew Giles Wins Bali National Golf Tournament by One Stroke with Birdie on Last Hole of Play

The Bali National Golf Championship ended on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Nusa Dua with 25-year-old Australian professional golfer Matthew Giles recording a birdie on the last hole to card a 12-under-par 276 over 72 holes, winning by only one stroke over Canadian Lindsay Reynolds who ended play 11 strokes under par and Thai golfer Sutijet Kooratanapisan finishing at 9 under par.

Giles won the tournament by scoring a birdie on the last hole of the tournament by sinking a 9-meter foot putt.

On Sunday, the final day and fourth round saw Giles record five birdies and 3 bogies.

The Australian’s victory saw Giles claim US$13,300 in prize fees as his share of nearly Rp. One billion (US$75,000) in total prize money.

Meanwhile Hsieh Chi-Hsien placed fourth at 8 under par and Micah Lauren at fifth at 7 under par.
 
Indonesian golfers secured two spots in the top ten with William Sjaichudin finishing at sixth at 5 under par and Geroge Grandranata at ninth at 2 under par.
 
The course of play and the event management of the Bali National Golf Championship received almost universal praise from both players and officials, clearing the way for even larger tournament events in the future.


Bali Struggles to Fight Rabies
Bali Establishes Rabies Centers to Deal with Victims of Dog Bites

The Bali Provincial Government has established “Rabies Centers” at several hospitals and community health centers as one means of dealing with the lack of anti-rabies vaccines (VAR) for those suffering dog bites.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Dr. Gede Wira Sunetra, the chief of Disease Control and Environmental Health from the Bali Health Department, said, “Optimization (in treatment) is being achieved by maximizing the initial response to dog bites.”
 
Sunerta’s comments were made at the Governor’s monthly open forum held on Sunday, June 28th in Bali.
 
Wira Sunerta did not comment on the alarming increase in dog bites across Bali, now numbered at more than 100 incidents per day. He did, however, remind that not every dog bite automatically results in rabies, particularly if the dog involved is a pet that has been vaccinated against rabies.
 
Nonetheless, he insisted that every dog bite must be treated quickly and seriously by thoroughly cleaning any wound with soap and water for 10-15 minutes,
 
Sunerta said that thorough cleansing could destroy 80% of the rabies virus. Dog bite victims and the dog that bite them must be closely monitored following every incident.
 
Health officials say that due to the lack of VAR hospitals in Bali hospital are compelled to be selective in deciding who receives the limited supply of shots. Meanwhile, intense efforts are underway to import 10,000 dosages of VAR in July.
 
Officials insist the shortage of VAR is not due to a lack of available funds but because of problems in the supply chain. Bali claims it has ordered 80,000 dosages of VAR but has only received 10,000 vials.
 
At the same time, a campaign to vaccinate or eliminate free-roaming dogs continues in several areas of the Island.


 
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