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

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++62 361 286 283

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++62 361 286 284

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1-800-506-8633

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #934 - 27 July 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Ma, Theyíre Making Eyes at Me!
Bali Now Has Hundreds of Remote Surveillance Cameras Keeping an Eye on Key Areas of the Island

Bali police are improving security via the installation of 24-hour CCTV TV (closed circuit television) at key locations around the island.

Bali police spokesman, Hariadi, told the State News Agency Antara, “This is part of the top service provided by the police to guarantee public security in addition to field work, allowing rapid response.”

Hariadi confirmed that the police have installed hundreds of CCTV camera at strategic locations and at the island’s gateways -  all connected to a 24-hour command central at the Bali police headquarters.

Although the Command Center is still in a trial operation prior to its formal inauguration, the police are confident that improving technological capabilities and enhanced training of manpower will leader to a more efficient and professional police force.

The Command Center is equipped with three 32-inch television screens showing a number of key camera points around Bali. Officer monitor the screens, observing key roads, the airport, seaports and other areas considered sensitive.

20 officers are on duty at the Command Center monitoring the hundreds of CCTV Cameras, reporting and coordinating their observations with field officers via radio connections.
 


Ms Hard Rock Bali 2012
Do You Have What it Takes to be Names Miss Hard Rock Hotel Bali?

Hard Rock Hotel Bali has launched a search for a suitable young woman – a girls who's distinct from all the rest – to represent Hard Rock Bali to the world.

Hard Rock Hotel Bali is extending a challenge and an invitation to all females of Indonesian nationality aged 18 years and above, possessing self-confidence, talent, “the look” and music knowledge to compete for the title of Ms. Hard Rock Bali.

The winners will also represent Hard Rock Hotel Bali at interesting initiatives and events throughout the year, such as hosting and acting as an MC at live concerts, festivals, and a myriad of community and charity events. She will also work as a professional model at commercial photo-shoots.

The young lady selected as Ms Hard Rock Bali 2012 will have the job of representing Bali in a competition to be held in Penang, Malaysia for the right to be named Ms. Hard Rock Southeast Asia.

The prizes to be won by the girl names Ms Hard Rock Bali include:
  • The overall winner will receive total prizes worth Rp.25,000,000, a plaque, certificate and sponsors’ gifts.
  • The Runner-up will receive total prizes worth Rp.17,500,000, a plaque, certificate, and sponsors’ gifts
  • The 2nd Runner-up will receive total prizes worth Rp.15,000,000, a plaque, certificate, and sponsors’ gifts
  • The Ms. Rock Voters will receive honorable plaque, certificate, and sponsors’ gifts
The competition will take place over two sessions on Friday, August 31 and Friday, September 7, 2012, to be held a Centerstage, Hard Rock Hotel Bali with a bikini parade and foam party. The Final round takes place on Friday, September 21, 2012 at Centerstage where the winners selected to travel to Penang will be announced.

Finalists, who will stay at Hard Rock Hotel Bali, will compete in 5 areas during the final judging:
  1. Your Own Rock Style” - demonstrating the contestants’ own dress style, attitude, knowledge and presentation
  2.  Musical Knowledge - understanding and appreciation of various genres of music and English knowledge 
  3. Swimwear Show – modeling swimwear with self-assurance, confidence, presentation and poise.
  4. Talent - skill, confidence, presentation
  5. General Q&A - overall personality, knowledge, character
Registration is free and open to August 26, 2012 via [Facebook].

Qualifying contestants will be contacted by August 27, 2012.

[Book a Stay at Hard Rock Hotel Bali]
 


Training with Bali's Best
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali and ROLE Foundation Give Fourteen Balinese Woman Job Skills to Last a Life Time

Fourteen underprivileged young women are experience “the chance of a lifetime” via a three-month on-the-job training opportunity at one of Bali’s leading luxury hotels – the AYANA Resort and Spa, Bali.

Part of a “role models” program commenced last year in cooperation with the R.O.L.E. Foundation – a Bali-based group seeking to empower women and encourage environmental sustainability.

The three-month training stint ends in October with a gala ROLE Models Program in which the women participate in a dinner and spa charity event where the trainees participate as servers, cooks or spa therapists, utilizing the skills acquired at the resort,

The trainees will then host a ROLE Models Charity Dinner at the AYANA Resort’s Dava Restaurant on October 6, 2012 presenting a gourmet menu prepared by Dava’s world-renowned chef Jusman So.

Meanwhile, the Spa will offer a ROLE Models Upgrade throughout the month of October, with guests able to add a massage from a trainee on to their spa treatment, at nominal cost.

All proceeds of the ROLE Models Dinner and Spa Experience will go to R.O.L.E Foundation to support vocational training programs at the Foundation’s Nusa Dua campus.

For enquiries about the dinner and spa program, contact [Email

[R.O.L.E. Foundation Website

[Book a Stay at the AYANA Resort and Spa]  


R.I.P. Roger P. Jahn: 1960-2012
Popular Kuta Restaurateur and Former Swiss Guard Roger Jahn Dead at 51

Roger P. Jahn, a popular and high profile expatriate Swiss restaurateur in Bali, died on Monday, July 30, 2012, after a brief illness.

Jahn was the proprietor of the Pepito Café in Tuban, South Kuta, where he presented a varied menu, including numerous Swiss specialties.

Born in Wallis, Switzerland on August 15, 1960, Roger Jahn was the eldest of three siblings. Together with his brothers, Walter and Pascal, he spent his childhood years in Appenzell and St. Gallen.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Jahn trained as a chef working apprenticeships in St. Moritz. His cooking career was interrupted for a decade while he answered a higher calling. Roger undertook training in a Swiss military school and obtained membership in the elite Swiss Guard – the group of well-trained professionals entrusted with the safety of the Pope and Vatican City for more than five hundred years. Jahn served as a Swiss Guard, protecting the reign of Pope John Paul II, from 1979 until 1989.

During periods of annual leave from the Vatican, Jahn repeatedly holidayed in Indonesia, starting in 1985. In May 1990, Jahn bid farewell to his constabulary role at the Vatican and moved to Bali where he met and married his wife, Kas, in May 2000.

A keen motorcyclist, Jahn had traveled widely in Indonesia and was often seen riding his bike on the streets of Bali.

According to reports, Jahn was rushed to a local hospital on July 25, 2012, suffering from an infection linked to an earlier motorcycle accident. He died five days later.

Roger Jahn’s remains were cremated in Bali on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at a service attended by more than 300 friends and colleagues. His ashes were later scattered into the Indian Ocean.


Declaring Independence from Want
MADE IN INDONESIA: Join an Independence Day Party at The Bridges in Ubud on August 17th and Help Kids from Kintamani

Indonesia’s national independence day on Friday, August 17, 2012 will be celebrated with a difference at The Bridges Restaurant in Ubud, Bali.

From 11:00 am until 5:00 pm on Indonesian Independence Day, a festival entitled “MADE IN INDONESIA” will be celebrated by the children of Kintamani and “Komunitas Anak Alam” to help raise funds for the purchase of 1,000 sets of school uniforms. A day of fun, music and dance presented by the children is planned.

Komunitas Anak Alam is a community group comprised of Balinese, Indonesian and international volunteers who work to empower children through community development, the protection of the environment and educational projects for children - especially those living in remote villages of Bali.

Photographs taken by the children of Kintamani will be exhibited and sold together with knitted items made by the children at the Ubud event.

Throughout the day a specially priced menu of food and beverage will be on sale with 10% of sales going to the school uniform project. Hatten Wines will also be available with 20% of sales proceeds reserved to help achieve the goal.

Those wishing to visit The Bridges on August 17th are urged to consider making a cash donation or bringing used and useable items to donate. Among the items needed are used school uniforms, clothing, toys, books, used laptops and cameras.

For more information telephone Hani at ++62-(0)361-970095

[Made in Indonesia August 17th Event Website


Flotsam and Jetsam
Baliís Port Gateway of Benoa Littered with Floating Garbage from Denpasarís Garbage Dump

Floating fields of trash despoiling Bali’s port of Benoa are being blamed on the nearby Suwung Rubbish Tip (TPA).

As reported by Seputarbali.com, the general manager of the port authority (PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III), Iwan Sabatini, estimates that 15 tons of rubbish floats into the waters and shore areas of the port each month. Moreover, he contends that in certain seasons and wind conditions the amount of trash discharged into the port can raise to be significantly more.

Sabatini said that the accumulated flotsam is routinely removed from the port and the area of its highest concentration just south of the passenger terminal and container facility.

The port manager estimates that in a month his team collect more than 1,000 bags of refuse adding up to 15 tons in a month.

“Most of the refuse is made up of household trash. We can certify that the trash is not produced by daily activities at the Port of Benoa and originates from the public dump at Suwung and beach side communities,” Sabatini explained.

Sabatini added: “How can we sell sea tourism if trash piles up in our oceans.”


A Raging Redundancy of Rooms
Officials Insist Moratorium in Effect on New Hotel Building in Baliís South

The policy of the provincial government of Bali imposing a temporary moratorium on the issuance of principal agreements to investors for new accommodation projects remains in place.

The head of the Investment and Licensing Body (BPMP) for Bali, IB Made Parwata, on Monday, July 30, 2012, told Bisnis Bali that his office and the head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) were in agreement to close new investment in accommodation in South Bali in order to more evening distribute tourism development in Bali.

Parwata said his office continued to be bound by instructions to implement a moratorium issued by the governor of Bali on December 27, 2010 sent to the national office of BKPM. The BKPM will not issue principal permission for new accommodation projects in South Bali to foreign investors.

He estimates that there are 2,190 accommodation providers in Bali providing 45,557 rooms. 85% of these rooms are concentrated in Bali’s capital of Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar. For this reason, he said, the BKPM, BPMP and other agencies are refusing requests for domestic and foreign investment projects in those areas.

By limiting new licenses officials hope to encourage investment projects in other areas of Bali and spread the economic benefit that accompanies these projects to less developed areas of the island. By encouraging new investment in Bali’s hinterlands, officials also hope to reduce the stress on the overburdened infrastructure in the island’s south.

Parwata suggested that the moratorium on new accommodation projects in South Bali may be strengthened further by placing such projects on the “negative list” of investments issued by the  central government making its illegal to launch new accommodation ventures in Bali’s southern regions.

Parwata said that the new hotel projects now being opened or constructed in South Bali are connected to investments approved before the December 2010 moratorium was declared.

Related Articles

[A Moratorium on Moratoria

[Ignoring Bali’s Moratorium on New Hotels]

[Giving the Hotel Industry a Say]


Putting The Consumer First
More Calls for End to Illegal Monopoly on Taxi Service at Baliís Airport

The National Committee for Competitiveness (KPPU) is urging the Bali Department of Transportation to undertake a reformation of the taxi system at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport now operated under a monopoly.

As reported by Seputarbali.com, a member of the KPPU, N. Nawir Messi, said; “The monopoly practice for taxis at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport inflicts losses on the consumer and violates Law No. 5 of 1999 against monopolies and unhealthy competitions.” He claims the current taxi operation at the Bali airport provide no choice of taxi service for arriving passengers and also fails to use meters to calculate fares.

Nawir continued, “In fact, the law defines a taxi as a form of public transportation, the cost of which is calculated by meters that measure the distance traveled.” He said the taxi situation at Bali's airport  results in a very negative image of Indonesia for foreign visitors.

He also pointed out that in conformance with the law taxi monopolies have been eliminated at many airports across Indonesia.

Nawir called on the managers of the airport, PT Angkasa Pura, to create a competitive atmosphere for taxi operations at Bali’s air gateway by eliminating the current monopolistic practice. He pointed out, however, that the authority to reform the taxi monopoly at the Bali airport rests primarily with the Bali Transportation Office.

Joining Nawir’s call was the director of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Consumer Protection Bureau (YLPK), Putu Armaya, who said, “Passengers traveling through the airport are forced to pay high prices (for taxis) because there is now other public transportation option.”

Related Articles

[Ending the Taxi Monopoly at Bali’s Airport]

[Self-Serving or Serving the Public?]

[Is Bali's Airport Taxi Operation Illegal?]

[Editorial: Who Speaks for the Public?]


Waist Deep in the Bid Muddy
Bali Toll Way Builders Reject Claims by Lawmakers and Environmentalists, Insisting Care is Being Taken to Protect Coastal Mangrove Areas

Beritabali.com reports that the Provincial House of Representatives for Bali (DPRD-Bali) and the Bali Chapter of Friends of the Earth (WALHI) are both calling for a halt to the construction of the Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua toll way in order to allow a reevaluation of excavations being done in the protected mangrove forest to facilitate the erection of the 8 kilometer long suspended highway.

The DPRD-Bali claims the excavations being done in connection with the highway violate an agreement to protect the ecosystem of the surrounding mangrove forest.

The secretary of Commission III of the DPRD-Bali, I Gusti Made Suryanta Putra, says the toll way project must stop excavating the wetlands of the mangrove forest. Such excavations, he argues, violates initial agreements made by the project manager and threaten local shorelines due to resulting alterations to tidal flows.

The Bali chapter of Friends of the Earth (WAHLI) is reported to be similarly urging a temporary halt to the toll way project  in order to permit an environmental audit be undertaken on the highway project. WAHLI claims that, based on their observations, the excavations surrounding the elevated highway project are casing damage to the local environment.

The deputy director of WAHLI in Bali, Suryadi Darmoko, said the method of construction excavating wetland and use of limestone is in violation of the initial agreement with the project developers

Officials from Jasa Marga Bali, who are building the toll way, answer the charges leveled by legislators and environmentalists saying that any excavations surrounding the erection of supporting pylons are only temporary in nature and that the mangrove forest will be returned to its natural state once construction is completed. Developers insist that they have a strong commitment to preserving environment, citing the planting of thousands of mangrove trees by the company as just part of their strong commitment to environmental sustainability.


Donít Go Fly a Kite!
PLN Officials Warn Careless Kite Flying Can Cause Island-Wide Blackouts

Bali’s kite flying season now in full swing is posing a threat to those living off the island’s power grid.

According to the Bali Post, almost every evening power outages occur in various parts of the island caused by errant kites or kite strings that become entangled with the electrical power lines.

“Electrical blackouts in certain areas happen almost every night. In the kite flying season outages occur because of kite strings or kites shorting out electrical lines,” explained a State Power Board (PLN) Official in Bali, Wayan Bujana.

Bujana has urged the public not to leave their kites unattended at night. Bujana warned:” At night, the winds die down. At night moisture accumulates on the kite lines. With no wind, the kites will fall. If they touch a PLN transmission line a blackout will occur. This happens almost every night.”

Bujana raised the alarm further, warning that if unattended, kites hit main transmission lines or transformers resulting in blackouts affecting wide areas of the island, leaving large areas of the island in the dark for anything from 15 minutes to 5 hours.

He warned that between 2006 and 2010 Bali experienced a total of five total blackouts of the island, three of which were linked to kite flying.


A Ritual of Tax Avoidance
Unregistered Accommodation Providers in Gianyar Blamed for US$7.8 Million is Lost Tax Revenues Each Year

Those in charge of safeguarding tax revenues in the Bali regency of Gianyar are being accused of being less than serious in compiling and monitoring tax rolls.

As reported by Radar Bali, the loss of hotel and restaurant tax revenues through under-collection has regularly come under scrutiny in Bali, with the regencies responsible for collecting these taxes unwilling or unable to collect the full amount of taxes owed by many tourism operators.

In the regency of Gianyar, the rapid increase in the amount of new accommodation projects and illegal commercial villas are being blamed for the shortfall in tax collection. This was confirmed by the chairman of the PDIP faction from the Gianyar House of Representatives (DPRD-Gianyar), Kadek Diana, who told the press that the “leakage” of hotel and restaurants tax happens every year.

“There are two possible explanations for this. Does the leakage happen because the taxes are actually collected and then corrupted? Or, is the true potential of hotel and restaurant tax missed because many of these business are not registered as tax objects?” Diana asked.

Diana thinks that the shortfall in tax potential is because many businesses in Gianyar are not listed on the tax rolls. He pointed to the large number of melati (inns), villas and home stays that have escaped registration. “Maybe the starred hotels are all registered, but what about melati hotels? What’s more, how about villas and home stays?” he asked.

He said figures provided by the Central Statistic Bureau (BPS) show there are many tourists coming to Bali, but at the same time the amount of tax leakage continues to grow. Many of these guests, he contends, are staying at accommodation providers that pay no taxes.

This problem, he explained, cannot be detached from the high level of permit and license violations taking place in Gianyar with hotels being built and operated without obtaining any of the necessary permits and licenses.

Suggesting a solution, Diana said those charged with securing the regencies tax rolls must undertake a thorough review of all accommodation operators in Gianyar. In addition, the system of tax payments for hotels and restaurants must be put on line.

As reported earlier by Radar Bali, the BPS has estimated that tax “leakage” in Bali exceeds Rp. 2.7 trillion (US$290 million) each year. In Gianyar alone, the estimated loss in tax revenues from hotels and restaurants is put at Rp.73 billion (US$7.8 million).

The BPS estimates the potential for tax revenues to be collected by hotels and restaurants in all of  Bali at Rp. 4.7 trillion (US$505million).


Drinking Oneself Blind
American Backpacker Who Went on Drinking Binge in Bali Alleges Methanol Poisoning and Loss of Sight

A number of foreign news sources are reporting that an American tourist suffered poisoning that left her partially blinded after drinking local distilled liquor or arak at a Bali nightspot.

Perthnow.com reported on Friday, August 3, 2012, that the incident left the woman partially blind.

The American, said to be 19 years of age, is reported to have suffered methanol poisoning after she imbibed an estimated 8-10 glasses of free cocktails made from juice and arak at a local bar.

The woman backpacker arrived in New Zealand with symptoms of shortness of breath and, 35 hours later, sustained  a loss of vision. Paramedics in New Zealand made a diagnosis of methanol poisoning linked to the 8-10 drinks free drinks the girl consumed at an unspecified tourist bar in Bali.

The woman told New Zealand Medical officials she drank a large number of cocktails containing distilled arak made from sugar cane, coconut flower rice and poisonous and potentially lethal methanol.

The Bali police headquarters claim they have yet to receive a report on the alleged poisoning involving an American citizen that would allow them to commence a formal police investigation.


When Stickers Get Stuck Somewhere
Plans to Charge Higher Gasoline Prices for State-Owned Vehicles Gets Delayed by Missing Government Stickers

Plans by the Indonesian government to compel all government-owned vehicles across major areas of the country to buy only non-subsidized fuel beginning August 1, 2012, has come to naught in Bali due to a lack of government-produced stickers intended to identify those vehicles no longer eligable to purchase subsidized fuel.

Beritabali.com reports that provincial and regional government offices in Bali had not received the required stickers in time to affix them to publicly owned vehicles.

A provincial assistant for the economy and development, Ketut WIja, confirmed the stickers meant to compel state-owned vehicles to purchase the more expensive, non-subsidized Pertamax had yet to arrive in Bali. He said that until the stickers did arrive, administration of the new policy would rest with the State-owned oil company Pertamina.

Wija said in the interim vehicles with red license plates signifying them as owned by the state should be requested to purchase Pertamax. He continued, saying red-plated vehicles refusing to comply with the new policy should be noted and reported to the agency for supervision of minerals and gas (BP Migas).

Ketut Wija said that 9,000 stickers have been set aside for the province of Bali. It is currently estimated that there are 3,000 state-owned cars and 4,500 state-owned motorcycles operating in Bali. These totals do not include vehicles operated by state-owned companies, provincially owned companies, the military and the police.
 


Lack of Plan, Lack of Direction
Indonesian Association of Tourism (GIPI) Wants Moratorium on New Building in Bali Until Master Plan Completed and Carrying Capacity Calculated

In the absence of a Master Plan for Bali Tourism, the chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Association on Tourism (GIPI), IB Ngurah Wijaya is urging the government to issue at least a temporary moratorium on new accommodation projects.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, Wijaya said the moratorium on new hotel projects issued by governor Pastika in 2011 was done at the bequest of various tourism stakeholders via GIPI. GIPI is again seeking that the moratorium be accepted by all parties as a temporary measure.

Wijaya explained that while a moratorium is in effect the government could use that interlude to survey and evaluate the actual demand for accommodation in Bali based on both domestic and international arrival figures. At the same time, officials could carefully assess the carrying capacity of the island.

It is GIPI’s view, said Wijaya, that Bali has neither a comprehensive study examining the carrying capacity of the island nor a master plan for tourism.

GIPI is renewing its call on the provincial government of Bali to create a master plan for Bali including specific plans for the tourism sector. Such a plan, GIPI contends, must address public facilities and all the infrastructure issues including water, electricity, roadways and waste disposal.

GIPI repeated its recommendation that they be included in any review process for those seeking to establish new accommodations projects in Bali.


Westin Bali Become Ravenous with Ravi
Ravi Obeyesekere Named Executive Chef at Westin Nusa Dua, Bali

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali has appointed Ravi Obeyesekere as Executive Chef.

Obeyesekere arrives in Bali after a very successful 12-year engagement in the same position at the Sheraton Mirage Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Chef Ravi brings a wealth of culinary experience to the Resort. His career and culinary education has brought him from Sri Lanka, to the Middle East, China, New Zealand and Australia.

No stranger to the exacting and uncompromising standards for those employed with Starwood, Chef Ravi celebrated his 25th year working for the company in 2011.

Chef Ravi is also no stranger to Indonesia and its rich cultural traditions. In 1996 he was instrumental in setting up the Food and Beverage departments for several new Sheraton hotels that opened in quick succession across Java in Solo, Jakarta and Surabaya. Subsequently he provided ongoing culinary support for a further two years at each property while working as executive chef with the Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta.

A consummate perfectionist, Chef Ravi is passionate about creating flavorsome food. At The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali he has declared his intention to showcase dishes that honor the culinary heritage of Indonesia and Bali alongside modern fare to appeal to a diverse audience of travelers.

Chef Ravi says he is excited about the high quality of ingredients currently available in Bali and he is looking forward to experiencing the island’s evolving dining scene for further inspiration.

“Chef Ravi’s extensive culinary expertise can only strengthen the Resort’s Food and Beverage positioning. He has acquired a talented team of young kitchen associates who are enthusiastic to learn under his guidance. Guests can expect to see some positive changes at all of our restaurant venues in the near future as Chef Ravi revitalizes each menu and reinvents a number of dishes with his own signature twist,” comments Bipan Kapur, managing director of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali.


Formation Flying
Indonesian President Yudhoyono Wants AirAsia Acquisition of Batavia Air Done Strictly by the Rules

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has issued a statement declaring that the acquisition of Indonesian air carrier Batavia Air by AirAsia be done in strict compliance with the Aviation Law No. 1 of 2009 that mandates a 51% share for any Indonesian air carrier must be held by Indonesian interests.

Bisnis.com reports that said that the entire acquisition of Batavia Air would be reviewed with final approval of the transaction resting solely with the Minister of Transportation.

President Yudhoyono said: “”I have checked and it appears that the matter has yet to be presented to the Minister of Transportation. As a matter of fact, the acquisition of Batavia Air by Air Asia must follow a set process in accordance with Law No. 1 of 2008. If there is cooperation, the majority share must be owned domestically.”

Saying he seeks cooperation that is profitable and acceptable to all parties, the President underlined that final and full and final approval of the approval rests with the Minister of Transportation.

Related Article

[AirAsia Seeking to Purchase Batavia Air]


Pack Up all your Cares and Woes
Bali is an Island Awash with Stars with Recent Visits by Ashton Kutcher, Milla Kunis and Hugh Jackman

The stars shine bright in Bali.

During the first week of August 2012, Hollywood starlets Ashton Kutcher and pal Mila Kunis, both in the midst of relationship rebounds, traveled together to Bali for some R&R between film projects.

Ashton’s exact location in Bali was kept under wraps to preserve himself and Mila from prying paparazzi and, some say, incessant phone calls from Kutcher’s irrate wife Demi Moore, said to be harassing the “Two and a Half Men” star with whom she is actively involved in a divorce proceedings.

Ashton's and Mila's accommodation in Bali? All we can say is that it was a private villa on Bali’s southern peninsula with its own private dip pool. Beyond that, our lips are sealed

Ashton and Mila were spotted in Los Angeles boarding a flight bound for Bali the morning after an end of production party for his last movie “Jobs” held on Thursday, July 26, 2012. While Kutcher is severing marital ties with Demi Moore, Mila’s former dating regular Macaulay Caulkin is now truly “Home Alone” and rumored to be trying to separate himself from dependencies much lethal than a former girlfriend.

In July, Bali was also visited by Australian actor Hugh Jackman who brought his wife Deborra Lee Furness to Bali after finishing filming  Les Miserables and before heading on to Sydney to take up his next role in Wolverines – the next installment in the X-Men saga.


Paradise Lost
Le Monde Article Claims Mass Tourism is Destroying Bali

An article in the leading French-language newspaper Le Monde examines how mass tourism is destroying Bali and its culture.

Written by correspondent Bruno Philip, the incisive article reviews before a large French readership a litany of all-too-familiar problems that the rapid development of Bali brings to threatening the island’s future and its endemic culture.

In the course of preparing his article, Bruno spoke to both the Balinese and expatriates living on Bali who confirmed, “Bali is not what it used to be.”

And while change brought by progress and modernity are inevitable, it is the recent shift from cultural to mass tourism that is wreaking the most havoc  on what was once an island paradise.

Philip points to a myriad of causes: new hotels tapping into an inadequate water table; the usurpation of agricultural lands in roads; housing and hotel developments at an alarming rate; enormous piles of refuse and garbage overwhelming the local rubbish tip; and traffic jams fueled by an increasing number of cars and motorcycles likely to outpace efforts underway to create new roadways.

The leading French journalist also examines the valiant, but largely ignored, efforts by the governor to protect cultural values through establishing set back distances from rivers and seashores and no-build zones surrounding Hindu temples. Meanwhile the island regents, he claims, with vested financial interests collude with investors and real estate developers to bypass these zoning rules, irrevocably changing the cultural character of Bali in the process.

Le Monde also looks at a similar effort by the governor to introduce a moratorium on new accommodation projects, equally opposed and ignored by regional officials.

Stinging in its insightfulness, the article looks at how Bali is aping traditions and rituals from other destinations, fraudulently presenting them as intrinsic to the island. The bowed head and wai used to greet guests at hotels in villas in Bali is a borrowed nicety, more appropriate to Thailand. Similarly, floral leis draped around visitors necks are a Polynesian practice, completely unknown in Bali until it recent introduction by the tourism trade.

In keen competition for dollars, Yens and Euros – young people in Bali are increasingly distancing themselves from agricultural work and ritual religious practice, branding the “old ways” as both uncool and provincial.

Bruno Philip also spoke to religious leaders asking: “How can religion survive capitalism?” A Brahman near Ubud described the change now underway in Bali, saying: “Traditionally, people lived in fear of the gods. Because the Balinese were aware of nature’s forces, rites enabled them to maintain the balance between man and divinity. Now, even though the rites are still respected, an increasing number of people are focused on material possessions. The authorities’ policies are causing a loss of collective wisdom, a blurring of reference points and cultural uprooting.”

The inescapable conclusion suggested by the article may be that even the “island of the gods” is a paradise incapable of surviving in the present era.
 


The Strange Case of Anand Krishna
Indonesian Supreme Court Throws Out Innocent Verdict for Spiritualist Anand Krishna, Sentencing Him to 2.5 Years of Prison

On November 22, 2011, following a trial that lasted nearly two years - prolific author, spiritual guru and front-line proponent in creating a pluralistic Indonesian society - Anand Krishna was found innocent in a South Jakarta Court of all criminal charges laid against him.

That trial, largely unprecedented in the annals of Indonesian jurisprudence, saw the State present a disjointed case in which the writings and teachings of Krishna urging religious tolerance and pluralism received more attention by the Court than evidence connected to the actual charges laid by a former female follower who said she had been sexually otraged by the spiritual guru.

The drama and intense media attention accompanying the trial intensified during a 49-day hunger strike initiated by Krishna and, later, the removal of presiding judge Hari Sasangka for fraternization with one of the prosecution’s main witnesses.

With the trial process largely in tatters, highly respected and fiercely independent jurists Albertina Ho was assigned to continue and finish the trial. Reviewing the evidence and recalling  key witnesses, Judge Ho wasted little time ruling the evidence preented by the prosecution was totally inadequate to support the criminal charges against Anand Krishna. Judge Ho acquitted Krishna of all charges and ordering a full restoration of his civil rights.

Unhappy with the acquittal and in seeming disregard for Section 244 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP), prosecutors appealed Krishna’s acquittal to the Indonesian Supreme Court.

KUHP 244 stipulates that appeals cannot be brought to the Supreme Court when the defendant has been freed and declared innocent by the lower court.

Shortly after acquitting Krishna and following her fearless handling of politically charged cases involving tax manipulation by Gayus Tambunan and disgraced prosecutor Cirus Sinaga, Judge Ho was summarily reassigned to a backwater community on Bangka island.

Undeterred and taking legal refuge under a Minister of Justice 1983 decree that declared acquittals by a lower court could be challenged in the Supreme Court for reasons of “condition, law, justice and correctness,” prosecutors appealed Krishna's innocent verdict to the Supreme Court.  In taking the position that a Ministerial Decree has greater legal weight than a formalized law, three judges ruled in late July 2012 that Justice Ho had erred in her absolute acquittal of Anand Krishna, concluding that he was in fact guilty of sexual molestation of a student or a person under his supervision in accordance with Indonesian criminal code (KUHP 294).

In reversing the acquittal, the three judges also imposed a prison sentence of 2.5 years to be served by Anand Krishna.

Alarmed and outraged by his reversal of legal fortune, Anand Krishna, via his son Prashant Gangtani, has questioned the independence and objectivity of the Supreme Court's handling of the case. Krishna’s supporters have declared their intent to seek judicial review of the decision by international courts and non-governmental agencies dealing with judicial abuse.

“I realize that taking these steps will embarrass the Supreme Court, but I will defend my father for the sake of truth and legal certainty in our country. I will bring this case to the International Criminal Court,”

 Prashant told Detik.com.

Joining a growing chorus protesting the Supreme Court’s decision,
Former Indonesian Minister for Research and Technology, Prof. Dr. Muhammad A.S. Hikam also expressed his concerns on Twitter via @mashikam expressing his “100% support” of Anand Krishna and challenging the legality of any acquittal being reviewed by the Supreme Court as a violation of KUHP 244.

Also protesting the Courts decision is the Humanitad Foundation (humanitad.org) – an international non-governmental, non-profit, self-funding organization dedicated to the promotion of interfaith and intercultural tolerance and fellowship.

The founder of Humanitad, Sacha Stone, issued a written statement saying: “It is a cruel irony that this good and caring man should be the victim of a miscarriage of justice in his homeland, the scale of which is presently unparalleled by any other judicial body in the democratic world.’

Adding: “When the rule of law is undermined, and when the integrity of those responsible for upholding the rule of law is compromised, it is the responsibility of all free people to stand up if our most sacred freedoms are to be preserved. A fair and public hearing, by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of a criminal charge, is a fundamental right of every human being on this planet. In the present case it is clear that no man of good will would consider the Supreme Court ruling against Anand Krishna to be either fair, public, independent or impartial.”

Separately, Anand Krishna has vowed to fight the Supreme Court decision to imprison him by every means possible in order that no other Indonesian citizen’s civil rights are similarly disregarded by the courts in the future.

Anand Krishna maintains religous and meditation centers in a number of Indonesian locales, including Bali.

Related Website

[FreeAnandKrishna.com]




The Bali Code
Balidiscovery.com Establishes a QR Code for Smartphone Users Wanting List of Bali Holiday Activities

Balidiscovery.com installed a Quick Response Code (QR Code) on its home page as an additional service to Bali visitors.

The Code, displayed here and on the upper right-hand corner of Balidiscovery.com’s home page, is a barcode available to millions of Smartphone operators providing an instant connection and download of suggested activities and discount prices to Bali visitors.

Via the link provided travelers can browse popular land tours and attractions in Bali together with a host of current special offers. Then, still using their hand phones, visitors can telephone, SMS or Email Bali Discovery 24 hours a day to seek more information or make reservations.


7th Sanur Village Festival September 26-30, 2012
The Sanur Development Foundation Announce plans for 7th Sanur Village Festival September 26-30, 2012

The 7th Sanur Village Festival returns to Bali's popular seashore community September 26-30, 2012

This year’s festival will be headquartered on the grounds surrounding the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel, a move from last year’s event on Jalan Mathari Terbit.

The theme adopted for the 7th Sanur Village Festival is “Salampah Laku” – the title of the Balinese poem written by Ida Pedanda Sideman who hailed from the Griya Taman Intaran in Sanur.

In explaining the motivation behind the theme, the organizers wish to use the life of the multi-talented Ida Pedanda Sideman who in addition to being a poet also worked as a sculptor and an architect. “Salampah Laku” is meant to motivate and inspire the people of Sanur to make meaningful contributions to the local community through care for culture, the environment and educational advancement.

While final details for this year's Sanur Village Festival are still being finalized, activities to be included are a food festival, environmental projects, a bazaar, golf tournament, photo exhibition, a jungkung flotilla, mass yoga exercise and staged musical entertainment.
 


Toilet Training for Bali Businesses
Bali Officials Cap Pipes of Legian Beach Hotels and Inns Pumping Raw Sewage Into Roadside Drains and Nearby Ocean

The Quick Response Team from the Environmental Agency of the Badung Regency descended on Jalan Padma Legian on Wednesday to investigate a large number of local businesses and accommodation providers discharging raw sewage into roadside drains that eventually flows into the nearby sea at Legian Beach.

As reported by Nusa Bali, the head of the regency division charged with supervision of the environment, AA Raka Sukadana, confirmed 12 discharge pipes were discovered along the roadside drains – all linked to nearby accommodation providers.

Upon discovering the pipes, the regency ordered PT Dawan Sakti, the company that has the contract to upgrade drainage along Jalan Padma to immediately seal all discharge pipe. The order to close the pipes was also supported by the village chief (lurah) of Legian.

Regency and lurah authorities warned local businesses that they will not hesitate in the future to open access to drainage ditches in order to seal off existing or new drainage pipes discovered to be discharging into public drains that eventually flow to the sea.


Domestic Bliss
Indonesian Tourism Minister: Domestic Tourism Worth US$18 Billion

Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, estimates that domestic tourists spent US$9 billion dollars nationwide in the first six months of 2012.

During the same six months, Pangestu told the Bali Post, the number of domestic tourist trips increased 3.5% over the same period one year before. The Ministry's growth figures are based on visitor figures at major tourism objects across the nation.

For the entire year of 2012 Pangestu projects a total of 245 million domestic trips will be taken worth US$18 billion to the national economy.

In 2011 the government calculates that 236.8 million domestic trips were taken with a total value of Rp. 156.89 trillion (US$16.9 billion).


Lady in Charge
Bali Appoints its First Female District Police Commander in Klungkung

Bali has appointed its first female officer as the head of a police district command (Kapolres) with the placement of Police Grand Commissioner Adjutant (AKBP) Dra Ni Wayan Sri Yudayatni Wirawati as the officer in charge at the Klungkung command.

She replaces AKBP Tri Wahyudi who has been assigned to a job at the police headquarters fir Central Sulawesi.

AKBP Wayan Sri Yudayatni Wirawati’s installation in her new command role became effective July 30, 2012.

Before her most recent promotion, AKBP Wirawati’s job was with the Bali Police Command in charge of the section charged with reforming the police bureaucracy (RBO).


We Gave at the Office
Tanjung Benoa Hotels Joins Forces with National Anti-Narcotics Agency to Keep their Workplace Drugs Free

Hundreds of employees of the Grand Mirage Resort, Club Mirage and Thalasso Spa at Tanjung Benoa underwent drug screening conducted by the National Anti-Narcotic Agency (BNN) on Monday, July 30, 2012.

The screening, conducted via urinalysis, is part of a nationwide movement to remove drugs from the workplace. While similar tests have been conducted at universities, private businesses and government agencies, this is the first time such testing was carried out at a Bali hotel.

Done with the cooperation of the hotel, any potential staff member testing positive for drug usages would be given remedial care and counseling. Those tested and found positive would also be considered victims and not charged criminally.

The personnel director for the Grand Mirage Resort, Wayan Dekron told Nusa Bali that the program of drug testing at the hotels was to support the anti-narcotics program of the Indonesian government.

[Book a Stay at the Club Bali Mirage]
 


Not a Happy Landing
Bali International Flight Academy Training Aircraft Crashes in North Bali

A training aircraft from the Bali International Flight Academy (BIFA) crashed into a private home near the Letkol Wisnu Airfield in Buleleng, North Bali on Sunday, August 5, 2012.

Cessna 172 aircraft with registration number PK ROI crashed while in a landing pattern at about 2:00 pm with two student pilots onboard. The students were on a cross-country training flight and returning to base at the time of the accident.

The BIFA students at the dual controls of the aircraft were pilot Rizky Rahmadhani (23) co-pilot Budi Alovo (26). Both men survived the crash and were taken to a local hospital for treatment. Their injuries were reportedly limited to minor cuts and abrasions with both men released from the hospital after receiving medical treatment.

According to Radar Bali and the Bali Post, the aircraft was flying too low in a landing pattern preparatory to landing when it clipped a treetop and crashed into the yard of a local home.

A team of investigators from the National Committee for Transportation Safety (KNKT) has been dispatched to the location of the crash to determine the cause of the crash.


Welcome Back Pak Made!
Baliís Governor Returns from Singapore after Undergoing Nearly Four Weeks of Medical Treatment

On Sunday, August 5, 2012, Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika returned to Bali after being absent from the island since July 11th while undergoing medical treatment in Singapore.

According to the Bali Post and Radar Bali, the governor, looking somewhat pale, landed at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport  on SQ 946 at 7:25 pm and immediately traveled to his official residence in downtown Denpasar.

Waiting at his home were a number of provincial officials, including deputy governor A.A. Puspayoga.

Upon arriving at his home the governor and his wife put on ritual sashes and directly attended a temple to offer prayers.

Prayers completed, the governor and Madam Pastika received the waiting friends and officials.

Details of the governor’s extended medical treatment in Singapore remain largely a mystery with few details revealed to the press on the nature of his illness.

Related Article

[Get Well Soon, Pak Made!]


Ship Shape for the Holidays
More Ferries To Operate Between Bali and Lombok During Lebaran Holidays

PT Angkutan Sungai, Danau, dan Penyeberangan (ASDP) – the company providing ferry services across Indonesia have announced that two additional ferries will be positioned on the Bali-Lombok crossing during the coming Lebaran holidays to alleviate anticipated backlogs of waiting passengers and vehicles.

PT ASDP manager in Padangbai, East Bali, Asril Usman, said the employment of the KM Galang Samudra and KM Bahari Utama would bring to 23 the number of ferries plying the route across the Lombok Straits.

Usman said the condition of all 23 ships was “very seaworthy” and he hoped their smooth operation would be sufficient to handle heavy demand during the biggest holiday period in Indonesia.

The PT ASDP manager is anticipating a 10-12% increase in passengers loads during the coming Lebaran period.

In addition to more ships, the ASDP will also set up Command Posts and Medical Clinics at the Padang Bai Port. Additional personnel from the police and military will also be assigned to the port to keep public order and the traffic flowing.
 
Idul Fitri or Lebaran falls on August 19-20, 2012.


 
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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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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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #539
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Bali Update #538
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Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #527
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #524
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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