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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #941 - 15 September 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


A Bus to the Airport
Bali Proposed Airport Bus Service to Cost Rp. 30,000 a Trip?

The Bali Daily (Jakarta Post) hints that the Bali Transportation Agency plans to introduce substantially higher fares for passengers who use a new bus service to connect the Trans-Sarbagita Bus Network to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Set to start trial operations in late May 2013, the new service will represent the third corridor of service for the Trans-Sarbagita system. Existing routes run from Batubulan to Nusa Dua and Denpasar to Jimbaran.

Dewa Putra Putu Punia Asa, head of the Bali Transportation Agency said: 

“We will trial the airport route after the gubernatorial election is over. After the trial, we will study special tariffs for the route.”

The current bus fare on the Sarbagita system is Rp. 3,500 (US$0.35). However, an individual ticket of Rp. 30,000 (US$3) is being considered for those considering taking the bus to the airport. A lower, discounted monthly fare would also be available in order to encourage 8,000 airport workers to help reduce traffic congestion by using the bus system.

The implementation of the airport bus service remains dependent on a supply of subsidized buses promised by the Transportation Ministry. Bali is waiting for a delivery of 30 new buses promised by Jakarta, part of which will be used on the new route.

Jakarta transportation officials are, however, painting a doubtful picture on if and when more busses will be coming from Jakarta. Bali is being urged to invest its own funds in developing the bus system.

Bali Transportation officials have said they would, if necessary, borrow five buses from the existing bus system to provide public bus transport to the airport.

Rather than wait for busses or funding from Jakarta, the director of Urban Transport System Development at the Land Transportation Directorate General of the Transportation Ministry, Djoko Saksono, said: 

“The central government has provided bus grants in the past, now we expect the local administration to start developing their system, instead of relying on the central government’s grants. We do believe that public transportation in Bali is urgent. But our support may not always come in the form of state budget allocation because it is limited.”


Crime Crackdown Underway in Bali
Police Respond with Arrests, Raids and Special Deployments to Stop Crime Spree Targeted at Villas in North Kuta and Canggu

Due to the increase in robberies and burglaries at villas in North Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu - Bali’s Chief of Police General Arif Wachyunadi has assigned 50 members of the police’s elite mobile brigade (brimob) to the affected areas in an effort to reduce crime.

According to DenPost, the spokesman for the Bali Police, Hariadi, confirmed on May 9, 2013, the deployment of specially trained police to North Kuta, now designated as a “safe zone” by the police.

An unnamed source told DenPost that joint forces from the Badung Police Precinct and the Crime Division of the Bali Police are now “working hard” to investigate the unsolved robberies and burglaries of villas in North Bali.

Suspected hiding places of known criminal elements are being systematically raided across the Badung regency and Denpasar and a large number of criminals have been taken into custody.

The 50 members of the elite mobile brigade have been assigned to areas considered sensitive for crime and at key intersections in North Kuta.

Meanwhile, Police say the scant security measures put in place at many villas by their owners are partly to blame for recent increase in criminality. Many villas stand alone and separated in rice fields, located at a distance from the more populous and secure residential areas.

Both the police and the governor have in the past urged the installation of CCTV cameras, higher walls and additional security staff. Unfortunately, in many cases owners, more intent on preserving views than building tall fortifications, have ignored these recommendations

Related Article
[The Night is a Lonely Hunter]
 


A Bumper-to-Bumper Crop of Tourists
Government Survey of Tourists in Bali Showís Widespread Dissatisfaction with Traffic Conditions

A survey carried out by Bali’s Provincial Tourism Authority in 2012 identified traffic congestion as a major complaint made by international holidaymakers coming to the Island.

As reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), survey respondents urged urgent action be taken to address widespread traffic problems in Bali.

According to the head of the Bali Tourism Authority (Kadisparda), Ida Bagus Subhisku, the survey sought feedback from 1,000 respondents on matters ranging from traffic, customs, accommodation, restaurants, transportation, taxis and cleanliness.

A worrying 57% of those responding provided negative reviews of traffic conditions.

Survey participants were approached at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport during the departure process at the end of a holiday spent on Bali.

Subhisku characterized the negative feedback on traffic as “understandable” – especially those traveling in South Bali where the airport is located. The Tourism chief was quick to point out that traffic perceptions were no doubt influenced by the massive infrastructure projects underway that, when completed, will help alleviate much of the problem.

Bali is in the finishing phases of a major expansion of the airport, the construction of a underpass at the Simpang Siur intersection in Kuta and the Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua toll way.

And, while the infrastructure improvements will do much to help ease Bali’s traffic congestion, they should not be seen as a panacea to the Island’s traffic woes. Serious traffic congestion will persist in the capital city of Denpasar and central Kuta, while horrific and frequent accidents along the Denpasar-Gilimanuk highway will also continue to occur.

Badung Regent AA Gde Agung blamed traffic problems on illegal parking and asked local businesses in Kuta not to park on sidewalks. Yet, street side parking persists despite the availability of off-street parking.

Agung is promising to create no-parking areas in Kuta.

Related Article

[Call to Action]


Forever Chasing Rainbows
Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior to Visit Bali During Current Triumphal Return Voyage through Indonesia

The flagship of Greenpeace – The Rainbow Warrior, returned triumphantly to Indonesia on May 9, 2013, after being unceremoniously shown the door by Indonesian officials in October 2010.

The Rainbow Warrior sailed into the Papuan port of Jayapura as part of its stated mission, according to Greenpeace Indonesia’s Country Director for Indonesia, Longgena Ginting, “to raise awareness of Indonesia’s rich yet fragile environment, and to support President SBY’s commitment to protect the country’s forests and to restore our living oceans back to health.”

Continued Ginting: “Indonesia is home to some of the richest biodiversity spots on earth, but continued land clearance to make way for industrial plantations and overfishing of our country’s oceans are putting this all at risk. We hope our visit will support the political will needed to save this precious part of the world and to add to growing momentum to have the forests moratorium strengthened.”

Known for its rich biodiversity, Indonesia's aggressive land clearance and overfishing threaten future sustainability. The Country is home to 10% of the world’s rainforests, but the amount of the country covered in primal forests has declined from 82% to just 42% in the span of only 50 years.

Offshore, Indonesia’s coastal and marine habitats are now considered among areas most at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.

Signifying a change in atmosphere, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has accepted an invitation extended by the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kimi Naidoo, to visit the ship during its current Indonesian tour.

The ship left Jayapura on May 11, 2013 and sailed to Manokwari, Raja Ampat and Sorong. The famous Greenpeace vessel is scheduled to berth in Bali May 31-June 1, 2013, before visiting Jakarta June 7-10, 2013.

The Rainbow Warrior  is actually the third ship bearing that name. The 1st Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk in 1985 by French secret agents displeased with Greenpeace’s vocal opposition to nuclear testing on pristine South Pacific islands. A second ship by the same name, sailed for 22 years campaigning the globe on behalf of a greener world until it retired on August 16, 2011. The latest ship – built to the greenest specifications, entered service on October 14, 2011, continuing its proud legacy of environmental advocacy.

In the words of Longgena Ginting, “The Rainbow Warrior has been the heart and soul of Greenpeace global campaigning for over 30 years. She’s been raided, rammed, shot at and bombed, but the spirit of the Rainbow Warrior is as strong as ever.”


A Handicraft to Mouth Existence
Changing Tastes and a Global Economic Downturn Decimating Baliís Handicraft Sector

The prolonged global economic crisis has seen many of the companies involved in the export of Balinese handicrafts cease operations.

At the same time, the desire or ability of consumers to purchase local handicrafts is on the decline among both foreign and domestic visitors to Bali.

Traditional craftsmen, for whom the production of handicrafts has been a family trade passed on from one generation to the next, are now seeking new fields of work. Some have become farmers, coolies at local construction sites or workers in private industry.

According to Bisnis Bali, I Wayan Budi, a Denpasar resident who created handicrafts for more than a dozen years has seen his daily income decrease from US$7.50 to just US$2.50. Recently, however, his income had dropped to zero on many days due to the lack of sales.

Said Wayan Budi: “We are seeing the handicraft sector as holding little promise for the future. The condition is very bad. Sudden last minute orders have all but disappeared. Friends in the same business say that many former buyers have gone bankrupt.”

I Wayan Leder, a statuette maker from Bangli, also complains that the handicraft market has collapsed. Unable to live any longer from his meager income as a skilled handicraft maker, Leder now works as a collie on a building site where he can earn US$5 a day. Bali’s building boom at least offers a more certain source of income than creating souvenirs for sale to tourist or for exporters.

One observer of the handicraft sector, Drs. I Dewa Ngurah Dharendra, estimated that at its peak 25,000 people worked as handicraft makers. By extrapolating that each worker provided an income for a family of five, a total of 125,000 Balinese were dependent on the handicraft sector. That number is, however, clearly on the decline with fewer and fewer Balinese able to eek a livelihood from the production and sale of handicraft items.


Too Close to Call
Bali Governor Race Too Close to Call. Election Commission to Announce Results May 27, 2013

The Bali Election Commission (KPU-Bali) is at something of a quandary with both contesting parties in the May 15, 2013 gubernatorial race claiming victory.

Quoted by the States News Agency Antara, Ketut Sukawati Lanang Putra Perbawa, the chairman of KPU-Bali, said: “This condition is creating many questions among the public and clearly we have not yet issued any election results, informally or otherwise.”

The uncertain atmosphere pending the official election results announcement expected on May 27, 2013, prompted the KPU-Bali to convene a coordination meeting of island leaders to prevent rival claims of victory from dividing the community and creating unnecessary unrest.

“We will proceed according the phased schedule and provide the results of the recapitulation of votes on May 27, 2013. We hope the process will proceed peacefully without any malfeasance,” said Lanang Putra.

The phased vote counting process set by the KPU-Bali called for the count of village votes May 16-18; count of votes on the district level (kecamatan) May 19-21; and count of votes on the regency and metropolitan level May 22-24. The provincial count will occur between May 25-27.

Lanang Putra told the press that each phase of the recapitulation of votes would be witnessed by representatives of both competing parties, law enforcement authorities and an election supervisory board – all in place to prevent subsequent claims from any quarter of malfeasance in the counting of votes.

Meanwhile, unofficial “quick counts” of the vote show inconclusive results against the official margin of error. Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) showed only 0.62 percent margin dividing the two sets of candidates, well within the 1% margin of error.

A prolonged period during which Bali will not know who will serve as its next governor is becoming increasingly likely as the contending parties may appeal the results announced on May 27 and  seek a new election. Supporting such a call is concrete proof of illegal ballot formatting and a large number of documented invalid ballots cast at some polling places.


Fuming Forbidden
Gianyar Regent Pledges to Move Ahead to Create Non-Smoking Areas in Ubud and Surrounding Area

The Gianyar district of Bali is preparing to implement the provincial smoke-free area regulations in its area by setting up smoking rooms and smoking corners reserved especially for smokers in public areas.

As reported by Beritabali.com, during a meeting recently held between the chairman of Bali Child Protection Agency's (LPA) Ni Nyoman Masni and the Regent of Gianyar Anak Agung Bharata it was agreed that the regency would soon promulgate rules on smoke-free areas.

Masni told the press: “I have asked the Regent to quickly realize the smoke-free rules for Gianyar in order that the rules and legal basis are clear. We are not forbidding people to smoke but to regulate smoking in order that the health of non-smokers is not affected.”

Meanwhile, the Bali Chapter of the Association of Indonesian Teachers (PGRI-Bali), represented by Ida Bagus Putu Sudiarta, is also urging the regency of Gianyar to quickly implement the no-smoking zone rule. “We have a rule, but we have no enforcement. If a teachers smokes, who’s to forbid it? We need firm enforcement and supervision,” said Sudiarta.

The Regent of Gianyar, Anak Agung Bharata, said he welcomes the steps being taken to push the promulgation of rules on smoke-free areas in Gianyar. Bharata said the implementation of these rules is important to the health of the public, particularly children.

The Regent continued: “I feel the implementation of no-smoking zones is very good, especially since I am a former heart patient, which means health is everything to me. Wherever there’s smoke it’s bad for public health. I will establish smokers’ corners or smoking areas like you see in Japan. I am committed to the smoke-free-area rules. We will formulate them together.”

The Gianyar Regency will first focus on rules for non-smoking areas in schools, especially grade schools. To this end, he is seeking input from the LPA and the principals of schools in Gianyar.


By Invitation Only
Singing Sensations Il Divo and Adrian Gan Fashion to Highlight Black-Tie Dinner Party at The Mulia, Mulia Resort and Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali

Large billboards are popping up across the island welcoming “invited guests” to a very special “by invitation only” black-tie dinner party to be held at The Mulia –Mulia Resort and Villa at Nusa Dua on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

y is believed to be part of a series of grand opening celebrations to be hosted at The Mulia, Mulia Resort and Villas in Nusa Dua.

While details remain sketchy for this private affair, the billboards reveal that the dinner party at the new 5-star resort will feature a fashion show by the internationally renowned haute couture designer Adrian Gan and music by the superstar Il Divo musical operatic pop vocal group.

Created by Simon Cowell, the U.K.-based group is comprised of French pop singer Sébastien Izambard, Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, American tenor David Miller, and Swiss tenor Urs Bühler.

Il Divo has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide.


Going My Way?
Jalan Raya Kuta to Become One-Way Street

A team coordinated by the head of the Kuta, Bali police precinct, I Gede Putu Dedy Ujana, is now studying proposed major changes in traffic patterns in order to reduce traffic congestion.

Among the changes under consideration is turning Jalan Raya Kuta into a one-way street.

The Community Head (Lurah) of Kuta, I Wayan Daryana, confirmed to DenPost the possible change in Kuta traffic flows. Daryana said the change has been on the table for at least three months for consideration and input from sub-district officials, community associations and the military.

Daryana called for a phased introduction of any major change to the traffic pattern, allowing the public to become gradually familiar with the change and provide feedback to officials.

The proposed change would see the roadways from in front of Galael Supermarket until Jalan Raya Kuta become a one-way road traveling south.

This would help eliminate the traffic bottleneck in front of the busy Joger shop where customers often park on one side of the road and then attempt u-turns to return.

Dedi said. “I hope that if Jalan Raya Kuta becomes one-way, the traffic jams will end.”

It is not clear from the press reports if all of Jalan Raya Kuta commencing from the airport will become a one-way street or only a portion of that road.

More details as they become available.

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Call to Action


Waterboom or Waterbust?
Gianyar Waterboom Recreation Park Project Half-Built and Abandoned

Plans to construct and open a waterboom recreational park in the Samplangan district of Gianyar appear to be in doubt.

The park and supporting structures located on 1.8 hectare of land now stand half-completed as construction workers abandoned the project when their paychecks stop flowing.

Bali Post reports that an inspection of the Bukit Jati Waterboom Project site on Friday, May 17, 2013, revealed a partially completed two-storey building stood in front of a swimming pool. Two swimming pools, opened to the public and local athletes before the project was commenced, now stand empty and in a state of disrepair.

Local residents say workers employed in building the water recreation site stopped work in February 2013 when they no longer were paid wages for their labors.

The regency government of Gianyar has made no comment on the current status of the Bukit Jati project.

Originally, plans were for the park to become fully operational in December 2012 following a groundbreaking ceremony held on May 4, 2012.

The former regent or Gianyar, Cokorda Artha Ardhana Sukawati officiated at the groundbreaking attended by the CEO of PT Karya Makmur Dewata Group, R.A. Rahardjo.

Karya Makmur Dewata presented itself at the groundbreaking as the developer of the project that promised to provide valuable work opportunities for the surrounding community.

The future of the half-completed project now appears to be very much in doubt. Meanwhile, a public swimming area once enjoyed by the public may prove to be one victim of the failed water park project. 


Jumbo Ambitions
Bali Ngurah Rai Airport Working to Accommodate Airbus A380 Aircraft.

Part of the renovation program of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport includes structural modifications that will allow Airbus A380 aircraft to land and take off from Bali.

The Airbus A380 aircraft is currently the world's largest passenger aricraft in operation.

NusaBali quoted Dahlan Iskan, the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) telling Tempo.co that Bali would “be the first airport that can accept the Airbus A380 double-decker aircraft.”

In order for an airport to handle the Airbus A380 Super Jumbo aircraft , the subject airport must have the passenger carrying capacity be contemplated  in its check-in, waiting rooms and baggage handling facilities in order to handle the arrival and departure of more than 600 passengers on a single aircraft.

Angkasa Pura I – the State-owned company that manages Indonesia’s major airports, is targeting that Bali’s newly renovated airport will be able to accommodate the Airbus A380 together with Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

The renovated Bali air gateway will have 12 air bridges for the arrival and departure of aircraft with only one capable of linking to the two-storey Airbus A380 passenger access configuration. The two-storey air bridge will, however, be able to serve other aircraft when not in use for Airbus A380.

Questions remain, however, on whether or not the 2,750-meter runway at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport can facilitate the take-off  requirements of a fully loaded and fully fueled Airbus A380. 


Baliís General Hospitals Passes its Check Up
Baliís Sanglah General Hospital Wins International JCI Certification

After working continuously since 2011, Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital has finally earned international accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI).

JCI, established in 1994, is represented in more than 90 countries worldwide promoting rigorous standards of health care at its accredited institutions.

Sanglah’s accreditation by JCI was granted in April 2013 is based on 14 benchmarks of health care and service covering some 1,812 separate criteria.

In qualifying for JCI accreditation, Sanglah General Hospital underwent three separate operational audits undertaken in August 2012, December 2012 and finally in April 2013. Of the 1,812 separate functions reviewed during the surveys, Sanglah obtained passing marks on 97%.

With JCI accreditation Sanglah General Hospital in Bali becomes the first Balinese hospital to win certification and the second in Indonesia after Cipto Mangunkusumo Public Hospital in Jakarta.

The accreditation process requires recertification once every three years. 


An Apron with no Strings
Baliís Airport Enlarges Parking Apron to Accommodate More Private Jets

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has completed construction of a special charter aircraft facility to handle the estimated more than 1,000 private aircraft that land on the island each year.

Bali Post quotes Purwanto, the general manger of PT Angkasa Pura I, the State-owned company that manages the airport, saying: “ We have built an apron for 14 small-bodied aircraft. There have been many small airplanes/charters bringing VIPs to Bali, with each year the number reaching thousands.”

In the past, visits by unscheduled charter aircraft have proven problematic with visiting private jets not allowed to overnight at the airport due to a lack of available  parking space.

The additional apron space for small jets is aimed to allow more high-spending VIPS to spend time on the island. 


A Month of Dance and Theatre in Bali
35th Bali Arts Festival June 15-July 13, 2013

The 35th Bali Arts Festival will take place June 15 – July 13, 2013.

More than 340 national and international performance groups will take to the stages of the Bali Arts Center in downtown Denpasar.

The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that foreign performing groups from the U.S.A., India, Korea and several European nations are scheduled to appear in presentations  that will also include pioneering new collaborative efforts between Balinese and foreign artists.

The month-long festival will open with a traditional parade at which the Indonesian President traditional presides. After the parade on June 15, a formal grand opening ceremony will be held that same evening at Artha Candra Open Stage.

The 2013 Bali Arts Festival has adopted the theme of “Taksu” (inspiration or charisma) focusing on traditional art forms.

Ancient forms of classical Balinese dance will be resurrected during this year’s festival that will also feature culinary exhibitions, competitions, fashion shows, floral shows and displays of traditional handicrafts.

Local vendors will be selling traditional Balinese food including chicken and duck betutu, babu guling and lawar.

Commenting on the festival, the Bali chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), bemoaned the failure of the Bali Arts Festival to become a fixture on the Island’s list of tourist activities. Characterized by poor promotion and the lack of even a formal website listing performance times and venues, attendance at shows by visiting tourists remain minimal.

Cok Ace who heads the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPP) said the festival would become part of the Board’s promotional program in 2013.

Show on Balidiscovery.com is the chairman of the PHRI-Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati.



In Bali itís Capitalism First, the Environment Second
Bali Environmentalists Complain that Years of Careful Environmental Planning Sidelined by Presidential Agenda for Economic Development and APEC Summit

Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI-Bali), Greenpeace and the Wisnu Foundation held a dialog on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Bali to discuss creating sustainable development model for Bali with an emphasis on village development.

The environmental activists joining the dialog were concerned that major infrastructure projects in Bali have caused significant damage to the Island’s eco-system.

As reported by The Bali Post, the elevated highway over the mangrove connecting Benoa-Ngurah Rai Airport-Nusa Dua and contracts granting development rights over publically-owned mangrove areas are seen to be threatening the future earning ability of those dependent on the Island's seaside eco-systems, such as Bali’s traditional fishing communities.

The chairman of the Wisnu Foundation, Made Suarnata, claimed that Indonesia is the third most bio-diversified country in the world after Brazil and the Congo. Suarnata, however, said bio-diversity is at risk due to injustices that exists in how Indonesia uses its natural resources, driven by capitalist forces that always leave the general public as victims.

The chairman of WALHI-Bali, Wayan “Gendo” Suardana, complained that the destruction of forested and sea areas in Bali and the resulting loss of bio-diversity have been legalized and legitimized by the government. Policymakers, he contends,  justify these acts on the basis of the Master Plan for Acceleration of the Development of the Indonesian Economy (MP3EI) that is designed to bring direct short and long-term advantage to investors.

“Gendo” cited the case of the ongoing destruction of the Taman Hutan Raya (Tahura) Ngurah Rai Mangrove Forest by the construction of Bali’s new elevated toll road (JDP). Saddened by the condition of Bali’s increasingly threatened environment, ‘Gendo’ complained: “If you look at provincial zoning laws, the JDP is not included in that document. The original plan, in fact, includes a toll way from Benoa to Serangan Island.

However, because the JDP became part of the MP3EI and plans to prepare for the APEC Summit, the new ‘unplanned’ road was allowed to be built. The effect of all this is that all the time and energy spent in carefully preparing the provincial zoning rules (RTRWP 2009) was obliterated with a single presidential decision.”

The WALHI-Bali chairman accused the MP3EI of over-emphasizing the advancement of the tourism sector at the expense of the fisheries and agricultural sectors that are slowly disappearing form the Nation’s economy.

More Trouble Ahead?

“Gendo” sounded a further warning: “What will be most destructive in the future are a number of large projects that have not been fully exposed to the public. There are plans to build a marina in South Bali with indications that a new island of reclaimed land will form part of the investment. This is also due to MP3EI that insists on promoting water-based and marine cruising tourism.”

He went on to tell of at least 102.47-kilometers of Bali’s beaches under threat of erosion spread across 140 different locations in Bali. In other words, some 23% of Bali’s 438.8-kilometer shoreline is being washed away. Efforts to address erosion are currently limited to only 64-kilometers of beaches.

“Gendo” reminded of how the Bali Environmental Agency undertook a study in 2011 that found 13 major beach areas were badly polluted in Bali including the major tourism areas of Kuta, Sanur, Mertasari, Serangan, Benoa, Soka Tabanan, Nusa Dua and Lovina.

Related Article

Editorial: Keeping Promises Made to Bali



Indonesia Come to the Big Screen
Indonesian Government Eager to Welcome Filmmakers to Indonesia

State News Agency Antara reports from Cannes, France that many international film producers are interested in undertaking film productions in Indonesia because of Indonesia’s rich diversity of culture and world heritage treasures, such as the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur.

Cokorda Istri Dewi from the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy said the government is welcoming the desire to undertake film productions in Indonesia by providing a range of incentives to lure filmmakers to Indonesia.
Cokorda Istri Dewi confirmed that many filmmakers came to the Indonesian pavilion operated by the Ministry at the Cannes Film Festival May 15-16, 2013.

Lorna Tee, a film producer and festival consultant active in Southeast Asia said Indonesia has outstanding natural beauty that includes mountains, beaches and historical sites.

Tee who helped produce the Indonesian film “Postcards from the Zoo” that featured prominently at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011, added: “Indonesia should be able to explore several areas of the country that can be promoted as shooting locations for international films.”

Related Link

Film Production in Indonesia with Bali Discovery


Donít Forget to Flush
Many Bali Businesses and Hotels Refuse to Connect to Central Waste Water Treatment System

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) says efforts are being made to urge hotels and restaurant to connect to a central sewage and wastewater treatment system in Bali.

The Denpasar Sewerage Development Project (DSDP), established at substantial public expense, is meeting resistance from local business who prefer to pump their wastewater into local ditches, septic tanks and the ocean rather than be burdened with the cost of a monthly sewerage bill.

Nyoman Sueta, chief of DSDP, said: “We are urging the mayor and regents to encourage more hotels and restaurants in their areas to take part in this wastewater management system. Roughly, now only 10 percent of the hotels in Bali are connected to the DSDP system, while others may have their own wastewater management installations or dump their wastewater into open waters.”

From an estimated 1,319 star-rated hotels, the DSDP records only 130 accommodation providers in Denpasar, Sanur and Kuta are connected to their system.

The DSDP has been on operation since 2008 and has a total of 8,467 customers, targeting to add 7,500 more customers in the current year. The majority of connections are to private households.

The cost of a monthly connection to the sewage system for a private household is Rp. 25,000 (US$2.50). Star-rated hotels could pay up to Rp. 100,000 (US$10) per room per night while restaurants are liable to pay Rp. 700,000 (US$70), depending on the establishment’s seating capacity.

The deputy chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), I Gusti Ngurah Suryawijaya, claims the current rate for a sewerage connection is too high for hotels and should be linked to actual occupancy instead of room totals.

Rai insists there is a strong desire to use the new sewerage systems, adding: “For hotel managements like us, the beach and the culture are the two most important assets of our businesses. We would never want to see our ocean polluted by waste. So please share with us the names and locations of the hotels that dump their wastewater into the sea, so that our association can reprimand them.”

He also pointed out that many star-rated hotels in Bali have their own wastewater treatment facilities with smaller properties using septic tanks.
The Bali Environmental Agency (BLH), meanwhile, said that treated wastewater from a number of hotels, hospitals and other businesses in Bali do not meat acceptable standards for reintroduction to oceans and streams.


Oh Captain! My Captain!
Preliminary Findings Blame Pilots for April Crash of Lion Air Flight in Bali

The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report surrounding the April 13, 2013, crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 on final approach to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

The preliminary conclusion of investigators laid the blame for the crash at errors made by the pilot and co-pilot who failed to follow standard instrument approach procedures.

The plane hit the water just meters short of the runway apron for Runway 9 while the pilots were attempting a non-precision instrument approach. No deaths were recorded among the 108 passengers and crew on board the airplane, but 9 passengers sustained serious injuries.

The weather at the time of the crash saw rain moving through the area but visibility still good. The almost new aircraft had no maintenance issues that would have affected its ability to fly.

The co-pilot on the flight had 1,200 hours of logged flight time while the captain-in-command had 15,000 hours of experience.

Analysis of flight data shows that 2.5 minutes prior to the crash the plane was flying at 1,600 feet heading for Runway 9 with winds of 6 knots from 120 degrees. 30 seconds later, one minute before impact, the co-pilot said he could no longer see the airport and 30 seconds later ground proximity warnings began sounding in the cockpit as the aircraft passed 550 feet above ground level.

Unable to see the runway, the co-pilot disengaged the autopilot. Only 9 seconds before impact did the Captain tookhe wheel. The Captain was heard ordering a “go round” missed approach one second before the plane hit the water.

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Under the Volcano
Seven Indonesian Volcanoes Placed on ĎAlertí Status

Seven volcanoes in Indonesia have been placed in the "alert" or “siaga” status by the Center for Vulcanology and Natural Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG).

The second highest of four warning levels given by the government to volcanoes, “siaga” or “alert” status is given when the level of seismic activity increases and explosions are regarded an imminent possibility.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the chief of PVMBG, Surono, said, “most of the active volcanoes (covered by the alert) are located in North Sulawesi – Mount Soputan, Mount Karangetang and Mount Lukon.”

Four more mountains covered by the alert are Mount Ijen in East Java, Mount Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara, Mount Papandayan in Garut – West Java and Mount Sangiang Api in West Nusa Tenggara near Bima, Sumbawa.

All seven mountains remain under close surveillance by PVMBG.

The four levels assigned to all volcanoes in Indonesia from lowest to highest are normal or dormant, waspada or beware, siaga or alert. to Awas or Danger.

Surono said when and if a volcano will actually explode is difficult, if not impossible, to predict. A siaga status does not guarantee a large explosion will follow. But the issuance of a “siaga” status is meant to make local populations aware of a growing threat of a volcanic explosion.

At least two of the seven volcanoes on the current list pose a potential threat to aviation for Bali if a prolonged explosion were to take place.


Fuel Prices to Increase in June
Premium Gasoline in Indonesia to Cost 44% more in June

After a great deal of discussion and mixed signals, the Government of Indonesia has apparently resolved to increase the price of fuel in June to Rp. 6,5000 (US$0.65), an increase of Rp. 2,000 from the current price of Rp. 4,500 (US$0.45).

Diesel fuel will go up Rp. 1,000 to the new level of Rp. 5,500 (US$0.55).

The decision to go ahead with the long-expected price increase was announced by Indonesia’s newly appoint Finance Minister Chatib Basri, who still declined to specify an exact date in June when the price increase would take place.

The increase in fuel prices is widely seen as needed to reduce the financially crippling level of subsidization provided by the Government at the fuel pumps.

In exchange for eliminating a portion of the fuel subsidies the government has committed to spend Rp. 12.5 trillion (US$1.25 billion) on infrastructure projects, and education and poverty projects.

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Local Lingo First
Leading Bali Academician Sees Balinese Language Training as Essential to Preservation of Islandís Culture

The Rector of Bali’s Teachers’ College (IKIP PGRI), Drs. I Made Suarta, has told the State News Agency Antara that the Balinese language forms an intrinsic part of Bali’s soul and charm (taksu) and, as such, cannot be allowed to fade into oblivion. Speaking at commencement ceremonies for IKIP PGRI on Friday, May 24, 2013, Suarta said, “Because of this, we hope the Balinese language is always preserved and spoken on the planet.”

He went on to stress that the role of the Balinese language in the daily life of the Balinese provides comfort and peace to its speakers.

To help safeguard the language of the Balinese people, Governor Made Mangku Pastika has introduced legislation requiring Balinese form a park of the Island’s educational curriculum from grade school until middle school.

Made Suarta explained how IKIP PGRI offers eight fields of study, one of which is the study of Balinese and Indonesian literature.

With the Governor’s new regulation, educators hope that Balinese will continue to exist and prosper by continually preparing qualified teachers for the Island grade and middle schools.

Of the 532 teachers graduated on Friday from IKIP PGRI Bali 114 had completed studies in Balinese and Indonesian literature.

The remaining other graduates from IKIP PGRI Bali included 224 obtain certificates in teaching and counseling, 10 in teaching drama and music, 87 in economic and business studies, 24 in history studies, 21 in physical education, 41 in mathematics and 11 in biological studies.


Bali's Best Local Food
Australian Master Chef Adam Liaw Share his Take on Eating Local in Bali

The Wall Street Journal Life Style Website recently carried an article on “Bali’s Best Local Dishes” written by Australian Master Chef Adam Liaw.

Liaw, who has lived and worked across Asia, concluded that Ibu Oka’s world-renowned Babi Guling Warung  in Ubud, Central Bali is a “must do” for those seeking to sample the Balinese take on roast suckling pig.

Obviously not for the kosher or halal minded, Ibu Oka’s most pork, crisp crackling, chili sambals and pork sausage brings people back time and again to her simple roadside eatery.

Focusing only on Bali, Liaw also sang praises for the Balinese dish of bebek betutu – spicy duck steamed while wrapped in banana leaves, roast fish Bali style and the lunch time favorite of nasi campur.

Want to know more? Follow [the link to Adam Liaw’s Blog on Balinese food].



An Enlightened Birthday
Bali Buddhist Celebrate ĎBuddhaís Birthdayí

The Buddhist population of Kuta in South Bali undertook a variety of activities in anticipation of Hari Tri Suci Waisak that commenced at 12:05 pm on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

Alin Darna, a community member from Kuta, told the State News Agency Antara, “These activities include cleaning the neighborhood, visits to orphanages, blood donor campaigns involving hundreds of people who are part of the congregation of the Vihara Dharmayana Kuta.”

Darna said that clean-up activities also included the installation of tents surrounding the grounds of the Buddhist temple or Vihara, as well as decorating the area.

The tents helped accommodate the hundreds of worshippers who came to the Vihara to celebrate Waisak.

The celebration of Waisak – considered informally to be the anniversary of the birth date of the Lord Buddha – is done through meditations and prayers that ran from mid-day Saturday until late into the night. The date actually marks at once the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha

The commencement of the period of prayer and celebrations began with a “Pradiksa” ceremony in which worshippers walked in counter-clockwise circles around the statue of the Lord Buddha in order to present their best "right side" to the statue.


Anchors Aweigh!
Indonesia Eager to Welcome Yachts and Cruise Ships

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports the Indonesian government is busily promoting yacht and cruise tourism at major events across the year in an effort to lure more yachts and cruise ships to Bali and beyond.

Among the event used to promote in this new sector is the Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race and Rally and Sail Komodo that will take place in July.

The Tourism Ministry’s head of public communications, Noviendi Makalam, said cruise and yacht tourism represented “special interest” tourism designated for special promotion. Other areas of “special interest” include culture, history, shopping, cuisine, spa and MICE (meetings, incentive, conference and exhibitions).

In support of the marine sector the government is investing in marinas and cruise ports in areas beyond Bali. 

“Developing these facilities is part of the MP3EI, a national program for economic development acceleration, with Bali and Nusa Tenggara becoming the tourism hubs,” explained Noviendi.

While private investors are expected to develop ports and marinas, the government will assist by streamlining customs and immigration services.

The just completed Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race and Rally (logo shown) attracted hundreds of tourists from Australia, including yacht owners and crews



Give My Regards to Broadway
Four-Course Dinner & Music from Broadway at on Saturday, June 1, 2013 by Bali Rainbow Community in Support of HIV/AIDS Charities

The Bali Rainbow Community have prepared a special “Night on Broadway” including musical performances and a four-course dinner prepared by Anantara’s Executive Chef, Brandon Huisman, with free-flow wines and a pre-event cocktail reception all to take place on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

The fun takes place at the SOS Supper Club Anantara Seminyak Resort and Spa.

A special guest of the evening will me Michael Cormick, who has performed the role of the Phantom in the Australian stage production of “Phantom of the Opera.” Also taking to the stage will be some of Bali’s leading drag divas, a special auction and raffle prizes.

A limited number of tickets are available for Rp. 1 million each (US$100) with proceeds from the evening going to HIV/AIDS education and the medical support for those stricken by the disease.

For more information or to book tickets contact the SOS Supper Club at the Anantara Seminyak Resort and Spa or call ++62-(0) 8123947142.


Come Fly with Me!
Bali as a Center for Aviation Education with Graduation of New Crop of Pilots from Bali International Flight Academy

42 freshly minted pilots graduated on Thursday, May 23, 2013, from the Bali International Flight Academy in North Bali.

The students who had successfully completed an eight-month commercial pilot-licensing program will now be eligible to seek additional professional pilot training from Indonesian airline industry hungry for an estimated 400 new pilots each year.

While many young Indonesians are eager to obtain an education in commercial aviation, the approximate RP. 700 million (US$70,000) cost of the eight-month commercial pilot’s course is proving an obstacle to some.

Quoted by The Jakarta Globe, Wisnu Herlambang, a representative of the Flight Academy, said, “There is an undeniable number of people enthusiastic to become pilots, but considering the expense and lack of utility available in academies … there is resistance.”

Related Link

[Bali Flight Academy]


Taking the Devil Out of the Kids in Bali
Unique Ceremony in Village North of Ubud, Bali Sees Local Youths Paint Themselves in Technicolor Dreams

On May 1, 2013, the unique “Ngerebeg” ceremony, held once every six months, was again celebrated in the traditional village of Tegallalang, north of Ubud. The actual date of its celebration is determined by the convergence of several cycles of months, weeks and days in the Balinese calendar, or, put into local terms, on “rahina budha kliwon pegat uwakan.”

The “Ngerebeg” is generally reserved for teenagers who decorate their bodies and faces using water-based paints. The resulting looks are, to say the least, extreme with teenagers, primarily young men, resembling punk stars, ghosts and menacing demons – all temporary members of platoon in the service of the ancient Balinese king I Gusti Ngurah Gede Pecangakan who reigned in the 15th century - seen as a heroic protector of Bali.

The colorful parade begins with lunch at the local temple followed by a processional parade with the grotesquely painted participants carry flagstaffs of penjors for a distance of 2-3 kilometers, the distance between two local temples.

The parade participants, in keeping with local tradition, make offerings at designated points along the route intended to protect the village and its inhabitants.

Local village officials in Tegallalang insist that villagers hold the event year after year, frightened that a failure to honor the tradition would bring misfortune upon the community. On a more basis level, "Ngerebeg" observances are seen as purifying the local people and their surroundings prior to piodalan ceremonies marking the anniversary of the village’s main temple.

The Windsor Star (Canada) carried an excellent set of photos from the most recent Ngerebeg celebration in Tegallalang available via the link below.

[Windsor Star Ngerebeg Photos
 


Green is the Color of Luxury in Bali
St. Regis Bali Maintains Earth Check Qualifications

Earth Check - the world’s leading certifier of travel and tourism organizations, has recognized the high standard of environmental performance practiced by The St. Regis Bali Resort.

The St. Regis Bali Resort has joined industry leaders from more than 100 countries by being awarded Earth Check Silver Certified Status for the second consecutive year.

To gain this coveted recognition, the resort submitted itself to scrutiny by a team of independent auditors applying standards that adhere to internationally recognized standards of best environmental practice.

Earth Check Audits rate the effectiveness of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve natural resources on a project-by-project basis. The data is then measured against a number of key indicators such as energy and water consumption, total waste production, and community commitment.

There are 6 major points that reviewed by the auditors: policy, benchmarking, compliance, approach, performance and communication. The last section details the requirements for communicating an organization’s environmental and social commitment, goals and objectives to all stakeholders.

By taking a scientific approach to measuring the effectiveness of their sustainability practices, The St. Regis Bali Resort identifies where they are out-performing others and areas for possible improvement.

“It is indeed our goal that guests feeling better and secured when they stay with us, we recognize the importance of not compromising the environment to achieve this objective. We are pleased to be able to retain our Earth Check Silver,” said Lucia Liu, Hotel Manager of The St. Regis Bali Resort.


Pastika Declared Winner in Governorís Race
Made Mangku Pastika Wins Second Term as Baliís Governor Amidst Claims of ĎFoul Playí from PDIP

The final recapitulation of votes cast on May 15, 2013 for Bali’s governorship was announced on Sunday, May 26, 2013 by the Bali Election Commission (KPU-Bali).

The results of that count covering nine regencies and metropolitan areas show that the pairing of incumbent Made Mangku Pastika and his running mate Ketut Sudikerta secured 50.02% of the total vote (1,063,734), while the opposing ticket of AA Ngurah Puspayoga and Dewa Nyoman Sukrawan tallied 49.98% (1,062,738).

In the island-wide elections a total of 32,762 ballots were deemed invalid leaving only 996 vites separating the winners from the losers.

The PDIP –Bali Party is protesting the results of the vote count, claiming significant irregularities in the election process.

Barring a possible formal appeal of the election’s result to the Constitutional Court by PDIP-Bali, the election of Pastika and Sudikerta as Governor and Vice-Governor for 2013-2018 will stand.


Chinese Take Away
More Chinese Workers Deported from North Bali Power Plant Project

The Singaraja immigration office has again deported illegal foreign workers found to be working at the new steam-driven power plant in the village of Celukan Bawang.

The 10 Mainland Chinese foreign nationals were ordered out of the country on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, after being found to be working without the required visas and work permits.

The coal-powered plant built with Chinese assistance employs a large number of foreign workers, many of whom hold the required visas and working permits.

The discovery of the 10 illegal Chinese worker occurred during a routine inspection by immigration officers at the power plant.

It is estimated that PT General Energi Bali (GEB) employs 150 Chinese workers at the new power generating station.

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Bali: Higher Tour Prices Ahead?
Bali Tourism Transport Association Studying Rate Rise Due to Imminent Increase in Fuel Costs

Plans by the government of Indonesia to increase premium gasoline in June by 44% or Rp. 2,000 to Rp. 6,500 a liter (US$0.65) and diesel fuel by 28% to Rp. 4,500 (US$0.45) a liter has brought a reaction from the Bali Tourism Transport Association (PAWIBA).

PAWIBA, comprised of companies offering transport to tourist visitors, says an increase in their tariffs of between 10-15% is needed to meet the higher fuel costs and the rising cost of spare parts.

Bagus Soediana, the chairman of PAWIBA, speaking to The Bali Post, said his members are waiting to see how the cots of spare parts increases once the increased cost in subsidized fuel comes into effect sometime in June.

He estimated that approximately one week after the fuel increase takes place PAWIBA would be able to estimate the necessary increase in transport tariffs.

PAWIBA members represent the main supply of busses and vans used by Bali's hotels and tour companies.

Higher fuel prices are also expected to increase the cost of new vehicles and labor costs over time.


Preventive Medicine
Garuda Flights to China ĎOperating as Usualí During H7N9 Bird Flu Scare

The general manager for Bali for Garuda Indonesia, Taufik Hidayat, recently told Bisnis Bali that the national airline’s schedules between Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China would remain unaffected by the recent outbreak of H7N9 Bird Flu Virus in China linked to a number of human fatalities.

Saying any decision to introduce any special restrictions on travel between Indonesia and China remains the purview of the Central Government in Jakarta, Garuda and the Department of Public Health have procedures in place anticipating and minimizing the risk of human-to-human infection.

Bali has screening equipment on hand for determining if arriving passengers have elevated body temperatures, channeling such passengers to special areas for a more thorough health screening.

Airport managers and airline operators are waiting for further instructions from national health agencies for what, if any, special steps must be taken.


Iíve Been to a Marvelous Party
The Mulia Bali Hosts an ĎAppreciation Nightí Like No Other with Food, Fashion and International Singing Sensations ĎIl Divoí

On Saturday, May 25, 2012, The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas - Nusa Dua, Bali hosted a spectacular Black-Tie Gala Dinner featuring the international singing group Il Divo and the fashions by Indonesian designer Adrian Gan.

Hosted on an invitation onlyappreciation party” for  friends and business associates of the Resort, the first such party hosted by The Mulia in Bali followed in the proud footsteps of its Sister-property, Hotel Mulia, Senayan, Jakarta, that has over the years established the standard for such affairs in he Nation's capital. 

Guests, all formally dressed with their precious invitations in hand, were welcomed with Champagne in The Mulia’s Conference Center's expansive foyer area. A short while later, the Ballroom’s doors opened to reveal a venue lavishly decorated in white and resplendent in fresh flowers.

An haute couture fashion show by Indonesia’s very own Adrian Gan mesmerized those in attendance before they feasted on a five-course dinner.  Like the rest of the evening, no expense was spared as waiters served course-after-course that included ingredients such as ostera caviar, Alaskan King Crab, morels, Artisanal black truffles, Wagyu No 9 beef with foie gras and imported chocolate.

Live music during dinner was provided by a talented duo singing evergreens from the classical jazz songbook.

After dinner, four senior members of the Hotel’s staff  briefly took to the stage to welcome the guests. Then, brimming with bravado they performed a good-humored musical rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon" that would have done credit to the legendary “Rat Pack.”

But without doubt the highlight of the evening was the concert après dinner provided by the extraordinarily talented platinum pop vocal group - IL Divo. Singing their trademark blend of popular, romantic and operatic numbers that have charmed audiences worldwide for more than a decade, and backed by a small string orchestra, Il Divo sang creating musical memories of a lifetime for their privileged audience.

With more than 26 million albums sold, over 50 number one hits, and 150 gold and platinum awards the four dashing singers were concluding their latest whirlwind world tour with a stop in Bali.

As a leading independent luxury hotel in Indonesia -The Mulia, Mulia, Resort & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali opened its doors in December 2012 with the stated aim of providing facilities and services at an unrivalled level of personalized service and dedication to customer care.

In keeping with these aims, the "Appreciation Night" was meticulously planned and flawless in every detail of its execution. 


A Ritual Requirement
Badung, Bali Regent Concerned that New Underpass Operating Before Balinese Religious Rituals Performed

The Bupati of Bali’s Badung regency is concerned that the Island’s brand new Simpang Siur Underpass in Kuta is operating - albeit on a trial basis – without traditional mlaspas and mecaru ceremonies being undertaken beforehand.

Speaking to NusaBali on May 22, 2013, Anak Agung Gde Agung said: “Gosh, the Underpass has come this far without my hearing that mlaspas or mercaru ceremonies have been held? In fact, this is very important and must be held as a spiritual (niskala) necessity. This is my concern right now.”

The Regent has asked the department of public works and waterways for the regency to coordinate the project managers to ensure the ceremonies are soon held. Adding, “I, as the personal responsible for the Regency call for these spiritual ceremonies be held in accordance with Balinese tradition and in order to ensure the future safety of the underpass. This is Bali.”

In accordance with Balinese belief, no major undertaking should be commenced without first seeking the blessing of God and the spiritual world.

When Agung was asked if the regency would pay for the subject ceremonies, he reportedly simply smiled, and said, “This is a Central government project.”

When NusaBali asked the official in charge of the Underpass project, he confirmed that the Balinese ceremonies would be held in conjunction with the official opening of the tunnel. He was, however, unable to confirm when exactly the formal opening of the underpass would take place.
 


Baliís Baywatchers are Champions
Bali Lifeguards Sweep Honors at Java-Bali Beach Games Competition

A team of lifeguards from the Bali Lifesaving Service (Balawista) has won the top honors at a competition among lifesaving teams from Java and Bali held at Pelabuhan Ratu, West Java.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, Erik Setiawan, the chairman of the event said: “From 150 athletes following the lifeguard competition, Bali received the ‘best athletes’ and ‘best team’ awards. The ‘favorite’ team award went to Sukabumi.”

Setiawan said that Bali made a virtual clean sweep in various divisions of the competition, including long swim, run-swim-run and others.

He admitted that Bali was the odds on favorite to win the Java-Bali lifeguard Competition because of the suprior ability of Bali’s athletes.

The competition was held to enhance the abilities of participating and exchange ideas and training techniques.


Balinese Goddess Watches Over Washington, D.C
Indonesia erects Statue of Hindu Goddess Saraswati in front of Indonesian Embassy

A 10-foot high statue of Saraswati - the Hindu goddess of learning now stands in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Massachusetts Avenue.

The monument, a gift from the Indonesian Ambassador to the U.S., Dino Djalal, honors Indonesia’s minority population of Hindus who live mostly on the island of Bali and represent only 3% of the Country’s total population of 247 million.

Indonesia’s majority faith is Islam at 88%.

Ambassador Djalal has consistently shown a strong commitment to religious pluralism. He has led, together with a Jewish community leader, a group of 24 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders from the U.S.A. and Indonesia on a mission of peace to Jordan, the Palestinian authority and Israel. Ambassador Djalal’s role in this regard was all the more remarkable considering Indonesia has no diplomatic ties with Israel nor does it officially recognize Judaism as a world religion.

The dynamic Ambassador has also organized a televised interfaith discussions on religious tolerance, in keeping with Djalal’s unyielding commitment to the Indonesian national motto of “Unity in Diversity.”

A team of Balinese artists led by I Nyoman Sudarwa created the cement statue of Saraswati. The resulting monument took three weeks to complete and includes three smaller statues of children at Saraswati's feet – an African-American, a Caucasian and an East Asia.

The Goddess Saraswati is celebrated for her dedication to the study of music, art, language and poetry.

The statue is being erected in a neighborhood that is also home to a statue commemorating Mahatma Gandhi.

The erection of the Hindu statue, which stands in front of the Indonesian Embassy, was universally approved by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission of Dupont Circle in Washington.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in the United States to receive an award for promoting religious tolerance in Indonesia, together with Ambassador Djalan, was saluted by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed for supporting religious pluralism, honoring diversity and respecting minorities.


A Warrior for Greenpeace in Bali
Fabled Rainbow Warrior Makes Three Day Visit to Bali

The Rainbow Warrior arrived in Bali on May 31, 2013 for a 3-day visit during a historic tour of Indonesia.

The ship – the third in a series of vessels by that name operated by Greenpeace – sailed into in the Balinese port of Benoa after visiting Jayapura, Manokwari, and Raja Ampat in Eastern Indonesia.

During its brief Bali visit the ship was open to member of the public who wished to tour the vessel and meet the crew.

The vessel, once banned from sailing in Indonesia, will continue on to Jakarta where Greenpeace is hoping the Indonesian President will visit and tour the Rainbow Warrior.

Designed and built to the highest environmental standards, the Rainbow Warrior relies on fossil fuels for only 10% of its power and propulsion requirements.

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[Forever Chasing Rainbows]


Up On the Roof
Bali Dynasty Resorts Launches Rood Top Luxury Tented Villa

The Bali Dynasty Resort has opened a luxury tented villa – a unique and exotic one-bedroom retreat set on 250 square metres of rooftop garden offering uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.

Facing westward, those “glamping” on the Resort’s rooftop will experience memorable sunsets. The mood and décor emphasizes romance, privacy, comfort and intimate seclusion via a five-star camping experience for couples and honeymooners and also fulfilling a role of a private party venue suitable for weddings and receptions.

Accessed via a private entrance door on the rooftop garden, guest find themselves in an exclusive space, where they can relax, forget the stress of everyday life, and enjoy sea views, cool breezes, room service and alfresco meals. Guests also have use of all the facilities at Bali Dynasty Resort including Ashoka Spa, six restaurants, four bars, three swimming pools, exercise room, beach club, kids’ club, and complimentary departure lounge.

Measuring 44 square meters, the eco-friendly “tented” villa features a double-tented roof, which provides a shade from the sun on the wraparound terrace. The safari-inspired interior embraces the eco-concept with sustainable materials including a recycled teakwood floor, bamboo pillars and sleek, polished, bamboo doors. Under the draped canvas ceiling, the room is outfitted with wardrobes, canvas roller blinds, bamboo lamps, and a built-in desk. Any comparisons with a campsite, however, end here with the provision of a luxurious king-size bed; individually controlled air-conditioning; a ceiling fan; mini-bar fridge; a wall-mounted, 42-inch, satellite-channel TV and DVD player; and a pantry with tea and coffee making facilities. A spacious dressing area, complete with a washbasin and a mirror, is positioned behind the bed’s high leather-padded headboard. Finally, a walk-in monsoon shower and a toilet – accessed by two separate doors – are situated within the open-air courtyard bathroom, which has a pebbled floor and is surrounded by high bamboo walls for absolute privacy.

Sliding glass balcony doors lead from the bedroom to an outdoor terrace at the front of the villa, furnished with two all-weather cushioned sofas, and a table and chairs for alfresco dining. The 107-square-metre flat lawn is equipped with a pair of sun loungers and surrounded by a safety fence and pots of tropical shrubs, flanked by two frangipani trees.

The Tent Villa is also an elegant rooftop event venue. Its ocean views and private garden setting making it perfect for weddings, parties and cocktail receptions.

[For availability, price and bookings of the Luxury Tented Villa


Death Toll of a Sunday Stroll in Bali
West Australian Woman Drowns After Falling into a Flooded Drainage Ditch in Bali

A 40-year-old Western Australian woman drowned in a drainage ditch on Jalan Tangkuban Perahu near Bali’s Kerobokan prison in North Kuta, Bali on Sunday, May 26, 2013.

Joanne Louise Randall accidentally slipped into a flooded ditch after disembarking a taxi during a torrential downpour.

Rushing water in the ditch carried the woman away.

She was returning by taxi from an afternoon outing with her husband that included lunch and a massage. When their taxi stalled in traffic in the rain, they elected to walk the remaining distance to their accommodation when the accident occurred at about 3:30 pm.

Unable to find his wife, the man immediately reported the incident to the police who, after a two-hour search conducted by search and rescues teams, found the woman’s lifeless body submerged in water some 100 meters from her point of disappearance.


Crime in Need of Arrest
Bali Police Chief Concerned by Large Number of Unsolved Major Cases

DenPost recently focused on the large number of unsolved high-profile criminal cases handled by the Bali police that remain unsolved.

Concerned by the police’s inability to break major cases, the Bali Chief of Police Inspector General Arif Wachyunadi has issued a warning to his ranks, insisting the subject criminal acts be resolved.

The Bali police spokesman, Hariadi, said the large number of open cases – many involving foreign nationals as victims - is a concern for Bali’s top policeman. As a result, Genera Wachyunadi has summoned the precinct chief for Badung and issued a "warning" to start becoming a more effective crime buster

Among the major “open” cases that remain unsolved in Bali, include:
  • The inability of police to make an arrest in the violent assault on environmental activist Wayan “Gendo” Suardana on November 5, 2012, despite confirmation by police that the name of the assailant is known.
  • The robbery of a 3 ATM machines at an ATM Center at the Tiara Supermarket on Jalan Gatot Subroto on December 29, 2012 resulting in the loss of more than Rp. 1 billion (US$100,000).
  • The murder of a door and window frame manufacturer Nyoman Kardana (32) in Petang, North Badung.
  • The violent stabbing attack on Australian Paul Gill during a robbery at Villa Chloe in North Kuta on January 4, 2013.
  • The robbery and rape of a 28-year-old Australian woman staying at Villa Damais in North Kuta on April 27, 2013.
  • The theft of money and goods belonging to Swiss national Maria Anna Johanna at knife-point at Villa Ipanema in North Kuta on May 2, 2013.
  • The armed robbery of a Canadian staying at a local villa on May 5, 2013.


Working on the Road
Tuban Officials Seek Work Opportunities for Locals at Baliís New Toll way and Airport

Bali’s new toll way is schedule to soon open. According to the spokesman for the project, Drajat Hari Suseno, trial tests are scheduled for the second week of June 2013.

Meanwhile, the community chief (lurah) of Tuban, I Gede Raka, told DenPost on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, that he remains hopeful that the completion of the toll road project will provide job opportunities for the people of Tuban, the area surrounding new road that he serves.

Raka told the press that he is coordination with the chairman of the Tuban Community Association (LPM Tuban), Wayan Sunartha, to undertake discussions with the PT Jasa Marga Bali – the operators of the toll way.

Gede Raka said he has issued no local employment target in connection with the toll way project, emphasizing that the main issue to create opportunities for community members, at the very least working as the attendants staffing the tollbooths.

Raka went on to add the he also hoped the revamped Bali Ngurah Rai Airport would also provide job opportunities for the surrounding populace. He complained that the airport has published no job opportunities, saying any such announcement should be made known far in advance of the full operation of the upgraded airport.

Similarly, his office is approaching new hotels under constructionly in Tuban asking that steps be taken to ensure work opportunities are available to the people of Tuban.

Sunartha complained to the press that the management of PT Jasa Marga Bali has evaded his requests for a meeting to discuss job opportunities. He objected that the Toll way is advertising positions via their website instead of making a direct approach to local officials.

Sunartha said that if jobs were not available for the people of Tuban, then PT Jasa Marga should make a corporate social responsibility pledge to contribute financially to the surrounding community.

Sunartha added, “I trust that the a shiny new toll way will not open while the local people are relegated to the role of downtrodden spectators of development.”


License and Registration, Please
Police Cracking Down on Vehicles Registered Outside Bali but Operating Permanently on the Island

While Bali police have repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to curb the extended use of vehicles with non-Bali police registrations, efforts have been renewed to discourage Bali-based vehicle owners from operating cars, trucks and motorcycles with “out of island” license plates 

BeritaBali.com reports that the Denpasar District Court recently heard a spate of cases where drivers have been cited for using non-Bali registrations. The violators were caught during routine vehicle checks carried out on the Island’s roadways.

During a court session on Friday, May 31, 2013, a number of vehicle owners paid fines in excess of Rp. 100,000 (US$10) when called before the judge.

On Friday, judge Gunawan Tri Budiono found Bali-based companies using vehicles registered outside the island thereby causing a loss in local road tax revenues for the Province. Provincial rules state that vehicles based in Bali (as opposed to visiting for a brief period) must bear “DK” license plates denoting local registration.

Other rules stipulate strict limitations on the ability to localy register vehicles aged between 5-10 years.

The judge told the drivers called before the court to advise their vehicles' owners that they will be fined repeatedly if they continue to operate “non-DK” vehicles in Bali. Gunawan said out-of-island vehicles should either be returned to their point of origin, re-registered in Bali or replaced with locally purchased transportation.

Among the companies from Badung regency called before the Court for illegally operating vehicles were PT Wings Surya, Luluk - paint company on Jalan Anggungan and a company selling dry goods.

Budi of PT Wings Surya admitted before the Court that his company operates five panel trucks with “L” plates signifying registration in Surabaya. Each of his vehicles were fined Rp. 300,000 (US$30).

The judge asked each of the drivers netted in raids if they preferred to pay the fines or, alternatively, serve time in jail. All those ticketed quickly elected to pay the fine.

One enforcement official said some 200 owners of non-Bali vehicles have thus far paid fines before the court.

The fines paid were relatively modest in comparison to the maximum penalty allowed under the law of Rp. 5 million (US$500) or 3 months in jail.

Enforcement to date has been limited to trucks and public transportation. Police, however, say enforcement may soon be extended to include motorcycles and private vehicles.

Said one official, “If you operate a vehicle in Bali, you better pay taxes in Bali.”
 


Elevated Meditations
Bali Prepares to Inaugurate the Tallest Statue of Buddha at Gilimanuk, West Bali

The tallest statue of the Lord Buddha in Indonesia located at the Vihara Empu Astapaka Monastery in Gilimanuk, Jembrana, West Bali, will be formally inaugurated on Thursday, June 6, 2013.

The ceremony is expected to attract more than 1,000 Buddhist traveling from across Indonesia to witness the event.

Beritabali.com quoted the chairman of the Empu Astapaka Foundation, Pmy Sudiarta Indrajaya, who said in Denpasar on Wednesday, May 29, 2013: “The 25-meter high statue of Buddha and the surrounding area of the Vihara Empu Astapaka will be inaugurated on Thursday, June 6, together with the celebration of Waisak Santhuti Citta 2557. The inauguration of the complex will be presided over by the Regent of Jembrana Putu Artha, witnessed by the Director General of the Buddhist Section of the Ministry of Religion.”

Once officially opened, the statue is expected to become a significant tourism attraction for the Island of Bali.

“The statue of Buddha will become a new icon of Bali, marking Bali as the island of balance and stability (Dharma). Tourists who have just arrived in Bali via the overland route will see the new statues. The open hand of Buddha held facing forward will become a symbol of reconciliation and peace – marking Bali as the island of peace,” said Artha.

The complex is intended by its managers to not only be a place of pilgrimage for Buddhist but to also become a center of education and information.

Related Article

[Lord Buddha, Most High]
 


A Reluctance to Set Things Right
Gianyar, Bali Officials Reluctant to Lower the Boom on Investor in Bukit Jati Waterboom Park

R.A. Raharjo of PT Karya Makmur Dewata Group - the major investor in the Bukit Jati Waterboom Park at Samplangan, Gianyar in Bali has escaped penalties that could have been imposed by the regency over the stalled water recreation park being built on public land.

A visit to the building site reveals and abandoned project whose future completion appears doubtful.

The Regency handed over public swimming pools to the company in expectation that a major tourist attraction would be built. The popular public pools, located in the center of the project, are no longer available to the public.

A meeting scheduled for Monday, May 27, 2013, convened by the Regency’s Secretary to decide the fate of the project and its developers was suddenly cancelled. According to Bali Post, the reason for the cancellation remains unclear, with regency officials citing scheduling conflicts.

According to the Bali Post, there are rumors circulating that the Regency is reluctant to make a ruling in the case, fearing to upset the former regent of Gianyar who formulated the deal with PT Karya Makmur Dewata.

The current regent has, however, ordered a review now underway of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Company and the Gianyar Regency. Officials are hoping that a solution can be found to allow the completion and eventual operation of the Bukit Jati Waterboom Park.

Related Article

[Waterboom or Waterbust?] 


Licensed to Thrill
639 Guides Licensed to Serve Bali Visitors

639 tour guides in Bali holding expired licenses have passed recertification tests allowing them to once again work as legal guides.

The State News Agency Antara quotes the head of the Provincial Tourism Office for Bali (Kadisparda), Ida Bagus Kade Subhisku, who announced “the results of the training course and certification process run by the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI) has satisfactorily fulfilled our aims and wishes.”

The 639 certified guides can now receive a recommendation from the governor of Bali that will put an operational permit in their hands allowing to officially work as guides. Official identity cards issued by the government are being prepared to permit the public to recognize them as eligible to lead guided tours.

“From all those following the recertification process only eight people failed to pass the examination. Looking at these satisfying results, we will discuss repeating a similar course soon,” said Subhisku.

The head of Bali’s chapter of HPI, Putu Subaya, said the certification process represents a combined effort by his association and the provincial government to reduce the presence of illegal guides on Bali.

Subaya said there are still travel agencies in Bali who use unlicensed guides to lead their tours.

The certification course covered a curriculum of 23 different study modules and was taught by senior tourism practitioners and academics.


Saving Bali - One Kid at a Time
Kids 4 Kids Fundraiser at Cocoon Beach Club Bali June 8, 2014 to Aid Bali Street Kids.

A Kids 4 Kids Fundraiser will be held by the Safe Childhoods Foundation at Cocoon Beach Club on Sunday, June 8, 2013 from 12 noon until 6 p.m..

Kids 4 Kids is designed to be a fun-laden day for children and their accompanying parents while, at the same time, raising much-needed money to assist Bali’s street children.

special day will, however, first and foremost celebrate the joys of childhood. Entertainment and a range of activities will fill the Cocoon Beach Club on Jalan Double Six in Seminyak.

Money raised will given the Safe Childhoods Foundation in order to support the Safe Childhood Center Project slum school and senang workshop’s move into larger premises.

A fund-raising goal of Rp. 65 million (US$6,500) has been set for the afternoon.

Top talent from across Bali will be on hand to entertain including Tar Riq, Riwin of Tropical Transit, 98,5 FM Radio, Rosie and Kamau, Lisa Soul and Band, Bali Angels Canggu Club Dance School and Brianna Simorangkir.

Raffle prizes will be drawn throughout the day with prizes to be won worth more than Rp. 20 million donated by local business.

Adults pay Rp. 100,000 (US$10) to attend with children up to age 16 free-of-charge.

For more information call ++62-(0)361-731266.


Tear Down that Wall, Mr. Agung!
Hotel Town Square Suite Project in Kuta Under Scrutiny for Flagrant Ongoing Violation of Building and Zoning Codes

The Hotel Town Square Suite Project located on Jalan Nakula in Kuta is reportedly being partially dismantled by its owners due to their repeated  failure to build in accordance with the approved Building Permit (IMB).

This fact was confirmed to DenPost by the chief of the Badung Zoning Commission (Dinas Cipta Karya - DCK), Putu Dessy Darmayanthi on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.

According to Dessy, the hotel project has already received two formal warnings. When the project director was summoned to DCK he finally admitted variances from the approved building plan and agreed to dismantle the offending sections of the structure.

“Several days ago we checked the project and confirmed that they are dismantling the errant parts of the building. We have asked them to make the structure match the building permit. We shall continue to monitor the situation until everything matches the original building permit,” said Dessy.

In addition to the Town Square Suite Project, the Hotel Prada (formerly known as Hotel Patas) is also being accused of making unauthorized variances from its approved building plan. Said Dessy: “Indeed they have deviated (from the oriignal plans) and have increased the area of the buildings, which should not have been done. Because the building has only installed foundations, they have promised to dismantle. They have also promised to change the front façade that will no longer face the main road and now will front on Jalan Beraban. If they don't demolish, they will suffer as their structure will be demolished by the toll way between Nusa Dua and Soka.”

Commenting on the variances between the approved plans for the Town Square Suite Project, Tjokorda Alit Krisdiyana, the head of the construction supervision department at DCK told the press:
  • The Building Permit (IMB) for the project was issued in September 2012.
  • The actual construction does not match the approved drawings.
  • The basement has been enlarged and in the process has eliminated an open garden area not authorized in the approved IMB.
  • The left side of the building in the approved drawings was set back 2 meters from the property line, but in reality is flush with the property line.
  • Green coefficient ratios stipulating 60% constructed area and 40% open land have been ignored with the building fully occupying all of the available land.
Because of these flagrant violations, the DCK has sent two formal warnings to the project on January 22 and April 29, 2013. After the first letter the hotel replied in writing promising to make the building conform to the approved plans and all local rules.

Efforts to submit revised plans to DCK by the building’s owners were rejected by the government, as they did not confirm with the building code.

The building’s owners also pledged to halt construction on the hotel project in all areas that were non-conforming to the rules.

According the DCK, the Town Square Suite Project failed to keep its promises and is now facing even more resolute enforcement measures.


Keeping Irish Eyes Smiling in Bali
Killkenny Irish Cream Beer Now Available on Tap at Gracie Kelleyís in Bali

Bali’s only Irish Pub – Gracie Kelly’s has brought Dublin miles closer to the Island by introducing the distinguished Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, available at Gracie's on tap.

A relative rarity in Bali, Kilkenny traces its roots to the 14th century when it was brewed in the small town of “Kilkenny” for 300 years before moving to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin in 2012.

Now imported directly from Ireland to Bali, Kilkenny is a nitrogenated Irish cream ale brewed by Guinness. It is mildly bitter and is known as the “young brother” of Guinness, due to the ancient recipe. Its full-bodied flavour and clean refreshing taste combine with the nitrogenated creaminess to produce an indulgent experience.

What sets Kilkenny apart from other beers is that being served in a similar manner to Guinness; it is nitrogenated, whereas other beers are commonly carbonated. This nitrogenation ensures Kilkenny Beer’s distinctive features – the velvety smooth, creamy head and the rich ruby red colour. These features come about while being brewed from 100% Irish malt which is mildly baked in the brewing process.

Gracie Kelly’s is located at the Bali Dynasty Resort and has just celebrated its’ 11th Anniversary. Gracie’s offer a relaxed dining environment and traditional Irish entertainment. The unique concept and interior adopts the theme of a traditional Irish country cottage pub combined with the traditional Irish Shop pub theme, which recreates the ambience of an old-style general store that can be found in every small Irish town. Gracie’s prides itself on serving wholesome home cooked food, specialities include beef and stout pie, bangers and mash and you cannot leave without testing Gracie’s Homemade Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding!

Despite its traditional trappings, all the “add-ons” of a modern pub are also in place with sports broadcasts live on the big screen presented in air-conditioned comfort.

Open from 11am daily serving both lunch and dinner.

A wee drop of the Emerald Isle awaits thirsty Bali residents and visitors at Gracie Kelly’s Pub at the Bali Dynasty Resort in South Kuta.


Bali: The No-Bikini Atoll?
Will Miss World 2103 Competition in Bali and Jakarta Include Bikini Competition or Become the Victim of a Cover-Up?

Bali has traditionally had a differing opinion with its finicky neighboring islands when it comes to matters of primp propriety. At ease in their own skin and less prudish on matters of sexuality, many Balinese villages traditionally thought little of woman going “topless” prior to WWII and Balinese daily speech is ripe with imagery and bawdy allusions that would shock Islamist neighbors just to the East and West of the island.

Similarly, in Bali male and female beauty are celebrated and oftentimes flaunted via diaphanous kebayas and half-naked danseurs chanting in the moonlight.

In Bali the locals are anything but prudish. As a result,  the prospects of a bevy of world’s beauties descending when Bali acts as co-host with Jakarta of the Miss World 2013 pageant in late September 2013 is welcomed news for Bali, eager to benefit from the world-wide exposure and the chance to “eye” some of the world’s most beautiful women. Apparently, the same prospect of catwalks populated by swim-suited ladies is making people in other parts of the Indonesian archipelago more than a little uneasy.

Against this background, a minor brouhaha is brewing over the coming Miss World 2013 Contest that will attended by representatives from 120 countries in Indonesia on September 28, 2013. In keeping with the tradition with past Miss World Contests, the ladies will undergo interviews, talent contests and competitive fashion segments that see the contestants wear evening gowns, national dress and skimpy swimming suits.

What? Swimming suits? It appears that some of Bali’s neighbors to the East and West are uneasy with the prospect of bikini clad beauty queens gracing catwalks in Bali and Jakarta.

And, while Indonesia cannot prohibit the swimwear segment, some pressure is coming from more prudish quarters to supplant kebaya or batik for the more provocative bikinis.

The Jakarta Globe quotes the deputy minister of tourism and the creative economy, Sapta Nirwandar, who said the government is urging the organizers to avoid or minimize the use of bikinis in the competition, Adding, “But even if they do wear one, it should be in a closed room.”

Concern in some quarters that beautiful, scantily clad women may corrupt the hearts and minds of the nation’s youth, Sapta suggests that any swimsuit to be carried out by juries working behind closed doors.

Apparently, Sapta is trying to accommodate and appease objections tabled by conservative Muslim groups in Indonesia who claim the swimsuit segments would be offensive to traditional Indonesian values.

Abdusommad Bukhori of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), said that as a Muslim country, Indonesia should not have anything to do with the event.

Indonesian values less narrowly defined, however, see the Balinese scratching their heads wondering what all the fuss is about.

Sapta Narwandar, meanwhile, is busily navigating a middle-course, depicting those stirring any controversy over bikinis as only trying to seek attention. After all, he points out, beauty pageants are commonplace in Indonesia.

Said Sapta: “Those who are protesting are only seeking attention. We have been staging Miss Indonesia, Putri Indonesia and other beauty pageants for a long time.”

While it’s not immediately clear if bikini’s will be banned or remain a part of the Miss World competition in Bali, Sapta is adamant that the event, in whatever format, will bring much positive publicity to Indonesia.


Intrigue from Baliís Recent Past
Bali History: The Mysterious Demise of Baliís First Governor: Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja

While the Balinese have recently gone to the polls to elect the 10th governor and deputy governor in what was seen by many as a controversial politcal race, it may be a propitious time to reflect back on the first man to serve as Bali’s governor.

Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja (1923-1966) was Bali’s first “official” governor, appointed by President Sukarno in 1958 after Bali’s elevation as a Province of the Indonesian Republic. Sutedja was the Son of Bali’s last Raja of Jembrana, Anak Agung Bagus Negara.

Prior to this, Sutedja served from 1950-1959 as the head of the Bali Executive under an appointment of a Provisional Regional Council. The Provisional Regional Council took over the administrative affairs of the Island from a Royal Legislative Council (Paruman Agung) comprised of representatives from Bali’s many royal courts.

After his appointment by I Gusti Bagus Oka as temporary head of the Bali region for 1958-1959, Sutedja  was then appointed as Bali’s first governor in December 1959. His second term of office as governor ended in 1965, a few months after the attempted coup of September 30, 1965, when he was replaced by the second man to serve as Bali’s governor, I Gusti Putu Martha.

Mysterious Disappearance

Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja disappeared under very mysterious circumstances on July 29, 1966 in Jakarta, the presumed victim of a political kidnapping, tragically common during that era of Indonesian history.

Sutedja was never seen again, precipitating a great deal of popular conjecture as to his final disposition. As reported by Beritabali.com, some postulate Sutedja was the victim of a political conspiracy while other more stories contend he escaped overseas because of his connections with the Communist Party and the bloody aftermath of September 1965.

During the 1950s, Sutedja was known to have enjoyed a close relationship with Indonesia’s first president, Soekarno. His surviving wife, Anak Agung Istri Ngurah Sunitri (82), tells of how she and her husband often visited with Soekarno at the Presidential Palace in Tampaksiring, Bali.

In the period leading up to the fateful days of 1965, Soekarno frequently stayed at Tampaksiring, often accompanied by his daughter Megawati who would eventually go on to serve for a period as President of the Republic.

Most historical speculators presume Sutedja died in a “cleansing” following the GESTAPU (30 September 1966 Movement) related to his close links to President Soekarno.

Those who still recall Sutedja’s administration of Bali, give him generally high marks as the Island’s leader. He led Bali in a period of heightened political tension, managing to maneuver a neutral position between the two dominant political parties of the time: The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Nationalist Party (PNI).

Following the attempted coup of September 30, 1965, President Soekarno asked Sutedja to remain calm amidst the fast-moving political environment of the time. But, on December 2, 1965, the ancestral palace of Sutedja in Negara, Bali was attacked by hundreds of demonstrators, accusing the former governor of close ties with the PKI.

Fearing for his safety, President Soekarno summoned Sutedja to Jakarta, the next day, December 3, 1966. Until his disappearance seven months later, he remained in Jakarta staying in the Senayan Complex.

Anak Agung Gede Agung, Sutedja’s first-born son, says his Father was met by four men wearing military uniforms driving a Nisssan Jeep at around 9:00 am on July 29, 1966. The men ordered Sutedja to come with them to the military garrison on Jalan Merdeka Barat. Agung said his Father followed their orders, not suspecting anything was amiss.

When late afternoon came and went, the mother-in-law of Sutedja became nervous and personally visited the Garrison where she was told no one had been ordered to meet or bring the former governor to their headquarters. A report was quickly filed with the Minister of the Interior, but subsequent searches bore no fruit.

Ever hopeful, Sutedja’s family conducted tireless searches for the former governor from the date of his abduction until the Presidency of Megawati Soekarnoputri.

40 years after Sutedja's abduction, resigned to the fact that the former governor was now dead and that his remains would never be recovered - his family burnt a sybolic  effigy on a cremation pyre in Bali, committing Sutedja's soul to the waiting universe.


Bali Hills Come Alive with the Sound of Jazz
Ubud Village Jazz Festival August 9-10, 2013

Up to 100 renowned international and Indonesian jazz musicians will converge on the Balinese hillside community of Ubud, August 9-10, 2013, to participate in the inaugural Ubud Village Jazz Festival.

Venued in the grounds of the Arma Museum, a dazzling program of world-class Jazz performers and musicians will perform under the stars over two nights, from twilight until late each evening.

Among those invited to participate in what is destined to become Bali’s premier Jazz even are:
  • Peter Beets (Netherlands)
  • Uwe Plath, Dian Pratiwi (Germany)
  • Yokohama Association of Artists (Japan)
  • Dewa Budjana
  • Balawan
  • Dwiki Dharmawan
  • Simak Dialog
  • The Jongens
  • Yuri Mahatma
  • Koko Harsoe
  • Astrid Sulaiman
  • Underground Jazz Movement
  • Ito Kurdhi
  • Diego Maroto,
  • Steve Thornton 
  • Michael Verapeen (Malaysia)

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is the brainchild of Yuri Mahatma, jazz musician and one of the founders of the Bali Jazz Community together with Anom Darsana, of Antida Music Productions.

"The idea to hold an international Jazz Festival was born after Serambi Arts Antida, Denpasar, was forced to close in 2012. Since then we have held highly successful Jazz Rendezvous events as a lead-up to this Festival. The musicians we have invited support our mission to promote high-quality jazz from around the world to a discerning audience," said Festival Director Anom Darsana.

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival, as part of it commitment to the community and sustainability will be only using LED lighting, home-made torches, bicycles for musicians to ride to and from venues, recycling bins and enforce a no-plastic bags policy.

The Festival has already garnered widespread support from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the Bali Tourism Board, Gianyar Regency, the creative arts communities of Bali and the people of Ubud.

"Ubud is a world famous tourist destination with a long tradition of fostering the creative arts. It’s the ideal place for an event of this nature." said Yuri Mahatma.

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is a Bali-based initiative. "The event is run by those who wish to offer something to Bali but not solely for commercial purposes. We see it as a meaningful way to align the creative industries and tourism in an ongoing sustainable way ", said Anom Darsana.

Food stalls and refreshments will be available on site, offering many of Ubud's famous culinary specialties.

The detailed program, including supplementary workshops and gala events, will be available at the end of June 2013.

[Ubud Jazz Festival Website]



A Sound Investment?
Bali Prosecutors Investigating Major Corruption Case Involving Purchase of Sound and Lighting Equipment for the Bali Arts Center

Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office in Bali are refusing to comment publicly on their investigation of alleged illegal mark-ups in the purchase and installation of a sound system for the Bali Arts Center (Taman Budaya) located in downtown Denpasar.

According to DenPost, prosecutor’s reluctance to speak on the case to the press is tied to their active ongoing investigation. On Friday, May 31, 2013, the spokesman for the Bali prosecutor’s office flatly refused to speak in detail to the press on the case.

When the spokesman was asked about additional witnesses being called by his office, he admitted that was the case in the developing investigation and that, indeed, extra witness statements were being secured.

It has been confirmed, however, that one suspect has been named in the illegal mark up of sound systems, lighting, electrical generators, CCTV and other equipment for installation at the capital’s performing arts center. The initials of the person charged in the case are "KM" who acted as the personal responsible for the project.

The prosecutorial spokesman would only confirm a suspect has been named and that his initials were KM.

A total of five witnessed have been called in the case in which a corruption amounting to Rp. 1,087,600,000 (US$110,000) occured out of a total expenditure of Rp. 21 billion (US$2.1 million) from the provincial budget is alleged to have occurred.

The spokesman added: “This case is still in development. If more evidence is found, it is not impossible that other suspects will be charged.”

Many have looked at the equipment installed at the Art Center, claiming the maximum expenditure should not have exceeded Rp. 10 billion (US$1 million). Others have criticized that the subject equipment is only used once each year during the Bali Arts Festival.

DenPost has investigated the case suggesting the person bearing the initials KM mentioned by prosecutors is I Ketut Mantara Gandi, the person charged with securing the new sound and lighting system for the Arts Center. DenPost hastened, however, to add that only prosecutors could firmly confirm who they have, in fact, charged bearing those initials.


Bye, Bye Birdie
Environmental Activists and Udayana University Cooperate to Undertake Annual Audits of Wild Bali Starling Populations at Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan

Bali Post reports that efforts to widen the habitat and wild population of the Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) on Nusa Penida Island still lacks needed support from the provincial and regional government.

In order to track developments in the population of the highly endangered Bali Starlings over the past year the Yayasan Pencinta Taman Nasional (Friends of the National Parks), and members of the medical and biology faculties at Bali's Udayana University are undertaking surveys at Nusa Penida June 26-29, 2013.

News of the planned surveys was advised by I Gede Nyoman Bayu Wirayuda, the founder of the Yayasan Pencinta Taman Nasional at a press conference held on Friday, May 31, 2013.

The project to establish a breeding population of Bali Starlings on Nusa Penida outside their normal territorial range was commenced in 2004. A count announced by the Foundation in May 2012 estimated a living population of 105 birds on the island located just off the coast of Bali

The population of Bali Starlings on Nusa Penida began to be disturbed in the beginning of 2013. Some loss of birds is blamed on natural predators, such as snakes and monitor lizards. At the same time, Bayu accuses certain individuals working in organized groups of capturing and selling Bali Starlings. The illegal capture of Starlings has also been witnessed first hand by. He said hard proof of poaching is hard to come by with some people posing as conservationists working instead to capture the birds for sale to rare bird collectors.

Bayu Wirayuda said the coming survey will include the participation of independent observers and cover 18 different observation points on Nusa Penida and nearby Nusa Lembongan.

Bayu said surveys would be carried out on an annual basis with the results  handed to the regency and provincial governments. He said that to date there has been little official response to their survey findings, with little or no follow up to their findings by government agencies.


Power Cut Ahead?
Fed Up, Buleleng Bali Regent Wants the PLTU Power Plant Project in North Bali Closed Down

The regency of Buleleng has called for the giant Coal-powered steam power plant (PLTU) at Celukan Bawang to be closed due to the continuing failure of PT General Energi Bali (PT GEB) and China Hudian Engineering Corporation to obtain required licenses and operating permits.

Information collected by Bali Post on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, says the Regent of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradyana, issued a formal warning to the companies on April 19, 2013, listing five points why the Regent wants the project stopped. The points listed in the warning letter were:
  • The failure to create a company profile.
  • The failure to present a detailed environmental impact plan.
  • The lack of a detailed layout for the plant
  • The lack of an accurate time schedule for completion of the power plant project.
  • The failure to obtain all the licenses and permits required by both the central and regional government.
Separately, the Regent expressed his unhappiness with the two companies’ failure to keep their promise made to him to discuss a final resolution of the various legal issues confronting the project after Chinese New Year.

For all these reasons, Suradyana is calling for a closure of the mega-project.

The formal call by the Regent to close the plant prompted the Buleleng House of Representatives (DPRD-Buleleng) to convene hearings with the two companies on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

The two companies told the Buleleng legislators that the Regents letter dates April 19, 2013 was only received in Early May.

While the man in charge of the project for PT GEB, Egon Wisnu S, was unprepared to comment in detail to the Regent’s letter except to say that the information and data requested was in preparation. Wisnu said all the items requested by the Buleleng government would be handed to the Legislature within 10 days of his meeting with lawmakers.

Ego also said permits for the use of ground water had not been secured because the project had yet to tap local ground water. Meanwhile, a permit for use of a pier for unloading construction material has been temporarily addressed by closure of the subject pier until the requested permit is in hand.

The plant at Celukan Bawang has been the subject of protests from local landowners claiming they have not been compensated for use of their land. Meanwhile, immigration officials have arrested and deported groups of illegal Chinese workers at the project on at least two occasions.


A Spirited and Elegant Night Awaits
Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay Hosts a Special Cocktail with Paired Cocktails and Memorable Dinner at Sundara on Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sundara - Bali’s chic new seaside dining and cocktail venue at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay  will be the location for a cutting-edge cocktail reception featuring followed by a cocktail-paired dinner on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

Performing at the bar throughout the evening will be master mixologist Javier de las Muelas of DRY, a company that is at the leading edge of cocktails internationally

The founder of legendary Cocktail Bar Gimlet and Dry Martini, and author of home of the Javier de las Muelas Cocktails & Drinks Book - now in its fifth edition – Javier will create an exquisite range of cocktails to perfectly match culinary creations. 

De las Muelas has created an exquisite range of cocktails to perfectly match culinary creations of Executive Chef Greg Bunt.

Among the cocktail combinations awaiting on June 8th are:

Wasabi Martini
Tuna tartar preserved lemon, cucumber, peanut crackers

Spicy Apple
Foie gras terrine green apple jelly, crostini

Jim-Let Fox-Trot
Scallops ceviche prawns, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro

Coconut Rhapsody
Red curry barramundi lychee, herbs

Thousand Nights
Lamb loin cumin, spinach, broad beans, eggplant

Spoon Martini
Lemon tart citrus labne


The memorable night will begin at 7.00 pm at the Mezzanine Bar with a mix of non-alcoholic cocktails and assorted canapés and will follow with a cocktail-paired dinner at the restaurant.

Cost for the evening is RP. 950.000 plus 21% tax and service (US$115).

For reservations call ++62-(0)361-708333


Network on the Run
BIZNET Networks Continues Support of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013

BIZNET Networks is back as main sponsor of one of the biggest international sporting events in Indonesia - BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013.

This year’s BIZNET Bali International Triathlon takes place on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Jimbaran, Bali with a record number of more than 1,000 athletes expected to participate.

“Biznet sees Triathlon as a sport event that requires strength, speed, and reliability from all the athletes. These aspects are in-line with Biznet’s commitment to never stop innovating to further increase it service’s strength, speed, and reliability to all customers. By sponsoring the event, we hope that both Biznet and Bali International Triathlon will continue to grow and better recognized by the people in Indonesia and also international,” said Adi Kusma, President Director of BIZNET Networks.

BIZNET Networks has been the main sponsor of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon for three years working together with Bali Discovery Events and Generic Events (USA).

BIZNET also sponsored a photo competition via social media that selected 2 lucky winners to participate in the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013 this June. The contest that ended on May 17, 2013, will see Chaidir Akbar and Yustinus Stein join the Olympic Distance Race and Sprint Distant Race.

About BIZNET Networks

BIZNET Networks is one of the leading companies in telecommunication and multimedia in Indonesia, just launched the newest service featured ultra-fast Internet with Cable TV HD as a bonus, max3 Internet and cable TV, on December 2012 and cover all Jabodetabek and several big cities in Java area. max3 will also be available in Bali in September 2013.

BIZNET Networks is the leader of fixed-line and multimedia telecommunication provider in Indonesia, providing network, Internet, data center, cloud computing and pay TV service.

Established in 2000, BIZNET Networks has been providing and operating the fastest fiber optic network and the biggest data center in Indonesia.

For more information about BIZNET Networks and its services, please visit [www.biznetnetworks.com]


The Bali Wedding of the Season
Former Miss Universe, Australian Beauty Queen Jennifer Hawkins Marries Jake Wall in Bali

Australian beauty queen Jennifer Hawkins spent her recent Bali holiday getting married to long-time beau Jake Wall at a most lavish cliff-side wedding held at the Semara Resort in South Bali on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

The former Miss Universe (2004), model, television presenter and spokesperson for the Myer Chain of department stores - was rumored to have spent “six figures” on the sunset wedding that saw Hawkins wearing a strapless dress by Melbourne designer Toni Maticeviski and her hair done by a Sydney celebrity hairdresser and a make-up artist - both flown in for the occasion

According to reports, an estimated 20,000 roses were used to decorate the all-white reception.

The exclusive rights to cover the wedding were reportedly sold to Women’s Weekly for a princely sum of $350,000 – a figure dinied by the magazine. Keeping the lid on the wedding and unwanted paparazzi at bay was a detachment of bodyguards.

A guest list of 50 close friends were on hand in Bali to join Jennifer and Jake in celebrating their nuptials

Press reports say the couple stayed at the Oberoi Hotel in the period leading up to the wedding.


Cripes, Theyíre at it Again.
Western Australian Tourism Minister Dr. Kim Hames Bashes Bali

Yet another Western Australian Tourism official has well and truly put his "foot in it" by deciding the best way to promote local tourism is by arguing a comparative advantage case that leaves  Bali on the short end of the stick.

In the latest installment of “How Not to Do Travel Marketing 101” the Western Australian Tourism Minister Dr Kim Desmond Hames warned, as quoted in The Western Australian, that holiday makers from his constituency "run the risk of coming back less well than when they left.” 

Dr. Hames made his comments while launching a new tourism campaign that features 1001 photos submitted by visitors to Western Australia. He incorrectly pointed to the "high" death rate of Australians in Bali, arguing somehow that people spending more on a Western Australian holiday would be less at risk of death and disease than traveling to Bali.

Hames, a physician, said: “We do know that there are risks in that area, and as you would have seen recently, I think one Australian dies every single week in Bali, (and there has been) a significant increase in the numbers of people with Barmah Forest Virus and other medical conditions coming back,” he said.

Australia Conceded Barmah Forest to the Republic of Indonesia?

While legitimate health risks undoubtedly do exist, a quick check of the Western Australian Public Health Website shows that territory has its own long list of highly communicable and infectious diseases, with little prooof to substantiate that death and disease are a greater risk to Australians holidaying in Bali than, say, in Fremantle.

Most peculiar is Dr. Hames' specific mention of Barmah Forest Virus – a disease that is currently found ONLY in Australia gives a whole new meaing to exotic diseases. It seems the good Doctor is suggesting that Australians now travel to Bali to acquire diseases that are only found closer to home.

In a trifecta of feeble-minded miscalculatiion, Dr. Hames demonstrates bad marketing, abysmal geography and quesitonable medicine.

Unintentionally and most ironically, Dr, Hames' statementts suggest the biggest threats to public health in Western Australia may be badly-trained and ill-informed physicians like himself.

Turnabout is Fair Play

Other interesting statistic we discovered in searching for risks of living and holidaying in Western Australia were found on the Western Australian Police Websites and includes:
  • 41.1% of Western Australian residents are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about becoming a victim of physical assault in a public place.
  • 65.7% of Western Australian residents are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about becoming the victim of a house breaking.
  • 48.8% of Western Australian residents are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about being the victim of a vehicle theft.
  • 46.9% of Western Australian residents are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about drug use in their neighborhood.
The same website from the Western Australian Police reporta that in 2012 there were 91 homicides, 1,544 sexual assaults, 27,375 burglaries, 77,355 thefts and 2,444 arrests for drug trafficking in Oz's wild west.

And while Bali has a concerning level of crime at the moment, it is by no means clear that in a race with Western Australia the island of Bali wins the crime stakes.

Moreover, when considering health threats in Bali versus Perth, please consider that Western Australia offers Ross River virus, Murray River encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis and that local home-grown specialty of Barmah Forest Virus - a locale Dr. Hames somehow mistakenly thinks is in Bali.

Possibly further fueling the paranoia of travelers to Australia is the fact that the region is also home to deadly funnel web spiders, sharks, poisonous tiger snakes and man-eating crocodiles. 


We apologize for listing such items that could instill disproportional fear in those considering a Western Australian holiday. That was not our intention and we only wish to point out the extremely poor judgment exercised by the West Australian Tourism Minister is a double-edged sword best left sheathed.

But, in fairness, some legitimate concerns about public health in Western Australia do exist. Empircal evidence exists that there may be some unknown insidious element lurking in the Western Australian water table capable of impairing mental judgment.  The first clinical case predates Dr. Hames’ faux pas  when, in 2011, the Western Australian Margaret River Tourism Authority unleashed spokesman Simon Ambrose (see the link below) who stupidly tried to argue against Bali, saying, "major issues such as terrorism and health are not as relevant, if at all, when holidaying at home."

[Editorial: How Not to Promote Tourism]

Mr. Ambrose and Dr. Hames would do well to recognize that resorting to negative counter-sells runs greater risk of dissuading people from traveling altogether than it has any chance of persuading people to come to beautiful Western Australia.

Most fundamentally, both Ambrose and Hames broke the cardinal rule of tourism marketing: promote your own destination but never at the expense of a competing destination."

We will leave it to the voters Western Australia to decide how best to dispose of the ponderously inept Dr. Hames. They must  consider if any doctor so ill-informed on both travel marketing and public health has any meaningful role to play in either political or medical practice.

We'd welcome comment from Dr. Hames who is rumored to be missing on a family holiday in the Barmah Forest - wherever that is.

Truth be told, we have very fond memories of past visits to beautiful Western Australian. Lovely landscapes, wonderful wildlife, great culture and thoughful political leadership. Well, 3 out of 4 is not bad.


Kidís Play So Kids Can Play
Indonesian Idol Kamasean Matthews to Perform for Children at Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali on Friday, July 12, 2013

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali has announced its next UNICEF Check Out For Children charity event - a concert by talented Indonesian Idol finalist, Kamasean Matthews.


This special performance will take place in the Mangupura Hall on Friday 12th July 2013.

At just 17 years of age, Kamasean was the youngest contestant in Indonesian Idol history when she participated in this national competition in 2012. A star of the social network, Kamasean is a YouTube sensation, and has thousands of followers on Twitter as well as Facebook.

Blessed with a magical voice that transcends almost all musical genres her voice bridges generations in a single song. She is also an accomplished composer and plays several instruments, including the piano and guitar.

During her appearance at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, Kamasean Matthews will meet and greet fans with an exclusive one-hour sharing session. The main show will see Kamasean perform an uplifting selection of popular hits including her recently released track entitled 'How Could You' .†There will also be a musical collaboration with children from a local choir and some of the best performers from leading musical school around Bali.

Tickets for the Gala Show - 'An Inspiring Evening with Kamasean Matthews' starts at 7:00 pm are priced at just IDR 75,000 per person (US$7.50) and IDR 50,000 per child (US$5).

Limited places for the meet and greet session from 5:30 Ė 6:30 pm will be available for IDR 150,000 inclusive of one-hour exclusive session with Kamasean that includes a photo memento and certificate. This will be a unique opportunity for aspiring singers to meet the Kamasean in person.

All proceeds will be donated directly to a UNICEF to a project that provides educational opportunities and vaccinates children across the Asia Pacific region.

For the past 18 years Starwood Hotels and Resorts has partnered with UNICEF to raise funds for a number of worthy causes that benefit impoverished children around the world. In the Asia Pacific region alone, the UNICEF Check Out For Children Program has supported the immunization of thousands of young women and children against a number of preventable diseases.

For information and reservations telephone†+62-(0)81 138 02 975 or +62-(0)361-771 906 ext. 6235

[Email]†



Great Food, Immaculately Prepared
Bali Hai Cruises Earns Food Safeģ Certification from Environmental Health Australia

Bali’s leading day cruise operator – Bali Hai Cruises have won Food Safe® certification from Environmental Health Australia (EHA).

The certification was awarded after conclusively demonstrating via an audit process that best practice food handling; food hygiene and staff training procedures are in place.

In winning the certification, Bali Hai Cruises worked with ProMicro Bali who guided the cruise company through the audit and program implementation process.

Prior to final certification an external auditor from Australia visited Bali Hai Cruises at Benoa after which a recommendation was issued to EHA for the granting of official Food Safe®“Certification.

By having a food safety program in place based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Principles (HACCP), Bali Hai Cruises has demonstrated their professionalism and commitment to food safety.

HACCP requires Bali Hai Cruises to:
• Identify each stage of its food processing;
• Identify what can go wrong at each stage; and
• Put in place actions that prevent problems from happening


Natureís Secrets
Bali Forestry Department Refusing to Comply with Freedom of Information Orders on Development of South Bali Mangrove Forest

According to Bali Post, although Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI-Bali) won their freedom of information suit against the provincial government of Bali declaring their right to view documents from Bali’s Department of Forestry in connection with the long-term lease of mangrove forests to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari, the requested information has yet to be handed over as ordered by the courts.

The Department of Forestry has reportedly failed to hand over the documents sought by WALHI and ordered to be disclosed by the Information Commission. In finding in favor of WALHI, the government exempted bank records of PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari that were deemed protected under the bank secrecy laws, the master budget for the project and design maps.

Adi Sumiarta, a WALHI activist told the press on Wednesday, June 5, 2013: “After the information hearing, the Forestry Service remains unchanged. Moreover, they tend to be closed up for the disclosure of information.”

Adi said the documents yet to be handed over to WALHI include the map showing the limits of the area in the mangrove forest to be controlled by PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari; and “Book III” detailing the design plans for the tourism infrastructure of the park

WALHI Bali continues to end letter requesting the court-mandated copies to the head of the Forestry Service. After waiting 10 working days there has yet to be a response from the Forestry Department.

An activist from Frontier Bali, Pande Nyoman Taman, reacted, saying:”This cannot be allowed. The Provincial Government of Bali has no good faith as the many documents ordered to be disclosed are still being guarded as secrets.”

Meanwhile, efforts to contact the head of the Bali Provincial Forestry Office and senior staff have been absent from their office since Thursday, claiming they are all attending a training course in Jakarta.



Kimonos Included
Luxury Traditional Japanese-Style Resort to Open Near Ubud in 2014

Hoshino Resort Company has announced that they will open a luxury Japanese-style luxury resort in a community north of Ubud in 2014.

The Hoshinoya Bali will offer 30 villas at Banjar Pangembungan at Desa Pejeng Kangin in Tampaksiring.

Hoshino Resort’s president Yoshiharu Hoshino promises that the new Bali hotel will promote “Omotenashi” – the trademark Japanese style of hospitality.

This will be the first overseas property for the traditional Japanese hotel operator.

Daily rates are expected to cost around US$$700 per night.


Grand Hotel
Nikko Bali Resort and Spa to be Rebranded as Grand Nikko Bali

Travel Daily Media reports that the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa has been rebranded as the Grand Nikko Bali following an upgrade in facilities.

The Grand Nikko Bali is operated by Japan’s JAL Hotels.

The formal brand-change will take place on July 15, 2013 when new facilities that include 19 new luxury villas, a multi-purpose event space and a wedding gazebo will be introduced to the public.

New villas coming on line as part of the rebranding include: Seventeen one-bedroom villas with each occupying a generous 300 square meters, one two-bedroom villa of 500 square meters and one palatial three-bedroom villas covering 700 square meters. All villas have private swimming pools, al fresco relaxation options and butler service.

To service Bali’s growing meeting and conference sector the Grand Nikko Bali also has a 1,100 square meter event facility and a new wedding gazebo.


At Last, Bali Tourism Promotion Board Established
Governor Names Nine to Head Bali Tourism Promotion Board

The Jakarta Post reports that Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika will “immediately inaugurate" the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) comprised of local tourism leaders and academics charged with promoting Bali tourism overseas.

Said Pastika on Wednesday, June 5, 2013: “I am eager to inaugurate the board as soon as possible, so that the board could work soon. I strongly support the board to identify and answer the many challenges in Bali’s tourism.”

An official decree issued in December 2012 called for the creation of the BPPD led by nine members drawn from tourism, academia and government circles.

Appointed to head the BPPD are:
  • Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace) the former regent of Gianyar and chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI).
  • Bagus Sudibya, a hotel and travel company owner in Bali and also a member of the Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA).
  • Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, a hotel owner and a member of the Indonesian Tourism Association (GIPI).
  • Yos WK Amerta, a marine tourism operator and a member of the Indonesian Marine Tourism Association (Gahawisri).
  • Sang Putu Subaya from the Association of Tour Guides Association (HPI).
  • Putu Juarez Robin Putra, owner of a professional conference organizer and a member of the Society of Indonesian Professional Convention Organizers (SIPCO).
  • Professor Dr. Komang Bendesa, an Assistant Rector at Bali’s Udayana University.
  • Putu Saroyoni Piartini, a lecturer in management studies at Udayana University.
  • Taufik Hidayat, general manager for Garuda Indonesia in Bali.
Explaining the delays in the launch of the BPPD, Pastika blamed his preoccupation with poverty eradication, saying: “Previously, I was more focused on poverty eradication. However, through the board, I hope we could re-organize our tourism that has been developed without an adequate plan.”


Bali Targeting 400,000 Chinese Tourists in 2013
Direct Flights from Chinese Cities to Bali Needed to Gain Greater Market Share of PRC Visitors

The State News Agency Antara reports that the province of Bali is seeking some 400,000 Mainland Chinese tourist visitors for calendar 2013, an increase of approximately 10% from the 2012 total of 310,904.

The head of the Bali Tourism Authority, Ida Bagus Kade Subhisku, said, “In 2013 we are targeting to capture 40% of all Chinese visitors to Indonesia or around 400,000 people to come to Bali.”

Subhisku describe the target of 400,000 Chinese tourists for Bali as relatively small in comparison to the estimated 75 million Chinese tourists who take a foreign trip each year.

To increase the number of Chinese tourist visitors, meetings have been held between Indonesian officials and government officials in Kunming Province in the PRC.

The Bali Tourism chief identified the lack of direct flights from Chinese cities to Bali as the key factor holding back a rapid increase in Chinese visitor totals.

According to the Bali Statistic Center, a total of 128,134 Mainland Chinese tourists visited Bali in the first four month of 2013, an increase of 3.03% from the same period in 2012.

PRC visitors now represent the second largest source of foreign visitors to Bali after Australians.


Ma, Heís Making Eyes at Me!
Hard Line Islamic Groups Call for Cancellation of Miss World 2013 Contest in Bali and West Java

As reported previously on Balidiscovery,com [Bali: The No-Bikini Atoll?] , some religiously conservative circles in Indonesia are upset with the prospect that the Miss World Beauty Contest to be held in Bali and West Java in September 2013 will include a swimsuit competition.

In an effort to accommodate these sensitivities, the organizer is modifying the contest by ditching bikinis for more modest one-piece swimming suits, possibly worn with an accompanying sarong.

The Jakarta Globe reports that Island hard-liners are now calling for nothing less than the outright cancellation of the event that they see as immoral.

Accusing the contest of “selling women’s bodies” the Hizb ut-Tahrir Group is vowing to hold demonstrations against the contest.

Hard liners holding such protests in Bogor, West Java, where part of the contest will be held, might find local community support for their protest, similar protests in Bali might get a less sympathetic e reaction from the Balinese who could see the protests as religious bigotry aimed at disrupting Balinese culture and its world-famous tourism industry.

Hard-line Islamist groups seemingly find any public celebration of female beauty as offensive and immoral and are saying they will settle for nothing less than the cancellation of the event. The Islamic Reformist Movement (Garis), which is affiliated with the notorious Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) who have been involved in a number of violent street protests in the past, says a ban on bikinis is insufficient.

Chep Hernawan, the head of Garis in West Java, said, “They will still wear outfits that will encourage sex and immoral acts.”

Protests and resulting fears of attacks and public unrest saw a planned concert by  Lady Gaga cancelled in 2012.


Currying Favor in South Bali
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Welcomes Indian Chef Rajender Kumar Maitola

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali has welcomed Rajender Kumar Maitola to the property as its new Indian Chef.

Chef Rajender arrived in Bali direct from a 3 year stint as Junior Sous Chef with Sujan Luxury Hotel, Delhi.

Rajender studied at the Delhi Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology. Upon graduation, he embarked on a culinary career with the prestigious Aman chain of hotels and resorts. Quickly rising through the kitchen ranks, he experienced a succession of appointments including stints as Chef de Partie at Aman-I-Khas, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan and then Aman Lodi, New Delhi. Serving in pre-opening capacities, Chef Rajender was instrumental in menu setting and standard operational procedures.

Passionate about food in general, Chef Rajender sees himself as a culinary innovator. He is proud of his Indian heritage and keen to share the distinctive flavors of his homeland with Westin guests in Bali. Since his arrival, Rajender has been busy familiarizing himself with the availability of fresh and seasonal produce on the island.

He has also been discovering many parallels between Indian and Balinese cuisine, including the use of indigenous herbs and spices.

As a devote Hindu, Chef Rajender is looking forward to sampling local delicacies that form part of the Balinese religious calendar.

Once settled into his new role, Chef Rajender will be revitalizing the menu of Indian cuisine currently available at the resort. He will also introduce a few of his own specialty dishes from the different regions of Indian sub-continent.

[Westin Resort Nusa Dua]
 


Just Cook Away Rene
Chef Rene Michelena of Lily & Bloom as Guest Chef at Dava Restaurant Ė AYANA Resort and Spa, Bali June 13-16, 2013

Rene Michelena, executive chef of the iconic Hong Kong dining Lily & Bloom, will be serving as guest chef at Dava Restaurant at the AYANA Resort and Spa, Bali for four nights from June 13-16, 2013.

Originally from the Philippines but raised in Chicago, Rene’s award-winning cuisine is described as “modern American with Asian sensibility." During his Bali appearance he will feature signature dishes from the Lily & Bloom menu via an 8-course menu that will also be available in a less satiating 6-course and 4-course versions - both with optional wine pairing.

The gifted Michelena was trained at The Culinary School of Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois and in 1998 was named Food & Wine Magazine “Best New Chef."

After a culinary exploration of Italy, Rene returned to USA and gained experience at many top-rated Italian restaurants. In 2010, he moved to Hong Kong to open Lily & Bloom where he has created a world-class menu together with anequally widespread reputation for innovation.

The Bali visit will be the second time Rene will have partnered with AYANA Resort in a guest chef role. His debut in Indonesia was a popularly acclaimed VIP Launch of Opus One also at the AYANA.

Back again, Rene Michelena will rejoin the kitchen brigade of the Dava- voted to the 2013 Miele Guide in recognition of its world-class service, cuisine and design. Dava’s chef de cuisine Jusman So’s regular a la carte menu will also be offered alongside Rene’s degustation menu.

Chef de Cuisine, Jusman So

Dava’s chef de cuisine Jusman So is also known for being the founder-chef of Singapore's much-lauded Sage Restaurant (2010/2011 Miele List).

Jusman, whose personal awards include Singapore's Best Rising Chef (World Gourmet Summit 2008), signature style is blending classic European technique, the highest quality imported and local ingredients and modern presentation, the result is simply a delight for every sense. Visually stunning, each dish is a masterpiece of color, texture and form, while delivering the perfect balance of flavors inspired by the imagination and precision.

Jusman's reign at Dava follows six years at Sage, a 40-seat fine dining restaurant that he founded in 2005 to critical acclaim. Sage was nominated “Best New Restaurant” at the World Gourmet Summit 2008, the same year Jusman won Best Rising Chef. Two years later, Sage was awarded one of Singapore’s Best Restaurants by Singapore Tatler magazine in 2010, before being named on the prestigious Miele List.

Jusman So is very much looking forward to the culinary collaboration with Rene Michelena.


The Menu
DAVA Restaurant
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali
Gust Chef: Rene Michelana of Lily & Bloom
June 13-16, 2013


Crawfish cocktail
Guava coulis, diced star fruit, avocado, grilled frisee

Pumpkin and caviar
Gingered beetroot, akamiso, cashews, mache greens

Corned scallop and custard
Curry oil, candied popcorn

Fried quail
Apple bacon corn bread, pickled watermelon rind, coffee bbq sauce

Seared triple tail fillet
Seared foie gras, caramelized fennel and endive, banyuls reduction

Garganelli and lamb brisket ragu
Dried and fresh cherries, San Marzano tomatoes, salsa verdi

Grilled American beef rib eye
Bay leaf marinade, fava bean succotash

Carrot-pineapple cake
Young coconut tart, curry-carrot-caramel sauce, pineapple sorbet

Cost and Reservations
  • 4 Courses Rp 560,000 ++ (US$68)
  • 6 Courses Rp 680,000 ++ (US$82)
  • 8 Courses Rp 830,000 ++ US$100)
Reservations are eseential.

Booking and information enquiries by telephoning +62 –(0)361 702222 or [Emailing Dava]  


Putting a Cap on Pollution in Legian
Badung, Bali Authorities Plug Pipes Pumping Sewage Onto Baliís Beaches

The regency of Badung in Bali has capped 14 raw sewage pipes from local businesses suspected of discharging into the drainage ditch on Jalan Padma in Legian.

DenPost reports that the stern measure of blocking the sewage pipes was taken by the Badung Environmental Agency (BLH-Badung) in conjunction with the Public Works Department after complaints were received by residents in Legian who blamed the pipes for discharging wastewater that eventually drains onto the Legian Public Beach.

The chief of the supervisory and control division of the Badung Regency, Nengah Sukarta, said that immediately after receiving complaints from the public and obtaining the permission of the chief of BLH-Badung, he visited the location with public works officials. On their first visit on Monday, June 3, 2013, they were unable to discover any sewerage pipes that could be linked to the pollution of Legian Beach and focussed, instead, on taking water samples to determine water quality from the drainage.

A return visit the following day, Tuesday, allowed the officials to survey the entire drainage ditch along Jalan Padma where they found 14 separate pipes feeding into the drainage ditch. While they could not directly confirm if the pipes, many of which were dry, were used to pump sewage, a decision was nonethless taken concluding the pipes had no place feeding into the ditches and steps made to seal them.

The 14 pipes sealed were located in front of the Hotel Padma (1 pipe), Bali Bagus Restaurant (3 pipes), Bali Bagus Tattoo (2 pipes) and Toko Ari Guna (8 pipes).

The pipes that were not dry had effluent samples taken to determine if sewage was being dumped into the ditches. 


Bumpy Road Ahead
Shoddy Roadwork Work Cited at Baliís New Dewa Ruci Simpang Siur Underpass

Complaints are raining in regarding the poor quality of cement paving done by PT Adhi Karya and others in the construction of the new underpass project at the Dewa Ruci Monument at Simpang Siur.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the cement finish on the roadway through the underpass is uneven and wavy, providing a less-than-smooth ride for passing motorists.

The chairman of the Bali Chapter of the National Association of Contractors, Wayan Adnyana, says, “In my opinion the uneven quality of the cement in underpass is due to one of two possible causes. It was either not built in accordance the original design plans (bestek) or the workmanship is of inferior quality."

Saying he had read complaints about the quality of work on the new road in the local press, Adnyana who also serves as a member of the Bali Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), added: “The people have every right to voice their opinion on a project that consumed billions of rupiah from both national and regional budgets. The people will also the ones to use the new road together with the millions of tourists who holiday in Bali.”

Adnyana said he would soon visit the project site to review the overall quality of work performed by the contractor. Such a review, he insisted, must be done before the formal handover of the project from the contractors - PT Adhi Karya to the government.

Adnyana told the press that the land occupied by the new underpass is labile, due to its close location to the mangrove forests. Nonetheless, if the road is “rolling” he insisted there remains little choice but to tear up the road and redo the cement paving.

“The purpose of the underpass is to reduce traffic congestion in South Bali. Because of this the work must be of a high quality, because tens of thousand of vehicles will use the road every day,” sad Adnyana.

The project manager for the new underpass, Hendro Satrio, confirmed to reporters on May 28, 2013, that the roadway was indeed “wavy” and that the road is currently undergoing trial operations. “We are testing the road. In connection with complaints received from the public, we will review the project. We are now correcting deficiencies,” he said.

According to Satrio, a formal review of the project by the contractors would be delivered in June.

The Dewa Ruci Underpass Project was built by PT Adhi Karya and associates at a total cost of Rp. 136.19 billion (US$13.6 million) covering an area of 0.744 hectares.

The project is part of several major infrastructure projects funded by the government in anticipation of the APEC International Summit to take placein October 2013.

Asphalt is not the Answer

There is concern in some circles that the contractors, under pressure by deadlines to complete and handover the project, will offer to reseal the road with asphalt - a step that would quickly improve the “ride” and remove the current unevenness of the underpass’ road bed.

Critics, however, cite the environmental concerns of using a petroleum-based seal on the road and the fear that resurfacing with asphalt  will only incur  additional cost for Bali in the future necesitated by  having to reseal the highway every 4 to 5 years.

Although certain to cause a delay in the handover, critics argue that PT Adhi Karya must be compelled by the government to rebuild the road bed by replacing the cement so inexpertly installed initially.


Ivan the Transferable
Ivan Cassadevall Takes on Another Bali Hotel with Appointment as General Manager of Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort

Ivan Cassadevall has been appointed General Manager of Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort at Tanah Lot. West Bali.

A experienced hotelier and a veteran in Bali tourism, Cassadeval has worked for seven years in Bali, most recently with the Anantara Seminyak Resort and previously with the Melia Group of hotels.

With a total of 13 years hospitality industry experience, Ivan has held senior management positions at luxury hotels and resorts across Europe, South America and Asia, with an established performance track record in operations, hotel development and project management.

As general manager at Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort at Tanah Lot, Ivan is responsible for the 278-room resort and its award-winning 18-hole Greg Norman Golf Course. The resort completed an US$10 million refurbishment last year, unveiling refreshed guest rooms, restaurants and facilities.

“Bali remains close to my heart and I am very proud and excited to be returning to the island to lead the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort in the next important phase of its development. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to continue learning about Bali’s cultures and its people, which are the real assets of this magnificent destination, and look forward to incorporating these elements into the resort’s guest experience and drive value for all our stakeholders,” said Casadevall.


Run for the Hills
Bali and Beyond: Join the Marathon on Moon at Mt Bromo, East Java, September 1, 2013.

The Bromo Marathon will be run through the villages surrounding East Java’s Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and along the Tengger caldera.

The event will feature three categories of competition:
  •  Full-marathon distance (42.195 km)
  • Half marathon distance (21.0975 km)
  • 10-kilometer run
253 runners have already registered to take on the challenge of the Bromo Marathon to be held on the slopes of Mt. Bromo on September 1, 2013.

A challenging course with both attitude and altitude, 50 runners have signed on for the full marathon, 140 for the half marathon and 63 for the 10-kilometer event.

Some 60% of those registered hail from Indonesia with the remaining runners coming from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, United Kingdom, Untied States, and Vietnam.

The wide diversity of runners will ensure that the organizer's goals to encourage cross-cultural exchange and celebrating cultural diversity as a means of promoting peace through understanding will be met.

A revised race day schedule is has been announced:
  • 5:40 – 6:50 am     Bag Drop & Runner’s Warm-Up
  • 7:00 am Bromo    Marathon Start
  • 7:30 am Bromo    Half Marathon Start
  • 8:00 am Bromo    10K Start
  • 10:30 am Bromo  10K Cut Off
  • 3:00 pm                  Bromo Marathon & Half Marathon Cut Off
Reporting on the progress leading up to the inaugural running of the event, event manager Dedik Kurniawan said, “When we first introduced the idea, we knew it would be a lot of work, but we’ve had so much support from the community that everything has been running quite smoothly. This event is more than just a race to the people here, it’s a way to open their community and share their way of life, while raising money for a good cause.”

A charity event, proceeds from this year’s marathon will be used to support area schools by building libraries and qualified staff to support literacy programs.

Related Links

[A Marathon on the Moon]

[Bromo Marathon Website]


Sustainably Great Service Expands on Jimbaranís Cliffs

Rimba Jimbaran Bali To Open September 2013 as Sister Hotel to AYANA Resort and Spa Bali

Rimba Jimbaran Bali, the Sister Hotel of AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, will open its doors on September 2013, sharing the same spacious cliff top perch over the Indian Ocean.

Under the shared management of Capella Hotel Group, RIMBA Jimbaran Bali will have 297 rooms and suites to augment AYANA’s existing 368 rooms and villas.

The 8-hectares occupied by Rimba Jimbaran Bali are part of AYANA’s 77-hectare plot overlooking Jimbaran Bay, just 12 kilometers from Bali’s airport.

Capella Hotel Group chairman Horst Schulze said the opening of RIMBA underscores the owner’s continued investment in the property and commitment to the highest standards of quality and service.


Rimba’s name, which is Indonesian for ‘forest,’ reflects its setting and sustainable design. A central feature of the innovative design is the one-hectare of multi-tiered swimming pools and expansive tree plantations, tropical flowers and organic fruit and vegetable gardens. The landscaping by St Legere is contoured to create different levels and slopes striving to duplicate the experience of entering a national park with undulating tree-lined entrance and scenic trails.

The resort’s elevated hillside location affords both sunrise and sunset views, looking out over the Uluwatu Hills to the southeast, and to the Indian Ocean fronting AYANA’s 1.3-kilometer coastline to the southwest.
The Rimba’s commitment to sustainability is pronounced and evident throughout the hotel in elements such as:
  • Rainwater harvesting and water recycling plant.
  • Resort Lobby made of recycled wood from three old fishing boats personally sourced by RIMBA’s engineers in Sulawesi, and driftwood, which they gathered by hand along a one-mile stretch of beach.
  • Natural light maximized in rooms and public spaces via features such as a sky-light running from the Lobby to To’ge restaurant and bakery on the ground floor.
  • Walls made from handmade bricks.
  • Furniture made from recycled packing crates and other materials.
  • UNIQUE rooftop bar featuring recycled glass bottles.
  • On-site greenhouse and organic fruit garden.
  • Eco amenities in all guest rooms, such as bathroom amenities made of recycled glass, and beach bags made of recycled materials.
Linked to AYANA by scenic jogging trails and shuttle bus service, Rimba’s strategic location also enables the new property to support accommodation needs and additional function and meeting space for large corporate and wedding events held at AYANA.


Little Green Men and Women
Three Students Win ĎGreenest Student on Earth Ď Scholarships at Baliís Green School

Three students from three different countries have won a full year’s scholarship of the Bali Green School - awarded as the “2012 Greenest School on Earth” by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools.

Located in the heart of Bali, Green School’s stated mission is to be the leading example of sustainability in education and to inspire students and communities to be creative, innovative green leaders.

Unique architecturally with bamboo architecture and a solar-powered, self-sustaining campus that covers 20 acres, the school educates 300 students from more than 55 countries

The winners of the “Greenest Student on Earth” contest were selected form among 50 video entries submitted from around the worlds.

One winner each was selected form the Primary School, Middle School and High School level entries.

The winners of the right to call themselves the “Greenest Students on Earth” and recipients of a full year’s scholarship at The Green School were:

Primary School – Kashius Ford, entering Grade 5 from New Mexico, USA, who is an avid conservationist who lives in an eco-village with renewable energy and organic farming. He is also credited with discovering a new species of mushroom that named in his honor.


Middle School – Liva Adelstorp, entering Grade 6 from Bali, Indonesia, invented a garbage collection bag for scuba divers to help clean up Indonesia’s coral reefs.

High School – Achyuth Jaigopal, entering Grade 12 from Kerala, India, is a promising young musician whose music raises awareness about environmental issues. Achyuth’s scholarship will include boarding on campus in the Three Springs Village, Green School’s student boarding village.

[View the all the Entries and Learn More About the Panel of Judges Selection the Winner]

Related Link

[It Ain’t Easy Being Green]
 


Herbalife Joins Sponsors of BIZNET Bali Triathlon 2013
Gold Sponsorship of BIZNET Bali International Triathlon Includes Support for Helbalife Individual Participants and Teams

Herbalife - a global nutrition company based in the USA, - has joined a gold sponsor of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon to be held on Jimbaran, Bali, Sunday, June 23, 2013.

A long-time supporter of the Bali International Triathlon, 2013 will be the 6th year that Herbalife will have a presence at the world-famous challenge to swimmers, cyclists and runners held on Jimbaran Bay and along the southern peninsula of Bali.

“Herbalife, as nutrition manufacturer, is very supportive supporting sports in Indonesia. We’re actively engage in healthy lifestyle to create new culture in Indonesia through sport and good nutrition,” said Andam Dewi, director and general manager PT Herbalife Indonesia.

Andam said that for the 7th BIZNET Bali International Triathlon, Herbalife would be providing nutrition to 7 athletes and 1 team from Indonesia. Those athletes are Andy Wibowo, Oky Rohmat and Kadri for Olympic category; Dwi Ratsasongko for sprint category. As a relay team Herbalife support will be given to Herry Yudhianto, Fikhy Azhari and Adam Jordan.

BIZNET Bali International Triathlon combines 3 branches of athletics: swimming, running and cycling.

This year’s event will be joined by Chris Lieto, three times Ironman champion. Alongside Lieto, legendary Indonesian swimmer Richard Sam Bera will return to participate, marking the fifth year he’s traveled to Bali to compete.

BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013 is broken into categories – the Olympic distance and Sprint Distance events. The Olympic distance event consists of 1,5 kilometer swimming, 42 kilometers cycling and 10 kilometers running. The Sprint distance category covers the same activities but at roughly half the distance. The road race by runners this year will be modified to encompass a new, more challenging route through Bukit Jimbaran.

Support for the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon by Herbalife mirrors support of other triathlons in locations around the world, including Poland and Los Angeles.

“We are proud to be part of Indonesia athletes and moreover for good nutrition and sports as a healthy lifestyle in Indonesia,” said Andam.

Herbalife is a nutrition company that sell products related to weight, nutrition and personal care in support of a healthy lifestyle. Herbalife operates in 80 countries working through independent distributors.

Herbalife also supports Herbalife Family Foundation through Casa Herbalife Programs in providing nutrition for kids.

[BIZNET Bali International Triatlon]


Waste Deep in the Big Muddy
Bali Environmentalists Warn that Benoa Bay Water Basin Under Severe Environmental Threat

The Jakarta Post (Bali Daily) reports that environmentalists are calling on the provincial government of Bali to pay closer attention to the state the Bay of Benoa and home to the busy port of Benoa.

Rapid development is feared to be adversely affecting water conditions and the delicate ecosystem of the bay that is surrounded by a natural mangrove forest.

A researcher and lecturer in marine science and fisheries from Bali’s Udayana University, Gede Hendrawan, told Bali Daily that human development was adding to the deteriorating condition of the Benoa Bay. Mangrove forested areas have been sacrificed to development and the two rivers that drain into the bay are affecting water quality. 

“Mati and Badung rivers flow to Teluk Benoa, at the same time, the rivers are heavily polluted. People living near the river often litter and throw trash in the river,” Hendrawan added.

Meanwhile the reclamation of Serangan Island has served to increase the accumulation of pollutants and sediments in the bay. Nearby, Denpasar's huge rubbish tip is blamed for introducing toxic substances and heavy metals into the shoreline’s ecology.

Hendrawan also warned that the construction of the Benoa-Nusa Dua Toll road is going to change how currents flow through Benoa Bay, explaining: “The installation of concrete columns along mangrove forests as the foundation of the toll road will certainly impact the water current. We have to conduct a comprehensive study on possible damages.”

Once the road is in operation, the Bay and surrounding mangrove forest will also have to cope with the noxious emissions of the thousands of vehicles that will travel across the bay each day.

He noted how pledges and promises to carefully preserve mangrove areas by using construction barges to install pilings were suddenly abandoned by PT Jasa Marga who laid limestone access roadbeds under the the toll road. Sadly, warnings by local environmentalists that the new road would destroy the mangrove may prove true as the limestone roads have now isolated entire areas of the water basin.

It remains to be seen if PT Jasa Marga will honor pledges (see linked articles) to excavate the access roads, returning the free flow of water under the new toll road.

Plans are now being discussed to increase the reclamation at Serangan Island in a step environmentalists claim will only worsen the already badly damaged ecosystem surrounding Benoa Bay.

Related Article

[Editorial: Keeping Promises Made to Bali]

[Nature’s Call]

[Bali’s Bitter Medicine]

[Temporary Digs]


A Clean Sweep with Zoover
16 Bali Hotels Win ĎHighly Recommended Statusí in the 2013 Zoover World Survey

The Maya Ubud Resort and Spa was recently voted the most highly recommended hotel in the 2013 Zoover Awards based on surveys and feedback.

The Zoover Awards, established in 2009, only sees properties in any given destination given “Zoover Highly Recommended” status if customer reviews provide an average rating of 8.5 or higher.

In all, 16 Bali hotels were “highly recommended” in the 2013 survey. In the order of their relative ranking, the favorites were:
  •  Maya Ubud Resort and Spa
  • Ayodya Resort Bali
  • Discovery Kartika Plaza
  • Grand Hyatt Resort Bali
  • Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Bali
  • Bali Hyatt, Sanur
  • Melia Benoa
  • Parigatta Villas Resorts
  • Alila Manggis Resort
  • Alila Ubud Resort
  • Griya Santrian, Sanur
  • Saren Indah, Ubud
  • Puri Santrian, Sanur
  • Taman Sari, Pemuteran, Bali
  • Sanur Saradise Plaza, Bali
  • Adi Asari Resort, Pemuteran
Maya Ubud Resort and Spa as the most highly rated hotel on the Zoover list, marked its fifth year on the list and its second year as the highest rated property in the survey.
 


Bali Police Foil Kidnapping of 2-Year-Old Boy
Police Suspect Timor Leste Woman Kidnapped French Child in Bali in Order to Sell the Child to Finance a Trip Home

A 2-year-old French boy from La Réunion, was the victim of brief kidnapping that occurred in Bali on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The toddler – Logan Bertrand Nicholas Mattei was apparently kidnapped by a 33-year-old-women Joaninha Sonia Gonzales, also known as Grandong, from Timor Leste.

The boy’s father, Christoper Charles Jean Mattei (44), met the woman at the Bounty Discotheque and invited her back to his accommodations at the Three Brothers Bungalows in Legian.

Mattei had left his son in the case of a babysitter while visiting local nightspots.

When Mattei woke on Wednesday morning he discovered both Grandong and his Son missing.

The man reported the kidnapping to the police who identified the woman via tapes of the hotels CCTV camera. The woman was known to police as a recidivist imprisoned 3 times on theft convictions.

Police then quickly tracked the woman down at her accommodations in the Iman Bonjol area of Denpasar. She was apprehended in the company of a man, Manuel Henriques Suarez (45), also from Dili.

When she was arrested the child was no longer in her possession, but had been left in an orphanage in North Bali.

The boy was safely returned to his Father on Thursday evening.

The woman and her male companion remain in police custody. Police suspect the woman intended to sell the child.
 


The Bali Ball
Annual Bali Ball on August 16, 2013 will Celebrate ĎThe Best of Balií while Raising Funds for Three Island Charities

Back for its third year, The Bali Ball 2013 will bring together the best businesses, brands and talent on the island in a gala evening to raise funds for three exemplary Island charities.

This year’s Ball Ball will take place on Friday, August 16, 2013 on the eve of Independence Day.

Raising US$ 136,000 for the Bali Kids Charity last year, The Bali Ball 2013: The Best of Bali aims to raise even more funds during this years party.

In attendance at the W Spa & Resort Bali-Seminyak this year will be the doyens of Island fashion, leading artists, designers, representatives of leading hotels and other top brands from across the island.

This year’s Bali is organized and hosted by Bali’s Jemme Jewellery and W Spa & Retreat Bali – Seminyak.

The venue is the Great Room of the W Spa & Resort.

Lavish food and drink will be complemented by a keynote address by CNN Hero of the Year 2011, Robin Lim and a memorable fireworks display.

Also not to be missed is a specially panned five-course meal with paired wines, a live auction, exclusive ‘Best of Bali’ prizes and entertainment by cabaret singer Kitty La Roar.

Commenting on the event, W Spa & Retreat Bali’s general manager, Craig Seaward, said: “This year feels more exciting than ever. By working with the best on the island we want to develop The Bali Ball into a non-profit brand, which will not only be active for one annual event a year, but will be involved in raising funds and building a network of supporters always.”

Jemme Jewellery’s head designer, Luke Stockley, added: ‘There’s so much talent in Bali and also a lot of success, so it feels right to give back by bringing together the finest that this beautiful island has to offer in a celebration of ‘The Best of Bali’.”

This year’s Bali Ball will be raising funds for three worthy charities:
  • Bali Kids- offering a special place for disadvantaged children. In addition to providing short, medium and long term shelter in their orphanage for up to 30 children, the Bali Kids facility is also open to sick Indonesian children of all religions living in Bali. Parents from poor or economically challenged communities bring their children to Bali Kids for medical attention and treatment. Last year almost 6000 children received assistance from [Bali Kids Website]. 
  • Bumi Sehat - runs two community health centers in Bali and Aceh, Indonesia providing 17,000 health consultations for both children and adults each year. Midwifery services to ensure gentle births are at the heart of Bumi Sehat and their clinics welcome approximately 600 new babies into the world each year. Bumi Sehat is dedicated to reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality and supporting community health.[Bumi Sehat Website
  • Yayasan Samaritiania - was founded in 2004 by Eko Iswanto to assist street children who were sheltering on a rubbish tip in Sanur. Today this charity provides schooling, health services and nutritious staples for 192 children ranging from 4 to 16 years of age.
Each year’s Bali Ball is traditionally a sell-out and tickets are available on a first-come-first-serve basis at Rp. 2,500,000 (US$250) each or Rp. 25 million (US$2,500) for a table of ten.

100% of the ticket proceeds from ticket sales will go to the three charities listed above.

Tickets are on sale at Jemme Jewellery’s or W Spa and Resort Bali.

[Best of Bali – Bali Ball Website


The Wrath of Rape
Bali Police Make Arrests in April Rape and Robbery of West Australian Woman

Bali police have arrested a man who has confessed to a series of robberies in North Kuta, including the rape of 27-year-old Australian woman in late April 2013.

The 39-year-old man, Junaedi, told police that when he entered the villa bedroom of the Perth, Western Australian woman at Villa Damai on April 27, 2013, he became confused when seeing the scantilly clad woman and committed the rape.

Quoted in Kompas.com, Junaedi, who comes from Lombok, said: “In the beginning I jumped the wall and entered by victim’s room, telling to be quiet. Using a knife and a flashlight, the woman remained quiet and I proceeded to rape her.”

The men told police that he regretted his actions and asked forgiveness from the victim.

The main remains in police custody and under investigation.

After seeking the man for almost two months, police from the North Kuta precinct managed to take Junaedi into custody on Monday, June 10, 2013. Police said the man resisted arrest and tried to escape causing them to shoot him twice, once in each leg.

Another man, Mari’ah alias Restu (31) was also arrested by police, believed to have driven the motorcycle used by Juanaedi in the rape and robbery.

The two men confessed to committing robberies at 15 separate locales in North Kuta, targeting villas occupied by foreign visitors.

At the time of Junaedi’s arrest police confiscated an Apple hand phone, and IPad, Rp. 2 million in cash and other electronic items.

Police say Junaedi was previously arrested for robbing a villa in Gianyar, a crime for which he served 10 months behind bars.

Related Articles

[Crime in Need of Arrest]

[Crime Crackdown Underway in Bali]

[The Night is a Lonely Hunter]

[Bali Manhunt Underway]


The Name Escapes Us
Bali Prepares to Open 12.7 Kilometer Long Toll Bridge in July While Struggling to Find the Right Name for the New Road

Tollbooths are in place, lighting is being installed and finishing touches applied preparatory for a trial operation of the new Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua toll road on its way to a formal inauguration by the Indonesian president in July 2013.

A suspended bridge traveling 12.7 kilometer over a tidal basin, Bali is touting the new road a “the most beautiful in Indonesia.”

The Bali Hai Way?

As reported by The Jakarta Post, Bali is still unsure how to officially name the new road. Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika is in favor of the Soekarno-Hatta toll road in honor of Indonesia’s first president and vice-president. Said Pastika: “In my opinion, Soekarno-Hatta is the best name for the toll road. However, we need to discuss it as many other names have been proposed. We should respect our founding fathers. Without their struggles, we would not be able to enjoy our life as it is nowadays. We already have roads named I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Ir. Soekarno, and many others. But we are yet to have Soekarno-Hatta.”

Meanwhile, others are lobbying in Bali to name the road after influential Balinese. Among the names proposed are Wayan Lotring who was a legendary musician and dancer and Prof. Ida Bagus Mantra – a former governor of Bali who already has a major road way named after him;

Prior to the former inauguration of the road a formal Balinese religious blessing will be carried out on July 10, 2013.

The new road cost US$243.6 million and stands on 34,000 concrete pillars.

The toll road is part of an infrastructure renewal program for Bali that also includes a massive renovation of the Bali Ngurah Rai Airport and the recently opened underpass at the Dewa Ruci Monument at Simpang Siur. The projects have been undertaken in anticipation of the APEC Summit to be held in Bali in October.

The director of PT Jasa Marga Bali, the owning company of the road, Akmad Tito Karim, told the press: “Not one foreigner was involved in the project, from its planning to its supervision. It is totally designed by Indonesian people.”

Related Articles

[Working on the Road]

[A Road by Any Other Name is Still a Road]

[Editorial: Keeping Promises Made to Bali]


Light Fingered Frew
Australian Tourist Caught Shoplifting at Kuta, Bali Shop

BeritaBali.com and Bali Post  both report that a 30-year-old Melbourne, Australian tourist, Frew Dunlop, has been apprehended by police from the Kuta police precinct for shoplifting at the Food Mart at Matahari Square.

The tourist, who police says has a listed address of Tasman Road, Greensborough, Melbourne, Victoria, was apprehended by a store employee with a bottle of locally produce wine costing Rp. 46,450 (US$4.65) concealed in a pocket.

Store employees say Dunlop acting suspiciously at around 1:00 pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, while shopping at the food center.

Placing the Australian under surveillance, the customer was seen to place some items in a shopping basket and a bottle of local wine in a trouser pocket.

At check out, the item concealed in the pocket was not presented for payment.

Confronted after the cashier counter, the hapless Australian was turned over to Kuta police for processing.

The head of the Kuta Police Precinct, Agus Tri Waluyo, said that because of the small value of the items stolen the case would be processed as a misdemeanor crime.


A Bagful of Trouble and Woe
French Tourist Arrested at Bali Airport with Small Quantity of Marijuana

Customs officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport prevented a Frenchman from smuggling a small quantity of marijuana into Indonesia on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

David Alexandre Guigues (30) was arrested after disembarking Air Asia QZ8396 from Kuala Lumpur at 15 minutes past midnight.

A strip search of the man revealed 0.79 grams of marijuana and a container with 40 cc of methadone.

Guigues was able to produce a medical certificate for the methadone which is a synthetic opiod used as a pain reliever as part of drug addiction detoxification.

The Frenchman has been places under arrest pending processing by State Prosecutors who will charge him with drug possession.


Illegal Outposts in the Hills of Bali
Many Ubud Villas and Hotel Built and Operated without Necessary Permits

The Jakarta Post reports that the village of Ubud in Bali’s Gianyar regency may be becoming a victim of its own charms.

In a rush to own their own corner of Ubud, investors are constructing luxury villas that they rent out as tourist accommodation, often doing so without the needed construction and operating permits.

According to the head of the Ubudi Hotels Association, Heri Sumawan, most of the newly built commercial villas in Ubud are constructed with permits for applicable only for private residences, with some structures even using forged permits. Other villas are being built with no building permit at all.

Sumawan estimates some 300 new villas in Ubud without any permit or license, adding, “These are just rough numbers, there are so many more.” He says the illegally built and unlicensed commercial villas are affecting the local hotel industry in Ubud and causing a loss in tax revenues to the regency.

Local hoteliers in Ubud are concerned and becoming increasingly irritated at the presence of “unfair competition” as hotels report decreases in average occupancy rates of between 20 and 40 percent. Hoteliers blame the downturn in business on world economic conditions and the dramatic price discounting practiced by unregistered and illegal villas and hotels in Ubud.

Official data from the Gianyar regency reveal 911 accommodation providers comprised of 27 star-rated hotels, 353 hostels, and 398 villas and rented houses. According to The Jakarta Post, 881 of the hotels and villas are unlicensed.


To Eat, or Not to Eat
Indonesian Moslems Debate When the Fasting Month of Ramadan Actually Begins

Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization Muhammadiyah has declared that the first day of the Moslem fasting month of Ramadan begins on July 9, 2013.

Muhammadiyah have their own time-honored means of calculating the phases of the moon that fixed the start of the fasting month for Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Accordingly, according to Muhammadiyah calculations, Idul Fitri which ends the fasting month will fall on August 9, 2013.

This is one day later than the date formally declared by the Indonesian Ministry of Religion.

Muhammadiyah relies on modern astronomical calculations while other, more traditional, Islamist groups use visual alignments of the horizon and certain astrological bodies to determine the start and end of the fasting period.

Due to differences in astronomical calculations Muhammadiyah adherents often celebrates religious date at a different time from their other Moslem brethren in Indonesia

In an effort to seek a consensus, the Religious Affairs Ministry have called a meeting to seek a common date. Certain that they're right, Muhammadiyah representatives won’t be attending that consultative meeting.


Hey, Look Me Over
US$5.8 million in X-ray Screening Equipment Sits Idle with Bali Police Six Months After Delivery

Expensive and sophisticated X-ray machines intended for installation at the Bali seaports of Gilimanuk and Padang Bai in order to thwart terrorist and inter-island movement of contraband goods sit in their shippingcrates unused, six months after delivery to the Bali Police.

The non-deployment by the Bali police of equipment seen as essential to Bali’s security is drawing strong criticism from members of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali).

The equipment was purchased with Rp. 58 billion (US$5.8 million) in funds from the 2012 Provincial Budget. 

The inaction of the police and their seeming reluctance to put the equipment in operation is fueling suspicions that the province overpaid for the equipment and concerns in some quarters that certain partty prefer, for whatever reasons,  the X-ray equipment remain in shipping crates.

The chairman of the PDI-P faction of the DPRD-Bali, Ketut Tama Tenaya, is leading criticism focused towards the police, saying: “We regret the X-ray machines have arrived but are not being installed. If the X-rays are left in their shipping crates or in warehouses they may suffer damage.”

Speaking to The Bali Post, Tenaya said the security of Bali remains a matter of vital life-and-death urgency for the people of the Island. He is urging the police not to be negligent in carrying out their assigned duties to safeguard the island’s seaport by failing to quickly install the X-ray units.

Tama Tenaya says he plans for his office to undertake coordination with the Bali police headquarters to discover why the expensive and essential equipment remains idle several months after being formally handed to the police by the governor. He is also asking the DPRD-Bali to formally summon the Chief of Police for Bali to seek a formal explanation in the case.

The PDI-P politician from Nusa Dua told the press that if there is a technical, manpower or operational impediment in installing the X-rays this should be coordinated with the DPRD-Bali. Adding: “We are asking if these machines are completely ready or if there is some deficiency? If there is a deficiency let’s look for a solution together.”

He called on the police to take all steps necesary to commence operation of the X-ray machines, including allocation space for their placement, staff to operate the equipment and funds to sustain their operation.

A Need for Due Process?

The spokesman for the Bali police, Drs. Hariadi, admitted the X-ray machines have remained unused six months after their delivery to the Bali police. Said Hariadi: “Indeed the equipment is not yet operating. In other words, they have not been put in place at Bali’s gateways. The reason is that the installation of the X-rays must follow a certain process.”

Urging that the matter be left for the police to resolve, when pressed on the continuing delays, Hariadi said there were technical issues. “The responsibility for their installation rests with the police precincts in which they will eventually operate. The installation and operation of the X-rays must follow a process and in order to fit into their new environment, an appropriate place for the machines installation must be found,” said Hariadi.

Hariadi claimed the X-rays were still undergoing trials to find the best location for their permanent installation.

Incredulous at the police response, one tourism observer suggested the arrival halls at both of the ports might represent the "best" location for the X-ray machines.


We Love a Parade
35th Bali Arts Festival Opens with Colossal Street Parade in Downtown Denpasar Presided Over by President Yudhoyono

The 35th Bali Arts Festival was opened with a gala parade in front of the Monument of the People's Struggle in Renon, downtown Denpasar on Saturday, June 16, 2013.

The parade featuring floats and 15 colossal cultural acts from across Indonesia paraded past a reviewing stand containg Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Madame Yudhoyono as rains fell throughout the afternoon.

As reported by The Bali Post, the President struck a giant gong to signal the start of he parade and the opening of the Bali Arts Festival. The first to perform before the reviewing stand was the Adhi Merdangga Gambelan Group, appearing with dancers from Denpasar’s SMKN 5 (junior high), who presented the Siwa Nataraja Dance. Second to appear was a cultural group from the province of Papua who performed ethnic dances from their region while holding six large red and white Indonesian flags aloft. Also appearing where performers from Karangasem, Gianyar, Denpasar, Sumenep, Bangli, Klungkung, West Lampung, Badung, Tabanan, Timor Leste and the marching band from Udayana University.

Both the President and First Lady attended the parade adorned in traditional Balinese garb.

As with past parades, foreign consuls based in Denpasar were in attendance.

Some quarters complained that this year’s parade route was too short and was overly focused only on performing before the presidential reviewing stand, rather than in providing access and entertainment to the general public.

Bali museum curator and cultural icon, Nyoman Gunarsa, blamed a lack of proper regulation by the organizers for the poor public access to the opening parade. Gunarsa said: “The parade should circle to Bajra Sandhi Monument and the attractions should not only just be staged before the VIP reviewing stand. Moreover, the roadsides should be free of parked vehicles in order to maximize space for spectators.”

On the evening following the parade, the formal opening ceremony of the 35th Bali Arts Festival was held at the Bali Arts Center.


Australian Dies in Lovina, North Bali
Australian Found Dead in North Bali Thought to Have Suffered from Epilepsy

A 70-year-old Australian, Don Brian James, has died near Lovina Beach in North Bali.

The State News Agency Antara quotes the chief of the Banjar Police Precinct, Nyoman Supardi, as saying: “The victim (James) is suspected to have suffered from epilepsy and that he failed to receive assistance during a seizure, causing him to die at his residence in the Lebah community at Kaliasem villagem Lovina on Thursday, June 13, 2013."

Police say there were no indications of foul play surrounding the man’s death, which remains under police investigation.


Ending a Feeding Frenzy
Jakarta Preparing Regulations to Ban Sales of Shark Fins. Will Bali Follow?

Kompas.com reports that the deputy governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, is urging all restaurants in the Indonesian capital to stop including shark’s fin on their menus.

Basuki, an Ambassador of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia’s SOSharks (Save our Sharks) Campaign, said that the municipal government was in the process of preparing a local regulation that will outlaw the sale of shark’s fin products.

Basuki’s comments were shared with the press via a press release issued by WWF on June 15, 2013.

In supporting a campaign against the consumption and sales of shark products, Jakarta is joining a worldwide movement to save shark populations that are increasingly under threat of extinction. The People’s Republic of China recently outlawed the inclusion of shark’s fin soup on menus served at State functions. Australia, meanwhile, has outlawed “finning” – the cruel means by which shark fins are harvested.

The WWF reports that no less than 8,000 tons of shark’s fins are sold globally each year, a level that threaten the future sustainability of a number of shark species. The UN Food and Agricultural Association (UN-FAO) has places Indonesia among the top 20 nations involved in the capture and harvest of sharks.

The SOSharks Campaign by WWF-Indonesia invited the public to stop consuming sharks and also calls for a halt in the commercial trade of shark products by restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and on-line distributors.

Many shops in Bali sell shark fin products to visiting tourists, primarily from Taiwan and Mainland China, while many Chinese Restaurants on the Island offer shark products on their menu.

Related Links

[WWF On-Line Petition to Save Our Sharks]

[Hark! Save the Sharks]

[Before the Fins are Finished]

[Ending the Senseless Slaughter]

[The Shark You Bite May Kill You]

[Jaws: The Revenge]
 


Editorial Insertion or Journalistic Cover Up?
Condoms Given to Chief Editors Attending a Nusa Dua, Bali Conference Seen as Insulting by One Indonesian Lawmaker

The decision to include free condoms in the “goody bags” given to a meeting of Chief Editors held in Nusa Dua, Bali is causing uproar in some quarters.

A member of the National House of Representatives (DPR-RI), Mahfudz Siddiq, said on Friday, June 14, 2013, “That (the distribution of condoms) is a smear against the journalistic profession and the role of Chief Editors.”

What’s more, according to Siddiq, the distribution of free condoms to delegates attending a conference in Bali could cause “suspicion” among the families of the chief editors “back home. Quoted by Seputarbali.com, the legislator asked: “Is this an early indication of sexual gratification? The organizers have committed a serious insult against the journalistic profession.”

More than 100 chief editors from a range of mass media in Indonesia gathered in Nusa Dua, Bali to a Chief Editors Forum held June 13-14, 2013. The event saw the bosses in charge of Indonesian major news publications and broadcast news organizations exchange ideas and debate the role of the press, media owners and chief editors in the news gathering process in Indonesia.

One of the sponsors of the event was PT Mitra Rajawali - the producers of the Meoong (Meow) Brand of condoms, included a box sample of their prophylactic in each participant's “goody bag.

in defense of their "gift" the producers of the brand of condoms claim they only wished to introduce their product to a wider audience. Meanwhile, other cheekishly suggest the gift was a symbolic vote of approval for the role of chief editors in Indonesia,  sometimes seen as "impotent" in the face of over-demanding media owners.


Keeping Relationships Safe
High Awareness of Need for HIV/AIDS Testing and Condom Use Among Baliís Gay, Transvestite and Men-Who-Have-Sex-with-Men

A quick survey conducted by the Gaya Dewata Foundation among 400 gay and transvestite individuals in 3 separate regencies of Bali reveals that 85% of those interviewed are aware of the need to undergo voluntary HIV/AIDS screening.

The three regencies surveyed during May-June 2013 were Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar where 85% of the respondents admitted to knowing of the need to undergo HIV/AIDS testing.

Founded in 1992, the Gaya Dewata Foundation is a non-governmental organization focused on reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease among gays, transvestites and men-who-have-sex-with-men.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the director of the Gaya Dewata, Christian Supriyadinata told the press on June 15, 2013 that increased awareness of the need for HV/AIDS testing is due to the prevalence of clinics and hospitals in Bali offering voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). VCT is now offered at all major hospitals, several community health centers (puskesmas) and a special VCT clinic.

Supriyadinata added that the use of condoms among gay, transvestites and men-who-have-sex-with-men is also on the increase. In past years, the awareness of the need to use condoms stood at only 20%, a number that has now increased to 68%.

The chairman of Gaya Dewata estimates that the total number of gay, transvestites and men-who-have-sex-with-men in Bali is 25,000.

[Gaya Dewata Foundation Website]


Weíll Cross that Bridge
Fares Announced For Bali Toll Bridge Expected to Operate in July 2013

PT Jasa Marga has  announced that Bali, as Indonesia’s main tourism destination, will soon be home to the longest toll bridge in Indonesia measuring 12.7 kilometers long.

The Commissioner of the operators of the new road Jasa Marga, Ibnu Purna Muchtar, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, said, “The toll bridge built by a consortium of State-Owned Companies measures some 10 kilometers over an ocean way.”

He went on to explain that the length of the Bali toll bridge is almost the same as the Penang Bridge in Malaysia that measures 13.5 kilometers or the Union Bridge in Canada that is 12.9 kilometers in length.

Continuing, Muchtar added, “It could be that this toll bridge is the most beautiful in the world and will connect Nusa Dua, the Ngurah Rai Airport and Benoa. “

At present, people in Denpasar, Kuta and at the Bali airport wanting to travel to Nusa Dua can only do so by traveling on the Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai. That road, built in the 1960s, is currently overburdened with traffic.

Said Muchtar, “Every morning and every afternoon, the congestion of this roadway will be encountered near the Ngurah Rai Airport or at the Simpang Siur intersections heading towards Denpasar.

Surveys show that the number of vehicles with four or more wheels that pass over the Ngurah Rai Bypass road each day exceed 40,000, supplemented by a further 56,000 motorcycles.

The commissioner of the new toll bridge went on to describe how a single traffic accident can completely close traffic flows in South Bali, persuading the government of the absolute need to build an alternative road.

With the new toll bridge the traveling time from Benoa to Nusa Dua of one hour will not be reduced to only 10-15 minutes.

Rapid Construction

The director of development for PT Jasa Marga, Abdul Hadi, told the press that the new toll bridge was the fastest road construction project ever completed in Indonesia.

“This project with a value of Rp. 2.4 trillion (US$240 million) uses a design and build concept undertaken by Jasa Marga and a group of State-Owned companies,” explained Hadi.

Building over water relieved the project from the need to acquire land for the project, giving the contractors freedom to creatively and efficiently complete the roadway 4 months ahead of schedule.

Motorcycles Welcome

The new toll bridge will have separate lanes for motorcycles.

Hadi was confident that the new toll bridge would quickly become a tourist icon for Bali, recognized around the world.

He said the road would help Bali develop further economically.

Toll Bridge Fares

Abdul Hadi said that the tariff for the new toll bridge would be Rp. 10,000 (US$1) for cars and Rp. 4,000 (US$0.40) for motorcycles.

Feasibility studies for the new toll bridge estimates that 38,000 vehicles will use the bridge each day with the bridge expected to have an operation life span of 50 years.

Jasa Marga Toll has an operating concession of 45 years on the new toll bridge.

Related Links

[Waste Deep in the Bid Muddy]

[Editorial: Keeping Promises Made to Bali]


Boxers or Briefs?
Prosecutors Want 17-Year Sentence for Malaysian National Caught with Heroin Hidden in his Underwear

The Jakarta Globe reports that State Prosecutors in Bali are seeking a 17 year prison sentence and a fine of Rp.850 million (US$85,000) for a Malaysian man arrested with 372 grams of heroin hidden in his underpants.

Sargunan M. Suppiah, 27, appearing before the Denpasar District Court, heard prosecutors describe how Customs officials arrested him on January 5, 2013 with the stash of heroin.

The sentence demanded by prosecutors is less than the death penalty the Courts could impose in the case.

The trial continues before the Denpasar District Court

Related Article

[Is that a Banana in Your Pocket?]


Blessed be the Way
Pamelaspasan Ceremony Held to Bless Baliís New Underpass

The focus of criticism from many quarters regarding the poor quality of the final workmanship on Bali’s new Dewa Ruci Underpass at Simpang Siur, the developer of the expensive road project remains oblivious to such verbal assaults.

Ignoring complaints that the project remains undone in terms of final handover quality, the Department of Public Works for Badung Regency has pushed ahead by holding a ritual pamelaspasan ceremony.

The Chief of the National Road Department for Denpasar, H. Juni Wahjudiono, excused the rush to hold a ritual blessing for the road, saying plans to hold the ceremony had been planned a long time ago.

The ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 13, 2013.

In response to those criticizing the quality of Balinese ornamentation used on the walls of the underpass, Wahjudiono and the project manager, Hendro Satrio, emphasized the ornaments on the underpass were not “cheap.”

Wahjudiono explained: “The ornamentation duplicates those installed at Bali’s renovated airport. The materials are the same. These are not cheap. Moreover, the cost of the ornamentation alone is around Rp. 500 million (US$500,000).”

He did not address complaints that the cement pavement at the bottom of the underpass was unevenly and inexpertly installed, requiring the roadway be broken up and a new cement base installed,

Related Article

[Bumpy Road Ahead]


Western Australian Wines in Bali
Howard Park Wine Dinner at Amanusa Italian Restaurant on Friday, June 21, 2013

Amanusa’s Italian Restaurant has a special evening of outstanding cuisine and premier wines planned for Friday, June 21, 2013, when wines from Australia’s Howard Park and Mad Fish Wineries will complement the kitchen artistry of the resort’s Eexecutive chef Chau Doan

The fun begins at 7:00 on at the Amanusa Bar where canapés will be served accompanied by Mad Fish Unwooded Chardonnay.

A six-course degustation menu follows.

Howard Park and Mad Fish Wineries are owned by the Burch Family is Western Australia's representing the largest family-owned and operated winery with an international reputation for crafting balanced and elegant wines of distinct regional character. Since its inception in 1986, Howard Park’s philosophy has been to craft outstanding boutique Australian wines of great subtlety, character, balance and elegance with an uncompromising commitment to quality.

Menu
Amanusa Resort – Italian Restaurant
Friday, June 21, 2013


Howard Park and Mad Fish Wine Evening
Degustation menu by Executive Chef Chau Doan



CANAPE’S
Mad Fish Unwooded Chardonnay 2010

++++

AMUSE BOUCHE
Crispy lavosh with quail egg, truffle oil, baby tomato and sea salt
Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc 2011

++++


STARTER
Beetroot cannelloni with whipped goat cheese, carrot puree,
Pine nuts and biscuit crumbs
Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc 2011

++++

MAIN COURSE
Chicken croquette, seared king prawns, bianco gazpacho,
Pickled cucumber
Mad Fish Pinot Noir 2010

++++
CHEESE COURSE
House made duck sausage, toasted brioche,
Smokeds camorza cheese and mushroom pate
Mad Fish Shiraz 2008

+++++
MAIN COURSE
Lamb fillets wrap with pancetta, fried pastry cream,
Pumpkin caponata
Howard Park Scottsdale Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

++++

DESSERT
Dark rich chocolate cake, honeycomb white chocolate praline,
Coffee anglaise and almond bread


Seating is strictly limited and reservations are essential. The cost for the cocktail, six-course menu and paired wines is only Rp. 800,000 plus tax and service (US$97)

For more information or bookings call Juliana at ++62-(0)361-772333 or [Email


In Support of Excellence and Baliís Jimbaran Community
AYANA Resort Returns as Leading Sponsor of 2013 BIZNET Bali International Triathlon

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali returns as a proud sponsor of the seventh annual BIZNET Bali International Triathlon, which takes place on June 23, 2013, with a new course and a record number of participants.

The more than 1,000 participants includes three-time Ironman champion and 2009 World Championship runner-up, Chris Lieto, and Indonesian swimming legend Richard Sam Bera, a three-time Olympian and four-time All-American Championship icon.

This year, there is a new running course that will lead Olympic-distance runners up ‘Heartbreak Hill’ from Jimbaran Beach to AYANA Resort and Spa. The challenging run includes a steep hill that levels out and becomes an undulating path along the main road to the grand entrance of AYANA.

The new run course is a fitting element for “the triathlon for the soul” concept. In Sanskrit, the word “ayana” means a place of refuge; AYANA is perched on limestone cliffs above the Indian Ocean in one of the world’s most exotic resort destinations. Set on 77-hectares of cliff-top tropical gardens perched 35 meters above Jimbaran Bay, the property enjoys majestic views and a secluded location across its 1.3-kilometer coastline.

BIZNET Bali International Triathlon is an annual sporting event held in Jimbaran, Bali. The race that has won ‘Best Triathlon Destination’ (Competitor, USA) and is dubbed as the “Triathlon for the Soul.”
The race combines a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run in Olympic distance and receives a growing number of participants each year.

“AYANA is excited about this opportunity to once again support our Jimbaran community and the triathlon community at large through sponsorship of BIZNET Bali International Triathlon,” said AYANA Executive Assistant Manager Clive Edwards. “We know the organizer puts on an exceptional and safe event and we’re proud to take on an active role for the seventh annual BIZNET Bali International Triathlon.”

In keeping with the BIZNET Bali Triathlon tradition, after the main race on June 23rd, the weekend will conclude with post-race sunset cocktails on AYANA’s Chandra Surya Lawn and the famous Rock Bar, complete with live music, food and camaraderie for both volunteers and athletes.

Links

[BIZNET Bali International Triathlon]

[AYANA Resort and Spa]


A Gathering of Australian Business in Bali
Indonesian-Australian Business Council Gathering on Friday, June 21 to Focus on Topic of Buying Property in Indonesia

The Third Indonesian-Australian Business Council (IABC) Branch Members Gathering on Friday, June 21, 2013 will continue the theme of “Bali - the Gateway of Indonesia.”

The next IABC gathering will be held a the Sentosa Seminyak on Jalan Pura Telaga Waja, Petitenget, Seminyak .

Peter Fanning, of counsel, Hutabarat Halim & Rekan Lawyers will speak on the topic of "Buying Property in Indonesia".

Members of the IABC are urged to attend this business networking event and to bring along colleagues and business associates.

Drinks will be served from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Cost of participation is Rp. 200,000 (US$20) for IABC members and Rp. 380,000 (US$38) for non-members.

RSVP to the IABC Bali Branch Secretariat at telephone ++62-(0)361-755025 or [Email

Reservations close at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 12:00 noon.


April Thrills
Bali by the Numbers: April 2013 Arrivals to Bali Increase 7.24%

235,927 foreign tourists came to Bali in April 2013 reoresenting a 7.24% increase month-on-month when compared to April 2012 when 219,984 foreign visitors came to the Island.

Cumulatively for the first four months of 2013 a total of 962,940 foreigners came to Bali on holiday, a 5.17% increase over the same four months one year before.

Projecting Total Arrivals for 2013

Extrapolating for the entire year of 2013 on the assumption that the 5.17% rate of growth in tourism numbers will hold steady through the remainder of the year, Bali can expect to end the current year with slightly more than 3 million tourist visitor.

Arivals to Bali by Major Markets

Australia - Australian visitors month-on-month for April increased 4.9% with 62,951 Aussie tourists coming to Bali. Overall, Australia remains the top source of foreign visitors to Bali, although totals for the four months ending in April 2013 saw visitors from “down under” decline 1.50% for January-April 2013 (242,326) as compared to the same period in 2013.

Peoples Republic of China
– PRC arrivals for April 2013 surged ahead 33.3% over April 2012 with 27,153 Chinese visitors to Bali. Cumulatively, PRC arrivals for January-April 2013 are ahead 2.72% as compared to same period one year before. PRC visitors remain the second largest source of foreign visitors to Bali.

Japan –  The recovery of Japanese tourism Bali continues. Japanese arrivals continued to improve in April 2013, increasing 17.2% over Japanese arrivals for April 2012. Overall for the first four months of 2013 Japanese arrivals, however, are up 17.69%.

Malaysia – Malaysia arrivals for April 2013 at 14,472 increased 2.23% over April 2012. Overall for the first four months of 2013 Malaysia arrivals are ahead 3.77% remaining the fourth largest source of foreign visitors to Bali.

South Korean – South Korean visitors to Bali in April 2013 declined 3.7%, possibly affected by the unsettled security situation back home caused by a bellicose North Korean regime. For the entire first four months of 2013, South Korean visitor to Bali are up 7.87%.

Russia – Russians are now the sixth largest source of Bali visitors with 7,512 arrivals in April 2013 – a 26.32% increase over Russian arrivals in April 2012. Cumulatively for the first four months of 2013, Russians arrivals are up 3.88%.

Taiwan – Taiwanese visitors in April increased 14.8% totaling 10,776. Cumulatively for January-April 2013, Taiwanese visitors remain the seventh largest source of foreign visitors for Bali improving 5.01% for January-April 2013 over the same period in 2012.

Singapore – April saw 8.52% more Singaporeans (8,965) come to Bali than did in April 2012. Across the first four months of 2013, Singapore tourist arrivals increased 3.88%.

United Kingdom – U.K. visitors at 8,182 in April 2013 suffered a 10.27% decline in U.K. visitors month-on-month as compared to 2012. All is not good from the U.K. market with U.K. arrivals to Bali declining 12.36% during the first four months of 2013.

U.S.A. – U.S. arrivals to Bali increased 1% in April 2013 at 7,738. U.S. arrivals for January-April 2013 have improved 9.84% for 2013.

France – French arrivals declined 2.3% in April 2013 at 10,333. For the first four months of 2013, French arrivals are up a modest 2.14%.

Germany – 8.52% fewer Germans came to Bali in April 2013 (6,252) than in April 2012. Fortunately, German arrivals on a cumulative basis January – April 2013 are up 14.01%.

The Netherlands – Bali no longer appears to be the darling of the Dutch on holiday. Dutch visitors in April declined 3.4% at 4,885. Cumulatively as well, 6.76% fewer Dutch came to Bali during January-April 2013.

India – India is proving a delightful surprise as a new comer to Bali tourism. Month-on-month for April, 18.6% more Indians came to Bali. Demonstrating the dynamic growth now underway from India, 27.10% more Indians visited Bali during January-April 2013 than did during the same period in 2012.


Banking on Baliís Next Generation
Bank International Indonesia gives 486 scholarships to Bali Schools to Celebrate BII Maybank Bali Marathon

As part of its participation in the BII Maybank Bali Marathon 2013, Bank International Indonesia has given 486 scholarships to students from 27 schools located along the route of the marathon held in Gianyar on Sunday, June 13, 2013.

The top three students from 23 grade schools, 2 junior high schools and 2 senior high schools along the race route were the happy recipients of the Bank’s beneficence, given to thank the public for their continuing support of the race.

The president director of BII Bank, Dato’ Khairussaleh bin Ramli, said he hoped the scholarships would be put to good use for education, health programs, public welfare and protecting the environment.

The race held from a base at the Bali Safari and Marine Park also provided an opportunity for 40 paraplegic athletes to participate in a special 5 kilometer race held as part of the larger marathon.

The scholarships were presented on June 15, 2013 at the Ketayasa Wantilan in the village of Bona, Blahbatu, Gianyar at a ceremony attended by the Regent of Gianyar.

Shown on Balidiscovery.com are students from Gianyar schools together with the president director of Bank International Indonesia Dato Khairussaleh bin Ramli with directors of BII Maybank.


Breakfast of Champions
Participants at BIZNET Bali International Triathlon Have Opportunity to Learn Tricks and Tactics from Ironman Chris Lieto While Helping Bali Kids Through Sports

Internationally renowned Ironman Chris Lieto will be in Bali on Sunday, June 23, 2013, to participate at the 7th BIZNET Bali International Triathlon together with some 1,200 other athletes from around the world.

In addition to racing with athletes from around the globe, Lieto will also be raising money through the efforts of [More Than Sports]  to provide much needed support and assistance to [The Bali Sports Foundation].

Many of the athletes traveling to Bal for the BIZNET Bali International Triathalongi have generously contributed to Chris’ effort to make a difference to the kids of Bali through sports. Funds raised will be used to purchase wheelchairs for the Paralympics team at Bali Sports Foundation.

While in Bali, Chris will also be participating in two special fundraising events. On Saturday afternoon, June 22, 2013 contributing athletes will have 'two on one' time sessions with Chris to learn from a champion on how to use transition time, discuss race tactics, transition set up and swim techniques.

The two highest fundraisers will be given this unique time with Chris, one of the fastest triathletes in the world today.

On June 24, the Monday morning following the race, 10 contributing athletes will be join Chris at a special breakfast event hosted by Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay.

This event will feature an intimate setting to talk about the race, the sport of triathlon, Chris's race experiences, and making a global impact with More than Sport. The first 12 athletes to contribute more than $150.00 US will be invited to attend this special breakfast.

[To donate

[BIZNET Bali International Triathlon
 


Thou Shell Not Kill
World-Wide Protest Mount Against Baliís Illegal Turtle Trade



Keeping an Eye on the Road
Indonesian President to Inspect Baliís New Toll Road



Putting on the Ritz!
Ritz-Carlton to Return to Bali in 2014

>


And the Winner is . . .
Constitutional Court Rejects Challenges to May 15 Bali Governor Race



Hand-Made in Bali
Bali Handicraft Exports Increase 10.89%



Room Rates in Bali Under Pressure From Energy Costs
Bali Room Rates Predicted to Increase 15% Following 44% Hike in Fuel Costs

>


Current News
Jakarta Man Drowns While Swimming on Petitenget Beach in Bali



Reporter Dies on Bali Trek
Anak Agung Gusti Ngurah Krisna Yana Ė Bali Travel Journalist Dies in Hiking Accident



Jetstar Making the Leap to Lombok
Jetstar to Operate Four Flights Between Perth and Lombok Starting September 24, 2013



At the Stroke of Midnight
Gasoline and Diesel Prices Increased in Indonesia at Midnight, Friday, June 21, 2013



Cristiano Ronaldo Ė Baliís Ambassador to the World
Real Madridís Champion Striker Cristiano Ronaldo Bali-Bound

Cristiano Ronadlo, Real Madrid striker and media icon, will be in Bali on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, to attend a tree planting ceremony in Bali's southern mangrove that will also be attended by Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

According to Beritasatu.com, Ronaldo will land in Bali at 10:00 pm on Monday night and spend the night at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel before attending the planting the following morning.

The planting, organized by the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation, will take place at Telaga Waja in Benoa Bay with the Indonesian president and the Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan.

A media conference is planned for the afternoon at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel before participating in an invitation-only dinner on Wednesday evening.

Cristiano Ronaldo serves as an international mangrove ambassador for the Bali-based Peduli Mangrove Forum (Mangrove Care Forum) operated by the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation.

Related Article

[A Goal Worth Scoring]
 


Celebrating the Environment with Kids
Join Kidsí Day at the R.O.L.E. Foundation Campus in South Bali on Saturday, June 29, 2013

On Saturday, June 29, 2013, Yayasan R.O.L.E. (Rivers, Oceans, Lands, Ecology Foundation) will celebrating Kids’ Day in Nusa Dua with interactive games emphasizing environmental sustainability.

The Kids’ Day takes place from the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Island Sustainability Education Centre (ISEC) Eco Park, located at Jalan Celagi Nunggul No. 101, Sawangan, Nusa Dua.

The afternoon will feature kid’s play and arts and crafts. The Kids’ Day will also present a number of educational activities designed for the whole family. Guests can join interactive Eco Tours that explore different environmental stations within the Park focusing on permaculture, waste management and health plants. Other attractions and activities include a wild animal stand by the Bali Safari & Marine Park, organic drinks and snacks made from the Park’s produce and prizes to be won.

Prizes include an overnight stay at Bali Eco Stay and a night safari through the Bali Safari & Marine Park.

“On this Kids’ Day we want the children to go an environmental journey, that will not only last for this day but for the whole summer and hopefully their entire future” said Laura Walter, volunteer and Eco Tours Coordinator at R.O.L.E.

With an estimated 5,000 tons of waste illegally dumped in Bali each day, Bali’s natural beauty is under serious threat together with the health of the Island’s ecosystem.

R.O.L.E. Foundation as the organizer of Kids’ Day view the event as the perfect opportunity to reach out to inspire the community to protect the environment. All money raised from the day will support R.O.L.E.’s interactive environment programs and diet and exercise education programs for children. Each year, R.O.L.E educates 2,000 primary school students on the connection between the environment and health issues; sustainable solutions on waste separation, composting, permaculture, organic farming and reforestation; as well as the importance of nutrition and exercise.

For more information, please visit the R.O.L.E. Foundation website [www.rolefoundation.org]  or call ++62-(0) 361-8078805.


Money, Money, Money
Local Tourism Leaders Sees Indonesia Tourism as Underfunded and Lacking a Long-Term Plan

I Nyoman Kandia, a member of the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board has told BeritaBali.com that Indonesia ideally needs at the minimum of Rp. 1 trillion (US$100 million) to promote the country’s tourism industry.

This contrasts with the mere Rp. 20 billion (US$2 million) allocated in the state budget for this purpose.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) held in Bali on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, Kandia said that limited funding available for tourism promotion was holding back tourism development.

“The House of Representatives (DPR) see tourism as an industry already in operations, thinking ‘so why should we give it funding.’ The DPR is not aware of the strong effect of tourism and how one tourist staying a week in Bali can create employment for 50 people. Drivers work. People visit shops. But, the DPR doesn't see these figures,” said Kandia.

I Nyoman Kandia bemoaned that Malaysia spends 20 times more on tourism promotion than Indonesia. He added that the great weakness of tourism promotion in Indonesia is the lack of an overall, long-term strategy.


Stop (Building) in the Name of the Law
Villas in Jembrana Being Issued Permits and Licenses for Non-Conforming Construction

The surge in villas being built in the Bali regency of Jembrana has brought attention to bear on the legality of the permits held by these structures.

As reported by Beritabali.com, many of the newly built villas clearly violate minimum setback rules from the shoreline but somehow manage to hold a full set of permits and building licenses. This anomaly is fueling suspicion of official collusion and corruption in the issuance of building and site permits.

Several of the “suspicious” villas are located in the village of Perancak, Jembrana.

One, named “Villa 33” is still under construction. This particular villa has raised protests because its distance from the shoreline is less than 50 meters while the minimum legal setback from the shoreline for all areas in Bali is 100 meters.

And, despite what is an obvious violation of building and zoning codes, “Villa 33” appears to have a complete set of permits and licenses.

A member of commission C of the Jembrana House of Representatives (DPRD-Jembrana), Putu Kamawijaya, said on Friday, June 14, 2013, that he deeply regretted such flagrant disregard for the law could occur, especially when the rules are so clear.

He was also concerned that construction is being allowed to continue on the construction of a building that  violates the law, with local officials choosing to close their eyes.

“This is not happening only in Perancak, but in many other places. Violations occur, but no one takes action,” complained Putu Kamawijaya.

He said that permits have been issued points to official collusion to break the law.

Kamawijaya said any building being built in violation of the law requires the relevant authority must have the courage to take corrective action.

He called on authorities to move against the illegal villas, regardless of who owns or back the subject projects.

Meanwhile, the head of the local enforcement office for Jembrana, Putu Widarta, said that his authority was only to check several documents that must be held by the villa project.

After he surveyed the new villas in Perancak, he said all held the complete set of licenses, including principle permits and building permits. “So everything is OK,” insisted Widarta.

The Provincial Zoning Law of Bali (RTRWP 2009) stipulates that any official issue a building permit that does not conform to the zoning law is subject to 5 years imprisonment.


New Road to a Near Neighbor
Air Niugini to Fly Port Moresby to Bali Starting August 5, 2013

Air Niugini, the national airline of Papa New Guinea, has announced its intention to commence direct flights between Port Moresby and Bali effective August 5, 2013.

Garth McIlwain, chairman of the board, told PNG Media that his airline will fly once each week to Bali using a Boeing 737 aircraft.

Operating under a code-sharing arrangement with the Indonesian national airline Garuda will allow passengers bound between the two destinations to fly on either airline thereby increasing flight frequency and access to the respective route systems of each carrier.

Air Niugini flies to 10 international destinations including Hong Kong, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, Tokyo and Cebu.


Earthquake Strikes Near Lombok
Earthquake Causing Severe Property Damage in North Lombok Also Felt in Parts of Bali

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter Scale shook Bali and it’s neighboring island of Lombok at 12:42 pm local time on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

Information from the Indonesian Department of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) said the epicenter of the earthquake was 14 kilometers northwest of Lombok at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The quake was felt as far away as Bali where mild shaking was noticed in North Bali and Jembrana, and a loud bang reported by some people near Nusa Dua.

The Bali Post reports that 1,700 homes in Lombok suffered severe property damage due to the earthquake where 24 people were injured.

The injuries and property damage reports emanate from three districts of Lombok: Gangga, Tanjung and Pemenang.

Of the 24 injured, three were said to have suffered injuries that required hospitalization.

Also damaged in the quake were 15 mosques, 10 Hindu temples and 2 Buddhist monasteries.

Six villages affected by the earthquake reports a large number of homes are now level with the ground, causing residents to share accommodation with neighbor or set up make-shift housing.

No property damage or injuries have been reported on the Island of Bali.


Kancang, Monyet?
Baliís Wanara Wana Monkey Forest Asks Visitors Not to Feed the Monkeys Nuts

The Wanara Wana Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali is asking visitors to refrain from giving the hundreds of monkey living there any form of nuts.

Concerned that the monkeys living in sacred preserve are getting too corpulent, those who “guard the guards who guard the forest” want visitors to stop giving the primates nuts of any kind.

The curator of the Monkey Forest, I Putu Suardika, told The Jakarta Post: “Please do not carry nuts into the forest and do not feed the monkeys with nuts since it will badly affect their health. There will be no sanction imposed upon visitors who do not follow this policy, but I believe the visitors will do their best to ensure the health of these animals.”



Animal health experts have identified the high cholesterol and protein content of nuts as the root of an obesity epidemic among the long-tailed macaques at Wanara Wana Forest.

In an effort to provide a more varied and healthier diet for the monkeys. the monkeys are now fed sweet potatoes, rambutan, coconut, papaya and vegetables. Once every two days bananas supplement the diet of the monkeys with raw eggs added as a special treat on the Tumpek Kandang holy day when the Balinese honor domestic pets and livestock.

Eggs, like peanuts, are tightly controlled as Suardika links a high protein diet to enhanced libidos. Fearing an overpopulation of monkeys, Putu explained: “We carefully control the monkey population because we only have a limited space here. An uncontrolled population explosion could lead to nasty turf wars between rival monkey packs.”

There are currently an estimated 600 monkey now living in the 14-hectare forest on the southern border of Ubud.


Hammering the Point Home
U.K. Man in North Bali Held by Police After Attacking his Wife with a Hammer

An U.K. national is under arrest by police in the North Bali regency of Buleleng suspected of having brutally attacked his wife with a hammer, sending the woman to hospital.

Police say evidence, eyes witnesses and interviews with John Burns (58) indicate the man assaulted his wife Kadek Suryadi (30) with a hammer causing the Balinese woman head injuries and bruising on various parts of her body.

The incident was reported to police on June 16, 2013 when Suryadi was admitted to a hospital in Singaraja.

Speaking to The Bali Post, the police in Singaraja have asked for the assistance of the U.K. Embassy in Indonesia, pledging they will handle the case in a proportional way according to the laws of Indonesia.


Business as Usual
Fuel Price Increase Not Expected to Dent Indonesiaís Fast-Growing Tourism Industry

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, has declared that domestic and international tourism targets will not be revised following dramatic increases of between 22%-44% in fuel prices.

Speaking at the opening of a cultural festival in Jakarta on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Pangestu said, “There will be no correction in tourism targets because all impacts and implications have been take into consideration.”

Indonesia continues to target 9 million foreign tourist visits for all of 2013. Meanwhile, the government is holding firm on its expectation that 250 domestic tourist trips will be undertaken in the current year, a number the Ministry of Tourism thinks will increase to 400 million trips by 2022.

The Minister, quoted in The Bali Post, said she anticipated that the tourism industry would find ways to be more efficient in its use of energy, such as occurred after the last increase in fuel costs. The higher energy cost is expected by the Minister to give new impetus to green hotel and green environment programs.


Not Going with the Flow
Angry Bali Villagers Close Ayung River to White Water Rafting Operators

Angry villagers living along the banks of the Ayung River in Central Bali brought river rafting operations to a complete halt on Sunday, June 23, 2013, when they cut trees, felling them across the river and making the passage of the rubber rafts used by rafting companies impossible.

Reported by both Nusa Bali, The Bali Post and DenPost - hundreds of villagers blockaded the river in protest at the failure of river rafting companies to pay an agreed Rp. 500,000 (US$50) per month to each of the 11 communities (banjars) for the past ten months.

Villagers complain that the hundred of tourist visitors traveling the river on rafts prevent traditional economic pursuits such as fishing or the breeding of live fish. For this reason, the rafting companies agreed to provide each Banjar a cash compensation of Rp. 500,000 each month. But, for the past 10 months, the rafting companies argue they are no longer able to make these payments.

Police and military personnel were deployed along the river on Sunday to keep the peace on Sunday while rafting operations came to a halt.

Villagers have pledged even stronger action if any attempt is made to remove the fallen trees blocking the river before an acceptable settlement is reached between local residents and the rafting operators.

Meanwhile, the chief of the local police precinct has promised to convene a meeting of between rafting operators and the local banjars to try to achieve a peaceful solution to the protests.

An estimate 12 rafting companies operate river trips along the Ayung River.

Balidiscovery.com has learned that  rafting operations along the river resumed on Monday, June 24, 2013.
 


Bold Thief in Kuta Employs New Modus Operandi
Thief Breaks Open Safety Deposit Boxes at Balisani Hotel in Kuta Making off with Large Sum of Money and Other Goods

The Bali Post reports that thief struck the Hotel Balisani on Jalan Padma Utara in Kuta on Friday, June 21, 2013 breaking open a number of safe deposit boxes holding the valuables of guests.

Millions of rupiahs in cash, passports, credits cards, airline tickets and other valuable belonging to at least six foreign visitors were carried away by the thief who somehow managed to rifle open locked safety boxes left by the guests in the Hotel’s care.

The theft was reported by Hotel Balisani’s manager, Gede Suamba, to local police who continue to investigate the incident.


BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013
BIZNET Bali Triathlon 2013 Ends as Organizers Prepare to Meet Challenges on the Road Ahead

The 7th BIZNET Bali International Triathlon was held on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Jimbaran Beach and along the southernmost peninsula of Nusa Dua.

Over one thousand athletes took part in the Olympic distance, Sprint distance and 5-kilometer fun run at this year's event.

Slovenia athlete Michael Bucek was awarded the best overall time in the Olympic Distance event with a time of two hours seven minutes forty-three seconds, beating out Indonesian athlete Andi Wibowo with a time of two hours, thirteen minutes and forty-seven seconds.

Best overall Olympic distance time for a woman was turned in by Michelle Boyes of Australia at two hours thirty-six minutes and fifty-one seconds. Boye’s time bested fellow-Australian Nathalie Laurendeau and Britain’s Katherine de Rome.

[Race Results Olympic Distance

[Race Results Sprint Distance]

[Race Results Team Triathlon - Olympic Distance]

[Race Results Team Triathlon - Sprint Distance]

The races formed the centerpiece of three days of activities starting on Friday with bike course tours, a Balinese bike blessing, group swims and an athlete reception at the Private Residence Villas of the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay.

On Saturday, group runs and swims were conducted leading up to a late afternoon race briefing and a sumptuous high-car dinner presented by the Le Meridien Jimbaran Bali Resort.

On Sunday race-day a brief ceremony on the beach at Jimbaran, officiated over by the Regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gede Agung, and the President Director of BIZNET Networks, Adi Kusma, preceding the start of the Olympic distance swim at 7:00 am, followed 20 minutes later by the Sprint Distance event and the 5km fun rub a short while later.

Throughout the morning the spacious Race Expo and Transition Area provided by the InterContinental Resort Bali was alive with the through-flow of athletes transitioning from swimming to cycling to the running race. Meanwhile, a large number of vendors offer food, drink and services against the background of live music and award presentations.

BIMC Hospital manned a well-equipped medical field hospital to assist racers; BIZNET connected racers and the press with their sophisticated Fiber Optic Internet service; Herbalife distributed nutritious drinks; Jari Menari provide complimentary massages to exhausted athletes – representing a sampling of the many interesting stands in operation throughout the morning.

Just before sunset athletes and others gathered on the cliffside of the AYANA Resort and Spa Bali for the traditional “Rock the Race Party” co-sponsored by Bir Bintang and Plaga Wines. The events concluded with a joyous fireworks display under a splendid full moon before all those in attendance were invited down for a cocktail at the legendary Rock Bar.

During the final nights cocktail, Brennan Lindner of Generic Events and a co-founder of the Bali Race spoke to those in attendance, highlighted how traffic and Bali’s rapid growth continued to challenge organizers. Despite the deployment of additional pacalang (community enforcement officers) and police for the 7th running, significant  problems were encountered that are concerning to both the race organizers and the government of the Island who seen the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon as a valuable component of the Island’s yearlong schedule of activities.

Fundamental changes in the racecourse are now under discussion at a number of levels that will secure the future of the Bali International Triathlon for years to come.


 
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