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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #939 - 01 September 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Chinese, Taken Away
Bali Prosecutors Seek 8 Months Jail for Assault by Owner and Manager of Feyloon Restaurant

NusaBali reports that the owner and manager of the Feyloon Chinese Restaurant have heard prosecutors demand 8 months in prison in connection with their physical assault on Bali travel agent Hendra Haryanto.

The owner of the popular restaurant, Wong Yu Fai (45) from Malaysia, and the establishment’s Chinese manager, Wong Fei Wah (34), heard the sentence demands during a court session held on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

The two men's lawyers told the court that the charges laid against the two men were untrue and demanded acquittal.

Prosecutors, in response, told the panel of judges that the charge of criminal assault had been proven and insited the two restauranteurs be given an 8-month sentence.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the victim of the assault commented that it had been conclusively proven that the two men had pursued his client across a busy street and beat him a public parking. Because of this, the victim’s lawyer saw the 8-month sentence demanded against the two foreigners as too lenient a punishment.

As reported previously, following a dispute over the charges for a tourist group’s menu between the travel agent and Feyloon Restaurant, the two men became enraged and repeatedly struck Haryanto in a supermarket parking and persistently continued the attack when the man tried to run away to an adjacent gas station.

Haryanto suffered facial wounds as a result of the attack.

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Strong Growth to Remain the Norm in Bali
Bank Indonesia Expects Bali to Sustain 6%-6.14% Rate of Economic Growth in 2014

Benny Siswanto who heads the Bank Indonesia office for Bali and Nusa Tenggara is projecting economic growth for 2014 at between 6% and 6.14%.

As reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), Siswanto insists such rates of growth are achievable despite extreme weather conditions, looming hikes in electrical rates and the uncertainty in a year filled with legislative and presidential elections.

Growth will come at certain costs: Expect food, goods and services to increase in 2014 against a backdrop of political rivalry.

“Hotel room rates, among others, will increase sharply, affecting operational costs and people’s buying power,” said Siswanto.

At the same time, the Bank Indonesia officials foresee the election process as providing stimulus to creative industries, publishing, printing, and clothing companies.

Meanwhile, large government-funded major infrastructure projects will continue in Bali, which, in turn, should attract more private investment. Siswanto sees overall investment declining in Bali in 2013, but will still remain substantial.

In 2013 Bali saw large-scale infrastructure investment in the form of the Island’s first toll road, a total renovation of Bali Ngurah Rai Airport and the completion of an underpass at the Dewa Ruci monument.

Siswanto also sees an improving global economy as helping to boost Bali’s fortunes. “The economic conditions of export destinations and major tourism markets for Bali are now improving. Some of them have passed the critical stage, which is a blessing for Bali,” Siswanto explained.



Domestically, Indonesia’s growing middle-class are visiting Bali on holiday with 6.5 million domestic visitors expected to visit in 2014, visitors who will in turn purchase gifts and handicrafts while staying in the Island’s hotels.


Well Informed and Well Read
"Saraswasti: Wisdom and Knowledge" Announced as Theme for 2014 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

The dates and the themes for the 2014 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival have been announced.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Ubud Writers ad Readers Festival will take place October 1-5, 2014, a week earlier than past festivals in order to accommodate major cultural events taking place in October in Ubud, chiefly the Karya Agung Ceremony.

The theme adopted for the 2014 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is to honor Saraswati- the Hindu patron goddess of wisdom and knowledge.

An elegant goddess, Saraswati is often depicted with a book in hand, standing atop a lotus, flanked by a swan and a peacock. In Bali, Saraswati is day in which books are honored with offerings and allowed to “rest” by remaining unread on that day.

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is organized by Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati – a non-profit foundation. The festival was founded by Janet DeNeefe, who also co-founded of the Foundation in an effort to help Bali recover from the tragic terrorist attacks of 2002 and 2005.

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has become a world class literary event encouraging “free and unfettered dialogue that transcends race, creed and gender to celebrate the universal appeal of story and open a window to the treasury of words and ideas.”

Program details will be announced over time via the official website for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 


Get in the Bali Spirit for Yoga and Dance
Desa Seniís 4th Yoga-Music-Dance-Art-A-Thon Offer 13-hour Holistic Extravaganza

Kicking off the Bali Spirit Festival, an amazing line up of yogis, teachers and performers from around the globe will convene in Bali at the Desa Seni Eco Village Resort to lead inspirational yoga classes, meditations, and dance and movement practices.

Desa Seni Eco Village Resort is a boutique eco resort in Canggu. At the heart of Desa Seni is an emphasis on community involvement and sustainability.

Donations secured from the Desa Seni event will be donated to the Ayo Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS – a program that promotes awareness of AIDS through a series of workshops aimed at Balinese youth. Previous Yoga-Thons have raised over $45,000 for this worthy cause. A goal of $10,000 has been targeted for this year’s event

Designed to accommodate families, the event runs from 8:00 am – 9:00 pm on March 16th with classes taking place simultaneously across two yoga shalas and a poolside pavilion, including separate areas for kids activities.

Gathering together Bali’s yoga community and international guests, this years line up includes Tara Judelle, Kundalini with Daphna Dor, Hoop dancing with Jocelyn Gordon, Ecstatic Dance with Ellen Watson, Radiantly Alive Yoga with Daniel Aaron, Les Leventhal and Danny Paradise. There will be a poolside fashion parade, art installations, astrology readings, a buffet lunch provided by Desa Seni, with the day concluding with a Masala Bhangra class conducted by Sarina Jain.

Tickets cost only Rp. 200,000 (US$16) and can be purchased at Bungalow, Green Ginger, Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive, Jiwa Bikram Yoga, Folk Art and Desa Seni.

Ticket can also be purchased at door on March 16, 2014.

Participants are invited to recruit as many sponsors as possible in order to help raise more money and spread awareness.

For more information Email 

For more information on Ayo Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS 


Moola from Mola Mola
Nusa Penida Dive Operators Introduce Code of Good Contact to Protect Bali Dive Sites and Rare Mola Mola Migratory Area

Nusa Penida, the island just a short distance off the eastern coast of is the seasonal home each year for the rare Mola Mola – a huge, docile sun fish that thrills divers and snorkelers who come to the island in the hope of an underwater encounter.

Adding to the attraction to scuba divers is Nusa Penida large population of manta rays.

The popularity of the waters off Nusa Penida with divers also forms a threat to the environment from the sheer number unsophisticated divers attracted to Nusa Penida who damage the local environment.

As reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), In an effort to prevent undue environmental damage, a code of conduct is now in place for divers at Nusa Penida. Organized by the Coral Triangle Center (CTC), the Klungkung regency and the Marine Tourism Association (Gahawisri)

 the code protect the ecosystem, with special emphasis on marine life species such as the Mola Mola and Manta Rays.

The code’s introduction when it was realized that over-enthusiastic divers were disturbing the Mola Mola by attempting to hold or chase the timid fish for an underwater photo.

The Mola Mola visit the waters of Nusa Penida each year between July and September. Swimming near the surface the enormous fish are pursued by schools of much smaller fish that that consume and clean off the dead skin and parasites on the Mola Mola.

While Mola-Mola are rare in other parts of the world, lucky divers and snorkelers at Nusa Penida have been know to see as many as 20 of the huge fish during a single encounter,

Over-aggressive divers coming to Nusa Penida are blamed for the tendency of the Mola-Mola stay at deeper depths of 40 to 24 meters, when formerly they could be found at depths of 20 meters.

A new code of conduct in place stipulates divers must maintain a distance of 10 meters from the fish involved in the cleaning process. Divers are also prohibited from touching or feeding the fish. Flash photography of the fish is also not allowed.

Dive operators at Nusa Penida have agreed to rules on the maximum number of five divers allowed to enter the water at one time in a single location.

Dive boats are not allowed to anchor within 200 meters of a dive site and to bring all trash and refuse generated during a dive back to shore.

Compliance with the code is voluntary at this time, but plans are to require dive operators to follow rules under threat of losing their operating permits.


Grandmasí Cool
Badung, Bali Officials Insist that Grandmas Hotel in Tuban Holds Necessary License and Permits

DenPost reports that a new 2-star Grandmas city hotel now operating on Jalan Raya Tuban in Kuta, Bali came under intense scrutiny by authorities and local community residents who claim the new hotel has no operating license and fails to conform to zoning and building regulations.

Contacted by DenPost, the head of the Coordinated Licensing and Permit office for the regency of Badung (BPPT), Made Sutama, said hotels are not allowed to commence operations until they first hold the required permit and licenses – beginning from a “principal permit” and including a license to operate.

Sutama, speaking on Friday, January 31, 20013, said, “For Grandmas in Tuban they already hold an operating permit issued in December 2013, so the property can operate legally.”

Sutama emphasized that the regional zoning law (RTRW) is now full effect and hotels must conform to zoning requirements, adding, “We will not be rushed into issuing permits; we will review the hotel before granting permits.”

Local residents allege the new hotel has inadequate off street parking as required by the RTRW.

The hotel came under scrutiny when a number of Kuta resident questioned the legality of the new hotel, citing the over-supply of new hotel rooms now taking place across all of Bali.


Youíve Got a Ticket to Drive
Bali Urgently Needs a Toll Road Connecting Gilimanuk and Denpasar

The head of the National Highway Agency (BPJN), Miftachul Munir, told Beritabali.com on Friday, January 31, 2014, that a toll road connecting Denpasar with the western ferry port of Gilimanuk is urgently needed to alleviate traffic congestion.

“For the future we are thinking of developing the road connecting Gilimanuk and Denpasar into a toll road. We will include this in our strategic planning and undertake a study. The Gilimanuk – Denpasar road is known know as a skull and bones roadway because of its many accidents. Because of this we need a solution to this problem,” explained Munir.

The Gilimanuk-Denpasar road covers 140-kilometers and is a heavily travelled road in the trans-national road network connecting Sumatra-Java-Bali-West Nusa Tenggara-East Nusa Tenggara. Heavily loaded trucks filled with cargo from Java place strains on the road running down the west coast of Bali.

Munir said that the realization of a Gilimanuk-Denpasar toll road depends entirely on the commitment of the provincial government of Bali and its readiness to acquire the land needed to build the proposed roadway.

Munir is recommending that, in the short term, congestion on the current road connection Gilimanuk-Denpasar can be reduced by assigning good trucks to take a northerly route to Gilimanuk via Buleleng. Meanwhile, passenger and tourist vehicles would be directed to use the current route connecting Denpasar and Gilimanuk.

Munir warned, for such a division of traffic to take place, all the involved parties would need to sit down and come to an agreement.
 


Giddyup Cap Go Meh
Bali Celebrates The Year of the Horse

Ethnic Chinese Indonesians in Bali began flocking to Chinese Temples across Bali on Friday, January 31, 2014 to mark the beginning of the multi-day celebration of Imlek 2565 – the lunar New Year.

Devotees brought traditional Chinese offerings, including flowers and incense.

Recitative prayers were chanted to welcome the coming “Year of the Horse” in the hopes of bringing prosperity to both the prayer-giver and the community as a whole.

The State News Agency Antara
quotes Ida Bagus Adnyana. the caretaker of the Griya Kongco Dwipayana Temple, located on the banks of the Badung River, saying: “The ritual of prayers will continue for 15 days more to celebrate the Lunar New Year.”

Adnyana explained that in keeping with the year of the horse, mankind must endeavor to anticipate each step ahead and make strategic moves in preparation for what lies ahead.

Adnyana continued: “Be alert to situations that cause concern and have the potential for conflict, including warfare. Hopefully it will not be too bad.”

At another temple, Vihara Satya Dharma at Benoa harbor, a number of people with Chinese ancestry are using the temple that formally opened last year.

In addition to local citizen, many Chinese tourists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in Bali on holiday are including prayer visits to local Chinese temples in Bali.

Viharas in the Regency of Badung
  • Vihara Dharmayana, Jl. Padri No. 10, Kuta
  • Griya Kongco Dwipayana, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, Tanah Kilap, Denpasar
  • Vihara Buddha Dharma (Buddhayana), Jalan Sunset Road No. 88, Seminyak Legian 
  • Vihara Buddha Guna, Komplek Puja Mandala, Jl. Kurusetra, Nusa Dua Badung.
  • Vihara Buddha Sakyamuni, Gunung Agung, Lingkungan Padang Udayana No.3A Denpasar
  • Vihara Asokarama, Jl. Nuansa Indah Selatan I / 18 Denpasar
  • Vihara Satya Dharma, Jalan Pelabuhan Benoa, Badung, Bali
  • Vihara Budha Maitreya, JL. Dr. Sutomo Gg. 8 / 5, 
Viharas in Buleleng, North Bali

  • Vihara Velluvana, Desa Bontihing, Kubutambahan,, Buleleng
  • Vihara Giri Mandala, Desa Alasangker, Buleleng, Buleleng
  • Vihara Samyag Dresti, Desa Penglatan, Sukasada, Kab. Buleleng
  • Vihara Dharmarangsi, Desa Pemaron, Buleleng
  • Vihara Samyag Darsana, Desa Petandakan, Buleleng, Kab. Buleleng
  • Vihara Buddha Vamsa, Jl. Pantai, Singaraja
  • Brahma Vihara Arama, Jl.Banjarsingaraja, Desa Br. Tegeha, Banjar Buleleng
  • Vihara Buddhavamsa, Jl. Pulau Sugara No.2, Singaraja 
Vihara in Gianyar
  • Vihara Amurva Bhumi, Desa Blahbatuh, Blahbatuh, Gianyar
Viharaa in Jembrana/Negara
  • Maha Cetiya Sasana Dharma, Desa Pangkung Tanah, Melaya, Jembrana
  • Maha Cetiya Dharma Negara, Kel. Dauh Waru, Negara,, Jembrana
  • Vihara Mpu Astapaka, Gilimanuk – Jembrana
Vihara/Kelenteng in Tabanan
  • Vihara Dharma Giri, Desa Pupuan ,Pupuan
  • Vihara Dharma Cattra, Jl. Melati No. 18, Tabanan
  • Maha Cetiya Dharma Dana, Jl. Gunung Semeru No. 5, Baturiti - Tabanan
Vihara in Karangasem/Amlapura
  • Vihara Buddha Ratana, Jl. Bhayangkara, Amlapura
Vihara in Klungkung
  • Vihara Dharma Ratna, Jl. Ngurah Rai, Klungkung 


Back to Subak in Bali
Saving the Sawah: New Bali Foundation Launches Landmark Pilot Project

Yayasan Konservasi Sawah Bali, an Indonesian non-profit formed in 2013 to conserve Bali’s traditional rice paddies (sawah), increase the income and health of farmers, and maintain Bali’s rice culture in the face of over-development and threatening water shortages has announced the launch of an historic pilot project.

The agricultural land use preservation tool that Sawah Bali will introduce is modeled after a successful program in place in the U.S.A. for over 40 years. Sawah Bali will replicate the Vermont Land Trust concept that keeps the working landscape productive with best use practices for managing threatened natural resources with competing purposes. By conserving the farmland and subak in Bali, water's usage will be prioritized for subak, sawah, food production, security and ritual use.

Sawah Bali’s view is that the overriding central concept for land conservation is to offer financial compensation to land owning farmers with annuity payments to those who continue farming the land. In exchange, the landowner will surrender their right to sell their sawah for building development in perpetuity. The landowner/farmer retains 100% ownership of their land and may either sell it to another farmer or pass it down to their heirs.

The second lead concept evolved because merely protecting the land is not enough to raise a farmer’s standard of living. Economic development is equally important to safeguarding that future generations enter into farming. The transition to organic methods through permaculture technologies and integrated pest management are part of the project.

Heritage rice varieties will replace the modern hybrid rice to ensure greater nutrition and bring higher prices at market. Other crops that are compatible with soils and habitat will offer an alternative to mono cropping which is essential in this era of climate change and shifting markets. These diverse crops will add nutrition to the farmers’ and their family’s diets.

Sawah Bali will provide a supply chain so that locally grown organic surplus will be sold at premium prices, increasing the income for farming families. Value added products might also be created.

Indonesian Development of Education and Permaculture Foundation, (Yayasan IDEP), a partner with Sawah Bali, is providing social and soil assessments and sustained technical assistance for all farmers to assist in the transition to permaculture methods, further ensuring individual and collective success.

The Sawah Bali Pilot Project is located in Subak Malung Bulu Jauk, comprising the villages of Bunutan and Tanggayuda, just 10 kilometers from Ubud. Its 135 members have unanimously voted to become the first subak in Bali to participate in the subak rice farm irrigation district.

Sawah Bali is working with traditional elements of the local community, spending substantial time on socializing their concept and receiving input from community and religious leaders.

Sawah Bali aims to serve as a pilot project for the governments of Bali to serve as a model for even wide conservation practice by the estimated 1,500 subak in Bali.

For more information www.sawahbali.org

Email Sawah Bali



Bali Best Beach Party on March 6, 2014
Earth, Wind and Fire Experience featuring Al McKay in Beachside Concert at Mozaic Beachclub in Bali in One Night Only Thursday, March 6, 2014

In the first in a series of unique dining and entertainment events planned for Bali, one of the world’s most legendary musical groups - Earth, Wind and Fire Experience featuring Al McKay is coming to Bali to perform at the Bali Live Festival and in a special one-night-only performance on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the Mozaic Beachclub.

Bali’s premier beachside fine dining venue and sister to the award-winning Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique in Ubud, Mozaic Beachclub will abandon its position at the apex of the Island’s food chain for a single night in order to play host to the man and the music that helped shape an entire musical generation.

Click Image to Enlarge
The one night performance at the Mozaic Beachclub will be the only chance to for Bali residents and visitors to enjoy these world-class musicians in a sophisticated, intimate setting, befitting the clientele of Bali’s most sophisticated beach side dining venue

Al McKay, widely regarded as a giant in the U.S. music industry, leads Earth, Wind and Fire Experience. Born in New Orleans into a musical family, McKay picked up a guitar at five-years of age, an instrument he seldom left untouched until his first stage appearance at the age of 18. 

A recognized musical prodigy, McKay was soon sharing the stage with the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Williams, Pearl Bailey, The Silvers and Issac Hayes. 



In 1973 Al McKay was recruited to join a freshly minted Chicago-based band “Earth, Wind and Fire.” What happened next became musical history. Al blazed trails with the band until 1981 when he took leave after co-writing a number of enduring hits like “September” and “Sing a Song.”

Re-emerging on the performance scene in the early 1990s, Al has fronted for a number of groups presenting new sounds in combination with the evergreen classics of Earth, Wind and Fire that still mesmerize a new generation of music lovers with hits such as Got to Get You Into My Life, Let’s Groove, Getaway, That’s the Way of the World, After the Love has Gone, Reasons, Fantasy, September and Shining Star.

In Bali, Al McKay and his band will perform hits from Earth, Wind and Fire’sincomparable songbook. Sharing the evening are guest DJs Stevie G and Jonathon Yeo.



The intimate Mozaic Beachclub will have limited attendance in front of a specially constructed stage backing on the Indian Ocean.

Pre-purchase tickets are therefore a must and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis for:
  • Rp. 750,000 (US$60) for general admission in the downstairs area of the Mozaic Beachclub. Cash bar with a limited food menu on offer.
  • Rp. 1.3 million (US$ 104) for the upstairs Plaga VIP Lounge including one hour of free flow Plaga Wine from and canapés from 7:30 – 8:30 pm. Limited table reservations for groups of ten purchasing two bottles of spirits for the evening. 
  • Rp. 15 million (US$1,200) for a special Ketel One Gazebo Package for a maximum party of 10 guests and includes two bottles of Ketel One Vodka, mixers and a welcome platter of Mozaic Beachclub Nibbles.
For more information and to order tickets contact Email

The Earth, Wind and Fire Experience at Mozaic Beachclub is sponsored by Elite Havens, Villa Le Ga, Ketel One, Don Julio, Heineken, Plaga Wines and BCA Bank.


Yes, Bali Does Mind if You Smoke
Bali Provincial Government Asks Major Tobacco Conference to Take Inter-Tabac Down Wind

In a bold step, the provincial government of Bali is aksing organizers of a major trade fair for the global tobacco industry scheduled for Bali February 27-28, 2013, to please  moved to another location outside of Bali.

Referring to the Inter-tabac Asia trade show, NusaBali quotes the deputy-governor of Bali, Ketut Sudikerta, as telling the press on Tuesday, January 28, 2014: “We have recommended to the organizers that the exhibition not be held in Bali. Hold it in East Java or Central Java because those are tobacco producing areas.”

While some media are reporting that the conference for tobacco products and smoking accessories has been booted out of Bali, these reports are denied on the Inter-tabac website who posted an announcment  on January 30, 2014, stating: “Contrary to misleading information published across some media channels, the Inter-tabac Asia and ProTobEx Asia trade fairs will be taking place as planned.”

The same website also encourages exhibitors and buyers to travel to Bali, provocatively proclaiming to be above the law by announcing: “Of course, smoking is still permitted at Inter-tabac ASIA.”

The website also has a banner showing a burning cigarette with the message “It is permitted to smoke at Inter-tabac Asia.”

That statement is not correct.

The smoke free law for the province of Bali that came into effect on January 1, 2014, strictly limits smoking and the promotion of smoking in public places, threatening modest fines or 3-month jail terms for smokers and business establishments that that permit smoking in enclosed areas.

While ashtrays and other smoking accessories will be on display at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center during Inter-tabac ASIA, Provincial Law No. 10 of 2011 specifically prohibits under, penalty of law, for hotels, restaurants and other public establishments to even provide ashtrays in public spaces in which smoking is not allowed.

Sudikerta told the press that while the provincial government cannot refuse the exhibition, but said such an event was difficult to tolerate in light of Bali’s new non-smoking rules.

The deputy-governor said the provincial government had already written to the organizers of Inter-tabac Asia, but have yet to receive a response from the conference organizer.

Meanwhile, Titi Suhariyati who heads a major anti-smoking advocacy team, has warned Bali that it will be a laughing stock if it turns a blind eye and allow delegates to promote tobacco products and smoke at an exhibition on an island that has passed a comprehensive anti-smoking law banning both those activities.

Suhariyati told NusaBali that anti-smoking lobbies from across Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor Leste and Vietnam have called on the government of Indonesia and the government of Bali to prohibit the Inter-tabac Asia event from taking place on the Island.

Joining the chorus of those  unhappy to see the conference come to Bali is Dr. Putu Ayu Swandewi Astuti and Made Kerta Duana from Udayana University’s Public Health Faculty who cite World Health Organization (WHO) data that claims 6 million people die each year due to smoking, with the highest rates of death coming from low-income countries.

Dr. Astuti said: “In Indonesia 200,000 people die each year from tobacco use. Inter-tabac Asia is targeting the Indonesian public as consumers."

That the conference wants Indonesian to consume more tobacco-related products  is reflected on the conference’s official website that touts ‘Indonesia is on a growth course”

Based on past events. Inter-tabac Asia targets 700 tobacco trade visitors who will interact with 60 exhibitors from some 24 countries selling cigarillos, cigars, and cigarettes, cigarette paper, tobacco, including pipe tobacco and smoking accessories.

Reports in the international media saying Bali has banned the February conference appear premature, but, noetheless, the Inter-tabac conference looks to be on a collision course with Bali’s new anti smoking rules.

Related Article

No Smoking in Public: That’s The Law in Bali


Seeking Release in Bali
Australian Government Issues Passport for Schapelle Corby Awaiting Final Approval for Parole form Bali's Kerobokan Prison

The Australian government, as reported by Suara Pembaruan, has issued a new passport for Schapelle Corby in anticipation that the convicted marijuana smuggler and 8-year resident of Bali’s Kerobokan prison may soon be released on parole.

Despite these preparations, Corby has yet to receive the final approval that would allow her to live outside the walls of the Bali prison and remain in Bali on supervised release until her formal sentence period is completed in 2016.

An Indonesian specialist at Melbourne’s Deakin University, Damien Kingsbury, says Schapelle Corby’s is nearing a release from the Bali prison. At the same time, Kingsbury cautions that the procedures needed for her release might be delayed or thwarted completely by a number of factors, including controversy over asylum seekers; the state of bi-lateral relations between Indonesia and Australia; the scandal of electronic eavesdropping by the Australian government on the Indonesian president, his family and cabinet; and Indonesia’s current preoccupation with a series of elections to be held in 2014.

Kingsbury said it is up to the Indonesian Minister of Justice. Amir Syamsuddin to agree to parole for Corby. "Schapelle Corby has gone through various steps in the process of applying for parole, and now awaits the Minister of Justice to give his OK. Then she’ll be free,” explained the Australian academic.

Kingsbury postulates that Jakarta politicians in the midst of an election year might avoid making any decision that would look “soft on Australia.”

Separately the Minister of Justice, Amir Syamsuddin, has taken pains to emphasize that the political context in Indonesia would have no bearing on Corby’s application for parole.

Kinsgbury, on the other hand, states there is no judicial process in Indonesia that is absolutely free of political influence. Similarly, he views the pending petitions to President Yudhoyono by “Bali Nine” members Andrew Chan and Nyuran Sukumaran asking to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment may be even more problematic than Corby’s quest for parole.


Merpati Ė Harus Mati?
Government Not Prepared to Bail Out State-Owned Airline Merpati Nusantara

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa has said it will be difficult for the Indonesian government to bail out State-owned airline PT Merpati Nusantara with debts now totaling Rp. 6.7 trillion (US$536 million).

Quoted by Bisnis.com, Hatta said on Thursday, January 30, 2014: “Please discuss this internally first, then bring it to a ministerial coordinating meeting. For me, that coordinating meeting will review the business plan. If the plan (for recovery) makes no sense, close it (the airline).”

Hatta said the government was, nonetheless, still prepared to give Merpati a chance to rebuild and finalize its internal problems and the problems of its affiliate companies.

On Wednesday, January 22, 2014, Merpati appointed PT Bentang Persada Gemilang and PT Amagedon Indonesia as operational partners and eventual investors in the effort to restore the airline’s business momentum.

Indonesia’s Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan, said the partnership with the two private firms would allow the creation of a new subsidiary called PT Merpati Aviation Service. The new company will handle the business recovery plan for Merpati prepared by the PT Bentang Persada Gemilang and PT Amagedon Indonesia.

Dahlan confirmed on January 28, 2014, that Merpati is in the process of separating itself from two of its subsidiaries - PT Merpati Maintenance Facilities (MMF) and Merpati Training Center.

Dahlan explained that control of MFF has been assumed by PT Perusahaan Pengelolaan Aset (PPA) – the State-Owned Asset Administration company, tasked to seek an investor or purchaser for MFF.

In recent weeks, cash shortages at Merpati have necessitated the temporary cessation of a number of air routes. Pilots, aircrew and other employees of Merpati have also reportedly not received their wages for several months.


Keeping Baliís Mother Temple Sacred
Bali Moving Towards the Establishment of a Puri Agung Besakih Authority

The provincial government of Bali has prepared a small team to review input from a number of sources on how best to create a Pura Agung Besakih Authority to control and oversee the operation of Bali’s Mother Temple.

Pura Agung Besakih is located at an elevation of 1,000 meters above sea level on the slopes of Bali’s sacred Mt. Agung. Believed to be 2,000 years old, the temple complex is comprised of 23 separate temples distributed on six levels, terraced on the hillside.

Regarded widely as Bali’s Mother Temple, Mount Agung is seen as the central axis or “navel” of the Universe.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta said on Friday, January 31, 2014, “Coordination meetings have been held the Hinduism Society (PHDI), the High Council for
Traditional Villages (Majelis Utama Desa Pakraman Provinsi Bali) and community leaders in Besakih.”

Sudikerta said the meeting provided input and secured the principal agreement for the formation of the Pura Agung Besakih Authority.

The deputy-governor reports that as a follow up from the meetings a small working team, coordinated by Ketut Wija of the Provincial Government, has been created. Wija’s team will process the input received to date from the community and eventually propose structure for the proposed body to oversee Pura Agung Besakih.

“Essentially, the Authority will involve participation by the people of Besakih and the regency of Karangasem, while the provincial government will potentially only act in a technical capacity,” explained Sudikerta.

Continuing, Sudikerta said: “Our hope is that the Authority will help to improve the organization and management of Pura Besakih. We absolutely have no specific interest or hidden intention there.”

Sudikerta said Pura Besakih is a sacred place for the Hindus of Bali and, for this reason, it must be maintained and cared for together with its surrounding environs. He described how several sacred areas in China and Thailand are supervised and protected by specific Government Authorities or Agencies.

Earlier, on Friday, January 17, 2014, the PHDI held a meting to discuss proposals to establish a Pura Agung Besakih Authority.

The chairman of PHDI, Dr I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, affirmed the need for an Authority to improve management of the sacred site and ensure the welfare of the surrounding community.

Sudiana looks to the Puri Agung Beakih Authority to address the myriad of problems confronted by the Temple, including access by tourist visitors, funding and theft of temple property.


Mandarin Seeking Fans in Bali
Mandarin Oriental to Open 121 Rooms Property at Pecatu, Bali Late 2016

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) via their corporate website have announced that it will open and manage its first Bali property - Mandarin Oriental, Bali slated to welcome guests at the end of 2016.

Located on the Bukit peninsula in South Bali, the property will occupy a Cliffside plateau overlooking the Indian Ocean. The resort also offers a direct access down the Cliffside to a secluded white-sand beach.

The 121-key resort will offer 97 villas, each with a private pool. There will also be 24 expansive guestrooms at the Mandarin Oriental, Bali.

The renowned Jean Michel Gathy of Denniston International is designing the new property that will be contemporary in style. Honoring local sensibilities and the company's Oriental roots, MOHG promises to incorporate elements from Bali’s rich local culture.

Mandarin Oriental, Bali will feature three restaurants and bars including a signature cantilevered cliff-top restaurant, a three-meal restaurant and a relaxed beach grill and bar. The resort will also offer a variety of multi-purpose function rooms, including an iconic cliff-top ceremony platform for weddings.

Spa goers will enjoy Mandarin Oriental’s award winning signature program and treatments inspired by Balinese traditions and customs.

Further facilities include heat and water therapies and a 100-meter outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a number of private lifestyle cabanas.

An extensive fitness center completes the well-being options. 

Leisure options include a Beach Club and a dedicated Kids Club.

The hotel will be part of the Pecatu complex with access to an 18-hole golf course.

PT Bali Ragawisata owns the project.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group currently manages 45 hotels with over 11,000 rooms in 26 countries worldwide.


Guarding Baliís Borders
Bali Immigration Office Deports 140 Foreigners in 2013

The Bali Immigration Office deported 140 people in 2013 for failure to have complete documentation, non-compliance with immigration rules and violations of the law.

The head of the Bali Immigration Office, Drs. I Gusti Kompiang Adnyana, told The Bali Post that the number of foreigners deported from Bali is small in comparison the more than 3 million foreign visitors who came to the Island last year.

In order to enhance service to the public, the Bali immigration office is now providing the following services:
  • One Stop Service: Indonesian citizens seeking a new or renewed passport now only need to queue a single time to surrender data and supporting documents, submit to an interview and have a biometric photo taken. A new E-passport will be ready for pick up three days later.
  • Immigration Service on Board: Passengers flying Garuda Indonesia to Bali from Tokyo or Sydney will have their visa issued during the flight, eliminating lines at immigration on arrival.
  • Immigration Serviceon Board Cruise Ships: A similar on board immigration service is offered to cruise ships calling at the ports of Benoa, Tanah Ampo and Celukan Bawang.


Primate Scream
Animal Rights Protestors Call for End of Illegal Primate Trade in Bali

ProFauna – a non-governmental agency dedicated to the protection of wild animals – held demonstrations in front of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) on Thursday, January 30, 2014, protesting the illegal trade in primates taking place in Bali and other Indonesian locales.

The coordinator of the demonstration, Bayu Sandi, told Metrobali.com that the demonstration was timed to coincide with National Primate Day. “This is National Primate day in Indonesia. We are calling on the public to take an active role in protecting wildlife, especially primates,” said Bayu.

Bayu asked the public in Bali not to buy and sell wild primates. The Profauna activist warned: “These animal have a function in the wild. Whenever people remove them from the jungle this results in a change in the ecosystem. This will eventually affect how mankind lives as well.”

According to data provided by ProFauna, there is a high rate of trade in wild primates in Indonesia. More than 95% of the primates sold in Indonesia have been taken from the wild. ProFauna also claims that the means by which primates are captured, transported and sold are often inhumane.

“One primate being sold in great numbers is the “kukang” (Nycticebus sp or slow loris). Kukangs are sold with their teeth and nails removed.

During 2013 ProFauna recorded 40 cases of slow loris being sold on line,” Bayu reported.

In Bali during a single month, tens of primates are illegally sold. “In one month alone twenty long-tailed gray monkeys are sold or purchased. This takes place at the Satria Market in Denpasar,” he said.

ProFauna also records that in Bali the protected lutung or lurung (leaf monkeys) are still hunted.

ProFauna claims the illegal trade in primates taking place at the Satria Market in Denpasar is probably only the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of an even larger scale of illegal trade taking place on the Island as a whole. Because of this, ProFauna want the government agencies involved in conservation and animal protection to take their jobs more seriously.

According to ProFauna, of the nearly 200 species of primates existing in the wild, 40 or 25% of that total can be found in Indonesia. In the year 2000, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the 25 species of primates most in danger of extinction. From that list four were from Indonesia: the Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo Abelii), Siau Island Tarsius (Tarsius Tumpara), Javenese Sloe Loris (Nycticebus Javanicus) and Pig-tailed Langur (Simias Cocolor).


Making a Dirty Exit
Public Complain that Carpeting at Baliís New Airport Unsanitary and a Threat to Public Health

Bali’s “under renovation” Ngurah Rai International Airport is again under the spotlight form the public with new complaints about filthy carpet in the domestic departure lounge.

Metrobali.com quotes a passenger and tourism leader from Bali, Made Suryawan, saying, “I evaluate that (the carpet) is not in keeping with the international status claimed by management or the high cost of the renovation for the Ngurah Rai Airport.”

Speaking on Wednesday, January 29, 2104, Suryawan complained about filthy carpets when he entered the domestic departure hall of Bali’s airport. “The chocolate-colored carpet is faded, full of dirty stains and dusty. It looks as though it is not being cleaned in the correct manner on a regular basis,” he said.

Suryawan, who has worked as a general manager for a leading hotel chain, complained the dirty and dusty carpet is not only unappealing to the eye, it also represents a health hazard to those using the airport, especially those suffering from respiratory problems.

Similar complaints have come from other passengers using the new airport.

“The carpet installed at the airpoprt must have its cleanliness maintained, even more so for carpeting that is near the toilets that  (now) is wet and soiled. It looks like it has never been cleaned. Changi Airport in Singapore has carpets that are so clean that passengers can sleep on the carpet while waiting for flights,” he added.


Kuta Behavior at 30,000 Feet
New Zealand Air Passenger Sentenced to Probation and Community Service for Mad Antics on Bali-bound Flight

A New Zealand woman who behaved badly while flying to Bali on Air New Zealand has managed to avoid a jail sentence and instead received 300 hours of community service, 12 months of supervised release and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol counseling.

Tara Anne MacKay (28) received the sentence in lieu of jail from the Dunedin District Court in New Zealand for biting a female flight attendant and kicking another male steward in the testicles on an August 17, 2013 flight.

The New Zealand Flight Attendants and Related Services Association have criticized the punishment handed down by the court as too lenient, suggesting prison time was more befitting given the agressive criminality exhibited by MacKay.

MacKay admitted to the court that she assaulted flight attendant Susan Lawson-Hurst while intoxicated. In return for the admission of guilt the court did not pursue additional charges, including her assault on a male flight attendant.

Reports are that MacKay and her traveling companion were drinking on the flight when she began screaming, causing nearby passengers complained to the flight crew.

When asked to calm down, Mackay allegedly threw a drink at a female crewmember before locking herself in the airplane's bathroom.

Refusing to leave the airplane's bathroom, cabin crew forced open the door at which point the woman came out swinging, biting a female stewardess and kicking a male crewmember in the crotch. At this point, MacKay was handcuffed to a seat for the duration of the flight.

The final tally on MacKay rampage: Two bites and suspected hairline fractures to crewmember Susan Lawson-Hurst hands, a bruised testicles for a male crewmember and an “extremely frightening” experience for other passengers on the flight.

In mitigation, Judge Dominic Flately said Ms. MacKay was under the influence of alcohol during her rampage of bizarre behavior.


Malaysian Airline to End Los Angeles Flights
Malaysian Airlines Axes Los Angeles Service Eliminating Important Air Connection from USA to Bali

A decision by Malaysian Airlines (MAS) to suspend services between Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles as part of a need to reduce losses and rationalize routes cannot be seen as good news for Bali tourism.

Malaysian Airlines’ attractive fares on daily service from Los Angeles and direct through connections via its multiple daily flight services between Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar (Bali) have made the airline a favorite among many U.S. passengers bound for Bali.

Malaysian Airline’s CEO, Jauhari Yahya, issued a statement saying: "While MAS has a long history in Los Angeles, this route is no longer economically viable. The factors contributing to this negative situation today include over capacity and competition resulting in lower yields, high cost of operating the B777 aircraft and pressure from continued increases in fuel costs.”

MAS will cease operations to Los Angeles on April 30, 2104.


When a Lion Loses its Appetite
Lion Air Cancel Orders for Five Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Indonesia low-cost air carrier Lion Air has canceled its order for five Boeing 787 Dreamliners originally designated to be flown by the airline’s premium subsidiary Batik Air.

The order of the Dreamliners, much publicized by Lion Air at the time it signed contracts with Boeing Aircraft, was put at US$1 billion.

Lion has said it will now instead order Boeing 737 aircraft to augment its fast-growing domestic and regional routes.

The Dreamliners orders by Lion Air were “early production” models sold by Boeing at substantial discounts to Lion Air.

The early Boeing Dreamliner models have been plagued by numerous problems that have cost operators substantially in terms of modification and extended groundings.


Save the Date - April 22, 2014!
April 22nd Commemoration Ceremony Planned in Bali on 40th Anniversary of the Crash of Pan American Flight 812

Because of the generous support of Conrad Bali Resort and Spa, plans are moving ahead to hold a commemoration ceremony for the 107 victims who perished on Pan Am Flight 812 on April 22, 1974 in Tinga-Tinga, North Bali.

The ceremony will take place at the Pan American Monument located on the banks of the Ayung River in Padang Galak, near Sanur, Bali. Plans are for the hour-long event to commence at 4:00 pm with participation by an international gamelan group, a choir and representatives of all the major religions found in Indonesia.

Organizers are hoping to honor those who died in the crash while at the same creating an event that unites all elements of the local community in music, song and prayers.

Details of the event will be published as they become available.

All are welcome to attend the event with a special invitation to any surviving members from the immediate family of those who perished in the crash. Surviving family members can Emal Bali Discovery Events  who will coordinate a limited number of 2-night complimentary stays provided by local hotels to facilitate their participation.

Related Articles

A Missed Departure, A Lifetime in Return

The 1974 Crash of Pan Am Fight Number 812 in Bali

Gone, But Not Forgotten



Terminal Announcement?
Merpati Nusantara Airlines Ground All Flights Until at Least March Due Lack of Cash

The Indonesian press reports that PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines has ceased all flight operations until at least March 2014 while the cash-strapped carrier undergoes urgent financial restructuring.

Members of the public telephoning the Merpati Call Center are being told that all flights are cancelled until March 2014.

Reports in the media say crew and staff have not received wages for the past 3 months as the airline struggled to pay insurance premiums and fuel bills  for their fleet of aircraft.

Added to the above, the airline must now also find the funds to make refunds to all those holding paid tickets for future flights

The CEO of Merpati announced last week that flights had been cancelled for the period February 1-5, 2014. The latest reports, however, suggest that all flight operations have been suspended until at least sometime in March.

Related Articles

Merpati – Harus Mati?

Merpati Struggles to Pay its Debts


 
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #611
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #601
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #599
March 03, 2008

Bali Update #598
February 25, 2008

Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
February 04, 2008

Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
January 21, 2008

Bali Update #592
January 14, 2008

Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
December 31, 2007

Bali Update #589
December 24, 2007

Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #583
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Bali Update #582
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Bali Update #581
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #579
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Bali Update #578
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Bali Update #577
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Bali Update #576
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #572
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
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Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #563
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
June 04, 2007

Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
April 30, 2007

Bali Update #554
April 23, 2007

Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
March 26, 2007

Bali Update #549
March 19, 2007

Bali Update #548
March 12, 2007

Bali Update #547
March 05, 2007

Bali Update #546
February 26, 2007

Bali Update #545
February 19, 2007

Bali Update #544
February 12, 2007

Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
January 22, 2007

Bali Update #540
January 15, 2007

Bali Update #539
January 08, 2007

Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
December 18, 2006

Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
December 04, 2006

Bali Update #533
November 27, 2006

Bali Update #532
November 20, 2006

Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
November 06, 2006

Bali Update #529
October 30, 2006

Bali Update #528
October 23, 2006

Bali Update #527
October 16, 2006

Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
October 2, 2006

Bali Update #524
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Bali Update #523
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
August 28, 2006

Bali Update #519
August 21, 2006

Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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Bali Update #516
July 31, 2006

Bali Update #515
July 24, 2006

Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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Bali Update #503
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Bali Update #501
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