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Jln. By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra,
Jln. Pucuk 1 No. 70X
Denpasar, Bali

+62 (0)812 3819724
+62 (0)361 464 032, +62 (0)361 471 0242

Bali Discovery

Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #999 - 26 October 2015


Limited Seating Left
One Night Only Wine Dinner Event at The Trans Resort, Wednesday, October 28, 2015


The Trans Resort Bali
continues to augment its growing reputation for outstanding cuisine accompanied by fine beverages in a culinary collaboration with South Australia’s Katnook Estates and Spain’s Freixenet Wines.

The Resort’s multi-talented Chef de cuisine Amaury Belkhanfar has composed a memorable six-course degustation menu carefully paired with premium wines served on the Resort’s Waterfall Deck Garden on Wednesday evening, October 28. 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Chef Amaury Belkhanfar

Belkhanfar was born in Marseilles, is the city that served as the departure point for a culinary journey navigated by the stars – Michelin stars to be exact. A graduate of the prestigious Lycée Hôtelier Bonneveine, Amauray’s kitchen career started in 2004 as a commis focussed on French cuisine at London’s Paddington Hilton. Later, working with some of the world’s leading chefs including Gordon Ramsey, Eric Sapet, Olivier Samson Parc des Eaux Vives and Daniel Boulud - Belkhanafar staked a course that included assignments at a number of Michelin-starred eateries.

17 years of experience in some of the world’s most demanding kitchens brought Chef Amaury Belkhanfar to Indonesia in 2013 and in 2015 to his current posting at sumptuously gracious Trans Resort.

Freixenet Wines

Frexeinet traces its pedigre to the Catalonia region of Spain and the marriage of Dolores Sala Vive (granddaughter of the founder of Casa Salsa) and Pedro Ferrer-Bosch (of the La Freixeneda family) who set up household and winery together in 1911.

Dedicating themselves to the traditional method of producing sparkling wines, they adopted the childhood name of Pedro – “Freixenet” for the wines they produced. Pedro’s son, Jose, later brought modernity and innovation to the production process using refrigerated vats and pneumatically-pressed grapes that produces a wine enjoyed, loved and recognized the world over for its distinctive frosted black bottle. Pedro, the third generation of the Ferrer-Bosch dynasty is now in charge, producing over half of Spain’s massive output of sparkling wines.

Katnook Estates

Standing in Coonawarra, South Australia, Katnook Estates occupies 198-hectares of Australia’s best know region for the production of red wine.

Pioneered by winemaker Wayne Stehbens in 1979, Katnook handcrafts a limited runs of distinctive wine made with fastidious attention to detail.

35 years after its first vintage, Katnook Estate range is known for its intensity of flavor, balance and winemaking integrity winning “Outstanding” classifications in the wine-making industry and is today considered among Australia’s finest wines.

The Menu

Wednesday, October 28, 2015-10-21

Amuse Bouche
Cromesquis d'escargots
Fish “en terrine” cauliflower jelly
Asparagus Vichyssoise

Tasting Notes:
Made employing méthode champenoise with the secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle, Cordon Negro defines the best in sparkling wine made in the Catalonian tradition.

* * * * *

Duck and Foie Gras “Saucisson Maison”
Served with glazed beetroot and orange crystalline

Tasting Notes:
This is the vibrant pink partner of Cordon Negro, made with Trepat and Garnacha red grapes that impart the blush that color this world famous wine. Expect your taste buds to “pop” with hints of blueberries and strawberries.

* * * *

Parmesan Consommé
With home-made porcini Ravioli

Tasting Notes:
Fresh, fruit driven – this wine shines with true Coonawarra character. Made entirely with Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the 2014 vintage is noted for its dry, mild conditions and below average rainfall. Early flowering and picking produced Sauvignon Blanc fruit in excellent condition, with vibrant varietal character. The color is pale straw with light green tinges. Its nose is a restrained, herbaceous tropical lychees note with hints of citrus and lemongrass. Mouth-watering acidity remarkable purity is the hallmark of this vintage.

* * * * *

“Trou Normand”
Arugala Granita
Lemon meringue pearl watermelon ivories soil

* * * * *

Black Cod Fish Paupiette
With broccoli purée and brown butter served with leek fondue

Tasting Notes:
Shiraz grapes were harvested for one month starting on March 8, 2013 after a good winter rainfall led to a warm and dry spring. The dry conditions caused the vintage to have an early start and yielded red wines that have great color and fine tannins. Some of this vintage is matured in American and French oak barrels for ten months before bottling. Look for deep plum coloring with purple tinges. Like all good Coonawarra this wine leaves hints of intense dark berry fruit, blackberry and dark cherry. Lifted nose of violets with hints of cloves and spiced plum. Subtle tones of dark chocolate, vanilla and liquorice enhance the vibrant fruit.

* * * * *
Braised Short Ribs Wagyu
Potatoes Fondantes and white truffle oil, spinach blue cheese, jus boeuf

Tasting Notes:
Made entirely from the Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014 vintage experienced slightly elevated temperatures and low levels of rainfall. 20% of this wine was matured in French and American oak, Look for deep crimson red colors. The nose is reminded of blackcurrant and red fruits with a hint of sweet spice. Ripe dark berries, plum and dusty mulberry with a hint of regional mint highlight the lush palate flavors. Fine-grained soft tannins add to the lingering attractive fruit.

* * * * *

“Chocolate Sphere”

Tasting Notes:
Know for its fruit-forward style, Carta Nevada retains its Brut classification despite it fresh, fruity and slightly sweet taste. Refreshing with a full, ripe peach, apricot fruit and vanilla nose, encouraging big, round, soft flavors in the mouth, with an appealing finish.

Rp. 1,000,000 plus 21% tax and service for the entire menu and paired wines with musical entertainment.

Dinner will be served on the Waterfall Deck Garden where seating is limited making reservations essential for this event to be held one-night only on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

For bookings and more information [Email] or telephone ++62-(0)361-8981234 or +62-(0)361-8981277.

X Marks the Spot
Indonesia AirAsia X Commences 5 Time a Week Flights between Bali and Sydney

The inaugural flight of Indonesia Air Asia X on it’s new route to Sydney, Australia departed Bali on October 17, 2015.

The five time a week service is being flown with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft configured to carry 377 passengers on the 4,619-kilomter hop between Denpasar and Sydney.

As reported by the Bali and Sydney are now connected by Garuda Indonesia (five times a week), Jetstar (six flights a week) Virgin Australia (eight flighs a week) and Indonesia AirAsia X (5 times a week).

On board the inaugural flight was Indonesia AirAsia X CEO, Dendy Kurniawan, who said: “We are delighted to serve direct flights between Bali and Sydney, providing Sydneysiders the opportunity to explore Bali and beyond at affordable fares. From Bali, our guests can fly onwards to many exotic destinations within Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Yogykarta.”

Australia remains the largest source of foreign tourist for Bali with total arrivals in 2015 acntipated to approach 1 million.

Ethical Failings
Disgraced Former Kuta Bali Police Commander and 12 Subordinates Awaiting Ethical Review and Possible Further Punishment

NusaBali reports that the disgraced former chief of the Kuta Police Precinct, Ida Bagus Dedy Januartha (shown), and seven of his subordinates are scheduled to soon undergo anethics review proces performed by his superior in the Bali Police, in this case the head of the Denpasar Police.

The spokesman for the Bali Police, Hery Wiyanto, confirmed that the ethics review would take place within 30-days of the investigation’s completion. Wiyanto estimated the proceeding would be held before the end of October.

While waiting for the review, Januartha and his fellow officers have all been removed from their former postings and placed in non-operational roles. Three officers from the Kuta Police Post have already received sanction of “mutations” or demotions.  The three officers are: the former head of criminal investigations in Kuta Dewa Tagel Wijasa; unit head Ngurah Eka Wisada and unit head for investigations Astu Sentana.

As reported earlier, Bali’s newly installed Chief of Police Inspector General Sugeng Priyanto removed Januartha as Kuta’s top cop just days after assuming control of the Provincial Police,

Reports say the policemen raided a party in February attended by the 16 policemen and then physically assaulted the men, tazered and forced the Australians to hand over AU$25,000 under the threat of a 10-year prison sentence.

Following an internal investigation by the Bali police, Januartha, Tagel and 12 other officers reportedly confessed to extorting money from the tourists.

It remains unclear if criminal charges against the police involved in the extortion case will take place in the absence of a formal criminal report filed by the victims of the crime.

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Power Wielded Judiciously

Blemished Reputation the Indonesian Police

A Call to Justice or Continued Police Impunity?

The Golden Fleece

Rabies Infection Afflicts Taiwanese Tourist
Taiwanese Tourist Infected by Rabies Virus After Dog Attack at Tanah Lot

The Chinese News Agency (CNA) and report that a Taiwanese woman has been confirmed as infected with the rabies virus after being bitten by a dog while on holiday in Bali.

The Taiwanese Center for Diseases Control (CDC) confirmed that the 31-year-old Taiwanese tourist was chased by dogs near the popular tourism stops of Tanah Lot Temple in West Bali. Immediately after the attack occurred on October 11, 2015,  the woman received 30 stitches to close her wounds, a tetanus shot, started VAR anti-rabies vaccine treatment and was given other medications while still in Bali.

Returning to Taiwan on October 16th the woman was hospitalized and placed under observation by the CDC.

Bali continues to struggle to contain an outbreak of rabies in Bali that first emerged in 2008 and has cost and estimated 159 lives to date.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Dogs Tied to a Poll

Chinese Take-Away
Chinese Tourists Rate Their Favorite Bali Restaurants On-Line

The State News Agency Antara reports that Mainland Chinese tourists have listed some of their favorite restaurants in Bali on the Chinese language website

The vice-president of marketing of, Jerry Huang, told the press visiting his office in Shanghai: “Generally they (the Chinese) give five star to restaurants they have visited (in Bali). A score of four stars or more is good.”

Among the restaurants receiving high ratings from Chinese tourists visiting Bali are Bumbu Bali, Rock Bar at the AYANA, Bamboo Bar & Grill and Seafood House.

“Our website provides information on restaurants, hotels and other matters related to the service sector both in China and abroad. In India, for example, we have visitors who have given the Taj Mahal four-and-a-half stars meaning it is highly recommended for a visit,” he added. claims 20 billion page views and 200 million active visitors every month.

Chinese tourists to Bali now rank as the second largest source of foreign tourists, managing in the month of August for the first time to exceed the number of Australian visitors.

In Concert with the Community
Westin Bali Wows Local Music Fans While Raising Funds for Unicef

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali staged another fund-raising event on October 16, 2015 with its latest UNICEF Check Out For Children Challenge charity event. Featuring talented Indonesian singers Citra Scholastika and Bastian Steel who took to the stage of the Mangupura Hall at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) and delighted a large and appreciative audience with their vocal abilities.
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Known for her distinctive jazzy vocal style, Citra Scholastika was the youngest finalist to compete in Indonesian Idol Season Six. She started signing at an early age by participating in church talent contents. Citra is now a well known celebrity with a string of popular hits.

A cheeky and precosiously-talented 16-year-old, Bastian Steele has, despite is tender age, been wowing fans for some time as a singer, presenter and actor. Before embarking on a solo career, teeny-bopper Bastian was a member of Indonesian boy band, Coboy Junior. Bastian has appeared at events across Asia and his animated singing style includes pop, hip hop and reggae.

HOPE – A Feel-Good Evening with Citra Scholastika and Bastian Steel was an uplifting concert of top quality stage performances. The proceeds from all ticket sales donated to UNICEF to be channelled to projects that vaccinates and educates impoverished children across the Asia Pacific region. Accordingly, the Bali concert was essentially a celebration for children from all walks of life. The Westin also bussed in a group of children from Dana Punia, an orphanage located in Singaraja, North Bali for a magical evening of top name entertainment. 
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A moving UNICEF video presentation highlighting children in the developing world was shown as guests were being seated. Then a group of young students from the Farabi Music School Bali opened the concert with a joyful number to set the mood. The evening continued with Citra and Bastian performing individually and showcasing their respective talents. Citra was a picture of elegance in a formfitting version of a sarong and kebaya. Meanwhile, Bastian opted for a more casual look as he demonstrated some happening dance moves in a bright pink suit.

The finale saw a lively collaboration between Citra, Bastian and the Farabi Music School students to bring the evening to a close.

For the past 20 years, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali under the Starwood banner 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 Challenge has supported the immunization of thousands children against a number of preventable diseases.

The most recent event attracted more than 1,100 guests raising a total of Rp. 154 451,000 (US$11,441) in support of UNICEF.

Profit on the Tip of Spears
Farming Cooperative in Petang Bali Celebrates Success via an Asparagus Festival

The Regency of Bandung in Bali has just hosted the 2nd Pelaga Asparagus Festival held on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

Adopting the somewhat loquacious theme of "Through the Asparagus Festival We Will Enhance the Innovation for Leading Regional Products," the head of the Badung Department of Industry and Commerce (Disperindag), Karpiana, said the event's intention was to introduce its asparagus produce to the general public, hotels and restaurants.

It is also the hope of the Regency that the Festival will encourage farmers to increase the production of what has proven itself to be an important cash crop from Bali, while sharing recipes and ideas on how to include the vegetable into their regular menus.

To help promote the sale and use of asparagus the Regency is appointing an "Asparagus Ambassador" to socialize the use of the produce to a wider consumer and professional market.

From an original 50-hectares of land set aside as a test crop area for growing asparagus in the Petang area of Badung, the total area now under cultivation is 60-hectares. A strong reception from the public has fostered rapid growth in the amount of land and the number of farmers now growing the crop in Petang. Moreover, farmers now complain they encounter problems growing sufficient asparagus to meet strong demand for the delicious vegetable from hotels and restaurants.

Tsu Tien Chi an expert consultant in growing asparagus told the press that the future prospects for the crop are very high. He cautioned, however, that care must be taken to keep the crop sustainable and use only high quality seeds.

The head of the Mertanadi Asparagus Growing Cooperative in Petang, I Nyoman Sudarta, said the cooperative now has a membership of 105 farmers and assets of Rp. 3 billion from an annual production of 41,772 kilograms.

Profits for the Cooperative through the August 2015 are calculated to have reached Rp. 1.3 billion. Adding: "The income of an asparagus farmer averages Rp. 15 million each month. The form of agriculture has resulted in a 300% to 1,000% increase in income for the cooperative's members."

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Their Number's Up
Police Name 119 Foreign Nationals in Nationwide ATM Fraud Scheme

The Indonesian Police Criminal Investigation Division is currently processing 119 foreign nationals involved in ATM-based fraud via skimming or the use of fraudulent ATM cards.

The head of the Division, Anang Iskandar, told that the 119 foreigners involved in this sort of crime are living in various locations across Indonesia and in foreign locales.

Indonesian police are cooperating with INTERPOL and other police agencies abroad to extradite suspects living overseas. This was recently achieved through the successful extradition of a Bulgarian national back to Bali for eventual trial on charges that he defrauded a large number of holidaymakers by skimming their ATM card.

"We are handling 119 suspects. The suspects are foreigners. The victims are also foreigners. Among the victims are Taiwanese, Hong Kong residents and people from Eastern Europe. This was massive fraud and their arrest was no simple matter," explained Anang.

Anang believes those involved in the crime are part of an international crime syndicate with elaborate divisions of labor and compartmentalization in the criminal process. Adding: " The losses have certainly been great. The victims that were targeted were foreigners visiting Jakarta and Bali. The victims were all foreigners; there were no Indonesian victims."

The modus operandi of the crime syndicate, according to Anang, involved the installation of an additional device on ATM machines capable of skimming data from cards inserted into the cash dispenser. This information was used to create a new or duplicate card that was then used to steal money from the original cardholder's account. Meanwhile, a hidden camera at the ATM recorded the PIN number of the cardholder.

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It Was in the Cards

Insuring Bali's Rice Crops
New Insurance Program mean to Protect Farmers from Failed Crops reports that as much as 2,000-hectares of rice terraces in the Bali Regency of Tabanan are slated to be covered under a new Farmers Insurance Plan (AUTP). To date, some 414-hectare of rice fields in Taban have been listed for insurance coverage,

The insurance program was unveiled by the Tabanan Regency’s head of the Department for Agriculture, Horticulture and Food Crops, I Nyoman Budana, on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. He said that the national insurance program devised in Jakarta would be socialized to local farmers in a meeting later in the week.

The insurance program is meant to extend insurance protection to areas determined to be endemic farming areas or areas that suffer frequent crop failure due to drought or pestillence.

Another Regency Official, I Nyoman Jarta, said AUTP coverage would be given to farmers who suffer a crop failure. The cost of the coverage put at Rp. 180,000 per hectare will be paid 80% by the Central Government with the remaining 20% or Rp. 36,000 per hectare to be paid by the famer.

In order for lands to be insured they need to be in areas considered to the endemic farmlands and following established good agricultural practice or in farming lands designated for special attention, such as traditional rice terrace farming lands (subak) in Bali.

Implementation of the insurance program may be delayed and miss the current growing season due to the fact that the first premium subsidy from the Central Government only be paid on December 15, 2015.

Under the program, if there is a crop failure the farmers will be paid as much as Rp, 6 million per hectare. A total of 75% of crop damage is covered by the program with the amount to be paid to the farmers decided by estimators from the insurer, PT Jasindo.

7.3 Billion and Still Counting
Bali To Host International Family Planning Conference November 9-12, 2015

The Jakarta Globe reports that the 4th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) will be held in Bali November 9-12, 2015.

Held biennially, the Bali conference is expected to attract 3,500 delegates from around the world.

Surya Chandra Surapati, chairman of the Indonesian National Family Planning Board (BKKBN) told the press that international experts in the field of family planning were being invited to attend the Bali event.

“We also hope to have 1,000 midwives coming to the event as well since they are the main actors in applying family planning programs in Indonesia,” Surya added.

Plans are to use the Bali conference to establish closer working relationships with international groups working in the field of family planning, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

ICFP strives to increase global family planning efforts, learn about advances in contraception technology and strengthen global commitment to achieve the United Nation’s Goals for Sustainable Development.

Seeking to Curb the Population Explostion

More Doors and Exit Needed
Indonesia Needs More Immigration Service and More International Gateways

Tourism managers in Bali are calling on the government to increase the number of immigration inspection points in anticipation of the growing number of visitors resulting from liberalized visa policies and guests staying for extended periods who will not necessarily depart via Bali’s airport.

The head of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA-Bali), Ketut Ardana, said on Friday, October 23, 2015 that ASITA has a standing request for more immigration inspection points, a request that remains unanswered.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Ardana said Immigration Inspection Points are only available at five airports in Indonesia: Medan, Jakarta, Surabaya, Batam and Denpasar (Bali).

Bali is the only airport in eastern Indonesia with an immigration inspection point.

Ardana said current policies granting free visas to the nationals of 90 countries were almost certain to increase the flow of tourists to Indonesia.

He said that with tourists staying longer periods in Indonesia they would also opt to visit more domestic destinations around the Country. Adding: “When they stay longer times, they will not only be in Bali but also travel around Indonesia. Their return will be by departing from airports that do not have Immigration Inspection Points.”

Ardana said his calls to the government for more immigration inspection points have yet to receive a positive response.

Another tourism operator, Putu Winastra, complained that he was encountering problems with groups visiting Bali and departing later via Lombok due to the lack of immigration inspection facilities on Lombok.

ASITA-Bali says more immigration gateways will help Indonesia meet its goal of 20 million foreign visitors by 2019 and also help spread the benefits of tourism development across a wider area of the Country.

Bali Culture: Back to Basics
Pastika: Ancient Balinese Belief in Tri Hita Karana Holds Key to Preserving Subak System reports that Bali is increasingly finding itself on the horn of a dilemma in terms of the worldwide fame enjoyed by the World Heritage Site Status of the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces of West Bali. On the one hand, the Balinese are filled with pride with the much-admired reputation of Bali's subak water irrigation and agricultural system, while, on the other hand, they face a continuing struggle to preserve Bali's culture in the face of the rapid onslaught of modern development.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika remains convinced that an unwavering commitment by the Balinese people to the Bali-Hindu principle of Tri Hita Karana that maintains balance must be maintained between man and fellow man; man and God; and Man and Nature will protect the Subak system from any current and future threats.

The was the message delivered by the Governor in his address read by deputy-governor Ketut Sukdikerta at a workshop with the title "The Cultural Landscape of the Province of Bali: The Subak as a Manifestation of Tri Hita Karana" held at the Sanur Paradise Hotel on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. The Governor called on all those in a policy-making capacities in Bali and Jakarta to embrace the essence of Tri Hita Karana in order to guarantee the sustainability of Bali tourism and Balinese culture. Pastika insists that the preservation and continued existence of the subak rice terraces was inextricably intertwined with the Tri Hita Karana philosophy.

Meanwhile, the director-general of culture from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Kacung Marijan, told the forum that the subak system in Bali must be integrated into a number of sectors and related ministries of the Government, and not left to his Ministry alone. He urged the Tourism Ministry to involve the Provincial and Regency administrations in the preservation of the Subak and also involve the general public in order to sustain Bali's unique agricultural system for future generations.

The Safeguarding of Japanese Tourists
Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Pays Official Call on Baliís Deputy Governor

Bali’s deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta received a formal visit by the Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Yasuki Tanizaki, on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.

As reported by, Ambassador Tanizaki said the purpose of his visit to Bali was to comprehensively discuss continuing cooperation underway between Japan and Bali, particularly in the areas of tourism, security and health.

Pointing to the growing number of Japanese tourists visiting Bali, he asked the Province to safeguard the welfare and security of his Country’s tourists. Admitting that Bali is providing good security support at this time, he requested that no effort be spared in preventing terrorists’ attacks in order that Bali can continue to be regarded as a safe tourist destination for the Japanese.

Ambassador Tanizaki expressed the hope that training cooperation between Balinese and Japanese security forces could take place and, on the health front, the Ambassador hopes the Island will soon find a solution to the lingering problem of the current rabies outbreak.

In response, the deputy governor outlined the many improvements in place to enhance security measure and public health were already in place and the Ambassador's desire to supplement security training would soon be taken under advisement.

Sudikerta told the Japanese Ambassador that a solution the rabies outbreak was well in hand and Japanese tourists need not fear contamination by the rabies virus.

He also told Ambassador Tanizaki of the Bali Mandara Hospital now being built in Bali and how he fealt this will improve the health of both locals and visitors alike by providing an international standard of medical care.

Increasing Awareness of the Balinese Language
International Simulcast on November 27th will Celebrate Balinese Language and Indonesiaís Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

An unprecedent international simulcast scheduled for November 27, 2015 will honor the Balinese language on Saraswati Day – the Balinese day set aside for honoring widsom, knowledge and culture.

The televised link up will include the ARMA Museum in Ubud and the Indonesian diplomatic missions Washington, DC, New York, Tokyo, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Australia.

Organized by, Udayana University in Bali, the Governor of Bali’s Language Board, Badan Bahasa, Banjar Bali USA, the ARMA Museum and the Indonesian Embassy in the USA – the televised celebration of Saraswati day is, on its most basic level, intended to spotlight a language spoken by only 2-5% of the Indonesian nation.

The program will include live simulcasts of:
  • Reading of a Balinese poem by Balinese nationals living oversees in their host country language to underscore that Balinese is a modern and relevant language.
  • Greetings from Indonesian Ambassadors to the participating countries.
  • Introductory remarks from Professor Gabriela Perez Baez, Director of Recovering Voices, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 
  • Explanation of the relevance of Saraswati by ARMA’s founder Anak Agung Gde Rai and Wesleyan University Professor Ron Jenkins - aired from Washington, D.C..
  • Presentation of new books in Balinese by Professor Gde Nala Antara, Dean of Humanities, Udayana University, aired from Bali. 
  • Dance, music and singing performances from within and outside of Bali
  • A poetry competition from winners of our online monthly poetry contest and amongst children from Ubud, conducted by the “mayor” of Ubud, Bali
For more information, please see or contact [Email] .

Indian Serial Killer Arrested in Bali
Bali Police and Immigration Officials Arrest Indian Serial Killers

An Indian national has been taken into custody at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport working together with Airport police. reports that Mohan Kumar (56) was arrested after landing on Garuda Indonesia (GA751) from Sydney on Sunday, October 25, 2015.

Kumar was listed on a “red notice” issued by Interpol and is accused of committing 25 murders in India. Convicted of killing 20 women, Kumar is under a sentence of death from an Indian Court.

Wikipedia lists Mohan Kumar as having the alias of “Cyanide Mohan” said to have committed serial mruders of woman seeking marriage.

Kumar has been found guilty by a Mangalore Court of having murdered 20 women by giving them cyanide after which he robbed them of jewelry. He was sentenced to death in December 2013.

The Indian national, who once worked as a primary school teaher, is also thought to committed bank fraud and fogeries.

Police continue to hold and interview the Indian while waiting to receive an international extradiction request from India.

Remaining Vigilant Against Terror
Anti-Terror Agency Develops SOPs to Prevent Future Terror Attacks

The National Agency for the Prevention of Terrorism (BNPT) considers that tourism locations and destinations are most at risk of terrorist attacks.

Quoted by, the director of terrorism prevention and mitigation at BNPT, Brigadier General Herwan Chaidir, said in Jakarta on Thursday, October 22, 2015, “Tourist areas are one of the targets of terrorists, such as the Bali Bombing I and II.”

Because of this, BNPT is establishing standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent terrorism, including specific steps to protect tourist areas.

“Hopefully, these SOPs will protect the public by more fully anticipating terrorist activities,” said Herman.

A focused discussion group on the mitigation of terrorism was held at a hotel in Jakarta on October 21-22, 2015. Participating in the forum were criminologists, armed forces members, police and related government ministries and agencies.

The chairman of the Association of Indonesian Bomb Victims (ASKOBI), Tony Soemarno, told the press that the efforts of the BNPT to establish SOPs were very much appreciated. He said he hoped that the creation of SOPs to prevent terrorism at government offices, tourism areas, shopping centers and other locations will prevent others from suffering endured by the some 600 members of ASKOBI. Seomarno, a victim of the JWE Marriott bombing in Jakarta, added: “What’s (most) important is that when the SOPs are in place, the implementation of these procedures must be well done.”

Tony expressed his discomfort with the recent release of convicted terrorists from prison. He is worried that these individuals will now commit new acts of terror now that they are once again living freely.

The Gag Effect
Bowing to Official Censorship, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Revamps Festival Program October 28-November 1, 2015

The organizers of the 2015 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival have curtailed portions of its program of events for the coming festival to be held in Bali October 28 – November 1, 2015.

Concerned that their program of over 225 events would all be cancelled by Police, the Festival reluctantly decided to cancel three panel sessions discussing the 1965 Communist repression, an art exhibition and the launch of a book “The Act of Living”. A screening of the Joshua Oppenheimer film “The Look of Silence” has also been cancelled.

In an official statement about the "reprogramming" from the Festival, it was announced: “This comes after increased scrutiny from local authorities who have the power to revoke the Festival’s operating permit, issued by the national police. The Festival has been involved in extensive negotiations with local authorities, but ultimately was advised that should certain sessions proceed, it could jeopardise the overall viability of the Festival, which spans over 225 events.”

Rather than risk cancellation of the entire program, organizers opted to cancel those event considered objectionable by police.

The festival has issued a formal apology to Festival attendees, volunteers preparing the cancelled events, Joshua Oppenheimer, the Herb Feith Foundation and “the people whose lives were impacted by the issues under discussion..”

In concluding their accouncement, the Fetsival’s Directors said: “We sincerely hope that as the Festival continues to create open spaces for constructive conversation in the years to come, so too will Indonesian authorities embrace this”

The Jakarta Globe quoted David Hill, a professor in Southeast Asian studies at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, who commented on the cancellation saying it was ironic that the timing was ironic given that Indonesian literature is receiving accolades at The Frankfurt Book Fair.

Indonesia has just marked the 50th anniversary of the “Night of the Generals” or 30th September Movement (Gestapu) that precipitated a crackdown on Communism in Indonesa that, by many estimates, left hundreds of thousands dead or imprisoned.

Meanwhile, has published an explanation form Farman, the head of the Gianyar Police Command in Bali, who called on the Festival’s organizers to reconsider the three programs eventually withdrawn from the official program.

Farman said the showing of the Joshua Oppenheimer films examing murders carried out in the wake of Gestapu could not be allowed because the film is officially banned by the National Censor Board.

Farman challenged the organizers, questioning their decision to examine the outlawed Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Farman said that the problem of Communism in Indonesia is very sensitive abd was concerned that the proposed program would have a negative impact on society.

Police have also question the title of one of the programs for the Fetsival led by Portugal writer Alfonso Cruz - Jesus Cristo Bebia Cerveja (Jesus Christ Drank Beer). Police are concerned that the program could foster religious intolerance. Police have suggested the potentially offensive program be replaced

Related Link

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Soaring Profits
Garuda Indonesia Books an Impressive Profit Flying in Challenging Conditions

The State News Agency Antara reports that Garuda Indonesia (GIAA) has recorded a profit of US$51.4 million through the end of Q3 2015, an improvement of 123.4 compared to the first three quarters of 2014 when Garuda lost US$220 million.

For the first three quarters of the current year, Garuda Indonesia saw revenues grow to US$2.84 billion, up slightly from the US$2.83 billion recorded in the same period in 2014. The company’s dramatic improvement in its bottom line resulted from lower expenses of US$2.72 billion as compared to US$3.09 billion in 2014,

Garuda’s CEO, Arif Wibowo, commenting on the improved performance of the Airline, said: "Improvements in the Company's performance are the result of strategic business development measures being carried out through the 'Quick Wins' program, as well as a tight cost efficiency policy that was put into effect at the beginning of the year."

Garuda has managed booked a profit in a challenging operating environment characterized by a sluggish word economy and natural disasters that included volcanic explosions and forest fires that impacted airline operations.

The Garuda Group, including its subsidiary Citilink, carried 24.55 million passengers during the first nine months of 2015, an increase of 17.5% over the 20.89 million uplifted during the same nine-month period in 2014.

Speaking of Garuda Indonesia's ongoing flight network development, Citilink Indonesia's former president said that the Garuda Indonesia Group (including Citilink) together carried a total of 24.55 million passengers during Jan-Sept 2015, or an increase of 17.5% compared to 20.89 million passengers carried during the same period in the previous year.

Garuda Indonesia carried 14.51 million domestic passengers and 3.18 million international passengers through the end of Q3 2015. Citilink, meanwhile, carried 6.87 million passengers during the same nine-month period – up 28.8% from passenger totals through Q3 2014,

Garuda Indonesia booked an average Seat Load Factor of 77.3% on its flights through the first nine months of 2015 while achieving an On-Time-Performance of 88.2% and average aircraft utilization per day of 9:11 hours.

Nature is Grumbling
Hundreds Evacuated from Slopes of Lombokís Mount Rinjani After Unexpected Volcanic Explosion

Gunung Barujari – a lesser volcano at Mount Rinjani Volcano on the Island of Lombok erupted at 10:00 am on Sunday, October 25, 2015.

Lombok is the next island in the Lesser Sunda Chain laying 54 nautical miles east of the popular Island resort of Bali.

Officials at the Mount Rinjani National Park said the explosion occurred without warning. Seismic monitors in place on the mountain showed no activity prior to the blast that sent volcanic ash into the air.

Park officials immediately dispatched recues teams up the mountain to evacuate trekkers and close all paths up the side of the volcano until further notice. Officials will keep the Park closed while determining if further explosions will occur or is any potentially toxic gas has been expelled from the mountain.

The explosion sent ash some 200 meters into the air, a height too low to pose any threat to commercial aviation in the area.

The Jakarta Globe said hundreds of climbers and Hindu worshippers on a pilgrimage were hurriedly evacuated form the mountain after the explosion.

The most recent spat of volcanic activity on Mount Ranjani prior to Sunday’s explosion occurred in 2010.

While Mount Rinjani stands some 2,300 meters above sea level, its volcanic offspring of Mount Barujari was only formed in 1944 during an volcanic event at Mount Ranjani.

2015 Bali Triathlon Rated the Best Ever
Ozzies Sweep Top Spots in 2015 Herbalife Bali International Triathlon

Australian professional ironman and triathlete Mitchell Robbins has won the 2015 Herbalife Bali International Triathlon turning in a winning time of 2 hours and 5 minutes and 58 seconds while covering a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km cycle course and 10 km road race.

The Australian athlete who bases himself in the Philippines is enjoying a winning year following claiming the 70.3 Ironman event in Japan and Half Challenge Forster.

His first race in Indonesia, Robbins heaped praise on the challenging racecourse and beautiful scenery of Bali, promising to return for coming events.

Australian managed a clean sweep of the #1 spots in both genders for the Olympic and Sprint Distance Events.

The women’ division saw another Australian Kylie Scholz win with a time of 2:43:37. Fellow Australian Rossans Bille finished in second place and Cath Hood of Australia take third.

More than 1,000 participants from 31 countries participated in the 8th running of the event that included an Olympic distance Triathlon, a Sprint distance event that was only half the distance, and a 5 km fun run.

A summary of the top places by gender in the Olympic and Sprint distance events.

Olympic Male
1 - Mitch Robins - AUS
2 - Oscar FERYANTO - IND
3 - Edward HAWKINS – UK

Olympic Female
1 - Kylie SCHOLZ - AUS
2 - Rossans BILLE - UK
3 - Cath HOOD – AUS

Sprint Male
1- Michael VARKER - AUS
2 - Taufik MUHAMMAD - IND
3 - Peter MACLEAN – AUS

Sprint Female
1 - Ella-Grace MACLEAN - AUS
2 - Tri Eka SANDIRI - IND
3 - Christa BEVERIDGE – USA

Many athletes praised the many improvements in the course at this year’s event achieved through heightened police control and traffic diversions over Bali’s new toll road generously sponsored by Herbalife.

Athletes joining the 2015 Herbalife International Triathlon also enjoyed the ancillary events that have won the Bali Race the accolade of the “Triathlon with a Soul” including:
  • A lavish athlete and press welcome hosted by the Four Seasons Resort Bali Jimbaran Bay Private Residence.
  • A traditional Balinese bike blessing and Race Central held at The InterContinental Bali Resort 
  • A pre-race high-carb dinner on Saturday night at the newly opened Sintesa Jimbaran Resort.
  • The race festival hosted on the grounds of the InterContinental Bali Resort throughout the running of the race on Sunday morning, October 25, 2015.
  • A “Rock the Race” party at the AYANA Resort Bali on Sunday Evening that concluded at their world-famous Rock Bar.
  • A “Breakfast of Champions” gathering on the post race morning at Le Meridien Jimbaran for sponsors, press and selected athletes.
Named among the world’s top five destination triathlons, the 2015 Herbalife Bali International Triathlon title sponsor was Herbalife - a global nutrition and weight management company with Bank Mandiri joining as a supporting gold sponsor. 

The Bali Hotel Association (BHA) and the five star hotels along Jimbaran Bay  served as active supporters of the event.

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Bali Update #671
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Bali Update #669
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Bali Update #668
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Bali Update #667
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Bali Update #666
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Bali Update #665
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Bali Update #664
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Bali Update #663
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Bali Update #662
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Bali Update #661
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Bali Update #660
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Bali Update #659
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Bali Update #658
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Bali Update #657
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Bali Update #656
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Bali Update #655
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Bali Update #654
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Bali Update #653
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Bali Update #652
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Bali Update #651
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Bali Update #650
February 21, 2009

Bali Update #649
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Bali Update #648
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Bali Update #647
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Bali Update #646
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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #641
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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #638
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Bali Update #637
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Bali Update #636
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Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #633
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Bali Update #632
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #630
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Bali Update #629
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Bali Update #627
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Bali Update #626
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Bali Update #625
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Bali Update #624
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #622
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Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #620
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #617
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #614
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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
March 10, 2008

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
January 28, 2008

Bali Update #593
January 21, 2008

Bali Update #592
January 14, 2008

Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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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
September 24, 2007

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
July 23, 2007

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

Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #539
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Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #527
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #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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