Jembrana Regional Parliament Questions Villas Built Less than 100 Meters From High Water Mark.
The construction of a villa in the Pengeragoan area of Jambrana has drawn the ire and intense scrutiny of the regional parliament of Jambrana. As reported in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, local lawmakers have queried the building of Vila Kalinka which stands only 60 meters from the shoreline and is apparently being built without the required building permits.
The 100-meter No-Build Zone
Bali Provincial Law No. 4 of 1999 specifically forbid construction anywhere within 100 meters of the high-tide mark. The 1999 island-wide rule outlawing construction in close proximity to the beach reflects local desires to maintain free access to Bali's seafront for local enjoyment and Bali-Hindu religious practice.
Iskandar Alfan, Secretary of Commission C of the Jembrana regional parliament has called on the contractor of the Villa to stop construction until all the necessary building permits are in hand.
A Double Standard
Meanwhile, I Nyoman Yudi Wartono, from Regional Parliament Commission B, decried the double standard employed by the Government in the enforcement of seaside construction. According to Wartono, officials waste no time in evicting locals who build or operate small businesses within the 100-meter no-build zone, but readily grant exemptions to villa and hotel operators.
Iskandar supported Wartono's view, saying the only valid basis for granting exemptions in the no-build zone is on the basis of "public interest." He questioned how any private villa's construction reasonably qualified as serving the "public interest."
According the the Bali Post, local field officials from the Jembrana region have responded to the lawmaker's criticism by ordering a halt to construction until all the required permits are in hand.
Construction of villas and hotels permanent in the 100-meter no-build zone can be found in a number of areas around the island, with some villa owners erecting permanent structures with foundation walls stranding on the sea wall in blatant violation of local laws and custom.
Editorial: Bali is Not the Problem, Drugs Are
Two Ongoing Drug Cases in Bali Have Some Australians Angry for All the Wrong Reasons.
The current trial in Bali of a 27-year-old Australian woman, Shapelle Corby, arrested at Bali's airport with 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her checked baggage, and the arrest last week of 9 Australians in connection with the discovery of 8.3 kilograms of heroin destined for Australia onboard an Australian Airlines flight, are raising concerns that Indonesia's handling of these cases will damage relations between Canberra and Jakarta and cause a "tourism backlash" of Australians deciding not to take their holiday in Bali.
While one on-line poll shows nearly 70% of Australians support Indonesia's handling of these drug cases, there are spirited debates on local travel forums questioning the integrity of the Indonesian legal system and the policy of capital punishment for convicted drug smugglers. Joining the debate, websites have sprung-up circulating petitions demanding the Australian woman's immediate release from jail and threatening a travel boycott against Bali unless this demand is met. Media observers suggest it may only a matter of time before similar petitions appear demanding the release of the newly arrested "Bali 9."
A Changing Indonesia
It is more than a little ironic that some Australians find their relationships with a free and democratically evolving Indonesia more problematic than with the autocratic Indonesia of the Soeharto-era.
Strangely, some of the same people who cheered Indonesia's first bold steps towards freedom and democracy now think it their right to dictate the twists and turns in Indonesia's struggle to master its own destiny. This minority, calling for travel boycotts and signing petitions as they go, want Indonesia to call a time out, suspending efforts to create a civil society based on law, whenever a single Australian is at risk.
Bowing to threats of economic boycotts, Indonesians are expected to suspend their anger and indignation at those who endanger the lives and welfare of our children and cost the Indonesian economy an estimated US$2.5 billion each year.
The arguments used and the logic employed by those protesting Indonesia's anti-drug policies are equally skewed: By all means strive to build a just society providing your nation-building efforts conform perfectly with the protestors' pre-conceived notions of "justice" and remain subservient to any of Australia's interests, no matter how narrow.
Equally repugnant and degrading has been the suggestion made by some that the financial and humanitarian aid given to Indonesia by Australia following the December tsunami disaster should somehow qualify Australian lawbreakers in Bali for a complimentary "get out of jail" card.
Bali is Not the Problem
On a human level, we have great empathy for the very difficult situation in which Ms. Corby and the "Bali 9" now find themselves and pray they are afforded every opportunity for a defense afforded by the law.
Without wishing to prejudice either case, clearly both revolve around the alleged discovery of large quantities of illicit drugs in the possession of Australian tourists visiting Bali.
No persuasive argument has been advanced that portrays Indonesia as anything other than co-victims in both these cases suffering the double-edged ill-effects of seeing their homeland invaded by the international drug trade and receiving the onerous responsibility of administering the legal process against the Australians caught with drugs in their possession in Indonesia.
Damned if We Do; Damned if We Don't
Efforts to cast Indonesia as the bad guys in the current imbroglio won't wash. We defy anyone to discern any logical motive that would benefit local law enforcement or judicial officials in their current quagmire of processing these cases through the Indonesian legal system.
The suggestion that Ms. Corby or the "Bali 9" were somehow "set-up" by Indonesian authorities also fails to stand up to even the most cursory examination. Given the high street-value of the drugs seized in each case, the substantial cost to Indonesia in processing these individuals through its legal system, and the potential negative fall-out effects to Bali's tourism industry - make it impossible to conceive any scenario that supports a plausible local motive for such an expensive and complicated entrapment scheme.
Dealing with the final legal disposition of these cases won't be pretty or easy.
At the same time, civic duty and efforts to create a civil society based on the rule of law compel all those involved to tough it out and see these cases through to the bitter end, knowing full-well that no one will find the end result completely to their liking.
Those signing petitions and threatening Indonesia tourism with dire consequences are themselves guilty of pre-judging the Indonesian legal system, trying to prejudice the judicial outcome in a specific direction.
Rah-rah cheerleaders and bully-boy tactics have no place in courts of law.
Similarly myopic are those who base their opposition to the handling of these cases solely on Indonesia's continuing use of the death penalty in felony drug cases. Frankly, we think this argument, as it is currently presented, lacks a certain moral consistency.
It should be noted that a lively debate over the morality and effectiveness of capital punishment is currently underway in Indonesia. Many prominent Indonesians actively oppose the death penalty. Consistency demands that those who feel the death penalty violates universal human rights should be joining existing lobbies against capital punishment in Indonesia as general principal rather than in its specific application to Australian nationals. If all life is universally valued, shouldn't current protests be in defense of everyone sitting on Indonesia's death row - regardless of their nationality?
Step Back From the Bully Pulpit
If the arrest of 9 Australians for smuggling large quantities of drugs in Bali last week is any indication of the size of the local drug scene, it's clear that the cross-border debate between Indonesia and Australia as to what constitutes justice is bound to be with us for years to come. And, in fairness, creating a perfectly just society is something over which neither Australia nor Indonesia can rightly claim an exclusive franchise or the moral superiority required to deliver rants from any bully pulpit.
On balance, however, each side does has valuable insights to mutually share with the other on a variety of important issues including the gradual enhancement of our developing legal processes and cooperative efforts to protect our children from the deadly consequences of illegal narcotics.
Frankly, we share the view of most Australians and feel that those insights and suggestions will get a better hearing when shared in an atmosphere of mutual respect, minus any veiled threats of retaliation.
Tourism remains the best place to plant the important seeds of cultural understanding and mutual admiration.
Bali Conference on Tourism Communication
World Tourism Organization Hosts Major International Conference on Tourism and Communications in Bali May 20-21, 2005.
As a follow-up to the First World Conference on Tourism Communication (TOURCOM), the World Tourism Organization (WTO) is hosting a regional version of the event for the Asia-Pacific on May 20-21, 2005, at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC).
Hosted by the WTO in cooperation with Indonesia's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Bali conference is an outgrowth from the Phuket Action Plan for post-tsunami recovery. Area tourism leaders expected to attend the event will focus on crisis communications and the role of the media in tourism, the mechanics of promotional campaigns, destination branding and the elements of responsible tourism communication.
Organized into workshops and panels, the two day event will focus on three main topic areas:
The Tourcom Dialogue - A series of presentations and discussions on tourism communications among representatives of the public, private sectors and the media.
Risk & Crisis Communication Forum - A Forum to evaluate risks and crisis communication practices, techniques and models.
Tourism Enriches: Becoming the World's Most Important Tourism Region - A panel dealing with the issues of destination image, the future of international tourism communication, and air transport,
Organizers are expected from more than 300 participants from across the region to discuss communications in a post-tsunami world.
Be in Bali for a Week of Non-Stop Fun June 25 - July 3, 2005 Along Kuta Beach.
Kuta's famous beach and busy streets come alive again this year for the Kuta Karnival - back by popular demand for its third year. Proclaimed by organizers as "A Celebration of Life" - Kuta Karnival will run from June 25 though Juy 3, 2005, coinciding with Indonesian school holidays as well as Bali's peak season for overseas travelers.
Action-Packed Calendar of Events Planned
Seven days of music presented on three separate stage venues spread along Kuta Beach will serve musical tastes of every description from Hip Hop, Punk, Pop, Rock, Jazz to Blues Ethnic Fusion.
A street parade, set to the Kuta Karnival's theme "Summer of Fun," will be held on July 3, 2005, including floats, dancers, gamelans orchestras, unicyclists, Big Bikes, funny scooters, and decorated Dokars - all sponsored by local businesses and Balinese community groups. The parade route will travel along Jalan Melasti, Jalan Legian, Jalan Panatih and finish up on Kuta's Beach Front.
On the final two days of the Kuta Karnival, on Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3, over 60 of Bali's best restaurants will present their food in a spectacular setting of food stalls along the beach in Legian. Set to become a fun family weekend, the event provides food stalls and a special children's arena with entertainment, clowns, face painting, bouncy castles, games, and a horse jumping exhibition - all centered along Kuta's beach. While sampling the culinary choices on offer in the food stalls, visitors will be entertained with live music on the 3 separate beach stages in combination with fashion shows, world champion flair bartender performances, and cabaret shows.
Last year beach-side events drew more than 10,000 customers each night.
Water Sports Galore
For water sports enthusiasts a number of number of beach and water-centered competitions are scheduled in conjunction with the Kuta Karnival, including beach volley ball, soccer games, surfing challenges and body board contests. Appearances by ranked national and international surfing competitors are also on tap. In addition, Speed Climbing, bouldering, kite surfing and a traditional Jukung Boat Race form part of the week-long event.
Bali by the Numbers: Record-High March Arrivals Close Out a Strong First Quarter.
A record-breaking total of 117,149 direct foreign arrivals for March 2005 closed one of Bali's the best first quarters of tourism arrivals.
Total foreign arrivals for the first three months of 2005 totaled 329,718 - that's 14.8% ahead of the same period just one year ago, a year that managed to close as a record-setter with slightly more than 1.46 million tourists for Bali.
The Numbers at a Glance
Some of the highlights demonstrated by Bali's performance in the first quarter of 2005:
March 2005 arrivals at 177,149 were 17.35% higher than arrivals for March 2004 (99,826).
Bali's top four markets continue to be Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea whose combined production of tourist visitors represent 54% of all Bali arrivals.
Japanese arrivals for March totaled 25,437 a 21.71% share of the total inbound market, but still 22.4% down from Japanese arrivals for March 2000 and 8.53% down from Japanese arrivals for March 2001.
Australia's March 2005 arrival numbers scored all-time highs at 21,483, that's 3.53% more than the same month one year before.
Taiwan, while holding onto its 3rd ranking as a producer of tourists for Bali at 9.249 visitors in March 2005, is a cause for some legitimate concern, dropping 28% from March in 2004 and presenting its worst March arrival performance in more than 6 years.
South Korean continues to gain strength tallying 7,083 visitors, up a dramatic 78% from March just one year ago.
The Americas including U.S.A., Canada and South America - staged a dramatic comeback in March with 9,010 arrivals, increasing 61.7% from the same month in 2004, but still lagging behind numbers achieve in March 2000 and 2001.
Similarly, Europe's 28,923 arrivals in March 2003 was a 47% improvement from one year ago, but still far behind European arrivals of just 3-4 years ago.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are graphics highlighting arrival performance from Bali's major markets for the period January March 2000-2005.
How Green is Your Bali Hotel?
More Bali Hotels Qualify for Green Globe 21 Affiliate Status.
Bali Hotel Association (BHA) has announced that 18 of its members recently qualified themselves as affiliates of Green Globe 21 program allowing them to display that logo at their respective properties. Affiliate status demonstrates that these hotels have a commitment to creating a cleaner environment, better communities and better businesses. The latest round of qualifications brings to 24 the number of BHA members (39 %) enrolled in the Green Globe 21 program.
Green Globe 21 is an internationally recognized benchmarking, certification and improvement system that guides participants on the path to sustainable travel and tourism. It is based on sustainable development principles endorsed by 182 heads of state at the United Nations' 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit.
Last year, BHA's Environmental Director, Amanda Pummer, headed a movement to encourage BHA member enrollment in Green Globe 21.
"The idea is to give our destination a competitive advantage by demonstrating our commitment to environmental standards," said BHA Vice Chairman, Ian McKie.
Consumers, who are increasingly concerned about the environment, may look to the Green Globe 21 Standards for quality assurance via participants on all continents and approximately 50 countries worldwide. Worthy of note, of the 30 Green Globe hotels in Indonesia, 80 percent are in Bali.
Green Globe 21 has lifted performance thresholds for sustainable tourism. The World Travel & Tourism Council developed Green Globe as a membership and commitment-based program. The Green Globe 21 standard and independent auditing system were introduced in 1999. In 2001, measurements of environmental improvement through benchmarking on an annual basis commenced. The variety of benefits achieved through the Standards can include cost savings through decreasing energy consumption, waste generation and water use.
Environmental performance is assessed against benchmarks or baselines in sustainability policy; energy consumption; water consumption; solid waste production; greenhouse gas emissions; social commitment; resource conservation and cleaning chemical use. All levels of Green Globe 21 participation require annual renewal, benchmarking and certification. A resort can work toward targets over time, committing to continual improvement.
Green Globe 21 Affiliate members from BHA and their links on balidiscovery.com:
Hong Kong Carrier Now Flies 11 Times Each Week Between Bali and Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) is adding 4 new flights to its current 7 weekly flights connecting Bali and Hong Kong.
The new flights depart Hong Kong on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and return to Hong Kong early Monday morning, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Timing of the new flights offer excellent connections with CX's services to Canada, the United States, Korea and Japan. The existing daily flight Bali to Hong Kong offers good connections to CX's Europe-bound services.
The 4 additional flights between Bali and Hong Kong will commence operations on July 2, 2005.
Project to be Managed by Novotel Scheduled for Completion in December 2006.
In June 2005, P.T. Metafora International will commence construction of a 176 unit Condominium Hotel on a 4.8 hectare site in the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) at Nusa Dua.
Set for completion and occupancy in late 2006, the US$ 19 million project will comprised 10 towers - 6 for short term rental to the public and 4 dedicated to private residences.
Located in close proximity to the beach and Nusa Dua's golf course, units will be sold at prices starting from US$140,000 to US$300,000 for the top-of-the-line penthouse model.
According to reports in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, one tower has been pre-sold to Accor Australia.
Novotel has been appointed to operate and manage the 108 unit condominium hotel and have guaranteed an annual rate of return on investment (ROI) of 8% for the first 5 years of ownership in combination with the owner's right to occupy purchased units for 21 days of every year.
Most Bali HIV/AIDS Cases Due to Infected Needles
Authorities Point to Prevalent Use of Illicit Intravenous Drugs as Cause of Island's HIV/AIDS Epidemic.
The National Narcotic Agency(BNN) counts 4,389 cases of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia attributable to the use of intravenous drugs.
The national epidemic of drug use and the resultant cases of HIV/AIDS sees Bali claiming the largest share (53%) of HIV/AIDS infections due to intravenous drug use, followed by Jakarta (48%), East Java (43.3%) and West Java (38.7%).
Speaking at a training course for police officers assigned to combating narcotics in Jakarta on Monday, April 18, 2005, Drs. Sutanto, the policeman assigned as Chief of the BNN, described the statistics on HIV/AIDS cases attributable to intravenous drug use as just "the tip of the iceberg" with many more cases of infection remaining undetected.
Describing the illicit use of narcotics as a serious threat to the Nation, Officer Sutanto said that 1.5%, or an estimated 3.6 million of all Indonesians are illegal drug users. Of that total, 69% are regular drug abusers with 31% officially classified as addicts.
The Scope of the Problem
National police statistics show that narcotics cases handled by the police increased 290% over the past 5 years, or an average 58% per year. The cost of illegal drug use costs the Indonesian economy an estimated Rp. 23.6 trillion (approximately US$2.5 billion) and causes at least 15,000 premature deaths each year.
The just released statistics from BNN on illegal drug use in Bali have caught some local observers off-guard who previously estimated only 93 narcotic users in Bali in 2004.
As reported in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the higher rate of HIV/AIDS infections in Bali among narcotic's user is due to the island dubious honor of serving as an international transit point for the word-wide illegal narcotic's trade.
Cigars Under Bali Stars - Round V
Gourmet Dining, Fine Wines and Hand Rolled Cuban Cigars at the Ritz Carlton Bali Resort & Spa May 6, 2005.
Cigars Under the Stars - the fifth annual gathering of gourmet diners and cigar aficionados at Bali's cliff-side Ritz Carlton Resort & Spa will be held on Friday, May 6, 2005.
Featuring a special menu crafted by the Resort's chef de cuisine, Richard Millar, on loan for the evening from the Ritz's Dava Restaurant, and accompanied by premium wines and cognacs - the evening's dinner will be punctuated by fine hand-rolled cigars prepared by a Cuban master roller.
Enter Stage Right: Hamlet
Flying in to provide the smokes for the special evening is Cuban master-roller Hamlet Jaime Peradez who will personally prepare the evening's cigars including his masterpiece - Hoyo De Monterey Epicure Especiales Limited Edition 2004.
A Memorable Evening Awaits
The evening commences at 7:00 p.m. at H2O's poolside with introductory cigars and Veuve Clique Champagne, before adjourning to the grounds of the Resort's recently opened Cliff Villas for a 5-course dinner.
Confit Duck, Foie Gras and Tobacco Leaf Terrine with Cherry Relish, Sauterne Jelly, Brioche
Roasted U.S. Kobe Beef, Rolled Beancurd, Braised Oxtail & Mustard Fruits with Glazed Shallots, Truffle Polenta
Creamed Stilton with Pear and Port Wine Relish, Orange and Walnut Brioche, Pomegranate Reduction
Veuve Clicquot Champagne during Cocktails
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Cape Mentelle Chardonnay
Cape Mentelle Cabernet
Green Point Shiraz
Trinidad Reyes - A very elegant cigar, mild-medium in body with complex, quite mellow flavors. Un-lit it has a slightly caramel aroma which can be tasted in the smoke also. Very smooth, sweet pepper, coffee and that caramel undertones throughout. Smokes all the way to the end without becoming charred renowned for an even burn throughout.
Hoyo de Monterrey DM Epicure Especiales (LE 2004) - Impressive to the eye - flawless, silky and oily wrapper. Upon lighting, there is an explosion of tastes. Very woody in the first half accompanied by roasted nut and spices. It mellows out in the second half where flavors of coffee, vanilla, cocoa and a hint of liquorices presents.
Costs and Reservations
The Cost of the evening covering champagne reception, dinner, premium wines, select cognacs and hand-made Cuban cigars is only Rp. 1.2 million (approximately US$128.00), including 21% tax and service.
Space is limited. For reservations contact Ms. Almira Hardjasudarma at telephone +62-(0)361-702222 - extension #7165 or use the e-mail link provided.
Tony Bruggemans, a legendary tourism figure in Indonesia who now runs together with his Brother, Paul, the famous Le Vallauris Restaurant in Palm Springs, California, recently wrote J.M. "Jack" Daniels, his old friend and colleague at Bali Discovery Tours asking for some assistance.
It seems, Tony had recently handled the catering arrangements for the California wedding of Cassie and Alex Lorge. In the process of assisting the Lorge's in celebrating their big day in Palm Springs, Tony, who had developed a genuine fondness for the couple, discovered that the newlyweds were destined to Bali for their honeymoon. Wheels begin to spin, ideas were generated and Tony determined he'd like to make something "special" happen half-way round the world for two young people he had grown to like and admire.
After an e-mail to Jack at Bali Discovery who, in turn, consulted David Wilson, the General Manager of the Ritz Carlton Bali, Resort and Spa - a welcoming plan for the newly-betrothed Mr. and Mrs. Lorge was hatched.
Touching down at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport in the mid-afternoon of Tuesday, April 12th, a limousine delivered them to the hotel where they were intercepted at the perimieter gate by the Resort's Executive Assistant Manager, Christopher Clark, where Cassie and Alex were moved to the hotel's antique carriage drawn by two white horses.
klip, klok, klip, klop . . . they made a leisurely but regal approach through the gardens to the Ritz Carlton's main entrance where they were whisked to upgraded accommodation in a suite arranged by the Resort where a bottle of wine awaited, presented with the compliments of David Wilson and Tony Bruggemanns.
Guests for 4 nights at the Resort voted among the world's very best, Alex was heard to exclaim to his new bride "Holy Schnikes" as they admired Jimbaran Bay from the window of their luxurious honeymoon suite.
Shown on balidiscovery.com, a picture of Cassie and Alex Lorge arriving in their horse and carriage at the Ritz Carlton Bali, Resort and Spa.
Minister Bakrie Calls on Canberra to Extend Visa-on-Arrival Facility to Indonesian Tourists.
Following a recent meeting between ranking government ministers of Australia and Indonesia in Canberra, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Aburizal Bakrie, has called on Australia to grant visas on arrival to visiting Indonesians, reciprocating a similar courtesy currently extended to all Australians visiting Indonesia on holiday.
In comments made before the Indonesia-Australia Business Conference underway on Nusa Dua, Minister Bakrie said the extension of the visa-on-arrival facility to Indonesian visitors would do much to further improve relations between the two countries, while giving greater impetus to trade and investment opportunities.
In further support of his demand for the new visa facility, Minister Bakrie pointed to the recent bi-lateral cooperation agreement signed by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australia's Prime Minister John Howard in early April and similar policies for the free-movement of people over borders now in effect among ASEAN members.
Australia's Trade Minister, who was also attending the Bali Conference, made no formal response to Minister Bakrie's suggestion, but pointed to a better than 95% approval rate for Indonesians applying for visitor visas to Australia as proof of his Country's openness to Indonesian tourists and commitment to developing cross border visits.
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