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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1011 - 18 January 2016

IN THIS UPDATE


Caution Advised
Indonesian Defence Minister Warns Bali May be Next Target for Terrorist Attack

Following the January 14, 2016, terrorists attack in downtown Jakarta that left eight dead, four of whom were perpetrators of the tragedy, the Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has warned that Bali may be the next target for terrorists..

Speaking one day after the attack, at the conclusion of a security coordination meeting held at the National Palace, Ryacuda said that Jakarta and Bali are the targets of terrorists. Acknowledging the desire of terrorists to seek international publicity for their acts, he added: "If Bali and Jakarta are under attack, the world will notice. If the attack occurred in other areas, such as Parung, nobody would notice." 

Parung is a small community in West Java.

As reported by Tempo.com, the Defense Minister asked the public to remain vigilant in the face of the threat of further attacks. Meanwhile, the police and military in Indonesia remain on high alert to prevent further incidents.

Ryamizard urge the public not to succumb to the terrorists' goal of creating public fear and panic, urging people to “remain cautious and alert to prevent conflicts.”


Sail from Fiji to Bali
Paul Gauguin Cruises to Launch Fiji-Bali Itinerary in 2017

Paul Gauguin Cruises, a luxury small ship cruise operator, have announced 16 and 17 night cruises in 2017 that will begin and end in Bali and Fiji.

The specially designed itineraries were created in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society - a Bronx Zoo-based initiative to save wildlife, natural habitats and educate the public to these ends.

The 16-night Fiji to Bali voyage departs April 29, 2017, from Lautoka, Fiji, and visits Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Merauke, Indonesia; Dili, Timor-Leste; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Lembar, Lombok Island, Indonesia; and Benoa, Bali, Indonesia.

The reverse itinerary, Bali to Fiji, is 17 nights and departs June 7, 2017.

The trips will be sailed by the 332-passenger award-winning Paul Gauguin.


Kuta Battens Down its Security Hatches
Bali Police in Kuta and Denpasar Take Anticipative Steps Following Jakarta Terrorists Attack

Following the January 14, 2016, terror attack in Central Jakarta, the Kuta Police Precinct has stepped up security measures for Bali’s popular Mecca of restaurants, bars and accommodation.

Nusa Bali reports that the head of the Kuta, Bali Police Precinct, I Wayan Sumara, has confirmed enhanced security measures were quickly put in place following the Jakarta terror attack.

Backed up by the Denpasar Police and Bali Police Headquarters, Sumara has increased police presence at strategic tourist areas and busy crowded areas of Kuta. “In several places, including malls, cafes, malls, restaurants, airports and other places with many visitors - an increase in police security has been put in place,” he said.

In the current condition, police have been advised to patrol only in the company of another officer. Additional police officers are also now on standby at police stations, quick response units (URC) and precinct stations to de deployed at a moment’s notice. High profile patrols in conjunction with military and village security personnel are also being deployed.

Not far from Kuta, in the Island's capital of Denpasar, uniformed police officers and less-visible plain-clothes officers are now guarding shopping malls, both armed for rapid and effective response to any terror incident.

Meanwhile, both the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association in Bali (PHRI-Bali) and the Bali Hotel Association (BHA) have urged their members to tighten security measures. Over the past several years, Bali police have undertaken extensive training with hotel security teams as part of a certification process in place under the Security Management System (SMP) operated by Bali Police Headquarters.


We are Not Afraid
Bali Police React Decisively in Hours Following Jakarta Terror Attack

Following the Jakarta terrorist bombing and shooting spree on January 14, 2016, Indonesia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Tjahjo Kumolo, issued formal instructions for all areas of Indonesia putting the Country on a high security alert status (Siaga I).

As a result, DenPost reports that Bali Police Headquarters has deployed extra officers to all areas considered to be at risk of a terrorist attack.

Within minutes of the appearance of broadcast images of the attack on a traffic police post in Jakarta, Bali Chief of Police General Sugeng Priyanto convened the senior officers under his command to examine the developing situation. All police stations and precincts were put on high alert, street patrols increased and armed officers stationed at tourist objects and popular tourism destinations.

Police also immediately contacted Bali’s Governor and the Udayana Military Command based in Bali to coordinate responses to the threat posed to tourism.

General Sugeng commented: “What was strengthened was security at ports, consulate generals, entertainment venues, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreign visitors. This was the realization of the ISIS threat issued late last year that they would stage a ‘concert’ in Indonesia, meaning they intended to cause disorder. Bali was not mentioned specifically, only areas where many foreigners were mentioned (in the threat). So, it’s not only Bali that has many foreign visitors, Yogyakarta also has many. What’s clear is that Bali remains relatively conducive.”

Bali’s top policeman has also ordered extra security at all gateways, by sea and air, to Bali.

General Sugeng revealed that in late 2015 he had been advised by National Police Headquarters that the Santoso Terrorist Network was targeting police headquarters.

The head of the Provincial police urged the public to remain calm and carry on their normal activities, while, at the same time, the police spare no effort to maintain a positive and conducive atmosphere.


Seeking a Safe Have in Bali for a Holiday
Domestic and Foreign Tourists Ignore Jakarta Terrorism While Continuing to Enjoying a Bali Holiday

The State News Agency Antara reports that the popular beach area of Kuta on the island of Bali remains popular and seemingly unaffected in the wake of the Jakarta terrorist attack of January 14, 2016.

Antara observed that tourism numbers, both domestic and international, remain the same along the beach on Friday, January 15th, one day after the Jakarta attack,

An English tourist, Ana Victoria, told reporters that she was not very concerned with the threat of terrorism, even though her home country had already issued a warning not to visit Indonesia. She said she remained unafraid to holiday in Bali.

Talking to a reporter while relaxing and reading a book on Kuta beach, Ana added: “Terrorists are very cruel and must be completely eliminated. This is the job of the Indonesian authorities and other countries. I hope that can crush (terrorism) and make Indonesia truly safe.”

Separately, Dimas, from Samarinda in Kalimantan said the bomb attacks in Jakarta were a tragedy for Indonesia, but the police in Jakarta would deal with the problem. He said that although the Jakarta attack was a tragedy, it is best that Indonesia does not succumb to sadness.

“Indonesia must be able to recover and fight terrorism to its very roots. The authorities must be more aggressive in securing security. Let’s not be duped repeatedly,” said Dimas. He said that although tourism attacks take place, he is not afraid to go out and enjoy himself. Adding: “I came to Bali to holiday and to quiet my thinking. I have no fear of terrorism. There are police and the military who are protecting us.”

In closing, Dimas said, “I came here to holiday and also to practice surfing.”


Donít Give in to Terror
Bali Hotel Association Issues Statement in Response to Jakarta Bomb Attacks

The Bali Hotel Association (BHA) issued the following statement in connection with the Thursday, January 14, 2016 terror attack in Jakarta:

With heartfelt regrets and grief BHA extends its condolences to the victims, families and friends of the tragic events that took place yesterday in Jakarta. We also thank and commend the Indonesian security and rescue services that put their life on the line in order to safe others. Our thoughts are with all of those who were affected by these cowardly and heinous acts.”

“As the news broke BHA took immediate action informing its members and advising them to adjust their security level to anticipate any extended threats. BHA activated its security and safety response network comprising of local authorities, security services as well as intelligence, embassies and other relevant private and public sector partners.”

“BHA members have briefed their staff to be vigilant but calm and to focus on the security and safety of their guests without compromise whilst ensuring the great service and holiday experience that Bali is famous for.”

“BHA has been running an internationally awarded integrated hotel security and safety program for many years. BHA member hotels have access to a wide range of security and safety related resources. The association is organizing regular training workshops with its national and international partners and works on tourism security and safety concepts together with the Indonesian government, the United Nations and ASEAN.”

“We will not be intimidated by the recent events in Jakarta. We take them as an opportunity to improve and to remind our guests and ourselves that life is wonderful and should be cherished and enjoyed. So let’s not give in to terror, hate and fear, let’s keep travelling and enjoy the island of Bali with all it has to offer.



Business as Usual at Baliís Airport
Baliís Airport Now Under Heightened Security Crackdown, But No Signs of Tourist Exodus

Beritabali.com reports that following the terrorist bombing attack in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, PT Angkasa Pura I (PAP) - the managers of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport quickly coordinated steps to ensure the security of the Island’s sole air gateway.

Trikora Harjo, the general manager of PAP speaking on the day of the Jakarta attacks said, “We have already alerted the security of the airport. This was done based on instructions received from the Director General of Aviation from the Ministry of Transportation and from the directors of Angkasa Pura.”

Trikora also revealed that PAP was in contact with the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Police to increase security at Bali’s Airport. Explaining that military personnel were already in place at the terminal, Trikora said, “We have already coordinated with the Air Force, Army, the Police Mobile Brigade and the Police Precinct for the Airport.”

Routine inspections are in place with no reports of incidents as patrols continue to circulate the terminal and parking areas at the Airport.

Trikora said that following the Jakarta terrorist incident, there has been no evidence of panic or a mass exodus of tourists via Bali’s Airport.


Grass Where the Sun Donít Shine
Englishman Arrested at Bali Airport with 3 Grams of Marijuana Concealed in his DerriŤre

Stephen Russel Hakes (57) from the U.K. has been arrested by Custom officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on January 9, 2016.

Hakes who had just arrived from Bangkok, Thailand at 12:00 AM on Air Asia FD 396 when officials said that their data technology systems and Hakes' suspicious movements prompted them to conduct a thorough examination of the man’s belongings followed by a body search.

That search yielded 3 grams of marijuana concealed in the man’s rectum.

According to Metrobali.com, Hakes is expected to be charged under the anti-narcotic laws of Indonesia carrying a possible sentence of between 5 and 15 years imprisonment and a fine of between Rp. 1 to 15 billion.


Holiday Inn on the Outs with Bali Environmental Agency
Holiday Inn Express on Kuta Beach Receives Written Sanction for Illegal Expulsion of Drainage Water from Construction Site

As reported by DenPost, the Badung Environmental Agency (BLH) has handed down an administrative sanction to the Holiday Inn Express on Jalan Wana Segara in Kuta for pumping drainage water from the basement of a construction project into public drains that then overflowed causing disruption to the surrounding neighborhood.

The head of the BLH-Badung promised that following the issuance of the official sanction he would continue to monitor the construction project that has been the source of numerous, long-standing complaints from local villagers and businesses.

The Letter of Sanction (Surat Keputusan Bupati Badung Nomor 660.42/032/LH Tahun 2016) provides for strong penalties, including the closure of the construction project, if Holiday Inn Express continues to damage the local environment and ignore the sanction letter just issued.


Bali Economy Ranked 10th Nationwide in 2015
BPS: Growth and Inflation in Bali in 2015 Compares Favourably with National Averages

Beritabali.com and Suaradewata.com reports that the head of the Bali Statistic Agency (BPS), Panusuan Siregar, has announced that the Province of Bali occupies the 10th ranking for economic growth among all the provinces of Indonesia. While economic growth averaged 4.17% in 2015, Bali achieved a growth rate of 6.17%.

In a public presentation on macro indicators for Bali’s development in 2015 and 2016 delivered to the Governor on Monday, January 11, 2016, Siregar said, “I hope that the mobilization of government budgets is not small in the first part of the year because this will influence the rate of economic growth.”

Siregar also discussed the rate of inflation, saying Bali’s rate of inflation was among the lowest in the nation and the lowest for Bali in the past 20 years.

“Inflation in Bali was under control at 2.57%, a number below the National average of 3,35%. I suggest that the Provincial Government of Bali anticipate inflation by ensuring large supplies of basic necessities are laid in before Chinese New Year and the Galungan Holiday next month,” he said.

Near the end of his presentation before the Governor, Siregar addressed the rate of foreign tourist visitors to the Island and the growth in Bali exports.

In terms of tourism, he said Bali was the largest foreign exchange earner with visitors to Bali representing a 41% share of all foreign tourist visitors nationwide. Adding, “There are several months, such as February and March, when the tendency is for the number for tourist visitors to decline and the resulting need for the government to take concrete steps to increase tourists numbers during these months.”

Siregar also reported that Bali’s exports were low in 2015, a fact he blamed on the weakness of the National economy.


Human Right to Take Back Seat in Fight on Terror?
Indonesia Intelligence Boss Wants Greater Arrest and Detention Rights to Confront the Threat of Terrorism

Following the terrorist bombing attack in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, the head of the Indonesian National Intelligence Agency (BIN), Sutiyoso, is seeking a change in Indonesia’s anti-terrorist laws to allow law enforcement authorities wider powers in the arrest and detention of suspected terrorists.

Quoted by NusaBali, Sutiyoso, speaking at a press conference on Friday, January 15, 2016, said: “If we want a more secure handling of terrorism, improvements must be made in our anti-terrorism laws. BIN needs to be given greater arrest and detention authority. Certainly, we will continue to consider human rights and other factors.”

The BIN Chief defended the need for wider arrest powers as necessary to eradicate terrorist elements in Indonesia “to its very roots.”

Comparing Indonesian anti-terrorist laws with those of neighboring countries, Sutiyoso suggested Indonesia was being overly-cautious in its concern for human rights while other countries, such as the United States, France and many European nations, were striking a new balance between human rights and the need for law enforcement to arrest and detain suspected terrorists.

Continuing, Sutiyoso said: “Malaysia has changed its terrorism laws because they considered themselves to be at risk. Did you know this? They (Malaysia) can attach electronic monitors that allow intelligence authorities to track suspected terrorists 24 hours a day.”

In harmony with Sutiyoso, the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Human Rights Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has announced his plans to lobby the House of Representatives (DPR) to revise anti-terrorism laws to permit greater freedom for police to take preventative steps in terrorist cases.

Commenting separately, Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said the international community appreciates the speed and manner in which Indonesian authorities are handling national security as demonstrated in the terrorist bombing and gunfire attack on Jalan Thamrin in downtown Jakarta.

Speaking on Friday, January 15, 2016, one day after the Jakarta incident, she said: “They recognize and value the quick response by Indonesia’s security forces in handling yesterday’s attack. In only three hours everything was brought back under control and further problems were averted.”

Indonesia’s Foreign Minster stated that the entire world had extended its condolences and sympathy to the government of Indonesia while offering any assistance needed in responding to the attacks. Adding: “But we continue to be able to handle the situation alone. And, once again, the rapid three-hour response (of security forces) is much appreciated by the international community.”

Supporting Marsudi’s appraisal, the United Nations issued a declaration following the Jakarta attacks condemning terrorism and praising the rapid and efficient response of Indonesia in confronting the incident.


Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself
Governor Pastika Declares Bali Security Situation Under Control; Urges Public to Be Calm

Declaring that the security situation in Bali was well in hand following the terror attacks in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, Governor Made Mangku Pastika has urged the Balinese people not to panic, while, at the same time, increasing their degree of caution.

As reported by NusaBali, Governor Pastika said he was coordinating with the Bali Chief of Police and the head of the Udayana Military Command in Denpasar on security matters. All possible precautionary steps to safeguard Bali are now in place and the current security situation is conducive.

“I hope the public will not panic and not be afraid. But, we must remain on guard,” said Pastika at a meeting with the Minister for the State Apparatus and Reform of the Bureaucracy (MenPAN-RB) Yuddy Chrisnandi at the Governor’s office on Friday, January 15, 2016.

The Governor reminded the public that the goal of terrorism is to create an atmosphere of fear and, if the public panics, it signifies a victory for the terrorists.

“The more we are afraid will escalate terrorists efforts to create fear,” Pastika said.


Protecting Baliís Children from Predators
Police Arrest 70-Year Old Australian Suspected in 32 Cases of Sexually Molesting Young Girls in Bali

An Australian resident in Bali, Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis (70), is under arrest by Bali Police on suspicion of sexually molesting 32 young girls at his home in Tabanan, West Bali, as reported by DenPost.

The total of 32 suspected cases of pedophilia involving under-age girls is based on evidence collected by police at the man’s residence, although only 8 girls are currently undergoing police interviews in connection with the ongoing investigation.

DenPost quoted the spokesman for the Bali Provincial Police, Hery Wiyanto, as saying he expects the number of Ellis’ victims to increase. Initially, only four girls came forward, a number that has now increased to eight. With Wiyanto adding the explanation: “Bearing in mind that the victims are children, in order to prevent further psychological trauma, the interviews of the girls are being performed in a special rooms in the company of officials from the Agency for the Protection of Women and Children (PPA) and the girl’s parents.”

Meanwhile, investigators from the Bali Police Criminal Investigation Division predict the list of victims will grow to “tens of children.” In a notebook kept by Ellis and discovered by police are the names of 32 young girls aged 10-13 years. The criminal investigator said, “We strongly suspect they were all victims.”

Police describe all of Ellis’ victims as children who had dropped out of school and were working as porters at the Badung Public Market or as street-side beggars. The girls were lured by offers of money and gifts from Robert Ellis to visit him at his home where he bathed the girls and gave them food, dolls and money. The subsequent sexual encounters reportedly took place at Ellis’ home or at local boarding houses.

Robert Ellis has been removed from his jail cell to visit the purported crime scenes and to undergo a medical examination, as required under police procedures.

Police confirm that Ellis is in good health.

The arrest of Robert Ellis by the Bali Police was due, in part, to the involvement of an international child protection group Terres des Hommes Netherlands and its project Working Actively Together for Children (WATCH). The Dutch-based group helped Bali Police investigators track Robert Ellis, a known pedophile, who they claim has been in Bali since 2010. Meanwhile, Ellis is telling investigators that he has been in Bali only since 2013.

Police investigations were also aided by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) working together with WATCH activists.

Now, with Robert Ellis in custody, Police have asked the Australian Consulate General in Bali to assist in providing an attorney and translator for the Australian pensioner.

The local project officer for WATCH in Bali, Ida Ayu Made Gayatri, confirmed that Ellis came to Bali in 2010 at which time the Australian Federal Police wrote to their Bali counterparts recommending his movements and activities be monitored closely as a suspected pedophile.

Police claim they encountered difficulties in taking action against Ellis due to a lack of evidence. Police surveillance of the Australian increases in November 2015 when information was received linking the man to the sexual molestation of under-age children in Bali.

Initially, when WATCH and police investigators approached suspected victims of Ellis the reluctance of the children or their parents to cooperate was a problem. The children’s silence, investigators claim, had been purchased with the promise of continuing gifts, clothing, money and trips to local beauty salons.

Most of the victims identified to date come from Karangasem, but live in Denpasar. As part of Ellis’ modus operandi he would often establish friendships with his victims' parents. In some instances, the parents would even deliver their daughters to Robert Ellis’ residence in Selemadeg Timur, West Bali.


More Friendly Ferry Fares Between Bali and Java
Ferry Tariffs Between Java and Bali Slashed Effective January 16, 2016

Precipitated by a decline in the cost of fuel, the Government reduced the fares for ferry crossings between Ketapang (East Java) and Gilimanuk (West Bali).

Effective at midnight on Saturday, January 16, 2016, the fares for all classes of travel and vehicles were reduced.

As reported by Metrobali.com, the manager of the Indonesian Ferry Service (PT ASDP), Wahyudi Susianto, at Banyuwangi confirmed the rate reductions were made possible by the lower cost of diesel fuel and instructions issued by the Minister of Transportation on January 12, 2016.

The reduction in ferry tariffs averaged 4.51% for vehicular traffic and 17.14% for pedestrian traffic.

Wahyudi took pains to underline that the reduction in fares would not affect ongoing programs to improve the quality of services provided by PT ASDP on the Ketapang to Gilimanuk service.

The new ferry tariff in effect from January 16, 2016:
  1. The fare for a pedestrian passenger has been reduced from Rp. 7,000 to Rp. 6,000.
  2. The fate for a pedestrian child has been reduced from Rp. 5,000 to Rp. 4,000.
  3. Class I of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 8,000 to Rp. 7,000.
  4. Class II of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 24,000 to Rp. 23,000.
  5. Class III of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 37,000 to Rp. 35,500.
  6. Class IV-A of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 146,000 to Rp. 141,000.
  7. Class IV-B of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 131,00 to Rp. 126,000.
  8. Class V-A of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 277,000 to Rp. 267,000.
  9. Class V-B of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 223,000 to Rp. 214,000.
  10. Class VI-A of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 461,000 to Rp. 444,000.
  11. Class VI-B of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 368,000 to Rp. 354,000.
  12. Class VII of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 485,000 to Rp. 467,000.
  13. Class VIII of vehicle has been reduced from Rp. 733,000 to Rp. 706,000.
  14. Class IX of vehicles has been reduced from Rp. 1,087,000 to Rp. 1,047,000.
The latest tariff change follows the last tariff reduction of between Rp. 500 to Rp. 4,000 that occurred on October 24, 2015.


Biting Start to 2016
First Cases of Rabies for 2016 Confirmed in Tabanan, West Bali

2016 has dawned with new cases of rabies reported in Tabanan, West Bali. Bali Post reports that data published on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, recorded two rabies bite cases affecting I Putu Yoni Pratama (13) from Dajan Peken and Putu Gede Padma (5) from Kediri.

The head of the Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Department (P2MPL) for the Tabanan Health Service, Wayan Triana Suryanata, revealed that Yoni suffered a bite to his left thigh and Gede Padma to his left ear. Adding, “Tissue samples from both dogs that bit the children were tested and found positive for rabies.”

Both children have been temporary administered anti-viral treatment (VAR) while Gede Padma has been given anti-rabies serum (SAR) due to location of his wound near his head, considered to represent a more substantial threat.

Wayan Wirnata (36), the father of I Putu Yoni Pratama, said a neighbor’s dog that was allowed to stray in the village bit his son. “My son was just taking a walk when suddenly a dog appeared and bit him,” he said.

When Wirnata’s son was brought to a local health center to receive VAR he was told there was none of the free drug from the government available to treat the child. He then purchased VAR from another source that cost, together with treatment, Rp. 620,000.

Health officials killed the dog that bit Yoni and biopsy of the animal’s brain that was performed on Monday, January 11, 2016, was positive for rabies. Wirnata has been promised follow up treatments of VAR at the local health center without charge.

Meanwhile, the head of the Health Service for Tabanan, Dr. Nyoman Suratmika, told the press that while VAR is available it is being dispensed selectively to only those with confirmed bites linked to a dog proven to have rabies. All patients reporting with dog bites have their wounds thoroughly cleaned with soap and water for 15 minutes.


Without a Drop of Water
8,000 Households in South Kuta Have Been Without Water for One Week as Antiquated PDAM Supply Pipes Fail

Fresh water supplies to South Kuta have suffered interruptions over the past week, with public water supply customers in some areas of Jimbaran having no supply at all from the regional water board PDAM Tirta Mangutama since Saturday, January 9, 2016.

NusaBali quotes a water customer in Jimbaran who has been compelled to purchase water delivered by trucks to his home as saying, “The Jimbaran area around Goa Gong, Bukit and adjoining areas has had no water since last Saturday.”

The technical director of PDAM Tirta Mangutama Badung, IB Gede Wimbardi, confirmed to NusaBali by phone that interruptions in water supplies have been occurring. He blamed the problem on a break in a 400-millimeter water supply pipe at the bridge crossing on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in Jimbaran.

“Ya, indeed there are service disturbances. One of our feeder pipes to South Kuta has been leaking for the past week. After we checked we found the pipe had rusted,” explained Wimbardi.

Wimbardi said technicians had repaired the leak only to have new leaks emerge in other parts of the piping network. Adding: After we performed the second repair, the pipe burst again just a few meters away (from the repair). We are now fixing the (third) leak.”

The 400 mm leaking pipe was installed 25 years ago and resides in moist ground running through a mangrove area. New pipes will be installed above the water level to reduce the effects of rusting.

PDAM estimates that 8.000 customers have suffered interruptions in their water supplies in the areas of Ungasan, Jimbaran, Uluwatu and Pecatu due to the leaking pipes.


Artful Manipulation
Governor Orders a Crackdown on Chiropractic Clinics in Bali

Following the sudden death of a woman in Jakarta being treated by a chiropractic clinic, Bali’s Governor Made Pastika has ordered the head of the Provincial Health Department to take steps against unlicensed doctors or health therapy centers using unprofessional procedures.

As a result, the Denpasar Police Precinct has announced plans to monitor the operation of chiropractic clinics operating in Bali.

Quoted by NusaBali, Governor Made Pastika commented on the death of, Allya Siska Nadya, a woman undergoing treatment at a South Jakarta chiropractic clinic, saying: “I received information that Doctor Randall (Randal Caffery) who was handling Siska was blacklisted in the United States. I have asked the Head of the Provincial Health Service in Bali to take action against these sort of medical services.”

Pastika said that the death of a patient being treated at a Chiropractic Clinic must be studied and become a lesson for the people of Bali. He told the press that chiropractic medicine is a medical treatment that treats the structure of the backbone through physical manipulation of the back by hand.

Pastika said: “Treatment through chiropractic means must be approached with caution. This is because this (means of treatment) is not rational and is still experimental. Why do people do irrational things and experiment?”

Pastika continued saying that people can now be treated for free at hospitals offering conventional treatment with the cost of treatment borne by the Government. The Governor said the use of alternative medicine should only be a last resort when “rational” methods no longer offered any hope of a cure.

The head of the Provincial Health Department, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, complained that his office faces difficulty in moving against alternative practitioners with final authority of enforcement resting with regency and municipal enforcement agencies who issue the licenses for such clinics.

The Denpasar Police has announced their intention to monitor the presence of Chiropractic clinics operating in the Capital.


Where Does Bali Stand on LGBT Travel?
Editorial: Hypocrisy and Mixed Signals Seem to Color Baliís Ongoing Reaction to Gay Weddings

A witch hunt is now underway on the Island of Bali that when viewed on a certain level seems highly hypocritical and inconsistent.

Many ranking officials in Bali are in an uproar, adopting poses of righteous indignation over pictures posted on Facebook of several same-sex weddings taking place in Bali.

Despite this brouhaha, it should be clarified at the outset that, in fact, no "gay weddings" have actually taken place in Bali. Indonesian law does not recognize same-sex legal unions.

Therefore, at most, what has taken place is nothing more than private symbolic ceremonies, parades or fantasy pageants performed at the request of same-sex couples.

Because these ceremonies have no legal standing in Indonesian law and have not been promoted as “legal weddings,” it is difficult to understand what, if any law, they violate.

Nonetheless, officials are up in arms, declaring that gay unions are deemed "unnatural" by every religion in the world, and, as such, even the pretence of a same-sex union in Bali is religiously repugnant to the Bali-Hindu religion and undermine local culture and religion.

Yet, historical acknowledgement of homosexuality in Hinduism is both widespread and remarkably amiable. Homosexuality occupies its own place as an endemic sub-culture within Hinduism; neither foreign nor imported in its origins from ancient times to now. The sacred and ancient Hindu "Vedas" refer to a revered "third sex" - people who are impotent or lack sexual inclinations towards the opposite sex. While the Kama Sutra - the Hindu guide to human sexuality, encourages same sex carnal unions as something "to be engaged in and enjoyed for its own sake as one of the arts."

While the discussion of the historical roots of homosexuality in the history of Hinduism should be left to qualified theologians and historians, the current hubbub over the gay marriage receptions in Bali seems, on several levels, both confusing and somewhat hypocritical.

Many question have arisen on how individuals dressed as "pemangku" - individuals qualified to preside at Bali-Hindu religious rituals – have managed to be photographed at both the “gay weddings” in question. While police are busily questioning hotel workers, wedding organizers and others about the illegal “gay weddings,” nothing is said in the local press regarding the willing participation of religious figures who would be expected to refuse to participate in any activity genuinely offensive to their faith.

What is the Official Position in Bali on LGBT Travel?

To clarify what is becoming an increasing unclear situation, the Governor, as leader of the province, should convene a conference to fully consider and proclaim the Island's stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) travel.

The Global LGBT travel market is estimated to have an annual value of around US$200 billion - a figure arguably more than the much-coveted Mainland Chinese travel market. Moreover, many international airlines, destination tourism promotion boards, and hotels have specific sales divisions and dedicated budgets set aside to attracting the LGBT traveler. Moreover, it would be difficult to find any hotel operating in Bali that does not claim itself to be “gay friendly” and eager to serve this much-coveted market populated with a disproportionate number of high-earning individuals with strong levels of disposable spending.

In fact, Bali already has a huge LBGT tourism sector. A search of the Internet or a drive down the Island’s roadways quickly reveals high profile business not only offering gay wedding receptions, but both “gay friendly” and “gay only” accommodation, same-sex massages and spa treatments, gay tour services; gay saunas and gay bars.

One well-known street in Seminyak is home to a number of gay nightspots replete with go-go boys and large crowds of domestic tourists who line up each night just to watch the comings and goings of the bars' patrons.

Beyond the current debate over gay wedding receptions in Bali, the “pink” elephant in the room is a thriving LGBT business sector in Bali that provides employment, pays taxes and helps to fill hotels rooms with well-heeled, high-spending travelers.

We suggest that Bali’s leaders need to declare a pause in the current debate over gay weddings and decide the much larger issue of the Island's overall stance towards LGBT travel; deciding either to ban it altogether while accepting financial consequences of such a decision, or setting real and enforceable limits on the allowable scope of activities for LGBT businesses in Bali.

To merely chip away at "gay weddings" in Bali fails to address the real issues and has the potential of undermining a very lucrative segment of the travel market that, if properly monitored and controlled, need not irreparably undermine local values and mores.


Actor Handed Losing Script
Australian Businessman Patrick Alexander Wins Major Property Case Against Actor Jeremy Thomas and Eight Fellow Defendants

As reported by DenPost and NusaBali, rhe Gianyar District Court in Bali has ruled in favor of an Australian businessman Patrick Alexander, in his civil suit against Indonesian actor Jeremy Thomas, and eight other defendants in a property dispute over a villa property in Ubud, Bali.

The Gianyar Court’s ruling addressed three lots occupied by the Villa Kirana located in Kedewatan, Ubud, awarding possession to the Australian plaintiff and called for damages to paid by the defendants.

Attorney Ida Bagus Putu Astina, representing Alexander in the suit, was quoted by DenPost listing the losing defendants in the case as: Rudy Marcio Meetra, Jeremy Thomas, Lie Halim, Ina Indrayani (the wife of Jeremy Thomas), Notary Tri Firdaus Akbarsyah, Ketut Alit Nariasih Dadu and the head of the National Land Agency (BPN) in Gianyar.

The decision rendered by the Court detailed how Alexander, as a foreign national from Australia “borrowed” the name of Rudy Marcio to serve as the nominee in the 1999 purchase of three adjoining parcels of land in Bali.

Marcio then entered into a leasehold agreement with Alexander for the property for 60 years extendable for an additional 60 years.

In the following year, 2000, Alexander constructed a luxury villa on the 3,600 square meter site.

Later, in 2013, a long-standing social acqaintance of Alexander, actor Jeremy Thomas approached the Australian to offering to help capitalize the plan to develop a 1,200 segment of the land into a luxury spa. Within the context of seeking funding for the Spa Project in which his company JTR networks was to act as advisors, Thomas asked that the property be transferred to his name in order that he could mortgage the land to finance the project. On the basis of this mutual understanding, arrangements were made via Alexander for the title on the land to be transferred from Marcio to Thomas in order that the loan could proceed.

The bank loan of Rp.8.5 billion was paid to Thomas who reportedly only paid Rp. 500 million to Alexander. Moreover, Thomas then colluded with a Notary to illegally transfer ownership of the land to Lie Halim for a further Rp. 17 billion.

According to Astina, the Gianyar Court ordered that the land and villa be seized and returned to Alexander and that the defendants be liable for the losses suffered by payment rendered by Bank Bukopin totaling Rp. 8.5 billion, losses of Rp. 17 billion incurred in the illegal sale, losses of Rp. 3.6 billion due to non-operation of the villa, tax obligations of more than Rp. 35 billion and non-material losses of Rp.10 billion.

Meanwhile the spokesman for the Bali Provincial Police, Hery Wiyanto, told Nusa Bali that police would examine demands by Alexander’s attorney that the defendants now be named suspects in a further criminal proceeding for malfeasance and fraud.

The court decision in Alexander’s favor was issued on December 26, 2016, with possession of the villa is to be handed back to Alexander and his attorney on January 18, 2016.


Le Sernier Souper
Evelyne Rieu Beldame, French-Born Popular Ubud Restaurateur, Dies at 68

A 68-year-old French woman, Evelyne Rieu Beldame, has died at her lodgings in Padangtegal in Ubud, Bali.

The woman, who managed the Restaurant Pignou di Penyu in Ubud had been complaining of feeling ill for several days before her body was found in the bathroom of her home on Friday morning, January 15, 2016, by a fellow French national, Gerard Gunnot (62).

The French woman had been a resident of Ubud for the past decade.

Police found no evidence of foul play and Evelyne Rieu Beldame's body was sent to Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital for forensic examination.


 
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #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 #544
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Bali Update #543
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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 #531
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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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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