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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1035 - 4 July 2016

IN THIS UPDATE


When Change is Needed
Kuta Village Takes Action to Shut Down Illegal Money Changers

NusaBali reports that the traditional village community of Kuta in South Bali has organized a special team to monitor the activities of moneychangers working in their area.

The village chief of Kuta Village, Wayan Swarsa, said the decision to form the supervisory team was taken at a village gathering held on May 29, 2016. The teams delegated to monitor and detect unlicensed money changers perpetrating fraud against visiting tourists were tasked to operate for a two-year period 2016-2018.

The monitoring teams to close down illegal moneychangers in Kuta will coordinate their efforts with the Bali branch of Bank Indonesia. In a joint statement, Bank Indonesia and the traditional village of Kuta pledged to help socialize the licensing requirements for businesses offering money exchange services; to work together in the supervision and control of moneychangers in Kuta, and to exchange information on the operation of local moneychangers.

Working with a team of 30 Kuta village members, around 19 illegal money changers have already been forced to close in Kuta. Warnings have also been issued to landlords who rented shops or counter space to illegal money changing operators.

Swarsa said he hope the continuing work of the community-based teams monitoring illegal money changers would help protect Kuta’s reputation as a top tourism destination.


Waist Deep in Kuta
Clogged, Poor Drainage Causing Flooding at Bali’s Busy Dewa Ruci Interchange

DenPost reports that torrential rains on Sunday and Monday, June 26-27, 2016, resulted in traffic jams on the Bypass Highway near in the Kuta (Dewa Ruci) and airport area of Bali.

The clogged traffic conditions, however, have less to do with the heavy rains and more to do with flooding caused by drains clogged with debris.

During recent rains, the road in front of Mr. Kuta near the Dewa Ruci Monument, the road leading to Nusa Dua, and the U-turn at the Dewa Ruci Underpass in front of the Mercure Harvest Hotel - were all under water.

The head of the National Road Planning Bureau for Denpasar (BPJN-Denpasar), Hendro Satrio, blamed drains clogged with refuse for the flooding. Officials continue to try to keep the drains open and were on the scene after the most recent flooding to quickly reopen drainage.

Ongoing repair work on drains in the areas affected by the floods is also blamed for the most recent flooding. 400 meters of roadway in the area surrounding the Dewi Ruci monument are still awaiting the installation of a proper drainage systems. Some of the new work on drains is scheduled to commence only in 2017.

Those working in the area complained that drainage problems and flooding can occur in the areas surrounding Bali's busiest intersection even after a rather  moderate rain.


Human Rights at Bay
ForBALI Formally Complains to National Human Rights Commission Regarding Heavy-Handedness by Bali Law Enforcement

The Peoples Forum Rejecting the Reclamation of Benoa Bat (ForBALI) have formally complained to the National Committee on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) regarding the forced removal of billboards protesting the reclamation, the banning of the wearing of anti-reclamation t-shirts and the beating of 2 ForBALI activists at the opening parade of the Bali Arts Festival.

ForBALI is also questioning the passivity of the Police in Bali who appear to stand by and allow criminal acts against their movement and members.

As reported by Balipost.com, the National Executive of Green Indonesia (WAHLI), the Law Department of ForBALI and the Jakarta ForBALI Alliance accompanied Suriadi Darmoko - a victims of the attack at the opening of the Bali Arts Festival – appealed directly to the Commissioner of Komnas HAM, Siane Indriani, on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

The legal coordinator of ForBALI, I Made Suardana, advanced a number of points to Komnas HAM, namely: first, the removal and destruction of posters and banners protesting the reclamation of Benoa Bay by security officials on the eve of a visit to Bali of President Joko Widodo; and, second, the intimidation by Police forbidding the public from wearing anti-reclamation t-shirts at the opening parade of the 38th Bali Arts Festival attended by the President; and, third, the group also called on Komnas HAM to recommend to President Widodo that he withdraw Presidential Decree Number 51 of 2014 authorizing the reclamation of Benoa Bay based on numerous human rights considerations.

The Commissioner of Komnas Ham, Siane, received the arguments put forth by ForBALI, saying there were indications of human rights violations that will cause them to closely examine the Benoa Bay reclamation project.

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Fire Sale
Fire Destroys 26 Local Traders’ Stands Outside 38th Bali Arts Festival

At 3:00 am on Friday, July 1, 2016, a fire swept through an area of commercial stands selling clothing, handicrafts and paintings on the west side of the Bali Arts Center, scene of the 38th Annual Bali Arts Festival, now underway in downtown Denpasar, Bali.

A worker cleaning the Art Center noticed smoke and flames coming from the area occupied by the trading stands.

As reported by Beritabali.com, a total of 7 fire trucks arrived at the scene of the fire at 3:15 am.

Damage estimates put the value of goods kept at the 26 stands destroyed by the fire in the billions of rupiahs.

While police continue to investigate the fire, preliminary indications are that the fire was caused by a short circuit.

The Arts Center was unaffected by the fire and the program of the Bali Arts Festival that runs until July 9, 2016, will continue as planned.


Deadly Afternoon
Two Tourists Drown within a Single Hour in Bali on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

An English national, Chopra Vishal (43), has drowned after being swept away by strong tides on Perenenan Beach in West Bali on Wednesday afternoon, June 29, 2016.

As reported by NusaBali, Vishal was body boarding at Perenenan Beach in the company of 10 friends at around 5:00 pm when they were struck by a large wave causing the Englishman to become separated from his body board. He was discovered by his companions a short time later in an unconscious state.

The man died while being rushed by ambulance to the Badung General Hospital.

Police and forensic experts are listing Vishal’s cause of death as drowning.

Meanwhile, about one hour after the Englishman’s death, a Chinese tourist Wong Ronghui (76) was found dead in the swimming pool of Villa Kaaiti on Jalan Pantai Bingin in Pecatu, South Kuta at 6:00 pm.

The man from Sichuan, China,  was apparently swimming with his wife in a pool measuring only 4 x 10 meters.

After swimming together for about one hour, Wong asked his wife to fetch a towel from their room. When the woman returned to the pool she saw her husband’s body at the bottom of the 2-meter deep pool.

Security officials at the villa helped to evacuate the man from the pool, but he died while being transported to a nearby hospital.


Bali as a Water Hazard
Chinese Tourist Drowns While Snorkeling at Nusa Lembongan

In a growing pattern of Chinese drowning deaths in Bali, RadarBali.com reports the death of Zhang Wei (63) who perished while snorkeling at Nusa Lembongan Island on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Zhang Wei, who worked in construction in China, was snorkeling at mid-day with a group of around 30 Chinese tourists when he struggled and swallowed a large amount of seawater.

The man was rushed to a nearby Health Center on Nusa Lembongan where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The group has traveled earlier in the morning from Sanur Beach to tour Nusa Lembongan and enjoy a beach day in front of the Mushroom Restaurant.


A Cloud Over Mushrooms
Two Men Face 1 to 5 Years in Prison for Selling ‘Magic Mushrooms’ in Kuta, Bali

Police from the Denpasar Precinct Narcotics Division have raided two locations selling “magic mushrooms’ on Jalan Kuta Theatre in Kuta and placed under arrest two men and confiscated 6.6 kilograms of psilocybin mushrooms.

As reported by NusaBali, the arrests took place on Thursday, June 23, 2016, in raids conducted at 11:30 pm.

Police conducted the raids after receiving reports from surveillance teams who were acting on complaints of open selling of magic mushrooms from area residents.

Police say the men taken into custody were selling magic mushrooms to tourists in Kuta from two locations.

Police found two Tupperware boxes at one locale containing 54 small plastic bags holding 2.1 kilograms of mushrooms and an electric blender used for preparing “magic mushroom juice.” The second location was only a few meters down the same road where they found three Tupperware boxes containing 102 small plastic bags with 4.5 kilograms of psilocybin mushrooms.

While magic mushrooms were once opening sold in Kuta, but have been banned with the possession, production or sale the fungi becoming a felony on January 1, 2015.

The two men arrested by police will be charged on Indonesia’s anti-narcotics law of 2009 and subject to imprisonment for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years.

The men told police they have been selling the mushrooms in Kuta since 2013. They purchase the mushrooms for Rp. 200,000 per kilogram and can net a profit of up to Rp. 1 million each day selling “magic mushroom juice.”

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Bi-Lateral Cooperation to Increase Tourism
Indonesia and Singapore Resolve to Cooperate to Promote Tourism

Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya says cooperation in tourism promotion by Singapore and Indonesia is mutually beneficial given Singapore’s role as an international transit hub.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Yahya went on to say that the National Government has designated Jakarta to serve as the business center in order to secure investment in infrastructure projects across Indonesia, while Bali has been selected to act as a tourism hub for travel beyond Bali.

The Tourism Minister added: “Indonesia benefits from the large amount of traffic to Singapore. I have therefore decided to work closely with Singapore in tourism.”

In response, Singapore Minister of Industry and Trade, Lim Hng Kiang, declared tourism is the sector that can serve as an example of mutually benefit cooperation between Indonesia and Singapore capable of creating a “multiplier effect” beneficial to the economic development of both nations 
Singapore hopes to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia on tourism covering cooperation on cruise ship tourism in August 2016.

Singapore views the decision by the Government of Indonesia to provide visa-free visits to the citizens of 169 countries as a policy that will increase tourism visits to Indonesia via Singapore.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Yahya expressed his wish that the 15 million foreign tourists that visit Singapore each year can be encouraged to extend their holidays and visit the nearby Riau islands of Indonesia. Yahya said that 90% of the international tourists who visit the Riau islands arrive via Singapore.


Machines Do it Better at AirAsia
AirAsia Introduces 100% Automated Check-In System at the Bali Airport

AirAsia has introduced an automated “auto drop bag” technology to improve its services to passengers flying via Bali.

As reported via the National News Agency Antara, AirAsia passengers in Bali holding boarding passes can now hand in their own baggage without the assistance of a check-in attendant.

Passengers who checked in via a “self-check-in” station and have been given a boarding pass are able to proceed directly the ‘Auto Drop Bag” facility and merely leave their bag.

The “Auto Drop Bag” facility is available for international passengers holding boarding passes between three and one hour before departure, or between two and one hour before departure for domestic passengers.

AirAsia in Bali has prepared seven automated kiosk at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, three in the international departure terminal and four in the domestic terminal.

At the designated kiosks passengers must weigh their own bags and then enter their ticket code, answering questions on personal data via a touch screen. Passengers will also be asked by the kiosk system for details on the contents of their luggage.

At the end of the process, the kiosk will automatically issue baggage labels and a boarding pass.

AirAsia says the entire process takes less than three minutes to complete.

The Bali “drop bag” system is a prototype that AirAsia plans to eventually introduce at all their Indonesian destinations.


Third Time Charmed
Bali and Beyond Travel Fair Vastly Improved in its 3rd Edition. New Dates Set for BBTF 2017

The Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF-2016) held June 23-35, 2016 was opened by the Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, on Thursday, June 23, 2016.

BBTF 2016 brought 168 sellers from Bali and other emerging tourism destinations including Toraja, Flores, Wakatobi, Central Java and East Kalimantan together with 222 buyers traveling to Bali from 30 different countries.

The first two days were dedicated to B2B meetings between sellers and buyers with the third day, Saturday, June 25th open to the general public.

he BBTF 2016 press conference Ketut Ardana, Chairman of BBTF 2016, expressed his gratitude for such a positive turnout. He also spoke about the various improvements that had been made for this year’s event. “I would like to outline a number of programs that were unique to BBTF 2016. This year we held a tourism seminar, four different post tours for buyers and media, and speedy networking sessions for sellers to meet even more buyers,” said Ardana.

BBTF 2016 earned compliments and praise for securing more buyers in comparison to the same events held over the previous two years. As a result, scheduled meetings between sellers and buyers were more productive.

Ardana announced that BBTF 2017 will be held June 7-11, 2017, and co-hosted in conjunction with South Sumatera. The representative of South Sumatra Province, Eko Agus Riyanto, said: "The government of South Sumatra would like to express its congratulations for the success of BBTF 2016. We have seen a lot of interaction between buyers and sellers. Therefore, as part of our preparation for the Asian Games in 2018, the South Sumatra government is willing to co-host the BBTF 2017."

Commenting on BBTF 2016, Ian Gerrit from Venture Holidays commenting on the Bali travel event said: “It created a unique platform for us to meet old friends as well as forge new partnerships and take a look at some exciting products. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for everyone to network. The timing of BBTF has been absolutely perfect as it’s the right contracting time for our market.”

haus, a buyer for the German market added: “I strongly endorse BBTF and believe it could become an international event that showcases Indonesia and is on par with other travel exhibitions around the world. I hope that there are more sellers from all over Indonesia together with Bali hotels for BBTF 2017.”

“As a seller, I believe that we need to have signature event for our tourism industry, and I believe that BBTF has the potential to become even bigger and better. I liked the idea of the speedy networking sessions, but I do feel the timing needs to be improved. However, overall I’m happy with the amount of transactions we made during the event,” said Arya Wirawan from Archipelago International.


Infrastructure First, Visitors Later
Kintamani Festival on Hold While Museum Geopark Batur Gets its House in Order

BaliPost.com reports that the Festival Kintamani first held by the Bangli Regency in 2015 at the Museum Geopark Batur will probably not be held in 2016. Organizers say the reason for the cancellation is to allow the Bangli Regency to focus on improving its tourism infrastructure at the Museum Geopark Batur in Kintamani.

The Head of the Bangli Regency Tourism Service (Disbudpar), I Wayan Adnyana, on Monday, June 27, 2016, said it remains unclear whether the Kintamani Festival will be held in 2016 or not. Adding, “it all depends on whether there are funds available or not.”

Offering a more definitive view suggesting that there will be no Kintamani Festival in 2016 was the Regent of Bangli, I Made Gianyar, who said his office was busy focusing on improving visitor facilities in Kintamani. He said a number of tourism facilities in Kintamani, especially in Penelokan, are in a damaged state and will be repaired. There are also plans afoot for the creation of new tourism facilities to be erected at Kintamani. Adding, “the essence is that we will repair and upgrade facilities first.”

The Bangli Regent said he would regret if it comes to pass that the annual hosting of the Kintamani Festival must be interrupted. He admitted that the Kintamani Festival held in November 2015 and the Festival Danau Batur held a few years ago both have the potential to become effective ways of promoting Kintamani Tourism both in terms of the area’s beautiful panoramas and unique local culture.

In 2015 a four-day Festival Kintamani was held at the Museum Geopark Batur. Comprised of tourism seminars, handicraft exhibitions, agricultural displays and cultural attractions - the Festival cost some Rp. 725 million to conduct, paid by funds from the Bangli Regency and the Tourism Ministry.

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Taking Out the Trash
New Rules for Residential and Commercial Trash Disposal for Denpasar, Bali Effective July 1, 2016

In keeping with a policy announced by the Mayor of Denpasar, the way in which household and local business trash is handled has changed, effective July 1, 2016.

As reported by Denpost.com, trash that was once hauled away by the Hygiene and Parks Department (DKP) is now the responsibility of each local community (desa/lurah).

Mayoral Decree No. 11 of 2016 stipulates that beginning on July 1st Denpasar resident are no longer allowed to place their trash on the roadside for municipal pick up. Residents are now obliged to place trash in temporary receptacles or follow trash disposal systems set up and run by their local community.

Those found to be ignoring or disobeying local trash disposal rules could be fined up to Rp. 50 million or imprisoned for 3 months.

Under the new rules, local community leaders have the added responsibility to create trash disposal working teams who will haul away refuse to Temporary Trash Disposal Facilities (TPSS) using 3-wheeled vehicles or trash carts. The DKP will then take charge; hauling trash to rubbish dumps (TPA).

A member of Commission III of the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar), Wayan Suwirya, has expressed concern that handing over the disposal of trash to local communities will be thwarted by a lack of TPSS centers and the lack of land designated to establish additional temporary trash holding facilities


Leaving on a Jet Plane
Bali’s Airport Lays on Entertainment for Peak Season Travelers

During the peak travel period of Lebaran when millions of Indonesia embark on annual homecoming or holiday journeys the management of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport prepared a number of live entertainments for the enjoyment of passengers waiting for flights to depart.

As reported by the States News Agency Antara, the general manager of PT Angkasa Pura I that manages the Airport, Trikora Harjo, told the press that a number of musical entertainments, including traditional gamelan and bamboo rindik orchestras, were booked to perform.

Angkasa Pura also prepared “kidzones” with games and entertainment suitable for younger travelers, a free Internet corner and “selfie” picture locales.

For the first time, the airport authority has also prepared small orchid garden displaying four different species of exotic flowers interspersed among the passengers waiting-areas.

Waiting passengers welcomed the welcoming atmosphere and entertainments in Bali Airport’s departure terminals.

The number of air traffic passengers departing Bali on June 30, 2016 (H-6) totaled 15,771 domestic passengers and 14,743 international passengers – an increase of 114% over the same dates for Lebaran 2015.

Domestic arrivals to Bali on H-6 reached 15,650, a total 11% more than H-6 2015 while international arrivals hit 14,403 – up 131% over last year.

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The Long Lines Home
Lebaran Traffic Backlogs of 12-kilomteres at Gilimanuk Ferry Crossing

As the traffic flows continued to mount towards the celebration of Idul Fitri 1437 H that falls on Wednesday and Thursday, July 6-7, 2015, the backlog of vehicles waiting to board ferries at Gilimanuk for the crossing Java stretched more than 12-kilometers on Saturday evening, July 2, 2016.

Beritabali.com said that the line of traffic inched slowly towards the harbor as police worked to avoid collisions between vehicle jockeying for position.

rate of off-loading and re-loading arriving and departing ferries was blamed for the long lines in combination with the rush of vehicles leaving Bali to commence the weeklong holiday period.

Port officials counted a 17% increase in vehicles crossing the straits on Saturday when compared to 2015.


Death in a Chair
French Resident Dies After Asthma Attack in Bali

A French expatriate identified as Paul-Jean Pierre (64) was discovered dead at his home on Jalan Tangkuban Perahu in North Kuta on Saturday, June 26, 2016, at 10:00 pm.

Pierre was found dead in a reclining chair.

Staff working for the man said he suffered from asthma and complained of feeling unwell shortly before his death, asking for a massage to relieve his discomfort.

NusaBali said the Frenchman’s body was found by an associate, Aseng (51), who had come to visit the man. Directed to Pierre’s room my a household staff member, both men forced open a locked door, to discover the lifeless body within reclining on a chair.

Authorities estimate that the Frenchman had died at least one hour before his body was found. An examination of the body and the scene of his death have led police to draw a preliminary conclusion that the man died due to chronic illness.

The police investigation continues.


A Political Party Riddled with Corruption?
Bali Legislator from Partai Demokrat Arrested by KPK

The Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK) has arrested another leading Balinese Politician in a sting operation conducted on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Under lock-down arrest is Partai Demokrat politician and National House of Representative (DPR-RI) member I Putu Sudiartana.

As reported by BaliPost.com, Sudiartana, also known as Putu Leong, is the second major Partai Demokrat politician to be involved a corruption case following the conviction and imprisonment of former State Minister Jero Wacik.

The chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Partai Demokrat, I Made Mudarta, said: “I have just received the news, I am shocked and disappointed that this has happened because we hope that our officials will become champions and serve as good examples to the public.”

Continuing, Mudarta added, without discounting Putu Leong’s presumption of innocence, that: “If a political party is viewed in the same way as you view a country; a country is comprised of many people. If a member of the public does something wrong – steals, pickpockets, rapes or consumes narcotics - then only that person is wrong in the eyes of the law, not the entire country. This also applies to political parties, including the Partai Demokrat.”

Putu Leong currently serves as the treasurer of the Central Board of the Partai Demokrat. The Partai Demokrat has been allocated 9 chairs in the DPR-RI, but only 7 are effective with the imprisonment of Jero Wacik and the imminent indictment of Putu Leong. Despite accepting the guilty verdict of the Court and a prison sentence of four years, Jero Wacik has yet to tender his resignation from the party.

Putu Leong was taken into custody by the KPK who claim to have proof of the politician receiving gratification in the form of a Rp. 500 million transfer and a Singapore Dollar 40,000 cash payment from the head of the highway infrastructure team of West Sumatra.

As reported by Tempo.co, the political party of Indonesia’s former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who also serves as party chairman, has been riddled with major corruption cases. Yudhoyono who as President labeled corruption as “extraordinary crime” requiring an extraordinary response, has seen the following politicians he selected to serve in high-ranking positions go to jail:
  • Andi M. Mallarangeng – the former Minister of Youth and Sports sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined Rp. 200 million for his involvement in the “Herlambang Project.”
  • Anas Urbaningrum – the former chairman of the Partai Demokrat sentenced to 14 years in prison fined Rp. 5 billion and assessed Rp. 57 billion in damages in the “Herlambang Project.
  • Hartati Murdaya – former member of the Partai Demokrat Supervisory Council sentenced to 2 years and eight months in prison and fined Rp. 150 million in the “Buol Corruption” case.
  • Jero Wacik – Former State Minister holding two portfolios and the deputy secretary general of the supervisory council of the Partai Demokrat sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rp. 150 million for corrupting operational funds while serving as a State Minister.
  • Sutan Bhatoegana - Former Chairman of the Partai Demokrat sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined Rp. 500 million for corruption of Ministerial funds from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy (ESDM).
  • Muhammad Nazaruddin – Former Treasurer of the Partai Demokrat sentenced to 6 years in prison and fined Rp. 1 billion for money laundering and corruption in the building of the Wisma Atlet.
  • Angelina Sondakh Former Deputy-Secretary General of the Partai Demokrat sentenced to 10 years in prison, fined Rp. 500 million and ordered to pay damages of Rp. 2.5 billion plus US$1.2 million in the Wisma Atlet corruption case.
  • Amrun Daulay – Former member of the DPR sentenced to 17 months in prison for corruption in the procurement of sewing machines and cattle by the Social Ministry.
  • Sarjan Taher – Former member of the DPR sentenced to four years and six months in prison for corruption surrounding the Tanjung Api-api Port.
  • As'ad Syam – Former member of the DPR sentenced to four years in prison for corruption at the PLTD Muraojambi power plant project.
  • Agusrin M. Najamudin - Former Governor of Bengkulu sentenced to four years in prison for corrupting UN funds.
  • Djufri – Member of the DPR sentenced to four years prison for corruption in purchasing land for the Mayoralty of Bukittinggi.
  • Murman Effendi - Former Regent of Seluma sentenced to 2 years in prison for bribing members of the DPRD.
  • Yusak Yaluwo – Former Regent of Boven sentenced to four years and six months for corruption of the regency’s budget.
  • Abdul Fattah – Former Regent of Batanghari sentenced to 1 year and 2 months for corruption in the procurement of fire trucks.
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In Need of a Bromo Seltzer
Bromo Volcano in East Java Showing Increased Level of Volcanic Activity

The volcanic monitoring station for Mount Bromo in East Java is reporting increased seismic activity on the 2,329-meter high mountain.

Speaking to the State News Agency Antara, a worker assigned to the monitoring station said on Wednesday, June 29, 2016: “The activity on Mount Bromo has increased significantly since June 11, 2016, especially over the past two days.”

On June 29th at 8:00 am local time the mountain was shrouded by a volcanic ash and smoke rising to between 200 to 1,000 meters from the peak of Mount Bromo that was drifting in a southwesterly direction.

Explosions of moderate to strong intensity were recorded as ash fell on the nearby village of Ngadisari.

Mount Bromo remains under a status of alert (waspada).

The active volcano usually records tremors measuring 2 millimeters on local recording devices. This level of activity doubled to 4 millimeters on June 28th.

Because of this heightened level of volcanic activity, tourists are now prohibited from getting closer than 1-kilomter from the active caldera. Expert observers insist visits to Bromo remain safe providing a distance of 1-kilomter is maintained from the mountain’s peak.

Those getting closer than one-kilometer to the volcano are at some risk of breathing difficulties due to inhaling sulfuric fumes or being hit by rocks and other materials expelled by the mountain.

Experts expect the current level of increased explosions to continue for the indefinite future.


Expect Travel Delays
Bali Airport Authorities Pin Point Dates for the Idul Fitri Travel Boom

The Bali Airport Authority, PT Angkasa Pura I, is predicting that passenger traffic during the Idul Fitri 1437 H holiday travel period for those commencing the annual journey will peak on Tuesday, July 5, one day before the actual holiday.

The peak of return travelers is pegged for July 8, 2016 – two days after Lebaran.

To enhance safety during the holiday, a total of 1,500 security personnel have been deployed comprised of Police, police mobile brigade (Brimob), health officials, the three branches of the armed forces, national search and rescue officials Airport security.

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Preying on the Young
Bali Court Hears How 68-Year-Old Australian Man Sexually Abused 16 Underage Girls

A 68-year old Australian man accused of molesting underage Balinese girls has heard testimony in a Denpasar Court on how he seduced his victims with gifts and cash payment.

As reported by RadarBali.com, Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis (68) is said to have lured at least 16 young girls between the ages of 8 and 17 with gifts of food, handbags, shoes, teeth braces, bicycles, and Rp. 100,000 notes.

The victims told the Court how he would bathe them and touch them in an inappropriate manner.

During a closed court session, prosecutors and victims detailed how the aging Australian sexually abused girls that included youngsters under the age of 8 years in 2014 and 2015 at his residences in Kuta and Tabanan.

The Australian, who claims he has no funds to hire an attorney, is being charged with multiple counts of sexual criminal abuse of children and could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.


What’s in a Name, Anyway?
Australian Using Multiple Passports with Multiple Names May Do Multiple Years in a Bali Prison

An Australian man faces a possible 5-7 years in an Indonesian prison for traveling to Bali on a stolen identity using false passports.

Shaun Edward Davidson, also known as Eddie Lonsdale, was reportedly avoiding jail for a drug offense in Australia when he traveled to Bali in February of 2016 using a passport issued in the name Michael John Bayman.

Suggesting at the very least poor scrutiny at Bali’s Airport checkpoint, the Australian managed to use a passport with a photo that, according to Radar Bali, bears no resemblance to him to make his entry to Bali.

Several months later, Davidson was arrested by immigration officers at the Rabasta Hotel in Kuta. When initially confronted by officers, the man proclaimed his innocence insisting he was, in fact, Bayman.

A subsequent investigation by immigration officials also uncovered a Temporary Stay Permit (KITAS) held by Davidson issued in the name of Eddie Lonsdale.

The man reportedly paid Rp. 1.5 million for the falsified KITAS.

Charged with falsifying immigration documents Davidson could be sent to prison for 5 to 7 years.

Speaking through an interpreter Davidson told the court that the charges against him are incorrect.

An attorney appointed by the Court to represent the Australian did not attend his most recent court proceeding.

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No Toll for Truckers
Bali Toll Road Closed to Truck Traffic Over Busy Lebaran Period

To reduce traffic congestion in South Bali during the busy Lebaran Holiday period, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is banning all goods trucks from traveling on the expressway from the stroke midnight on June 30, 2016, until midnight on July 10, 2016.

Goods trucks with more than 2-axles, semi-trailers, container trucks and trailer trucks are banned from the highway throughout the designated period.

Exempted from the prohibition, however, are trucks delivering fuel, trucks carrying basic food stocks and transport offering free-of-charge transport to people traveling back to their home village for the holidays.

A special Command Post (Posko) to assist travelers over the Lebaran holidays will also be in operation on the Bali Mandara Toll Road.

Those wishing to expedite their travel during the coming holiday are urged to purchase an E-money card that will substantially lessen waiting time at the entrances to the toll road.


By the Skin of Our Teeth
344 Balinese Join Mass Tooth Filing in Denpasar

Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika attended a “mass tooth filing” in Denpasar held on Sunday, July 3, 2016.

The ceremony saw 344 people, predominated by young men and women in traditional dress, have their teeth and canine teeth filed flat in a ceremony that is a mandatory right of passage for every devout Balinese.

Speaking at the ceremony and quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Pastika said he hoped the tooth filing ceremony will precipitate adult behavior and more thoughtful actions among those participating in the ritual.

The Bali-Hindu religion “mepandes” ceremony, or tooth filing, is typically done when children enter their teenage years or for older teens on the threshold of adulthood. By filing the rough edges off one’s smile, the ceremony is also meant to usher in a more refined deportment free of ill-mannered behavior.

The Governor took the occasion to express his thanks to the organizers of the mass tooth filing who provided a simple ceremony that was conducted in accordance with religious and cultural norms.

50 “sangging” or traditional tooth filers performed the ceremony for 344 people.


May Be Good!
Bali by the Numbers: Huge Surge in May Tourist Arrivals

Month-on-month, foreign tourist arrivals to Bali for May 2016 at 391,027 surged ahead 32.11% when compared to the same month in 2015.

Foreign tourist arrival figures covering the first five months of January – May 2016 totaled 1,862,243 a year-on-year improvement of 19.71%.

Projecting ahead for the entire calendar year of 2016, if Bali manages to maintain the current growth rate of 19.71%, it will end the year with an unprecedented 4.8 million foreign visitors.

an arrivals to Bali remain strong, up 19.96% month-on-month at 92,977 representing a 23.04 market share of all foreign tourism arrivals. January-May Australian arrivals are up 23.04%.

Mainland Chinese (PRC) arrivals month-on-month for May grew an astounding 83.32% totaling 68,984. Year-on-year PRC tourists represent a 20.69 market share of all foreign arrivals and are up 20.69%.

Visitors from the UK grew 54.36% in May totaling 17,238. For 2016 through the end of May 2016, UK arrivals are up 48.69%. Observers expect this to change in a post-Brexit world as the sudden decrease in the value of the Pound impacts negatively on UK travel abroad.

India, despite the lack of direct flight connections to Bali, saw a 66.9% increase in arrivals in May 2016 as compared to May 2015. If plans materialize to create direct flight connections between Bali and India, expect Indian travel to demonstrate even more dramatic rates of growth. Year-on-year through the end of May Indian arrivals are up 61.60%.

Southeast Asia regional travel to Bali is soft with year-on-year arrivals down across the board: Malaysia (-5.51%), South Korea (-6.52%), Singapore (-3.41%), Taiwan (-1.71%), Hong Kong (-18.31%), and the Philippines (-6.36%).

Meanwhile, excellent improvement prevails in the following markets: USA (+35.48%), France (+27.7%), Germany (+39.72%), the Netherlands (+17.84%), New Zealand (+15.29%), Russia (+29.94%), Canada (+25.64%) and Sweden (+54.82%).



A Race to Bank On
Bank Mandiri Returns as Silver Sponsor of the 9th Herbalife Bali International Triathlon

Bank Mandiri - Indonesia’s largest bank has returned as a silver sponsor of the 9th Herbalife Bali International Triathlon set to run on Indonesia’s world famous tropical resort island on Sunday, August 14, 2016.

First held in 2007, the 9th running of what was Indonesia’s first Olympic Distance Triathlon event is expected to attract some 1,500 athletes. Operating from a new base in the picturesque traditional community of Sanur, the 2016 race will feature a sunrise start with a swim off Mertasari Beach, followed by a bike route that visits nearby Serangan Island and travels along the Ngurah Rai Bypass road. Cyclists will return to the festive race headquarter on Mertasari Beach to transition to the final leg – a running race through the welcoming streets of Sanur.

As in years past, the 9th Herbalife Bali International Triathlon will offer both a full-Olympic distance event and a sprint distance event – open to both individuals and relay teams. In addition, a popular 5-kilometer fun run will also be held as part of the morning's activities.

Participants in the race will be welcomed to an opening reception, race briefings, bike blessing, a pre-race high carbohydrate dinner, a full-morning race expo on Sanur beach and a post-race gathering. While title sponsor honors belong to Herbalife Indonesia – the worldwide nutritional organization now found in 90 nations. Bank Mandiri returns for the second year as a “Silver Sponsor.”

Bank Mandiri has more than 1,700 branches and more than 11,000 ATM machines on call in every corner of the Indonesian Republic and in six overseas locations. The banks have six principal subsidiaries: Bank Syariah Mandiri, Mandiri Sekuritas, Mandiri Tunas Finance, AXA Mandiri Financial Services, Bank Sinar Harapan Bali, and Mandiri AXA General Insurance.

Bank Mandiri’s support of the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon reflects their institutional interest in championing worthwhile community events. In addition to sponsoring their second Bali Triathlon event, the Bank has also given generously in the past in support of the SEA Games and a number of national marathon races.

Bank officials see the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon as an opportunity to support both sports and tourism in Indonesia and underline to the international participants coming to participate in Bali the Bank's role as not only Indonesia’s leading bank, but also their growing presence in the international banking sector.

Commenting on Bank Mandiri’s return as a silver sponsor of the Herbalife Bali International Triathlon 2016, race director Arie Sukirno said: “We warmly welcome Bank Mandiri's return as partner again this year. This partnership brings together two iconic institutions – Herbalife and Bank Mandiri – both companies with extensive and intensive ties with the Indonesian community. Since established in 2005, HBIT has been a pioneer of a world class sporting event and we are proud that Bank Mandiri supports the next phase of our journey to make Bali a leading sports tourism destination.”

Herbalife Bali International Triathlon Website


Run for Fun
Valuable Draw Prizes to Participants Joining 5km Fun Run at Herbalife Bali International Triathlon

The 9th Herbalife International Triathlon on Sunday, August 14, 2016, while hosting individual and relay teams undertaking the challenging Olympic and Sprint Distance events that entail swimming, cycling and running - will also include a colorful and entertaining 5-km Fun Run as part of its race day festivities.

Flagged off at 7:00 am from a starting point on Mertasari Beach, the 5km race has proven in past editions to be a big hit among local resident and Island visitors opting for a more relaxed approach to a morning run than the highly competitive triathlon events held on the same day.

And, while medals are given to the top finishers, a large number of attractive prizes ranging from a new motorcycle to household electronics and appliances will be given to the 5km runners on a lucky draw basis.

Online registration is available for the 5K Fun Run online 

Tickets are only Rp. 130,000 each and cover a race bib number, race T-shirt, souvenir water bottle, souvenir race book and automatic entry in the draw for the motorcycle and a whole range of other prizes. Each person who successfully crosses the finish line will also receive a commemorative finisher’s medal.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more entering the race

Herbalife Bali International Triathlon


 
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #629
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Bali Update #628
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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 #600
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Bali Update #599
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Bali Update #598
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #592
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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 #581
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #578
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #572
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
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Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #563
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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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
April 23, 2007

Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
March 12, 2007

Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
February 12, 2007

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 #524
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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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 #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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