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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1044 - 05 September 2016

IN THIS UPDATE


A Medical Evolution from Darwin
High Ranking Medical Team from Bali Visits Royal Darwin Hospital in Australia to Study Standards and Procedures

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has set a team of health professionals to Darwin, Australia in preparation for the approaching opening of the new Bali Mandara Hospital.

Quoted by NusaBali, the Provincial Spokesman, I Dewa Gede Mahendra Putra, said: “While the team is in Australia, they will view directly the operations of the Royal Darwin Hospital which we hope can become a model for the future operations of the Bali Mandara Hospital."

The team of Bali health professionals that visited Darwin August 28-31 was led by the Head of the Provincial Health Department. In addition to visiting the Royal Darwin Hospital, the Bali team also visited the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC).

The team had been tasked to review matters relating to quality of service, security, supporting infrastructure and other major areas affecting the daily operations of the Royal Darwin Hospital.

Putra said the Bali team wants to also obtain an overview of how Darwin medical professionals prepare to manage disasters, emergencies, and natural disaster.

The idolization by the Balinese of the medical system in place in Darwin is tied to a long-standing cooperation and assistance to Bali by the medical professionals of Australia’s Northern Territory. The presence of the Bali Mandara Eye Hospital and the Burns Unit at the Sanglah General Hospital are both due to assistance extended by Darwin to the Balinese.

The Governor hopes that continuing assistance from Australia will help Bali achieve its goals of establishing world-class medical facilities for the Island.

During an April 2016 visit to Darwin, Governor Pastika was deeply impressed with the level of professional management he saw at the Royal Darwin Hospital, saying he hoped the Bali Mandara Hospital, set to open in 2017, in Bali could emulate the standards and procedures in place in Australia’s Northern Territory.


When You Say ‘I Do’
Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Bali Declares Catholics Must Use a Church when Exchanging their Wedding Vows. Rules Reviewed for Catholic Weddings in Bali.

Because of the increasingly popular trend for Roman Catholics marrying in Bali, the Bishop of the Diocese of Denpasar, Monsignor Silvester San, has issued an edict stipulating that Catholic weddings in Bali must only take place within a Catholic Church.

As reported by hidupkatolik.com, all nuns, priests, and parishioners within the diocese were informed in writing on April 26,2016, of the Bishop’s decree, together with similar notifications sent to neighboring dioceses in Indonesia and abroad. In recent years, Catholics from other parts of Indonesia have traveled to Bali to undertake the sacrament of marriage, but often with plans to celebrate their marriage vows at a hotel chapel, private villas, romantic beach or at a local tourist objects.

The bishop views such wedding ceremonies as forming part of a “tourist package” and potentially lacking the spirituality provided by a wedding in a Catholic Church.

Because of this, Bishop San issued a pastoral decree that conforms to the Rules of the Catholic Church that includes a number of key stipulations.

First, under Canon Law, parochial priests appointed by the Bishop of Denpasar can consecrate a legal marriage between Catholics in within the diocese. The bishop expressed the desire that, ideally, at least one of the betrothed will be a person whose place of residence is within the Bali diocese.

Second, the sacrament of marriage between a Catholics, and a Catholic and a non-Catholic must be performed in a parochial church or chapel acknowledges as such by the Catholic Church. Marriage ceremonies including a Roman Catholic and performed in Bali cannot be held outside of a church - such as a hotel, private home or a tourist site.

When authorized by a parochial pastor, marriage ceremonies are allowed in the chapels of monasteries, seminaries and retreat houses where a parochial church or chapel is not available. The Denpasar Bishop’s ruling to limit places where marriages can be conducted is prompted by a desire to preserve the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage and avoid possible violations of Church Law.

Third, Catholic marriages celebrated in Bali by Catholics from other regions of Indonesia or from location overseas can only be conducted with the permission of the Bishop as the highest-ranking church officials in the Diocese. Such permission can be obtained by sending a formal written request to the Bishop accompanied by supporting documents from the home diocese of the couple planning to marry.

Fourth, parochial pastors serving in the Diocese of Bali are required to contact the Bishop of Bali and receive a declaration of Nihil Obstat stating the Bishop has no objection to a marriage ceremony conducted in Bali for a couple from a diocese outside of Bali or for those who have no fixed address linked to a specific diocese.

Five, the parochial pastor of a church has the responsibility of officiating at the sacrament of marriage. Because of this, marriages performed by the rector of a seminary, rector of a monastery, rector of a retreat house, head of a religious institution, cardinals or papal emissaries are invalid unless the right to conduct the marriage was delegated in advance by the parochial pastor of the church where the wedding is held or, alternatively, from the Bishop.

And, six, the marriage sacrament in the diocese of Bali must always be in accordance with the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It is therefore not permitted to celebrate the sacrament of marriage during certain periods of the years such as the period immediately preceding  Easter, Holy Week and Advent.


To Catch a Thief
Police Catch Thief and Recover Items Stolen from Indonesian Celebrity Legislator While Holidaying at a North Kuta Bali Villa

Anang Hermansyah, the former Indonesian singer and music producer now turned lawmaker in the National House of Representatives (DPR-RI), was the victim of a robbery while holidaying with his family at Villa Elanora in North Kuta.

Beritabali.com reports that Anang on July 31, 2016, left with his family for a late afternoon relaxing at nearby Finns' Bar when he realized that he had left a camera lens at the villa. He asked an assistant, Sriani Lestari, to travel back to the villa and fetch the forgotten piece of camera equipment.

An hour later the National Legislator received a phone call from his assistant advising that the camera bag was missing from the villa and that his suitcase was discovered in an open condition.

Further investigation revealed that the camera bag, four lenses, a tripod, Macbook laptop, a Galaxy note, iPad and iPhone 4s were all missing.

Anang reported the theft to the North Kuta Police who sent a team to the villa to investigate the theft.

Police later learned that a young man had been trying to sell 3 camera lenses, iPad and a Macbook to a store in Denpasar where he posed as an immigration officer to the store owner.

The store owner was unable to purchase the items from the man, but reached an agreement to take the items on consignment.

Police laid a trap for the thief that resulted in his arrest on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Police arrested a man named Abdullah Hakim and retrieved the missing items taken from Anang’s rented villa.

Police also seized a Honda Scoopy used by the man from Banyuwangi, East Java in committing the theft.

Under police interrogation, Hakim told police how he gained entry to the villa by climbing a fence and entering the villa through an unlocked kitchen door. The man was known to police and had an arrest record for robbing villas in Kuta.

Anang Hermansyah expressed his gratitude to the Badung Police Precinct, praising the professionalism displayed in investigating the theft, arresting the thief and recovering his stolen property.


Mandarin Made Easy
Government Claims Surge in Chinese Travelers Makes it Necessary to Ease Restrictions Against Foreigners Working as Mandarin Language Tour Guides

Beritabali.com quotes Hiramsyah Sambudhy Thaib, the head of a Ministry of Tourism team charged with accelerating tourism development in 10 key destinations, as saying that the government accepts the necessity of legalizing Chinese working in Bali and other parts of Indonesia as tour guides until such a time as Indonesia can train a sufficient number of national tour guides with a Chinese language capability.

“We know the situation in the field,” said Hiramsyah. Adding: “We admit that they exist (illegal Chinese tour guides), because the number of (legal) Chinese tour guides is limited. This (legalizing foreign guides) is better than losing the growing number of Chinese tourists. In the short term, it’s permissible that we use tour guides from China. But gradually we will bring this situation into line.”

The Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) has called on the Provincial Government of Bali to create special enforcement teams to take corrective steps against illegal tourism workers from China. ASITA claims the illegal and unlicensed guide involve themselves in unscrupulous pricing practices while serving tourists in Bali and, in doing so, harm Bali’s tourism image.

Separately, the Deputy in charge of Manpower Development at the Indonesian Tourism Industry, Ahman Sya, confirmed Thaib’s statements, saying that the Provincial Government of Bali has recently eased restrictions on Mandarin speaking guides working as guides in Bali, granting special one-year licenses, shorter than the normal period of 3 years.

Foreigners working as Mandarin speaking guides must be accompanied by a licensed guide from the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI).

Meanwhile, the HPI confirmed that there are 585 candidate guides waiting to be tested and certified by the HPI in the near future.

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It's a Fine Day for a Cigarette in Bali
Ad Hoc Courts in Denpasar, Bali Fine 30 for Smoking in Public Places and 5 for Illegal Disposing of Waste Water

More than 20 people caught smoking illegally in public spaces and 5 disposing sewage in a manner not in compliance with the law underwent “fast trials” conducted in ad hoc courtrooms erected at the Ubung Bus Terminal on Tuesday, August 30, 2016.

Beritabali.com reports that the 20 smokers were apprehended for smoking in forbidden public areas such as the Ubung Bus Terminal, the Puputan Field in downtown Denpasar, the Limintang Field and the Wangaya Hospital. The 5 cited for the unauthorized discharge of sewage were caught disposing of wastewater resulting from the process of making tempe and tahu.

The fast trials, presided over by a judge from the Denpasar District Court, fined the errant smokers Rp. 100,000 each and those disposing of wastewater Rp. 500,000 each.

Denpasar enforcement officials report that an increasing number of actions against smokers are underway to educate and socialize the public about laws against smoking in public places.

The people fined for the illegal disposal of wastewater were tempe and tahu producers caught throwing wastewater in local rivers.

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Tired of Burning Tires
Bali Police Chief Warns Anti-Reclamation Demonstrators that he Will Take Stern Steps Against those Breaking the Law in Demonstrating on behalf of ForBALI

The chief of the Bali Provincial Police has issued a stern warning to those involved in anarchical acts in connection with protests against the reclamation of Benoa Bay.

As reported by NusaBali, Inspector General Sugeng Priyanto issued a warning on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, to the anti-reclamation group ForBALI that he will take firm action in response to unlawful acts.

The warning was made by Bali’s top policeman at a meeting attended by the Coordinator of ForBALI Wayan Gendo Suardana, a team of supporting advocates led by Made Ariel Suardana, the vice-chairman of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) Nyoman Sugawa Korry, academics, mass organizations, government officials and representatives of many local communities who have declared their opposition to the reclamation of Benoa Bay.

Priyanto said the public is free to express their political aspirations, but only in accordance established rules and regulations. The Inspector General expressed his strong displeasure with demonstrations staged in August that caused the closure of a major road in Kuta and included the burning of tires by demonstrators.

Priyanto said the aggressive actions of demonstrators prompted an urgent call from the National Chief of Police, General Tito Karnavian in Jakarta.

He warned that he would use the power entrusted to him as Chief of Police for the Province if demonstrators continued to burn tires or participate in other illegal acts.

The Coordinator of ForBALI, Gendo Suardana, expressed his appreciation for the guidelines issued by the Provincial Chief of Police, while at the same time stated his disappointment with the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) for failing to take a stand in the lingering controversy over the Benoa Bay Reclamation. Adding, “The DPRD-Bali could recommend to the Governor to write to the President and ask that the Conservation Area status of Benoa Bay be restored and that the Presidential Decree 51/2014 enacted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono be revoked in order to restore Benoa Bay as a conservation area."

Gendo sees the burning of tires on public roads as an expression of the unhappiness of the public with the performance of their elected representatives. Discussing the day on which the tires were burnt, Gendo said: “When we went to the DPRD-Bali, no one was prepared to meet with us, claiming they were busy with working sessions. To date, we have never resorted to anarchy and always behaved in an orderly manner.”

Spokesmen for the DPRD-Bali now insist they were prepared to meet with demonstrators at a time that is mutually agreeable.

Made Ariel Suardana of the Advocacy team ForBALI accused the police of over-reacting when demonstrators burned tires. Suardana said the tire burning incident lasted only 5-10 minutes and caused minimal disturbance to public order.

Related Article

Tensions Rising in Benoa Bay Protests


The Peaceful Resolution of Disputes
Bali to Host Arbitrage Asia-Pacific Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, October 6-8, 2016

The National Arbitrage Agency (BANI) will act as hosts for the Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (APRAG) and the Arbitrage Asia-Pacific Conference that will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali, October 6-8, 2016.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the Bali Conference has adopted the theme “The Rise of International Commercial Arbitration and Developments Investment Treaty Arbitration: Asia's Response".

The chairman and of BANI, M. Husseyn Umar, explained that the theme was adopted because of the growing role played by international commercial arbitration in the rapid and massive development in Asia.

“In this region, arbitrage is seen as a means of dispute resolution between investors and a sovereign nation. The development is very interesting and a challenge for arbitrage practitioners in Asia,” Umar explained.

With the growing role played by arbitrage in commercial relationships, there is also a call of a uniformity of approach in the arbitration process.

M. Husseyn Umar continued, saying APRAG 2016 will create a forum where international experts in the field of arbitrage can meet and discuss common problems and seek solutions, particularly in the area of arbitrage involving international investors.

Local and international arbitrators, legal experts, government officials and business people will attend the Bali conference.

Current plans call for APRAG 2016 to be opened by the Head of the Supreme Court, Jatta Ali, accompanied by the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) Rosan P. Roeslani.

BANI was formed in 1977 on the initiative of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) as a means of achieving a more satisfactory dispute resolution process.


You Give Me Fever!
Ngurah Rai Airport Installs Thermo Scanners and Special Procedures to Prevent the Zika Virus from Spreading to Bali

The Port Health Office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport have put thermo scanners in place as a step to prevent the spread of the Zika Virus following a large number of confirmed cases of the disease in Singapore and Malaysia.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the chief of the Port Health Office at Ngurah Rai Airport, Lucky Tjahyono, said on Wednesday, August 31, 2016: “We have provided a body temperature detection device. So far, there has yet to be any indication of a passenger arriving with an elevated body temperature.”

The thermo scanner has been placed at the international arrival hall at Bali’s airport.

Members of the Port Health Monitoring Team are paying especially close attention on passengers arriving in Bali from Singapore.

If an arriving passenger is discovered with an elevated body temperature, he or she will be automatically quarantined and transported to the Sanglah General Hospital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified 60 countries in which the Zika virus has been confirmed with 46 of that number rating their Zika crisis as “extraordinary.”

The confirmation of more than 100 Zika Virus cases in Indonesia’s near neighbor of Singapore has put Indonesia on notice to be extra vigilant to prevent a further spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, health officials in Bali and across the Nation are calling on the public to clean any areas capable of containing water, close all water receptacles and bury trash in order to control mosquito populations.


An Inability to Land
New Zealand Woman Arrested at Bali Airport with 0.82 grams of Methamphetamines

Myra Kynna Williams, a 27-year-old New Zealand woman has been arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport after authorities found one gram of methamphetamines in a seat next to her after she arrived on Air Asia XT-801 from Melbourne on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Airport officials say the 26-year-old woman was acting suspiciously, screaming and causing a commotion while she stood in line at the immigration counter.

RadarBali.com said that immigration officers approached her and took her aside to give her a calming drink of water. While resting on a chair in the immigration office, Customs officials were summoned who saw a clip of white powder, suspected to be methamphetamines, lying on the chair where the woman had been resting.

William was brought to the Customs area where a search of her luggage discovered no more narcotics. However, a urinalysis test revealed that the woman had methamphetamines in her system. A further test confirmed the 0.82-gram of white powder discovered on the woman’s chair was methamphetamines.

Police continue to hold the woman in detention as they continue to investigate the case.


Taking Demonstrations and Epidemics in Stride
High Ranking Tourism Official Says Zika Virus and Anti-Reclamation Demonstrations Pose Little Threat to Tourism Arrivals

The International Marketing Deputy for the Ministry of Tourism, Professor Gede Pitana, has dismissed any threat tourism posed by the worldwide Zika epidemic.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Pitana equated the Zika Virus with earlier threats such as SARS, bird flu, swine flu and terrorism.

“I am convinced that this will not affect tourism to Bali and the rest of Indonesia. Rumors like this usually precipitate quick handling, a commotion on many fronts and then the situation quickly returns to normal,” said Pitana while speaking at Udayana University on Thursday, September 1, 2016. He explained that Zika is now the object of a massive global response with temperature scanners being installed at international gateways. Pitana believes this will soon pass as the situation returns to normal.

Pitana said since the outbreak of Zika in the region there has been no appreciable decline in arrivals to Indonesia, with the possible exception of the Japanese market that has dropped 0.46 for travelers from that market to Bali. Pitana says the downturn in Japanese travelers is not due to Zika but due to the state of the Japanese economy.

Addressing Bali, Pitana also discounted any view that continuing demonstrations against the reclamation of Benoa Bay is causing tourist numbers to decline. Adding: “In democratic nations, such as America and Australia, demonstrations are viewed as normal occurrences. So don’t make a big deal about it and also don't allow the demonstrations to become large and anarchical. What’s happened to date is still within the limits of acceptable.”

Pitana said that while the National Police view recent demonstrations in Bali as a threat to tourism, the tourism industry itself does not share this view - seeing the demonstrations as a insignificant threat.


Waste Not, Want Not
Alila Hotels and Resorts Introduces ‘Zero Waste Policy’ for its Bali Properties

Product Update

Alila Hotels & Resorts has implemented a “Zero Waste Policy” across its portfolio of hotels in Bali. The “Alila Zero Waste to Landfill Project” will launch in August at all Alila’s flagship properties in Bali; Alila Villas Uluwatu, Alila Ubud, Alila Manggis and Alila Seminyak. Each property aims to eliminate the trash that is a byproduct of tourism that becomes a permanent part of landfills that blemish holiday destinations.

Bali has long been renowned for its stunning landscapes; rice fields, forests, rivers, beautiful mountains, and beaches, but in recent years Bali’s landfill sites have become an increasing threat to the environment. Their explosive greenhouse gasses – which are 20 times more potent than CO² - are being leached into the farmland and watercourses used by the local communities.

In response to this and as a part of Alila’s commitment to sustainable tourism, the Company has adopted a “zero tolerance” to waste. Each hotel’s PIONEER team (Positive Impact on Nature, Environment and Earth’s Resources) is responsible for upholding their property’s zero-to-landfill status and ensuring Alila is not contributing to the problem. PIONEER teams are also tasked to look at ways to encourage local communities and guests to consider waste and its impact it has on the environment. Initiatives include incentivizing waste collection for local village residents, with primary school kids will be encouraged to bring their waste to school, in return Alila will contribute to the school fund.

Alila will be investing in an Integrated Sustainable Resource Recovery Facility (iSuRRF) and laboratory where all waste will be transformed into value and diverted through a series of simple yet proven technical, biological and engineering systems. A full composting system will be implemented for all organic waste in each hotel. A permaculture organic garden will also be introduced to help develop sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems. The technology will also convert otherwise uneconomic waste plastics like wraps and films into a light green crude oil that will be distilled down to diesel, kerosene, gasoline for reuse in the hotels.

Frederic Flageat-Simon, CEO of Alila Hotels & Resorts commented: “The amount of passion and dedication that has already gone into developing this initiative is inspiring. I am so proud to be part of a team that has such a strong commitment to sustainable tourism.”

Guy Heywood, Chief Operating Officer, added: “Being able to see the benefits of our efforts will hopefully bring home the importance of Zero Waste to Landfill projects, for our employees, for our guests and for the local communities.”

Alila Villas Uluwatu was the first resort in Bali to be a designed and built to “earth check’s” strict environmental standards. Alila Seminyak obtained the EarthCheck “Design and Built” certification in 2014. All Alila properties in Bali are operated to Earth Check standards and subject to yearly audit.


Bali Battens Down its Financial Hatches
Province of Bali Needs Rp. 320 Billion to Meet Current Cash Flow Crisis

The Province of Bali is in the midst of a cash crunch due to delays in the payment of general disbursement from Jakarta (Dana Alokasi Umum) and shortfalls in 2016 tax revenue collections. As reported by NusaBali.com, the province now finds itself Rp. 320 billion short to meet budgeted expenses in the current financial year.

On Tuesday, August 30, 2016, an emergency session to discuss the 2016 budget was convened between the executive and legislative branches of the Provincial government. Leading the legislative delegation was the chairman of the Bali House of Representative (DPR-Bali), Nyoman Adi Wiryatma of the Golkar party faction. Meanwhile the executive branch was led directly by Bali’s Governor, Made Mangku Pastika.

Also participating was the chairman of the Provincial Budget Team (TPAD), Tjokorda Ngurah Pemayun, who also serves as the Provincial Secretary for Bali.

Following the 45-minute close door meeting, the provincial government of Bali requested time from all parties to find the needed Rp. 320 billion to cover shortfalls in the 2016 budget.

In fact, the Provincial Government needs Rp. 653 billion to meet its budget. This amount is comprised by Rp. 153 billion in allocations from the Central Government has been delayed by order of the Minister of Finance. In addition, the Province has managed to collect only Rp. 333 billion of Rp. 500 million in targeted tax revenues. Therefore Rp. 653 billion less Rp. 333 billion results in a shortage in funds of Rp. 320 billion.

Apparently no means of meeting the shortfall in fund was found at the emergency meeting with officials quickly leaving the meeting is an obvious state of concern.

Adi Wiryatama, speaking on behalf of the legislative branch, asked that a scale of priority be given to expenditures designated for public services and public welfare.

Why the Minister of Finance has delayed and suspended payments to Bali remains unclear.

One official, a two-term Regent of Tabanan, pointed out that Bali has nearly Rp. 900 billion on deposit that could be employed to meet current cash shortfalls.

Following the special session by one day, the Governor convened a press conference at which he said steps were underway to keep the wheels of provincial government turning despite the current cash crisis.

Among the emergency steps now in place to reduce expenses is a rationalization of official travel and official meetings. Other provincial expenditures are also under review, with cutbacks expected to be announced soon.

The Governor blamed the inability to reach the targeted tax revenue of Rp. 500 billion on declines in vehicle taxes and reduced rates of taxes from title transfers on motorcycles and cars.

The removal of taxes formerly paid to the province from the sales of alcohol and a slowing world economy were also cited by the Governor as also contributing to the current situation.


Bringing Order to The Temple
Government Preparing to Drastically Reduce Public Access to Central Java’s Historic Borobudur Temple

The government is planning to limit to only 15 people the number of tourists allowed to scale the historic Borobudur Temple in Central Java at any one time.

Quoting Nadjamuddin Ramly, director of heritage and cultural diplomacy from the Ministry of Education and Culture, officials have expressed concerns over the carrying capacity of the 9th Century Buddhist Temple and the sustainability of allowing hundreds of visitors to scale the monument at any one time.

Officials also expressed concerns regarding the structural integrity of the Borobudur Temple if growing numbers of tourists are allowed free range to roam at will and unlimited numbers.

Ramly said the government would soon issue regulations limiting the number of visitors allowed to climb the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The suggested figure of 15 is based on research conducted by experts on the structural capacity of the monument.

Nadjamuddin complained that the Temple has suffered from people who leave litter in the area. Recently the Red Bull beverage company, working without the required permits, filmed a man performing acrobatic flips and runs over the walls and stupas of the 9th Century monument that is the largest Buddhist Temple in the world.

Also contributing to the call to limit the number of visitors to the Borobudur Temple is a shortage of security staff to monitor visitors’ activities.

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A Bunch of Bull


A Numbers Game
Bali by the Numbers: Bali on Track to End 2016 with 4.75 million Foreign Visitors

The foreign tourist arrivals figures to Bali for January-June 2016 are now in showing record number 2.272 million visitors that translates into an 18.58% increase over the same period in 2015.

If this rate of growth is sustained through the end of 2016, Bali can expect to end the year with a record number of some 4.75 million foreign visitors.

6 monthly foreign arrivals totaled 405,835 – a figure that was 12.83% more month-on-month than the 359,702 recorded in June 2015.

Where are the Bali Travelers Coming From?

The bulk of the growth in tourism arrivals to Bali is coming from Mainland China that sent 77,906 tourists to the Island in June – that’s a 28.87% increase over the 60,457 Chinese visitors who came in June 2015. Seen on the aggregate, Chinese visitors January-June 2016 hit 464,022 that is 36.19% more than the same period in 2015.

Australian travelers to Bali in June 2016 totaled 106,443 increasing month-on-month by 12.44% and allowing this market to remain the largest source of visitors to the Island with a 23.62% market share of all foreign arrivals to Bali. Year-on-year Australian arrivals are up 10.89%.

owing major markets traveling to Bali during the first six months of 2016 demonstrated strong growth:
  • Japan (5.09%)
  • United Kingdom (42.79%)
  • India (56.11%)
  • U.S.A. (32.51%)
  • France (26.80%)
  • Germany (33.41%)
  • The Netherlands (18.52%)
  • New Zealand (14.87%)
  • Russia (22.82%)
  • Canada (23.66%
  • Swedish (52.85%)
  • Italian (19.31%)
  • Spain (36.54%)

Disappointing arrival performance over the first half of 2016 was from major markets closer to home:
  • Malaysia (-9.13%)
  • South Korea (-6.61%)
  • Singapore (-8.39%)
  • Thailand (-10.72%)


A Desire to Enter the Jet Age
Plans Under Discussion to Expand Regional Letkol Wisnu Airport at Sumberkima, North Bali to Accommodate Jet Traffic

With plans for a new airport at Kubutambahan in north Bali remaining a distant dream, the regency government of Buleleng is considering lengthening the runway of the Letkol Wisnu Airport in the village of Sumberkima in order to accommodate landing by jet aircraft.

As reported by RadarBali.com, a spokesman for the Buleleng Government has been socializing the idea of increasing the length and capacity of the Sumberkima runway currently used almost exclusively forsmall aircraft from a flight school. According to the Buleleng regional secretary, Dewa Ketut Puspaka, plans to extend the runway have been set forth in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between regency and due investors PT Baruna Indonesia and PT Sakai Singapura.

The investors must now present a detailed plan for the airport upgrade to the Buleleng Government that will  be reviewed and studied by a team led by the Regent of Buleleng, IB Geriastika.

The proposed expansion of the airport and runway will require  an area of 134 hectares.

Dewa Puspaka refused to comment on whether some residents in the area would be forced to relocate if plans to expand the airport go ahead, insisting a review of the detailed plans was the next step.

Means must also be discovered on how to finance the expanded airport.


Sitting on the Fence in the Bay
Leading Academic from Bali’s Udayana University Questions Governments Prevarication on Benoa Bay Project

A leading professor from Bali’s Udayana University who also serves as the chairman of the doctorate program in tourism studies, Professor Dr. Komang Gede Bendesa, has restated his opposition to plans to reclaim Benoa Bay and questions why local governments in Bali appear to support a project so widely opposed by many walks of Balinese society.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, Bendesa said the government’s passive support for the reclamation project is not consistent with research carried out by Udayana University rejecting the reclamation project as incompatible with plans for sustainable tourism in Bali.

“I, as a part of Udayana University, reject the reclamation of Benoa Bay because the project will change the face of Bali. I worry that Bali will no longer be attractive after reclamation is completed,” said Professor Bendesa, speaking at a conference in Bali on promoting cultural and heritage tourism on Friday, September 2, 2016.

Bendesa accused the government of Bali of wrongly proclaiming that the people of Bali can no longer cling to tourism based on nature and culture, insisting that man-made tourism objects must also form a part of the Island’s tourism product mix.

“The government must be made aware that the development of man-made tourism in Bali is not proceeding smoothly as planned by them due to the minimum support of the people. The proof is the Garuda Wisnu Kencana project has sat idle for 20 years, now they want to reclaim Benoa Bay - all inconsistent with the concept of cultural tourism,” warned Bendesa.

The much respected tourism expert also dismissed arguments put forward by those supporting the reclamation of Benoa Bay who claim the project will create 200,000 new jobs in Bali’s tourism sector. Bendesa said there is no connection between the reclamation of Benoa Bay and resolving unemployment and poverty in Bali. He contends that those working in tourism must possess skills and education levels generally beyond the reach of the Island’s poor.

Professor Bendesa is of the opinion that tourism will continue to grow without the help of a reclaimed Benoa Bay, providing the harmony between man, nature, and spirituality of Tri Hita Karana is preserved.

To maintain this harmony of development, Bendesa said the government needs to divert new tourism investment to areas away from the Island’s South to Buleleng, Bangli, Karangasem and Klungkung. He also called on the government to invest in ensuring a continual clean water supply is in place to address the current critical water crisis.


Indonesia Warns Travelers About Zika Virus
Government Issues Travel Advisory for Indonesians Traveling to Zika Virus Affected Areas

The Indonesian Government has issued a travel warning in connection with the confirmation of the Zika virus in Singapore and Malaysia. This has been confirmed by Oscar Primade, a spokesman of Indonesian Ministry of Health, in Jakarta.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, Oscar told the press: “Yes, this is true. We have issued a travel advisory via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for wider distribution. This has been done to protect the Indonesian people from the spread of the Zika virus.”

Oscar said the warning had effect for all Indonesians traveling to areas afflicted with the Zika virus.

The travel advisory issued by the Indonesian Government said:

“The government of Singapore has stated via a website operated by its Ministry of Health that there have been several confirmed cased of the Zika virus in Singapore.“

"In this connection, Indonesian Citizens now visiting areas affected by the Zika virus are urged to avoid mosquito bites by wearing clothing that covers arms and legs, using mosquito repellent, sleeping under a mosquito net or sleeping in rooms with mosquito netting installed on the windows. The public is also urged to be examined by a doctor whenever they feel ill."

"Pregnant women are recommended to avoid visiting areas know to be infected with Zika virus mosquitoes. If pregnant women must visit such areas they should take all precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. Women planning on becoming mothers should avoid becoming pregnant for at least 8 months after visiting a Zika virus infected area."

"Those returning to Indonesia after visiting an area affected by the Zika virus are asked to have their health checked within 14 days of their return to Indonesia. A doctor should be immediately consulted if a traveler experiences a fever, skin rash, stiffness and sore muscles, headaches or redness of the eye. When visiting a physician it is important that you explain your recent travel to a Zika infected region."

"Areas bordering with Zika virus regions should undertake steps to destroy mosquito-nesting areas."


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Courting 12 Million Foreign Tourists
Indonesian Confident that 12 Million Foreign Tourists to Visit Before End of 2016

The Indonesian government remains confident that a target of 12 million foreign tourist visitors nationwide will be achieved by the end of 2016.

Hiramsyah Thaib who works in tourism development at the Ministry of Tourism, said in Nusa Dua, Bali on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, that a total of 5,291,583 foreign tourists came to Indonesia in the first six months of the year, exceeding a stated target of 5.1 million visitors.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, Hiramsyah said, “At this time, the number of foreign tourists for the first half of 2016 has achieved 44% of the annual target of 12 million people.”

Looking back at 2015, Thaib said tourist arrivals were pleasing, achieving 10.4 million foreign visitors, a total that exceed the revised government target and generated US$12.3 billion in foreign exchange. Meanwhile, domestic tourist trips in 2015 totaled 259 million journeys.

Data supplied by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) shows US$858.67 million in new investments were secured during the first six-months of 2016. This was comprised of US$791.99 million if foreign investments and US$66.68 million in domestic projects.

When investment is compared to the same period in 2015, investments are up 69.78% in 2016. Foreign investments during semester one of 2016 increased 121.5% when compared to 2015.


Limits of Patience
Bali Governor Warns Those Breaking the Law while Protesting the Benoa Bay Reclamation Will be Brought to Justice

Bali’s Governor’s Made Mangku Pastika continues to distance himself from the ongoing controversy over the reclamation of Benoa Bay. The Governor told Beritabali.com that he has written to the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment, the Maritime Ministry and others in the Central Government.

The governor detailed his letter-writing campaign to Jakarta at his monthly open dialogue with the public held at the open pavilion at the Bali House of Representatives (DPR-Bali) on Saturday, September 3, 2016.

Pastika explained that he couldn’t ask the Central Government to revoke Presidential Decision 51 of 2014 signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that removed the conservation zone status of the Bay to clear the way for the mega project by PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (PT TWBI) owned by powerful businessman Tommy Winata. Pastika said he believes for the Governor to openly oppose a Government program would constitute insubordination.

The Governor said: “I am not deaf. I am not stupid (bongol). But I cannot force the President to revoke (the decree). That would represent an insurgency with the lower branch of government opposing the higher branch. This can’t be done.”

A Kuta resident, I Wayan Suata, attending the monthly open dialogue with Pastika complained that the demonstrations against Benoa Bat were causing losses to the people of Bali. Suata said: “It’s not a matter of being for or against (reclamation), but the demonstrations are causing losses to many people and to the public interest. Many guests are experiencing delays at pick up and many are missing their flights due to traffic jams (caused by the demonstrations).”

The Governor took the opportunity to remind demonstrators not to undertake actions that cause damage and losses to others. Adding: “Don’t be anarchists. To cause losses to many people is the same as suicide.”

Pastika also said that he deeply regretted that demonstrators at the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) on August 25, 2016, decided to lower the Indonesian flag flying at the building. The Governor, who was once the Provincial Police Chief of Bali, said such aggressive acts violate the law.

“Lowering the red and white national flag and replacing it with another flag is an act that violates the law and disgraces the Nation. The national flag, our national language and national symbols are all protected under the law. This is a criminal act and the police are empowered to take action,” said Pastika.

Pastika insisted that such acts couldn’t be ignored. Those committing such crimes must be brought to justice and made an example of as a warning to others.

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Sins of the Son, Visited on the Family
Pleading for Religious Tolerance, Father of 17-Year-Old Boy who Tried to Kill Catholic Worshippers Begs Forgiveness from His North Sumatra Neighbors of Every Religion

On the backside of a failed terror attack on a Medan Catholic church on Sunday, August 28, 2016, a message of genuine contrition by the parents of the 17-year-old boy who unsuccessfully tried to blow up a suicide bomb and stabbed a Catholic priest presents what many would argue is a more realistic portrayal of religious tolerance in modern Indonesia.

As reported by Kompas.com, the parents of Ivan Armadi Hasugian - Makmur Hasugian (66) and the boy’s mother Arista boru Purba faced the press on Thursday, September 1, 2016, Makmur tearfully pled for the forgiveness the public, and in particular the members of the Roman Catholic Religion who were targeted for death by his son.

“We, as the parents of Ivan Armadi Hasugia, thank you for this opportunity and to the members of the press whose presence today neutralizes this situation. Our family cannot comprehend this problem, how it could come to pass. We have no desire to see unrest between peoples of varying religious beliefs,” said Makmur as he fought back tears.

Makmur, who works as a lawyer, told the press that there are members of his family who are Christians. His wife who is the eldest among nine children is the only Moslem in her otherwise Christian family. He said that his family and relations live in peace and harmony with no religious disharmony to be found in their daily lives.

Makmur and his wife asked the forgiveness of all Christians living in the City of Medan, especially the Catholics of Medan. He accepted the actions of his teenage son were his fault and represented a failure to properly supervise and perform his parental duties.

Adding: “This is a mistake committed by our family who failed to properly supervise our son, Ivan Armadi Hasugia, who is only 17-years-old. We apologize. Hopefully, incidents like this never reoccur. I ask that the Bishop can forgive this incident. My family, once again, asks for forgiveness.”

The Mother of the boy, Arista boru Purba, also spoke at the press conference, said through her tears: “I, too, as his mother, ask forgiveness from the people of North Sumatra, especially for those of the Catholic faith for what was done by our Son. To Pastor Pandiangan we say that what occurred was not our desire and was outside our immediate power to prevent.

She said as the boy’s mother she felt is was proper that she be blamed for what happened and her failure to supervise her son. She also said that what happened was not because of religious differences. Adding: “My parents are still Christian, my brothers and sisters are all still Christian. This is not a problem of religious differences.”

The family has also made a direct apology to Pastor Pandiangan who suffered a knife wound to his right arm during the attack. In reply, Pandiangan said the matter was now in the hands of the Bishop. Because of the Bishop’s crowded schedule, a meeting is scheduled between the boy’s legal team, his parents and the Bishop for Monday, September 5, 2016.

Meanwhile, the 17-year-old boy remains in police custody and under intensive investigation to determine his motivations in trying to kill worshippers at a Sunday mass and to determine if anyone directed him in his terror attempt.

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Who Needs a Lawyer?
Mounting his Own Defense, Australian Man Gets a Light 1-Year Prison Sentence

Shaun Edward Davidson (31) who at one time faced the possibility of 7 years in prison for immigration violations and using falsified documents, has been sentenced to only one year in prison, less time served. An additional fine of Rp. 100 million was also handed down in the case that will result in five more months of jail if left unpaid.

Prosecutors had asked the panel of judges to imprison the man for 1.5 years and apply a fine of Rp. 200 million.

To the shock of many attending the sentencing session, the presiding judge cited as mitigating factors in the sentencing the polite and contrite behavior of Davidson during his trial. During the course of the trial, Davidson fired two sets of court-appointed lawyers and insisted on mounting his own defense.

Wanted on criminal charges in Western Australia, it is expected that Davidson will be deported to Australian upon completing his Indonesian sentence and arrested on arrival in Australia.

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Looking to Promote Your Products in Bali?
Bali Discovery Offer a Range of Proven Means to Promote Tourism Related Products in Bali.

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Book on Traveloka with Hotel Link Solutions
Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia Partners with Traveloka to Increase Domestic Bookings for Indonesian Hotels and Villas

Product Update

Hotel Link Solutions – Indonesia, a successful digital marketing company assisting hotels and villas increase both direct bookings and bookings from OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), is now partnered with the leading Indonesian-based OTA Traveloka.

This partnership means hotels in Indonesia seeking to increase online bookings from the important Indonesian domestic market and Traveloka's growing international market can include this leading OTA in the channel distribution system offered to hotels working with Hotel Link Solutions – Indonesia.

Commenting on the Traveloka partnership, Chandra Himawan, general manager of Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia said: “Traveloka is one of the world's most dynamic and fastest growing online distributors of travel products and the OTA most favored by Indonesian travelers. During the testing period with one of our Indonesian hotel clients, not only did the test go smoothly but also there was an almost instantaneous dramatic increase in Indonesian bookings. Existing Indonesian clients of Hotel Link in Indonesia should contact our technical team in order  to include Traveloka on their list of OTA partners. Hotels wishing to partner with Hotel Link Solutions in Indonesia and Traveloka should contact us for more information.”

Himawan said the key to Hotel Link Solutions' success in Indonesia is its cutting edge technology that allows hotels and villas to achieve an online presence and market penetration formerly only available to large, branded hotels with enormous IT departments. Best of all, Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia does not charge fees based on commissions but charges a low flat monthly fees that is usually quickly recovered via large increases in direct and OTA bookings after signing on with Hotel Link Solutions - Indonesia.

Hotel Link Solution Website

Email Chandra Himawan of Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia



 
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Bali Update #755
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Bali Update #754
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Bali Update #753
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Bali Update #752
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Bali Update #751
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Bali Update #750
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Bali Update #749
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Bali Update #748
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Bali Update #747
January 3, 2011

Bali Update #746
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Bali Update #745
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Bali Update #744
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Bali Update #743
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Bali Update #742
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Bali Update #741
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Bali Update #740
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Bali Update #739
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Bali Update #738
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Bali Update #737
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Bali Update #736
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Bali Update #735
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Bali Update #734
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Bali Update #733
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Bali Update #732
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Bali Update #731
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Bali Update #730
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Bali Update #729
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Bali Update #728
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Bali Update #727
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Bali Update #726
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Bali Update #725
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Bali Update #724
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Bali Update #723
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Bali Update #722
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Bali Update #721
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Bali Update #720
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Bali Update #719
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Bali Update #718
June 14, 2010

Bali Update #717
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Bali Update #716
May 31, 2010

Bali Update #715
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Bali Update #714
May 17, 2010

Bali Update #713
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Bali Update #712
May 3, 2010

Bali Update #711
April 26, 2010

Bali Update #710
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Bali Update #709
April 12, 2010

Bali Update #708
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Bali Update #707
March 29, 2010

Bali Update #706
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Bali Update #705
March 15, 2010

Bali Update #704
March 08, 2010

Bali Update #703
March 01, 2010

Bali Update #702
February 22, 2010

Bali Update #701
February 15, 2010

Bali Update #700
February 8, 2010

Bali Update #699
February 1, 2010

Bali Update #698
January 25, 2010

Bali Update #697
January 18, 2010

Bali Update #696
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Bali Update #695
January 4, 2010

Bali Update #694
December 28, 2009

Bali Update #693
December 21, 2009

Bali Update #692
December 14, 2009

Bali Update #691
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Bali Update #690
November 30, 2009

Bali Update #689
November 23, 2009

Bali Update #688
November 16, 2009

Bali Update #687
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Bali Update #686
November 2, 2009

Bali Update #685
October 26, 2009

Bali Update #684
October 19, 2009

Bali Update #683
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Bali Update #682
October 05, 2009

Bali Update #681
September 28, 2009

Bali Update #680
September 21, 2009

Bali Update #679
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Bali Update #678
September 07, 2009

Bali Update #677
August 31, 2009

Bali Update #676
August 24, 2009

Bali Update #675
August 17, 2009

Bali Update #674
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Bali Update #673
August 03, 2009

Bali Update #672
July 27, 2009

Bali Update #671
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Bali Update #670
July 13, 2009

Bali Update #669
July 06, 2009

Bali Update #668
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Bali Update #667
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Bali Update #666
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Bali Update #665
June 08, 2009

Bali Update #664
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Bali Update #663
May 25, 2009

Bali Update #662
May 18, 2009

Bali Update #661
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Bali Update #660
May 04, 2009

Bali Update #659
April 27, 2009

Bali Update #658
April 18, 2009

Bali Update #657
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Bali Update #656
April 04, 2009

Bali Update #655
March 28, 2009

Bali Update #654
March 21, 2009

Bali Update #653
March 14, 2009

Bali Update #652
March 07, 2009

Bali Update #651
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Bali Update #650
February 21, 2009

Bali Update #649
February 14, 2009

Bali Update #648
February 7, 2009

Bali Update #647
January 31, 2009

Bali Update #646
January 26, 2009

Bali Update #645
January 19, 2009

Bali Update #644
January 10, 2009

Bali Update #643
January 05, 2009

Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #641
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Bali Update #640
December 15, 2008

Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #638
December 01, 2008

Bali Update #637
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Bali Update #636
November 17, 2008

Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #633
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Bali Update #632
October 20, 2008

Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #630
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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
September 01, 2008

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
July 28, 2008

Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #617
July 07, 2008

Bali Update #616
June 30, 2008

Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #614
June 16, 2008

Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
June 02, 2008

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
April 28, 2008

Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
April 14, 2008

Bali Update #604
April 07, 2008

Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #601
March 10, 2008

Bali Update #600
March 10, 2008

Bali Update #599
March 03, 2008

Bali Update #598
February 25, 2008

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

Bali Update #594
January 28, 2008

Bali Update #593
January 21, 2008

Bali Update #592
January 14, 2008

Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #575
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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 #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
May 28, 2007

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
February 19, 2007

Bali Update #544
February 12, 2007

Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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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
December 18, 2006

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
October 16, 2006

Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #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 #510
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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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