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Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

++62 361 286 283

++62 361 286 284

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++62 812 3819724

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1066 - 06 February 2017


Bali Safari Park to Make a Splash in 2017
Taman Safari Indonesia Group Outlines Plans to Open Bali Marine Park in October 2017

Members of senior management from the Taman Safari Indonesia Group paid a visit the Bali Post office in Denpasar on Thursday, January 26, 2017.

The Taman Safari Group operates three large animal parks: Taman Safari Cisarua Bogor; Taman Safari II Prigen, East Java; and the Bali Safari & Marine Park,Gianyar, Bali.

The visit to Bali’s largest newspaper was led by Triyoba Nataria,head of marketing Taman Safari Indonesia Group; who was  accompanied by Made Pradnyana, Account Manager Bali Safari & Marine Park; Wisye Marbun, Marketing Communication Manager; and Ayu Marbun, Marketing Communication.

Nataria told the Bali Post that in the current situation professional management of the Company’s parks is very important to ensure that protected animal species receive the best care. Adding: “In the past, the company was a family business. Now Taman Safari Indonesia is managed in a professional manner under a clear management structure.”

Taman Safari’s lead marketer explained to the press that Taman Safari is restructuring its internal management in order to provide the best possible service to all stakeholders. In the coming year, the Company will complete a number of major projects.

In Bali, one of these projects is the planned opening of a new Marine Park in October 2017. “At the end of this year, if everything goes according to plan, we will undertake a grand launch of the Marine Park. When opened, the Bali Marine Park will be the largest such facility in Indonesia,” Nataria explained.

A Celebration Of Love
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Presents An Uplifting Evening With Rio Febrian on February 18, 2017

Product Update

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali will celebrate the spirit of romance on Saturday, February 18, 2017, with an evening of superb food and entertainment.

This exclusive post-Valentine’s event will be headlined by acclaimed Indonesian singer Rio Febrian with backing from Bali’s own Djampiro Band.

Rio Febrian, who descends from Betawi (traditional Jakarta) and Manado bloodlines, was born in Jakarta 35 years ago. A well-known and prolific recording star, Rio has toured and performed both internationally and across Indonesia.

Married to actress Sabria Kono, Rio is the proud father of two young children.

After entering a number of local singing competitions. Rio won “Grand Champion” honors in Asia Bagus 1999, releasing his first album in Malaysia with Erra Fazira the following year.

He also has performed with Elfa’s Choir winning several awards in the Choir Olympics held in Austria in 2000

In 2001, his first Indonesia album “Bukan Untukku” achieved strong sales on the Indonesian musical charts. In 2004, another album ”Ku Ada Disini” was launch together with a hit single by the same name.

October 2006 saw Rio release “RioF3brian” – an album in which the multi-talented artist acted as both producer and performer.

Rio Febrian has been part of the local music scene for many years with a sting of moving hits. He has collaborated with numerous artists and is best known for his album entitled "The Greatest Indonesian Love Songs."

Romantic Dining at its Best

On one night only – Saturday, February 18, 2017, Rio Febrian will entertain guest as they enjoy a flavorsome four-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Manoj Rawat and his culinary team.

Guests will be taken on a sensory journey paired with soulful music in the elegant ambiance of the Nusantara Hall.

In addition, there will be lucky draws all night long plus a special prize for the best-dressed couple in “Romantic Red”.

This uplifting event will end Valentine’s week on a high note with good food and meaningful music. Priced at only IDR 650,000++ per person and includes a welcome beverage on arrival and free-flow juice and soft drinks during accompany dinner.

A generous 15% discount is extended to Maybank Cardholders.

For more information, please visit the website or follow the resort’s social media channels:



For reservations, informaiton and bookings telephone ++ +62 –(0)361 771906 or Email 

About The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali enjoys a prime beachfront location within an exclusive enclave on the island’s southern shores. With 433 modern rooms, it is a place where guests can be at their best and experience total renewal. Exciting dining venues anticipate global tastes with delicious cuisines and healthy SuperFoodsRx options.

There is a choice of swimming pools, award-winning Heavenly Spa by Westin™ for relaxation, WestinWORKOUT® to stay in shape and little ones get to play at the Westin Family Kids Club.

The adjacent Bali International Convention Centre provides comprehensive meeting resources with space for up to 10,000 delegates. The resort caters to the needs of leisure and business travelers alike with exceptional services and facilities to match.

Bailer Meets Jailer
German Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Bali for Trying to Set Up a Do-It-Yourself Methamphetamine Lab

A German national, Benjamin Bailer (38), has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined RP. 1 billion by the Denpasar Court after being convicted of having 0.71 grams of methamphetamines in his possession.

The State News Agency Antara reports that the sentence given by the panel of judges was less than the seven years behind bars sought by State Prosecutors.

The Court ruled that Bailer was guilty of possessing narcotics or their precursors in violation of the 2009 anti-narcotics law.

Speaking through his lawyer, Bailer immediately accepted the Court’s judgment signifying he would not exercise his right of appeal.

Bailer was arrested by Anti-narcotics Police (BNN) at 8:30 pm on August 22, 2016, at his home on Jalan Sumer in North Kuta and discovered with two “clips” of methamphetamines weighing 0.71 grams.

The German later told police that he obtained the drugs from a friend and was in the process of trying to manufacture the drug in a home laboratory for his personal use.

Bailer studied how to manufacture the drug from the Internet and had accumulated the equipment and chemical materials needed to start production.

Bailer’s arrest happened after the arrest of Vicky Monaro in a separate case who was arrested with 1.12 grams of drugs provided without charge by Bailer. Monaro provided information to police that lead to Bailer's arrest.

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Expat Home Industry

The Case of the Missing Case
Kuta Taxi Driver Arrested after Stealing Luggage of Visiting Australian Tourists reports that an Australian visitor to Bali saw her bags absconded by a taxi driver in front of the Discovery Mall in South Kuta.

The Australian tourist, Aria Hana, lost a set of luggage at 11:53 pm on Tuesday night, January 31, 2017.

According to police, Alfridus Taunais was driving a taxi that picked up Hana and her accompanying family members from in front of the Kartika Plaza Hotel with a request to travel to the Hotel Mega Boutique. After getting underway, the driver tried to persuade his passengers to do an extended tour of the city instead of proceeding directly to the nearby hotel.

Because the car was taking too long to get to its designated destination, the Australian tourist complained saying the normal fare was only Rp. 40,000 and the taxi’s meter was already showing Rp. 60,000, with the desired hotel no where in sight.

The Australian ordered the taxi to stop and declared their intention to disembark. Once out of the taxi, the driver sped off taking the Australian family’s luggage with him.

Shortly after reporting the case to the police, Kuta officers traced the “441 Taxi” to the driver’s boarding house in Puri Gading, South Kuta. When taken under arrest, Alfridus Taunais was discovered with his taxi, a baby carriage, assorted luggage, three handphones, room keys for the Hotel Mega Boutique, a wallet, 11 cards, a wristwatch, a gold bracelet, 5 golden rings. 3 gold necklaces, a pair of gold earrings, a golden toy necklace, 3 play pearl necklaces and a pair of pearl earrings

Police are holding the driver and preparing charges of theft for presentation to State Prosecutors.

Bad Weather Disrupts Bali Flights
Flights to and From Bali Diverted Due to Heavy Rains on January 31st and February 1, 2017

Lion Air JT 32 flying from Jakarta to Bali on Wednesday morning, February 1, 2017, was forced to divert its landing from Bali to Surabaya due to heavy rains.

Another Lion Air Wings flight, IW 1821, flying from Kupang to Bali diverted during the same period to Lombok.

By 11:50 am on Wednesday morning conditions had returned to normal with all flights again operating per schedule as the torrential rains morphed to drizzle.

As reported by NusaBali, a spokesman for Bali’s Airport Authority confirmed the diversion of the two Lion Air Group flights.

Weather was also blamed for the change in flight schedules one day before, on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Garuda GA-490 that left Bali for Maumere, Flores at 9:25 am was forced to return to Bali at 2:50 pm due to severe weather reports from Maumere. Meanwhile, Garuda GA 07036 from Bali to Labuan Bajo and departing at 10:50 am “returned to base” due to poor weather conditions reported in West Flores.

Raising a Glass to a Better Tomorrow
Sababay Winery Producing Remarkable Wines and Improving the Lives of Baliís Impoverished Farmers

Weather Warning
Rains and Winds Uproot Trees and Disrupt Traffic in South Bali

Daily rainstorms across South Bali during the last week of January and opening days of February 2017 have resulted in a number of large trees being uprooted and falling onto local roads, causing, in some cases, injuries and property damage.

Continuous and heavy rains have saturated the soil and compromised the “hold” held by the root system of large trees that sometimes suddenly toppled due to bursts of winds.

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, report that a number of trees, utility poles and street lighting fell onto local roads in the Badung-Denpasar area.

At 10:00 am on Tuesday, a tree fell on Jalan Gerih, Abiansemal at Silitiga, Nusa Dua that momentarily halted traffic. At about the same time, a tree fell onto Bali’s busy Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai near the Jimbaran Pizza Hut causing severe damage to a Suzuki Swift, but no personal injury to the car’s driver.

Nearby, traffic at Taman Griya Jimbaran was disrupted by falling roadway lights and utility poles.

Trees succumbing to wet grounds and prevailing winds were also reported by Banjar Piakan, Sibangkaja, Abiansemal and at Banjar Semer in Kerobokan where a tree fell onto a local residence.

A tree that fell at Serangan Island caused injuries and sent a motorcyclist to hospital for medical care.

Nyoman Wijaya, the Head of the Badung Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD-Badung) has warned the public of the dangers inherent in the heavy rains and strong winds currently affecting large areas of Bali.

Convoy of Culinary Conveyances
Ubud Food Truck Park, Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 3:00 until 11:00 pm.

Good food is a “moving experience” reserved for the highly mobile at the “Ubud Food Truck Park” – a rally of food trucks that will gather in Sanggingan, Ubud (near the Bintang Supermarket on the grounds of the Ubud Food Festival) on Saturday, February 18, 2017, operating from 3:00 – 11:00 pm.

Organized by Casa Luna Restaurant, Ubud, the line-up of food trucks will include Locavore, Porkswagen, Bites on Wheels, Plaga wine, Pasta Kaki Lima and Sayuri Healing Foods. Food stalls include Gelato Secrets, The Pie Lady, Honeymoon Bakery, Seniman, La Pacha Mama, Jambali, Djamoekoe and Folk.

There will also be a maker’s market of artisan crafts, a children’s pastry workshop with Monsieur Spoon, a farmer’s market of organic produce and live music.

Planned to become a monthly event, the Ubud Food Truck Park will bring together the island’s most innovative “food-preneurs” from Indonesian favorites to innovative creations and east-meets-west bites.

There is guaranteed to be something for absolutely everyone!

Entry is free.

For more information contact Michelle Andindya at Email  or Telephone +62-(0)81388770108

Ubud Food Park Online Info

Declaring Yourself Extinct
Tigerair Australia calls it 'Quits' in Bali

Tigerair Australia - the low-cost subsidiary of Virgin Australia has declared it will permanently end all its Australia to Bali flight operations, claiming regulatory hurdles erected by the Indonesia government were too costly and time consuming.

Tigerair’s decision to “call it a day” in Bali follows a 3-week suspension of flights after Indonesian regulators declared current flights by the Australian airline violated air regulations imposed on “charter operations” by selling tickets on line to people already in Indonesia. While the Indonesian government extended a grace period to Tigerair to sort out administrative obstacles, the Australian Airline's executives eventually considered the conditions being imposed by the Indonesian government were too burdensome and costly for the low-cost carrier to consider continuing flights to Bali.

Tigerair said that a minimum of six months would have been required to satisfy the Indonesian rules, and eventually decided the process too costly before permanently suspending routes from Australia to Bali.

A statement issued by Tigerair’s CEO, Rob Sharpe, told the press that the company’s “only option” was to withdraw from Bali. Sharpe pledge Tigerair would work with Virgin Australia to get any Tigerair passenger stranded in Bali back home to Australia.

Full refunds are being organized for any passenger holding a future booking on the Airline to or from Bali.

The suspension of flights on a permanent basis came just days before TigerAir was expected to resume flight on a special exemption from the Indonesia authorities while administrative details were worked out between the Indonesian government and Australian airline.

It is difficult to calculate the cost in tourism revenues for Bali caused by the decision to end service, it is known, however, that the Australian airline brought hundreds of passengers to Bali each day from Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth - many of whom stayed for one or two weeks, a period much longer than the current average length of stay of 3.1 days for visitors to Bali.

It is estimated that Tigerair flew 90,000 seats annuallu each way from Australia to Bali and, of course, an equal number in the reverse direction.

Plans are afoot for Batik Air - the full-service affiliate of Lion Air, to start flight services between Australia and Bali with an initial flight service from Perth starting in March. This may alleviate a shortage of seats from Perth, albeit at a substantially higher full-service fare level.

The Shifting Sands of Baliís Kuta Beach
Westerly Winds Create Sand Dunes on Jalan Pantai Kuta in Bali

Strong offshore winds buffeting Bali’s southwest coast on Monday, January 30, 2017, sent beach visitors, beachside vendors and vehicle operating along Bali’s Kuta Beach scrambling for shelter further ashore. quotes a food vendor working on Kuta Beach who said the wind and sand storm is a yearly occurrence along the popular beach front. “The wind storm and the sand storm that follows stings the eyes. Dry fronds from the trees fly down the beach,” the food vendor said.

The head of the Badung Hygiene and Environmental Department (DLHK), Putu Eka Merthawan, confirmed that hundred of personnel were dispatched to the beach to remove the newly formed sand dunes that covered the main beach roadway in Kuta.

Merthawan said that his team moved more than a cubic meter of sand covering the roadway back to the beach.

The strong offshore winds are expected to reach their peak in February causing sand to shift off the beach and onto the sidewalks and roadways.

Supreme Auditor Boards to Meet in Bali
Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions & 51st Supreme Auditor Assembly to be Held in Bali February 10-20, 2017

The State News Agency Antara reports that Nusa Dua in Bali will play host to financial auditors form across the region on February 10-20, 2017, at the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions Meeting (ASOSAI) and the ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions 51st Assembly (ASIANSAI).

The meetings that represent a joint gather of Asian and ASEAN auditors is expected to attract 69 delegates from 11 countries, including Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan.

The Ruining of the Bull
135 Young Unmarried Men in Northeast Bali Participate in Ritualized Slaughter of a Bull

The unmarried men from the traditional village of Asak in the regency of Karangasem participated in an unusual, and, some would say, gruesome ritual of animal slaughter on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

On that date, known as Buda Paing Landep on the Balinese calendar, the young bachelors of the village attired in traditional dress participated in a frenzy of stabbing and slaughter of a black male bull using machetes, launched at the unfortunate bovine as it wonders down the streets of the village.

As reported by NusaBali, the bull is set loose near the village temple at the peak of the Usaba Kawulu Ceremony and is attended by 135 local bachelors. All the young men were bare-chested and attired in a black sarong, a white girding cloth (saput) and a black and white “polleng" cummerbund.  And, of course, each of the young men also attended bearing a large machete (golok).

Coordinated by a small group of village elders, the parade of young men commenced with group prayers at the Patokan Temple at 10:00 am followed by a community clean up during in which the men remove trash from the village.

Reassembled, the village chief (Bendesa) explains the rules and penalties that apply during the ritual slaughter to come. The young men are reminded that during the coming “hunt” they are forbidden from stabbing the bull while it is still in close proximity to the village center. Village boundaries are outlined to the young men, providing specific points of geographical reference that stipulate the “cutting” can only commence outside the village limits.

The young men are also reminded that any infraction of the rules will result in fines imposed by the village. A stab wound inflicted on the bull in the village center will result in a penalty of Rp. 185,000. Anyone who stabs the bull near the Patokan Temple risks being fined at an amount equal to half the purchase price of the bull. Those attacking the bull in the courtyard of the temple can be fined Rp. 350,000. If someone is caught grabbing hold of the bull's bridle they may be fined Rp. 100,000. Grabbing the animal’s tails is also punishable with a Rp. 300,000 fine. Cutting its tail incurs a fine of Rp. 350,000. Anyone caught stabbing the bull in its head region must pay a fine equal to 50% of the animal’s purchase price - estimated at Rp. 18.5 million.

Those who break any of these rules are expected, as a point of personal honor, to report to the village elders so the subject fine can be imposed.

The briefing done, the 135 young men line up and down the main roads of the village prepared to viciously stab and the bull with their machetes when the animal passes their location.

Prior to meeting a most cruel end, the bull is the subject to a week-long program of religious offerings and prayers and is dressed in red and checker-boarded  (poleng) cloth. The bull’s horns are also decorated with religious symbols.

On its final day and as shown on, the bull panics as it passes village streets filled with young men who slash it at every turn. When the animal eventually fell in a muddy field, the 135 bachelors descended to hack the beast to death.

Once dead, the bull’s carcass is carried to the village hall (Bale Desa) where it is butchered for use in religious offerings that are eventually consumed as food by members of the community.

Village elders explain the annual slaughter of the bull is done to neutralize evil spirits existing in the community, with local belief predicting a catastrophe of some sort would befall the village if the tradition were, for whatever reason, abandoned. The elders insist that every drop of blood shed by the animal neutralizes evil forces, contributes to the fertility of the soil, and ensures the village’s progress in the future.

Underlining the religious significance of the ceremony, the bull selected for an often prolonged and unmerciful death,  must be large and in perfect physical condition. In the week prior to the ceremony, it receives lavish attention from village youth and is the object of a series of special religious offerings. 

Only unmarried men of the village are allowed to participate in the ritual slaughter.

Armed and Dangerous
Armed Thieves Conduct Daylight Robbery of Kuta Moneychanger Stealing Rp. 881 Million

Kuta Police are investigating the armed robbery of PT Dirgahayu Valuta Prima - a moneychanger located near the Dewa Ruci Interchange.

The State News Agency Antara reports that the robbery, conducted by four men brandishing pistols entered the moneychanger at 10:55 am on Saturday, February 4, 2017. Police now believe the men brandish air soft pistols when they conducted the robbery, concealing their identities by using full face motorcycle helmets.

Police are interviewing five eyewitnesses to the robbery, all workers at the business at the time of the crime.

One witness told police that the assailants threatened they would shoot those working at the moneychanger. The robbers used handcuffs to bind the hands of the workers and also gagged the their mouths to prevent calls for help and assistance.

Police say Rp. 881 million was taken in the robbery.

The four thieves made off with the money and also removed the computer server on which CCTV recordings of the robbery were recorded. Police, however, have videos of the those believed to have conducted the robbery, downloaded from a nearby CCTV camera.

Police are offering a reward tp anyone who can provide helpful information regarding the robbery.

Magical Artistry Unseated
RIP: Ida Bagus Oka Wirjana Blansinga, Maestro of the Kebyar Duduk Dance, 1929-2017

Ida Bagus Oka Wirjana Blansinga, widely considered a maestro of the challenging Kebyar Duduk dance tradition, has died at the age of 87 at the RS Bros Hospital on Friday, February 2, 2017.

Wirjana, who was a resident of the village of Saba, Blahbatuh, Gianyar, died a few hours after being transferred from the Manuaba Hospital to RS Bros Hospital.

NusaBali reports that the remains of the famous dancer are now kept at his home village while religious experts seek an auspicious date for burial or cremation.

Ida Bagus Blangsinga leaves a large family comprised of 16 children, 35 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 3 wives. The dancer’s first wife, Ida Ayu Putu Muter bore 9 children; a second wife, I Gusti Ayu gave birth to one child; and his third wife, Ida Ayu Made Suat,i gave birth to 6 children.

The Dancer’s 10th child, Ida Bagus Gunawan, told the press that his father had been in ill health for the past 9 months, necessitating his hospitalization on several occasions.

Before this death, Ida Bagus Blansinga left instructions that his remains should not be immediately buried in order to allow friends and colleagues to see his earthly remains for the last time.

IB Blangsinga was born on February 15, 1929. He lived for a period in Tabanan where he saw I Ketut Mriya (Mario) perform the Kebyar Duduk Dance. Inspired by Mario’s artistry, Blansinga became accomplished in what is widely considered the most physically challenging dance in the Balinese dance repertoire. His talent as a Kebyar Duduk dancer saw him perform internationally and at the National Palace in Jakarta at the invitation of Indonesia’s first President Soekarno.

First performed in 1925 by I Ketut Marya (Mario), who is credited with creating the dance, the Kebyar Duduk is performed almost in its entirety in a crouched and squatting position, demanding outstanding physical stamina on the part of the dancer. The dance incorporated the then recent innovation of fast-paced gamelan performance (gamelan gong kebyar). Over time, Mario introduced a number of further variations in his performance, including playing a long set of kettle gongs (trompong) that he struck as he danced.

Island legend holds that the Kebyar Duduk (seated dance) was invented when Mario was called to perform before a high-caste member of Balinese Royalty and had to urgently devise a way of dancing without placing his body at a physical elevation higher than the royal presence.

Although always performed by a male dancer, the Kebyar Duduk is highly androgynous in its refined presentation that incorporates the application of heavy make-up, long flowing trails of colored cloth and the coquettish use of a hand-fan by the male dancer.

Shown on is a Youtube clip of Ida Bagu Blangsinga performing the Kebyar Duduk in Ubud filmed in 2004, when the dancer was 75 years old.

Almost all surviving members of the dancer’s family perform as traditional dancers, including a granddaughter, Ida Ayu Tania, who is now a student of dance at Denpasar’s Fine Arts Institute (ISI).

Tumpek Landep Celebrations
Bali Governor Uses Day Dedicated to Tools of the Trade to Call on Balinese to Sharpen and Focus their Minds

Hari Tumpek Landep – a day on the 210-day Balinese calendar dedicated to honoring tools and weaponry – fell on Saturday, February 4, 2017 or, in Balinese terms - Sabtu Kliwon Wuku Landep.

In a speech on Tumpek Landep dedicated to religion, Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika used the occasion by calling on the Balinese to focus and sharpen their mental processes. Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Pastika said: “’Landep’ means ‘sharp’ or ‘spiked’ and we embrace this day by focusing our hearts and minds and by sharpening our knowledge – don’t let our minds stop working. Continue your studies and think critically.”

The Governor called on the people of Bali to sharpen their thought processes to become critical thinkers, clear minded, proactive and have an undying thirst for knowledge that will enhance their talents and skills.

The Governor explained how Tumpek Landep formerly focused only weapons, but has expanded in modern times to include tools of trade and items made of metal – such as computers and vehicles used for transport. Such items are adorned with colorful ritual offerings and prayers on Tumpek Landep, asking the blessing of the Almighty - Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa on these tools and to ease the labors of the people who use them.

Ignoring the Background Static
Despite Uncertainty with US Visa Policies, Garuda Indonesia is Moving Ahead with Plans to Fly to Los Angeles in 2017

The Jakarta Globe reports that Garuda Indonesia’s plan to start flying from Indonesia to the USA in 2017 remained undeterred in the face of U.S. President’s saber rattling and changes in visa policies seen as inimical to members of the Islamic faith.

Indonesia is the most populous Moslem nation in the world.

On Monday, January 30, 2017, a Garuda Indonesia spokesman said the Airline remained committed to fly to the USA in 2017.

In a move that was widely criticized both in the USA and abroad, Donald Trump signed an order in his first week in office banning the entry of people form seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the USA.

Although those orders are now in suspension following an injunction issued by a US Federal judge and under appeal by the Trump White House, the order curtailing travel to the USA did not include Indonesian citizens.

Ignoring the background noise, a Garuda spokesman said the airline would start flying from Jakarta to Los Angeles via Tokyo in June or July of this year.

News that Bites
Seven Cases of Rabies Confirmed in Gianyar, Bali

New case rabies in 2017 has been identified in the district of Sukawati in Gianyar, a short distance from Bali’s capital of Denpasar.

A dog infected with the disease was discovered in the village of Batubulan, Gianyar on January 7, 2016, followed by another confirmed case in Sukawati on January 20, 2017. The infected dogs and positive tests confirming rabies were the result of dog bite reports to health officials by local residents.

A Gianyar Public Health Officials, Dr. I Ketut Ariyasa, told NusaBali that the two infected dogs had bitten seven people, all of which have received medical treatment including VAR anti-rabies serum. One of the victims was bitten at Batubulan with the remaining six victims bitten in Banjar Bedil, Sukawati.

Following the confirmed infections, animal health officials conducted an elimination exercise in Banjar Bedil on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, that resulted in 48 dogs being euthanized.

Officials defended the controversial elimination of free-roaming dogs, saying it was nearly impossible to determine which dogs may have had infectious contact with the rabid animals. Officials insist they do not kill dogs that are on leashes or confined within their owner’s property, but only animals roaming free on the streets

Officials suggest that pets be vaccinated once a year against rabies.

Authorities say rabies is most often spread via free-roaming dogs abandoned in the streets, markets and graveyards of Bali.

Following the elimination exercise, officials returned to Banjar Bedil on Saturday. February 7, 2017, to provide free rabies vaccination to pets.

Related Article

First Rabies Cases of 2017 in Bali

Have You Been Warned?
Scientist Create New Ocean-Floor-Based Tsunami Early Warning System as Alternative to Indonesiaís Defunct Buoy-Based System report that scientists from the USA have developed new technology that could markedly improve early warning systems against tsunami strikes in Indonesia and the rest of the world.

Using a network of sensors installed on the ocean floor, the new system would provide early warnings of an impending tsunami and, more basically, address the largely defunct Indonesian tsunami system that has been dismantled by fishermen vandalizing warning buoys for scrap metal. A lack of official funding to undertake replacement or repair of warning buoys is also blamed for the absence of any tsunami early warning system now in operation in Indonesia.

Developed over the past four years, the new warning system has been successfully tested off shore from Padang in West Sumatra.

An earthquake off the coast of Aceh in North Sumatra on December 26, 2004, caused a tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in Indonesia and countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

When a large earthquake struck near the Mentawai Island in March 2016, none of the buoys installed after the 2004 event worked. Fortunately, no tsunami resulted from that earthquake, but the lack of a working early-warning system reminded all concerned that nearby Padang, West Sumatra with a population of one million, is at severe risk in the event of a future tsunami.

Iyan Truyana, a government official involves in research and technology issues, said: “Now we have no buoys in Indonesia. They are all damaged. Where do you live in Indonesia? Jakarta! It’s ok. But if you live in Padang, if you live in Bengkulu, your life is very dangerous."

Japan, another country at continued risk of tsunami strikes, has installed dozens of the new seafloor sensors off its eastern coast connected by thousands of kilometers of fiber-optic cable.

While such a system is expensive, it is largely maintenance free once it is installed. The prototype in place off Sumatra’s coast near Padang coast and near Mentawai Island cost US$3 million to install and was paid by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The new system has proven in tests to send an effective tsunami warning in 1-3 minutes as opposed to the 5-45 minutes required by a working buoy-based system.

This is War!
Bali and Beyond: Traditional Pasola War Games of West Sumba Culture in February-March 2017

The age-old tradition of Pasola returns to West Sumba in February and March of each year in which men wearing heritage  hand-woven Sumba ikat weavings mount miniature Sandalwood horses and launch waves of jousting attacks against each other, determined to draw the blood demanded by the Marapu Gods needed to ensure a bountiful harvest.

While seemingly conducted in good humor to appease officials who try, with mixed success, to persuade combatants to place protective covers on their spear points, there are still centuries-old clan rivalries between neighboring villages in Sumba that are given free-rein of expression during the Pasola period when competing villages take to the battlefield.

While the festival takes place in February and March, its exact dates are fixed at the last minute when marapu priests visit local beaches to find confirmation of an auspicious date via the appearance of the nyale sea-worm in the nearby surf and then sacrifice a rooster.

Held in the area surrounding the villages of Kodi, Lamboya and Wanokaka - huge crowds gather on nearby hillsides to watch the ensuing war games. While local tradition describes the Pasola as a fertility right causing blood to mix with the soil, it may, in fact, be a fertility right on another level as handsome young warriors display their derring-do and skills as horsemen for an appreciative fan base on unmarried young women. In a cycle as certain as the appearance of the nyale sea worms, a surge in proposals of marriage follow shortyl after the end of each Pasola season.

A festival of several day's duration, visitors to Sumba coming to watch this unique spectacle will also witness solemn ceremonies in the run-up period in which women troop to community graves to make offerings in the candlelight at the unique Neolithic gravees specific to Sumba. There’s also a fair amount of ritualized chanting and singing during this period, all meat to help call forth the nyale sea worms that signal the Pasola can begin.

Like every good festival, a fair amount of feasting takes place during the Pasola with pigs slaughtered and bled, their meat to be enjoyed over the coming days.

Caution is advised for both warriors and participants at the Pasola. Like a badly supervised English football match, fights break out not only on the field of battle but also on the hillsides, often requiring police riot squads to intervene and restore the peace.

The center of focus is, of course, the battles taking place between warring villages on the playing field. Spears are launched into the air as horses and their riders rush each other head on. The dulled spears sometimes find their mark, leaving a wounded warrior writhing on the ground.

Apparently, some amount of bloodletting is de rigueur before the Pasola games can truly and officially come to a close, allowing trophies to be presented to the winners.

Again, Pasola in West Sumba is a moveable feast, but the "tentative" 2017 schedule has been announced as follows:
  • February 18th - Lamboya, Sumba Barat
  • February 18th - Kampung Homba Kalaiyo, Sumba Barat Daya
  • February 20th – Kampung Bondo Kawangu, Sumba Barat yaya
  • February 21th – Kampung Rara Winyo, Sumba Barat Daya
  • March 17th - Kampung Maliti Bondo Ate, Suma Barat Daya
  • March 18th – Kampung Waiha, Sumba Barat Daya
  • March 20th – Kampung Wainyapu, Sumba Barat Daya

Death at Batu Bolong
Casey, Suire - American Expat Working as Martial Arts Fighter in Bali Dies in Motorcycle Accident

Casey Suire, a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter living in Bali, has died in a single-vehicle motorcycle accidents in Canggu, North Kuta.

Suire’s body was found laying in a ditch near his motorcycle at sunrise on Sunday, February 5, 2017, near Oka’s Bakery and Café on Jalan Batu Bolong, Canggu.

Police believe that the native of Kaplan, Louisiana and a 2001 graduate of Baton Rouge University died the previous evening when he lost control of a motorcycle traveling from the south at a high rate of speed.

The motorcycle found at the scene had no license plates.

Suire was wearing only a t-shirt and a pair of shorts when his body was discovered. An examination of Suire's body indicated he had sustained significant injuries in the motorcycle mishap that left his body partially submerged in the water of an open roadside ditch.

Casey Suire worked as a professional martial arts fighter in Indonesia and was living at Villa Undaga Uma Dwi in Canggu.

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Bali Update #535
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