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

Tel:
++62 361 286 283

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++62 361 286 284

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1-800-506-8633

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1070 - 06 March 2017

IN THIS UPDATE


With This and That, I Do Wed
New Regulations on Prenuptial Agreements and Changes in Property Ownership Rules in Indonesia

Bali Update:

With the general consensus that property sales, particularly those involving foreign purchasers, have declined significantly in Bali, Balidiscovery.com thought it was time to catch up with the invariably well-informed Sanur-based Notary to find out what, if anything, has changed in regulations affecting foreign land ownership in Indonesia.

A good deal of confusion within the international community surrounds the use of Prenuptial Agreements to secure property purchase rights when marrying an Indonesian. There is a perception that the regulations have changed and that a Prenuptial Agreement is no longer necessary to protect future rights to buy land.

There also looming uncertainty about the long-awaited changes in regulations regarding the liberalization and opening up of property ownership in Indonesia to foreign buyers.

In search of the legal truth in these areas, Balidiscovery.com called on its reliable source on legal matters in the form of Ibu Rain Hendriany SH, M.Kn.. at her Jalan Danau Buyan in Sanur

Bali Update Interview with Rainy Hendriany

Bali Update: Ibu Rainy, thank you once again for generously giving your time to explain to the international community in Indonesia the latest Indonesian Laws and Regulations on matters affecting foreign land ownership. I know from reader feedback that your inputs are always appreciated.

Rainy Hendriany: I’m always happy to contribute but I’d like to say first that my comments in such an interview have to be general in nature and are not intended to be, or to replace the need for, professional legal counsel.

Bali Update: Let’s talk about Prenuptial Agreements. There seems to be a widespread belief that because of certain changes in regulations, Prenuptial Agreements, let’s call them Prenups, are no longer necessary to secure property purchase rights when marrying an Indonesian citizen. Would you please help to clarify what is the situation?

Rainy Hendriany: I’m not surprised by what you say because many clients asking whether a Prenuptial Agreement is still necessary have also contacted me. So the confusion does seem to be quite widespread.

There have been some important changes to regulations, which I will get to in a minute, but first, let’s back up and review why Prenups have been important for a foreigner marrying an Indonesian.

First, the main reason that Prenups have been used by mixed couples is that Indonesian Law, including provisions of both The Indonesian Constitution and The Basic Agrarian law of 1960, make it illegal for non-Indonesians to own landed property in Indonesia, which includes both Hal Milik (Ed: Freehold with unlimited duration) and HGB (Ed: The Right to build and use with long but limited duration).

Second, under Indonesian law, like in most countries, assets acquired within a legal marriage become the joint property of the partners in the marriage.

So that means that if the Indonesian partner in a marriage to a non-Indonesian was to acquire such landed property in his or her name, the foreign partner would own half of it, which is illegal. In turn, that explains why Prenups have been used by mixed couples because with a Prenup, often in Indonesia called a “Separation of Assets,” entirely separates the assets of the spouses, both before and after marriage so that the Indonesian partner is then able to legally acquire landed property in his or her name.

Bali Update: Understood. So what has changed to cause such confusion?

Rainy Hendriany: The problem with the law as it stood was that many, in fact most, mixed couples only ever discovered these points of law after they were already married, by which time it was too late. Indonesian law does not provide for Postnuptial Agreements so in the conveyance of property a Notary/PPAT will always ask for a copy of a Prenup when the Indonesian buyer or seller is married to a non-Indonesian, which is identified from the “KK” or Family Registration Card, which all Indonesian Households are required to have and which is also required by the Notary in a property transaction.

Bali Update: So the failure to create a Prenup before marrying results in making it legally impossible for such couples ever to own property held in the name of the Indonesian partner? Is there no solution for such an oversight?

Rainy Hendriany: Correct, and it could be argued that the Constitutional right of all Indonesian citizens to own property in Indonesia was being denied to an Indonesian simply because he or she married a foreigner. And that is what resulted in changes to the regulations. An Indonesian woman, finding herself in that very position, made a submission to the Constitutional Court requesting an examination of whether the existing legal framework was inconsistent with the Indonesian Constitution.

In summary, the Constitutional Court ruled that the provisions of both The Constitution and The Basic Agrarian law regarding restrictions on the foreign ownership of landed property in Indonesia are a matter entirely at the discretion of the Sovereign State. However, it also found that the Constitutional right of all Indonesians to own property was being denied to Indonesians in mixed marriages without a Prenup.

The Court, therefore, ruled that to protect the Constitutional property ownership rights of all Indonesians, it should be made possible to enter into a Separation of Assets Agreement after marriage as well as before.

Rulings of the Constitutional Court take effect immediately and other laws and regulations, including the Marriage Law, will have to be revised and brought in line over time.

Bali Update: So what does that mean for mixed couples in practical terms?

Rainy Hendriany: What it means is that such couples who are already married without a Prenup are now able to obtain a Separation of Assets Agreement which then legally allows the Indonesian spouse to buy landed property in his/her name.

For couples who are not yet married, in general, it is still preferable to enter into a Prenup before marriage, especially where the Indonesian spouse already owns property and will bring it into the marriage because ownership of that property within the marriage would still be illegal during the period after marriage but before the Separation of Assets Agreement was entered into. However, with the new ruling, even if a mixed couple were unaware of the law prior to marriage, they may still now maintain the Constitutional property ownership rights of the WNI (Indonesian Citizen) partner by executing a Separation of Assets Agreement after marriage.

Bali Update: So, back to the original question, it is not correct that a Prenup is no longer necessary, just that it can now be obtained after marriage not only before marriage as before?

Rainy Hendriany: Exactly. It should also be understood that the legal restrictions on the ownership of landed property by non-Indonesians remain exactly the same as before this Constitutional Court ruling. In summary, it is illegal for non-Indonesians to buy landed property in Indonesia and Indonesian law does not recognize the beneficial ownership of landed property through the use of nominees.

Bali Update: Which brings me to the second topic I wanted to raise with you about the changes to regulations that were supposed to liberalize the foreign ownership of property. Here again, there is a lot of confusion in the community. Can you help clarify?

Rainy Hendriany: Yes, I’ll try. We did discuss the new Foreign Ownership Regulation previously but since then two sets of Implementing Regulations have been issued, which have made matters even more uncertain, contributing to the confusion.

Let’s start with some facts. First, as I just said, it is important to be aware that Freehold and HGB titles can still only be held by Indonesian citizens and, in the case of HGB Title, also by legally established Indonesian Legal Entities, for example, a company.

Second, turning to the matter of foreign properly ownership, there have been some changes to regulations, which I will get to shortly. These actually only affect Hak Pakai Title which is available to qualified foreigners, which means they must be legal residents of Indonesia with a KITAS Visa or higher.

Third, although commonly misunderstood, a Hak Pakai title is not a leasehold but a form of ownership Title involving the issuance of a Land Certificate, which is a Title Deed, in the name of the owner. Like HGB title, it is issued for a limited initial period but through extension and renewal the total duration of both is now eighty years.

Fourth, and without going into the legal history, a Hak Pakai Title is granted to a qualified foreigner for residential purposes only, so the property may not be used for other purposes. So, for instance, it can’t be rented out on a commercial basis during periods that the foreign Hak Pakai owner is not in residence.

Fifth, Indonesians, in general, do not buy properties under Hak Pakai Title because it is difficult to get the Title upgraded and there are always many properties available with HGB or Freehold Title.

Bali Update: OK, but as I recall none of that is new, so why all the confusion if basically nothing has changed?

Rainy Henriany: I think in part it’s because the changes to regulations were extensively hyped in advance by the English language media in Indonesia and by some parties with vested interests in selling property to foreigners depicting any changes as being revolutionary in nature; so the expectations were very high.

Getting back to the actual changes in regulations. The Indonesian Authorities, under a lot of pressure from Nationalist interests in Parliament, finally issued a new Government Regulation, the “Foreign Ownership Regulation” which was largely cosmetic, applied only to foreign residents of Indonesia and even then really didn’t change much of anything other than tinkering with the renewal and duration timelines of Hak Pakai Title to bring its duration in line with HGB Title. In fact, in some respects, the new situation is even more restrictive than under the previous Regulations.

The regulation now requires that a property may only be bought by a qualified foreigner as a new property (House or Apartment) from an Indonesian person or entity and there are minimum values placed on the value of a property, which a qualified foreigner can buy. This requirement from whom a foreigner can buy, and therefore to whom he can in turn sell, was not in the previous regulation and it is problematic.

In both cases, the title has to be changed into Hak Pakai, which can be costly and difficult because it requires a Land certificate to be issued by The Land Office (BPN) in the name of the foreigner.

For Apartments, I don’t think this is realistic because as developers in general sell ownership of individual Apartment units - Actually more correctly described as condominiums - under Strata Title over HGB land, which is only available for Indonesians. Obviously, Indonesians are the main buyers of Apartments.

So to sell Apartments to foreigners, a developer would need to offer all units in a development with Strata Title over Hak Pakai land and sell all the units to foreigners because Indonesians would not be interested. The is not an attractive business proposition.

As usual with government regulations, the “Implementing Regulations” are often as important as the regulation itself. In the case of this regulation, there have been two sets of implementing regulations, both issued since we last talked.

These regulations have clarified various aspects of Hak Pakai ownership, including inheritance and established the minimum price for houses and apartments allowed for purchase by foreigners. They also confirm that a property owned under Hak Pakai title by a qualified foreigner must be sold within one year of the foreigner becoming no longer qualified (generally no longer resident in Indonesia).

The first implementing regulation provided that if the property was not sold within this period, it would be auctioned by The Indonesian State and the proceeds transferred to the owner. None of my clients felt comfortable with that provision. The second regulation, replacing the earlier version, went silent on this state auction provision whilst confirming the one-year limit. It also made a concession that a used Hak Pakai Apartment (Not a House) could be bought but it was also silent as to whether the seller could be another foreigner.

So the main issue with the so-called “New, liberalized Foreign Ownership Regulation” is this: Having bought a property with Hak Pakai Title, should you no longer be qualified or should your circumstances change and you want to sell, who is going to buy? Foreigners can only buy new properties from Indonesians, other than perhaps a used apartment, which is probably irrelevant because of the title issues we discussed earlier. It is also unclear whether a foreign owner of an apartment may sell the used unit to another foreigner but until clarified otherwise it is safer to assume it may not, so there cannot be other foreign buyers. And the largest groups of potential buyers, Indonesians, in general, don’t buy property with Hak Pakai Title.

I hope that explains my earlier comment that in some respects this new Regulation and its Implementing framework may actually have taken a step backward in opening up the ownership of property in Indonesia to non-Indonesians.

As of now, the vast majority of my foreign clients still prefer the legal certainty of leasehold arrangements, which are available to all foreigners irrespective of their residential status in Indonesia. A leasehold, although conveying no ownership rights, if constructed professionally, provides that the remaining duration of the leasehold can be subleased to another party at any time, often at very attractive terms reflecting increases in property values, especially in prime locations. So this also provides a more legally certain “exit route”. Also, in a leasehold transaction, only the lessor not the lessee has any Indonesian Tax liability on the income from the transaction.

Bali Update: Thanks for explaining that in simple language. It appears that these changes, which had been billed in advance as liberalizing foreign property ownership in Indonesia, have, if anything, done the opposite!

Ibu Rainy, you have as usual been very generous with your time to assist the international community in understanding often highly complicated points of Indonesian law and on behalf of us all, I would like to express my sincere thanks.

Related Articles

Interview: Rainy Hendriany – Foreign Ownership Update

Regulation of Property Ownership by Foreigners

Bali Property Ownership by Foreigners

This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land


Horse on Fire
No Injuries Reported as White Horse Bus Catches Fire in North Bali

A White Horse Bus carrying 34 domestic passengers traveling on a journey from the Bali Bird Park to Bedugul caught on fire and burned on Friday, March 3, 2017.

When smoke started coming from the bus on the Denpasar to Singaraja Road at Baturiti, passengers and crew quickly disembarked the while the fire was extinguished.

There were no injuries related to the fire that saw 3 fire trucks respond to the scene.

The fire that caused extensive damage to the bus is blamed on a short circuit in the vehicle’s electrical system.

The passengers were transferred to a replacement vehicle to continue their journey.


Short Stay and Low Spend, But in Great Numbers
Bank Indonesia Confirms Chinese Tourists Destined to Dominate Bali Arrival Totals

A Bank Indonesia Survey confirms that Mainland Chinese Tourists will soon overtake Australians as the largest source of tourist visitors to Bali in 2017.

In 2016, Mainland Chinese tourists to Bali totaled 986,026 visitors, behind the 1,137,413 Australian visitors to the Island during that year.

The same Bank Indonesia Survey raised concerns in reporting that the average spend per day on a Bali holiday by a Chinese tourist is 25% of that expended by European or Australian tourists. As reported by Kompas Properti, the surge in Chinese tourists to Bali, because of the low spend, will have a diminished effect on the Island’s tourism economy.

Adding to these concerns, the short length of stay by Chinese tourists is blamed for overall figures that show the average-length-of-stay for Bali visitors in September 2016 stood at 3.11 days, down from a previous length-of-stay total of 3.2 days.

I Wayan Puspa Negara, a local tourism business owner, states that the coming domination of Chinese tourist visitors to Bali need not become a major point of concern to the Island of Bali. Moreover, Puspa Negara claims the high and low season for Chinese visitors are the perfect complement to the low and high season for tourism generally in Bali, sending the most Chinese tourists to Bali during traditionally low travel seasons.

2016 Arrival statistics for Chinese travelers to Bali, however, do not support Puspa Negara’s seasonality argument. On the average, some 86,000 Mainland Chinese tourists came to Bali every month in 2016. The months operating below the average were: January, March, April, May, June, October and December. The remaining months that operated above the average with the strongest months for Chinese arrivals were February (Chinese New Year), July and August.

Puspa Negara also argues that Chinese tourists will, over time, follow the historical trend of converting from group and package tourists to longer-staying and higher-paying FIT travelers.

Related Articles

Chinese Checkers Wanted

2016: Bali by the Numbers


Nusa Dua Gets a Royal Warrant
Nusa Dua and Bali Reviewed Exhaustively Before Selection for Visit by Saudi Royalty

Details are emerging surrounding the deliberations leading to the decision by the Saudi Arabian Royal Household of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to travel to Bali for a 5-day holiday, March 4 - 9, 2017.

Kompas.com reports that the Saudi Kingdom dispatched a special advance team from Saudi Arabia to Bali to investigate both the condition of Nusa Dua and the climate for investment.

The deputy director of the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Jatmika Krisna Santosa, said on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, said, “They (Saudi Arabia) sent an advance team to determine if the information they have read matches up with the reality.”

The Saudi Advance Team held direct meetings with the management of ITDC.

Santosa said there were three main considerations in selecting Bali and Nusa Dua for the King’s holiday. First, was ITDC’s past success as a venue for visits by foreign heads of state that have included, among others, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. Second, the team wanted to make sure the promotional material on ITDC available in Saudi Arabia matched the situation on the ground in Bali - especially as regards elements relating to security, service and comfort. Finally, the Advance Team examined the carrying capacity of Nusa Dua to ensure the area could accommodate a large VVIP group of 1,500 people.

The Advance team also traveled to inspect the Mandalika development zone in South Lombok, also managed by ITDC.

Impressed by what they saw in Bali and Lombok, the Advance Team gave the “thumbs up” to the Palace and plans for the visit were announced a short time later. 


6 Million Foreign Tourists to Bali in 2017?
Bali by the Numbers Bali Arrivals Surge Ahead 31.44% in January 2017

The State News Agency Antara reports that foreign tourists visiting Bali in January 2017 totaled 460,824 – a number that is 31.44% higher than the 350,592 visitors who came to the Island in January 2016.

Adi Nugroho, head of the National Statistic Bureau (BPS), commenting on the January 2017 arrivals, said, “456,660 foreign tourists came via Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport and 8,164 arrived by sea.”

For all of 2016, Bali welcomed 4.904 million foreign tourists, an increase of 23.14% when compared to January 2015 when just over 4 million overseas visitors came to Bali.

Bali has set a target of 5.5 visitors for 2017. If the January growth in arrivals of 31.44% can be maintained through the remainder of 2017, Bali will end the year with some 6.4 million tourists – a number well in excess of the targeted number.

According to BPS-Bali, Chinese tourists to Bali in January increased a whopping 92.32% in January totaling 147,928 Mainland Chinese visitors when compared to the 76,919 Chinese tourists who visited in January 2016. Meanwhile, Australian tourists increased a more modest 4.01% in January with 87,983 visitors, thus fulfilling in the first month of 2017 predictions that Chinese visitors would take the lead road as a source of Island visitors.

Month-on-month Indian visitors to Bali increased 27.78 percent in January reaching 17,520 tourists.

Japanese tourists increased 3.93% in January (17,184), U.S. tourists increased 24.61% at 14,704, South Koreans increased 2.77% to 14,658, UK visitors were up 7.77% to 14,373 people, and Russians surge 57.54% to 12,427 visitors.

Also increasing were Malaysia tourists up 12.72% to 12,134, while Taiwanese visitors were up 33.32% to 12,055.

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2016: Bali by the Numbers


A Brazilian Beat in Nusa Dua
Ritz-Carlton Bali Appoints Brazilian Juliana Salla as EAM

The Ritz-Carlton Resort Bali has appointed Julian Salla as Executive Assistant Manager – Rooms.

Originally from Brazil, Juliana’s career spans more than 15 years with assignments in U.S., Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Salla proclaims she is excited at returning to Indonesia, after her last post at W Retreat Seminyak five years ago as a member of the pre-opening team. Her most recent position prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, Bali was “Director of Whatever Whenever” (Rooms and Residences) of W Hotel Guangzhou, China.

A graduate from Faculdade de Comunicacao Casper Libero, Sao Paulo, Brazil majoring in communications, Juliana also holds degrees in hotel management and guest services operations. As Executive Assistant Manager – Rooms in Bali, Juliana will oversee the resort’s Room Division, including Front Office, Housekeeping, Loss Prevention, and the award-winning The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Bali and Ritz Kids.

“We are very excited to welcome Juliana as part of the Ladies and Gentlemen team at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali,” said Karim Tayach, general manager. “I’m confident that her experience and knowledge will bring meaningful contribution on creating everlasting memories for our guests.”

A certified PADI Diving instructor since 2013, Juliana was also a dance teacher, teaching ballet, tap, flamenco, and jazz. In her leisure time, she loves to do scuba diving.


Drowning in a Sea of Garbage
Province of Bali Wants to Take Control of Growing Pile of Garbage Overwhelming South Denpasar

Beritabali.com reports that Bali’s battle with trash and garbage was the “hot topic” at a meeting held at the Bali Provincial House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

At the budgeting meeting with provincial lawmakers, Governor Made Mangku Pastika explained the complicated issues surrounding the operation of the TPA Suwung - Bali's largest rubbis tip in South Denpasar,  the sight and smell of which dominates wide areas of Bali’s south.

Pastika told the meeting that it is proving difficult to find a private party capable or prepared to tackle the problem of garbage at Suwung. Because of this, Pastika is urging that the province be allowed to take charge of TPA Suwung with funding coming from fees to be derived from “tipping fees” and fund collected for cultural preservation.

“We can ask UNESCO for a donation to protect culture and hygiene,” explained Pastika.

Pastika described how past efforts to produce electrical power from the decomposing trash proved economically non-viable. For this reason, he said he is unable to find anyone prepared to invest in managing TPA Suwung. The Governor said that plans submitted to handle the trash deposited at TPA Suwung include an 80-meter tall processing tower, a building height not allowed by Provincial zoning rules.

The pile of garbage at TPA Suwung may, in fact, soon exceed structural height limitations of 15 meters, with trash now piled over 12 meters above ground level.

Reportedly, some 43 investors have looked at the TPA Suwung project, but none have come forward to undertake the management of Bali’s garbage problem.

Pastika’s proposal that the Provincial Government be put in charge of TPA Suwung was widely applauded by legislators attending the meeting.

Related Articles

An Eyesore and So Much More

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Taking Out the Garbage


A Future Drawn in Charcoal
‘Drawing Future’ Exhibition at CushCush Gallery in Denpasar, Bali Through May 13, 2017 - "Charcoal for Children”

Local artists, designers and members of Bali’s creative community came together for the opening of “Charcoal For Children” - presided over recently by the Australian Consul General for Bali, Helena Studdert, and held at the CushCush Gallery on Jalan Teuku Umar in Downtown Denpasar, Bali.

A free program designed to empower children through arts and creativity, while raising awareness about the environment by teaching the production and use of do-it-yourself charcoal as a creative tool.

After three successful workshops that saw participation by 103 children, 35 volunteers and 6 artists - the collaborative artworks by the artists and children participants are on display through May 13, 2017, at CushCush Gallery at the “Drawing Future Exhibition.”

CushCush Gallery founder Suriawati said she hopes that the “Charcoal For Children” program will promote creativity in children by emphasizing on the generation and expression of ideas in a non-evaluative learning framework. She also hopes that the resulting creativity will help children to develop their critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills

During the current exhibition, collaborative artworks by the artists and children are on sale to raise funds for future “Charcoal For Children” programs.

"Drawing Future - Charcoal for Children"
A Charity Exhibition
CushCush Gallery
Jalan Teuku Umar Gg. Rajawali No.1A
Denpasar 80113, Bali, Indonesia

Open Through May 13, 2017
Admission Free of Charge
Open Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

CushCush Gallery Website


Love, Match, Game
Innovative Online Application Available to Arrange Tennis Matches in Bali - Liga.Tennis

An innovative approach to finding a tennis partner now exists in Bali with the launch a new application Liga.Tennis.

In order to increase connections and a sense of community among tennis players, the innovative application allows people to issue challenges to other players linked to a level of skill, feedback on their play and what area they wish for a coming match.

The application allows both the user and other players to monitor improvement in their skill levels.

It’s easy to join. All you need to do is to register, choose an appropriate league and you’re ready to go. It's very easy to play: you have the freedom to pick a court and time to play the match.

It’s free of charge and there are no any obligations – not even a minimal number of games to be played in any given month.

Those registered in the league can go online to set up matches and seek new tennis partners. Once a challenge is accepted it’s then up to you and your opponent to decide when and where you wish to play. After the match, members are asked to post their results to share with other members of the league. The number of points earned during past matches determines a ranking within the league. Those who fail to play for two consecutive months are deleted from the league.

Members of the online league will have access to the email addresses and telephone numbers of all the players in your Level to finalize match arrangements.

Four leagues of play are available: Men, Women, Kids, and Doubles.

Four levels of play are also available: Beginner, Advanced, Open, and Senior.

League and level of play are entered during the registration period. After joining the league points towards a higher ranking are earned by playing more matches; winning matches; and defeating players with a higher ranking than you. Similarly, fewer points are earned when you defeat someone with a lower ranking than your own; win a match in straight set instead of a tie-break; and wine more games in each set.

The system also allows the organization of periodic tournaments. The top 8 players from each Level will be invited to compete in a Final community final held at the end of each year.

Looking for a Match? Here's the links!

Website for Liga.Tennis

Short Form for Instant Sign Up


Sinful Slaughter
Police in Bali Size 670 kg of Illicit Green Turtle Meat

The Bali Water Police have uncovered and thwarted an operation smuggling 670 kilograms of green sea turtle meat (Chelonia mydas).

Beritabali.com reports that the turtle meat smugglers were 2 men from the Island of Madura in East Java who were driving a pickup truck to Bali at the time of their arrest.

Under arrest and in police custody are Lukmanul Hakim (41) and Saifullah (30).

Police on Jalan Petasari in Kuta stopped the two men on Wednesday, February 25, 2017, at 5:00 am during a roadside inspection. Police found 9 boxes in the back of the truck packed in ice with cuts of turtle meat destined for customers in Kuta, Bali.

Police estimate that the meat found in the truck came from some 30 slaughtered green turtles that fetched between Rp. 5 and Rp 7 million each when sold by the smugglers. The men told police the meat was to be used in Bali-Hindu religious ceremonies.

The sale and purchase of green turtles or their meat, for any purpose, is strictly forbidden under the law. Bali Hindu religious leaders have declared that only live turtles can be used as offerings and the reptiles must be returned to the ocean alive after any ritual ceremony.

Police are continuing their efforts to track down the individual who ordered the turtle meat in Bali.

Because the two men captured by police are viewed only as couriers, they face a maximum prison sentence of five years in prison and a fine of Rp. 100 million.

The seized turtle meat is being kept under refrigeration at a secure location at the Port of Benoa.


Bad Luck of the Irish
Irish Tourist Paul Walsh Arrested in Bali for Stealing a Motorcycle

Police in Kuta, Bali arrested Paul Gerard Walsh, a 30-year-old man from Dublin, Ireland, in connection with the theft of a motorcycle from the parking lot of the Matahari Guest House in Jalan Wangi in Kuta on Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Beritabali.com reports that the Irishman was taken into custody by police with a wounded neck after he crashed into a steel fence while trying to flee an angry crowd.

Prior to Walsh’s arrest, the motorcycle’s owner, Fauzi Sahi, had reported the loss of his motorcycle to the Kuta Police that he had parked at the Matahari Guest House.

Sahi told police he had inadvertently left the keys for the motorcycle in the ignition and saw his bike being taken by a foreigner as he screamed “thief” to those standing nearby. A chase ensued causing Walsh to accelerate and hit a steel fence resulting in wounds to his neck and other parts of his body.

Falling off the stolen motorcycle, Walsh tried to escape by running inside a nearby home, pursued by local citizens and police who had joined the chase.

Walsh was taken into custody without a struggle and brought to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.


Making Up the Rules as You Go Along
Go-Jek Couriers Complain Driver Fees Have Been Cut Dramatically by Online Transportation Operator

Tens of online motorcycle jockeys employed by Go-Jek and members of the Go-Jek Bali Driver Forum held demonstrations in front of the Go-Jek Office on Jalan Teuku Umar on Monday, February 27, 2017.

As reported by NusaBali, the drivers were protesting a change in policy by PT Gojek Indonesia (PTGI) that they claim have proven unduly burdensome on the men who have worked for the company over the past two years.

One Go-Jek driver, Lancar Jaya, in an oration before the demonstrators, said he spoke on behalf of his work colleagues who are burdened with a change in the tariff used to calculate their compensation level. Under the old tariff, drivers were paid Rp. 15,000 for every 6 kilometers, with an additional Rp. 2,500 per kilometer when they traveled a longer distance. The drivers were protesting a change to a lower tariff of only Rp. 10,000 for 6-kilometer trips and Rp. 2,000 kilometers for every kilometer thereafter.

“We object strongly as the partners of PTGI with the reduction in tariff that has disturbed our ability to purchase gas and food. We have children and wives at home. Is this any way to treat work colleagues? We have suffered losses,” said Lancar Jaya.

Lancar also complained that the basic tariff paid during “rush hour,” or from 6:00 pm until 7:59 pm, had been changed. While drivers originally received a Rp. 12,000 share of the Rp. 15,000 paid by the consumer during this period, that share has now been reduced to just 8,000.

Drivers also claimed that a recent shift in banking arrangements from Bank CIMB to BCA is delaying payments made to drivers and has imposed a new RP. 10,000-transaction charge from BCA.

In a continuing list of complaints, the drivers said that many of their colleagues are being terminated from their employment without any explanation for their firing.

NusaBali reports that the management of PTGI has refused to comments on the gievances filed by their drivers or share the results of a meeting held with their representatives at Go-Jek’s Bali Office.


The King has Landed
Saudi King Begins 5-Day Visit to Bali

On schedule at 5:45 pm on Saturday, March 4, 2017, the Boeing 747 used by the Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud landed at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport at the beginning of a 5-day holiday.

The King and his entourage of 1,500 traveling on a total 6 aircraft were greeted by the musical strains of a Balinese orchestra and 50 pendit dancers - a traditional welcome in the Balinese dance repertoire.

of 22 domestic flights and 17 international flights encountered delays in their arrival and departure schedules because of the VVIP arrival in Bali.

A specially designed escalator flown into Bali from Saudi Arabia to assist the 81-year-old Monarch descend from his Private Jumbo Jet malfunctioned at the last moment necessitating the use of an invalid passenger lift during the disembarkation process.

Joining the welcome were Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika, local officials and community leaders in Bali.

Accompanied by a sizeable police escort ,a fleet of limousines brought the Saudi King and his party from the airport to his suite at The St. Regis Resort Bali at Nusa Dua.

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Where Royalty Rest Their Heads in Bali


Where Royalty Rest Their Heads in Bali
Saudi Arabian King Chose St. Regis Bali Resort for his Bali Holiday

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud traveling together with an entourage of 1,500 wound up a formal State Visit to Jakarta March 1-3, 2017, before heading en masse for a holiday visit to Jakarta March 4-9, 2017,

Beritabali.com reports that while in Bali the King and his group stayed at The St. Regis Bali Resort, The Laguna Luxury Collection, The Mulia Bali and the Hilton (former Grand Nikko).

The King and his immediate family members and personal assistance choseThe St. Regis Bali Resort during their stay in Bali.

The 5-star luxury resort is part of the Indonesian Tourism Development Complex (ITDC) located on Bali’s southernmost top. The hotel with 123 suites and rooms was built in 2008 is positioned only 10 kilometers from the Bali International Airport where the King’s private aircraft is parked parked.

Several days prior to the Saudi VVIP group’s arrival the hotel was gradually emptied of guests so a security sterilization process could commence. During the course of the visit, police sectioned off the beach in front of the hotel barring access to the public to the beachfront.

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The King has Landed


Stop the Rot!
Bali Launches Crackdown on Street Gangs Demanding Protection Payments

A special operation by the police in Bali pledges to put an end to extortion of local business by Mass Organizations (Ormas) – an euphemism used to refer to local gangs involved in a range of crime and protection schemes.

As reported by Metrobali.com, shop owners, workshops, roadside food stalls and other businesses are targeted by the gangs demanding a regular series of illegal cash payments.

The police campaign is calling itself “Clean Sweep” (Sapu Bersih – Sapu).

A spokesman for the Bali Police Headquarters, Hengky Widjaja, said that when payments take place demanded by unclear institutions and for unclear purposes that enrich individuals or groups, such acts are deemed by police to be acts of extortion (Pungli).

“We call on the public who feel they have suffered (such) losses at hands of members of the community to report to the police and the ‘Clean Sweep’ team who will take action without favor against any individual or group. This includes when such payments are called ‘security payments’ (uang keamanan), because security remains the responsibility of the police,” explained Widjaja.

Police have recently arrested a number of Ormas members, caught in the act demanding  sums of money from local businesses.

The police are actively cracking down on those involved in extortion. In one instance, a man who said he was a member of a well-known Ormas was arrested on Jalan Bulu Indah in West Denpasar as he demanded money from stores and workshops. Other, similar arrests took place on Jalan Teuku Umar, Jalan Raya Puputan and in Sukawati, Gianyar.

Commenting on the arrests, Widjaja said: “All (these) arrests are in connection with extortion money posing as ‘security payments.’ We call on the public to report to the police whenever they feel they are being asked for unauthorized payments.”


Saudi King Extends Bali Stay
King Salam Adds Three Extra Days to Bali Holiday, Extending Holiday Until March 12th

Balipost.com reports that the Saudi Arabian King Salam bin Abdulazis al Saud on a 5-day holiday to Bali from March 4 – 9, 2017 apparently so enjoyed his holiday that he extended his stay until Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Confirmation of an extended stay for the King was provided by PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (PT JAS) the State-owned ground handling service provider at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport who is supervising the King’s fleet of private aircraft during its Bali stay.

PT JAS has been ordered to make arrangements for the King’ private plane to now  depart on Sunday, March 12, 2017, from Bali.

On Friday, March 3rd. the first advance plane from the King’s armada of airplanes arrive in Bali. On Saturday, the next day, five more airplanes carrying members of the VVIP group from Saudi Arabia landed in Bali, including the luxury Boeing 747-400 used by the Saudi monarch as his private aircraft.


Bali Update at 19
BALI UPDATE Reflect on 19 Years of Sharing the News on Bali

The first edition of BALI UPDATE was sent out on March 2, 1998 – now, more than 19 years ago.

1,070 editions and nearly 16,000 articles later, the BALI UPDATE has grown and changed over the years.

Initially, an email shared with friends offering an on-the-ground view of Bali and Indonesian tourism during a period of historical political and economic upheaval in Indonesia, we countered incorrect claims by CNN and others that “Indonesia was covered in smoke” and “on the verge of collapse.” We continuously counseled the outside world that life went on “as usual” for most Indonesians, despite pockets of protest and unrest in far-flung corners of the archipelago.

Over time, we received many requests to share the Indonesia side of the story earning along the way the title of “Bali’s Truth Ministry” from TIME Magazine.

Worse storms and more Bali stories lay ahead. BALI UPDATE'S history spanned two horrific terror attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005, allowing us to underline to our readers that Bali was not the perpetrator of terror but, in fact, its victim.

Over the nearly two decades that BALI UPDATE has reported tourism-related news Indonesia has undergone fundamental change. The external forces, such as terrorism and inaccurate reporting, that threatened Bali’s tourism fortunes in the late 1990s remain, but, now, the greatest threat to the Island’s future has become the unbridled pace of development with little or no reference to issues of carrying capacity of the limits of market demand.

There are those who incorrectly claim that BALI UPDATE has become more critical and controversial in recent years. Much of the material presented in each Monday’s UPDATE represents a faithful renditions of news published in the Indonesian press. And, if BALI UPDATE has developed a stronger style in recent years this is nothing more than a reflection of the greater freedom of expression now enjoyed by the Indonesian press in general.

When BALI UPDATE has an opinion it labels its clearly as “Editorial” - the rest of our coverage represents faithful, unembellished renderings of the news as Indonesian read it online and in print every day.

The road ahead for BALI UPDATE and Balidiscovery.com remains uncertain. If we are to survive, we must find a way to monetize our newsletter and its related website in order to remain financially sustainable. This will require an investment to make our medium compatible with the mobile-computing age, changing face of Bali tourism and the online behavior of the coming generation.

After 19 years, the week-in and week-out work of John Daniels who has served without pause as the sole editor of BALI UPDATE will need to be shared with a new editor drawn from a younger generation but sharing his deep regard for the Island of Bali and its people.

On March 2, 2017, BALI UPDATE turned 19 years old. To our nearly 40,000 subscribers we issue thanks your loyal readership over the ups and downs of Bali tourism. To those who have purchased banner advertising or paid for product updates, we also say thanks for helping to pay the bills and keep our server up and running. And, to those with Bali tourism products to promote we hope you’ll give a thought to the supporting BALI UPDATE and Balidiscovery.com through allocating a small portion of your sales and marketing budgets to keep our weekly newsletter in operation and coming to your inbox each Monday.

Will BALI UPDATE be here to celebrate a 20th birthday? Only time and your desire to help us to continue to tell Bali's story will tell.

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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #641
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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #638
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Bali Update #637
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Bali Update #636
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Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #633
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Bali Update #632
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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
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Bali Update #624
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #622
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Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #620
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #617
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #614
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #611
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #601
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #599
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Bali Update #598
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #592
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #583
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Bali Update #582
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Bali Update #581
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #579
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Bali Update #578
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Bali Update #577
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Bali Update #576
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #572
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
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Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
July 02, 2007

Bali Update #563
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
April 30, 2007

Bali Update #554
April 23, 2007

Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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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
January 22, 2007

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 #524
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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