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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1072 - 20 March 2017

IN THIS UPDATE


Going the Distance
Maybank Bali Marathon 2017: Sunday, August 27, 2017

Maybank Indonesia has announced the 6th running of the Maybank Bali Marathon 2017 (MBM17) to take place on Sunday, August 27, 2017.

This year’s running of the MBM 2017 will include route changes in an event that will xontinue to include a full-marathon, half-marathon, 10K run and children’s sprint event.

Online registration opens on 09 April with early bird registration exclusively for Maybank customers available for the first seven days April 9-15, 2017. Early bird registration for the general public on a limited quota of early bird participants will be available from April 16 until April 30, 2017. General registration opens on May 1, 2017, or as soon as the early quota of registrations is depleted.

Organizers of the race are exploring new routes that will retain Gianyar but potentially include race elements that cover parts of the regencies of Klungkung and Bangli.

The 2016 running of the Maybank Bali Marathon saw 7,500 participants with this year’s event expected to attract 8,000-9,000 runners.

The full marathon will cover 42.195 km, a half marathon (21.0975 km) and a 10 km run. The Maybank Bali Marathon was named one of the "52 Best Races in the Wolrd 2016" by Runnersworld Magazine.

Officials Website for the Maybank Bali Marathon 


Trumped Up Prices
Local Farmers in Bali Refusing to Sell Lands to Make Way for Donald Trump Tower and Country Club

Abc.net.au reports that plans by U.S. President Donald E. Trump to manage a massive golf, hotel and residential development in West Bali are meeting resistance from local landowners refusing to sell their land to Trump’s Indonesian partner, Hary Tanoesodibjo's of the MNC group.

Tanoesodibjo is reported to be busily acquiring land parcels around his Nirwana Resort in Tanah Lot in preparation for a major renovation and expansion program.

The existing Pan Pacific Bali Nirwana Resort will close its doors on July 31, 2017, to commence a 3-year long building program covering 100-hectares.

Local landowners told ABC news that are not prepared to sell their lands at the prices being offered by Hary Tanoesodibjo.

A local community leader, Nyoman Madya, said, “There is hardly anyone who wants to sell their land.”

Local property owners are seeking Rp. 500 million per “are” (100 square meters), but were only being offered between Rp. 100 and 150 million.

Although it appears that the Trump Organization will be managing the new resort, locals had heard rumors that their land was wanted by the U.S. President.

Some villagers have expressed a preference for long-term leases of their land, rather than the outright sale of ancestral lands.

MNC is being tight-lipped on plans for the development on land surrounding one of Bali’s most iconic and cherished religious sites at Tanah Lot. In light of name of “Trump Towers” adopted by similar developments managed by the Trump organization, Bali has strict building height limitations of 15 meters and sets backs from seashore and religious temples.

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Will Noble Caledonia Act with Nobility?
Anger Grows in Indonesia Over Damage Caused by British Cruise Ship that Obliterated Huge Area of Protected Coral Reef

On March 4, 2017, the 90-meter MV Caledonia Sky cruise ship was repositioning from a bird watching stop within the Raja Ampat Marine Park in eastern Indonesia when the luxury ship ran aground while anchoring at low tide near a coral reef where the passengers planned to snorkel for the remainder of the afternoon.

While the passengers were landed ashore as a safety precaution, an inspection revealed no serious damage was done to the hull. Sadly, the coral reef, considered among the finest at Raja Ampat, fared less well.

Extensive damage was inflicted on Crossover Reef near Waigeo Island in the park. The damage to the reef was compounded by the efforts of the tugboat called from Sorong that, instead of waiting until high tide, persisted in pulling the ship off the reef at low tide exacerbating the damage to the reef.

Initial estimates of damage were limited to 1,600 square meters of the reef, but ongoing investigations indicate that as much as 13,500 square meters may have been affected by the grounding. Raja Ampat is widely considered the global epicenter of tropical marine biodiversity and is referred to as "The Crown Jewel" of the Papua’s Bird’s Head Seascape.

The British-owned, Bahamian-flagged ship from the Noble Caledonia line issued a statement of regret over the unfortunate incident and said they were cooperating with local authorities. Local stakeholders were angered by the incident and the significant damages to the reef in the resulting impact on the livelihood of local fishermen and tourism workers.

A long-time Bali resident, rural development specialist and frequent traveler in Eastern Indonesia, Jackie Pomeroy, said this sounded like a process that was likely to leave everyone unhappy. “Noble Caledonia is a high-end adventure travel company that is, by all accounts, very committed to good environmental stewardship. Why not turn things around and use this tragedy to help the company, communities, local institutions, and international researchers collaborate to repair the reef?” she said. “Everybody would benefit from this kind of constructive leadership, and it’s possible the partnership could generate solid advances in the science of coral reef regeneration.”

To convince the key players that working together would be better than just negotiating a financial settlement, Pomeroy started a petition on Change.org. After posting a link on her Facebook page and asking friends to share it, the petition has accumulated nearly three thousand supporters. “I hope this encourages the Government, Noble Caledonia and the communities to work together, and demonstrates that there are many people here and around the world who care about what happens in Raja Ampat.”

Meanwhile, the government of Indonesia has summoned the British ambassador in Jakarta demanding an explanation.

Summoned to speak with the coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, the UK ambassador Moazzam Malik said he had a "very good discussion" and was "disappointed to learn about the damage to this coral reef in West Papua, as we are with any environmental incident that occurs in Indonesia or anywhere else in the world".

He added: "We hope the matter can be resolved quickly between the Indonesian authorities and the company that is responsible for this accident and was managing the ship."

Noble Caledonia branded the incident as “unfortunate” and stated the Company was "firmly committed to protection of the environment".

Change.org Petition Calling on Noble Caledonia to Repair Raja Ampat Reef

Bringing a Reef to Grief


Morbidly Overweight
Governor Blames Bribes Paid by Overloaded Trucks for Deaths, Bad Roads, and Traffic Jams

NusaBali reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika wants to see illegally overloaded trucks traveling on Bali's main highways become a thing of the past. The trucks carrying loads that greatly exceed their rated and authorized capacity are blamed for horrendous traffic accidents, damage to roadways, and traffic congestion caused when they slow the flow of traffic on main travel arteries.

“I have asked for this for a long time, that the anti-corruption team bear itself with honor and pride,” said Pastika at a program held at his office on how to improve anti-corruption enforcement in Bali on Friday, March 17, 2017.

The Governor blamed unclear rules and regulations for the way illegally overloaded trucks travel freely on Bali’s roadways. He described how overloaded trucks from Java board the ferries traveling from Ketapang in Java to Gilimanuk in Bali, also putting the ferries at risk due to overloading.

Bali’s Governor also pointed to the damage done to the Island’s roadways by overloaded trucks, the traffic jams that result and the increased possibility of road accidents - all linked to overloaded trucks. Adding, “I have often complained the Director General of Land Transportation asking him to control trucks driving from Java.”

Pastika hopes that recent programs to capture officials in the process of receiving illegal payments can coordinate on both regional and national level to deal with the problem of overloaded trucks that continues to cost lives on Indonesia’s roadways. “The cause of all this are bribes of just Rp. 50,000. Just ask the drivers. They are ready to pay bribes along the roads connecting Java and Bali. Moreover, these are even calculated as travel costs that are reimbursed by their employers,” complained the Governor.

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Travel on Balance
Indonesian Passport Applicants Now Required to Show Bank Balance

Kompas.com reports that the Director General of Immigration is now enforcing a policy that Indonesian passports can only be issued to applicants able to demonstrate a minimum bank balance of Rp. 25 million.

The new policy came into effect on March 1, 2017, and is intended to prevent the informal and unauthorized movement of Indonesian workers abroad in order to deter human trafficking.

Indonesians wishing to work abroad must provide supporting documents from a number of sources, including clearances from the Ministry of Manpower.

Indonesians traveling on a religious pilgrimage must obtain a recommendation from the local office of the Religious Ministry and a travel agent authorized to conduct religious travel.

Indonesians traveling on family visits are required to secure guarantee letters and copies of the passports of the family members living abroad to be visited.

Indonesians traveling as tourists must now show a bank balance of Rp. 25 million when applying for their passport.

Immigration is said to be giving extra scrutiny on Indonesians traveling to certain countries where human trafficking or others issues have arisen in the past, including: Malaysia, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.


The Heart of Darkness
PLN Expect Power Consumption to Drop by 40% during Nyepi Ė Baliís Day of Silence on March 28, 2017

The State Electric Board (PLN) is predicting that electrical demand in Bali will decline between 35-40% during the official day of silence "Nyepi" on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Nyepi marks the commencement of the Bali Hindu New Year Saka 1939 during which the entire Island goes on shut down for 24 hours from sunrise on March 28th until sunrise the following morning. Roads close. Airports and seaports suspend service. Traffic is banned for all roadways. Guests at hotels are confined to the property for the entire period. Hotel staff stay at hotels for two night to continue service to their sequestered guests. Balinese and other island residents stay shuttered behind close doors with lights turned off.

On Nyepi the Bali Hindu religion call for the suspension of all productive work (amati karya), that no flames or lights be ignited (amati geni), that no travel be performed (amati lelungan), and that no recreation or enjoyments be undertaken (amati lelanguan).

I Gusti Ketut Putra, a spokesman for PLN said on Friday, March 17, 2017, “Electrical consumption will reduce dramatically from an average of 860.2 mega watts to around 531 megawatts.”

Despite the expected decrease in electrical consumption, Putra said PLN would have staff on 24-hour standby during the entire Nyepi period to handle any eventuality.

Electrical power will be provided to every corner of the Island with only street lighting and traffic lights turned off during the 24-hour period.

Should consumers experience an interruption in service during the Nyepi period they should call the following telephone number 0361-123.


Reassigned Serpentine
Bali Reptile Rescue Removes 2.5-meter King Cobra to Safety from Selemadeg Kelod, West Bali

A 2.5-meter King Cobra caused something of a stir on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in the West Bali community of Selemadeg Kelod when local citizens spotted the venomous snake devouring a python in a tree along a local street.

Beritabali.com reports that a local child first spotted the King Cobra and raised the alarm. I Wayan Yudiartana, an experience snake wrangler from Bali Reptile Rescue, who lives nearby responded to the scene with his team and removed the reptile to a safe location.

The snake was placed in a protective enclosure where it will be quarantined for one week before being released on government land in West Bali.

Yudiartana confirmed that the district of Selemadeg has become a population center for King Cobras over the past five years with an estimated 300 snakes now nesting in the area.

The Bali Reptile Rescue Group has an active program of capturing snakes and harvesting eggs in the Selemadeg area for removal to areas of lower human populations.


Sudikerta Named Golkarís Man for Bali?
Nusa Bali: Ketut Sudikerta to be Golkar Candidate for Bali Governor in 2018

NusaBali.com has broken the news that Ketut Sudikerta, the Deputy Governor of Bali 2013-2018, has been declared the Golkar Party’s candidate for Governor for the 2018 election process.

Sudikerta’s candidacy was made official in a meeting of Golkar officials held in Jakarta on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

NusaBali.com said they obtained news of the decision from an unnamed reliable source in Jakarta – a decision yet to be formally confirmed by via a statement from Golkar officials.

Sudikerta will now undergo a 4-month long vetting process by Golkar that will result in a formal declaration in July 2017 of Golkar’s candidates for Governor and Deputy-Governor in the 2018 election process.

When contacted by NusaBali, Ketut Sudikerta said he had yet to receive a formal notification of his selection as a gubernatorial candidate by Golkar for Bali in 2018.


Old Story. Oldest Profession.
Bali Police Raid Praja Spa in Downtown Spa Operating as Center of Prostitution

The Cyber Crime Division of the Bali Police has closed a spa operating in Denpasar under suspicion of operating as a place of prostitution.

Balipost.com reports that the Praja Spa on Jalan Tukad Unda VIII, Panjer, South Denpasar was raided on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, and a number of customers, therapists, and the spa’s management were taken into custody.

Balidiscovery.com first carried news of the Praja Spa’s operations in June of 2016, quoting coverage of alleged prostitution from Radar Bali.

After providing counseling and guidance to the young women employed at the spa, they therapist were returned to their home villages and advised to seek new lines of work. Police are holding three men, named as owners and marketing staff at the Praja Spa.

The Spa, according to police, has an average daily turnover of between Rp. 15 and Rp 20 million.

Praja Spa
marketed itself via social media listings on Facebook under accounts listed as Dewa Komang Praja and Praja Spa. When police became aware of the Facebook postings, they investigated further before launching a raid on the business.

The Wednesday afternoon raid on the Praja Spa saw 24 people taken into police custody, comprised of 2 owners, 1 marketing staff, 1 cashier, 2 customers and 18 therapists.

The business has been in operation for the past two years.

Police allege that the spa offered “plus plus” and “body to body” spa services with prices ranging from Rp. 550,000 to Rp. 650,000 per treatments. “Three-some” spa treatments were available from Rp. 1.1 million.

Spa therapists were reported to earn between Rp. 20 – 30 million per month.

The owners and management of the spa face prosecution under the 2008 law on pornography and cyber-crime carrying a maximum punishment of 12 years in prison.

Prostitution Exposed at Denpasar Spa


Bali Holiday Takes a Death
David Taylor and Sarah Connor Sentenced in Killing of Balinese Policeman

The Denpasar District Court on Monday, March 13, 2017, sentenced English DJ David Taylor (35) to 6 years and, in a separate proceeding, his Australian companion, Sarah Connor (45) to 4 years in prison in the death of a Balinese policeman Wayan Sudarsa that took place on August 17, 2016, on Kuta Beach.

Beritabali.com reports that Taylor immediately accepted the judges’ sentence while Connor’s lawyers are urging their client to appeal the verdict, albeit at the risk that an appeal court could impose a heavier sentence.

In seeming response to Connors, Prosecutors in Bali said they were prepared to double down and are also considering appealing Connor's sentence in order to seek a heavier penalty against the Australian woman. Sentences in Indonesia can be appealed by both the defendent and prosecutors. Because Taylor readily accepted the Court's verdict, Prosecutors are not signalling any desire to challenge his sentence.

The couple has publicly apologized to the family of the dead policemen, rejecting any financial compensation offered by those involved in the killing of the police officer.

Taylor and Connor were spending after an evening of drinking in Kuta when at 3:45 am the couple had an altercation with the Indonesian policeman in which the Sudarsa was beaten to death by Taylor who was, in the view of the Court, assisted by Connor who reportedly helped choke the policeman.

The fight began when Taylor accused the policeman of having stolen Connor’s purse, an accusation for which no supporting evidence was ever presented.

Both Taylor and Connor received sentences less severe than that sought by State Prosecutors.

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Protesting Online Transport in Bali
Alstar-B Group Stages More Angry Mass Protests in Bali Against Online Transport Operators

Hundred of conventional tax drivers in Bali marching under the banner of the Alliance of Bali Transportation Drivers (Alstar B), launched new street demonstrations on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, demanding that the Government block online transportation applications that support Uber and Grab Taxi.

Alstar B is an umbrella organization supported by 15 associations of taxi drivers in Bali.

NusaBali reports that the angry drivers were once again taking to the streets of Bali in protest because, in the view of the chairman of Alstar B, I Ketut Wirta, the Provincial Government has ignored earlier protests.

The large groups of taxi drivers gathered in front of the Dew Ruci Statue in Kuta at 8:00 on Tuesday morning to deliver speeches demanding the Government move against Uber and Grab operations in Bali that are viewed as illegal. Speaking before the crown, Wirta proclaimed: “Grab and Uber are foreign owned. Both do not pay taxes. We want the Provincial Government of Bali to not only make written promises and not to just toss this problem on to be sorted out by the Central Government. Where is the responsibility of the regional government? Why must this problem be referred to the Central Government?”

Continuing, Wirta said that in addition to being illegal and unlicensed, Grab and Uber is introducing unhealthy competition into the marketplace by allowing the online operators to set their own fares without reference to competing operations. As a result, he says many members of Alstar B have been forced out of business due to their inability to secure passengers that have been “taken” by the online operators.

He complained that in some instance the online taxis are offering 3 months of free use to new customers.

He also called on the Government to remove all roadside advertising from the online operators.

Wirta reminded the government that the “grace” period given by the Government for Uber and Grab Tax to secure proper licensing expires at the end of March 2017. He said that if the online operators still lack the official permits then the Government should ban them from Bali’s road.

Later the same day, a delegation met with members of Commission II of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) for 1.5 hours to discuss their concerns. The conventional taxi operators have demanded that Uber and Grab be closed for more than a year, but with no success.

“The Government must take concrete steps,” demanded Wirta.

Meanwhile, legislators receiving the delegation of drivers told them that the DPRD-Bali had issued recommendations in support of Alstar-B’s demands, condemning the unlicensed and illegal online transportation companies operation in Bali. The lawmakers had called on the online operators to establish an office in Bali, pay taxes in accordance with law, and meet all other legal requirements.

Leaving the DPRD-Bal,i a portion of the protesting Alstar-B drivers reconvened in front of the Pullman Hotel in Kuta waiting for local law enforcement workers (Sat Pol PP) to remove billboards advertising online transportation services.

With traffic coming to a standstill, the protestors took matters into their own hands and removed the billboards for online transport before dispersing and returning to their homes at 4:00 pm.


Royal Wardrobe
Governor Pastika Wears Traditional Balinese Costume to Bid Saudi King Salman Farewell

Referring to the recent visit of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family to Bali, Governor Made Mangku Pastika said on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, that people only need to calculate that if every member of the 1,500-person Saudi delegation spent Rp. 10 million per day and stayed for 9 days - the amount, not including expenditures for rental cars and other needs, came to trillions of Rupiah.

Governor Pastika said that he did not want to disturb the King’s holiday with matters involving possible investment in Bali, preferring instead to do what he could to make sure Saudi visitors enjoyed their holiday in Bali.

Following that visit, Pastika now wants to turn his attention to how Bali can attract more Middle Eastern visitors. In this connection, the Governor is now evaluating a number of tourism objects and their supporting infrastructures in Bali. Pastika said Bali must study from the hotels selected by the VIP guests from Saudi Arabia to learn how to make that market feel at home during their Bali holidays.

Speaking to NusaBali, Pastika defended his decision to wear a Balinese royal costume when bidding farewell to King Salman when he left the Island. “At that time, all the officials came in the official dress code of formal jackets, but I decided to wear the costume of a Balinese king. In doing so I wished to honor a royal tradition of Bali and show respect to King Salman,” explained Pastika.

Although criticized in some quarters for his traditional style of dress, the Governor said he was proud of his costume. Adding: “Tourism is at its essence about making people feel at home in our region. Because Bali is known for its culture, I decided to honor our culture by wearing these clothes.”


Sadness Before the Falls
Malaysian Tourist Drowns at Gitgit Waterfall in North Bali

A Malaysian tourist, Mohd Fadzli Bin Md Dazali (33), has drowned while visiting the Colek Pamor Waterfall at Gitgit, in Buleleng, North Bali.

NusaBali said that officials at the waterfall believe the man slipped on the rocks at the base of the waterfall on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, and fell into a natural pool where, unable to swim, he drowned.

The accident occurred at about 1:15 pm and was accompanied by a local guide to whom he had handed a bag containing his camera just before falling into the pool where he drowned.

The guide advised security on duty at the waterfall and police were immediately called to the location as a search for the Malaysian commenced. After a 1.5 hour search, the man’s body was recovered from the pool at a depth of 4-meters.

Faldzli’s body was taken to the Buleleng General Hospital in Singaraja for forensic examination. Other than death by drowning, no signs of physical violence were detected by medical examiners.

The Malaysian was vacationing alone in Bali at the time of the mishap and was staying at a Lovina area hotel.


Peace Through Scientific Sharing
Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Peter Agre to Deliver Public Lecture at Udayana University March 24, 2017

Dr. Peter Agre, a physician and molecular biologist who was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003, will visit Bali’s Udayana University on March 24, 2017.

Agre will participate in the 6th ASEAN “Bridges” Event on Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace facilitated by The International Peace Foundation and Udayana University.

Dr. Agre will speak at the Widya Sabha Building at a hour yet to be announced.

According to Beritabali.com, Dr. Agre’s address will be in the form of a public lecture to which Bali’s Governor has also  been invited to give a keynote address. When told about the visit of Dr. Agre, Pastika said he valued the visit to Bali of a world-class scientist and recipient of the Nobel Prize that also brings honor to Bali’s leading university.

Agre is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the John Hopkins School of Medicine. In 2003, Agre shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roderick MacKinnon for “discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes.” Agre is credited with the discovery of aquaporin water channel proteins that move water molecules through cell membranes.

A leader in the field of science diplomacy, Agre served as the president of the American Association for the Advance of Science. Agre has led numerous diplomacy visits to countries while seeking to foster collaboration on peaceful scientific project as a means to reduce world tensions.

Governor Pastika has ordered that Dr. Agre be extended a cordial VIP welcome upon his arrival at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

Udayana University will bestow an honorary degree during his coming appearance in Bali.


Punishing the Worker, Not the Boss
8 Illegal Chinese Workers Discovered at PLTU Celukan Bawang Power Plant in North Bali

Immigration officials in Singaraja, North Bali have netted nine Chinese workers at the Electrical Plant in Celukan Bawang (PLTU Celukan Bawang) for working illegally at the plant while holding only visitors visas.

Balipost.com reports that the 8 Chinese workers have been cautioned by immigration officials and their passports seized by the government.

No report in the press indicates any action is contemplated against the power plant’s management who knowingly employed the men as illegal workers.

The plant is owned by the State Power Board (PLN) making the failure to obtain the proper permits a violation of the law committed by the civil servants who run the plant.

The 8 Mainland Chinese were identified as Guan Guolei (38), Song Xiansheng (50), Lyu Jie (40), Xie Yinlong (29), Ye Mao (31), Yang Zumin (46), Lin Jianli (47) and Pei Yuqiang (31).

All eight have reportedly been working at PLTU Celukan Bawang for several months.

There are reportedly 107 foreign workers employed at PLTU Celukan Bawang all said by immigration offciials to be holding the proper visas and working permits.


Keeping the Peace and Quiet
5.600 Police and 22,000 Volunteers to Keep Things Quiet on Hari Nyepi Ė March 28, 2017

The State News Agency Antara reports that the Bali police will deploy some 5,600 officers to ensure the peace over the Nyepi New Year celebrations for Tahun Baru Caka 1939 on March 28, 2017.

The head of the Bali police, Inspector General Petrus Golose, speaking while attending the Bali Interfood 2017 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC) on Thursday, March 16, 2017, said that in addition to the 5,600 police employed to keep the peace a total of 22,000 volunteer pacalang community watch members would be deployed to ensure the rules and customs of Nyepi are enforced during the lead up to and actual marking the Balinese New Year.

Nyepi celebrations run from March 23-29, 2017, beginning with the ritual of Melasti – a ritual cleansing performed on beaches of other water sources and end one day after the official day of absolute silence on Nyepi (March 28th) with the Ngembal Geni ceremonies on March 29, 2017.

Police and pecalang will be on full alert on March 27, 2017, when the Tawur Agung parades of large Ogoh-Ogoh floats are paraded in almost every community in a night of drinking and revelry before the 24-hour period of silence.

The Bali police estimate that a total of 7,079 Ogoh-Ogoh will be displayed and paraded on Nyepi Eve.

On Nyepi Day – starting from sunrise on March 28th until sunrise the following day, Balinese Hindus and visitors are expected to observe “Catur Berata Penyepian” by abstaining from enterprise (Amati Karya), not traveling forth (Amati Lelungaan), not to indulge in pleasurable activities (Amati Lelanguan), and not to ignite any fire or source of light (Amati Geni).

On Nyepi Day Bali will come to a standstill, with only hospitals, police stations and fire services remaining open.


Did You Feel It?
Mild Earthquake on Friday, March 17, 2017 - 334 km Southwest of Bali

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter Scale struck south of the Island of Bali at a depth of 10 kilometers on Friday, March 17, 2017, at 2:39 am.

The exact location of the epicenter of the quake was at 11.61 south latitude and 114.55 west longitude.

This location is  334 kilometers southwest of Denpasar, Bali

No tsunami was created by the seismic event.

No damage was reported in Bali with few, if any, people reporting feeling any shaking in the middle of the night.


Crossing the Bridge of Love at Nusa Penida
Nusa Penidaís New Yellow Bridge Becomes a New Icon of Bali Tourism

The rebuilt “Yellow Bridge” (Jembatan Kuning) now connecting Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan in the Klungkung Regency off the east coast of Bali has already become something of a tourism icon by virtue of the addition of colorful night lighting that adorns the bridge.

The new bridge that was rebuilt to replace the old bridge that collapsed with the loss of 9 lives and 18 people injured in mid-December 2016, now measures 140-meters long and 1.8-meters wide.

Also known as the “Bridge of Love” (Jembatan Cinta), the bridge is attracting many foreign visitors who are flocking to the beach for photographic mementos.

The new bridge, constructed at a cost of Rp. 3.4 billion after the collapse of the old bridge, was officially consecrated in a Hindu ceremony on February 25, 2017.

The new and improved bridge is not only physically larger but stronger than its predecessor, capable of supporting 30 tons but with traffic restricted to pedestrians and motorcycles.

Nusa Penida covers an area of 363 square meters, representing 2/3 of the total land area of the Regency of Klungkung.

Nusa Penida is connected to the mainland of Bali by Roro ferry services from Padang Bai on a trip that lasts 30 minutes.

Other visitors to the area use the luxury cruise vessels that operate on a daily basis between the Port of Benoa and Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan.


Things Going Dramatically for Jeremy
Criminal Case Against Indonesian Actor Jeremy Thomas Moves Forward in Bali

Balipost.com reports that the on-again off-again criminal prosecution of Indonesian film star may be moving closer to an official indictment before the Bali Courts for property fraud.

An Indonesian procedural court ruled in October 2016 that the Bali Police had acted incorrectly in halting an investigation (SP3) against the actor in connection with charges of embezzlement and fraud involving a villa in Kedewatan, Bali owned by an Australian businessman.

Following that decision, the police re-opened their investigation against Thomas and, according to Balipost.com, his case file has entered “Phase One”  of a judicial process by being sent to State Prosecutors. During the first phase, Prosecutors will review the police file and send it back, if necessary, for clarification and corrections by the investigating police officers. Files updated and in hand, in “Phase Two” prosecutors will move on to examine the corroborative evidence files before finally bringing the case to trial in “Phase Three.”

A spokesman for the Bali Prosecutor’s Office, Murni Parayanti, confirmed on Friday, March 17, 2107, that the police file naming Jeremy Thomas as a suspect was now in the hands of her office and had been assigned to a lead investigator.

As the case moves forward to trial, the Bali Courts can ask that Thomas being taken into custody if doing so is considered necessary to the trial process, public safety  or if the defendant is deemed a flight risk.

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All Inclusively Including Lombok
Club Med to Open in Lombok in 2019

Club Med has announced plans to open a new all-inclusive resort on Bali’s neighboring island of Lombok in 2019.

Kompas.com reports that the Director for Indonesia, Thailand, India and Emerging Countries for Club Med announced the Lombok project as a Club Med Gathering in Jakarta on March 16, 2017.

The Director, Bruno Courbet, told the gathering that Lombok is an extraordinary destination and known around the world. He said that Club Med saw Lombok as the continuance of Bali.

Bruno said Lombok was picked for Club Med’s Indonesian expansion because of its natural beauty, the large number of activities available on the large island and good air access.

Located in the south of Lombok at the Mandalika Lombok Development, the Club Med Lombok will be a cooperative business venture with the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).

Preliminary plans are for Club Med to develop their 350-room Lombok project on a 15-hectare site with 650 meters of beachfront.

The Mandalika Lombok Development managed by ITDC is 30 minutes from Lombok’s new International airport.

Founded in the 1950s, Club Med now operates 80 resorts around the globe. In Indonesia, Club Med opened their Bali property in 1988 and in Riau in 1997.


Weddings that Stop Traffic
Bali Toll Roll Rentable for Wedding Photo Shoots

Kompas.com reports that Jasa Marga Tol, the company that operates the Bali Mandara Toll Road is prepared to help couples planning their nuptials in Bali literally stop traffic.

People who want to do photo shoots on the toll road for pre-wedding shots, wedding shots or other reasons - can pay Rp. 15 million for a single still photo session. A video session costs Rp. 30 million, according to Drajat Hari Suseno, a spokesman for PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol (PTJMBT) speaking on Saturday, March 18. 2017.

On the average, the tollway receives two requests each month from wedding organizers and companies making commercials.

Written application must be made in advance to (PTJMBT) for a toll road photo session. The entire filming process is done under the supervision of toll officials to ensure traffic keeps moving safely around the filming event.

Suseno said PTJMBT reaps an annual turnover of Rp. 142 billion from vehicle tolls that falls far short of the Rp. 160 billion that must be paid to the tollway's creditors against principal and interest.


 
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January 22, 2007

Bali Update #540
January 15, 2007

Bali Update #539
January 08, 2007

Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
December 25, 2006

Bali Update #536
December 18, 2006

Bali Update #535
December 11, 2006

Bali Update #534
December 04, 2006

Bali Update #533
November 27, 2006

Bali Update #532
November 20, 2006

Bali Update #531
November 13, 2006

Bali Update #530
November 06, 2006

Bali Update #529
October 30, 2006

Bali Update #528
October 23, 2006

Bali Update #527
October 16, 2006

Bali Update #526
October 9, 2006

Bali Update #525
October 2, 2006

Bali Update #524
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #523
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #522
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #521
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #520
August 28, 2006

Bali Update #519
August 21, 2006

Bali Update #518
August 14, 2006

Bali Update #517
August 07, 2006

Bali Update #516
July 31, 2006

Bali Update #515
July 24, 2006

Bali Update #514
July 17, 2006

Bali Update #513
July 10, 2006

Bali Update #512
July 03, 2006

Bali Update #511
June 26, 2006

Bali Update #510
June 19, 2006

Bali Update #509
June 12, 2006

Bali Update #508
June 05, 2006

Bali Update #507
May 29, 2006

Bali Update #506
May 22, 2006

Bali Update #505
May 15, 2006

Bali Update #504
May 08, 2006

Bali Update #503
May 01, 2006

Bali Update #502
April 24, 2006

Bali Update #501
April 17, 2006
 

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