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Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Tel: ++62 361 286 283
Fax: ++62 361 286 284
24h: ++62 812 3819724



PATAASITAICCA
Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #371 - 20 October 2003

Elaborate Preparations Underway for Bush's Visit
Bali to Feel Full Weight of the Flying White House.

The planned visit of U.S. President George W. Bush to Bali on Wednesday, October 22 albeit only for an estimated 4 hour's duration has set in motion elaborate preparations and security arrangements that are part and parcel of any foreign visit by America's Chief Executive. Bush with an official entourage of 260 others is scheduled to make a brief stopover in Bali enroute from Singapore to Australia on the last leg of his current Asian tour.

A Very Brief Visit

According to White House sources, President Bush will hold discussions with President Megawati Soekarnoputri as well as meet with Islamic leaders during his brief Bali visit. Exact details on the President's itinerary in Bali are not available, but it is widely believed that the President will travel the short distance from Ngurah Rai International Airport to the Ritz-Carlton Bali, Resort and Spa for a series of meetings and conferences.

Massive Security Measures

Local press reports tell of intense security precautions in place at the Ritz-Carlton days in advance of the presidential visit.

The Indonesian-language Bali Post reports that 30 special armored vehicles are being flown to Bali to provide transport between the airport and the hotel. In addition, four U.S.-built F-16 jets, four Indonesian war ships, a number of helicopters, special sniper and commando units, and over 5,000 police will all be deployed to Bali in connection with the U.S. President's visit.

Special Procedures at Airport

White House requests that the Bali airport be closed from four hours prior to the President's scheduled arrival have reportedly been refused by transportation authorities. Instead, according to airport authorities, Air Force One will be treated similarly to the private aircraft used by the 14 heads of state in Bali last week for the ASEAN Summit. These procedures provide for a closure of the airport for 15 minutes before and after the arrival and departure of any special VIP flight.


Nyoman's First Day at School
Local Businessman Makes a Critical Difference in the Life of Young Indonesian Boy Suffering from Cerebral Palsy.

First days at school are tough for everyone. Particularly so when your already 8 years old and starting school several years later than all the rest of the kids.

Such was the lot of I Nyoman Purnawan from a village near Tabanan who just started school this year in Denpasar. His chances at an education were severely limited by the economic circumstances of his family and his affliction with the crippling disease Cerebral Palsy.

Nyoman's condition has left him unable to walk without the aid of crutches or a wheel chair. His twin brother, Made is an able bodied, active boy. If things were not difficult enough, the boys' mother died many years ago, leaving their father and an aged grandmother to raise the children in very limited economic circumstances.

Through the kind intervention of a local businessman, Desmond James of Sourcing Bali, Nyoman now has his own crutches and a wheel chair, and no longer has to crawl on the dirt floor of his family's simple home. Over the past three years Desmond has sponsored the family, in building a modest home, kitchen, bathroom and helping with the family's expenses.

Earlier efforts to enroll Nyoman at the local primary school failed, the school unable to take on the special needs of educating children with disabilities. Eventually a decision was made to find Nyoman a special school, catering to the needs of handicapped children located in far away Denpasar.

For Nyoman, the prospect of leaving his family was a daunting one. Weekly transport to and from his village in Tabanan to the special school in Jimbaran is provided by Sourcing Bali, who also cover his expenses and cost of enrollment. Each weekend Nyoman is delivered back to his family to be with his Father, Grandmother and Brother.

Schooling is provided by the Yayasan Pendidikan Anak Cacat (YPAC) - a school catering to children with disabilities where 33 students are enrolled, including 15 who board at the school. While the facilities at YPAC are better than many local primary schools, the facilities still fall short of providing for all the special needs of its students. In difficult times such as these, the school has limited resources and funds to provide the stimulus and support needed to maximize the educational experience of its pupils. Commitments made by Sourcing Bali and other donors help ensure that these facilities are upgraded and teaching materials are available to enhance the education of these special children.

Moved to help make a difference in the lives of these children, Desmond James and Sourcing Bali are working with the school's directors on plans to upgrade education facilities, including the supply of computers, music, art, sport, recreation materials and general upkeep of the school.

Nyoman is looking forward to his belated academic career. Starting as a kindergartner he will progress through the grade levels developing skills in math, reading, writing and Indonesian. At present the boy speaks only Balinese, making it a problem to communicate with Om Desmond, who speaks English and Indonesian.

If you'd like to learn more about the work of YPAC or join Desmond in his assistance plan for the school, contact him via e-mail or by calling ++62-(0)361-423591.

More information: Desmond James Email Link


Editorial: Why Put the Boot Into Bali?
We Couldn't Agree More with 'The Observer' Editorial of Sunday, October 12, 2003.

Jeannette Hyde published an editorial in the Sunday, October 12, 2003 edition of The Observer asking "Why put the Boot into Bali?".

Ms. Hyde fair and squarely asks the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth Office why it continues to penalize its own citizens and the people of Bali by warning against "all non-essential travel" to Bali.

Frankly, we couldn't agree more with Ms. Hyde.

Lest we forget, the problem is international tourism. When three almost simultaneous terror attacks occurred on the same day on September 11, 2001, - all on U.S. soil no thought was given to advising the citizens of the world to avoid 'non-essential' travel to America. Although, one could have reasonably argued at the time, that the U.S. was clearly a country under siege. Nor, in the wake of the 9-11 attacks that cost the lives of U.K. Citizens, did the U.K. Foreign Office warn its citizens to give their American cousins the cold shoulder.

On the contrary, New York's Mayor went to the airways reminding everyone that New York was the victim, and that courage is the best response to those who use terror as a weapon.

We join Ms. Hyde in asking: Why treat the Balinese differently?

The ongoing and successful prosecution of more than 30 suspects in connection with the Bali bombing attack of October 12, 2002, should leave no doubt in anyone's mind on where the people of Bali stand in the war on terror. We've increased our level of policing to among the highest in the world and security is a major agenda item for every major tourism operator on the Island. Yet, despite these efforts, the United Kingdom continues to add to the economic desperation of the people of Bali by refusing the simple succor of friendship and company from its eager masses yearning for a holiday on our beaches.

Has the Stiff Upper Lip Gone Limp?

We feel it is high time that "friends" who post warnings against travel to Bali urgently re-examine their actions from the perspective of consistency and fairness of application. If the people of Indonesia are truly your allies in the "war on terror" then the very least our allies owe us is a clear enumeration of what remains to be done to warrant a removal of these "official" non-tariff barriers to tourism traffic. Keeping us in the dark on a matter so central to our economic well-being is hardly the behavior befitting a friend.



Territories Unite in Opposition to VOA
Travel Agents Call for Opposition to Proposed Visa for Fee on Arrival.

Four of the regional branches of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) have joined voices in rejecting Presidential Decree No. 18 that will fundamentally remove the visa-free facility now enjoyed by most tourist visitors to Indonesia. The new policy soon to be introduced, championed by Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, will require visitors to pay a fee for a visa issued upon arrival at any Indonesian port of entry.

Currently, visitors to Indonesia from 48 countries are eligible for visa free visits. The new policy, rumored to be set for introduction on December 1, 2003, will reduce that number to 11 countries with the rest being required to pay a yet to be specified fee.

Formally rejecting the new policy are the branches of ASITA representing Bali, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi a grouping expected to grow as they are joined by many other areas of the country dependent on tourism revenues.

Speaking in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, the Chairman of the Bali ASITA Chapter, I Gusti Agung Prana, said, "We are inviting a number of regional governments to join our protest because this policy not only hurts the tourism industry but also the tourism destinations of Indonesia."

The Chairman of the South Sulawesi Chapter of ASITA, Nico B. Pasaka, described the new policy as having many flaws which will delay and do further damage the ongoing recovery of the Nation's tourism sector. Pasaka questioned why the Government's new policy extends visa free visits to the nationals of countries that contribute insignificant visitor numbers to Indonesian tourism while at the same time penalizing traditional major source markets for direct visitors to Indonesia.


American Express Courts the MICE Market
AMEX and Bali MICE Guide Join Forces to Promote Meetings and Conferences in Bali.

American Express have announced a new addition to the American Express Corporate Travel and Entertainment Management System with the launch of The MICE Card.

AMEX'S Corporate Card holders are encouraged to use the American Express MICE Card for paying meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition expenses. The card provides for a centrally billed account for corporations to use as a payment method for corporate meetings, client seminars, conferences, year-end parties - wherever the AMEX card is accepted for payment.

Joining Forces with the Bali MICE Guide

In order to launch their new MICE Card, American Express have joined forces with the Bali MICE Guide - Bali's only comprehensive guide to meetings and conferences in Bali. The guide, published annually by Bali Discovery Tours for the Bali MICE Initiative, was recently mailed to 1,500 leading corporate card holders in the region as part of the MICE Card's launch.

For more information on how your company can apply for the AMEX MICE Card call American Express at ++62 (0)21-5216961.


Bali: Beyond the Tragedy
UNDP and World Bank Publish Report Analyzing the Impact of the Bali Bombing.

A report entitled "Bali: Beyond the Tragedy", prepared by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), was released in early October. That report aimed to provide an independent assessment of the current overall condition of Bali's tourism sector within the local economy; evaluate donors and governments response to date in dealing with the effects of the bombing; and suggest medium to long term strategies for sustainable recovery in the island's economy.



Key Recommendations Security

The report stressed that maintaining tight security in Bali is a key factor in rebuilding consumer and investors confidence in the region, recommending:

The re-establishment of public security and international perceptions of safety in Bali.

The introduction of Bali residency registration, beach patrols, and tighter policing policies.

Continuance of current efforts to professionalize the island's police force while developing targeted, area based, community policing policies.

Using community based programs to reduce social tensions among various sub-groups on the island.

Recognizing village heads, traditional adat leaders and the police as the main actors in managing social tensions.



Key Recommendations The Economy

The report insists that a concerted effort must be made to diversify the sources of growth behind the Balinese economy, recommending and observing:

Tourism's economic success has created the vulnerability of an undiversified economy in Bali.

While the number of arrivals is gradually improving in the aftermath of the bombing, there has been a noticeable decline in the quality of tourists as measured by average spend and average length of stay.

Development of tourism in Bali has been concentrated in the island's South, with the north lagging behind and limiting economic opportunity in those regions.

World-wide changes in the tourism economy suggest Bali should not delay in efforts to build a more diversified and sustainable economy.

The recent bombing in Jakarta only serves to underline the on-going vulnerability of Bali's tourism sector which is subject to the vagaries of unpredictable events both outside and inside Indonesia.



Recommendations Beyond Bali

Also highlighted in the report was the need to integrate the Bali experience into a national approach to strengthening and developing a more resilient economy.

The impacts of the Bali bombing were severely felt in villages of East Java with strong economic linkages to Bali including trade and migrant labor.

Silver and wood industries in Pasuruan, granite and metal producers in Tulungagung, and wood and bamboo producers in Banyuwangi all reported more than 50% drop in turnover after the bombing.

A dialogue is needed between regional governments and tourism stakeholders in Bali and other adjoining regions to develop a comprehensive tourism recovery program involving national and local actors.

A need to review investment policies and plans to encourage diversification and attract smaller investors to Bali and Lombok.



Recommendations Community Based Development

The report concluded that:

94% of the kecamatan level key respondents in Bali observed an average 40% decline in their incomes.

Average highest declines were recorded in Karangasem (49%); Gianyar (47%); Buleleng (39.9%); and Denpasar (40.7%).

Among those losing their jobs following the bombing, over half reported returning to their ancestral villages.

Among respondents, an estimated 29% of workers were affected by job losses.

Unemployment impact was more often expressed in terms of reduced income and underemployment, rather than formal termination.

Among 500,000 people working in the hotel sector, anecdotal evidence suggests up to three-quarters were either working on reduced shifts or been made temporarily redundant.

Schools in Bali reported an increase drop out rate of 31% following the bombing.


Bali Honors List
Australian Government Bestows Honors For Those Who Served Australia During Bali Bombing Tragedy.

During the visit of Australian Prime Minister John Howard to Bali to attend ceremonies commemorating the October 12 bombing tragedy a large number of Australian and other nationals were officially cited for their contributions in the response to the tragedy.

balidiscovery.com joins the Australian Government in saluting those members of our community who gave of themselves so willingly in the days and months following the outrage of October 12, 2002.

Follow the link below to see a list of the individuals honored by Australia.

More information: List of Honors


Exhibition of Majapahit Relics
October 17-27 at Monument of the People's Struggle in Downtown Denpasar.

A special exhibition of antiquities from the Majapahit Era of Indonesia's history are on display at the Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali (Monument to the Struggle of the Balinese People) located at the Lapangan Puputan in Renon, Denpasar October 17-27, 2003.

Open to the public daily from 10:00 a.m. without admission charge, the exhibition will display everyday implements and royal attributes from the east Javanese Kingdom of Majapahit of the late 13th to early 16th centuries from which the Balinese trace the introduction of classical civilization to the Island.

The items on display, have been gathered from the Pura Majapahit or Majapahit Palace located in Trowulan, East Java.

The Exhibition is jointly sponsored by the Pura Majapahit, the Forum Studi Majapahit and Karya Teratai, Bali Inc.


I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Donation of 150 Bicycles for Bali Pedal-Powered Police Officers.

On October 13, 2003, Bali Chief of Police Inspector General Made Mangku Pastika accepted the donation of 150 bicycles from HM Sampoerna - one of Indonesia's leading cigarette manufacturers.

The bikes represent a welcome support to Chief Pastika's policy of high-visibility police patrols to increase security at the island's main tourist areas.

Special tourism police assigned to the bike patrols are outfitted with language training, radios, and tropical uniforms incorporating short trousers. In addition to their normal policing duties, the tourism patrol officers are encouraged to provide information and directions to island visitors.


Bali TV Golf Tournament
Nirwana Bali Golf Club November 29-30, 2003.

Bali TV National Golf Tournament 2003 will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 29-20, 2003 at the Nirwana Bali Golf Club located near Bali's fabled Tanah Lot temple.

Sponsored by Bali's only indigenous TV station, the two day tournament is offering winning trophies, two cars for successful hole-in-one players, and a range of lucky-draw prizes.

Cost of participating is Rp. 350,000 (approximately US$41) for Club members and Rp. 775,000 (approximately US$91) for non-members.

The Nirwana Bali Golf Club is a Greg Norman signature course providing dramatic views of Indian Ocean seascapes and nearby Tanah Lot temple.

For more information or to register contact Bali TV at telephone ++62-(0)361-427372 or facsimile ++62-(0)361-426949.


Bali Golf Tournament 2003
Governor's Cup and Exciting Prizes at Stake October 23-25.

For three days from October 23-25, 2003 an anticipated 400 golfers will compete in the Bali Golf Tournament 2003 to be run simultaneously at the island's three main courses.

Considered among the finest golf courses in Asia, players will compete at the Bali Golf and Country Club at Nusa Dua, Nirwana Bali Golf Club near Tanah Lot, and the Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club in the mountain-lake district near Bedugul.

After paying a registration fee of Rp. 1.9 million (approximately US$ 223), golfers will be entitled to play one round on each of the courses, receive complimentary breakfasts and lunches during matches, and be eligible for attractive lucky draws and other prizes. Among the prizes on offer include 12 automobiles which will be distributed among the players.

This year's event will represent the 8th time the Tournament has been held in Bali; the first time in its expanded mode permitting more players and the use of the three world-renowned courses.

The overall winner of the tournament will walk away with the prestigious "Governor's Cup" presented by Bali's Chief Executive.

For more information and to register contact the Denpasar Golf Club at telephone ++62-(0)361-287736 or ++62-(0)361-288511.


Bali Airport Gets SARS Scanners
Thermal Scanners Will Help Screen Passengers.

Prior to the opening of the ASEAN Summit held in Bali October 7-8, 2003, the Government of the Republic of Singapore donated two thermal scanners to Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport. The scanners, capable of quickly detecting raised body temperatures via a non-invasive thermal imaging system, will help airport authorities screen incoming passengers.

The donation of two scanners to Bali follows a similar gift of four scanners made by Singapore to Jakarta's airport last July.


20 New Ambulances for Bali
Asian Development Bank Grant to Upgrade Island's Health Services.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reportedly confirmed its intention to donate 20 ambulances to Bali.

According to Made Molin Yudiasa, a provincial health official quoted in the English-language Jakarta Post, the 20 emergency vehicles will be delivered in 2004. The vehicles will be allocated to community health centers across the island and are expected to improve emergency response to traffic accidents that claim more than 400 lives every year.


 
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