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



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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #401 - 17 May 2004

Bali Arts Festival
The Best of Bali's Artistic Performances June 19 – July 17, 2004.

Although it will only officially commence with a grand parade on Saturday, June 19, usually presided over by the President, the month-long Bali Arts Festival has actually already been running for months as groups of singers, dancers, thespians and local orchestras have been rehearsing and competing on the village and regency level for the right to take center stage in Denpasar.

The very embodiment of cultural tourism, the Bali Arts Festival was started 26 years ago by late cultural visionary, Ida Bagus Mantra who, after serving as the Nation's Director General of Culture (1968-1978), continued his campaign of championing Balinese culture while serving from 1978 to 1988 as Governor of Bali. A man whose name is still spoken with admiration and reverence, Bapak Mantra was uncompromising in his view that culture should always occupy the driver’s seat in developing and controlling tourism development.

For each of its 26 years the Bali Arts Festival has grown both in size and reputation. Artists from across Indonesia come to Bali to perform and view the daily programs held on several stages across Denpasar. As in the past, foreign performers are also included with this year's Festival drawing artists from Korea and Japan.

For details and a complete performance schedule follow the link maintained by Bali Paradise On – Line.

More information: Bali Arts Festival Program


Powerboat Championships Get Ministerial Thumbs Up
Minister Ardika Sees Bali Powerboat Championships in October as Important Step in Developing Nation's Sea Tourism.

Indonesia's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has formally given its approval to the running of the 11th F-1 UIM Power Boat Grand Prix scheduled to be held off Bali's Tanjung Benoa, October 30-31, 2004.

In comments made in Jakarta on Thursday, May 15, 2004, Culture and Tourism Minister, I Gede Ardika, cited the event's ability to attract foreign tourists as well as enhance Bali's image internationally as a tourism destination as factor warranting the support of the Nation's tourism industry. The Minister said he hoped the races would remind the world of Indonesia's beautiful oceans and beaches and act as a catalyst for future water sports events in the Country.

The F-1 professional powerboat circuit takes place each year with races being held in ten different geographical locations. This year’s series will see events held in Bombay, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Italy, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bali. A typical race attracts 24 boats from 15 countries backed up by drivers and crews totaling 400 people. Attendance by the public at the races can top 10,000 sepctators.

Total cost of hosting the Bali event, sanctioned by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), is estimated at US$ 2 million.



Avoiding the Lines at Immigration
APEC Business Travel Card Facilitates Inter-Regional Travel.

Travel has just become easier for the citizens of 14 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) who hold the recently launched APEC Business Travel Card.

Those eligible to hold the card receive pre-cleared short-term entry to the other participating member countries, avoiding the hassles of applying for visa or standing in line for visa issuance at a local airport. Valid for three years and good for multiple entries, card-holders enjoy fast-track entry and exit through special APEC lanes at participating airports.

Participating Countries

To date there are 17 economies participating in the scheme offering reciprocal benefits to each other.

These countries include:

• Australia • Brunei Darussalam • Chile • Mexico • Chinese Taipei • Hong Kong (China) • Indonesia • Japan • Republic of Korea • New Zealand • Papua New Guinea • People's Republic of China •The Philippines • Malaysia • Peru • Singapore • Thailand

More APEC economies are expected to join the scheme over time.

The special services to APEC Business Travel Card holders is only available in Indonesia from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport and Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport.

Indonesia's participation in the program commenced on May 1, 2004.

How to Apply

Suitable for people from participating economies making frequent trip to other APEC countries, applicants must hold a valid passport and have never committed a criminal offence. Application should be made to the immigration authorities of the home economy.

The application fee varies, depending on country of residence. Indonesian nationals wishing to apply for a Card can do so by apply to the immigration office and paying a fee of US$200 once their membership has been approved and their card issued.


A Course on Managing Conference
5 Day Course on Managing Conventions and Conferences Offered by SIPCO.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in cooperation with the Indonesian Society of Professional Convention Organizers (SIPCO/HIPAKINDO) will conduct an intensive course on professional convention management June 20-25, 2004, in Bali.

The fourth time the event has been held in as many years, the course material focuses on teaching the skills for effective and professional conferences.

The cost of the course is Rp. 2,229,000 per person (approximately US$262) and includes all course materials, lunches, coffee breaks and field trips.

Registration closes on June 5, 2004.

For more information contact:

Bali Tourism Board

Jl. Raya Puputan 41, Renon

Denpasar 80235, Bali

Telephone: ++62-(0)361-229 500

Facsimile ++62-361-229 400


Down the Drain No More
Government Cracking Down on Business Pumping Sewage into Public Drains.

The massive installation of new drainage systems throughout Kuta has uncovered another problem in the course of the project work: Many hotels and business in Kuta have been found to be running their sewage pipes directly into the city's drainage system.

On Monday, May 10, 2004, a ranking representative of the Badung Regional Government vowed to get tough, blocking off the drains of offending companies. Pressured by local civic action groups and supported by Badung's Bupati, local officials are saying they will not hesitate to seal drainage pipes from businesses and hotels found connected to the public drainage system.

According to the official, at least 7 hotels were among the companies in Kuta found to be violating waste handling regulations and discharging their sewage into the drainage system.

The rebuilding of Kuta's drainage system is being partially funded by the World Bank who have allocated Rp. 27 billion (approximately US$3.2 million) to the project.



Java-Bali Power Grid Under Stress
Coal and Equipment Limitations Leave No Surplus Energy 'Safety Margins.'

The Java-Bali power grid is on a 'stand-by emergency status' with only around 100 megawatts of surplus stand-by power available to meet peek demand.

The State Power Company (PLN) is taking steps to replenish depleted coal and fuel oil stocks which have grown dangerously low due to a shortage of coal on the domestic market and disruptions in rail service to the Suralaya (Java) power generating station. Because of coal shortages the Suralaya Station has been producing only 2,200 megawatts of power, down from its normal 3,400 megawatts.

According to sources at PLN, domestic coal producers have reduced their supplies to power generating stations preferring to ship coal to overseas markets now paying a premium for coal.

PLN officials are hopeful to be able to weather the crisis of the next few days until new fuels stocks can be put in place. Officials warn, however, that any unexpected breakdown in the generating equipment could compel PLN to implement staggered brown outs across the region to keep supply in tune with peak power demands.


The Suite Life
Melia Bali Villas & Spa Launch New Deluxe, Family and Executive Suites.

Phase II of an extensive room refurbishment underway at Meliα Bali Villas & Spa Resort has been completed allowing the proud introduction of their new line of Executive Suites, Family Suites connecting and Deluxe suites.

A renovation program that began last year has successfully renovated 250 Superior Rooms and split-level Junior Suites. Design and refurbishment has been carried out by Lina Wiyanti of P.T. Suryalaya Anindita International in Jakarta.

Family and Deluxe Suites

To create this new room category two existing rooms were joined to create a spacious and comfortable environment suitable for families. Separate entrances open into a twin bedded room and the lounge. Platform beds are draped in snowy white duvets and throw pillows match richly woven runners, which conveniently hang on the wall at night. Uncluttered bedside tables with powerful reading lamps complement touch-panels controls for lighting, music and temperature.

The adjoining master room has a four-poster bed wrapped in decorative netting. A dressing room with a separate vanity has a spacious walk-in closet. The bathroom has an open feel, with corner walls facing onto the bedroom wrapped in decorative, three-dimensional slats backed with frosted glass. The marbled bath includes a tub with shower.

The lounge provides additional living and entertainment spaces, with a dining area, wet bar space with contained mini-bar, half-bath and a convertible sofa bed along side an oversized, cushioned ottoman. Ceiling to floor mirror panels enhance the expansive feel. A touch of outdoor living is provides by garden-view balconies with a day bed and lounge furnishings.

The Deluxe Suite parallels the Family Suite, without the twin-bedded room.

Executive Suite

The Resort's new two-bedroom Executive Suite boasts a private entrance corridor which opens into a marble foyer that flows into the lower-level dining area. Wood-paneled ceilings are accented by drop lighting. An elegant dining table seats six in plush moss and gold tone captain chairs. The enclosed kitchenette features a full-size refrigerator and black marble counter tops.

The living room overlooks a wrap-around balcony. A spacious patio is fitted with a day bed for massage or relaxation. Roman blinds and brass wall decor accent the area, which features a new 29-inch television entertainment system.

A lower-level master bedroom is dominated by a romantic canopy bed. Japanese-influenced paper lighting fixtures brighten a rich, wood paneled environment. Touch-panels control lighting, music and temperature. Dual closets contain an oversized safety box. The marbled bath has dual vanities with an expansive mirror and a Jacuzzi tub with shower. A separate shower stall and bidet with toilet complete the facilities.

A wooden staircase wraps around a decorative, stone-finished column, leading to the loft bedroom. Here, the attic atmosphere lends charm to the quarters with a study-style sitting area. Highly polished wooden floors and wall panels add a cozy touch.



Sasya Tranggono: Painting My Soul
An Exhibition of Water Colors By Sasya Tranggono From May 22 until the End of June 2004 at Alila Ubud Gallery.

Sasya Tranggono is a young Indonesian artist who first gained notoriety for powerfully rendered paintings of wooden puppets or wayang golek exhibited in Jakarta at last year's CP Open Biennale 2003.

At he first exhibition in Bali for 2004, Sasya has adopted flowers as her theme further establishing herself as one of Indonesia's most exciting new emerging artists. Her latest exhibition with the theme Painting My Soul allows Sasya to give life to her flowers, painted in watercolors, expressing what she described as visual music, a medium for presenting deeply held passions and desires from deep within her soul.

A Brief Season of Bloom

Sasya Tranggono's Paint My Soul opens at the Alila Ubud Gallery on the evening Saturday, May 22, 2004 and runs until the end of June.

For more information call the gallery at ++62-(0)361-975963.


Cricket Legend Visits Bali
Dean Jones and Family Spend Holiday at Discovery Kartika Plaza.

On the invitation of the Indonesian Cricket Foundation, Australian Test Batsman Dean Jones recently brought his family to Bali staying at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel & Villas.

A colorful and sometimes controversial player, who pioneered white lipstick on the test field and mascara under the floodlights, Dean Jones had a career that spanned from 1983 until 1996, the year he only missed out on selection to the World Cup team.

His first visit to Bali in six years, Jones spent a number of days enjoying the hotels facilities and catching up on the growing popularity of cricket in Bali.



More Flights to Vietnam
Garuda Plans More Flights to Ho Chi Minh and New Service to Hanoi.

Garuda Indonesia Airways recently announced their intention to increase from four times a week to daily their flights operating over the sectors Jakarta – Singapore – Ho Chi Minh City.

Load factors on the current flights are averaging near 60% with many Vietnamese passengers disembarking in Singapore. Some Vietnamese tourists are drawn to visit the Indonesian island of Galang, near Singapore, where thousands of Vietnam war era refugees lived while awaiting processing to other countries. Remnants of the boats used by the refugees, their dwellings and place of worship can still be found on Galang island.

Garuda Indonesia currently utilizes Boeing-737 aircraft with 110 passenger seats on its Ho Chi Minh routes.

Plans are underway to also launch a Jakarta-Singapore-Hanoi service in November 2004.

Service between Bali and Vietnam is possible by changing aircraft in Singapore.


Hoteliers Meet to Combat Crime
Local Government Wants Hotels to Help Keep Bali Peaceful and Safe.

On Monday, May 10, 2004, the Chief of Tourism for Denpasar, Drs. Putu Budiasa called 30 hoteliers operating within the administrative area of Denpasar to take steps to combat indications of growing crime against tourists visiting the island.

Remind the tourism workers that safety and security are central to Bali's reputation, he ask that concrete steps be taken to enhance security in the areas surrounding hotels. These steps include closer coordination with local law enforcement and village security organizations to increase patrols and preventative policing.

Good Community Relations Needed

Drs. Budiasa also ask hoteliers to make every effort to preserve harmonious working environments, not only within the hotels themselves but in the surrounding communities. He insisted that workers' rights always be honored and that good relations with the surrounding community receive the highest priority in order to avoid the social conflicts that have marred tourism in other areas in Indonesia.



Convicted Pedophile William Brown Commits Suicide
One Day After Sentencing in a Karangasem Court, Former Australian Diplomat Found Dead in his East Bali Prison Cell.

52 year-old William Stuart Brown was found dead in his prison cell early on the morning of Wednesday, May 12, 2004, less than 24 hour after receiving a 13 year sentence from the Almapura District Court for sexually molesting two teenaged boys.

Brown's death, apparently at his own hands, brought to an end a story that had gained international press coverage and strong interest from local and international groups working to prevent the sexual abuse of children. In a letter reportedly written before hanging himself with strips of cloths torn from a prison mattress, Brown blamed "media hysteria" for the severity of his sentence insisting he never sodomized the two boys, aged 12 and 14, claiming he committed "lesser sexual acts" which were consensual. He also denied accusations that he was part of an organized ring of pedophiles operating in the region.

Brown had served as a second secretary in the foreign aid section of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta from 1982 to 1984.

Prior to his arrest in East Bali, Brown living in semi-retirement in Bali had worked as a volunteer English teacher at a local tourism academy.



 
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