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June 6th Literary Dinner with Tasmanian Author, Historian and Screenwriter in Ubud.
As part of the continuing series of events organized by the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival a "Literary Dinner with Richard Flanagan" will be held at the Indus Restaurant in Ubud on Saturday, June 6, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.. Richard Flanagan - an acclaimed author, historian and film director - is a native of Tasmania where he was born in 1961. A former president of the Tasmania University Union and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, among his published works are Death of a River Guide (1994), A Terrible Beauty – History of the Gordon (1985). The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997) and Gould's Book of Fish (2001). A 1998 film The Sound of One Hand Clapping, both written and directed by Flanagan, was nominated as the 1998's best film at the Berlin Film Festval. A Special Evening of Tasmanian Literature and Food During the literary evening in Ubud, Richard Flanagan will be discussing his latest novel Wanting and his experience as co-screenwriter for Baz Luhrman's Australia. As an added bonus, the evening will also feature a special 3-course dinner using Tasmanian products prepared by visiting guest chef Alicia Tiver, formerly of Tetsuya's in Sydney. For only Rp. 350,000 (US$33.40) per person guests will enjoy the following menu:
Entree Duck Betutu Salad on Betel Leaves or Tofu Poached in an Aromatic Broth of Spinach and Soy Vinaigrette Main Course Crispy Skin Salmon, Sambal Matah, Rice Cake and Shiso Leaves or Tataki of Salmon, Warm Salad of Soba Noodle, Mushroom Cocktail and Spring Onion. Dessert Apple Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Panacotta in a Chinese Tea Cup & Topped with Indonesian Fairy Floss.
For More information and Bookings Seating is limited and reservations are essential for what promises to be a memorable evening. For reservations and more information call +62-(0)361-780 8932.
1 Mn. Cubic Meters of Trash and Only One Place to Go
Denpasar Officials Reveal How They Handle a Massive Amount of Garbage and Trash.
Kompas.com reports that each month some 75,000 cubic meters of trash and waste materials – a figure approaching 1 million cubic meters in a year – are generated by the people living in Bali's capital of Denpasar and surrounding areas. The Head of Bali Hygiene and Parks Service, I Ketut Wisada, told the press, "the production of useless waste – similar to other major cities in Indonesia – totals 2,500 cubic meters each day in Denpasar, generated from households and commercial companies in the city." According to Wisada, the production of trash has increased dramatically in the past 2 years from a previous average of 2,000 tons a day. This increase is attributed to a growing population base and the larger component of disposable trash generated by businesses and households. Wisada said Denpasar sends all its trash and garbage waste to the rubbish tip (TPA) located in the Suwung area, adjacent to the port of Benoa. Performing the job of rubbish removal and management of the TPA involves a total of 1,753 workers. A further armada of 38 dump trucks perform a minimum of 4 round trips each day to carry waste materials to Suwung. Or, in other words, city garbage workers make a minimum of 150 trips each day in their never-ending effort to accumulate unwanted rubbish to the massive garbage tip in the City's southern region.
Presidential Campaign Period to Last for One Month
Campaigning for RI #1 to Run from June 2nd through July 4th in Run Up to National Presidential Polls on July 8, 2009.
The Indonesian presidential and vice-presidential campaign will take place between June 2 and July 4, 2009, featuring both mass rallies and extensive battles for votes waged in the mass media. The Commission for the General Elections (KPU) will allow the campaign in the mass media to commence on June 2, while the KPU is still considering when rallies and mass meetings will be permitted. Sources at the KPU, however, believe the rallies and mass meeting phase of the campaign will be allowed to get underway from June 13, 2009. A member of the KPU, Andi Nurpati Baharuddin, told the press "the start of the public gathering phase of the campaign lasting three weeks will soon be announced, but, God willing, it will not shift from what we have announced previously (June 13)." This schedule is at some variance with that set forth in the presidential election rule number 32 of 2009. Those rules stipulated that the campaign would only be allowed from June 12 until July 4, 2009. A KPU spokesman said the change in the rules was permitted by the quicker-than-expected completion of the verification process for presidential and vice presidential candidates. The Line Up of Candidates Competing to lead Indonesia for a five-year term are: - The Indonesian Democratic Party with incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former Bank Indonesia President Boediono for the vice president's slot. - The Golkar Party who will field the current Vice-President Jusuf Kalla for the nation's top post with former army general Wiranto for the number two job. - The People's Democratic Party of Struggle will run former president Megawati Soekarnoputri in a bid to regain that job, with Probowo Subianto, a retired lt. general, seeking the vice-presidential post. Indonesians will go to the polls to elect their next president on July 8, 2009.
Mountain Villages in Black and White Ink
East Bali Poverty Project Children’s Art Exhibition and Sale at Three Monkeys Cuisine and Art Café in Ubud.
The stark profile of the volcanic mountains Agung and Abang dominate the work of the children of isolated Desa Ban, who have created images of "their Bali" in black & white Chinese ink. It is a Bali most viewers would attribute to the island 100 years ago. In these mountainside hamlets, where villagers eke out a subsistence living on steep slopes covered with volcanic sand during the eruption of Mt. Agung in 1963 that killed over 10,000 people, little has changed with time. Homes are still simple structures and the only water is collected from the roofs of their simple homes. East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) has brought new hope to the regions, with appropriate technology to bring water to the villages, and new schools that are bringing light back into the life of the young ones.
Click Images to Enlarge
Inspired by an up and coming young Yogyakarta artist, Suratmin Bagus Priyo, who volunteered his time for 2 days in September 2008 to train the children in the East Bali Poverty Project schools, these children have taken the techniques taught by Bagus and used them to share their take on reality. The paintings of tiny hamlets, terraced hillsides, and a life far from the bright lights of modern Bali, could all have been painted in the moonlight. In his own words, Bagus was inspired by EBPP's "generosity in pouring energy, time and money into all kinds of efforts to raise the quality of life of fellow beings living in poverty." His trip was a "great opportunity to share life's experiences as a young artist teaching my art style of Black and White-Chinese Ink painting with young children living high on the slopes of Mt. Agung, the revered volcano that had blanketed their homes in ash; these children were accustomed to being at the mercy of an environment that makes even survival an achievement." The exhibition of 40 Black & White Chinese ink drawings and a limited number of color paintings will be held at Three Monkeys Cuisine and Art Café on Monkey Forest Road, Ubud from June 14 through the end of July 2009. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the paintings will be used to support development of the children's art work to help them develop professionally, with the goal of establishing their own professional art cooperatives. The balance will go into a fund for the young artists themselves, who are all enrolled in EBPP's senior high school program and dream of becoming professional artists, to inspire them to continue developing their art skills and enable them to purchase their own art materials. Alongside the art works will be a display of vetiver grass hand crafted products that have been developed through training with some of the world's top designers from Thailand, as well as designs inspired by Linda Garland, President of Ubud-based Environmental Bamboo Foundation. Vetiver, introduced in 2000 to prevent erosion in the arid volcanic ash landscape, has stabilized all of the steep dirt roads and enabled the children to develop lush organic vegetable and herb gardens. It is hoped that the development of handicraft skills with the roots and the dried grass will open up further avenues for future economic development. The opportunity will also be taken on the opening night, June 14th, to present the new "Teacher's Guidebook" to accompany the "The Art of Learning by Doing," a bilingual handbook for teachers that provides tools and exercises in lesson format that can be implemented in class to enhance both language, art, and personal skills. This book enables teachers to prioritize the importance of health, hygiene and good nutrition for good education, incorporating into daily lessons the importance of children learning to express themselves in both art and language, and opening their eyes to ways in which they can attain results hitherto considered beyond their reach.
"Mountain Villages in Black-and-White Ink" Children's Art & Handicraft Exhibition 14th June through the end of July 2009 Three Monkeys Cuisine & Art Café, Monkey forest road, Ubud Open Daily 4.00 pm – 7.00 pm.
Bali Arts Festival June 13 – July 11, 2009
Month Long Celebration of the Arts Returns to Bali for 31st Year.
The provincial government of Bali will invite around 20 Jakarta-based ambassadors to witness the opening of the 31st Bali Arts Festival by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on June 13, 2009. Quoted by the national news agency Antara, the head of the Art and Culture Section of the Bali provincial government, I Made Santha, said the foreign ambassadors, the Indonesian head of state and a number of ministers from the presidential cabinet would attend the opening ceremony at the Ardha Candra Building, Taman Budaya. The opening will also include a presentation of the Bima Swasrga dance-drama presented by a group of Bali-based artists. Santha told the press the Bali Arts Festival would adopt a slightly different approach as compared to previous years. In the past, the President, ministers and visiting ambassadors attended the mid-day opening parade. "While the parade will be held as usual, the plan is for that event to be opened by Governor Made Mangku Pastika who will invite local officials and artists from Bali," explained Made Santha. Despite this slight change, the five main agenda items of the Bali Arts Festival will remain unchanged to include the cultural parade, stage performances, competitions, meetings and seminars, and a handicraft exhibition of small industry and handicraft items. The cultural parade on June 13th will start in front of the Jaya Sabha building in Renon and head toward the Taman Budaya, a distance of some 1.5 kilometers. For the past seven years the opening of the Bali Arts Festival took place at Niti Mandala Renon in front of the Bajra Sandhi Monument. The return of the opening to the front of the Jaya Sabha Building follows the tradition established in 1978 by the festival’s founder, the late governor of Bali, Professor Ida Bagus Mandra. The change in location reflects the wishes of many people in Bali, a change that received the blessing of Governor Made Mangku Pastika and Vice-Governor AAN Puspayoga. The Bali Arts Festival presents a month-long program of cultural presentations and seminars by Balinese performers joined by arts troupes from abroad and across the entire nation of Indonesia. [Programs for 31st Bali Arts Festival]
Japanese Traveler to Bali Declared Free of H1N1 Virus
Japanese Man Hospitalized for One Day in Bali Hospital Until Lab Tests Confirmed Him Swine Flu Free.
The State news agency Antara reports Bali encountered its second suspected cases of "swine flu" or the H1N1 virus. The latest case involved a Japanese man, Kuri Akira, 50, who arrived on a flight from Osaka, Japan exhibiting a high fever, coughing and a sore throat. The man was immediately separated from the other passengers and taken to the isolation ward at Bali's Sanglah General Hospital for observation and testing to determine whether or not the man is actually contaminated with the H1N1 virus. After one day's hospitalization, Bali health officials confirmed that the man tested negative for the H1N1 virus and released him from the hospital on Friday, May 29, 2009. In early May, a Dutch woman arriving on a Malaysian Air flight from Amsterdam was isolated after landing in Bali with flu-like symptoms. After two day's hospitalization laboratory tests also revealed the woman not to be suffering from the dreaded H1N1 virus.
Bali Gets Large Grant to Improve Health.
US$1.4 to be Used by Bali Officials to Fight HIV/AIDS and Assist Planned Parenthood Programs.
Jakarta Post reports that Bali is the recipient of a Rp. 10.8 billion (US$1.4 million) grant from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Part of a larger Rp. 438 billion assistance package for Indonesia, the funds are intended to help Indonesia fight infectuous diseases. Initially established by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the GFATM is funded by eight countries The funds allocated to Bali will be shared among the Bali AIDS Commission (KPA), the Bali Health Agency and the island's Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI) A ceremony marking the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOA) held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, saw Bali's Vice-Governor Puspayoga focus on the island's fight against HIV/AIDS. Bemoaning the increasing number of new cases in Bali, Puspayoga declared there must be something wrong with current efforts to curb the disease. Through the end of March 2009, the number of known HIV/AIDS case in Bali reached 2,666. Most cases are reported among young people between age 20 and 29 years. In a separate report underlining the threat posed to Bali's youth by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Bali Post reports that the youngest fatality reported this year on the island was an 16-year-old boy with a history of sexual activity with prostitutes starting from when he was only 11-years-old. According to a an HIV/AIDS counselor at Bali's Sanglah General Hospital, an increasing number of victims are appearing among teenagers who seek sexual gratification with commercial sex workers.
When an 'Arak Attack' Proves Fatal
20 Dead and Scores Hospitalized in Bali Due to Ethanol Contaminated Local Moonshine.
Alcohol poisoning in Bali is being blamed for the death of 20 people and the hospitalization of scores of others. Authorities first became aware of a problem following a party on Saturday, May 23, 2009, at which a punch made of Pepsi Blue, fruit juice and two bottles of locally produced arak api were consumed. Shortly after consuming the beverage used to celebrate a friend's birthday, partygoers became highly intoxicated and nauseous, with several losing consciousness. The victims where rushed to the Denpasar Sanglah General Hospital where an initial 12 young people died from what medical authorities cite as a high concentration of alcohol and ethanol. The mixture of alcohol and ethanol combine to form a highly toxic substance akin to formaldehyde, a toxic chemical used to preserve human corpses. Among those still hospitalized from consuming the liquid are a number of your people listed in critical condition and some who have suffered blindness and kidney failure. Police have traced some of the lethal arak to a local producer, closed the production facility and apprehended the owner and workers of the distillery for further interrogation. Police have also launched crackdowns on street side warungs where home-made arak is known to be sold. On Saturday, May 30, 2009, the circle of those killed by the contaminated arak grew by two, bring the total deaths to 20. Among the latest victims is a 59-year-old Englishman, Alan Colin and a 31 year old Indonesian, Bernadus Darmawan, both of Canngu. Both men became ill after drinking arak and died a short time later. According to the Bali Post the continuing stream of people hospitalized with alcohol poisoning have refused to cooperate with police in telling where they purchased the illegal beverage. Meanwhile, families of the dead victims have refused to allow autopsies to be performed which might provide more information to the authorities investigating the case. The inability to isolated a single brand of affected arak has caused some health workers to urge absolute avoidance from consuming any of the popular drink, readily available on the island including its sale even at Bali's airport and all local supermarkets.
The Scourge of HIV/AIDS in Bali
Bali Has Second Highest Rate of HIV/AIDS Infections in Indonesia.
Bali now has the unenviable distinction of having the second highest rate of HIV/AID infections in Indonesia. Based on the number of AIDS cases among every 100,000 residents, Papua is the worst affected (129.35), Bali second (33.75) and Jakarta third (30.52). According to DenPost, if viewed merely from the total number of reported cases, Bali gets ranked fifth nation-wide after, in descending order, West Java, Jakarta, East Java and Papua. These figures were revealed at a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) held in Bali on May 27, 2009, between the government of Bali and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Data presented by the Commission to Fight HIV/AIDS in Bali recorded 2,666 cases of the disease in Bali through the end of February 2009. The majority of cases (62.98%) were recorded among heterosexuals having unprotected sex with infected partners, the main source of infections in Bali. According to BisnisBali, of the 2,666 cases recorded in Bali 1,264 are recorded as AIDS sufferers, of which 247 have died. Meanwhile, HIV cases total 1,402 of which 2 people have died. The Chairman of the national anti-HIV/AIDS commission, Nafsiah Mboi, said efforts to prevent the disease in Bali are quite good. At the same time, she admitted it is difficult to change behavior patterns among commercial sex workers or their clients who persist in having unprotected sexual intercourse, despite extensive efforts to educated the public to the risks involved.
Executions to Resume After Presidential Elections
Attorney General Marks Four for Date with Firing Squad from Among 111 Now Sitting on Death Row.
NusaBali reports that Indonesia's Attorney General has identified 4 among the 111 people sitting on death row in Indonesia for execution shortly after the coming presidential elections to be held in July 2009. While not specifically naming those next to be placed before a firing squad, the Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes from the Attorney General's office, Abdul Hakim Ritonga, confirmed that the date of the four deaths will happen sometime after the presidential poll. Plans to execute two prisoners in late 2008 were postponed when the prisoners filed last-minute appeals of their sentences. The two men separated by a final appeal decision from their final fates are Jurit bin Abdullah, sentenced to death twice in two separate murders committed in May and August 1997, and Ona Denis, a Nigerian who traveled to Indonesia on a Malawian passport in 2001, for smuggling one kilogram of heroin into the country. Denis, originally sentenced to life imprisonment, appealed his original conviction to the High Court which then changed his sentence to death. The attorney general has also hinted that the death penalty is increasing imminent for Gunawan Santoso, the man who assassinated the boss of PT Asaba. The rules governing executions in Indonesia are under review, particularly as regard setting a limit on the time available to condemned prisoners to file appeals of their sentences. While not naming those next to be killed by the State, Ritonga said: "The four to be executed include two foreigners and two Indonesians – among this number is also a woman. Among the two foreigners is one Nigerian citizen." The government has indicated its desire to reduce the number of those sitting on death row in Indonesia by accelerating the appeal and execution process. A number of foreigners are housed in Bali's Kerobokan prison death row, including three young Australian men convicted for trying to smuggle more than 8 kilograms of heroin through Bali's airport in 2005.
Lady Pirates of the Caribbean Land in Bali
The Peg-Legged and Parrot-Perched to Join Land Lovers for 3 Days of Musical Comedy in Bali June 12-14, 2009.
The Bali School of Dramatic Arts (SODA) in cooperation with the Aston Denpasar Hotel & Convention Center will present the swashbuckling musical comedy Lady Pirates of the Caribbean in four performances June 12-14, 2006. With music by Craig Sodaro and lyrics by Bill Francoeur, the two-act musical features 13 women, 8 men, a chorus, dancers and a host of extras in a story of lady pirates who manage to outwit and outfight their male counterparts. Relating the story of how the lady pirates fight to recover lost gold needed to feed needy orphans, the show features at least 10 musical and dance numbers. Presented by the Bali School of Dramatic Arts (SODA), the show promises a fun family outing to the theatre. Performances The musical will be presented at the following dates and times: - Friday, June 12, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. - Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. All performances will take place at the Ballroom of the Astons Denpasar Hotel & Convention Center on Jalan Gatot Subroto No. 283 in Denpasar. Ticket Prices - Rp. 125,000 for children under the age of 15 years - Rp. 150,000 for adults - Rp. 450,000 for a family of four - Rp. 100,000 per person for groups of 10 - Rp. 160,000 at the door. For more information and reservations telephone ++62-(0)361-434701 or ++62-(0)81804352772
Government to Simplify Liquor Import and Distribution
Fight Predicted Ahead as Government Department Seek to Retain Lucrative Power Base.
Bisnis Indonesia reports that the Indonesian Department of Trade is in the process of revising regulations pertaining to the import of alcoholic beverages. Currently under consideration is a simplification of the current rules that would unify the two different set of rules now governing imported and locally produced alcohol. Under the new rules, all alcoholic drink purveyors will be required to hold operating and trade licenses (SIUP-MB). By eliminating the past differentiation between local and imported alcohol products officials aim to enhance their supervision of the marketplace. Currently, imported alcohol is supervised by the Director General of Foreign Trade while local alcohol business activities fall under the purview of the Director General for Domestic Trade. Press reports suggest that there will be an intense struggle ahead between these two departments who will likely place less importance on simplifying procedures than on retaining the power they command under the current regulatory regime. The importation of all alcoholic beverages is a de facto monopoly of one company, PT Sarinah. The official quota for important alcohol in 2006 totaled 1.71 million liters, increasing to 1.98 million liters in 2008 and 2.61 million liters in 2009.
Telling the Stark Naked Truth
Bali's Most Famous Contemporary Dancer Nyoman Sura Ignores Unpopular Anti-Pornography Laws by Dancing in the Nude.
Bali's internationally acclaimed dancer-choreographer, I Nyoman Sura, recently made known his feelings regarding Indonesia's anti-pornography laws by doing what he does best: dancing. And in what some see has a "stark" response to the laws that make criminal any display or suggestion of eroticism, Dewa Nyoman Sura danced in the nude. Sura, who has performed at major dance programs around the world, is a professor of movement and dance at Bali's Institute of Arts (ISI). Refusing to see his artistic expression and creativity stifled by the new anti-pornography law, Sura, appearing at the recent Bandung Dance Festival in West Java (May 22-23), performed the widely-praised "Waktu Itu" (That Time) which presents the talented choreographer-dancer's view of life's journey from the moment of birth until life's end. The dance reveals how time gives each of us our own space, meaning and final answer to the meaning of human life. Sura's dance reflects his Bali-Hindu weltanschauung where, he explains, "the final answer of our life as humans is when we must once again face the creator (death), which in Bali is described with the term 'moksa.'" It is at that moment, according to Sura, that man abandons all his connections to the world, for only a free, peaceful and unencumbered soul can face God. Explaining further and as quoted in the Bali Post: "It is at this point (in the dance) that I take off my costume and all accessories. I appear naked, for only a body at peace can confront God. I walk on a piece of white cloth, symbolizing the journey to God." Sura's West Java performance, presented before a large audience that included government cultural officials, received enthusiastic applause before its appreciative audience. The Bali Post depicted the performance as a statement of the dancer's rejection the anti-pornography law, underlining his belief that nudity when employed in artistic expression cannot not be automatically equated with pornography. According to the press, Sura was emotionally moved when his dance performance in West Java earned a standing ovation and spontaneous cheers from the audience of "Long Live Bali! Live Bali! I Love Bali."
New Best Western Hotels in Bali Under Official Scrutiny
Bali Press Question the Legality of Nearly Completed Best Western Hotels in Jimbaran and Kuta.
DenPost reports that the new Best Western Condotel located on Jalan Pantai in Kedonganan (Jimbaran) may be in serious violation of local zoning laws. The 188 room apartment hotel complex which is nearly 90% completed has generated complaints from local residents who claim the property exceed the maximum 15 meter building height rule and also fails to honor the mandatory set back rules from a public road. Contacted on Friday, May 29, 2009, by DenPost, the head of the Promotion and Public Relations for the Kedonganan Beach Tourism Board (BPKP2K), I Gede Rai Wijaya, confirmed that The Best Western was in violation of both height and setback restrictions of the 2005 provincial zoning law. The former chief of the Tuban district called on the zoning enforcement agency and zoning officials to check the construction site and verify that violations have taken place, A representative from the South Kuta Camat office told the press that local residents were becoming fed up to see the illegal structure allowed to continue in its construction, despite numerous complaints. NusaBali also reports that the 110-room Hotel Sapta Patala on Jalan Kubu Anyar in Kuta lacks the necessary licenses and permits. A surprise inspection by members of Commission A of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) indicated that the hotel lacks the necessary building or location permit. NusaBali reports that the hotel owned by Wayan Wijana and soon to be operated under the Best Western brand, originally opened in 1970 with seven rooms, later expanded to 57 rooms before its latest expansion to a 110 room property. Local legislators have called on the authorities to stop the construction of the new hotel projects until the proper licensing is in place.
Failure of Jawa-Bali Power Grid Causes Island-Wide Black Out on Sunday, May 31, 2009.
Almost the entire island of Bali experienced a black out on Sunday, May 31, 2009 due to a failure in the Java-Bali inter-connection. Bali Post reports that all the regional capitals and municipalities of Bali when dark shortly before 6 p.m.. As a result, stores closed and cries of anguish poured forth from Internet Cafes as people lost unsaved data and files. Guests in large hotels and restaurants, many of which are equipped with back-up generator sets, were not aware of the darkness than enveloped the rest of the island. The Public Affairs officer of the Bali Electrical Board (PLN), Agung Mustika, told the Bali Post that at 5:52 p.m. the East Java transmission line between Banyuwangi and Situbondo failed causing an immediate overload on the Banyuwangi-Jember inter-island connection. At the time of system breakdown Bali was consuming a total 410 megawatts. Efforts to absorb this power loading by the Gilimanuk power station (130 MW), Pesanggaran (110 MW) and Pemaron (80MW) proved insufficient to meet all the island's power requirements. By 6:18 p.m. the Jawa-Bali interconnection system began to gradually redress the power shortfalls but fell victim to an additional failure of the Banyuwangi-Jember transmission line that occurred at 7:59 p.m.. Efforts by PLN continued with power being gradually restored to all areas of the island by approximately 9 p.m..
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