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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #673 - 03 August 2009

Terrorists Score No Goals in Indonesia
Editorial: Reflections on the Cancelled Manchester United Appearance in Indonesia.

The bombing attack on two leading Jakarta hotels on July 17, 2009, also resulted in the cancellation of a friendly exhibition match between the world-renowned Manchester United and a team of Indonesian All-Stars. That cancellation surely pleased the suicidal "kill-joys" behind the heinous attacks in Jakarta, who view any form of enjoyment and international fellowship as offensive to their twisted interpretation of one of the world's great religions. Equally certain, however, is that the cancellation disappointed tens of thousands of maniacal "MU" Indonesian fans prepared to descend on Jakarta's main stadium to see their favorite soccer stars in action.
Those who live in Indonesia know the small cells who kill and maim in the name of religion, are isolated from the mainstream of Indonesian society that embrace a religion whose very name means "peace."
Budi Bermain Bola
In these dark day following the Jakarta bombings, solace and consolation can suddenly present itself in unusual places. In this instance, a soothing balm emanated from the world of sports - a place where achievement and excellence make a mockery of the fear and loathing which forms the mainstay of fanatical terrorism.
This story of human redemption begins in the weeks leading up to the scheduled MU match in Jakarta when a good-humored television campaign promoting the sporting event was featured regularly on national TV. In those advertisements a group of MU stars sat in a classrooms receiving a tutorial in Bahasa Indonesia - the lingua franca of the Indonesian people. Taught by a comely Indonesian lady teacher, the soccer champs were drilled in how to say "Budi main bola" which, roughly translated, means "Budi plays soccer."
If you're interested to see the 30 second advertisement, follow the link provided.
Within days of the tragic Jakarta bombings and the cancellation of the MU Match, billboards suddenly appeared across Indonesia, including downtown Jakarta and in Bali, with a message that was certain to raise a smile on the troubled faces of Indonesians humiliated and deeply troubled by the recent senseless brutality of a few of their fellow countrymen. That billboard, shown here, carries the simple message of "Budi, teruslah bermain bola" presented against a solid black background.

Freely translated as "Budi, keep on playing soccer", the billboards simply and beautifully capture the quiet resolve and determination of the Indonesian nation to carry on and live their lives as a people of equal standing in a world community dedicated to international cooperation, freedom of religion and political democracy.
The Jakarta billboard can also be seen as a somewhat more sophisticated expression of sentiment expressed on T-shirts sold in small shops across Bali containing a certain four-letter expletive in front of the word "terrorists."
The message displayed on billboards and on the Bali T-shirts reflect a common view held by the overwhelming majority of Indonesians who reject a fringe ideology that depicts democracy as evil and tries to impose its narrow views of religious morality on every sector of society.
Obviously, we like the billboards in question very much. In fact, we've even had our picture taken standing in front of one wearing our Bali anti-terrorist T-shirt. When its sponsors decide its time to replace the billboard message, we vote for an equally simple presentation of the phrase "Sekali Merdeka, Tetap Merdeka"
That message, used to close the final news broadcasts each day on the State-owned television channel, proclaims "Once Free, Forever Free."
We're sure Budi would agree.
In the meantime, "Budi, teruslah bermain bola!"


Celebrating the Best of Balinese Culture
Nikko Bali Resort Presents a Month-long Program of Unique Cultural Shows in August 2009.

The Nikko Bali Resort and Spa has gathered together some of Bali's leading traditional artists performing a cherished repertoire of dance and music for presentation at its Kupu Kupu Amphitheatre throughout the entire month of August 2009.
The highlights of the month-long celebration of the best of Balinese lively arts, includes:
Monday, August 3, 2009 - Frog Dance - The Indonesian version of the "princess meets enchanted frog story" performed by children. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 350,000 ++ (US$41.50).
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - The Living Legends of Bali - Five maestros of Balinese traditional performance, presenting: Ida Bagus Blandsinga, Jero Gadung, Jero Puspa, I Gusti Ayu Raka Rasmi and Ni Ketut Arini. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 450,000 ++ (US$53.40)
Fridays – August 7, 14, 21, 28 - Kecak Dance - The most dramatic dance scene from the Ramayana Epic performed in the midst of a large group of entranced Balinese men and boys who sing in a Capella counterpoint. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 350,000 ++ (US$41.50).
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - The Best of Bali - A unique ladies Gong Kebyar performance featuring the fabled Legong Dance, direct from their critically acclaimed performance at this years Bali Arts Festival. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 450,000 ++ (US$53.40)
Monday, August 17, 2009 - Archipelago Night - Dances and music from across the Indonesian archipelago in honor of Indonesia's 54th birthday. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 350,000 ++ (US$41.50).
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - Gending Rare - Award-winning groups of children performers from this year's Bali Art Festival singing and dancing in 5 enchanting presentation numbers. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 450,000 ++ (US$53.40)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - Kecak 2000 Plus - A special Kecak dance performance involving more than 200 dancers presented at hotel's nearby Serenity Beach. Cost of admission, including a buffet dinner, is Rp. 450,000 ++ (US$53.40).
For reservations and more information telephone ++62-(0)361-773277.


An Island in Need of a Pied Piper
Waves of Rats Destroying Rice Harvest in at Least Three Regions of Bali.

Kompas.com reports that a plaque of crop-destroying rats are attacking farms in a number of areas of the island, with the worst affected regions in Tabanan, Badung and Gianyar. Farmers, many of whom are now facing a potentially tragic third cycle of failed crops, are blaming climate change for the army of rats that have denuded 72 hectares of agricultural land and threaten a further 472 hectares.
The Badung regency has suffered an especially hard hit, affecting large areas of that district where crops have been decimated by unusually large influx of rats believed to have migrated from the adjoining Tabanan regency in search of food. Tabanan agricultural officials estimate that in 2008 some 70 hectares of rice and corn crops were destroyed by the marauding rats. The worst affected sub-district was Riang Gede in Penebel where 57 hectares of crops have been wiped out. Next door, in the Gianyar regency, a total of 14 hectares of crops have been ruined since the beginning of 2009.
The Chief of the Agriculture and Plantations Department for Badung, I Gusti Made Agung, said on Monday, July 27th, that the destruction of agricultural crops was worst in Mengwi which is now entering into its traditional harvest season. Valuable seed nurseries, covering 20 are (2,000 square meters), have been attacked by the rodents. Badung officials have distributed rat poison in the affected region and urged farmers to undertake mass killing programs against the rats.
Officials are concerned that the current plague of rats will adversely affect rice production in Bali this year. Overall, rice production has decreased over the past two years due to reduced agricultural lands and pestilence. In 2007, the total amount of land under rice cultivation reduced from 150,577 to 145,030 hectares. This resulted in a reduction of rice production from 840,891 to 839,775 tons.
Made Raka, a farmer from Tegan, Kapal in Mengwi told Kompas.com that as the result of rat attacks, he has failed to harvest 6,000 square meters of corn planted last June, causing him a financial loss of Rp. 5 million (US$490). Raka is concerned that his losses will soon grow with his new 25-day-old crop now under assault by rodents. He described how young rice plants that have fallen after being eaten by rats. His efforts to poison the animals have been unsuccessful, with rats continuing to increase in his planting fields.
In more normal times, the Balinese foster a more peaceful rapprochement with the island's rodent population. Rats, given the nick-name of Jero Ketut, are more often chased away from rice fields than killed. And, when killing is unavoidable, ceremonies in which the rates receive a religiously prescribed cremation are carried out.


Bali to Provide Free Medical Care for the Poor in 2010
Governor Pastika Moving Ahead on Delivering Free Education and Health Care to Balinese Living Below the Poverty Line.

Bali's provincial government is preparing a budget of Rp. 250 billion (US$25 million) to pay for a free medical care program to be introduced in 2010.
"Jaminan Kesehatan Bali Mandara" is the extension of a program launched in 2008 in 500 villages at a cost of Rp. 12 billion (US$1.2 million) that covers the cost of medical examinations, treatment, surgical operations, outpatient care and hospitalization.
Quoted in Kompas.com, Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika said: "We are prioritizing this health program together with our educational program. It's certain that (as a result) a number of expenditures in other areas will have to be tightened, such as expenditures for official travel which can re reduced."
The allocation for the new health program will come from the provincial budget (APBD) for 2009. To ensure sufficient funds are available, Pastika has asked for additional contributions from all the regencies and city governments on the island.
"We will coordinate with the bupatis and mayors in order that the health service can operate and be enjoyed by the people, " added governor Pastika.
The governor told the press how people who are sick will receive free medical service by presenting only their identity card (KTP) and the family card (kartu keluarga) without any further enquiry on their status. Emphasizing that the program would be simple and straight forward, Pastika said all would be entitled to health care at local hospitals with admission into a 3rd class ward. Underlining the point, Pastika said: "This applies for all the people of Bali, for all types of illnesses, without any discrimination. All you have to do is be prepared to accept hospitalization in a 3rd class ward."
Wayan Rata (50), a resident of the Badung regency, said he is enthusiastic about the new health program. He added that he hoped the processing and service would be less complicated than his recent experience where he could only receive medical service after presenting a letter from the district government certifying his impoverishment.
Through the end of the first semester of 2009, a total of 2,500 visits by medical teams to 300 villages across Bali have been performed. The most common medical complaint encountered by the medical teams have joint pain and cataracts.
Bali's medical service estimates that 35% of the total population is suffering some sort of illness. From that total, 2-5% need hospitalization. Bali's government estimates that 540,000 or 15.4% of the island's total population of 3.5 million can be categorized as "poor."


When Guides Become Lost
Editorial: Does the Head of Bali's Guide Association (HPI) owe Governor Pastika an Apology?

Defying both belief and logic, the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI), Nyoman Kandia, recently was quoted in beritabali.com as "reminding" Bali's governor Made Pastika to keep Bali safe from future terrorists attacks. So far, so good; we've got no arguments with anyone wants to keep the island safe and secure.
But we think that Kandia, who heads Bali's organization for licensed guides, crossed the line by calling for our much-beloved governor to resign if Bali happens to suffers a future terrorist bombing, suggesting, moreover, that in such a situation his organization would demand Made Pastika not seek re-election.
While no one wishes to see Bali endure another terrorist attack, the events in Jakarta on July 17th in Jakarta once again demonstrate that individuals bent on self-destruction can strike anywhere in the world and penetrate even the most elaborate security precautions.
Whether Kandia is seeking to score political points off the horrendous terrorist attacks in Jakarta or is just poorly informed, remains unclear. But, anyone who has followed developments in Bali since its first terrorist attack in 2002, knows with absolute certainty how fortunate Bali is to have a dedicated "anti-terrorist" such a Made Mangku Pastika in its top executive post. In 2002, serving as lead investigator for the Bali bombings, Pastika was the man responsible for chasing the Bali bombers to ground, leading to their eventual arrest, conviction and execution before a firing squad. His exemplary police work heading an international team of investigators earned Pastika world-wide praise, including being named as Time Magazine (Asia) "Man of the Year." A second set of terrorist bombings in 2005, saw Pastika again use his considerable skills as a criminal investigator to arrest those behind those attacks. What's more, both as Bali's Chief of Police and, now, as Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika has remained steadfast in maintaining safety and security on the island, often at the expense of bruised feelings of hotel, villa and business owners who the governor determines are failing to do their part in maintaining a high levels of security.
Thus, Nyoman Kandia is badly serving both his association and his island by suggesting Bali might somehow be better off without the services of Governor Pastika. Should it come to pass that Bali suffers another terrorist attack, the performance of the Bali's governor must be evaluated on his preparations to avoid such an event and the swiftness and thoroughness of his response after the fact.
We also think that anyone who doubts that Governor Pastika is the right man in the right job in these terror-laden times is just not paying attention.
We suggest that Nyoman Kandia review the outstanding record of governor Pastika when it comes to combating terror and reconsider his comments quoted in the local press.
A clarification or an apology to the Governor is very much in order.


Jeweled Batiks by Annemarie
An Exhibition of Beaded Antique Batik at Bali's Maya Ubud Resort & Spa August 17 - September 15, 2009.

The Gallery Boutique of Maya Ubud Resort & Spa features a unique collection of jeweled batik tapestries designed by Annemarie Kipar from August 17 - September 15, 2009.
German-born Annemarie Kipar decorates her beautiful batik selection with beads, sequins and stones pieces creating beautifully glittering tapestries. Annemarie studied Renaissance Art at Berkeley where she found Indonesian batiks to be magical in their intricate design and motifs ranging from imaginative to naïf, mystical to primitive.
The creative works of Annemarie also include carefully selected fabrics from different parts of the world enhanced with rich and colorful beads and stones. Each piece of art takes three to four months to complete.
Over the years, Annemarie's tapestries have become collector's items throughout the world and adorn the homes of such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor.
The Gallery Boutique of Maya Ubud current exhibition includes thirty select pieces from Annemarie Kipar's collection.
Jeweled Batiks by Annemarie
An Exhibition by Annemarie Kipar
Gallery Boutique of Maya Ubud Resort
Open Daily, August 17 - September 15, 2009.


Bali to Increase Tourism Ties with Dili
Chairman of Bali Tourism Board Sees Potential in Cooperating with East Timor Tourism Industry.

The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Ngurah Wijaya, has told the National News Agency Antara that he welcomes moves to develop tourism cooperation between Bali and the Timor Leste capital of Dili as a means of increasing accessibility between those two destinations.
Wijaya told Antara: 'This is very interesting, we can exchange our tourism destinations by presenting them in joint destination packages. Dili has long been known in Bali as a key destination and the many international workers assigned in Dili spend their holidays in Bali.'
Wijaya admitted that the number of international workers traveling from Dili to Bali has decreased in recent years. This decrease has occurred following East Timor independence and the gradually diminishing role of international agencies there.
Wijaya called for a phased and well-planned approach to developing Bali-Dili tourism. One means of supporting Dili tourism is through the sharing of skills and knowledge from Bali's advanced tourism labor base.
The idea of enhancing tourism exchanges between Denpasar and Dili was also recently raised on the highest level between Indonesia and Timor Leste when the East Timor Ambassador to Jakarta, Manuel Cerrano, termed the idea of tourism cooperation between Bali and Dili as both interesting and promising, providing an opportunity for his country to increase its foreign exchange earnings.
Dili is served from Bali by Merpati Nusantara who operate a daily flight service. Dili is connected by international flights from Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.


Stirred, Shaken and on the Rocks
We Nominate the 'Rock Bar' at The Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali as Word's Most Dramatic Place for a Sundowner.

The Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali held a private party to launch its new Rock Bar on Friday, July 31, 2009. Attended by several hundred members of the local press, diplomatic corps and tourism figures - the party showcased what is soon to dominate the list of "must do's in Bali" for an evening cocktail. Accessed by an intimidating number of steps or a much less strenuous inclinator, the bar lives up to it "on the rocks" theme via an open-top bar perched 14 meters above the ocean on a rocky outcrop at the base of the resort's towering cliffs.
An impressive feat of architectural and engineering design, the complex is the work of Yasuhiro Koichi of Japan's Design Studio SPIN, whose works include NOBU Tokyo and NOBU Hong Kong. "Rock Bar" at the Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali offers uninterrupted, 360-degree views.
A one-of-a-kind venue, the bar offers several levels for dining and drinking in an atmosphere that suggests you're floating above the Indian Ocean, pounding the rocks below. Adding to the chic ambient, there's a DJ booth at the front of the bar equipped with an all-weather outdoor Bose Stereo System. Guests can enjoy a range of tapas served on natural stone plates. But, like any Bar destined to be ranked among the world's best, the menu's focus is of the liquid variety, with a comprehensive list of classic and contemporary cocktails. "The Rocks" is also an impressive venue for private functions and wedding parties, with a kitchen discreetly concealed beneath a nearby rock formation.
Either side of the main rock "bar," timber platforms featuring comfortable sofas provide additional viewing points across the ocean. One of these platforms is accessed via a natural cave, a unique entrance that leads to the terrace and a 'secret' garden over the beach. Designer Yasuhiro Koichi said the bar's minimalist design emphasizes the natural beauty and layout of the rocky outcrop on AYANA's Kisik Beach. "The magic of the Rock Bar is to feel the sea close to you and enjoy the coastal scenery and the surf," Koichi said. "Therefore, we designed only enough to enhance these natural elements in a relaxed setting."
His signature style is evident in the use of traditional materials, motifs and colors, which are given a contemporary edge with cutting-edge lighting and clean lines. As you approach, softly angled lighting guides you up a small set of stairs to the bar's split-level ironwood platform. A 1 meter high glass wall surrounds the entire perimeter. Long counter-tables flank the illuminated, glass bar, a stunning artwork created by renowned Japanese glass artist Seiki Torige.
Open to the elements with nothing to block the fresh sea air and the changing colors of the sky above, the waves break onto the beach and the base of the rock below.
Seiki Torige's concept for the glass-topped bar was inspired by the 'wild' beauty of the natural surroundings. "The first time I visited the site, I noticed that at high tide, the waves break upon the rocks below and the shore like 'aquatic fireworks'. When it is low tide, a 100m-long coral reef appears in front of us, revealing the secret of the ocean's energy," said Seiki. "You really feel the power of nature at the Rock Bar, and I wanted to create a delicate glass work to be placed amongst this wild, beautiful scene."
The bar top was made out of thousands of paper-thin glass 'canes', produced one by one and layered one on top of the other for a sparkling effect. This is enhanced by illumination from beneath. "Every effort of humans is often defeated by nature, however, my fervent wish is that these glass canes – the fruit of our effort – unite with nature and shine brightly all the time," Seiki said.
Book a stay at the [Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali].


Sleep Appreciation
Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali's Celebrates its Heavenly Beds and Says 'Thank You' to the Island's Travel Industry.

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali's annual travel industry party has long manage to set the "gold standard" for how to entertain people who are, frankly, spoiled by an almost weekly regime of cocktails and dinners from hotels and tourist attraction eager to curry their favor. This year's "Heavenly Westin" party held on Friday, July 31, 2009, once again underlined the popular Resort's ability to throw a "party to remember."
Celebrating ten years of its world-renowned "Heavenly Beds," the entire Nusa Indah Ballroom adopted a bedding theme, covered in goose feathers. Shortly after the guests arrived and given their first of an unending stream of cocktails, national TV personality Becky Tumewu, who acted as master of ceremonies, made a memorable entrance, descending slowly from a three-storey ceiling into the center of the ballroom on a "heavenly bed shared with a scantily-clad young "Adam" who remained her silently obedient companion throughout the evening.

That marked the beginning of an evening of outstanding food and drink, punctuated by dance numbers, cabaret performances, and an amazing oriental acrobatic team flown in from Malaysia. Over 30 lavish prizes, comprised of stays at Starwood Hotels throughout the Asia-Pacific were given away, with the grand prize of the evening a brand-new "Heavenly Bed" complete with pillows and quality linen.
A silent auction in support of the Unicef's Children Fund netted some US$1,500 over the course of the evening.
The evening also served to acknowledge those travel companies that were top producers of business for the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali and the Bali International Convention Center over the past year:
Top Producing Agent for the Japanese Market - H.I.S. Bali Tours & Travel
Top Producing Agent for Russian Market - Navigator Indonesia
Top Producing Agent for the Australian Market - Qantas Holidays
Top Producing Agent for European Market - Go Vacation Indonesia
Top Producing Agent for Asian Group Market - Penjor Bali Wisata
Top Producing Agent for Asian Market – FIT - TMS Tours and Travel
Top Producing Professional Conference Operators - PACTO Convex, Royalindo Expoduta and Panorama Convex.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are snap shots taken during gala party thrown by Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali's.


Bali Immigration Officers Avoid Criminal Charges
Immigration Officials Negotiate a Settlement with State Audit Board on 'Loss' of Nearly US$300,000 Caused by 44 Officials at Bali's Airport.

As reported on balidiscovery.com [See: Corruption Scandal at Bali's Airport], 44 immigration officers at Bali's main airport have been under investigation for embezzling an estimated Rp. 3 billion (US$294,000) in visa-on-arrival fees between October 2008 and May 2009.
Kompas reports that a decision has been made by the Immigration Department to limit punishments to only disciplinary and administrative sanctions.
In announcing the settlement of the case, the Director General of Immigration, Basyir Ahmad Barmawi, told the 44 officers that they were "all considered like children or younger brothers and sisters whose mistakes can be remedied."
Following an investigation by the State Audit Board (BPK), a decision has been made reduce the rank of the offending officers and order them to repay the missing Rp. 3 billion. The money to be repaid by each of the 44 immigration officers varies from between Rp. 70 million to Rp. 100 million (US$6,800 – US$9,800).
Investigators concluded that the officers colluded to embezzle the visa fees by surrendering only a US$10 fees for a 7-day visa when, in fact, US$25 had been collected for a 30-day visa by arriving tourists. Through a process of reverse extrapolation, a portion of the visa fees of approximately 20,000 foreign tourist were misappropriated in this manner during the subject six month period.
The Secretary-General of the Department of Justice and Human Rights, Abdul Bari Azed, told Kompas that his office had purposely met with the BPK to find a way out via the imposition of disciplinary and administrative sanctions, preventing the case from changing into a criminal prosecution.
Following the announcement of the decision, the 44 offending officers left the building without commenting to the press.
In Jakarta the Minister of Law and Human Rights called on the BPK to audit all of Indonesia's national air gateways, admitting that it was not impossible that similar violations had occurred in other places.


Change of Command at Bali Police Headquarters
General Sutisna Replaces Teuku Ashikin as Bali's Top Cop.

Police Inspector General Sutisna has formally been installed as the Provincial Chief of Police for Bali, replacing Inspector General Teuku Ashikin Husein.
The formal change of command took place in a ceremony at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday, July 27, 2009.
Sutisna is the 32nd officer to serve as Bali's Chief of Police. Prior to his latest assignment, Sutisna served a chief intelligence officer at the National Police Headquarters. Prior to his Jakarta posting, Sutisna held intelligence positions in Riau and South Kalimantan.
Teuku Ashikin is being assigned to National Police Headquarter in preparation for his coming retirement. Ashikin has served as Bali's Chief of Police since May 14, 2008, when he replaced Inspector General Paulus Purwoko.


Tea Tree Spa Opens at Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali
Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali Opens its Signature Tea Tree Spa.

Tea Tree Spa - the signature spa of Holiday Inn Resorts, has now opened at Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali
Located on the beach facing the Indian Ocean, Tea Tree Spa has been designed in the tradition of an Indonesia water palace, where the archipelago's Rajas and Sultans. It is in this setting, surrounded by the cooling waters of tranquil ponds, that the Tea Tree Spa invites guests to unwind and relax. With its five treatment rooms including a couple's room, the Spa utilizes exotic aromatherapy oil and scrubs that are personally blended on site with traditional eastern therapies.
Well trained spa therapists can offer complete programs of full-day pampering or a choice from an a la carte offering featuring a large range of massages, facials, hand and feet treatments and other therapies. As an added feature, guests may choose to enjoy their treatments indoors or in one of the outdoor bales scattered along the beach.
Advance bookings recommended.
Book a stay at the [Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali ].


Countess Tolstoy Requests the Pleasure of Your Company
Australian Actress Jennifer Claire Repeats Her One-Woman Show "Tolstoy's Wife" at Amandari Resort August 15, 2009.

Back by popular demand, Australian actress Jennifer Claire returns to perform her triumphal one-woman show "Tolstoy's Wife" at Ubud's Amandari Resort on Saturday, August 15, 2009.
Jennifer Claire
Over the forty years Jennifer has been an actress, she has appeared in over two hundred productions, five films and several television series, her last one woman "Lillian" was performed at The Playhouse in Melbourne for the Spoleto Festival. Favorite roles include 'The Duchess of Mali', ‘Masha', ‘Olga', in "Three Sisters" and ‘Varya' in "The Cherry Orchard".
Jennifer first showcased "Tolstoy's Wife" at the Bleecker Street Theatre, New York, under the direction of one of New York's leading director's William Pomerantz. She says that it was through his great encouragement and interest in "Tolstoy's Wife" that she wrote a second script towards more clarity, that she will perform in Ubud on August 15th. She has also performed in Singapore, London, Sydney and Melbourne.
"Toltsoy's Wife"
The play itself is beautifully written and performed by Jennifer via the character of Sonia, Tolstoy's wife, and covers the important periods in their married life. She introduces us to many of Tolstoy's contemporaries, including Maxim Gorki, Turgenev, Chekhov, and many others.
Russians have many names. Sonia is the name given by Tolstoy to his wife. Meanwhile, Leo Tolstoy is also known as Lev Nikolevich or Lyova.
Previous Bali performances of "Tolstoy's Wife took place at the Amandari in 2006 with a repeat performance for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festivals in 2008.
The Story Line
The Countess Sonia Tolstoy waits in the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, for her interview with Tsar Alexander III.
She has come to beg the Tsar to lift the censorship on the ‘Kreutzer Sonata,' Tolstoy's latest work, which has shocked all of Russia.
Sonia Behrs, the Countess Tolstoy, was a young girl of eighteen when she married the thirty-eight year old Tolstoy who, in his lifetime, was acknowledged as one of the greatest writers in the world; a man so popular in Russia, he was called the second Tsar. She bore him thirteen children, nine of whom lived.
The play is Sonia's story, the love she felt for Tolstoy, despite all the trials of a fifty-year marriage.
All his life Tolstoy struggled with his sexuality, always striving for the celibacy he never managed to attain.
Tolstoy's spiritual reliance on his fanatical disciple, the pedantic Vladimir Grigoryevich Chertkov annoyed Sonia. She distrusted him and came to hate him vehemently.
"Tolstoy's Wife"
Written and Performed by Jennifer Claire and Taken from the Diaries of Countess Tolstoy
One Night Only – Saturday, August15, 2009
7:00 p.m. drinks and canapés with Curtain at 7:30 p.m.
Rp. 200,000 (US$20)
Reservations Required. Telephone ++62-(0)361- 975333.


Does the Sheriff Always Win the Best Westerns?
Two New Best Western Projects in Bali Scrutinized for Breaking Zoning Rules.

Nusa Bali reports that the new Best Western Condotel in Kedonganan has apparently failed to modify its top floor to make the building compliant with zoning height regulations.
According to the newspaper's reporters, the building still stands a full 17 meters, 2 meters higher than allowed under the law, despite initial furtive attempts by the managers of the condominium hotel to modify the uppermost level. Local enforcement officials, however, claim that the owners have taken the necessary steps to bring the building into compliance with height rules.
When challenged by reporters, the Head of the Regency's Enforcement Agency (Pamong Praja Badung), I Wayan Adi Arnawa, promised he would recheck the condotel to ensure the removal of the offending two meters has taken place.
Nusa Bali says that local observers claim that the owners only dispatched construction workers to create the impression that the building was being modified with the workers sent away and the modifications stopped when local officials ended their supervision of the process.
Commission A of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD Badung) has criticized what they see at a lack of commitment by the regency's executive in the enforcement of established rules. Citing the Best Western Condotel in Kedonganan and another Best Western Hotel, the Sapta Petala on Jalan Kubu Anyar – local legislators are questioning the lack of resolve by regency officials in enforcing the rules.
According to local press reports, The Best Western Sapta Petala was constructed without the required permits in an area where zoning rules specifically forbid the construction of large-scale hotels or apartment complexes.
Committed to preventing The Best Western Sapta Petala from opening its doors, a local community group calling itself the "Organization for the People's Aspirations (BAR)" have pledged to file suit in local administrative courts in the Hotel is eventually given an operating permit.
This threat follows comments from a member of the DPRD Badung who also serves as Chairman of BAR, IGN Citra Umbara, who claims local tourism officials and the hotels owners are colluding to find a way of issuing the necessary operating licenses.
Citra said that if permits are issued to The Best Western Sapta Petala such a step will represent an insult to the Regency as the building stands in flagrant disregard for existing zoning rules.
Tensions over the issue have been further fueled by reports that work continues at the hotel towards an eventual opening with recruitment efforts for new staff now underway.
Citra said: "There's no operational license, but the operational management of the hotel has commenced? If the government is bold enough to issue licenses, we will bring this case to the courts." Citra termed the government's behavior as "plin-plan" and "strange." He added that the zoning for the area in which the Satpa Pala stands forbids the construction of hotels, while the hotel in question has managed to be built and is now being claimed to be an apartment complex.
Citra denies claims by the owners that the 110 unit building is an apartment ant a hotel. Emphasizing that his group is not against business investment, but, at the same time, insists that the law must be obeyed by investors.
The Head of the Tourism Office for Badung, Made Subawa, denies that his office has issued permits or licenses for the Satpa Petala Hotel, adding that it may be impossible to do so given the violation of local zoning laws.


 
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