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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #977 - 25 May 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


Monkey Business is Booming
Baliís Sangeh Monkey Forest has Growing Number of Tourism Visitors

The Balinese tourism destination of the Sangeh Monkey Forest in the regency of Badung has welcomed 28,837 tourists from January to mid-May 2015, increasing 5.3% over the same period last year when 23,158 visitors were recorded.
 
As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the manager of the Sangeh Monkey Forest, Made Mohon Sabtu, said that 23,223 of the visitors (80.5%) were from domestic sources with the remaining 5,615 (19.5%) visitors for overseas.
 
The greatest number of visitors came to the famed Sangeh Monkey Forest in January (9,701), declining in February (3,842). Meanwhile, March visitors increased (7,923), decreased in April (5,384). Some 2,000 visitors came to Sangeh during the first half of May.
 
The management of the Forest is working to enhance the Parks's attractiveness by improving parking areas and upgrading general cleanliness.
 
In recent years, similar parks at Uluwatu, Ubud, Alas Kedaton, Tabanan and the road connecting Bedugul to Singaraja have eroded Sangeh popularity as the leading park to view sacred monkeys.
 
Because of the past complaints over aggressive monkeys that engage in thievery from visiting tourists, every visitor to Sangeh is cautioned to avoid wearing excessive jewelry or carrying objects (e.g. glasses, camera and pens) that might be taken by naughty primates.
 
Tourists typically purchase food items from local stands that can be given to the demanding, pestering monkeys.


A Passport to Promotion
Bali Chief of Police Seeking Top Immigration Post

Bali’s Chief of Police, Inspector General Ronny Frankie Sompie, has thrown his name into contention to become the Director General of Immigration within the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Prior to officially declaring his candidacy for the top immigration post, General Sompie reportedly sought and received the official blessing of the National Police Chief.

The post of Director General of Immigration is open to any member of the Indonesian public.

Quoted by Tribun-Bali.com, Sompie said: “Yes, I have registered my name as a candidate. This because the job is open to any member of the public.”

The selection of the individual to head Indonesia’s immigration department has been clouded in some confusion and bureaucratic intrigue since last year.
 
In the final months of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) presidency, three names were put forth for the job: the head of the East Nusa Tenggara office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Rohadiman Santoro; the Director of Border Crossings and International Cooperation, Asep Kurnial; the head of the Central Java office for the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Bambang Widodo.
 
SBY was reportedly reluctant to make the key appointment in the closing days of his term of office. Meanwhile, a falsified presidential decision circulated suggesting a selection for the Director General of Immigration had been made.
 
With the election of Joko Widodo and the appointment of Yasonna Laoly as Minister of Justice and Human Rights, a decision was made to restart the entire selection process for the top immigration job.
 
With the announcement of the new selection process for the Director General of Immigration, General Sompie has now decided to try to seek a new senior position in government outside the police hierarchy.


Gems Can Get You in a Jam in Bali
Chinese Couple Deported from North Bali for Working in Local Market Selling Semi-Precious Gemstones

A husband and wife team from Mainland China have been apprehended by North Bali immigration authorities and deported back to their homeland.

Liu Yuzhang (62) and his wife, Liyu Ke (53) from Fujian China had overstayed their visas and were, according to Metrobali.com, engaged in the sales of souvenirs and semi-precious stones in the Banyusari Market in North Bali at the time of their arrest.

Local residents living near the market reported the couple to authorities when they became suspicious that the two traders could not speak Indonesian.

When questioned by police and immigration the couple could only show a 30-day visa-on-arrival.

The two had reportedly purchased semi-precious stones from the Senen Market in Jakarta and were selling the gem for between Rp. 50,000 (US$4) and Rp. 400,000 (US$30) in the North Bali market.

The Chinese couple told police they were reduced to trading souvenirs and semi-precious stones, as they did not have the funds to pay for a return ticket to China.

Records show the husband and wife have made at least two previous trips to Indonesia.


Indonesia Lifts its Game
Indonesia Tourism Sector Becomes More Internationally Competitive

Bisnis.com reports that the Bank Indonesia office in Bali believes the growing international tourism sector offers the Island of Bali opportunities for economic advancement against an otherwise slowing national economy.

Also aiding any plans to increase tourism investment in Bali is an improving level of competitiveness as measure by a higher ranking in the Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2015 (TCI), published by the World Economic Forum 2015 (WEF).

The biennial report now ranks Indonesia at #50 in terms of tourism competitiveness, moving up 20 places from #70 in the 2013 TCI Index.
Seen from a purely regional perspective, Indonesia has moved up from #12 to #4 after Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Bisnis.com attributes the improvement in overall competitiveness in the tourism sector to Indonesia’s more competitive pricing, richness of natural resources, the Country’s biological diversity, and the several natural and world heritage sites found in the Country.

Meanwhile, data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC) predicts that world tourism will grow 4% in 2015, a rate somewhat higher than that predicted for financial services, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

In analyzing Bali’s prospects, Dewi Setyowadi, who heads Bank Indonesia’s Bali office, said tourism growth and development cannot be separated from increasing personal buying power among developing nations.

A survey undertaken by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) now ranks travel as the second most important human need after a private vehicle for mid-income families. Within the same context, the UNWTO now ranks China as the world’s largest travel market.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is projecting 3-4% growth in worldwide tourist numbers.

By 2035 the number world holiday travelers is expected to double to 2 billion.

The “graying” of the world’s population will also have a positive impact on travel. 900 million of the world’s population was aged 60 or more in 2010, a total that will increase to 1.4 billion by 2030.


Mother and Child Reunion
Adelaide Womenís and Children's Hospitals Continues 18 Years of Close Cooperation in Maternal and New-Natal Health in Bali

The State News Agency Antara reports that Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital and Adelaide's South Australia’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital is cooperating closely in enhancing the skill of Balinese medical personnel.

Dr. A.A. Saraswati, a director of the Sanglah Hospital said, “This cooperation with Australia has been in place for 18 years, since 1997, focused on obstetrics and midwifery.

Recently, three days of medical seminars and training was provided to midwifes at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital. Also included in the training were medical workers from the regencies of Negara, Karangasem, Singaraja and Gianyar.
 
Sri explained that Indonesia still has a very high maternal mortality rate of some 359 deaths for every 100,000 live births. The government is targeting to lower this number to 102 deaths per 100,000 live births.
 
Due to continuing efforts by the government and the assistance provided by Australian experts. the rate of maternal deaths in Bali is far below the national average, standing at only 69 deaths per every 100,000 live births.
 
Adelaide’s Women’s and Children Hospital brought a group of 20 doctors and medical personnel to Bali to participate in the obstetrics and midwife training.
 
Professor John Svigos, a specialist in midwifery and obstetrics from Adelaide points to the continuing medical cooperation with Bali, saying it demonstrates that the close relationship between Australia and Indonesia remains intact despite recent disagreements between Canberra and Jakarta over the execution of two members of the “Bali Nine” Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.
 
Svigos said it was his hope that the medical cooperation between Adelaide and Bali will enhance awareness of the importance of the health of mothers and their children as an indicator of a country’s success in achieving millennial development goals. The Australian physician said that while much had been achieved in improving the health of pregnant women and their babies, much remains to be done to make even greater improvements in the future.
 
Training provided by Adelaide in Bali covered maternal and neo-natal care, he examination of pregnant women, natal delivery, the examination of new born babies, and dealing with complications in the birthing process.


Cultivating Culture in Bali
Reform in Property Tax System Needed to Protect Baliís Agriculturally Based Culture

The Chairman of the Bali-Indonesia Hindu Society (PHDI), Professor Dr. Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, has told a tourism forum that tourism development has fundamentally affected the livesof local populations on the island. In the same forum, Sudiana called for steps to be taken to protect and preserve traditional land usage to prevent all available land from being usurped by the tourism industry.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Sudiana’s comments were delivered at a discussion with the theme “New Tourism Destinations Based on Local Wisdom” held the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Sudiana told those in attendance: “I have observed that the development of tourism has brought significant effects. In the people’s economy (these changes) can also change public behavior from the traditional to the more modern.”
 
The PHDI chairman said the people of Bali face a major challenge in retaining agricultural lands to their original use and preventing conversion of these lands to tourism pursuits. This is especially concerning, said Sudiana, as the backbone of Bali tourism is Bali’s agriculturall-based culture.
 
“Recently there has been an increasing shift in land usage in Bali. Farming lands are being redirected to tourism and residential use. At the same time, the people of Bali have an obligation to preserve their culture, including the retention of traditional agricultural lands,” explained Sudiana who also serves as a Profession at Denpasar’s Hindu University (IHDN).
 
Sudiana sees Bali’s agricultural sector as its greatest tourism asset.
   
“In see that that Bali’s farmers are now largely older than 45-years-old and primarily live in village settings. Meanwhile, those living in urban settings bring pressure to change land from agricultural usage. I am worried that if farmers in Bali change their professions then the traditional ‘subak’ (water distribution system) will eventually disappear,” he explained.
    
To help revitalize and preserve Bali’s agriculture Sudiana hopes that the way in which farming lands are taxed in Bali can be changed with faming lands exempted from paying property taxes.
 
Said Sudiana: “If the government is bold enough to exempt agricultural lands from property tax this would mean that the government is taking an active role in preserving these lands. In the current condition, farmers must pay high taxes due to the higher value of lands shifting to tourism pursuits. We should not be surprised that these land owners are now selling or renting out their lands for use in tourism pursuits.”


Counting on the Cantonese
Garuda to Commence Flights Denpasar to Guangzhou on July 8, 2015

The State News Agency Antara reports that Garuda Indonesia will start offering direct flights between Bali and Guangzhou, China, commencing on July 8, 2015.
 
The Garuda manager in Guangzhou, Dharmawan H. Hendrata, confirms that approval for the flights has been given by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Thursday, May 21, 2015 and has been sent to the Indonesian Ministry of Transport for further processing.
 
Garuda current flies between Beijing and Jakarta, Shanghai and Jakarta, Guangzhou and Jakarta, and Beijing and Denpasar.
 
Chinese visitors to Bali now rank second among foreign sources, after Australia.


The Last Picture Show
Singaporean Man Drowns at Nusa Lembongan While Taking an Ocean-side ĎSelfie.í

Kompas.com reports that a Singaporean tourist, Muhamad Alsam bin Shahaul (20), has died after falling from a seaside cliff at Batu Beliq Beach on Nusa Lembongan. The distance from the top of the cliff to waters below was only 1.5 meters.
 
The incident happened mid-day on Thursday, May 21, 2015 while the young Singaporean was reportedly trying to take a “selfie” with an ocean backdrop and lost his footing.
 
Rescue workers managed to evacuate the man’s body on Thursday evening after which it was sent to Sanglah General Hospital on the nearby island of Bali for forensic examination.
 
An initial examination indicates the man died from drowning. Police requests for a full autopsy have been refused by the man’s family.
 
The man was reportedly unable to swim. His body was recovered at a depth of 5 meters below the ocean’s surface.
 
Bin Shabaul was in Bali with a group of friends celebrating their school graduation.


Please Release Me, Let me Go
Bali Prison Officials Embarrassed as Wong Man Released from Kerobokan.

Prison authorities at Bali’s infamous Kerobokan Prison are acutely embarrassed by a mix-up that saw the wrong inmate released from prison on May 15, 2015.

Police have been spending the last week desperately searching for the man serving a narcotics sentence who was given his freedom by prison officials. The Justice and Human Rights Ministry, that administers prisons, is conducting an investigation to determine if the release was an “honest mistake” by prison officials. All officials connected with the man’s imprisonment and releases are being intensively interviewed.

Justice Ministry officials believe culpable negligence resulted in the man’s release.

The convicted narcotics offender is only identified by the initials “CA” and no picture of the missing convict has been released to the press to hasten his recapture.

Adding to what has become a farcical situation, The Jakarta Post says confusion exists on to what extent police officials are participating in the search for the missing prisoner.

The man who walked free too early had served only two years of a nine-year sentence for narcotic offenses.

In mitigation for the embarrassing mix-up, prison officials say the man who was scheduled to be releases and the man now being sought have similar names and both hail from East Java.

This mistake only came to light when the man entitled to walk free questioned prison officials aksing for details of his imminent release.


Landing on Water in Bali
Bali Pursues Idea of Building a New North Bali Airport on Reclaimed Land

Plans to build an airport in North Bali at the village of Kubutambahan in Buleleng Regency continue to be actively discussed following a proposal from a Canadian Company Arca, to develop an offshore airport at that locale.
 
As reported by Beritabali.com, the investor’s representative, Made Mangku, said that subject to the agreement of all parties the “floating airport” could begin construction in 2016.
 
Made Mangku said that the proposed airport would be built about one kilometer from the shoreline in three stages.
 
The first stage would require a 300-hectare site for reclamation needed to accommodate the airport. A further phase demands another 900-hectares of land to construct a double runway.
 
Mangku said: We need 300 hectares, but the final total is 1,400 hectares to build the runways and an airport city.
 
A further 100 hectares would be needed on the existing shoreline for the construction of the airport city. The company building the airport would, under the proposed terms of the project, have the right to manage the airport for the next 50 years, with an option to renew for an additional 50 years.
 
Mangku said that the use of productive land would be minimal for the new airport.

Investors have reportedly allocated an initial Rp. 30 trillion (US$2.3 billion).
 
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Knowing When to Jab
Bali Records First Rabies Death of 2015 in Tabanan Regency as Island Runs Out of VAR Stocks

A 52-year-old resident of Bongan Village in the regency of Tabanan, Bali has died due to a suspected case of rabies.

Dead is Afliana Agustina who was briefly hospitalized prior to her death at the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar manifesting symptoms of aqua phobia and photophobia six months after being bitten by a puppy.

The puppy died three days after the incident.

The death was reported by the head of the Tabanan Health office, Dr. I Nyoman Suratmika, on May 21, 2015.

While the symptoms suffered by the deceased are consistent with rabies, laboratory tests results still in progress will provide a definitive diagnosis.
 
Following the dog bite incident the victim was taken to a local midwife who cleaned the wound. Suggestions to get further treatment and anti-rabies vaccination at a hospital where ignored by the deceased.
 
Recommendation for VAR treatment for all animal bite victims is made problematic by the fact that Bali is currently “out of stock” of the life-saving human vaccine. Meanwhile,  authorities are resounding their warning to make sure all dogs are vaccinated against the disease and not to allow dogs to run free in a semi-wild state.
 
Given the lack of anti-rabies vaccine, Suratmika is urging the public to thoroughly clean any bite and report all incidents to local health officials. Official will then take steps to place the animal under observation. If the dog manifests rabies symptoms officials will undertake its elimination and send the brain of the animal for further laboratory examination.
 
Bali officials are urgently seeking to borrow VAR vaccine from neighboring provinces in Indonesia to cover the current shortfall.
 
The death represents the first rabies death of 2015 in Bali and the 19th fatality attributed to rabies in Tabanan regency since 2009.
 
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Medical Manipulation?
Irregularities Reported in Bidding Process for Bali Mandara International Hospital Project

Governor Made Mangku Pastika’s plans to build the Bali Mandara International Hospital (RSI) at an estimated cost of Rp. 217 billion (US$16.7 million) is now threatened with cancellation due to two unsuccessful attempts to tender the project.

According to beritadewata.com, suspicions are growing in some quarters of possible manipulation of the bidding process.

One party questioning the bidding process is PT Adhi Karya – a State-Owned Company who was one of four bidders qualified to vie for the hospital project.  PT Adhi Karya submitted the lowest bid of Rp. 179.117 billion, well below the official bid ceiling of Rp. 217 billion set by the Province of Bali.

The other three State-owned companies submitting bids to build the hospital were PT Hutama Karya Utama (Rp. 187.75 billion), PT PP (Rp. 204.563 billion) and PT Waskita Karya (Rp. 214.286 billion).

Hardian Tri Cahyadi, the project manager for PT Adhi Karya in Bali said on Thursday, May 22, 2015: “Our company submitted the lowest bid among companies deemed qualified to bid. Because of that we wish to question the reason behind the two decisions not to announce the winning tender for the International Hospital Project (RSI).”

The Public Works Department for the province of Bali has never made a formal written public clarification or, for that matter, even a verbal explanation to PT Adhi Karya why its winning low bid was rejected.

Cahyadi said that normal practice in bidding for major projects will see those participating in the bidding process called to make clarification or address technical deficiencies in their submitted bids.

Following such a meeting, Cahyadi explained, the final winner of the winning bid is normally announced. “We feel something is not right in the bidding process for RSI as we were never called to provide further clarification of any technical deficiencies. But now, suddenly the tender is declared null and void, without the reasons for this step being announced as required under the law.”

Beritadewata.com says that based on information collected by their reporters, the rejection of the bidding process for RSI is linked to a difference of opinion between the Public Works Department of the Province of Bali and an unnamed party connected with those empowered to decide the winning bid.

Because of interference by the unnamed party in the bidding process, the Public Works Department that was originally inclined to name the lowest bidder as the winner as provided under the law, suddenly suspended the enture bidding process.

Beritabali.com says that the unnamed individual interfering in the bidding process and well-connected with government circles in Jakarta and Bali reportedly sought from the “designated” winner a 10% fee equal to the ceiling bid figure of Rp. 217 billion.

Bali’s deputy governor Ketut Sudikerta has denied the presence of any individual wielding inappropriate power in the RSI Bali Mandara project. Sudikerta says that failed tender process was simply due to the failure of the four companies participating in the process to meet bid qualifications. Sudikerta is also adamant that the RSI Bali Mandara Project would go ahead.

The first bidding process for the Hospital took place in February 2013. That bid was nullified and a new bid process launched in February 2015. The second bid was suddenly declared void on April 24, 2015.


Drivers Who Take the Wrong Path
Bali Tourist Driver Gets Five Years Prison for Selling Drugs

A driver involved in transporting tourists around Bali has been sentenced to 5-years in prison by the Denpasar District Court on Thursday, May 21, 2015 and fined Rp 1 billion (US$77,000).

Gede Suanggadika (30) was arrested by police on January 27, 2015 on Jalan Sunia Megara in Denpasar in the course of selling drugs in front of Happy Sport Billiard Hall.

When arrested he had in his possession 0.81 grams of methamphetamines and a clip containing two ecstasy pills weighing 0.98 grams.

Information provided by the man who works as a tourism driver led police to his dealer and his list of customers.


The Slow Hand of the Law
Badung, Bali Officials Prepare to Place The Crystal Bali on the Bay Resort Project Under Seal

Radar Bali in its continuing coverage of the zoning and building violations committed by The Crystal Bali on the Bay Hotel Project has elevated to hotel to “outlaw” status after the owners have ignored three official summons to appear before Badung Regency enforcement officials.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, a summons for the owners of the Hotel to attend to a third meeting with the Satpol PP of Badung (enforcement agency) went unanswered. The Hotel sent a representative from the interior finishing team from the project who were refused by the Satpol PP Badung who deemed the representative lacked the competence to answer the serious charged leveled against the Hotel’s owners.

Expectations and demands from local lawmakers for the 23-meter high hotel to be demolished were at least temporarily dashed when the chief of Satpol PP Badung, Ketut Martha claimed that his powers are limited to only calling a meeting of with technical and judicial teams from the regency’s administration to plan the next move against the errant hotel.

Martha said that the next step against the hotel would be for it to be sealed by his officers, as a preliminary step to any proposed demolishment.  The sealing of the site, said the Satpol PP chief, was to clear the hotel of all  workers and halt further construction.

Martha was unprepared to tell the press when the hotel would be put under seal, but suggested such a step could happen as early as the following week.

Enforcement officials from Badung have been blamed by local legislators for week supervision and poor enforcement at The Crystal Bali on the Bay, a perception fed in part by Martha’s reluctance to take firm action against the hotel that has failed to obtain a building permit and constructed a hotel that is both too tall and infringes on protected mangrove forests.

Martha said he is still hoping for the Hotel’s owner to explain their actions and seek a positive resolution by modifying the building to bring it into compliance with zoning laws.

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Spouting Off on Sanur Beach
A Pod of Pilot Whales Take Up Temporary Residence Off Sanur Beach in Bali

Detik.com reports that a pod of four whales, initially thought to be dolphins, have been swimming dangerously close to the shoreline at Padang Galak in Sanur, Bali since Sunday, May 17, 2015.

Animal activists and surf rescue members have been monitoring the whales for an entire week, using rubber boats to come within arm’s reach of the docile whales, Panji Anggoro, a volunteer from the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), confirmed that the mammals are indeed whales.

“In the beginning, local resident believed them to be dolphin, however, they are in fact whales. They may be pygmy killer whales or Melon Headed whales, “ said Panji on Saturday, May 23, 2015. Further observation by JAAN now suggests the mammals are pilot whales.
 
Panji said whale rescue teams have been able to get within less than 10 meters of the whales. The rescue squad is postulating that the whales have paused at Padang Galak because one of their number is ill.
 
The whales pass up and down the beach about 100-200 meters from shore at a water depth of 10 meters.
 
Based on observations, the “sick’ whale has a head wound near its blowhole. The cause of the wound is unknown and might have been caused by a shark attack or an encounter with a boat’s propeller.
 
The rescue teams are feeding the whales small fish to make their stay off Padang Galak beach less stressful.
 
The team is monitoring the whales that have been living off the beach area in Sanur for an entire week. If warranted, the team is prepared to undertake a rescue and removal of the injured whale.
 
“The sick whale is eating the fish we offer it,” said Panji.
 
Participating in the observation and rescue exercise for the whales are members of the Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), Bali’s Lifesavers (Balawista), Search and Rescue Workers (Basarnas) and members of the Veterinarian Faculty of Udayana University.
 
Animal rescue workers will continue to monitor the whales for as long as they decide to reside off Padang Galak, hoping that over time that the animals will return to the safer environs of the open sea.


Making Benoa Ship Shape
Detailed Mapping of Port of Benoa, Bali and it Approaches Completed by Hydro-Oceanographic Office

The Hydro-Oceanographic Office of the Indonesian Navy has completed a survey of the sea entrances to Bali’s southern port of Benoa.

Quoted by NusaBali, the general manager of PT Pelindo III – the managers of the Benoa Port, Ali Sodikin said, “The Hydro-Oceanographic Office is the sole military hydrographic agency in Indonesia authorized to gather data, such as the electronic mapping of seaways.”

Recent surveys conducted by the Hydro-Oceanographic Office have confirmed that the Port of Benoa meets international standards for the passage of large ocean-going vessels. Based on the survey, this information has been uploaded to international electronic navigational charts (ENC) used by international cruise and cargo vessel.

“With the publication of ENCs covering the Port of Benoa. large ships with deep drafts – such as large cruise ships, will not be reluctant to berth in Bali,” Sodikin explained.

Sodikan said the survey by the Hydro-Oceanographic Office was undertaken in accordance with the criteria set forth by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designed to safeguard international shipping.

All sea-going cargo and passenger ships are equipped with ENC equipment as required under the International convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) stipulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Facilitating the visit of large cruise ships to Bali is, according to Sodikin, in the best interest of Indonesian tourism. It is estimated that every passenger disembarking a cruise ships spends an average US$150 per day at each port of call.

Included in the survey and mapping undertaken by the Indonesian Navy in Bali were 22 navigational buoys, mapping of all docks and berthing locations at Benoa, yacht anchorages, exact measurements of the turning basin and entrances to the Port.
 
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A Mynah Violation of the Law
Police Confiscate 6 Protected Bali Starlings from an Ubud Bird Collection.

The Gianyar Regency Police Precinct has taken into custody six protected Bali Starlings (Bali Mynah, Leucopsar rothschildi, Jalak Bali) confiscated from Ketut Subroto (51) in Payangan, near Ubud.

The protected Bali Starlings were discovered by police on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at Subroto’s home. The man could not present any certificates issued by the government that would permit him to legally keep protected species.

Area residents tip off police that Subroto had an illegal collection of protected birds.

Police turned the birds over the Conservation, Biodiversity and Natural Resource Protection Agency (KSDA).

Meanwhile, Ketut Subroto continues to be questioned by police who can charge him with sections of the criminal code providing for one year in prison for the illegal possession of protected species.

Subroto has told police he purchased the birds for Rp. 6 million in late 2014 to form part of his personal bird collection. Police estimate the true value of the birds at tens of millions of rupiah.


Ending Tobacco Promotion in Denpasar, Bali
Mayor Prepares to Ban all Public Advertising for Tobacco Products in Denpasar, Bali

All forms of tobacco advertising may soon be outlawed in public area of Bali’s capital city of Denpasar.

The municipal government of Denpasar is drafting a mayoral decree that will proclaim Denpasar a “Cigarette Advertising-free Zone”.

The new decree, when it comes into effect, will represent a follow-up to Law No. 7 of 2013 on non-smoking areas.

While the Mayor’s decree is being drafted a number of seminars and workshops are being held with the public to prepare them for the removal of cigarette ads and the loss of advertising revenues.

The new decree would forbid tobacco advertising on banners, video advertisements on LED TV and other forms of public promotion.

According to Bali Post, the municipal government of Denpasar is increasingly concerned with the growth in tobacco use by the younger generation.

Indonesia estimates that 225,000 people die each year due to the effects of active smoking or passive exposure to tobacco smoke.


Beach Assaults
Beach Wrestling on Baliís Kuta Beach September 18-19, 2015

Bali will host the ASEAN Beach Wrestling Tournament September 18-19, 2015 on Kuta Beach.

The selection of Bali as the host for the 2015 tournament was finalized at a meeting of the ASEAN Wrestling Association held on April 24, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Beach Wrestling Tournament is expected to see athletes participate from all ASEAN countries together with wrestlers from Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

Conducted on sandy beaches inside marked off arenas 23 feet in diameter, bare-foot wrestlers standoff for a single round of 3-minutes duration.

Points are awarded for takedowns, push-outs from the designated ring with bonus points for a takedown with back exposure. In the event where no points have been scored within 3 minutes, the match continues until one of the wrestlers scores a point.

Indonesia currently has an estimated 20 beach wrestlers expected to participate in the September tournament.


Failing to Linger
Average Length-of-Stay in Starred Hotel in March 2015 was 3.25 days.

The Bali Statistic Center (BPS-Bali) in a report published by Bisnis Bali says that the average length of stay in a starred hotel in March 2015 was 3.25 days.

The March length-of-stay was slightly less that the length of stay at a starred hotel recorded in February of 3.27 days.

According to government statistics, the average length-of-stay at starred hotels by domestic travelers is 2.87 days as compared to that of foreign visitors who stay for 3.38 days.

Broken down further by star category, foreign visitors using one-star hotels stay 1.97 days (domestic 1.65 days).

Foreigners staying at two-star hotels lingered for 3.63 days (domestic 3.89 days); three-star hotels for 3.96 days (domestic 2.53 days); four-starred hotels for 3.94 days (domestic 2.81 days); and five-star hotels for 2.91 days (domestic 3.2 days).


To the Batcave
20 Kiosks at Goa Lawah Bat Caves Consumed by Fire

20 Food and souvenir stands at the entrance area to the Goa Lawah “Bat Cave” tourist attraction in Klungkung were destroyed by fire on Saturday afternoon, May 23, 2015.

The fire of unknown origin started in a small kiosk some 50 meters from the entrance to the bat cave and quickly spread to adjoining shops.

Three fire trucks were dispatched to the scene to join local residents, police and Armed Forces member – all trying to bring the fire under control.

According to NusaBali, the fire was extinguished after approximately one hour.

Police count 20 out of 30 kiosks at Goa Lawah were destroyed with losses put at the “hundreds of millions” in rupiah.

Traffic along the nearby seaside highway connecting Karangasem and Klungkung became heavily congested on Saturday as vehicles stopped to watch the fire burning only a short distance from the roadway.

Police continue to investigate.


An Uneasy Truce
Conflict Breaks Out Between Groups Claiming to Run Security at Sky Garden in Kuta, Bali

The popular Sky Garden night spot in Kuta once again became embroiled in controversy and conflict when on Friday night, May 22, 2015, security guards once employed by the dance club barred guests from entering.

As reported by DenPost and NusaBali, the chief of the Denpasar Police Precinct, Commissioner A.A. Sudana, was called to the scene to mediate a conflict between two factions claiming the role of security guards at Sky Garden.

Flory, the Sky Garden's former chief of security hailing from Flores, arrived at the club on Friday night accompanied by a large group of supporters.

Rejecting his dismissal by management, Flory arrived at the club and ordered his former security staff still working at the club prevent customers from entering.

Tensions grew as the security team currently in charge at Sky Garden confronted Flory and his sympathizers.

Fearing the situation might spin out of control, the management of Sky Garden called police to the scene that is located only a few meters from “ground zero” - the epicenter of the 2002 terrorist bombing that claimed 202 lives.

On Saturday a meeting was convened at the District Officer’s Office (Camat) involving Sky Garden’s management, Flory and his supporters. NusaBali reports mediation at that meeting has borne positive results promising to end the conflict.

Flory claims he was employed by the Club’s owners, while management insist he has been dismissed from his position. The ensuing argument regarding Flory’s actual employment status with Sky Garden has dragged on for six months. In the interim, a battle for control of the club’s security has broken out between one group appointed by Sky Garden’s owner and another appointed by the Club’s management.

Flory complains that he and 30 fellow security officers had their employment terminated without following national rules on prior notification and separation benefits mediation.

The Sky Garden has frequently been in the news over the past months on matters related to staffing, taxation and employment of foreign staff without the proper permits.
 
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