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Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

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++62 361 286 283

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1037 - 18 July 2016

IN THIS UPDATE


High as a Kite!
Bali Prison and Narcotics Enforcement Personnel Say Drugs Being Smuggled into Kerobokan Prison via High-Flying Kites

Radar Bali reports that the “means of delivery” employed by those in the narcotics trade to move and transport their illegal contraband are becoming increasingly creative.

Despite the best efforts of prison officials to remove and eliminate the narcotics trade at Bali’s infamous Kerobokan Prison, a very active trade in drugs continues to flourish within the penitentiary’s walls.

The latest modus operandi for smuggling drugs into the prison is through the employment of the ubiquitous kites that populate every corner of the sky in Bali, especially during the current windy mid-year period.

Resorting to the use of kites to move narcotics was presumably made necessary when prison officials and members of the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNNP) put to an end the practice of people throwing bottles filled with narcotics over the prison’s wall.

The chief of BNNP-Bali Police Brigadier General Gede Suastawa told the press how closer surveillance of both sides of the prison’s walls put a quick end to the practice of tossing drug caches into the prison compound.

Undeterred, kite flyers are reportedly positioning high-flying kites over the interior area of the prison and allowing packets of drugs to fall from the sky into the prison grounds.

As a result, BNNP-Bali, Police and Prison officials are collecting data from anyone flying kites anywhere near the Kerobokan prison.

General Suastawa is calling for an increased deployment of police and prison guards to ensure security at the prison and the elimination of any and all loopholes, such as kites flying over the prison, used to smuggle drugs into Bali’s largest house of corrections.


A Predatory Lion
Lion Air Staff Exposed for Ticket Scalping Operation at Bali’s Airport

The sale of airline tickets online has not managed to eliminate the presence of ticket scalpers operating at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

As reported by Beritadewata.com, ticket scalpers are apparently working in cooperation with staff members of Lion Air.

One ticket scalper, named Daniel, told a reporter at Bali’s Airport on Saturday, July 9, 2016: “I only get Rp. 100,000. The rest is for the inside person. They are the one who knows how many empty seats are filled and how many remain empty. The main point is that we are told to sell tickets above the normal rate.”

When a Lion Air insider signals to the scalper that seats are still available on a specific flight, the scalpers swing into action looking for passengers trying to get a seat on the outbound flight, including those passengers refused boarding for late check in.

The “insider” ticketing agent facilitates the late sale of the air tickets.

One observer told how a flight to Jakarta on July 9th was showing as “sold out” on the online application Travaloka, he was still able to obtain a ticket through scalpers working with Lion Air staff at the Airport. The scalpers working the departure terminal approach passengers trying to obtain tickets and facilitate the ticket sale not otherwise available from the formal ticket counter.

When reporters were at the airport, the ticket scalpers were selling tickets to Jakarta on Lion Air for Rp. 2.4 million and Garuda Indonesia for Rp. 2.8 million when the official price from Lion Air on that date was Rp. 1.5 million.

Once a price is agreed with the passengers, the scalper telephones his contact at Lion Air to issue the ticket. The payment for the ticket is handed over in the smoking area of the domestic departure terminal. Moments later a uniformed Lion Air staff member appears to take the money and return 20 minutes later with a boarding pass in hand.


Join a Beach Party in Bali
Legian Beach Festival August 26-29, 2016

The Legian Beach Festival will be held August 26-29, 2016 along a 700-meter stretch of Legian Beach.

Organizers have advised that the four-day event will include beach clean-ups, beach sports activities, a battle of the bands, cultural exhibitions, bartending competitions between local hotels and a Bali culinary exhibition.

Organizers are targeting to attract 4,000 visitors on each day of the event.

The traditional village of Legian plans to invite several provinces from eastern Indonesia to join the festival in order to promote cultural tourism to Bali & Beyond.

100 stands will be available for small and medium-sized enterprises in Legian to promote and sell thier products.

Those desiring more information on the event or who would like to book a stand should telephone Norita Noviani +62-(0) 081239879117.


New Parking Rules Apply in Ubud
Police in Ubud, Bali Ban Parking on Three Main Roads

The Bali Post reports that police and traffic officials in Ubud, Central Bali used the occasion of a mass cremation ceremony on Thursday, July 14, 2016, to begin the introduction of new traffic rules aimed to ease traffic congestion at the popular Bali tourist destination.

In order to socialize the new rules, traffic officials enacted no-parking rules in the area surrounding the Catus Pata Ubud roundabout.

The head of the Transportation and Information Service (Kadishubinfokom), Cokorda Rai Widiarsa, said the timing of the mass cremation was chosen to introduce the new no parking rules. Working together with the Gianyar Police the public were told that parking is no longer allowed on three roads:
  • Along Jalan Raya Suweta from Puri Ubud to the north. People wishing to park in these regions are now directed to the central parking facility at Pura Batu Karu.
  • From Catus Pata to the east until the Ubud Camat Office.
  • From Catus Pata to the south until the Ubud field
Starting from Friday, July 15, 2016, some 70 personnel from the Transportation Service (Dishub), working with the police, began to enforce the no-parking rule on the three roads. The parking prohibition applies for all kinds of vehicles, including motorcycles.

Cok Rai the “period of socialization” in the form of gentle reminders would exist only for the month of July 2016. Commencing in August 2016, the enforcement of the new Traffic Law No. 22 or 2009 will come into full effect, with cars parked illegally subject to towing and ticketing.

Image: ubudnowandthen.com


Eat Up! It’s Good for You!
Food as Medicine: Long Table Dinner at Casa Luna Restaurant in Ubud, Bali Saturday, July 23, 2016

Casa Luna's series of annual Long Table Dinners returns with a celebration of the extraordinary healing properties of Bali’s herbs and spices.

Hosted by local culinary legend Janet DeNeefe, the dinners are  held every July and December, allowing a strictly limited number of guests to enjoy an exciting and intimate feast of Balinese specialties.

The vegan menu focuses on native plants, flowers and fruits from the Casa Luna garden and includes jackfruit curry, tempe with tomato sambal, banana flower salad, glazed roast pumpkin with coconut sugar, green papaya with crisp shallots, cucumber in roasted coconut milk, spiced coconut with lemon basil, all served with yellow rice and sambal. Desert includes coconut gelato and Balinese coconut cakes.

Chef Janet DeNeefe will preside at the dinner explaining how each course is prepared and the special healing powers of tamarind, palm sugar, coriander seeds, lemongrass, coconut and pepper.

Pre-dinner drinks of hibiscus tea and homemade rice wine will be served from 6:30-7:00 pm with dinner served at 7:00 pm.

Bookings are essential: Cost for dinner is Rp. 250,000, plus tax and service per person.

Casa Luna
High Street, Ubud, Bali
Telephone +62-(0)0361-977409
email for more information:
Email

Casa Luna Website


Visit Indonesia First!
Indonesia the Favorite Overseas Destination for Australian Travelers in April-May 2016

For the two consecutive months of April and May 2016, Indonesia ranked as the number one outbound destination for Australian traveling abroad.

As reported by Beritabali.com, data prepared by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded that 108,500 Australians traveled to Indonesia in May 2016, an increase of 16.4% over 2015 when 92,800 Australian came to Indonesia. In April 2016, a total 106,600 Australians took a trip to Indonesia.

The Indonesian trips displaced New Zealand from its favored top spot among overseas destinations for an Australian holiday. In May 2016, ABS recorded 104,600 Australian traveling to New Zealand in May, down slightly from the 99,400 Australian that went to New Zealand.

Referring to the ABS figures, Indonesian Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya said the totals proved the effectiveness of the “Wonderful Indonesia” promotional program underway in Australia. Adding, “In addition to promotion, this success is also due to the deregulation of the free visa on arrival program extended to Australian travelers.”


Reckless Endangerment?
Angry Passengers Left Stranded in North Bali After a Marina Srikandi Fast Ferry Sinks in North Bali

A fast ferry operated by Marina Srikandi overturned near Ahmed, North Bali after setting sail for Gili Trawangan on Friday, July 15, 2016.

All the 32 passengers on board the vessel were reported to be safe after the sinking but exhausted after swimming in the ocean for an extended period without the aid of lifejackets.

Beritabali.com quoted a French tourist, Jody Andrean, who said that he and other passengers were concerned from the very start of the journey when they saw water coming into the passenger cabin. “When I boarded the boat I saw sea water in the cabin at a height of 20 centimeters. I asked the Captain why water was coming into the cabin. The Captain said nothing,” complained Andrean.

The Frenchman claimed that the boat was overloaded with almost no room for him and his wife to sit.

The ill-fated boat left the port at Ahmed at 11:15 am and sailed for Gili Trawangan. After sailing about 10 minutes and at a distance of 50 meters from shore, water rushed into the cabin at a high rate causing the ship to sink.

Reportedly, the captain ignored pleas from the passengers for the ship to return to port.

The captain, identified as Jusuf Tobing (52), reportedly gave no instructions as the ship sank, with panicking passengers left to fend for themselves and abandon ship.

According to the passengers, the ship did not have any life jackets.

The passengers assisted each other as they swam the 50 meters to shore where local residents tried to help them retrieve their belonging left on the boat. Electronics, money and personal documents were either destroyed or damaged by the seawater.

Jody Andrean said: “There is no one taking responsibility for this incident – this is terrible! There is no insurance for our damaged belongings including our passports! We demand that the shipping company take responsibility.”

The police in Abang, North Bali have taken the Captain, Jusuf Tobing, into custody in order to obtain a statement. Police confirm that no passengers were lost in the boat’s sinking. Efforts continue to try to recover the passengers’ personal belongings.

Police said they have contacted the ship owner, asking that he provide accommodation and food for the stranded passengers.

It is not clear if the Captain or the Marina Srikandi Shipping Company will be charged with reckless endangerment or other violations.

Image: Berita Bali


Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Solidarité
Indonesian Government Condemns Violent July 15th Terrorist Attack in Nice, France

The Indonesian Government has been quick to condemn the terrorist attack on crowds enjoying Bastille Day festivities at Nice on the French Riviera.

In that incident, a large truck driven by a French national of North African origin plowed through crowds gathered to watch a firework display before the driver opened fire on surrounding crowds. Police managed to shoot and kill the driver, but not before his brief reign of terror left at least 84 dead – including 10 children, and injuring 202 others.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, the Cabinet Secretary from the Indonesian National Secretariat, Pramono Anung, told the press on Friday, July 15, 2016: “Just see what has taken place, especially as it affects those celebrating Bastille Day. Because of this, the Government of Indonesia firmly condemns such acts and any other vicious terrorist acts perpetrated against the general public.”

Promono Anung said there should be no doubt that the world will unite to oppose and end such acts of terror.

Anung confirmed that Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo had quickly convened a meeting of the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Law (Polhukum), the Chief of the National Police, the Attorney General and the network of Indonesia law enforcement to review the developing situation in France and increase preventative measures in Indonesia.

Upon learning of developments in Nice, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately contacted the Indonesian Consulate General in Marseille -  the office responsible for Indonesian diplomatic matters on the French Riviera.

The Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs says no Indonesian nationals were injured or killed in the Nice attack. An estimated 275 Indonesian citizen live in Southern France with at least 10 Indonesian families residing in Nice.

Indonesian nationals needing information regarding family and friends in Southern France can call a special hotline in Marseilles at +33-618221283 or in Indonesia at +62-(0) 081290070027.

A Bastille Day Celebration scheduled to be held at The Trans Resort Bali on Friday, July 15th was postponed until 7:00 pm Monday where it will take place to commemorate those who died in Nice.


When You Wish Upon a Jetstar
Jetstar Cancels Bali Holiday for 160 Bali-bound Passengers from Townsville on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Townsville Bulletin reports that an entire Jetstar flight of Bali-bound passengers set to fly on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, were informed their “plane was broken” and would not be leaving for at 10:55 pm as scheduled.

Reports say passengers received no information from JetStar ground staff three hours after the scheduled departure time and only discovered the flight was cancelled when they searched Google.

When the Airline made the formal announcement of flight cancellation, the reason give to the 160 passengers was “engineering failure.”

Jetstar finally posted a formal announcement that Wednesday’s flights JQ102 from Townsville to Bali and the return service JQ101 from Bali to Townsville were cancelled.

In the early morning hours of Thursday, the passengers were compelled to line up for as much as one hour to rebook or formally cancel their flight. Staff told the angry and disappointed passengers that “the plane is too broken to fly.”

Disappointed passengers shared stories of lost hotel nights, missed wedding invitations and Bali holidays shortened by as much as two days.

Customers who were stranded away from home due to the flight cancellation were provided accommodation and every passenger received an AU$50 flight voucher and assurances of complimentary onboard services on their next Jetstar flight.

Passengers still wishing to continue their flight to Bali were booked on a flight that left on Thursday.


Speaking Mandarin in Bali
Mandarin Oriental To Brand and Manage Luxury Residences Adjacent To Mandarin Oriental, Bali

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced an agreement to brand and manage a portfolio of luxury residences adjacent to Mandarin Oriental, Bali.

The hotel and residences will form part of the Bukit Pandawa integrated resort development located on Bali’s southern Bukit peninsula. An initial 30 branded residences will come online with the hotel's opening in mid-2018.

The project was originally scheduled to open in 2016.

Owners of these private homes will be offered an exclusive extension to the luxury hotel experience provided next door at Mandarin Oriental, Bali who will provide management services for the development.

Set on a cliff top plateau, the Residences at Mandarin Oriental will offer outstanding ocean views. Each residence will have its own 15-meter private pool with sundeck and outdoor dining space.

Residents will have access to the hotel’s restaurants and bars, and a Spa at Mandarin Oriental, as well as a variety of leisure options including a Beach Club and a Kids Club.

The Bukit Pandawa development will also include a retail village and an 18-hole golf course, adjacent to Mandarin Oriental, Bali.

The project is being developed by PT Bali Ragawisata, the owner of the Mandarin Oriental, Bali. The final number of residences has yet to be determined.

The Bali Ragawisata Project has been the subject of past coverage in the Bali press for the illegal excavation of the bukit peninsula escarpment and its failure to hold the necessary permits and licenses. It is not clear if the developers have satisfied all regulatory requirements in connection with the project.

James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental said, “We look forward to bringing Mandarin Oriental’s legendary hospitality to what promises to be one of the most desirable resort residences on the island.”

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Rabies Claims Mother of Two
West Bali Housewife Dies of Rabies 3 Months After Being Bit by Household Pet

Rabies has claimed another victim in Bali a housewife from the village of Tuwed in Jembrana, West Bali.

Ni Komang Sastra Wati (36) a mother of two died on Thursday, July 14, 2016, in the isolation unit of Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital after being transferred from the Negara General Hospital.

Doctors in Denpasar have confirmed the woman died due a rabies infection. The woman has been bitten in the leg by a neighbor’s dog in the village of Berawantangi in the sub-district of Melaya on April 19, 2016.

After being bitten, the woman was brought to a local health center where the bite wound was cleaned with Betadine and she was asked to pay a bill for Rp. 50,000. The woman was not given an anti-rabies vaccine treatment.

As reported by Metrobali.com, in July the woman developed the clinical symptoms of rabies that included a fear of water and light, and cripplingly painful body seizures.

Health officials insist the woman was treated in accordance with set protocols including being told to monitor the health of the dog that bit her, immediately advising health officials if the animal fell sick or died. The woman was reportedly told to report to health officials 15 days after the bite, but failed to do so with medical center personnel losing all contact with the woman.

Health officials insist that had the woman presented back at the health center and confirmed the death of the dog she would have been given the VAR vaccine.


Garuda Indonesia – New Heights of Customer Service
Garuda Wins Skytrax Award for Best Cabin Crew for Third Consecutive Year

Garuda Indonesia’s CEO M. Arif Wibowo has returned from the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom where on July 12, 2016, he received Skytrax’s award on behalf of his airlines for “The World’s Best Cabin Crew 2016.”

This is the third consecutive time starting from 2014 that Garuda Indonesia has been given the award.

Returning from the United Kingdom and landing at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Wibowo was welcomed with bouquets of flowers by a delegation representing the Airlines entire cabin crew. Speaking upon landing, Wibowo expressed his thanks to all the staff and management of Garuda Indonesia – especially the Airline’s cabin crew – for their commitment and high level of dedication shown the Company that earned Garuda worldwide honors for three years running.

Continuing, Wibowo said: “Garuda Indonesia also extends its great thanks to all who use its services for the support and trust they have placed in Garuda. This award represents a challenge and a new inspiration for all of us to give the best service we can.”

The selection of Garuda Indonesia as “The World’s Best Cabin Crew 2016” is based on widespread “customer satisfaction surveys” conducted by Skytrax between August 2015 and May 2016 involving more than 19 million passengers from more than 104 countries. Participants who evaluated the airlines reviewed the performance of some 280 airlines across 41 areas of product presentation and service. Seeking to improve its standing over the coming year, Garuda Indonesia will accept delivery of 17 new aircraft in 2016 comprised of four Airbus A330-300, four ATR72-600 and eight Airbus-320 for Citilink.

By the end of 2016, Garuda Indonesia Group will operate an armada of 197 airplanes with 144 planes operated by Garuda Indonesia and 53 plans by Citilink.

Garuda Indonesia joined the SkyTeam alliance in 2014, an association of 20 international air carriers that collectively operate 16,320 daily flights to 1,057 destinations in 177 countries.


A Disgrace to His Uniform
Ubud Security Guard Apprehended for Serial Robbery of in-room Safes

The criminal division of the Gianyar Police has captured a thief who specialized in breaking into guests’ safety boxes at the Villa Pertiwi in Padang Tegel, Ubud.

The Bali Post reports that Wayan Budiasa (27) of Singakerta, Ubud, employed as a Security Guard at Villa Pertiwi is now in police custody after being arrested on Tuesday, May 12, 2016. Based on police interrogation, Budiasa told police that he had robbed guests’ safety boxes on at least four occasions.

The modus operandi he employed was to obtain a list of guest scheduled to check out of the Villa and then remove the passkey at the front desk when the front office staff was not watching.

He told police that his first robbery took place in 2015 when he targeted room #111. At that time, he removed $300 from the guest safety box. A subsequent robbery of room #211 netted Budiasa $250 and of room #130 a further $500.

A fourth attempt involving room #105 failed when the he was almost discovered by the guest. He told police that his narrow escape from discovery reduced his desire to undertake further robberies.

Police say security guards thefts cause losses to the Villa with guests’ reports on Facebook  causing a drop in bookings.

Budiasa will be charged with grand larceny that can be punished with 7 years in prison.


The Festival has Ended
38th Bali Arts Festival Closed by Deputy Governor

The deputy-governor of Bali, Ketut Sudikerta, presided over the closing ceremony by striking a traditional wooden “kulkul” bell at the 38th Bali Arts Festival (PKB) on Saturday, July 9, 2016.

The month-long celebration of traditional performing arts and gallery arts, as in years past, presented artists from across Bali, the whole of Indonesia and selected foreign invitees.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Sudikerta told his audience: “The artists and cultural aficionados have made the PKB a place of expression, while the public has made the PKB the place to express their appreciation.”

Via the public’s growing appreciation, Sudikerta hopes that artists will become more motivated and spurred onto greater creativity, fostering high quality works of art.

The deputy-governor invited all elements of Balinese society to ensure that the PKB generated the momentum to become a sustainable force that will uplift, develop and preserve Balinese culture in the years ahead.

Sudikerta said the provincial government of Bali has consistently and seriously worked to support its performing artists.

Reviewing the transactions for culinary product and handicrafts concluded during the month-long PKB, Sudikerta said the proceeds were less than the previous year. Through July 8th the total revenue reported was only Rp 8 billion, a fact the deputy-governor linked to a slower economy and not to any lack of effort on the part of the PKB organizers.

In his free-ranging remarks, Sudikerta reminded his listeners to always safeguard Bali’s security and cooperate with security agencies to maintain Bali as a safe destination.

He reminded the people of Bali that he together with Governor Pastika have maintained an open dialogue with the public to discuss their problems. “If you have a problem, use the monthly open forums held by the Governor or the free speech corner,” said Sudikerta.

The closing ceremony was also used to presents awards to winners in a number of performance categories during the 38th PKB.


Malang Flights Affected by Volcanic Ash
Volcanic Ash from Mount Bromo Causing Intermittent Closures of Abdurahman Saleh Airport in Malang

Increased volcanic activity on Mount Bromo in East Java caused the intermittent closure of the Abdurahman Saleh Airport in Malang due to the danger posed by volcanic ash.

The airport was first closed on Monday, July 11, 2016 at 11:00 am until the following morning at 9:00 am.

The airport was again closed on Friday, July 15, 2016 at 11:15 am until Saturday morning at 9:00 am.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation, Hemi Pamuraharjo, said on Friday, July 15th, “The volcanic dust falling the area surrounding the airport caused the airport authority to close the airport to all flight activities until the following morning.”

Meanwhile, information from the Center for Volcanology and Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) reports that a level III alert for Bromo (Waspada – III) remains in effect.

The PVMBG is warning visitors to the Gunung Bromo volcano to maintain a minimum distance of one kilometer from Bromo’s active caldera.

Flights operating to and from Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport remain relatively undisturbed by the increased level of volcanic activity at Mount Bromo, with only Wing Air flights between Bali and Malang affected by the airport closure.

In light of the continuing level of volcanic activity on Mt. Bromo, travelers flying into and out of Malang in East Java should maintain regular contact with their airline to determine current flight and airport status.

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A Qualified Welcome to Bali
Bali Tightens Acces Via Port of Gilimanuk

The Bali Provincial Police Command has declared that if any terrorist elements are trying to infiltrate Bali from Java, such moves has been anticipated by the police with tighter control and inspection of the heavy flow of vehicles and individuals entering via the Balinese port of Gilimanuk following the Idul Fitri holidays.

Quoted by Metrobali.com, the spokesman for the Bali Provincial Police Headquarters, Hery Wiyanto, said on Monday, July 11, 2016: “Up until this point there is no indication of criminal activity. Intelligence reports do not show any terrorists entering Bali.”

He explained that terrorist elements are being tracked both by intelligence operative at Bali Police Headquarters and their counterparts at National Police Headquarters, but no trace has been found of any terrorist cells managing to infiltrate themselves onto the Island.

Police told Metrobali.com that before the start of surge of returning holidaymakers at the end of the Lebaran period commenced, intensive inspection of personal belongings and travelers were already underway at Bali’s western port of Gilimanuk. Luggage was inspected together the identity papers travelers to ensure no known criminal elements were entering Bali.

While a number of travelers lacking valid national ID cards have been turned back to Java, police insist that no terrorist elements have been detected trying to enter Bali.


We’ve Got You Covered
Foreign Visitors Injured or Killed in Bali Traffic Accidents Eligible for Insurance Compensation

The State-Owned insurance company PT Jasa Raharja has offered compensation to the family of a 24-year-old Russian, Daria Kuznetsova, who died in a motorcycle mishap on June 27, 2016, in Bali.

The Denpasar chief of the Jasa Raharja office, Sulistianingtias, confirms that foreigners are entitled to insurance compensation from her company if the accident occurred while using a motor vehicle anywhere in Indonesia.

Sulistianingtias said: "As long as they are in any part of Indonesia and are using vehicles registered in the country at the time of the accident, they are entitled to compensation."

Dari Kuznetsova died while riding a motorcycle near Nusa Dua, Bali with her husband Alexander Pilzak on June 27, 2016.

A payment of Rp. 25 million was paid to the estate of Kuznetsova via the Russian Consul in Bali after the woman’s family completed the required reports and administrative steps.

Jasa Raharja compensation is available to both foreign and local residents who suffer injuries or to their families if they lose their lives in a traffic accident.

It is essential for those seeking compensation from Jasa Raharja obtain a formal police report regarding the accident.


Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Australian in Custody in Bali After Outraging the Modesty of a Fellow Passengers on AirAsia Flight From Darwin

In the latest installment on the continuing series of the trials and tribulations of drunken bogans touching down in Bali played out on Friday evening, July 15, 2016, with the arrival of Air Asia QZ541 from Darwin, Australia.

At the request of the Airbus A-320’s Captain, waiting on the tarmac to quickly board the aircraft upon landing were members of the Indonesian Air Force, Airport Security, Angkasa Pura Security, and the police.

Prior to the plane’s touchdown, a reportedly intoxicated Stephan Nicholas Wood (58) reportedly struck a fellow passenger Damien Michaels (54). The altercation started when Woods outraged the modesty of Michaels’ wife, Kim Marie Charles (40), and the angry husband confronted the drunk.

Concerned that a crime had occurred on board and that it might escalate upon landing, the Captain of QZ-541 asked for the flight to be met by a security detail.

All three passengers were escorted off the plane to be interrogated. When police determined that Michaels and his wife were the victims, they were allowed to proceed to their Seminyak hotel. Meanwhile, Stephan Nicholas Wood was detained by immigration and police for further disposition, including the possibility of immediate deportation.


20 Years to Finish
Finnish Tourist Held for More than One Year by Bali Police Extradited to Western Australia

A Finnish national wanted in Australia on a sexual assault warrant was detained by police in Bali and extradited to Perth, Western Australia on Wednesday, July 14, 2016.

Samuel Pekka Juhani Kuuppo, 32, had been held by Bali police and immigration authorities since May 2015, pending the processing of the extradition request.

Kuupo is alleged to have committed a sexual assault on a woman in Western Australia in February 2015.

The Finnish citizen accompanied by police officers from Australia was placed on Jetstar JQ 109 bound for Perth at 11:45 am.

Kuuppo is facing two sexual assault charges in Australia that respectively carry a maximum punishment of 20 years and 5 years in prison.


Thou Shall Not Pass
Tourist Arriving in Bali While Passing a Kidney Stone Wrongly Suspected of Drug Smuggling

Anyone who has passed a kidney stone knows it can be an extremely painful experience. The painful plight of a 22-year-old Indian man, Sukhdev Singh, was made all the worse when customs officials at Bali’s Airport misinterpreted his cries of pain as an indication the tourist might be smuggling drugs concealed in his digestive system.

Singh landed in Bali on Monday, July 7, 2016, with AirAsia AK 378 from Malaysia at 7:00 pm and was kept by officials’ overnight when officials thought a hard bulge over the man’s upper right quadrant and his overall demeanor as indicative of someone acting as a drug mule.

When Customs officials brought the man to the BIMC Hospital at mid-day after a night spent in discomfort, doctors confirmed the man was in the painful throes of passing a kidney stone measuring 5 x 1.5 centimeters.

Following the medical confirmation of the man’s condition, Customs Officials released the Indian national with advice from BIMC doctors on what he could do medically to expedite the expulsion of his kidney stone and, hopefully, then have an enjoyable holiday in Bali.


Careful What You Wish For!
Editorial: Current Indonesian Tourism Policies to Woo the Chinese Market May Prove Ultimately Self-Destructive for Bali

There is an old Chinese saying that warns: Be careful what you wish for, it may come true!

Ironically, this saying is sadly apropos of the situation that currently confronts Bali tourism with Mainland Chinese (PRC) tourists now the second largest source of foreign visitors after Australians, and for the period January-May 2016 claiming a 20.69% market share.

Aided by a liberalized visa-free policy that includes Chinese travelers, plans for more air charters connecting the PRC with Bali and a national tourism policy that is hell-bent on putting quantity before quality - we can only expect Chinese tourism numbers visiting the Island to grow even more in the months and years ahead.

And while our enthusiastic Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya can be seen thumping his chest in self-congratulation when discussing rising tourist totals, we pray leaders in the national tourism sector may find time to pause to examine what are the actual long-term effects and costs of this policy?

Zero Sum Game?

The only true measure of the success of a national tourism policy is the amount of much-needed foreign exchange the tourism sector earns. And when Indonesian tourism is examined on this level there’s perhap less to shout about than reflected in the hubris of those leading the tourism sector.

The average length of stay for tourists in Indonesia in 2015 was 7.5 days, a figure that is down 39% when compared to the 12.26 days recorded 15 years ago in 2000.

Meanwhile, operators and tourism leaders in Bali are complaining that while Chinese tourists to Bali are growing apace (up year-on-year 37.27% for the period January-May), their impact on the Island’s economy is diminished by the low spending patterns of Chinese travelers.

The chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Think Tank (ICPI), Putu Anom, recently told Bisnis Bali that short lengths of stay and low spending generally characterize the Chinese travelers to Bali. As a result, PRC tourists are flocking to economy hotels, eating inexpensively in Chinese restaurants, demonstrating little interest in local handicrafts and not proportionately  atttending Balinese cultural presentations.

The changing composition of Bali’s tourism market mix has left the Island in an anomalous situation of recording record numbers of tourist arrivals while, at the same time, seeing local cultural performances and handicrafts producers closing due to a lack of customers.

While criticizing policies that have allowed a severe oversupply of hotel and villas in Bali, Anom urged that tourism promotion shift its focus to European, American and other tourism markets with a proven inclination to stay longer and spend more on a Balinese holiday.

Infrastructure First, Tourists Later

Official targets of 12 million tourists to Bali in 2016 have been drawn by tourism ministry officials bereft of any morally responsible reference to the carrying capacity of the Island. Overwhelmed by mounting trash, traffic congestion, water pollution and an accompanying shortage of electrical power and water, Bali’s tourism future can only go from bad to worse unless policymakers quickly bolster and supplement the Island’s infrastructure BEFORE blindly seeking and welcoming even more tourists to Bali.

If Bali’s tourism leaders doubt the present danger confronting the Island’s tourism future, we suggest that professional surveyors be employed at Bali’s Airport asking the simple questions of departing passengers:
  • If you are a repeat visitor, is Bali improving or declining as a destination?
  • Has your visit to Bali met your expectations?
  • Do you have plans to make a return visit?
  • Will you tell your friends and associates to visit Bali?
The answers to such a survey could be a real eye-opener for those content to allow Bali to continue on its current perilous journey flying on autopilot, determined to fly as long and as far as it can before it inevitably and unsustainably crashes at some point on the near horizon.


Tucker from a Trucker
Food Truck Festival in Denpasar, Bali July 29-31, 2016

In keeping with the growing fashion of purchasing food and refreshment from Food Trucks -  Bali Post and the Municipality of Denpasar, Bali will present a three-day “Food Truck” Festival" at Taman Kita Lumintang, July 29-31, 2016.

Slated to attract 10,000 visitors each day, the organizers are offering lavish prizes for both visitors and participants ranging from foreign holidays, motorcycles, televisions and other appliances.

Music entertainment is planned on each day of the event.

Some of the highlights of the 2016 Food Truck Festival include:

Friday - July 29, 2016
  • Mass Yoga Practice with Safe Care
  •  Karaoke Contest Featuring Balinese Pop Tunes
  • Indie Band Parade
  • Stand Up Comedy by Sengap
Saturday – July 30, 2016
  • Line Dance
  • Talk Show and a Messanggul Bali Contest
  • Fashion Show Competition
Sunday – July 31, 2016
  • Mass Aerobics Led by Lala Studio
  • Drawing Contest
  • Modern Dance Competition
  • Modern Dance Show.
For more information or to register participation
contact:
  • Gung Mas – Telephone +62-(0)8113884863
  • Wiwik Yulandari – Telephone +62-(0)08113976363

Prize Vouchers can be obtained from The Bali Post, Jalan Kepundung No. 67A, Denpasar, Bali Telephone ++62-0361-225764


The Protest Demonstration of the Week
Demonstrators Take to the Streets of Sanur for What is Becoming Weekly Protests Against Plans to Reclaim Bali’s Benoa Bay

In what has now become virtually a weekly event held each Sunday, protest demonstrations against the reclamation of Benoa Bay were again staged again on Sunday, July 17, 2016.

The latest installment in the continuing protests was staged by the traditional village of Sanur, involving the villages of Sanur, Intaran and Penyaringan.

As reported by the Bali Post, the large group of protesters paralyzed traffic in Sanur for several hours on the Sunday afternoon with familiar calls for the revocation of former President Yudhoyono’s Presidential Decree No. 51 of 2014 that authorized the development of lands once declared as a protected nature reserve.

ion to expected display of hundreds of ForBALI flags opposed to the reclamation project, the Sanur area protestors introduced a new element to their protests by carrying a 70-meter-long trail of cloth to symbolize the 700-hectares that will be reclaimed by the project.

The peaceful protests that began at 2:00 pm undertook a long march that began at the Wantilan of the village on Intaran on Jalan Danau Buyan in Sanur. The procession headed for the intersection of Pantai Sindhu and the Ngurah Rai highway led by a traditional baleganjur orchestra.

Village official took to a makeshift stage to proclaim that the people of Sanur will oppose the proposed reclamation project “until their last drop of blood is shed.”


g a number of orations, the march continued to Sindhu Beach where traditional Balinese offering were made to the ocean and Hyang Baruna – the Lord of the Seas.

The demonstration, that included performances by local musical groups, was guarded by hundreds of police deployed to keep the peace.


Taking the Crime Fight to New Heights
AirAsia Lands Airplane in Bali with ‘Turn Back Crime’ Livery

Kompas.com published a photo (shown) of an airplane owned by AirAsia with an unusual livery parked at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Sunday, July 17, 2016.

Utilizing the slogan of a National anti-crime campaign, the aircraft’s fuselage was painted from end-to-end with the words “Turn Back Crime.

Clearly visible from the Airport’s departure lounge, departing passengers were kept busy taking photos and “selfies” of the AirAsia aircraft.

AirAsia has yet to make a formal comment on the unique aircraft paint job featured on at least one of their aircraft.


 
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #527
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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