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

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #943 - 29 September 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Bali Prepares to Outlaw Smoking in Hotels and Public Places

Bali is preparing to lead a nation-wide movement to establish no-smoking areas in most public places. A provincial law will come into effect on June 1, 2012, that will make enclosed building spaces off grounds to smoking, including hotels and nightspots. The law also strictly regulates advertising of tobacco products.

In explaining the new rules to Beritabali.com, Nyoman Sutedja, the head of the Bali Health Service, said that hotels would initially be given designations as smoking and non-smoking hotels.

According to Kompas.com, the new anti-smoking rules will be introduced starting with accommodation providers and spreading over time to include restaurants and nightspots.

Plans are afoot to grade nightspot and hotel with a “blue code” for 100% smoke-free environments and a “yellow code” for establishment where smoking is only allowed in designated areas.

Apparently there will be whole basket of different anti-smoking rules passed by the governor, regents and mayors of Bali. What effect this large range of rules emanating from varying sources will have on eventual enforcement remains to be seen.

Sutedja also said the non-smoking rule would take effect on June 1, 2012, in all government buildings, with those found smoking subject to fines.

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika publicly supports the adoption of smoke-free policies in Bali. Pastika elaborated: “It’s not because of the regulations, but the growing understanding among individuals, families and the general public about the health implications. Based on the data, one person dies every second somewhere in the world because of cigarette smoking.”


Cold Turkey to be Served in Bangli
Bali Developing Plans for New Prison for Drug Felons in Bangli

The Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Ministry is in the process of finalizing plans for a penitentiary to be built in the Bangli regency of Bali to be used exclusively for the imprisonment of drug offenders.

The Bali head of the prisons division of the Ministry, Priyadi, told the National News Agency Antara in Bali on Monday, March 26, 2012, “At this time, the development is still in the design phase for the prison.”

He said the new prison would include a double prison wall in accordance with international standards for prison facilities.

“We are still waiting for a budget from the central government to realize the building of the prison, because we do not yet have the funding,” Priyadi explained.

Priyadi said that as soon as funds are made available the building of the prison could commence. He said he hoped the prison would be completed by the end of this year. This would allow the full operation of the new prison early in 2012.

“The budget we have proposed form the prison is around Rp. 90 billion (US$10 million).

Priyadi said the location selected for the new prison was ideal as it was far from residential areas. The proposed prison facility will have a capacity of between 500-700 inmates.

Related Article

[Bali in Need of Cell Therapy]


Counting Down to Take-Off
Mandala Airline Fully Poised and Selling Tickets for April 4, 2012 Resumption of Flights

The Ministry of Transportation has delivered a formal Air Operating Certificate (AOC) to the commissioners and directors of Mandala Airlines.

The certificate was signed on February 20, 2012, to allow flight operations to commence on April 4, 2012, using three Airbus A320 aircraft.

As quoted by Bisnis.com, Bambang S. Ervan, spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, confirmed that the AOC was only delivered one month after its actual signing.

Mandala Airlines ceased operations on January 13, 2011, when it was unable to meet financial obligations for the lease of aircraft used to serve their customers.

Mandala Airlines will return to the skies flying initially on routes between Jakarta-Singapore-Medan-Singapore-Jakarta and Jakarta-Singapore-Denpasar (Bali)-Jakarta.

PT Angkasa Pura II, the airport authority for Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, confirmed there are two Airbus 320s with Mandala liveries parked at terminal 3 of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. He also confirmed that the airport operators had been asked to prepare for the delivery of a third Airbus before April 4, 2012.

Related Articles

[Oh I Believe I Can Fly]

[Mandala Airline Set for April 2012 Re-launch]


Neighborhood Relations
East Java Regency of Banyuwangi Send Cultural Troupe to Bali to Promote Tourism

Banyuwangi - the easternmost regency and departure port on the island of Java for ferries crossing to Bali, held a special tourism promotional night in Bali on Monday, March 26, 2012 at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel.

Attended by members of Bali’s tourism industry - including travel agents and hoteliers, and members of the diplomatic community, the gathering included East Javanese cultural presentations and a group of accompanying officials.

As reported by Radar Bali, the regent of Banyuwangi, Abdullah Azwar Anas, opened the evening, saying: “We with to change the image of Banyuwangi that is sometimes seen as an area of unrest of black magic. We want a direction that is better, especially as regards tourism.”

Banyuwangi is often known as “Kota Gandrung” in recognition of a popular courtship dance performed during nightlong parties in East Java. A dance performed during the special gathering held in Bali.

The head of Banyuwangi’s tourism office told the audience that the decision to promote their tourism products in Bali reflects the role of Bali as the tourism gateway for Indonesia and the island’s close proximity to East Java. By promoting Banyuwangi in Bali it is hoped that Bali visitors will invest the relatively short period of time needed to travel and explore East Java.


In the Eyes of the Law
All Eyes on Blue Eye Entertainment Complex in Bali to See if Errant Nightspot Will Comply With Zoning and Building Regulations

Radar Bali reports that despite having received a third and “final” warning letter for building code and zoning regulations the Blue Eye’s Entertainment Complex in Sanur, Bali have failed to remove that portion of their building standing too close to a major roadway.

The manager of Harrad’s Hotel and the Blue Eye Karaoke, Robert Manurung, said the demolition of the offending structure is awaiting the formal recommendation from a team of structural engineers from the zoning and housing departments of the City of Denpasar.

Meanwhile the head of the Denpasar Local Enforcement Office (Satpol PP Kota Denpasar), IB Alit Wiradana, told the press that he would continue to monitor the illegal structure now that it has received its third and final warning.

Wiradana was, however, unprepared to comment on when exactly the offending structure would be demolished. He insisted that Blue Eyes was showing good faith and were only waiting for expert recommendations on how to safely undertake the demolition.

Related Articles

[Make My Day]

[Old Blue Eyes is Back (II)]

[Old Blue Eyes is Back (I)]

[The Very Bare Necessities]


Feeling Low After a High
Japanese National Gets 7 Years in Bali Prison for Smuggling 3 Grams of Marijuana and Hashish

A Japanese national caught red-handed carrying marijuana and the Denpasar District Court sentenced hashish through Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport to 7 years in prison on March 26, 2012.

As reported by Radar Bali, the decision of panel of judges lead by Komang Wijaya Adhi declared that 44-year-old Yao Noriyoshi had been proven to be guilty of being in possession of a Class One Narcotic in the form of 1.4 grams of marijuana and 1.64 grams of hashish.

His conviction of violating the 2008 Anti-narcotics Law means that Noriyoshi must spend 7 years behind bars and pay an addition fine of Rp. 1 billion (US$111,000) or have an additional 6 months added to his 7 years sentence.

In applying the severe sentence the panel of judges took into consideration that during the course of the trial Noriyoshi never admitted that the drugs found by officials were his and that his actions sought to undermine national efforts to forbid the use of narcotics.

The public prosecutor in the case who has sought a 5 –year-sentence expressed agreement with the sentence handed down to the Japanese, saying the State would not seek a higher penalty. Meanwhile, Noriyoshi’s attorney said he and his client were taking the possibility of an appeal under consideration during the allotted time of one week after the sentence in which an appeal must be filed.

Noriyoshi was arrested June 28, 2012 at Bali’s airport where the drugs were discovered concealed in his suitcase.

Related Article

[Leave the Green, Green Grass at Home]


Better in Black and White
Governor’s Lawyers Present Newspapers to Denpasar Court as Evidence in His US$16.6 million Suit Against The Bali Post

Radar Bali reports that the suit filed by Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika against the daily newspaper Bali Post continued before the courts on Monday, March 26, 2012.

The court session led by Justice Amzer Simanjuntak received evidence presented by the governor who is seeking US$16.1 million in damages from the paper for misleading and incorrect news coverage. The governor’s legal team presented a stack of newspapers to the court covering the topic of the dispersal of traditional village units in Bali.

In total, there were 19 pieces of evidence presented to the judges, mostly comprised of newspapers and newspaper clippings. The evidence included a September 19, 2011 edition of The Bali Post with the headline: “Following Unrest in Kemoning-Budaga, Governor: Just Dismantle the Traditional Villages.” In addition to The Bali Post, the governor’s legal team also presented other newspapers, such as Nusa Bali, Warta Bali and Fajar Bali.

The governor’s lawyers told the Court that while the theme of the news from the various papers other than The Bali Post were the same, none of the other publications reported the governor as calling for the dissolution of the traditional village units.

The Monday court session lasted only a few minutes, enough time for the recording of the various pieces of evidence filed by the plaintiff.
From a list of 19 pieces of written evidence, 4 pieces remain pending and will be given to the court next week. A lawyer explained that the remaining evidence was photocopied and brought to the Court, but the originals were not presented to the court as required under law.

Continuing, the governor’s attorney said: “From the evidence we have presented, the newspaper that quoted the governor calling the dissolution of the traditional village is the Bali Post. The other newspapers didn’t write this. The bottom line is that in the other newspapers there is no report of a call for dismantling the traditional village units."

In response, the assertion of the newspaper’s lawyer, Suryatin Lijaya, emphasized that he will only respond to the evidence presented when all the evidence is on the table and the examination of witnesses completed. Lijaya called on the judges to carefully examine the evidence being submitted. “We will respond later. Please don't supposed that because we are silent means that we accept these allegations.”

Related Article

[Taking Exception to Exceptions]

[Pick a Little, Talk a Little, Pick a Little]

[Governor Pastika Prepared to Fight 'Till the Death]

[Press Freedom Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry]


A Captivating Mistake
Englishwoman in North Bali on Trial for Keeping Endangered Animals

Radar Bali described as "infuriated" the expression of Englishwoman, Sandra Hazel Mercel (61) who now finds herself facing the criminal courts in north Bali.

Mercel was discovered to be caring for an array of protected species at her place of residence in the BTN Permain Building Complex on Jalan Melati Banyualit, in Lovina, Buleleng.

Mercel’s trouble with the laws began when officers from the Bali Police and officers from the Bali Natural Conservation Department (BKSDA) raided her residence.

The woman, widely known as an animal lover, now claims she did not know there was a prohibition against keeping the endangered species that included a Crested Serpent Eagle. Mercel was said to have protested the fact that the officers who raided her home insisted on bringing her case before the courts. She is also said to be claiming the trial proceedings are meandering and detrimental towards someone who has demonstrated good will towards animal protection.

At the second trial session on Monday, March 26, 2012 before the Singaraja District Court, the official schedule was to present witnesses to Mercel’s crime, but had to be postponed when the prosecutor was unable to call his witnesses.

In the end, the presiding judge postponed the trial until next week. Mercel told the press she was fed up with the complicated court proceeding. She explained that the Crested Serpent Eagle confiscated from her home on December 15, 2011, had been purchased when it was small, ailing and uncared for. She claimed she did not know that keeping the bird was illegal and officials who visited her home in the past had never advised her that her care and lodging of her small collection of animals was against the law.

In addition to the eagle, police also confiscated a Hornbill and Sulfur Crested Cockatoo.

She also complained that when her home was raided she was not allowed to explain that circumstances surrounding her acquisition of the birds, but was only intimidated with threats of imprisonment.

The woman is charged with violating Indonesian laws on animal conservation.

Mercel’s lawyer insists that the case before the Court is a misdemeanor infraction of the law and does not need to be brought before the Court. But, now, that the case is before the Court, her lawyer is calling for all involved to be rational and clear-minded.
 


Bali Losing the Thread
Bali’s Endek Weaving Tradition in Danger of Disappearing

Kompas.com reports that the craft of endek-weaving, the traditional woven cloth of Bali, has become an endangered art form due to an inability to successfully pass this highly skilled craft onto future generations.

Bali’s younger generation is more drawn to modern trades, more attracted to working in shops than in spending long-days sitting behind a textile loom.

This declining interest in endek-weaving is occurring at a time when there is a popular resurgence in consumer interest in the unique and colorful cloths woven on Bali. Because of a lack of weavers, however, those ordering endek cloth must often wait for extended periods for orders to be fulfilled.

The owner of the Sekar Jepun Woven Cloth Center, Etmy Kustiyah Sukarsa, said: “We are having difficulties find weaver who are diligent and patient. It’s hard to invite young people today to become weavers. So, we are left to rely on the existing weavers and hope that customers will remain patient while we process their orders.”

Another weaving shop owner, AA Ngurah A Mayun Konta Tanaya, provided a similar assessment. Tanaya, who parents pioneered endek weaving with tens of weavers in Denpasar, has been compelled to close his weaving shops due to a lack of weavers.

Competition

In addition to the problem of finding new weavers among Bali’s younger generation, local textile shops face competition from imitation woven items made outside Bali. These “fake” endek pieces are typically machine-woven. Said Etmy: “There’s not much we can do with these false pieces of weaving which is not hand-made or that comes from outside Bali. We believe that those who understand textiles will be able to tell the difference between original Bali textiles and those that are not.”

Etmy is confident that Bali-made hand-woven textiles can compete both in terms of quality and price. A 2.25 meter long piece of endek can cost between Rp. 300,000 (US$33) to Rp. 1 million (US$111).

When a check was made with local tailor shop in Denpasar it was discovered that in order to meet growing demand for Balinese-style garments the shops are being forced to use ‘fake” Bali textiles in order to meet orders. Many of the orders for endek cloths are coming from offices in Denpasar where endek-style clothing is popular for uniforms and office wear.

The chairman of the National Handicraft Council for Denpasar, Selly Mantra Dharmawijaya, admitted that it is difficult to invigorate the textile sector due to the lack of weavers. According to her data, there are only 17 textile weaving centers still in operation in Denpasar as compared to some 200-textile centers in operation in 1980.


Dogged Determination to Control Rabies
Bali Sterilizing Street Dogs to Control Canine Population and Eliminate Rabies

The Livestock and Animal Health Service for Bali is targeting to sterilize 4,500 female dogs in Bali as one step to control the island’s canine populations and control the spread of rabies.

Beritabali.com quotes the head of the Livestock and Animal Health Service, Putu Sumantara, who said in Sanur, Bali on March 27, 2012, that sterilization will be accomplished through hormone injections that inhibit ovulation. He said the step is important due to the tendency in Bali to abandon unwanted female dogs on local streets where they are left to fend for themselves.

Sumantra said the third-phase of the sterilization by injection program would take place over the coming three months. Earlier the first two phases of the program were performed on about 70 percent of Bali’s dog population.

Bali’s canine population is estimated at 300,000 animals.


Knocking Knees
While Minister of Religion Wants Indonesian Women to Cover their Knees, Suryadharma Ali Acknowledges That Bali and Papua Dance to a Different Drummer

It appears that Bali may be spared from Indonesia’s growing fixation on regulating morality via loosely structured anti-pornography legislation.

The Bali Post quotes Indonesia’s Minister of Religion, Suryadharma Ali, who is pushing the criminalization of wearing of skirts above the knee, as insisting that the provinces of Bali and Papua would be exempted from the criteria now being formulated by a national committee attempting to determine exactly what constitutes pornography.

Speaking in Jakarta at the House of Representatives (DPR) on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, Suryadharma said: “This is something special for Bali and Papua. This is because their cultures are ‘like that.’”

Despite these exceptions, the government intends to push ahead in the formulating  general criteria on what constitutes pornography by setting nation-wide pornographic benchmarks.

The Minister told the press he is convinced that universal standards do exists on what constitutes pornography. “I am of the opinion that there must be a general criteria. For instance, woman must wear skirts (extending) below the knee,” added Suryadharma.

The Minister bemoaned that no general standard on what can be considered pornography exists in Indonesia. The Minister, who is also chairman of the Islamist United Development Party (PPP), said that the “aura” of a local population must be considered in setting pornographic standards. He cites how the bustier (kemben) and traditional blouses (kebaya) worn by Balinese women are not seen as pornographic by the local population.

Such clothing, said the Minister, might be seen as scandalous in other areas, but is accepted as traditional dress in Bali. Warming to the theme, the Minister added: “What’s more, the dancers (in Bali) with their dance movements that are really artistic, but not exotic, must be viewed differently.”

The Minister said the main duty of the team formulating pornographic standards is the need to educate the people on what constitutes pornography.


Rising to the Occasion
Bali Tourism Workers Want Minimal Wage Standard to Rise if Fuel Prices Increase

The Bali branch of the Tourism Workers Union (FSP Par-Bali) are urging the President and the Minister of Manpower to make a total revision on provincial minimum wage standards. FSP Par-Bali says such a revision is needed in light of efforts by the government to increase the cost of fuel.

The chairman of FSP Par-Bali, Satyawira Marhaendra, told Beritabali.com on Thursday, March 29, 2012, that a revision of the provincial minimum wage was important because the value of wages paid workers will be diminished by any increase in fuel costs. An increase in fuel costs, he added, would also see the cost of basic commodities rise.

“Without a regulations allowing a change (in the minimum wage) the workers will have to wait until next year for an increase. We need a new regulation issued by the President and the Minister of Manpower in order that with new prices for fuel a revision of the provincial minimum wage for provinces, and for small and medium sized enterprises can also take place,” said Marhaendra.

Satyawira Marhaendra said that any increase in fuel prices is a threat to Indonesian workers because their buying power is certain to decrease. He also said that policies to provide direct cash from the government would not be succesful in providing relief to the general public.


Keeping Things Cricket
16th Annual ‘Bali Sixes’ of Cricket Returns April 6-8, 2012

Cricket enthusiasts in Bali are looking forward to the 16th annual “Bali Sixes” tournament with 14 teams now registered to play.

The three-day tournament starts on April 6, 2012 with teams from Bali’s neighboring Java, Australia, England, China and Malaysia representing no less than seven nationalities represented on the playing field.

“There are numerous clubs from regional cricketing nations and beyond who well appreciate the opportunity to come and enjoy the colorful Balinese culture and scenic beauty of the island while competing in what is an ideal location for cricket,” said Albert Tangkudung, General Manager of Persatuan Cricket Indonesia. “Over the years the exposure to these international sides has helped produce numerous national team athletes, talented young players who have gone on to compete in international events representing Indonesia."

Following Bali Cricket’s successful 2011 tournament, local teams are participating in equal proportion to visiting sides. Udayana Cricket Club, an all-Indonesian team and the first permanent cricket club in Indonesia comprised of former and current national team representatives, will serve as the host for this year’s event.

“We have a solid line-up of players this year, such as Suda Arsa of Udayana Cricket Club, an Indonesian national team all rounder who brings polished skills in the sixes format,” said Alan Wilson, Honorary Secretary of the Udayana Cricket Club. “And, of course, Putra Dharmawan of the Hatten Tigers, also former Indonesia national team captain and gifted natural all-rounder, is an exciting player to look for.”

Four groupings make up this year’s tournament continuing a tradition of competition founded in 1997 by Australian expatriate Terrance Firmstone. In 2010, management of Bali Cricket was taken over by Udayana Cricket Club headquartered from its clubhouse based on the lush grounds of Udayana University.

Now in its sixteenth year, Bali Cricket Club's Sixes Tournament is seen by enthusiasts worldwide for its potential for becoming one of the region’s great sporting traditions, played in one of S.E. Asia’s most popular tropical destinations.

The tournament will be held from April 6-8, 2012 at the Bukit Oval on the Udayana Cricket Club grounds located in Bali’s Jimbaran Heights. The 11-a-side Bali Cricket League begins commences three weeks following the Bali Sixes tournament.

[Udayana Cricket Club

 


Bali’s Iconoclastic Governor
Bali Governor Risks an Official Rebuke and Declares His Solidarity with Students Protesting Proposed Fuel Price Increases

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika took the unusual step of declaring his solidarity with university student opposing the government’s plan to increase the price of fuel.

According to Beritabali.com, the governor made his statement on Thursday, March 29, 2012, while receiving a group of around 60 university students who were moments before demonstrating outside his office protesting a proposed 33% increase in fuel prices.

Pastika said everyone rejects increases in fuel prices because any increase will have an impact on the price of basic commodities and the buying power of the general public.

Pastika was quick to add that despite his or any local rejection of the fuel price increase, the final decision on future fuel costs rests entirely with the central government and national legislators.

“If I reject (the increase) what does it mean? It's people there (Jakarta) who conduct the meetings; they are the ones holding discussions right now; so let them take a decision which is best for the Indonesian public,” said Pastika.

The governor’s comments contrast sharply with instructions issued by the Minister of the Interior forbidding provincial leaders from taking part in activities opposed to the increase in fuel prices. Pastika told the press he had yet to see the subject instruction from the Minister.

A Fuller Explanation

In a separate report from Beritabali.com, governor Pastika said he was prepared to explain his opposition to an increase in fuel prices sought by the government. If necessary, Bali’s governor said he would respond to any summons from the Minister of the Interior to explain his actions, if such a summons was made.

Pastika said he would explain his position to the Minister. But, in any case, his administration has already taken a number of anticipatory steps to soften the impact of any eventual fuel price increase.

His administration had taken steps to deal with any shortage of fuel in Bali that might result from an increase in fuel costs.


We Shall Return!
Manila to Bali Non-Stop with Philippine Airlines Starting April 28, 2012

Philippine Airlines have now formally confirmed that they will commence a new twice-weekly air service connecting Manila and Denpasar (Bali), effective April 28, 2012.

A short-season service through September 30, 2012, the flights will be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft.

PR 537 will depart each Wednesday and Saturday from Manila at 2145 hours landing in Bali at 0125 for following morning.

PR 538 will fly the return leg on Thursday and Sunday mornings leaving Bali at 0225 hours and touching down in Manila at 0610 hours.

Special Fares

Special discounts are being offered to those who book the new service before April 28th are eligible for special discounted fares of US$188 for a round trip economy class ticket.

Philippines Airlines currently operates to Indonesia with five flights per week between Jakarta and Manila with an intermediate stop in Singapore.

[Mubuhay Bali!]




Arrivederci Pieretio!
Italian Tourist Pieretio Daniele May Face Execution After Being Apprehended with 1.4 Kilograms of Hashish at Bali’s Airport

A 33-year-old Italian tourist, Pieretio Daniele was arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Thursday, March 29, 2012 after arriving on a mid-day Malaysian Airline flight.

According to Radar Bali, Daniele was under suspicion by Custom Officials immediately after departing his flight due to his restless behavior. An intensive examination yielded 1.4 kilograms of hashish concealed in a plastic wrapping in his luggage.

The drugs have an estimated street value of US$71,000.

Police continue to investigate the case and will soon be making formal charges against Daniele.

The 2009 anti-narcotics law of Indonesia classifies hashish as a Group One Narcotic.  Possession of more than 1 kilogram of this class of narcotics opens the way for prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the man.


On the Cheap to Klungkung
Bali on a Budget: How to Spend a Day Exploring Klungkung for Less than Rp. 60,000 (US$6.60)

Kompas.com has shared some tips on how to see Bali on a minimal budget.

While most beaches in Bali can be accessed and used without charge, it is still possible to explore the historical and cultural areas beyond Bali on a modest budget.

For around Rp. 60,000 (US$6.60) you can enjoy a full day of activities and touring starting from any of the areas of south Bali served by the [Sabargita Bus System]  .

Consider a trip up Bali’s eastern shore to the area once occupied by Bali most ancient Gelgel Kingdom. The community of Klungkung can be accessed from almost all areas in south Bali by taking the new Sarbagita Bus System to its end point at Batubulan, there to connect with a local minibus for the final leg to Klungkung.

To get to the Batubulan bus terminal use the new Trans Sarbagita Bus from Kuta Central Parkir or from any point on the bus system that will bring you to Batubulan for only Rp. 3,500 (US$0.40).

Then, take a minibus from the Batubulan bus station to Klungkung for only Rp. 10,000 (US$1.10), disembarking at Jalan Gajah Mada – from where a 20-meter walk to the south will bring you to the entrance to Kertagosa.

Part of a royal palace complex, a visit to the “hall of justice” at Kertagosa where you can view the elaborate and quite graphic kemasan ceiling paintings depicting the karma pala fates that awaits people in recompense for their evil deeds.

A ticket of admission to Kertagosa costs only Rp. 12,000 (US$1.30) and will gain entrance to the nearby heroes’ monument commemorating the Puputan (fight to the death) that took place in Klungkung in April of 1908.

While at Kertagosa, be sure to walk across the street to visit the Klungkung market (Pasar Klungkung). The market has a good selection of textiles and handicrafts and is the perfect place to savor Balinese cakes or a traditional “nasi bungkus” lunch. A delicious Nasi Bungkus lunch costs around Rp. 20,000 (US$2.25).

If you’re gadget-addicted and need to be “connected” by Smart Phone, IPad or laptop - take a ten-minute walk to the alun-alun or central square of Klungkung and take advantage of the free WiFi connection. Playing with your gadget or merely watching the hubbub of activity at the square creates a pleasant interlude before walking back to Jalan Gajah Mada to find a mini-bus and begin the reverse trip back south .

Let's recap:  Round trip transportation between Kuta and Klungkung Rp. 27,000 (US$3), admission to Kertagosa Rp. 12,000 (US$1.30) and a lunch for Rp, 20,000 (US$2.25) for a grand total of Rp. 59,000 (US$6.50).

A genuine bargain for a full day’s exploration of one of Bali’s most interesting cultural areas.


Off the Radar Screen
North Bali Airport Project in a Holding Pattern

The provincial government of Bali is questioning the seriousness of the Central Government in its stated desire to build an airport in the north Bali regency of Buleleng.

Although long discussed, Bali’s provincial administrators have yet to receive a copy of a promised feasibility study for an “airport of the north.”

As reported by Beritabali.com, the head of the Provincial Planning Agency for Bali (Bappeda), Tjokorda Ngurah Pemayun, has confirmed that he has repeatedly and unsuccessfully sought explanations about the Buleleng Airport Project from the Ministry of Transportation and the National Planning Agency (Bappenas).

Similarly, it is difficult to determine the current status or the seriousness of an Indian investors once reported to be considering investing in the north Bali air gateway.

Pemayun continued, explaining: “After the change of ministers until now, there has been no follow up. Meanwhile at Bappenas (the plan) continues with a final plan promised in October. Hopefully, we can wait until October.”

Pemayun said the regional government in Buleleng has two different locations it deems suitable as locations for the airport, one in east Buleleng and the other in the regency’s west. Both locations, however, are problematic. The eastern location may be considered too mountainous, while the west is afflicted by wind patterns inimical to take offs and landings.


More Nyepi Magic
Amazing Video Clip Created by Carl Valiquet of Ogoh-Ogoh and Trance Possession in Sanur, Bali on March 22, 2012

Reader and well-known blogger Carl Valiquet wrote last week to share his remarkable mixed-media presentation he and his wife recorded on the evening of March 22, 2011 when Bali was festooned with colorful ogoh-ogoh.

uo;s final creation, embedded on balidiscovery.com, masterfully captures the pandemonium and spirituality that marks ogoh-ogoh parades in Bali. The presentation also beautifully captures the moments when the young village men carrying an ogoh-ogoh float become possessed and fall into trance, only to be revived through the anointment with holy water by Balinese priests.

Carl best summed up his Nyepi experience, saying: “That evening, as I walked back to my Sanur home, I reminded myself that I live in a very unique and enigmatic Island.”

Carl, thank you for sharing.

Visit [Carl Baliquet’s Blog Site]  - chock full of wonderful images of Bali and Indonesia.


No Permission Necessary
Denpasar Zoning and Building Authorities Accused of Being Slack on the Job

Following the ongoing controversy surrounding Harrad’s Hotel and the Blue Eyes Karaoke Complex, another scandal concerning the granting of building and operating permits in Denpasar is emerging surrounding the Taxi Hotel located on Jalan Pulau Flores.

As reported by Radar Bali, Denpasar’s Zoning and Housing Department (Dinas Tata Ruang dan Perumahan – DTRP) has issued a warning letter to the Taxi Hotel. The chief of the DTRP, Kadek Kusuma Diputra, confirmed a warning letter was sent to the “melati-class” hotel said to be owned by Malaysian investors.

Diputra said on Saturday, March 31, 2012: “Last Monday we formally delivered a second warning letter to them. On Thursday they sent a representative to our office to present project drawings,”

Diputra promised to urgently visit the construction site in order to determine what, if any, rules have been violated. Adding: “The problem, sometimes the pictures do not match the actual building.”

A deputy of the Bali Environmental Agency (WALHI), Suryadi Harmoko, is citing the hotel project as physical proof that the municipal government of Denpasar is inconsistent in the enforcement of zoning and building laws.

Harmoko said: “The basic principle is that before anyone builds, they must first have a building permit (IMB). This is a clear example where there was no IMB, but the project was allowed to continue. This gives a very poor example to the public on how to obtain permits.”

The man working to protect Bali’s natural environment depicts such behavior by the Denpasar government as an example of the government undermining its own power and public standing. Adding, “I have to ask: Is the mayor of Denpasar serious in his desire to enforce administrative law or is the fact just the reverse?”

Harmoko, who is also an academic hailing from East Java, also apportioned criticism to the Denpasar legislature. He called on the Denpasar House of Representative to look beyond the importance of this single case and enquire on the workings and administration of the zoning and building code officers.


Six Pack Country
The Shirts Off their Back: Bali Holds Pre-Auditions for L-Men Fitness Ambassador

L-Men – a popular nutritional fitness supplement sold to young Indonesia men hold an annual, yearlong competition leading up to a final selection televised nationally.
d pre-auditions and auditions in various cities across Indonesia eventually narrow thousands of aspiring young male who aspire to be among the ten finalists to appear on the televised final.

On Saturday, March 31, 2012, the Bali Pre-Auditions of the L-Men Health and Fitness Promotion were held at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel in South Kuta.

A total of 182 young men from Bali competed for the chanve to be allowed to go on the next phase of selection – semi-finals held before the grand final competition.

The organizer’s final selection is based on a number of criteria that in addition to stage appearance and physique, also includes charisma, leadership, social networking skills and a commitment to a healthy life-style.

Participation is open to young men between the ages of 16-35

Shown on Balidiscovery.com are some shots taken at the Pre-Auditions by Bali-based photographer Joe Kennedy.

Joe Kennedy of [Joe Kennedy Photography]


No Handicap to Golf
Handara Kosaido Country Club Preparing for Bali Junior Golf Community Ballesteros Foundation Tournament April 7-8, 2012

As reported on Balidiscovery.com [‘Fore’ For the Kids] a Bali Junior Golf Community Ballesteros Foundation Tournament is set to be held at the [Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club] in Bedugul, Bali April 7-8, 2012.

Despite recent landslides near the course, the general manager of the Bali Handara course, Mark Isley, has confirmed that his team is working tirelessly to make sure the course is ready for this prestigious golfing event in support.

Commenting on the preparations for the tournament and the current condition of the course, Isley said: "We will be more than ready to host the much anticipated Seve Ballesteros Foundation Charity Tournament and it will be a great weekend of golf for all of those who attend, you can count on it! Golf course conditions are rapidly improving with the hard work of my team along with the help and support from the nearby Pancasari village who have provided us with nearly 200 people to assist us in cleaning up the golf course, hotel grounds and roadways. It’s simply amazing what can be accomplished in such a short amount of time when a community pulls together like this."

Isley continued: "For this event and due to the repair works that need to be carried out, hole #18 will be a par 3, normally a par 5, and approximately 12 bunkers around the golf course will be declared Ground Under Repair , other than that, the course will be in excellent condition for this event. Other facilities such as our restaurants cottages and bungalows were not damaged in any way and they will be available as usual."

More than 30 registrations are now in hand with a number of young players traveling from outside Bali to participate at what is widely considered one of the world’s leading golf courses.

[Registration on Line Closing April 3

[More Information]  


We’ll Drink to That!
Bali Seeking Investors for US$145 Million in Water Projects

The government of Bali via the Bali Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM-Bali) is offering a number of fresh water supply infrastructure projects in four regencies/cities in Bali worth an estimated value of Rp. 1.305 trillion (US$145 million).

As reported by Bisnis.com, the four investment packages are located in Metaum, Tabanan; the Unda River in Klungkung; Waribang in Denpasar; and the Ayung Dam in Badung. The four fresh water supply projects are part of a “Sarbargitaku’ coordinated plan to provide clean water for south Bali.

The chief of BKPM-Bali, Ida Bagus Parwata, said the overall project now on offer will guarantee both the quality and quantity of fresh water for Bali in a development process spread over three phases. Speaking on April 1, 2012, Parwata said the project would provide water treatment plants and a water distribution system for eventual delivery to the public by the water board (PDAM).

Broken down into it component parts, the first phase is scheduled for completion in 2013 would provide a Western System providing water to the city of Denpasar and Badung. After that, work will continue on the development of an Eastern System serving two metropolitan areas and growth area in the regency of Gianyar. The first phase is targeted to provide a 600-liters per second supply of fresh water with each system generating 300-liters per second.

The second phase, Parwata explained, will begin with a system on the Unda River with a capacity of 1,000-liters per second to supply Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar and Klungkung.

A third phase will focus on a middle areas designed to provide 3x600-liters per second capability respectively for the southern section of Denpasar, Badung and Tabanan.

At the present time, only the development of the Unda River system in Klungkung has reached the stage of a completed feasibility study. The remaining parts of the overall plan are still in a preliminary proposal stage.
The feasibility for the Unda River fresh water project has been performed by K Water – a South Korean company who has indicated a willingness to finance the project.

Meanwhile, the head of the Customer Service Division of PDAM-Bali in Denpasar, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wardana, says the demand for water in Bali is at an all time high. Based on a Japanese study and the master plan for Sarbagitaku, the demands for water from south Bali represents 76% of the total consumption of fresh water in Bali.



Fuel Price Increase Delayed For Now
Indonesian Legislators Delay Fuel Price Increase as Demonstrators Surround DPR

On Friday night, March 30, 2012, in an eleventh-hour reprieve, the Indonesian national legislature effectively vetoed a raise in the cost of gasoline by 33% scheduled for April 1st.

Meeting until the early hours of Saturday, a full-sitting of the House of Representatives (DPR) struck a compromise with the national leadership to allow fuel prices to increase if the price of Crude Oil exceeds assumption stipulated in the National Budget by more than 15% for a period of at least six months.

The deliberations in the DPR were punctuated by frequent breaks to allow lobbying and consultation among and between political factions in the House. Meanwhile, outside, on the streets of the Capital and the rest of Indonesia, protests, sometimes marked by violence, were taking place. At one point during the day, angry protestors managed to breach the walled fortifications and police lines surrounding the DPR.

In the face of protests and legislative deliberations, a planned trip by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono canceled a trip to Phnom Penh to attend an ASEAN leader’s summit, allowing the Vice-President to attend in his stead.

The price hike in fuel, claimed by the government as essential to reduce crippling fuel-price subsidies where the price of premium gas remains 75% below the world average price, became highly politicized. The PDI-P, Gerinda and Hanura parties stubbornly refused to entertain arguments on behalf of a price increase.

The 2012 State Budget assumes a Crude Oil price of US$105 per barrel.

As reported by The Jakarta Globe the price of Indonesian Crude was $109.25 per barrel in October 2011, rising in November to $112.94, December saw a price decrease to $110.70, January at $115.90, February at $122.17 and March at $128.

According to the new government-established "trigger" for a domestic increase in fuels costs, a price of US$135 a barrel for April would clear the way for a price hike as early as May. That price would bring the average price of Indonesian Crude over the preceding six months to US$120.75, passing the threshold required for higher prices at the fuel pumps.

Related Article

[Bali’s Iconoclastic Governor]


 
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Bali Update #519
August 21, 2006

Bali Update #518
August 14, 2006

Bali Update #517
August 07, 2006

Bali Update #516
July 31, 2006

Bali Update #515
July 24, 2006

Bali Update #514
July 17, 2006

Bali Update #513
July 10, 2006

Bali Update #512
July 03, 2006

Bali Update #511
June 26, 2006

Bali Update #510
June 19, 2006

Bali Update #509
June 12, 2006

Bali Update #508
June 05, 2006

Bali Update #507
May 29, 2006

Bali Update #506
May 22, 2006

Bali Update #505
May 15, 2006

Bali Update #504
May 08, 2006

Bali Update #503
May 01, 2006

Bali Update #502
April 24, 2006

Bali Update #501
April 17, 2006
 

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