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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #951 - 24 November 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


For Those in Peril on the Sea
Bali Hotel Manager Drowns During Boating Accident Off Baliís West Coast

The 37-year-old manager of the Puri Dajuma Hotel in Negara, West Bali, drowned near Pekutatan harbor on Monday, January 21, 2013.

Gede Indrayasa’s body was recovered from the ocean at 6:30 am the following morning after disappearing at 5:00 pm on Monday afternoon. The man’s body, discovered just 300 meters west of the where he was last seen, was found by an uncle, Ketut Budiadnya, who had joined the search effort.

According to The Bali Post, the resort’s manager drowned while sailing a small sailboat with the resort’s owner, Louis Balme, which capsized in heavy seas. Balme, who was wearing a life vest managed to make it to shore while his employee, unaided by a flotation device, sunk below the waves.

Indrayasa’s body was brought to a local health center for forensic examination before being sent to his family’s home in Tingar Sari, Busungbiu, Singaraja.
 


Wonít You Stay Over at My House?
Illegal Home Stays Owned by Foreigners a Threat to Baliís Legitimate Accommodation Providers

The chairman of the Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace), says the use of homes owned by foreigners and rented out as home stays are damaging the interest of legitimately established hotels in Bali.

Cok Ace, who also serves as the regent of Gianyar, said on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, homes owned by foreigners that that are rented out to foreign visitors are clearly a threat to formal accommodation providers in Bali.

Quoted by Bisnis Bali, he said, “If it can be proven that these homes are being rented commercially, then this accommodation must also follow the rules on business registration in Bali.” He added that home rented out to the public demand more official supervision by the government.

Citing the difficulty of tracking down such businesses, he called for the assistance of all parties, particularly the members of local communities, to report the illegal accommodation businesses to the appropriate government agency.

He contends that by allowing the continued existence of illegal home stays both the legal competition and the public suffer from the lack of tax revenues lost to these businesses.

Coke Ace concluded by saying the PHRI strongly objects to private homes being converted to illegal home stays. Such fraudulent business, he said, lead to unhealthy competition among legally founded accommodation providers.

“In the business world such practices can lead to unpredictable consequences,” he warned.
 


Shop ĎTill Your Shop Gets Dropped
Most Commercial Traders at Baliís Ngurah Rai Airport Financially Unable to Compete for Shop Space in Renovated Airport Facility

Efforts by a group calling itself the Federation of Airport Traders (P2B) and comprised of the current shopkeepers and other businesses located at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport are becoming increasingly worried that the tender process now underway for letting commercial space at Bali's Airport may see them left out in the cold.

Dissatisfied with explanations given by the Angkasa Pura I - the government-owned airport authority, a delegation from P2B recently visited the National House of Representatives (DPR-RI) in Jakarta seeking to preserve their airport-based enterprises. Meetings with Commission VI of the DPR-RI, failed, however, to obtain the desired guarantee that their businesses would be guaranteed a continues existence in the renovated airport.

Angkasa Pura I’s managers are remaining steadfast in the position that the tender process to determine who can do business at the airport must proceed according to plan.

Unsuccessful in their lobbying efforts in the Nation's capital, the P2B members disapointedly returned to Bali on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, the directors of PT Angkasa Pura say that the tender process will remain open to all participants, including those presently doing business at the airport.

The commercials qualifications of the tender, however, may be out of the financial reach of many small traders working from the airport. Those tendering for commercial space at the airport must, according to the qualifying terms of the tender, demonstrate a yearly turnover of US$3 million and be prepared to pay a tender registration fee of US$3,000.

Traders who fail to achieve a US$3 million annual turnover may forfeit the tender registration fee.

Those taking commercial space at the airport will be required to pay an annual rental of US$670 per square meter per year or roughly US$56 per meter per month.

PT Angkasa Pura has promised a formal written response to the demands of P2B.

The 106-member P2B has publicly expressed fears that they will be unable to compete with large businesses vying for commercial space at the airport.

Related Articles

[Taking Care of Business]

[The Great Pre-Tender]

 


Shore is a Mess
Seasonal Winds Bring Huge Accumulation of Trash Along Baliís Kuta Beach

Strong winds over the past week have brought an annual harvest of flotsam that washed ashore on Bali’s popular Kuta Beach.

The unsavory sight of plastic, trash, trees and plastic containers has covered the entire length of the beach, requiring a continual and diligent clean-up effort be mounted by local authorities and community members.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the head of the Kuta Beach clean-up team, I Gusti Ngurah Tresna, said on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 that the trash heaps that have washed shore in Kuta are believed to originate in Java.

The rubbish that covers a 9-kilomoter stretch of Kuta Beach requires hundreds of truck trips each day to remove to the local rubbish trip.

Said Tresna: “We clean a stretch of beach and not more than 5 minutes later more trash has washed ashore. Every day hundreds of trucks come to remove the trash with each truck carrying away 6 cubic meters of garbage to the rubbish trip.”

Ngurah Tresna has also deployed 5 pieces of earthmoving equipment to speed the clean-up process. Visiting tourists are regularly seen, shoulder-to-shoulder with local citizens, helping the clean up process.

Indonesia weather forecasters predict the waves and current conditions bringing the trash to Kuta’s shores will reach its peak in February and last until May.


Shock and Awe
Drug Smuggling English Woman Sentenced in Bali to Death Before a Firing Squad

A 56-year-old U.K. grandmother, Lindsay Sandiford, has been sentenced to death before a firing squad for smuggling cocaine worth some £1.6 million through Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

Lindsay Sandiford, originally from Teeside in the U.K., was arrested with nearly 5 kilograms of cocaine concealed in her suitcase’s lining.

While prosecutors had demanded a prison sentence of 15-years for Sandiford, the panel of judges imposed the maximum sentence of death, citing the amount of drugs involved and the damage the woman’s crime had caused to Bali’s image. 

The woman, who claimed she acted as a courier of the drugs because of threats made against one of her children by the people who dispatched her to Bali with the drugs, wept while the judge read the death sentence.

It is widely expected that Sandiford will file an appeal of her death sentence. If all avenues of legal appeal are exhausted, Sandiford can then appeal for clemency to Indonesia’s President.

Delivering the sentence, a panel headed by Judge Amser Simanjuntak said, "We found no reason to lighten her sentence," he added.

Three other Britons involved in the drug smuggling case with Sandiford are or have been tried separately the courts in Bali.

Julian Ponder accused as the man designated to receive the drugs from Sandiford could be executed for his crime once his trial concludes.

Ponder’s partner, Rachel Dougall, also from the U.K., was sentenced to one-year in prison after being arrested with a small quantity of drugs in her possession.

Another man, property developer Paul Beales, was sentenced to four-years in prison for being arrested with a small quantity of hashish.

Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy says around 40 foreigners now reside on death row awaiting execution in Indonesia. Five foreigners have been executed in Indonesia since 1998. No executions have taken place in Indonesia since 2008, a year in which 10 people were put before the firing squad.

Related Article

[Dead On or Dead Wrong?]



Antediluvian Measures
Bali Officials Outline Steps to Prevent Flooding During Current Rainy Season

The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that Bali’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) is warning that Bali’s current spate of inclement weather can be expected to last until mid-February.

The head of Denpasar’s BKMG, I Wayan Suardana, said on Monday, January 21, 2013, “The peak of the rainy season in Bali will continue from January to mid-February. Thus, we have to remain alert for possible medium to heavy downpours, strong winds and high waves until February.”

Heavy rain, strong winds and large waver are predicted for most of Bali with the areas likely to receive the heaviest downpours located in Bedugul, Gianyar, Karangasem, Denpasar and Badung.

Bali is experiencing extreme weather conditions with wind speeds, rainfall and wave heights worse that recorded during the same period one year ago.

Tropical storm centers in Australia have created peripheral weather effects in Bali, bringing huge waves and strong winds. Local fishermen have stayed ashore, unprepared to brave the rough seas and reducing the amount of fresh seafood available in local markets.

Authorities are asking the public’s assistance to prevent destructive flooding by refraining from throwing trash into open drains and rivers.

I Wayan Suardana, head of Denpasar’s BMKG explained: “While agencies maintain rivers and drainage systems to be free from trash blockages and cut down trees that may be uprooted by the strong winds, the residents must also do their part, most importantly by restraining themselves from littering everywhere.”

The head of the Bali Public Works Agency, I Ketut Artika, outlined steps being taken to prevent flooding: “We are taking preventive measures, such as routine drain maintenance and tree-cutting; intensifying our coordination with the Regional Disaster Management Agency; and preparing sandbags and equipment to deal with future landslides.”


Dead On or Dead Wrong?
Bali Governor Endorses Death Sentence Given to Britain Lindsay Sandiford

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has called on all parties to honor the decision of the Denpasar District Court judges who have sentenced 56-year-old Brit Lindsay June Sandiford to death for smuggling 4.7 kilograms of cocaine into Bali.

Pastika, who once served as the head of Bali’s police, asks that the court’s decision be honored, describing the death sentence meted out to Sandiford as fair and a verdict that fully considered a number of aspects, including both the effects and consequences of narcotics distribution in Indonesia.

Quoted by Seputarbali.com, Pastika described the sentence as “sufficiently fair with the sentence of death.”

Pastika has little concern for international objections to the sentence of death given to the British grandmother, adding: “Let’s all honor the (legal) process of any country, wherever you are from.”

The head of the panel of judges sentencing Sandiford to death, Amser Simanjuntak, found the woman guilty of violating the 2009 narcotics law forbidding the import of illegal drugs into Indonesia. Ignoring calls by public prosecutors to sentence the woman to 15 years in prison, the judges chose to impose the maximum sentence of death before a firing squad.

Sandiford was arrested at Bali’s airport on May 19, 2012 with 3.8 kilograms of cocaine concealed in the lining of her luggage. Her arrest led to the further arrest of 3 other Britons Paul Beales, Julian Anthony Ponder and his wife Rachel Lisa Dougall. An Indian national, Nandagopal Akkineni, was also arrested in the case.

Paul, Rachel and Nandagopal were respectively sentenced to four years, one year and five years in prison. Prosecutors have asked for 7 years prison for Julian with his sentencing scheduled for January 29, 2013.

Related Article

[Shock and Awe]


Out of the Frying Pan and Into Your Gas Tank
Baliís First Biorefinery Commences Operations

Green Fuels – a biorefinery manufacturer has formally launched a biodiesel facility in Bali capable of producing 3,000 liters of fuel each day.

The FuelMatic GSX 3 was made possible by Caritas Switzerland, a Swiss NGO dedicate to fostering socioeconomic development in disadvantaged communities.

As reported by [biodieselmagazine.com], James Hygate, CEO of Green Fuels, believes the FuelMatic GSX holds the key to unlock the benefits of community-scale biodiesel production, saying: “We installed one in South Africa earlier this month and one in Australia last month. There’s a lot of interest in it, especially since it has all the trademark Green Fuels hi-tech features such as our automated GFM process control system, patent pending GSX glycerol separation technology, internal methanol recovery and stainless steel construction.”

Thorsten Reckerzügl, the NGO’s Indonesia representative, explained: “This is the first time biodiesel has been introduced on the island and it’s the first time used cooking oil is being recycled here. It’s a big deal. We needed a system that was affordable yet hi-tech enough to deliver on our promises. We also needed one that could be located where we wanted it near the local municipality because we need to cooperate closely with them.”

Caritas has trained a Balinese crew to run the new biorefinery that uses touch-control screens with trouble-shooting and diagnostics possible when trouble occurs remotely.

The new biorefinery is committed to maintaining a small eco-footprint. “The Green Fuels system emits no carbon, uses waterless purification and leaves so little waste it’s hardly noticeable. Frankly, the whole process was made easy for us with such a user-friendly system,” explained Reckerzügl.

Prior to building the facility Caritas conducted a survey of 340 hotels and restaurants that found 50-60% of those surveyed used cooking oils that were sold to waste collectors who in turn sold them for reused by food stalls.

“Often unbeknown to their owners, customers and tourists, overused cooking oil forms carcinogenic substances, posing a serious risk to human health,” Reckerzügl said. “We also discovered that 10 to 20 percent of used cooking oil is disposed of with solid waste or ends up in waterways. At landfill sites the used cooking oil forms methane as it decomposes, a greenhouse gas about 25 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide. The oil which ends up in waterways pollutes the aquatic environment and drinking water.”

Caritas has pledges of 1,000 liters of used cooking oils from local hotels and restaurant collected from 150 hotels and restaurants. ISDIA, a Swiss University, has developed software to optimize efficiency in the collection of used cooking oils.

The biofuels produced by the new plant will be used for transportation by hotels and other customers desiring to reduce carbon emissions. Over time, Caritas hopes to expand the use of biofuels in Bali.


A Definitive Sentence
Former Bali Tourism Chief Begins Prison Sentence for Corruption of Promotion Funds

Bali’s former chief of Tourism for the province of Bali (Kadisparda), I Gede Nurjaya, became an inmate at Bali’s Kerobokan prison on January 2, 2013, starting the final chapter on a long and sometimes tortuous journey through the legal system.

After undergoing a number of judicial reviews, Nurjaya was eventually sentenced to one year in prison for corrupting state funds. With credits for time served during the judicial process, Nurjaya will be eligible for release on March 13, 2013.

The final decision on appeal to imprison Nurjaya was handed down in May 2012, but local officials refused to put him behind bars until a formal copy of the court’s decision was issued to State prosecutors.

According to Denpost, the chief warden of the Kerobokan prison has confirmed that Nurjaya’s sentence will end on March 13, 2013.

The charges against Nurjaya, involving funds allocated for the island’s promotion at the World Travel Mart in London, prompted his arrest and detention on October 7, 2010. That trial resulted in a verdict of a one-year prison sentence that was appealed on May 12, 2013 to the higher courts. The appeal was successful with the court absolving Nurjaya on July 20, 2011.

Bali prosecutors, however, were unhappy with the results, and appealed the case to the Supreme Court where the original sentence of one year was ratified by the panel of judges in a decision dated May 1, 2012.

Nurjaya’s imprisonment on January 2, 2013 is the end result of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Upon arrival at the Bali prison Nurjaya was housed in Block J (Jempiring) for a period of adaptation with the prison environment before being moved to the general prison population for the remainder of his sentence.

Related Articles

[The Dangers of Over Appealing]

[Free at Last!]

[Bali Tourism Officials Sentenced to Prison]

[Bali Tourism Officials Await their Legal Fates]

[Ex-Bali Tourism Boss Charged with Corruption]

[More Arrests of Bali Tourism Officials]

[Former Bali Tourism Chief Arrested]

[Were Bali Tourism Promotion Funds Stolen?]
 


A Need for Cell Propagation
Bangli Narcotics Prison Project Stuck as Funding in State Budget Being Withheld

Plans announced by the government to commence the construction of a prison to house narcotics offenders in Bangli are now stuck, with only an empty field and walls for the prison occupying the designated site in Banjar Buungan in Desa Tiga.

According to Denpost, the project scheduled to begin construction in 2010, is unexplainably in “stuck” with local villagers now planting elephant grass in the vacant lot to provide feed for grazing cattle.

No construction crews or construction equipment is to be found at the site of the new prison.

Local citizens report that a spurt of construction in 2010 erected walls and a single structure before contractors abandoned the site. The walls erected stand some 10 meters high with barbed wire crowning the expanse.

Villagers say no construction has taken place at the location for the new prison for the past six months.

The prison site occupies a piece of land measuring 4.5 hectares and is a project under the supervision of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Bali office.

Earlier, the head of the prisons division of the Bali office for the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Sunar Agus, said that plans for the construction of a narcotics penitentiary in Bangli remained uncertain. The money allocated in the state budget of 2013 for the project had received a special notation indicating the funds were not yet readily available.

The new prison in Bangli is urgently needed to address overcrowding issues at the Kerobokan Prison in South Bali where a prison built to house 300 inmates is now home to more than 900 inmates. More than half of those in the Kerobokan prison are serving sentences in connection with narcotics violations and would therefore be eligable for relocation to the new narcotics prison when it opens.


An Island of Shopkeepers?
Are Gianyar and other Areas of BaliCluttered with Shophouses?

Bisnis Bali reports that the major bypass and tourism thoroughfare of Jalan IB Mantra - running through the Ketewel area - is becoming cluttered with shop houses.

The chairman of the Russian language division of the Bali Guide Association, (HPI-Bali), Nengah Archana, said on Thursday, January 24, 2013, that the area surrounding Gianyar beach is becoming so full of shop houses (ruko) that the natural beauty of the area has been negatively impacted.

He said the proliferation of rukos is affecting Gianyar and many other areas of Bali. The small, simply built stores, typically with apartments on the second floor, create a cluttered look for many parts of Bali.

Archana called on the government to take control and of the mushrooming construction of rukos in Bali, including the area surround Gianyar’s beaches.

Moreover, he said many rukos are built and then abandoned by their owners, adding to the increasing unpleasant aesthetic of Bali.

Also contributing to the tragic decline in Bali’s natural beauty is that many of the rukos once built are abandoned and left empty.

According to Archana, many of these shop houses are standing in what was once productive agricultural lands and now block panoramic views of the oceanfront and surrounding volcanic mountains.

Archana said a master plan for Gianyar’s development is needed in order to safeguard natural beauty and the cleanliness of the area.


Market Daze
Decision on Whether or Not Tiara Grosir in Denpasar, Bali Can Remain Open is Now Before the Supreme Court

Almost an entire month after the expiration of the lease on the Tiara Grosir Supermarket on Jalan Cokroaminoto in downtown Denpasar, the business continues to operate from the premises owned by the municipality of Denpasar.

The supermarket has been ordered to vacate its premises at the end of December and return the land to the City.

Regulations prohibit the extension of a private lease on government land prompting the official order to quit the premises. Determined to continue its business, Tiara Gosir is trying to appeal the order through the legal system.

As reported by Denpost, the head of the legal department for the municipality, Made Toya, confirmed that the Denpasar authorities were awaiting a formal legal decision from the Supreme Court before making their next move. “We are aware that the contract (for the lease) has ended. The deadline for Tiara Grosir to move camp has passed. But we are not prepared to recklessly close or seal the Tiara Grosir. We are waiting for the legal process to conclude,” Toya explained.

An initial judicial appeal of Denpasar’s refusal to extend Tiara’s lease ruled in favor of the government at the Denpasar Administrative Court (PTUN). A further appeal by Tiara Grosir to the High Administrative Court (PTUN) ruled in favor of the supermarket’s desire to continue to operate their business from the location. That decision is now undergoing a final appeal before the Supreme Court who has the final say in the case.

The Denpasar municipality plans to use the land to set up a trading center for small-sized enterprises.

Related Article

[Attention Shoppers]
 


Nothing But the Truth
Accusations of Corruption at Baliís Hindu University Revive Ancient Tradition of ĎSumpah Corí Ė Sacred Oaths Sworn at Balinese Temples

A profoundly Balinese religious and cultural tradition - “Sumpah Cor” was abruptly cancelled for Saturday, January 26, 2013, after being scheduled at the request of an official of Hindu University (IHDN).

A “Sumpah Cor” is a sacred oath sworn by a Hindu before priest at a sacred place of worship. Never taken lightly by a devout Balinese Hindu, the oath dictates that anyone making such a pledge and consciously lying will bring generations of natural calamity upon his family. Included in the sanctions awaiting anyone who abuses a “Sumpah Cor” are seven generations of ill omen, including the inability to produce a male heir in the form of a threat that any male child will die before reaching his majority.

According to the religious doctrine, daughters, born to those who lie while making their oath, are destined to become insane, wandering the streets of Bali while tearing their clothing to pieces.

The “Sumpah Cor” is used to affirm an individual’s righteousness before God and his fellow man when confronted with false accusations.

Conversely, a “Sumpah Cor” is believed to also boomerang on he making the false accusations, bringing the same misfortunes on the accuser and his or her family as would befal anyone making a false oath.

Planning to swear such a sacred oath at Bali’s sacred temple of Pura Besakih was Dr. Praptini, the head of the Hindu University (IHDN) administrative department, who claims to have been slandered by an assistant rector, I Made Redana, in being accused of misusing Rp. 2.5 billion (US$250,000) of the university’s funds.

At the eleventh hour, the rector of IHDN, Professor Dr. I Made Titib, has intervened and insisted that a “Sumpah Cor” is not needed and that the matter should be settled according to law and via internal discussion within the campus community.

Explained the rector: “As the rector I take responsibility to settle this problem. The problem that has emerged in the media (the corruption of Rp. 2.5 billion) is only gossip without clear proof. Let’s not have it develop; let’s not allow a ‘Sumpah Cor’ to be sworn at Pura Besakih; let’s just discuss this on the campus. As religious people, we believe in the philosophy of final retribution (karmapala). “

The rector insists that matters of slander are best settled before the courts, not in religious temples. For this reason, he asked that plans for the oath at Pura Besakih be abandoned.

Made Titib has also called a meeting of all concerned at the campus of IHDN for Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

Meanwhile the head of the University’s administrative section, Dr. Praptini, has accepted the rectors call, insisting that the oath remains an option if the matter cannot be satisfactorily clarified.

Meanwhile, Praptini pledges to seek legal satisfaction against Made Redana for the false accusation made in the case.
 


The Summit of Promotion
APEC 2013 Summit in Bali to Help Promote Indonesian Tourism and the Creative Economy

The Indonesian government is counting on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum 2013 (APEC) to support the creative economy and increase foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia.

Quoted by Bisnis.com, Nia Niscaya, Director of International Tourist Promotion from the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy, said she was hopeful that foreign tourist arrivals would increase while, at the same time, stimulating the national creative economy.

“We are certain that we possess great creativity that can be offered to the world through music, handicrafts, culinary skills and fashion that are already known internationally and are influencing fashion and lifestyle trends,” said Nia at the ASEAN Tourism Fair in Vientiane, Laos on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

According to data supplied by the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy, the tourism sector provides employment to 8.28 million people – a total equal to 8.37 % of all workers.

Nia added that Bali as the host of APEC 2013 – a conference that has adopted “Resilient Asia Pacific – Engine of Global Growth” as its theme, has prepared new roads and a upgraded airport facility to welcome the delegates – all scheduled to be ready in time for the Summit.

The government is calling on the nation’s travel industry to take advantage of the synergy provided by APEC 2013 to promote Bali and other destinations across the archipelago.

Nia reported that investments in tourism in Indonesia continue to grow.

New investments in hotels and restaurants in 2012 totaled US$242 million, three times more than the total investments in 2012.


Warning Shots on Ethnic Unrest
Indonesian Crime Prevention Foundation Warns Darker Forces May be Behind Recent Ethnic Attacks of Balinese in Sumbawa and South Sumatra

Indonesian Crime Prevention Foundation (ICPF) is concerned that the growing tide of ethnic unrest in the country will potentially shift to Bali, seen as a national stronghold and icon of multiculturalism.

The chairman of ICPF’s Bali chapter, Nyoman Gde Suweta, said on Thursday, January 24, 2013: “We see a scenario and hidden motives behind ethnic unrest in Sumbawa and Baliburaga (South Sumatra). These incidents of civil unrest are not simply spontaneous reactions among the public.”

The ICPF is a private group concerned with crime prevention in which many former senior law enforcement officials are members.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Suweta sees concerning patterns of similarity in the unrest that has affected Balinese communities living in Sumbawa and Lampung, South Sumatra,

“As I se it, there a form of new awareness emerging that Bali is the cornerstone of the national motto of ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ (Unity in Diversity) – not Papua, Ambon or other locations,” Suweta explained.

According to Suweta, if Bali is provoked into civil unrest, the repercussions could be extraordinary across a number of ethnicities. If such a situation developed, Suweta believes the provocateurs' eventual intention would be to threaten national solidarity and sovereignty.

Because of this, the ICPF is urging the President, State Intelligence Body (BIN), the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Commander of the Armed Forces and the Chief of the National Police not to make the mistake of over-simplifying their analysis of recent civil unrest in Sumbawa.

Suweta added: “(The incident) must be investigated and the results used to resolves problems for the future benefit of the Nation.”

Suweta called on his fellow Balinese to exercise sound judgment in responding to developments in Sumbawa and South Sumatra. He also asked that the public not be lured into scenarios devised by certain parties to undermine national sovereignty.”


Three Great Reasons to Visit Bali
Three Bali Restaurants Included in Mieleís Guide to Asiaís Best Dining Venues

Created in 2008 to celebrate the fast-developing fine cuisine scene in Asia, The Miele Guide has annually ranked Asia’s Top 20 Restaurants.

After undergoing a four-phase selection process that considers public opinion and rigorous reviews by a panel of uncompromising food critics, an annual list of Asia’s Best restaurants is released covering restaurants in 17 Asian countries.

The selection process calls on voters, judges and jury members to consider the following: (1) the quality of the food served; (2) the ambience of the restaurant; and (3) the level of service offered, Finally, selectors are asked to consider the tastes of Asian diners in casting their vote.

The 2013 edition of Asia’s Top 20 Restaurants was announced in Singapore on January 22, 2013.

Winning top honors again were the Robuchon au Dome (Macau) and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Hong Kong), winning first and third place, respectively, in this year’s list. Winning second-place honor was Waku Ghin (Singapore) – a restaurant operated by Japan-born Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda.

Bali – an Island of Outstanding Cuisine

Reinforcing Bali’s reputation as an island for outstanding dining options for its million of annual visitors is the presence of 3 Bali dining venues in Miele's current list of Asia’s top eateries.

[Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique]  

Ranked #5 in the 2103 Miele tanking, Chris Salans’ gardened restaurant Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique continues to amaze and please with its mix of French and progressive techniques that celebrate Indonesian ingredients and kitchen traditions.

[Sarong

Ranked #13 and making its debut on Miele’s list is Will Meyrick’s legendary Sarong located in Bali’s restaurant and nightlife center of Seminyak. Asia fusion means tastes that are Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese comfortably keep company in the communal dining atmosphere at Sarong.

[Metis

Bali’s popular Metis restaurant holds the #19 post in this year’s Miele ranking. Opened in 2009 by chef Nicholas ‘Doudou’ Tourneville who brought his formidable reputation for French fine-dining restaurant established at Kafe Warisan, the style at Metis is classic French-Mediterranean cuisine punctuated with a whimsical incorporation of Asian influences.

Related Link

[The Miele Guide


A Water Shed Moment
Baliís Hard Rock Hotel Answers Baliís Growing Water Crisis Through Installation of Reverse Osmosis Plant

Hard Rock Hotel Bali announced today the successful commissioning of a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The advanced membrane-technology filtration system costing more than US$ 400,000 will enable the Hotel to independently service its water needs.

of the ongoing water shortage crisis in Bali and the future consequences this shortage portends, the Hard Rock Hotel Bali has future-proofed itself by taking the step of providing its own source of the highest quality potable water for use by its guests.

On line since January 24, 2013, the reverse osmosis system has been tested and installed in cooperation with T&D Water Technologies and Development. The Italian company produces primary water treatment plants for industrial and commercial uses.

The system will produce drinking water to World Health Organization standards that will be used as the main water source for the Hotel.

Andy Maulana, Hard Rock Hotel Bali’s Director of Engineering, explained: ”This investment is essential for us to provide fresh water supply to the Hotel operations. The system follows international standards and we are pleased that the installation has been successful.”

[Hard Rock Hotel Bali]


Slow to Anger
Baliís Governor Urges Calm after Sumbawa Unrest

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has asked the Balinese people not to be provoked by civil unrest taking place in nearby Sumbawa that has caused many Balinese people to flee Sumbawa seeking safety in Bali.

The governor took pains to underline that the unrest occurring in Sumbawa was not ethnically based, but due to a misunderstanding.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Pastika said on Friday, January 25, 2013 that he hoped the people of Bali would not be overcome by anger, for anger will only further complicate the situation. What’s more important, the governor insisted, is that the stronger law enforcement is put in place so such situations can not happen again in the future.

“Firmness is most important. If there is a violation of the law, the case must go forward to the judicial process. This is what I said on the day the incident occurred (the unrest in Sumbawa), when I called the Chief of Police for West Nusa Tenggara and then the Governor. I hope everyone remains calm, although we are all concerned and upset,” urged Pastika.

Pastika said that it was equally important in the current situation to safeguard Bali and prevent the kind of unrest that occurred in Sumbawa from taking place on the Islandi. The Governor added that Bali must become an example to the world on how to foster peace.

Related Article

[Warning Shots on Ethnic Unrest]


 


More Chinese Tourists to Bali in 2013?
Agreement Signed to Commence Charter Flights Between China and Indonesia

The National News Agency Antara reports that an Indonesia and a Chinese company are preparing to commence chartered flight services between China and two destinations in Indonesia.

Indonesian company PT QATA Restu Dewati has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qiansheng International Travel Service Co. Ltd of Shanghai, China at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy on Friday. The director of promotions, Esthi Reko Astuti, witnessed the signing for the Ministry.

China is seen as a market with huge potential for Indonesian inbound travel with the country only securing a small share of the estimated 80 million Chinese who travel abroad each year.

The charter flights will reportedly operate from Chegdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Nanjin to the Indonesian destinations of Manado and Bali.

No additional details on when the charter flights would commence were reported.
 


Insidious Discrimination
Balinese Diaspora Targeted by Ethnic Violence Outbreaks on Sumbawa Island

Widespread civil unrest broke out on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, in Sumbawa Besar on the island of Sumbawa, east of Bali.

According to The Bali Post, by the weekend following the unrest the thousands of people who fled from rioting were beginning to return to their homes from temporary refugee centers on Bali and neighboring hillsides. Gde Supanca, a local resident in Sumbawa, confirmed conditions were beginning to return to normal.

During the day of violent civil unrest, angry crowds attacked businesses and places of worship owned by Balinese living in Sumbawa.

Pura Puseh-Bale Agung – a religious temple at Kayu Village was partially burnt by a Molotov cocktail thrown into the compound.  Damage to the temple, however, was limited when those living near the temple – many of them non-Hindus –responding to extinguish the fire before it could spread.

Stores, local hotel and cars owned by Balinese migrants to Sumbawa, were damaged or destroyed in the rioting that was precipitated by a traffic mishap involving a Balinese policeman and a female university student in Sumbawa Besar. Incorrect rumors suggesting the woman, who died in the accident, was beaten and raped by the policeman spread through the community and helped fuel public unrest.

The provincial government has pledged to repair all structures damaged in the rioting and compensate any belongs or inventory lost to looting or fires.

The chairman of the Indonesia Red Cross (PMI Pusat) and former Indonesian vice-president, Jusuf Kalla, visited Sumbawa on January 26th where he urged families to return to their homes by January 28th and resume their normal lives. At the same time, Kalla called on the police to do all necessary to ensure people feel safe and secure in their homes.

Police in Sumbawa have reportedly made more than 30 arrests of individuals known to have participated in the public unrest.

Related Articles

[Warning Shots on Ethnic Unrest]

[Slow to Anger]


The Law's the Law Except When itís Not the Law
The Mysterious Case of the Best Western Resort Kuta

The well-written and researched Balipublika has published an examination of the long-standing case of the Best Western Resort Kuta – a hotel that continues to operate despite violating local zoning laws, lacking a building permit and the absence of an operating licenses.

The Best Westerns Resort Kuta stands on a back avenue of Kuta, a short distance from the landmark St. Franciscus Xaverius Catholic Church. A three-storey building, room rates run between US$50 – US$100 per night.

In 2011, the hotel was sealed by Badung regency officials and a sign proclaiming the hotel’s illegal status posted outside its fence. The owner ignored the closure order, wrapped the government notice in white cloth and continued to operate the hotel.

A spokesman for the Badung regency, Anak Agung Raka Yuda, told Balipublika that the Best Western Kuta Resort was erected illegally in an area zoned soley for single family residences and that tourism accommodation was strictly not allowed in that location.

According to Balipublika, the owner of the resort, Wayan Wijana, supported the election of the current regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gede Agung and his vice-regent Sudikerta in the 2010 elections. During the course of that election, Sudikerta was also reported to have visited Wijana’s house.

Wijana, however, denies any connection between the failure of the regency to strictly enforce the law and his close relationship with the two top officials of the regency. Defending this position, Wijana retorts: “If that was true, it is impossible that the regent would have sealed my hotel or filed a police report against me.”

The Beginning of the Conflict

Before the 111-room Best Western Kuta Resort was built its predecessor was the 7-room Sapta Petala Hotel owned by the Wijana family.

The original Sapta Petala Hotel was built by Wijana’s Father in the 1970s, becoming one of the first hotels in Kuta’s seminal days of tourism.

After the 2002 Bali bombing when tourist arrivals to Bali plummeted, the small hotel became a boarding house in order to financially survive. Then, in 2005, the Wijana family wanted to take advantage of improving tourism prospects and decided to build a largere hotel on their land.

To achieve this dream, Wijana sold family lands in the Kedonganan area of Jimbaran to generate the funds to undertake the construction of a larger hotel on the Sapta Petala site.

In 2007, the family extended the operating permit of the Sapta Petala Resort and reportedly announced their intent to add more rooms with local community officials (kelurahan and Kecamatan) and sought permission from adjoining property owners (izin penyanding).

When Wijana approached the Tourism Service of the Badung Regency with his expansion plan, however, he was asked to seek a new license. “The reason given at the time,” said Wijana, “was that the additional number of rooms was substantial and the old permit no longer applied for the larger property.”

The original permit issued to the seven-room Sapta Petala Hotel in1983 by the Province of Bali was only for a small “melati hotel” or inn.

Wijana then attempted to put forward an application for a new operating permit. And although the new permit has not been approved, he pushed ahead with the construction of the hotel. In 2008, enforcement officers from the Badung Enforcement Agency (Satpol PP) visited the construction site and told Wijana to halt the project due to its lack of the necessary permits. Wijana ignored the officers order, explaining that is new permit was still "in progress."

Despite several warnings to halt building, the construction of the new hotel continued was completed in 2009. A management deal was then cut with Best Western Hotels that paved the way for its rebranding.

Violations

With his hotel completed and a management contract signed, Wijana revisited the Badung Tourism Office seeking an operating permit for his new hotel. At that time, the Badung officials explained that the desired permit could not be issued as the hotel’s construction violated the 2002 zoning law  for Kuta.

In 2010, Enforcement officials (Satpol PP)  again visited the hotel and issued a formal warning demanding the property cease operations. And, again, Wijana ignored the officials, now claiming his original permit for the Sapta Petala Hotel was sufficient and made it legal for him to operate the larger property.

“If I am violating the law, then why was I given the original license by the province? Why wasn’t I told I am not allowed to build? Now, when the building stands and employs tens of workers, it becomes a problem. This is not fair,” complained Wijana.

Wijana also insists he did not know that the area used for this hotel is zoned strictly for residential dwellings and prohibited from being used for a hotel. He claims that the zoning rules were never socialized to local community members.

The Badung regency counters Wijana's arguments, saying three separate official warning letters have been sent the hotel’s owner. Moreover, Wijana was called to attend Commission B meetings at the Badung House of Representatives (DPR-Badung) where he was also told to immediately cease operations. And, again repeating an established pattern, Wijana ignored officialdom and continued to operate his hotel.

Apparently, Wijana’s confidence in the face of official warnings was grounded in the knowledge that “fees” had been paid to certain legislators who had promised to assist in the issuance of the needed licenses. “I already paid lots of money to obtain theses licenses,” lamented Wijana.

Angered that reported warnings were being repeatedly ignored by the Best Western Kuta Resort, the regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gede Agung, issued an order on April 28, 2011 for the hotel to be sealed and closed.

While the owners offered no resistance when officials came to “seal” the hotel and post an official notice at the property’s entrance, the sealing did not necessarily mean an absolute closure of the hotel. Badung enforcement officials explain that an abrupt closure of the hotel might inconvenience guest, prompting officials to grant time for guest in house at the time of the official closure to complete their booked stay.

Days after a large wooden sign declaring the property illegal and closed was erected by Badung officials at the hotel's entrance, the hotel staff covered the sign in a white cloth. And the operation of the resort continued unabated.

Mounting Criticism

A member of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Wayan Diesel Astawa, sees the drawn out case of the Best Western Kuta Resort as a bad precedent for law enforcement in Bali. “Other investors will certainly see this case and the steps taken by the owner to avoid the law. Earlier the Badung regency said the Best Western is violating the law, so why don’t we just immediately tear it down? Let’s not be seen as toothless tigers,” said Diesel.

Diesel says the Best Western Kuta Resort is a failure of both the owners and many other parties. Technically, he contends, permission to build must be in hand before building process commences. Admitting it is unlikely that the Best Western Hotel will now be torn down, Diesel is calling on the government to quickly find an acceptable solution to the legal impasse embodied in the Best Western Kuta Resort case.

Meanwhile, the lack of an operating license for the Best Western Kuta also makes it impossible for the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) to provide an official classification for the property.

Related Articles

[Webs Woven in Deception]

[The Slow Moving Wheels of Justice in Bali]

[How Goes the Best Western Kuta?]

[Crime and Punishment in Bali]

[Keeping the Rule of Law Under Cover]

[Warming to the Fight]

[Best Western Kuta Changes its Name & Fights Back]

[All the Best Westerns End in a Showdown]

[Best Western Kuta in Bali Posted and Closed]


Last Call for IHIC 2013
Indonesia Hotel Investment Conference in Bali, Friday, February 1, 2013

Registration remains open in the final week leading up to the 1st Indonesia Hotel Investment Conference to be held that the Sheraton Kuta Resort on Friday, February 1, 2013.

An outstanding roster of hospitality, real estate and banking experts will share views and insights on the opportunities and specific challenges of investing in hotels in Indonesia. The day will end with an exclusive cocktail networking reception.

For more information or to register on line [Indonesia Hotel Investment Conference



 
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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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 #544
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #531
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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 #524
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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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 #512
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Bali Update #510
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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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