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Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #943 - 29 September 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


This Lion has No Pride
Hundreds of Lion Air Passengers Waiting for Compensation Following More than Four-Hour Delay in Denpasar-Jakarta Flight

Nearly two hundred passengers on board Lion Air (JT 033) flying from Denpasar to Jakarta on Sunday, November 3, 2013, were delayed by more than 4 hours.  Bisnis.com reports these passengers are angered at Loin Air's refusal to honor an earlier promise and legal obligation to pay Rp 300,000 (US$27) in compensation.

The newspaper reports that the compensation promised to all passengers upon arrival on Sunday evening in Jakarta had yet to be paid on Monday.
The passengers were apparently also denied light refreshment as stipulated under the Aviation Law of 2011 (PM No. 77/20122) concerning commercial air passengers and flight delays.

Donald, a passengers scheduled to fly on JT 033, told the press that the plane was originally scheduled to depart Bali at 6:15 pm on Sunday evening. Several minutes before the scheduled departure time, a delay of the flight until 7:00 pm was announced due to late arrival of the aircraft from Jakarta. In the end, the plane departed Bali at 10:23 pm – more than four hours late.

Videos of angry passengers arguing with Lion Air in Bali were quickly posted to YouTube. The video shows a heated debate between Lion Air ground staff and angry passengers over compensation.

An Airline staff member named “Fendi”  assured passengers that compensation would be paid upon landing in Jakarta. In Jakarta, however, the promised compensation was not prepared or paid as primised on Monday morning, November 4, 2013.

According to the Bisnis.com, the secretary of the Lion Air Group, Aditya Simanjuntak, was unable to answer the newspaper’s questions on when the promised compensation would be paid. Meanwhile, more senior members of the Airline’s management were unavailable for comment due to their absence in Bangkok attending the launch of Thai Lion Air.

Bisnis.com published the following passenger-supplied chronology of the delayed flight incident for JT 033 Denpasar-Jakarta on Sunday, November 3, 2013:
  • JT 033 Denpasar-Jakarta was scheduled to depart at 6:15 pm. Several minutes before departure a delay announcement with the new time of 7:00 pm was made, blamed on later arrival of aircraft from Jakarta.
  • At 7:00 pm no boarding information was shared with the waiting passengers. At 7:45 pm an announcement of a delay until 10:00 pm was made by ground staff, blamed again on late arrival of aircraft from Jakarta.
  • At this point, passengers began approaching the Lion Air Counter requesting food and refreshments. Until 8:20 pm no Lion Air official was able to confirm that refreshments, as required under law, would be provided.
  • Growing increasingly frustrated, passengers began to approach and insist on compensation in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Transportation. Counter staff repeatedly told the waiting passengers that the chief of passenger handling Erick S, based in Jakarta, would coordinate the matter. 
  • When the flight was more than 4 hours late, passengers began demanding the Rp. 300,000 (US$27) – their entitlement under the law when a flight is fours late.
  • At 9:00 pm “Fendy” – a Lion Air ground staff at the departure gate in Bali promised passengers that compensation would be paid on the airplane and reportedly began shouting out a command “Get the money ready, Get the money ready.” When the gate opened, a portion of the passengers unsuccessfully demanded the compensation payment be made before they boarded, Around 30 passengers reportedly refused to board the aircraft.
  • Fendi reportedly called his Jakarta-based boss, Erick,  and told him “We’ve been hit by Ministerial Decree Number 77” and said he would sign a declaration for the payment of compensation would be paid in Jakarta. Passengers standing near the gate heard Fendy using the speakerphone facility on his Gemini Blackberry then received authorization from Erick to sign the promise to compensate.
  • Once the passengers boarded, a passenger in seat 10B discovered his seat had been double booked. Arrangements were made to find an empty seat. The airplane pushed back from its parking bay at 10:20 pm – four hours late.
  • The plane left at 10:30 pm. On board the flight no refreshments were distributed and no announcement on compensation was made. The flight crew did, however, offer paid meals for those passengers willing to pay for food or drink.
  • The plane landed in Jakarta at 11:00 pm local time. No passenger bus greeted the landing plane, leaving passengers to walk an estimated 300 meters to the terminal.
  • Attempts to secure compensation from Lion Air Staff inside the terminal were unsuccessful. Passengers were then told that Erick would meet with them and asked to wait.
  • A foreign passenger who scheduled a four-hour transit period in Jakarta to connect with a flight to Canada, missed his international flight by only 5 minutes, suffering a loss he claimed amounted to Rp. 17 million (US$1,550) .
  • 30 minutes after the aircraft landed in Jakarta, Erick, the Lion Air Staff in charge of passenger handling arrived, saying passengers would only receive food and drink, but no money. Erick told the passengers the delay was less than 4 hours.
  • The foreign passenger then demanded Lion Air help him find a new flight to Canada or provide compensation for the delayed flight and a hotel.
  • At midnight, Lion Air handed out boxes of food. Some passengers were reportedly sufficiently angry that they threw the offered food on the floor. The Lion Air agent, Erick. was adamant in insisting cash compensation for the delayed flight would not be paid and that the flight was not four hours late.
The Official Record

A check of the Flightaware.com website - an internationally recognized international on-line flight tracking system, records that the scheduled departure time of JT 033 on Sunday November 3, 2013 was 06:15 pm, but, in fact, actually departed Bali at 10:23 pm – clearly more than four hours after schedule. [Flightaware data

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Best Year Ever for Bali Arrivals
Bali by the Numbers: Australian Arrivals Stagnate as Bali Sets New Records Arrivals on the Way to 3.25 million Foreign Tourists for 2013

Total foreign arrivals to Bali for September 2013 totaled 309,216 – a record-high number of arrivals for the month and 26.9% more than the 243,722 foreign visitors who came to Bali in September 2012.

On a cumulative basis for January – September foreign arrivals hit 2,409,334 – an increase of 13.31% over the same nine month in the previous year.

On the assumption that the 13.3% growth rate is sustained through year’s end, Bali will surge past the psychological threshold of 3 million foreign visitors for the first time in its tourism history ending 2013 with 3.28 million foreign visitors.

Balidiscovery.com project total tourist arrivals, both foreign and domestic, will hit 7.25 million by year’s end 2013.
rmly in first place as Bali’s leading source of foreign visitors the Australian market is showing signs of stagnancy by declining 1.32% during January-September 2013 as compared to the same months in 2012. At 601,482 Australian visitors year-to-date through the end of September, Australians represent a 25% market share of all foreign arrivals to the Island.

Double-digit year-to-date growth was recorded from the following main source markets to Bali: Mainland China (28.60%), Japan (17.64%), South Korea (10.80%), France (17.31%), Taiwan (26.33%), U.S.A. (12.24%), Germany (14.53%), Russia (18.19%), and India (28.06%).


Moscow Rules
Russian Honorary Consul in Bali Seeks Higher Level of Security for Russian Visitors

The Honorary Consul for Russia in Bali, Chairul Nuku Kamka, has expressed concern over a number of recent criminal cases in Bali in which Russians visitors have been victims.

Saying Bali visitors need guarantees of safety, Kamka said: “Both villas and boarding houses used by foreigners need to be supervised by the government and law enforcement agencies. While the government is promoting Bali tourism in extraordinary ways, it also needs to provide guarantees of safety.”

Speaking to The Bali Post on Friday, November 1, 2013, Kamka, who also manages a travel organization handling Russian tourists to Bali, warned that without security guarantees Bali would only manage to attract low-quality tourists in the future. Adding, “Without supervision and a guarantee of security, even guests staying in hotels will lose their belongings.”

While admitting that Russian tourists prefer better quality hotels in the busier areas of South Bali, Kamka said attention must also be paid to home stays and boarding houses, commenting that problems in any area of Bali’s tourism industry can damage the destination’s image.

Through the end of September 2013, a total of 62,172 Russian tourists had visited Bali, an increase of 18.19 percent over the same period the year before. Kamka estimates that Russian tourists spend an average of 10-14 days when visiting Bali.

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Scraping by in Paradise
Province of Sets Minimum Wage of US$116 per Month in 2014

The province of Bali has increased the minimum wage by 11.8% stipulating that in 2014 the lowest wage that can be paid to a worker us Rp. 1,321,000 (US$116) per month.

In 2013, the minimum wage level was set at Rp. 1,181,000 (US$104).

Minimum wage levels are set by a Provincial Wage Board that announced the minimum salary payable for the coming year after meeting on October 29, 2013. The Board is comprised of members drawn from business leaders, union representatives and government officials.

As reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), the Head of the Bali Manpower and transmigration Office I Gusti Agung Ngurah Sudarsana, said, “We are now waiting for endorsement from the governor before the minimum wage could be officially implemented.”

The minimum wage is based on market surveys, inflation rates, economic growth rates and the financial capabilities of the business sector. The resulting amount is theoretically the minimum amount needed for an unmarried worker to maintain a minimum standard of living.

Sudarsana told the press that the minimum wage was tied to the financial capabilities of small and medium-sized enterprises, and it was generally assumed that businesses in Bali's large tourism sector would pay their lowest-earning employees at levels higher than the stipulated minimum.

The Manpower  Department Chief also admitted that enforcement of the minimum wage level was weak with many companies failing to pay the amount set by the provincial government, “This year, our monitoring team has reprimanded several employers for paying wages below the minimum,” he explained.


Bali: A Vestal for Virgin
Virgin Australia Adding 1,000 Seat Per Week to Bali

Virgin Australia has announced that it will add extra six flights per week to Denpasar, Bali from Australia’s east coast to support growing demand.

From December 19, 2013, the Airline will add an extra weekly service from Brisbane, two extra services from Sydney and a further three weekly services from Melbourne. The new flights will be timed to complement existing services and will add over 1,000 extra seats to Bali per week, providing even more choice to travelers.

Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer Judith Crompton said on Thursday, November 7, 2013: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to adapting our schedule to meet the demand of travelers.”

“Bali is one of Australia’s most popular international leisure destinations, visited by over 2.8 million Australians each year. By adding more than 1,000 seats per week, we will be able to support increased demand to this region."

“We have also invested in a number of product and service enhancements on our services to and from Bali, to enhance the travel experience for our customers. We are now pleased to offer inclusive hot meals and choice of beverages and, by the end of the year, our innovative new wireless in-flight entertainment system will be available on all flights to and from Bali.” Crompton said.

Virgin Australia’s 176-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft offering Business and Economy class will operate the flights.

Virgin Australia’s new in-flight entertainment system allows guests to download a free app prior to their flight to stream hundreds of hours of free entertainment to their own Wi-Fi enabled devices, including smart phones, laptops and tablets. Those wishing to download Virgin Australia’s free in-flight entertainment app, visit your device’s app store and search for ‘In-flight Entertainment by Virgin Australia’.

Special Offer

Order your tickets between Bali and Australia from Bali Discovery to obtain the best price available at the time of booking and obtain free round trip transfer from Bali’s airport and any location in Bali.

For more information [Email


Heaven Awaits
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Countdowns for Launch of Indonesia’s first Heavenly Spa by Westin

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali is counting down the remaining days to the official launch of Indonesia's first Heavenly Spa by Westin™. An integrated wellness center, the Spa is located within a new wing of the Resort and, according to its Creators, is determined to take personal indulgence on the island of Bali to unparalleled heights.
enly Spa by Westin™ is a nature-inspired sanctuary for total body, mind and spirit renewal. It will offer a nurturing menu that combines traditional spa services and ancient healing practices with a unique holistic approach to wellness. Comprehensive facilities include 16 contemporary treatment rooms and a luxury hair spa.

Key to the therapeutic benefits of all treatments are separate “his” and “hers” thermal facilities, which will include hydro-pools, salt-wall saunas and steam rooms. Guests will also be encouraged to unwind prior to spa rituals. An inner relaxation lounge acts as a pre and post treatment area with elixirs and SuperFoodsRX snacks.

Exclusive to Heavenly Spa by Westin™ are customized wet treatment facilities with a chromatherapy shower. Chromatherapy incorporates the use of colored lights in the shower, utilizing specific colors and combinations of color to create soothing effects.

'Purifying' treatments will include clay infusions in the steam room designed specifically for the wet rooms.

A daily holistic activity calendar will focus on meditation, yoga, Bangau Putih and Balinese rituals. With a semi-open Wellness Platform, dedicated programs and visiting practitioners will be available to serve both in-house guests and outside visitors

Heavenly Spa by Westin™ will open in early December 2013. Direct street access and ample parking is available for the convenience of outside visitors.

Book a Stay at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua


Park ‘n Sly
Bali Prosecutors Making Arrests in Corruption of US$2.44 Million in Parking Fees from Bali Airport

An operational manager at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport Michael Maksi has been detained by prosecutors in Bali in connection with the corruption of Rp. 28 billion (US$2.44 million) in parking fees from the Airport.

A spokesman for the Bali Prosecutor’s Office, Ashari Jurniawan, told Beritabali.com that in addition to arresting Maksi, the government has also identified four additional suspects for eventual arrest.

Michael Maksi holds the position of operational manager for PT Penata Sarana Parkir Bali (PT PSB) - the company appointed by the airport's managers, PT Angkasaa Pura I, to operate the airfield's parking concession.

He was arrested, after refusing repeated summons for questioning by Prosecutors, on October 31, 2013, while dining at a Babi Guling Restaurant in Kuta.

“The four people are strongly suspected of being involved in the corruption of parking fees totaling Rp. 28 billion. One was arrested some time ago and another, Maksi, has just been apprehended,” said Ashari on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Michael Maksi who was born in Manggarai (Flores) in 1971, is suspected of misusing parking fees collected at the airport between 2009 and 2011 amounting to Rp. 28 billion.

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Unity in Diversity
Indonesian President Opens Bali Democracy Forum and Explains How to Consolidate Democracy in a Pluralistic Society

The Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) was formally opened on Thursday, November 11, 2013, by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Nusa Dua.

In his opening address, the President presented his vision of  four pillars needed to consolidate democracy in countries with diversified population bases.

As reported by The Bali Post, President Yudhoyono said, first, the constitutional rights of every citizen must be guaranteed. “Those rights include freedom of religious worship, freedom of expression, equality before the law, non-discrimination, the protections of minorities and the due process of law. We give meaning to these rights that form the basis of our laws and regulations,” President Yudhoyono emphasized.

The Indonesian President also underlined the importance of continual strengthening of government departments and the legislative branch, while promoting a culture that honors human rights, freedom of the press and participation in civil society.

The second pillar in consolidating democracy in a diversified citizenry, said Yudhoyono, is the unfailing championing of the supremacy of law. Basic and fundamental rights embodied in the constitution and other laws and regulations must be honored. To do this, the President warned, needs the protection of minority rights.

The third pillar, said the President, is to promote the participation of the public in the decision-making process. To achieve this each country must be able to create an environment in which people feel they can influence public policy, he said.

The fourth pillar outlined by Yudhoyono is the promotion of interactions between various groups within a pluralistic society in order to achieve shared understandings, tolerance and social cohesion.

In closing, President Yudhoyono said Indonesia’s multi-party system presents both challenges and opportunities for the consolidation of democracy. The multi-party setting shows that a diversified population can identify common cause through frequent and open debate.


Put Up or Shut Up
Governor Pastika’s Election Team Challenges PDI-P Party to Prove Allegations of Election Fraud

Unhappy with a continuing diatribe against his victory in the race for Bali’s governorship as declared by the now-disgraced Constitutional Court, Governor Made Mangku Pastika has struck back, challenging those opposed to his election to provide proof of election fraud in the election held in May.

Quoted in The Jakarta Globe, Made Mudarta, who spearheaded the re-election of Pastika for a second term of office, referring to the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK), said: “For the individual who filed the reports, please provide evidence to the KPK. Don’t just slander, this is not good for the public.”

Pastika, who deserted the PDI-P Party at the end of his first term to run under a coalition of the Democratic Party and the Golkar Party, won the May 2013 election by a narrow margin of only 996 votes.

The PDIP Party who lost that election has accused Pastika’s campaign staff of paying Rp. 200 billion (US$17.6 million) in bribes to the chief of the Constitutional Court Akil Mochtar to rule in the governor’s favor.

Akil Mochtar has since been arrested by KPK officials, caught in the act of accepting bribes in a separate regional election.

Mudarta denies having paid bribes to Constitutional Court.

To put an end to allegations of wrongdoing by the PDI-P, Mudarta is challenging the opposition to submit all their evidence to the KPK and allow the matter to be settled once and for all.

Mudarta added: “That is why this needs to be immediately proven, and the sooner the better. If indeed it is proven, whoever is responsible should be punished.”

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Service you Can Canton
China Southern Airlines Launches Twice Weekly Flights Between Guangzhou and Bali

China Southern Airlines have introduced twice-weekly flight services between Guangzhou (Canton) and Denpasar, Bali.

The service that commenced on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 departed Guangzhou at 6:55 pm landing in Bali at 11:59 pm. The return leg left Bali at 1:00 am on Thursday, October 30, 2013 landing in Guangzhou at 6:10 am.

The twice-weekly non-stop service will leave Guangzhou for Bali each Wednesday and Saturday. The return flights from Bali to Guangzhou will fly on Thursdays and Sundays.

This is the first China Southern Airlines route to Bali.

The service will be flown with Boeing 737-800 aircraft configured to carry 163 passengers.


Nusa Dua Festival November 15-19, 2013
5-Day Nusa Dua Festival to Celebrate Culture, Sports and Entertainment

The 16th Edition of the Nusa Dua Festival will be held in and around the Nusa Dua Complex in South Bali from November 15-19, 2013.

A celebration that incorporates elements of art, culture, sports and entertainment - one of the highlights of this year’s event will be a unique Half-Marathon “Run Under the Stars” scheduled after sunset on  November 17, 2013 conducted on Bali’s new Mandara Toll Road.

The Indonesian Music Expo (IMEX) will also form part of this year's Nusa Dua Festival with leading musical acts from Indonesian and abroad slated to perform.

The theme of this year’s event is “Wana Lelanguan” – a call to conserve Indonesian natural environment and forest resources. In support of this theme film programs for children focusing on energy and sustainability and workshops on marine conservation will be conducted during the Festival.
ed program schedule for the Nusa Dua Festival is shown on www.balidisocvery.com .


Double Jeopardy
Bali Police Investigating Possible Corruption of Tanah Lot and Tabanan Regency Management Funds

The Bali Post reports that the way in which admission charge funds at Bali’s famous Tanah Lot Temple are distributed is again under scrutiny by Bali Police.

An investigative team from the Corruption Investigation Squad (tipikor) of the Bali Police has recently been on the scene in Tabanan looking into suspected fictional promotional funds amounting to Rp. 600 million (US$52,000) charged to the Regional Budget (APBD) in 2009.

At least four Tabanan officials underwent marathon interrogation by the police at the Tabanan Planning and Development Office (Bappeda) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. Subjected to questioning were the chief of Bappeda in Tabanan IB Wiratmaja, the chief of Tabanan’s Regional Revenue Office (Kasispenda) Nyoman Sudarma, the head of Tabanan’s Culture and Tourism Office Wayan Adnyana and the head of the Transportation and Communications office Made Agus Hartawiguna. Each was asked by police explain their respective official duties as they concern the operation of the Tanah Lot Temple, one of Bali’s most iconic tourism destinations.

During the course of their investigation police have reportedly discovered indications of fictional expenditures used to promote Tanah Lot in China and New Zealand. Preliminary indications suggest that the cost of the promotional trip was charged twice: once to regional budget of Tabanan and a second time to the budget of the management board for Tanah Lot.

“The regional government of Tabanan paid for the promotion of Tanah Lot. In fact, there was already an allocation for this amount from the management of Tanah Lot. This is suspected to be a fictive charge,” an unnamed source told The Bali Post on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Police are also looking into use of infrastructure funds for Tanah Lot that were diverted to promotional uses.

As part of the larger review, Police are investigating how admission fees collected from Tanah Lot visitors are shared with the regional government of Tabanan.

Several of the officials interrogated by the police were not in their current positions when the 2009 expenditures on promotion took place.

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Conquistador of Cuisine
InterContinental Bali Resort Names Christian Fumado as Director of Food & Beverage

InterContinental Bali Resort has appointed Christian Fumado as Director of Food & Beverage. He has arrived in Bali direct from a two-year stint with the newly opened InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam. In Vietnam Fumado assumed a pre-opening role that involved the conceptualization and set up of five dining venues.

Christian is a Spanish national with an extensive background that includes assignments in Michelin star-rated restaurants in England and Switzerland. Learning his craft with of Europe’s finest culinary experts, Fumado has worked as a Chef de Rang before being promoted to the role of Maître d’hôtel.

In 2008, Christian joined the pre-opening team for Atlantis The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai as a restaurant director. Later, he moved to The St. Regis Singapore as director of food & beverage where he oversaw kitchen refurbishments and instigated a highly anticipated calendar of social dining events.

At InterContinental Bali Resort, Christian assumes responsibility for all in-house culinary services. This involves overseeing the daily operations of five restaurants and two bars, each with its own distinct character and style of cuisine. Plans call for him to work closely with the executive chef to revitalize dining concepts.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Christian to our team. He comes with an impeccable culinary pedigree and a solid understanding of fine dining standards that will that will only elevate existing services at the resort. I am sure that his strong work ethic and passion for good food will serve as a source of inspiration for those under his leadership,” said Michel Chertouh, general manager of InterContinental Bali Resort.


Foreign Investment Cleared for Landing
Indonesia Preparing to Allow Foreign Investors to Provide Airport Services

Reuters reports that moves by the Indonesian government to bolster the economy will open new areas for foreign investment, including the nation's airports.

The Indonesia list of “negative investments” or areas closed to foreign investment will be shortened and liberalized, opening new areas to overseas investors.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economic Affairs, Hatta Rajasa, and the head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Mahendra Siregar. have proposed to the President that foreign investors be allowed to operate airport services in join-ventures with national investors.


London Pride to Sydney Side
Indonesian Ambassador to U.K. Proud Garuda to Commence London-Jakarta-Sydney Thrice-Weekly Service in May 2014

The Indonesian Ambassador to London and Ireland, Hamzah Thayeb, has expressed his pride at the coming resumption of service to London by the Indonesian National Carrier Garuda Indonesia and the prospects for further growth in U.K. Visitors to Indonesia.

Speaking to the State News Agency Antara, Hamzah said: “I am proud that Garuda will once again serve the route London-Jakarta. The service of Garuda stands out in comparison to other international carriers.

Ambassador Hamzah’s comment was made while attending World Travel Mart (WTM) in London.

Visiting the Indonesian stand at WTM, the Ambassador sampled a business class seat on display from the Boeing 777-300ER that will operate on the London to Jakarta route commencing on May 24, 2014.

The Boeing 777-300ER will fly non-stops London to Jakarta and depart for Sydney after a short technical stop.

Garuda will join other Asian carriers serving the U.K. market in May – a circle of competitors that includes Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines and Brunei Airlines.

Garuda has recently received two prestigious awards. Skytrax has acknowledged the quality of Garuda’s economy class service and as having the best economy seating in the world.

Erik Meijer, the director of marketing and sales for Garuda Indonesia, who was also attending WTM, said, “Garuda Indonesia is the only airlines that flies directly Europe to Australia via Jakarta.”

Garuda will fly three times a week between London and Sydney with an intermediate stop in Jakarta.

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Bali: Island of a Thousand Temples
Governor Pastika Proposes Making Leading Temples Across Bali Off-Limit to Tourist Visitors

Perhaps an outcome of the continuing debate over the establishment of the Besakih Temple and the surrounding slopes of Mount Agung as Strategic National Tourism Areas (KSPN), Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has declared he intends to close major temples (Pura Sad Kahyangan and Pura Dang Kahyangan) to tourist visitors. The Governor also says he will communicate to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to cancel plans to establish 11 KSPN on the Island.

The Governor made his shocking pronouncement at the closing of a workshop on the “Future Development of Bali’s Tourism” held at his office on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

The workshop, that was held to discuss the pros and cons of creating a KSPN at Besakih and Mount Agung, was attended by a wide range of community leaders. Among those in attendance was the Deputy Minister for Resource Development from the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Dr. I Gede Pitana; the vice-governor of Bali Ketut Sudikerta and a cross sample of religious and community leaders from across Bali.

The Governor told the group that he was committed to closing all Pura Sad Khayangan and Pura Dang Khayangan to tourist visits and tourist activities at some point over the coming five years. Pastika said he wanted to finally end the strong disagreements and the developing polemic on the sanctity of Balinese temples. 'Pura (temples) - it is decided - should be clean of activities outside the interest of the Hindu faithful, at least at 'Pura Sad Kahyangan' and 'Pura Dang Kahyangan'.”

Continuing, the Governor said: “This is not retaliation. Let’s be done with it. 'Pura' shall no longer be considered as tourism attractions, (let’s) close the 'pura' for tourism activities. What’s more, someone read the 'bhisama' to me (Hindu dogma). If this touches on the leader receiving Gods punishment, I am genuinely afraid.”

There are six pura sad kahyangan (temples of the word) proposed by the Governor to be off-limits to tourists visitors are:
  • Pura Besakih on the slopes of sacred Mount Agung.
  • Pura Luhur Uluwatu – the much visited inhabited by a troupe of monkeys located on the Bukit Peninsula, near Nusa Dua.
  • Pura Lempuyang Luhur at Karangasem in East Bali.
  • Pura Goa Lawah – the much-visited Bat Cave near Kusamba in East Bali.
  • Pura Batukaru on Gunung Batukaru.
  • Pura Pusertasik in Gianyar.
The six pura dang khayangan are temples dedicated to religious teachers and their lesson.
  • Pura Dasar Buana near Gelgel.
  • Pura Silayukti located on a hilltop near Padang Bai.
  • Candi Agung Gumuk Kancil near Banyuwangi, West Bali.
  • Pura Gunung Raung near Taro, Gianyar.
  • Pura Bukit Sinunggal located in the village of Tajun, Kubutambahan.
  • Pura Rambut Siwi located 17 kilometers east of Negara in West Bali.
Pastika emphasized that all puras in Bali will be required to protect all components, including tourism areas. “Later, we will talk with the tourism sector about this situation. I offer my apologies to friends who already have pan to celebrate the anniversary ('piodalan') of puras,” Pastika said.

Pastika has also declared that for the present time the establishment of KSPN in Bali would not go ahead. This prohibition would not apply to only to Besakih-Mount Agung, but to all 11 KSPN mentioned in the 2011 declaration by the central government, namely:
  • The Pura Besakih and Mount Agung Area.
  • North Bali and Singaraja
  • Menjangan Island and Pemuteran Area.
  • West Bali National Park and surrounding areas.
  • Bedugul and surrounding areas.
  • Sanur - Nusa Dua - Kuta Cooridor
  • Nusa Penida Island and surrounding areas.
  • Ubud and surrounding areas.
  • Lake Batur and surrounding areas.
  • Tulamben-Ahmed and surrounding areas.
  • Amuk and surrounding area.
Rp. 5 billion had already been allocated to fund the proposal phase of the KSPN project in Bali,  with all areas listed in the KSPN plan slated to eventually receive funding support from Jakarta for upgrading and tourism infrastructutre support.

The Governor said that in the course of the spirited debate on KSPN for Besakih-Gunung Agung many had urged him to abandon plans to safeguard the areas by abandoning the KSPN plan. “I therefore concluded, don’t introduce KSPN to Bali yet, because there are so many pura. It will only become more difficult. Therefore areas must be kept clean within a certain radius of a pura. This is a sensitive problem. Those looking for problems are indeed clever; they look for sensitive points such as this. Miss World has come to pray at the Besakih Temple; that is enough!” said Pastika.

Pastika said he would report to President Yudhoyono who was attending the Bali Democracy Forum, asking that the 11 KSPN designations in Bali be suspended. Adding: “I will ask that this be considered. If necessary, the Rp. 5 billion allocated by the Central Government to pay for a KSPN Consultant will be returned.”

The Governor’s bold pronouncement to close major Balinese temples across Bali to tourist visits has ignited a new a very lively debate among religious leaders, academics, students, tourism industry managers, and political and community leaders.

Some are accusing the Governor of pique, involving himself in payback to those opposed to efforts to his now- abandoned plan to transform Pura Besakih into a KSPN. Those most vehemently opposed to the change-of-status for Besakih argued that Bali’s Mother Temple was a sacred place of worship, threatening Pastika and Bali with damnation (e.g. earthquakes, tsunami, plague and floods) if the Governor persisted with his plans for special national heritage status for the area.

Others, in sympathy with the Governor’s plans for KSPN status for Besakih, point to blatant power grabs and over-commercialization by small traders and illegal tours guides who victimize tourist visitors to Bali most sacred temple.

The Governor’s plans would make the listed temples only available for those involved in prayer and religious ceremonies. Tourists would be relegated to viewing the sites from the outside only.

It is assumed that the closure of the temples may also include a strict enforcement of rules prohibiting tourist activities within a pre-set radius around sacred temples.


Proceed with Care
Three-Day Road Blockade of Bali’s Northern Coastal Highway Ends as Chief of Police Meets with Protesting Villagers

After being blockaded for almost three days, the major road connecting Bali’s former northern capital of Singaraja and the western port of Gilimanuk was re-opened to traffic early on Saturday morning, November 9, 2013.

The road, blocked by villagers from Sumberkelampok seeking permanent title to their squatter land, was reopened after Bali Chief of Police Inspector General Albertus Julius Benny Mokalu came to the location of the protest and met with villagers.

Mokalu arrived at Sumberkelampok on Friday, November 11, 2013 arriving at 10:30 pm. He was accompanied by the Deputy Chief of Police for Bali, General Dewa Putu Anom the Head of Police Operations in Bali Commissioner Alit Widana, and the head of the Buleleng police precinct Benny Arjanto.

Arriving in the middle of the night, Bali’s top cop met with the protestors from Sumberkelampok. Mokalu listened to local citizens’ demands to obtain formal ownership of their squatter-land that been their adress for decades.

He also heard protestors’ demands that Governor Pastika come to their village and explain why a promised recommendation to obtain land title on thier state-owned land has not been issued.

Chief Mokalu told the protestors that he would facilitate their desires and bring their aspirations to the Governor.

During that meeting, Mokalu called on the people to re-open the road and end their disruption of public activities.

At 2:00 am the citizens meeting with the Police Chief announced they would re-open the road. A short time later, assisted by police, 40 separate roadblocks were removed from the road and tents set up on the road were dismantled.

Heavy construction equipment form the Department of Public Works were also deployed to remove fallen trees and lime stone boulders placed by the protestors on the road.

Shortly before sunrise traffic began moving again on the road.

The Bali Post reports that policemen helping to clear the road sang songs to the villagers, while the Chief of Police gave supplies to children and materials to help repair a local hall.

Chief Mokalu thanked the people of Sumberkelampok for taking the initiative to reopen the road.

A village spokesman refused the offer to meet with the Governor in Denpasar, insisting that Pastika must  travel to Sumberkelampok to meet with the squatters.

Separately, as reported by DenPost, the Governor said he acknowledged the desire of the people to have title on the land, but any such transfer of ownership would require the recommendation of the Bali Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD). In order for the land ownership to be assigned to the people of Sumberkelampok, an appeal needs to be made to the DPRD.

To this end, Governor Pastika said he would try to convene a meeting on between the DPRD-Bali, DPRD-Buleleng and the Regent of Buleleng as soon as possible.


Toke 'n Punishment
Belgium Painter Gets All Expensed 10-Month Holiday in Bali for Marijuana Possession

A 38-year-old Belgian Man Nicholas Lottefier has been sentenced 10 months imprisonments, found guilty of carrying 0.23 grams for of marijuana through Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

The small amount of cannabis were found in Lottefier’s possession after he disembarked AirAsia 2970 from Bangkok on March 24, 2013.

Lottefier who lists his occupation as a house painter in Belgium, told the court he has smoked marijuana since the age of 14 and had purchased the small amount of marijuana for personal use during a stop in New Delhi.

The Denpasar District Court handed down the sentence.


Indonesia’s Eastern Boom
Sky Aviation Launches Daily Flights Bali to Maumere and Kupang

Sky Aviation commenced scheduled flight service between Denpasar (Bali) – Maumere (Flores) and Kupang on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The flight route commences and ends in Surabaya, East Java.

The daily flight will use a Sukhoi SSJ 100 aircraft configured for 75 economy seats and 12 business class passengers.

The Sky Aviation flights will offer full-service in business class and medium service in business class.

This Sukhoi SSJ 100 are able to land on 1700 meters runway, 4 tons of cargo carrying capacity, very roomy and comfortable passenger seating, a large luggage storage area and low fuel consumption.

A unique feature of all Sky Aviations flights in Indonesia is the automatic inclusion of Rp. 1.25 billion is loss of life coverage on all flights.

Sky Aviation currently operates 12 aircrafts: Sukhoi Superjet 100 (2 ) Boeing 737-300 (1), Fokker 100 VIP (1), Fokker 50 (5), Cessna Grand Caravan (1) and Cirrus (2).

Sky Aviation has purchased 12 Sukhoi Superjet 100 for delivery through 2015. 


Adventures in Paradise
Join Explorer and Adventure Travel Expert Mike McDowell on a Komodo and Eastern Indonesia Adventure April 28 – May 12, 2013

A few cabins remain on a first-come-first-served basis to join a select group of interested and interesting voyagers on an exclusive 14-day sailing around the island of Flores and the Komodo National Park departing Maumere, Flores on April 28, 2014.

Join Explorer Mike McDowell on a Unique Voyage of Discovery

The voyage will be led and hosted by Mike McDowell, an internationally acclaimed expert in Adventure Travel who is returning to Eastern Indonesia revisit some of the dive spots and island visits he first pioneered by boat in the late 1970s and 1980s.
uo;s adventure tourism company, Quark Expeditions, started operations in 1985 specializing in small focused diving trips in remote regions, particularly around eastern Indonesia. The business developed into a thriving adventure tourism and eco-tourism venture.

Before that, Mike worked on polar travel expeditions with the famous little ship - the Lindblad Explorer. The Lindblad made multiple polar visits, journeying to many islands and atolls in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and visited remote ports of Africa and South America.

A love of adventure lured Mike back to the polar regions for a number of years, but, by the 1990s, he had shifted focus once more to concentrate on deep ocean exploration and travel into space.

Another of Mike’s ventures, Deep Ocean Quest, took passengers in the deep-sea MIR submersibles to visit the RMS Titanic in over 3,700 meters of water in the Atlantic, and to the Bismarck, which sank in over 4,700 meters of water and now rests on the side of an extinct underwater volcano. Mike has also organized visits to the fantastic abyssal hydrothermal vents of the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Mike was included in the first group to dive 4,500 meters under the ice to reach the true North Pole in 2007. In 2012, Mike organized the logistics and participated in the search for the elusive giant squid in the deep waters off the coast of Japan, which was filmed as a documentary for NHK TV Japan and Discovery Channel US.

Greg Mortimer and Mike together were the first Australians to climb Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Mike has also climbed Mt Everest, to 8,000 meters.

Not content with splashing about in the ocean, dog sledding across Greenland and scaling difficult heights, Mike is also involved in Zero Gravity Corporation, to provide people with the opportunity to experience weightlessness. He is also involved with Space Adventures, the only company that presently can take private adventurers into space to visit the International Space Station.

In between, Mike loves to organize natural history and scuba diving expeditions in the remote equatorial regions of Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Indonesia and Pacific Ocean atoll groups. Every trip is an adventure, and every time Mike says he is reminded of his great fortune in being able to travel to see such marvels.

Commenting on his coming trip to Eastern Indonesia, Mike says: “They say our world has shrunk, that global technology and modern travel have diminished remaining frontiers. That’s never going to be true while there are people with enthusiastic hearts and a sense of curiosity. This dive trip around Komodo in April and May 2014 is a gentle, relaxing charter on a very special boat. Guests wishing to chill out on board, or hike along distant beaches, or come for a dive, are warmly welcomed.”

The Seven Seas

The Seven Seas – is a 45-meter, traditionally built Buginese schooner known for its high standards as an Indonesian live aboard ship. Custom-designed to accommodate up to 16 guests in spacious comfort over three decks, she is perfect for both diving and relaxation.

The rooms, main dining room, and deck areas are all wonderfully arranged. The four double & four twin state rooms are finished to a high standard and come with king size beds in the doubles and large single beds in the twins. The en-suite bathrooms have powerful hot and cold-water shower, hot and cold water washbasins, full-sized WC and a hairdryer. The main lounge and inside dining areas is fully air-conditioned but all windows can be fully opened to let the breeze through, which is usually the nicest experience. Two double cabins are situated on the upper deck, commanding panoramic views from the windows.

A shaded lounging area aft on the upper deck, as well as shaded lounge beds in front of the wheelhouse are great areas for sunsets and cocktails.
The spacious dive deck, multiple compressors, fully equipped dive shops, comfortable speedboats and first-rate dive guides promise a world class diving experience. 6 double sea kayaks are available for further adventures.

The state-of-the-art galley serves mouth-watering buffets & a selection of fine wines to complete the experience.

The Itinerary

The 14-day exploration allows full days of shore and diving explorations with stops at seldom visited parts of Flores and the Komodo National Park.

The itinerary will serve only as a rought indication of the awaiting 14-day exploration program that will allow participants to a consultative role in deciding the next stop, often plotting a stop an an unexplored region still possible in the Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,500 islands.

Komodo National Park is a World Heritage site situated in the straits between Sumba and Flores and consists of the three larger islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller ones. Because of its unique geology, the islands have developed equally unique wildlife. With dragons on land and a utopia underwater, you there are an array of dive sites and hiking trails to suit every level of experience.)

From pristine corals, mantas, sharks, turtles, dolphins, dugong and giant pelagics to tiny pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs and frogfish, the diversity of marine life is both inspiring and mind-boggling. The islands feature a dramatic wild savannah landscape with patches of forest, especially on the southern hills of Komodo and Rinca. White and red sand beaches, blue lagoons teeming with fish and some of the most spectacular underwater scenery in the world entices divers and guests from around the world.
The underwater topography is as varied as the marine life it homes. Dive sites vary from gentle coral slopes to sheer cliff walls, channels, flat bottoms, pinnacles, caves, swim-throughs and a host of hard and soft corals.

Komodo boasts countless beautiful deserted beaches, hiking trails, great wildlife, and shallow reefs for snorkeling and lagoons for water-skiing and 
superb for diving and snorkeling
  • Hikes of 45 minutes to 2.5 hrs to see the Komodo dragons, wild deer, horses and buffaloes
  • Deserted beaches and surrounding hills are ideal for sunset drinks on the beach
  • Bays where the boat will anchor are perfect for afternoon water-skiing
  • Slow tours with one of the tenders or kayaks to explore the coastline from the water
  • Fishing is allowed in the pelagic fishing zone and outside the National Park
The Nuts and Bolts

A limited number of cabins are still available at the cost of US$5,150 per person  based on twin-sharing and covering meals, snacks, coffee-tea, drinking water, and diving and shore excursions.

Flights between Denpasar and Maumere on April 18 and from Labuan Bajo to Bali on May 2 are not included and will cost an estimated US$250. 

For more information or to deposit a space [Email]  

More Information on The Seven Seas Vessel


Tales of Hoffman
American Lawyer Rescued from Ubud River Ravine by First Response Team of Toya Medika Clinic

An American lawyer on holiday in Bali narrowly escaped tragedy on a late-night ride in Ubud, Central Bali on a newly purchased bicycle left him semi-conscious and badly injured at the bottom of a ravine.

Michael Hoffman from San Francisco had finished his dinner at an Ubud Restaurant and decided to ride his mountain-bike back to his hotel.
g from memory, Hoffman turned onto Jalan Kajeng, just after passing the Starbuck Café. Further down the quiet street he turned again into a small alley that led to a path through a local rice field.

A wrong turn and a miscalculation saw the America and his bicycle fall into a deep river ravine at Juwuk Manis.

A fall of more than 15-meters down the steep riverbank left Hoffman dazed and bleeding, and sufficiently far off the beaten track in Ubud that his calls for help at that late hour were not heard over the sounds of the rushing water.

With broken ribs and other injuries that prevented him from climbing back up the vertical embankment, Hoffman managed to find his hand phone in his backpack and, lacking any local number, called a friend in San Francisco to describe his predicament. He was only able to offer a landmark of a road near Starbucks and his personal sense that he was in a ravine near a waterfall. 

The resourceful San Francisco colleague soon found the name and 24-hour number of the Toya Medika Clinic in Ubud on the Internet and called at 1:30 a.m. in an urgent appeal for assistance to help his injured friend/

A well-trained first-response team immediately commenced a search pattern based on the scanty information relayed by Hoffman via San Francisco. When the Clinic’s ambulance could not pass narrow alleyways, the recue team moved to motorbikes searching up and down the riverbanks of the several streams that converge in Central Ubud.

After two hours and responding to a small blinking light seen in a deep ravine, Nik, a rescuer, stopped his motorbike and called out “Mike” to which he received an immediate response of a plea for “help”. Nik thentold the American to stay quiet and conserve his energy as help was on the way.

In a scene worthy of a Hollywood adventure film, first responders gathered at the ravine's edge and rappelled down to the injured man with ropes, pulleys and medical gear. Mike later described how a strong Balinese man “built like a soldier” took command of his 6’2”, 200 pound frame like he was rag doll, fitted him into a full body harness and, with the help of the rescue team, hauled him up to the ravine’s edge.

Despite the enveloping darkness, the team also managed to mount a rescue of Mike’s new bike that was, in fact, much better off after the fall than its owner.

A short ride on a motorbike brought Hoffman to a waiting ambulance and another short ride to the Toya Medika Clinic where X-rays confirmed two broken ribs and a broken nose.

Following his harrowing rescue, Michael Hoffman is full of praise for the first-response team of the Toya Medika Clinic in Ubud, permitting us to share his story and a picture taken upon arrival at the Clinic.

Fortunately, Hoffman is making a full recovery and planning a return visit to Bali in a few months’ time.

For a more detailed account of Michael Hoffman’s mishap and his heroic rescue visit the Ubud Now and Then Website 

A word to the wise: some numbers worth keeping at hand, whether you live in Ubud or San Francisco:

Toya Medika Clinic
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Telehone: +62-(0)361-978078 or++62-(0)361-2189000
Website: toyamedikaclinic.com
Skype: toyamedika


 
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Bali Update #665
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Bali Update #664
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Bali Update #663
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Bali Update #661
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Bali Update #660
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Bali Update #659
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Bali Update #658
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Bali Update #657
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Bali Update #656
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Bali Update #655
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Bali Update #654
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Bali Update #652
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Bali Update #651
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Bali Update #650
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Bali Update #649
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Bali Update #648
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Bali Update #647
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Bali Update #646
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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #638
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Bali Update #636
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #626
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Bali Update #625
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #622
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Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #620
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #617
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #601
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #599
March 03, 2008

Bali Update #598
February 25, 2008

Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
February 04, 2008

Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #592
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #581
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #579
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Bali Update #578
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Bali Update #577
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #572
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
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Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #563
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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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 #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #539
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Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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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 #514
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Bali Update #508
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