Bali News 2015 week 3

Monumental Competition

Tanah Lot Temple Wants to Increase Admission Charge by 400% reports that the operating authority for the iconic Tanah Lot Temple off Bali’s west coast plans to increase admission fees on the argument  that current fees are much lower the admission fees to the Borobudur Temple Complex in Central Java.


Plans to increase the entrance fees to the Tanah Lot Temple were recently announced by the manager of the Tanah Lot Complex, Toya Adnyana.


According to Toya, the recommendation for the increased ticket price will be presented to the management board of the complex. Toya defends the move saying the cost of visiting the Borobudur Monument is much higher than Tanah Lot.


“If agreed, the plan is to increase the admission price to US$5 per person for foreign visitors, while domestic visitors will be asked to pay between Rp. 15,000 to Rp. 20,000 per visitor (US$1.25 – US$1.66),” explained Toya.


These prices are an increase from the current tariff of Rp. 15,000 to Rp. 30,000 for foreigners (US$1.25 –US$2.50). and Rp. 7,500 to Rp. 10,000 for domestic visitors (US$)0.63 –US$0.83).


If the increase is agreed it will not be introduced until 2016 to allow time for  socialization to travel agents.


Plans are also to add 16 CCTV cameras at Tanah Lot to enhance security at the Park Complex.



Putting it all On Line

Garuda Indonesia Makes a Quantum Leap in On-Line Digital Marketing


On Thursday, January 15, 2015, Garuda Indonesia launched the “Garuda Indonesia New Digital Experience” via a range of on-line digital services that include: Garuda SocialMiles, Garuda Indonesia Youtube Brand Channel, social media channel and an entire new look, feel and functionality for the website


The Garuda Indonesia New Digital Experience represents an effort by the national flag carrier to realize the potential for on-line bookings and ecommerce via a new digital platform.


The director of marketing for Garuda Indonesia, Handayani, told the press that fast-paced development in digital marketing technology demands that the Airline continues to innovate in delivering the on-line services to its passengers, especially in the making on-line bookings easier.


Garuda Indonesian New Digital Experience introduces a number of new digital services, such as the travel community platform Garuda Social Miles – a customized platform for travelers to exchange information, photos, experiences and videos about interesting destinations.


Garuda SocialMiles features a number of informative features such as Travelopedia intended to become the Wikipedia for thousands of destinations found across Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke.


Travelopedia allow users to read information on a destination, rate it, review and share favorites places with other members of the community. Another feature Discovery offers thematic content on the unique attractions of Indonesia allowing users to rate and share their favorite destinations.


The Garuda SocialMiles Platform is complemented with a Travel Assistant feature that include a Travel Planner and Travel Diary that allows travelers to map out and plan a travel itinerary, inspired by the information provided by Travelopedia and Discover. Another feature, Travel Lounge contains tips and tutorial videos on subjects such as photography, packing and hotel selection.


Users of Garuda SocialMiles will earn points for uploading information that can be converted into Garuda Miles and redeemed for interesting rewards.


The Garuda Indonesia Youtube Brand Channel provides videos on the Garuda Indonesia Experience, marketing information and even profiles of cabin crew.


Garuda is using the re-launch of its website to simultaneously revitalize its social media network that includes Instagram (@garuda.indonesia), Facebook (official Garuda Indonesia) and Twitter (@IndonesiaGaruda).


One of the more unique feature of the new website is BidUpgrade - permitting passengers to bid for available upgrades from Economy Class to Business Class.



Non-Stop to the Heart of the Middle Kingdom

Garuda Commences Thrice Weekly Flights Between Beijing and Denpasar, Bali


On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Garuda Indonesia commenced service on its new Denpasar to Beijing service as part of the Indonesian National Flag Carriers plan to increase mainland Chinese tourism to Bali and the rest of Indonesia.


The inaugural flight ceremony welcoming the first flight from Beijing was held in the International Arrival Hall of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport attended by the Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, the Vice-Governor of Bali I Ketut Sudikerta and the CEO of Garuda M. Arif Wibowo.


Speaking at the occasion, the CEO of Garuda M. Arif Wibowo declared that the opening of service between Beijing and Bali forms part of the Airline's desire to widen its international network with an emphasis on Chinese travel. “China at this moment is a market that is very important to Garuda with the potential of 100 million tourists. With this potential, China is one of the areas of the world that has become the focus of Garuda Indonesia’s international route network,” explained Wibowo.


Continuing, Wibowo said: “As part of the efforts to maximize its share of the Chinese market, Garuda Indonesia will also increase its capacity between China by operating charters from several Chinese cities to Denpasar and Manado over the coming Chinese New Year.”


Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya welcomed the new service between Beijing and Bali. “Hopefully the opening of the new route between Beijing and Denpasar will increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia, especially Bali that can in turn introduce destinations beyond Bali - such as Lombok, Manado and other places,” he said.


The new Beijing to Denpasar service will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flight GA 893 leaves Beijing at 6:30 am and lands in Denpasar at 1:50 pm. The return leg GA 892 Denpasar to Beijing leaves at 9:45 pm landing in Beijing at 5:00 am the following morning.


On Fridays GA 892 leaves Denpasar at 11:45 pm and land in Beijing at 6:30 am. On Saturdays the flight from Beijing leaves at 8:50 am to land in Bali at 4:10 pm.


The new service is being operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft configured to carry 222 passengers with 36 business seats and 186 economy seats.


With the new Beijing-Bali service Garuda Indonesia now flies 7 times a week between Beijing and the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Denpasar.


Garuda also offers flights to Shanghai and Guangzhou.


All Chinese flights include a number of Chinese flight attendants to assist communication with passengers.



The Bane of Brisbane

Garuda Axes Direct Bali to Brisbane, Australia Flights


Garuda Indonesia has announced that it will end its direct flight service connecting Denpasar (Bali) and Brisbane, Australia, effective February 1, 2015.


JetStar and Virgin Australia also serve the highly competitive air corridor.


Garuda describes the flight termination as part of a global rationalization of its route network, caused in part by the weakening Indonesian Rupiah and other cost factors.


Also affected by the rationalization of routes is Japan where some flights have been curtailed.


To balance it books Garuda is also advancing the retirement date of some of the older aircraft in its fleet, subleasing some of its planes, and reducing the number of business-class seats on its Boeing 737-800s from 12 to eight.



A Booming Bali

Bali Economy to Grow by More than 6% in 2015


The State News Agency Antara reports that the economy of Bali is projected to grow between 6.0 to 6.5% in 2015, driven largely by the Island's tourism industry.


The projections were made by the Bali office of Bank Indonesia.


Dewi Setyowati, of Bank Indonesia in Bali, said: "Our economic activities will increase in 2015 following the recovery of the economies of the United States, Europe and Australia."


Bank Indonesia sees Bali’s future fortunes in 2015 tied to an improving global economy that will feed more visitors and Bali exports.


A Bank Indonesia survey pointed to strong consumption as playing a “significant role” in Bali’s economic growth that in turn will feed income growth.


The Bank cited the decision to expand the number of countries entitled to visa-free entry would also contribute to Bali’s tourism growth. However, despite promises by the Minister of Tourism that China, Australia, South Korea and Japan would obtain a “visa free” status” in January, that program had yet to materialize by mid-January 2015.


Setyowati also pointed to new road sin Bali to link Singaraja and Gilamanuk and irrigation projects at fueling economic growth.


Inflation in Bali in 2015 is projected to be in the 5.1 to 6.1% range.


The rate of inflation for the last five years ending in 2014 for the Island averaged 6.18%.




Day of Judicial Reckoning Nears for Noor

Wife of Murdered Bali Expat Bob Ellis to Soon Stand Trial in Denpasar


The case of murder of an Australian-British expatriate in Bali by his Indonesian wife is moving closer towards trial.


The wife of Robert Kevin Ellis (60), Julaika Noor Aini reportedly sealed an agreement with a Rp. 150 million (US$ 12,500) payment and a "pinky shake"  with the men who stabbed and choked her husband to death at the Villa Emerald Complex in Sanur.


On Thursday, January 15, 2015, Bali police sent the evidence files for Noor and six accomplices to State Prosecutors.


Noor told police she was taking revenge on her husband for his marital infidelities and his refusal to provide more money to his wife. She paid hosehold staff and their friends to commit the murder. Also going to trial ate Andrianus Ngongo, Urbanus Yohgogi, Yohanes Sairokodu, Marlina Bela and Yuliana Bill - who all took different parts in the murder plot.


Police continue to seek two more men from the Island of Sumba who also participated in the murder and are hiding from police.


Prosecutors could charge Noor with premeditated murder, which carries a possible death sentence.



Management or Labor to Blame?

Police Discover Another Wave of Illegal Chinese Workers at PLTU Celukan Bawang Project


Repeating a familiar pattern of flagrant violation of manpower and immigration rules, at least 8 illegal Chinese workers employed at the Celukan Bawang Power Generation Plant (PLTU) have been discovered by North Bali Police.


As reported by, police raided four dormitories for workers at the PLTU Celukan Bawang Project in North Bali on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. The staff accommodations were located at the PLTU Celukan Bawang Project, the Village of Celukan Bawang and the Village of Tinga-Tinga.


In those raids a number of Chinese were found to be working at the project without the proper immigration and manpower permits.


A police spokesman said that no action has been taken against the apparently illegal workers other than recording their personal details for follow up action by immigration and manpower officials in Singaraja.

During the raids, one Indonesian worker without a local residency permit, 1 Chinese citizen without a passport and seven Chinese workers without the proper visa were netted.


In the past, other illegal Chinese workers at the PLTU Celukan Bawang Project have been processed and deported by immigration officials. Apparently, no criminal sanctions have been imposed on the owners of the project who employed the workers to come to Bali.



Bongs on Nusa Lembongan?

Nusa Lembongan Mentioned as Growing Center for Illicit Narcotics Trade


The National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) is in the process of closely monitoring Nusa Lembongan Island, located just off the southeast coast of Bali, as an area suspected of heavily infestation by narcotics distribution, according to I Gusti Ketut Budiarta, the chief of BNN in Bali.


Quoted by, Budiarta said on Wednesday, January 14, 2015: “Nusa Lembongan remains one of our targets, because narcotics distribution continues to take place there. We have taken actions in many of Indonesia’s island, one of which us the Island of Nusa Lembongan that is popular with foreign tourists.”


Budi said that in keeping with the declaration by President Joko Widodo that Indonesia is in an emergency narcotics situation, the BNN in Bali has increased its vigilance and is taking steps to prevent the circulation of illegal narcotics in and around Bali.


According to the BIN official, Nusa Lembongan’s growing popularity as a site for hotels, villas, dive and surfing operations also makes it an increasingly attractive location for drug transactions.



A Misguided Policy for Aviation

Center for Aviation Thinks Official Changes Underway in Aviation Misguided and Counter-Productive


The prestigious Center for Aviation (CAPA) published on January 14, 2015 an analysis of plans by the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation to set minimum fare levels for commercial air fares as “misguided, a bad precedent” and in the end “counterproductive.”


CAPA described Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan’s decision to set minimum fares as a “knee jerk” response to a recent air disaster.


Presented by the Ministry as steps motivated to enhance aviation safety, the CAPA article argues that the policy will, in the end,  prove counterproductive in terms of safety.


CAPA maintains that the Indonesian aviation sector is “over-regulated” and populated with “unnecessary and impractical rules governing fares and splitting airlines into categories.”  A more productive approach, they suggest, is for deregulation of the national aviation sector with more emphasis laid on developing and upgrading the supporting aviation infrastructure to bring them into conformity with global standards.


While the Indonesian aviation sector has undergone a doubling in size over the past five years, that growth slowed in 2014 with almost all airlines failing to turn a profit. Because of this, the new Transportation Minister’s decision to set minimum fares is extremely ill timed and, according to CAPA,  threatens to adversely interfere in the commercial operations of Indonesia’s air carriers.


CAPA reports that Indonesia’s 14 commercial airlines are already heavily regulated, by setting maximum fares that can be charged. Indonesian airlines are also broken down into three categories divided in terms of the amount of luggage included in the fare and the amount of in-flight service provided.


Indonesia already has a price floor, which, in theory, prohibits airlines from charging less than 30% of the ceiling price. But in practice, Indonesia has routinely provided exemptions for Low Cost Airlines (LCCs) to offer fares well below this floor price. By allowing such exemptions, Indonesia seemed to recognize that offering some seats at very cheap prices was an important component of a sustainable LCC marketing model.


CAPA claims that flexibility in pricing is crucial for the low cost carrier business model permitting these carriers to stimulate market demand and achieve the high load factors necessary to sustain financial viability


By trying set minimum fares at higher levels CAPA accuses the Transportation Minister of undermining the profitability of Indonesian airlines with such steps having absolutely no connection to aviation safety.


CAPA also insists that the Minister would do better to focus “on accelerating infrastructure investments to expand airports and upgrade ATC (air traffic control) facilities. Taking such steps, CAPA says, would support future growth in the aviation sector.


The CAPA Article: Indonesia’s Price Floor For Airlines Is Misguided, A Bad Precedent And Will Be Counterproductive



Does Size Really Matter?

Eight Teenagers in North Bali Apprehended after Nude Motorcycle Tour Goes Badly Wrong reports that 8 senior and junior high school boys were forced to deal with police in the North Bali Regency of Buleleng after they were all caught joy-riding on their motorcycles – in the nude.


The eight boy ranged in age from 15-17 years.


The boys’ troubles began when a casual conversation turned to who among them was the best endowed. Challenges and dares were made that ended with an agreement for everyone to strip naked in order to find out who among them was bluffing.


The ensuing incident that took place in broad daylight on Thursday, January 16, 2015 and saw the boys – still nude – get on their motorcycles and do a street tour screaming at people on the streets in order  to draw attenion to themselves from pedestrians near the Penarukan Terminal in Buleleng.


Later, feeling peckish, the lads nonchalantly stopped at a roadside stall to purchase a “naked lunch."


So far, so good. But things began to unravel when the naked motorcycle convoy turned back towards home. While passing through the village of Sinabun one of the motorcycles suffered a broken drive chain. The convoy ground to a halt as the nude gaggle of cyclists tried to effect repairs on the broken bike. Local citizens, peeping from behind drawn curtains at the group of naked boys and fearing the village had been beset by a drunken horde, alerted the nearest police station. 


Things only got worse when the boys, aware that police were on the way, ran into local homes seeking refuge. Meanwhile, the homeowners, suspecting they were under attack by naked thieves, grabbed sticks to beat the buck-naked school boys chasing them back onto the street.


Given the description provided by villagers, the police had little trouble quickly rounding up the eight nudists and took them into custody.


AKP Mustiada of the Sawan police precinct said: “We have already warned and counseled (the boys). We have also called on their parents, asking them to more fully participate in the supervision of their children. The eight boys were also compelled to sign statements promising not to repeat their behavior at which time they could be subject to criminal prosecution, potentially  including hard time in a “penal” institution.


24-hours after their nude escapade, the eight boys were returned by police to their respective families.



No More Mañana

Spanish Woman Found Dead in West Bali Villa from Suspected Drug Overdose


A 46-year-old Spanish woman Maria Ravuelta Gonzales has been found dead in her rented villa in the village of Mangesta near Tabanan, West Bali.


The woman’s body was discovered at about 11:30 am on Saturday, January 17, 2015 by a Russian friend, Andrey Koppel (26) and a servant I Made Parmiti (43). reports that police say the woman had been dead in her room for the past three days.


The woman, who reportedly worked as a wedding gown designer, is suspected to have died from an accidental drug overdose, as evidenced by a number of prescription drugs found near her body.


Police investigators say the woman also had a history of liver disease and chronic coughing that may have played a role in her demise.


An autopsy to be performed at Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital is expected to provide more insights on the cause of Gonzales’ death.



Stop Hogging the Roads in Bali

Bali Police Renew Call for Better Behavior by Large Motorcycle Operators


The State News Agency Antara reports that the Bali Police are again reminding users of large motorbikes in Bali to be good citizens and not be reckless and inconsiderate in the way they travel Bali’s roads.


AKBP Khaidar Latief of the traffic division of the Bali Police said that the operators of large motorcycles can contribute to road safety by being considerate and obeying all road rules.


Latief criticized the installation and use of police sirens on large motorcycle, an illegal act unless a license is first obtained from the police.


The use of flashing lights or hazard lights is also strictly controlled under the law.


Finally, Latief reminded riders that large motorcycles must hold legal registration and title documentation, proving the bike has been legally imported and all import, sale and road taxes are current and paid.


The top traffic policemen admitted that many large motorcycles operating in Bali lack the proper paperwork.


Latief said that only fully licensed and registered motorcycles should be allowed to operate on Bali’s roads.



Ride a Mile on My Wheels

Handicapped in Bali Challenge Governor and Public Work Officials to Travel the Island in Wheelchairs.


The Puspadi Bali Organization has publicly challenged Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika and members of the Public Works Department for the Province to spend some time navigating Bali in a wheelchair in order to fully comprehend why the Island is less than wheelchair friendly.


As reported by, the administrative director of Puspadi Bali, Sang Ayu Putu Eka Sujiati complained that building and infrastructure built by the Province are not accessible to the disabled. 


Puspadi Bali is a civic organization dealing with the needs of the Island’s disabled.


Citing specific examples of the Province’s failure to meet the needs of the disabled, Sujiati pointed to the bus stops erected for the Sabargita Bus System. The boarding platforms for the buses stand as much a one-meter off the ground with steep steps or ramps not navigable by people in wheelchairs. Because of this, the Sarbagita Bus System that has the potenital of providing life-changing access to large areas of Bali for the disabled, is rendered of minimal use to handicapped residents and visitors.


Sidewalks in Bali are usually uneven and full of hazardous open holes that are potentially life threatening to the disabled.


“We challenge Bali's Top Man (the Governor) and the Public Works Service to use a wheelchair and travel across Bali. Let them become us. Are the places being built in Bali suitable for use by the disabled?” asked Sujiati at a meeting with Indonesian journalists in Denpasar on January 17, 2015.


She told journalist that Bali is inferior to Yogyakarta where a whole range of special facilities for the disabled have been created.


Continuing, Sujiati said her group has never been invited to meetings with the Province and its planners to discuss strategies that would make Bali more disabled-friendly.


Puspadi Bali has prepared and forwarded to the government legislation to ensure better access for the handicapped. This draft regulation was sent to the Province in January 2013 without any follow up by the Province’s legal department. Repeated calls on the Province’s lawyers have not been dignified with a response.


Puspadi Bali estimates that there are 8,300 disabled people living in Bali, not including the many thousand of handicapped travelers that come to the Island every year.



A Diplomatic Retreat

Holland and Brazil Recall Their Ambassadors from Indonesia Following Execution of their Nationals Before an Indonesian Firing Squad


Both Brazil and The Netherlands have temporarily recalled their Ambassadors to Indonesia following the execution of two of their nationals on Sunday, January 18, 2015 for violations of Indonesia’s narcotic laws.


The executions were carried out, together with the killing of four others, after formal requests by both governments that the lives of the two convicts be spared were ignored.


As reported by, the Brazilian Ambassador has been recalled for consultation with a government spokesman saying the imposition of the death penalty, criticized in many quarters of the world, has influenced the bilateral relations with Brazil.


Similarly, the Dutch Government has also recalled their Ambassador while criticizing the execution of one of their citizens. The Foreign Minister of Holland, Bert Koenders, labeled executions by the State and cruel and inhumane.


Meanwhile, Amnesty International saw the executions as a step backward for Indonesia, who had not executed any criminals since 2013. Rupert Abbott of Amnesty International for Southeast Asia said the presidency of Joko Widodo was taking Indonesia to a different direction with the decision to resume executions.


As reported by, a spokesperson for Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs described the decision to recall the Ambassadors of Holland and Brazil as having little impact on Indonesian international relations.


Armanatha Nasir of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Department said the decision to recall Ambassadors was the absolute right of the two Counties, saying Indonesia would perhaps soon be recalling several of its own envoys in February 2015 for consultations.


Indonesia executed 6 prisoners on Sunday, January 18, 2015, including Brazilian Marco Archer and Dutch national Ang Kim Soei.


The remaining four put before an Indonesian firing squad were from Malawi, Nigeria, Vietnam and one Indonesian.



After Sale Isolation

Harley-Davidson Won’t Service Motorcycles Bought on the Black Market in Indonesia


In response to a pattern of nationwide complaints in connection with the operation of Harley-Davidson motorcycles alleging that they lack proper vehicle registration, PT Mabua Harley-Davidson, the sole agent for the motorcycle brand in Indonesia, has announced that they will no longer provide service support or spare parts to “illegal” bikes.


Quoted by, the president director of PT Mabua Harley-Davidson, Djonnie Rahmat, said: “Illegal motorcycles will not be serviced at our authorized service centers. In addition to inflicting losses on the government, these people who did not obtain their motorcycles by purchasing them from authorized agents will not enjoy any consumer protection through our service centers.”


The decision to refuse service to illegal Harley-Davidsons is bound to have far-reaching effects on the owners. “Turning the bolt on a Harley’s is carefully calibrated. If such work is not done in accordance with strict standards set by the factory, it can be very dangerous. Bikes purchased from unauthorized dealers are not entitled to after-sales services and warranty protection. This is certain to result in losses for people who purchase a bike outside official channels,” Rahmat warned.


Mabua Harley-Davidson Indonesia calculates there are many illegal Harley-Davidson motorbikes operating in the Country. This is due to the high cost of a Harley in Indonesia due to recent tax increases.


With the tax increase, the total tax that must be paid by the purchaser of a Harley Davidson can increase purchase prices by 215%. This has automatically created a black market in illegally imported Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.




Beachside Evening of Fine Food and Wine

A Very Beringer Wine Dinner Saturday, February 7, 2015 at The Laguna Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali


The Laguna Luxury Collection Resort in Nusa Dua’s celebrated chef Aris Supriyanto has prepared five delicious courses of food to accompany six distinguished wines from Beringer.


Founded in 1876, Beringer Vineyards boasts the oldest continuously operating winery in St. Helena, Napa Valley, California. For over 130 years, Beringer has honed, deepened, and expanded the art of winemaking, emphasizing in the pursuit of balance between modern technology and time-tested winemaking traditions, resulting in wines of global recognition.


The sparkling evening will be orchestrated by First Sommelier Yudhi Suryawan, co-hosted by Nicole Carter, vice president and global public relations of Beringer Vineyards who will share insights into the meticulous care and attention that goes into shepherding the grapes of Northern California into the fine wines that will grace the table on February 7th.


The evening commence with cocktails and canapés served from 7:00 pm at Arwana Terrace Bar followed by dinner at 7:30 pm.







Fresh oyster from the Pacific served with

mango chilli relish

Founder Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012

+ + + +

Char grilled U10 scallops and quail egg,

sweet corn purée, lemongrass-infused beurre blanc and fresh herb salad

Napa Valley Chardonnay 2012

+ + + +

Tasmanian house-smoked salmon and Alaskan king crab,

green olive pearls and preserved lemon, micro greens

Founder Estate Pinot Noir 2012

+ + + +

Foie gras au torchon served on toasted brioche,

green grapes and Merlot reduction,

toasted pine nuts, wild arugula leaves

Napa Valley Merlot 2011

+ + + +

Slow braised duck and Black Angus beef, prepared medium

green asparagus, oxtail and porcini mushroom ragout,

truffle celery purée, natural jus

Private reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

+ + + +

Williams pear iced soufflé

raisin Cognac espuma, almond crumble,

vanilla-orange Shiraz syrup, candied orange peel

Sparkling: Classic White Zinfandel NV

+  + + +




Road Block No More

Angry Residents Living Near Bali’s Airport Forcibly Dismantle Road Barrier Erected by Airport Authority


Anger and resentment by local citizens living near Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport boiled over on Thursday, January 15, 2015, when they descended on an intersection inside the airport and removed permanent traffic barriers installed by the Airport Authority – PT Angkasa Pura.


Quoted by, Wayan Mendra, a local resident and politician who joined the large group of men wearing traditional Balinese garb who dismantled the cement barrier, said: “This has happened because it barred access of local residents to Kuta; making it difficult for them to go anywhere since the access road was closed by Angkasa Pura. It has to be dismantled.”


Mendra said that earlier efforts to mediate the matter between local citizens and Angkasa Pura had proven unsuccessful. Unprepared to wait for a resolution, the citizenry took matters into their own hands and went to the location with large earthmovers and trucks to remove the barriers.


The road had been blocked for the past six months. Initially announced by Angkasa Pura as a one-month trial operation, the closure of the intersection was intended to isolate and smoothen access to the VIP Terminal. As a result, motorists who used to access Kuta via Jalan Dewi Sartika were compelled to take a more circuitous, and often congested, route via Jalan Raya Tuban.


One local villager complained: “The access roads to the Airport are owned by the Airport, but they still have to consider the side effects (on the community) before they make regulations.”


In their defense, Angkasa Pura insisted to that before the road was changed extensive discussions were held with police and traffic officials, socializing the change to people in surrounding neighborhoods.


Following the forcible dismantling of the barrier by local citizens, Angkasa Pura said they would allow access from the VIP Road (Jalan Kemayoran) to Jalan Dewi Sartika for 1-2 weeks while the matter remains under review.



Justice Delayed. Justice Denied?

Indonesia Executed Six Narcotic Offenders on Sunday, January 18, 2015


After a pause of more than one year since 2013, Indonesia resumed the execution of convicted criminals with the simultaneous execution of 6 people in two locations in Java in the early hours of Sunday, January 18, 2015.


5 people were shot by firing squads at the island prison of Nusa Kambangun while a woman was similarly killed in Boyalali in Central Java.


Executed for narcotics violations were:

Namoaona Denis (48) of Malwai for smuggling 1 kilogram of heroin.

Marco Archer C, Moreira (52) of Brazil for smuggling 13.4 kilograms of heroin.

Daniel Enemuo (38) of Nigeria for smuggling 1.15 kilogram for heroin.

Ang Kiem Soei (62) of Holland for operating a large ecstasy plant in West Java.

Tran Thi Bich Hanh (37) a female from Vietnam for smuggling 1.104 kilogram of methamphetamine.

Rani Andriani (39) a female from Indonesia for smuggling 3.5 kilogram of heroin.

Before their execution, the six prisoners had exhausted all avenues of legal appear including denied requests for clemency from the Indonesian president.



Incredible India

Festival of India in Indonesia January – March 2015


The Consulate General of India in Bali has formally launched the “Festival of India” for Bali and eastern Indonesia. Similar launches were also held in Jakarta and Medan for a three-month celebration of all things Indian.


Operating on the theme “Sahabat India”  (Indian Friendship) the “Festival of India” will take place from January to May 2015. Over 30 different cultural presentations will be staged in 16 cities across Indonesia.


“Festival of India” is the most ambitious and diversified people-to-people engagement ever undertaken by India in Indonesia.


During the Festival, folk dances, dance drama, puppet show, musical shows, exhibitions, seminars, mall promotions, screening of Bollywood cinema and documentaries will be held in different venues in Bali, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Samarinda, Balikpapan, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Surakarta, Semarang, Bogor, Serang, Purwakarta, Medan, Padang, Palembang and Banda Aceh.


At the launch event held in Bali, the Indian Consul General stated that “Sahabat India” represents a humble tribute to the partnership between India and Indonesia. The Festival is also intended to widen the knowledge of India in Indonesia in an effort to foster greater understanding between the two countries. uo;Sahabat India” is supported by Ministries of External Affairs, Culture, Tourism & Textiles of the Government of India and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. In Indonesia the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Culture and Education of the Republic of Indonesia have supported the Festival. The Bali Administration and various provincial Governments have all pledged support to these events scheduled for the Island.


Those attending the launch said they appreciated the initiative to bring “Festival of India” to Indonesia. Museum curator Agung Rai stated that both India and Bali share similarities and strong cultural relations, the greatest and impressive evidences of which exist in Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Central Java.  The Vice Rector of ISI Denpasar expressed that the Festival will encourage creativity among its students and local artistes.


Designer Shinta Chrisna stated that strong Indian-Indonesian cultural relationship should be maintained and strengthened. She elaborated that the traditional fabrics of both India and Bali have bright beautiful colors, often combining gold and silver, displayed in strong details and characters. The difference, she said, is in the texture of the fabrics; while Balinese texture is hard, the texture of Indian fabric is smooth and silky.


Noted Hindu scholar and a prolific writer, Ketut Wiana, emphasized that the Indian culture became the root for the creation of Nusantara. Among thousands of Hindu scriptures, 18 Mahabharata scriptures were also written in classical Javanese Kawi language. Nine scriptures in ancient Javanese language have been translated into Balinese language.


As part of the three-month-long celebration in Bali:

ARMA Museum in Ubud will host the prestigious Buddha-Carika Exhibition.

Museum Puri Lukisan Ubud will be the venue for the unique ‘Merging Metaphors’ Exhibition – the results of the combined creativity of 25 accomplished artistes from India & ASEAN region conducted in 2012.

ISI Denpasar will play host to several folk dance performances as well as puppet show at its Natya Mandala auditorium.

Undiksha in Singaraja, North Bali will also host cultural performances.

Shinta Chrisna has developed an elegant collection titled “Indian Princess in the Balinese Kebaya” using Indian & Indonesian fabrics and traditional textile highlighting the  friendship of India and Indonesia to be launched during the Festival of India.

Indian film screenings will be held at Bentara Budaya Bali, STIKOM Bali and the Indian Cultural Center.

Book readings/literary discussions will also be held during the Festival.

A full schedule for the Festival of India is available at the websites of the Embassy, Indian Consulate in Bali or on Facebook



Is Bali’s New Bangli Prison Legal?

Nearly Completed Bangli Narcotics Prison Does Not Have an Official Building Permit


The construction of a new penitentiary in Bangli dedicated exclusively to narcotics offenders is nearing completion. Intended to relieve severe overcrowding at Bali’s main prison, the new prison is being built to accommodate 500 prisoners.


According to NusaBali, the building to house those who have broken narcotics  law has, in fact, been built in flagrant violation of the law. The new Bangli Prison does not hold a valid Building Permit (IMB), with those in charge of the project claiming the IMB is still stuck in the Building Permit Office in Bangli.


The Head of the permit office in Bangli, I Komang Pariarta, confirmed that an application for the IMB was filed with his office in October 2013, but due to the failure to properly complete the application, the permit has yet to be issued.


Among the items supposedly missing from the application is a letter from the Forum For Religious Harmony (FKUB) needed because the prison will contain halls for worship for Moslems, Christians and Hindus.


The Bangli officials are also asking for documents proving ownership of the land on which the prison stands.


Strictly speaking, construction of the new prison should not have commenced without the IMB being first in hand. It is also unclear if the prison can open and begin receiving prisoners unless an IMB has been issued.


And We’ll Blow Your House Down

Lawmakers Call for Demolition of Hotels and Restaurants that Break Zoning and Building Codes


Commission I of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) is calling for hotels and restaurants found to be in violation of zoning and building codes to be dismantled. The call for stern action that, if applied, could see tens of hotels and restaurants leveled was made in a meeting of Commission I on Monday, January 12, 2015.


As reported by DenPost, recent on-site inspections carried out by Commission I found grave violations of zoning and building laws at the Akame Restaurant, Pelindo, Hotel Crystal on the Bay and the Beton Pioneer Factory – all located in and around Benoa Bay.


A number of legislators are reportedly angered by the number of flagrant infringement of the rules taking place in and around Benoa Bay. PT Pioner Beton Industry only holds a license for the storage of sand and stones, but is, in fact, producing concrete structures.


Similarly, the Hotel Crystal on the Bay has not set aside the required 60% coefficient for open green areas. Moreover, the hotel that is nearing completion does not hold an IMB  (Building Permit) and only a principle permit.


The law stipulates that the IMB should be approved and in hand before construction on a project commences.


The Akame Restaurant near Benoa Harbor is standing in the middle of a protected mangrove forest. Lacking an IMB, the operators claim the restaurant is allowed due to letters issued by three different government ministries.


Pelindo – the operators of the Port of Benoa – was criticized by legislators for accumulating the by-product of dredging the port area and, in so doing, was involved in an illegal reclamation on Benoa Bay. In response, Pelindo says the large amount of earth is only being temporarily stored at the port area and would eventually be relocated.


A growing chorus of lawmakers sitting on Commission I is  adamant that illegal structures found to be in violation of building and zoning laws should be leveled and destroyed.


Ketut Tama Tenaya, the chairman of Commission I, pledged that violators would be granted no tolerance, regardless of whoever may be said to be “backing” such projects.



Bali’s Biggest Losers

Bali Truckers with Overloaded Trucks Stage Protests at Gilimanuk Weigh Station


An order issued by the Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan to forcibly refuse and turn back to Java all trucks arriving in Bali with loads in excess of their certified maximum load is encountering militant opposition by drivers refusing to conform to any rules punishing them for dangerously overloading their vehicles.


On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, hundreds of truck drivers protested an uncompromising imposition of the rules by blocking the Gilimanuk Highway leading from the Port to Denpasar. The angry drivers issued threats to burn down weigh stations if their ability to travel Bali roads in an overloaded condition is thwarted.


The effort to enforce the Minister of Transportation’s ruling and turn back overloaded trucks commenced at 10:00 am on Tuesday with police and traffic authorities on hand at the weigh station. Two hours after the crackdown began, the areas around the weigh station was already crowded with pickup trucks and larger goods vehicles, with a line stretching one kilometer from the scales.


The drivers formed an angry mob, refusing to return to Java,  saying the cost of a return trip (e.g. tolls and ferry costs) would prove too economically burdensome. The drivers also bemoaned the lack of equal treatment between Java and Bali. In Java, overloaded trucks are merely asked to pay Rp. 50,000 and then allowed to continue on their journey. Meanwhile, the rule in Bali was intractable. Nyoman Nada, a driver of an overloaded truck, angrily waived a receipt from a weigh station in East Java that said he was allowed to travel on the highways, saying: “Why is Bali different? If the rules are not equally applied, we suffer losses!”


The drivers, insisting they were only workers, said that if they were compelled to return to Java their employers would refuse to bear the cost of the return trip.  The drivers said the trucks were overloaded by their employers seeking to maximize profits, making it impossible for drivers to refuse.


Fearing the angry mob might resort to violence and burn down the weigh station, police eventually agreed to let the trucks pass providing the drivers accepted a ticket requiring an eventual court appearance. Police also warned that the maximum weight rules will be imposed in the future and both drivers and owners should take note.


Radar Bali interviewed drivers who confirmed that in the past all trucks passing the Gilimanuk weigh station that were overloaded saw drivers pay between Rp. 15,000 to Rp. 20,000 to weigh station officials as they passed by. With well over 250 trucks passing by each day, cooperative officials were pocketing a daily windfall in the millions of Rupiahs.


When the head of the weigh stations for the transportation department for Bali, I Wayan Aryana, was questioned on the illegal payment by truckers to his officials, he incredulously plead ignorance, saying he had never seen such payments taking place.



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