Balinese Goddess Watches Over Washington, D.C
Indonesia erects Statue of Hindu Goddess Saraswati in front of Indonesian Embassy
A 10-foot high statue of Saraswati - the Hindu goddess of learning now stands in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Massachusetts Avenue.
The monument, a gift from the Indonesian Ambassador to the U.S., Dino Djalal, honors Indonesia’s minority population of Hindus who live mostly on the island of Bali and represent only 3% of the Country’s total population of 247 million.
Indonesia’s majority faith is Islam at 88%.
Ambassador Djalal has consistently shown a strong commitment to religious pluralism. He has led, together with a Jewish community leader, a group of 24 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders from the U.S.A. and Indonesia on a mission of peace to Jordan, the Palestinian authority and Israel. Ambassador Djalal’s role in this regard was all the more remarkable considering Indonesia has no diplomatic ties with Israel nor does it officially recognize Judaism as a world religion.
The dynamic Ambassador has also organized a televised interfaith discussions on religious tolerance, in keeping with Djalal’s unyielding commitment to the Indonesian national motto of “Unity in Diversity.”
A team of Balinese artists led by I Nyoman Sudarwa created the cement statue of Saraswati. The resulting monument took three weeks to complete and includes three smaller statues of children at Saraswati's feet – an African-American, a Caucasian and an East Asia.
The Goddess Saraswati is celebrated for her dedication to the study of music, art, language and poetry.
The statue is being erected in a neighborhood that is also home to a statue commemorating Mahatma Gandhi.
The erection of the Hindu statue, which stands in front of the Indonesian Embassy, was universally approved by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission of Dupont Circle in Washington.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in the United States to receive an award for promoting religious tolerance in Indonesia, together with Ambassador Djalan, was saluted by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed for supporting religious pluralism, honoring diversity and respecting minorities.
A Warrior for Greenpeace in Bali
Fabled Rainbow Warrior Makes Three Day Visit to Bali
The Rainbow Warrior arrived in Bali on May 31, 2013 for a 3-day visit during a historic tour of Indonesia.
The ship – the third in a series of vessels by that name operated by Greenpeace – sailed into in the Balinese port of Benoa after visiting Jayapura, Manokwari, and Raja Ampat in Eastern Indonesia.
During its brief Bali visit the ship was open to member of the public who wished to tour the vessel and meet the crew.
The vessel, once banned from sailing in Indonesia, will continue on to Jakarta where Greenpeace is hoping the Indonesian President will visit and tour the Rainbow Warrior.
Designed and built to the highest environmental standards, the Rainbow Warrior relies on fossil fuels for only 10% of its power and propulsion requirements.
Up On the Roof
Bali Dynasty Resorts Launches Rood Top Luxury Tented Villa
The Bali Dynasty Resort has opened a luxury tented villa – a unique and exotic one-bedroom retreat set on 250 square metres of rooftop garden offering uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.
Facing westward, those “glamping” on the Resort’s rooftop will experience memorable sunsets. The mood and décor emphasizes romance, privacy, comfort and intimate seclusion via a five-star camping experience for couples and honeymooners and also fulfilling a role of a private party venue suitable for weddings and receptions.
Accessed via a private entrance door on the rooftop garden, guest find themselves in an exclusive space, where they can relax, forget the stress of everyday life, and enjoy sea views, cool breezes, room service and alfresco meals. Guests also have use of all the facilities at Bali Dynasty Resort including Ashoka Spa, six restaurants, four bars, three swimming pools, exercise room, beach club, kids’ club, and complimentary departure lounge.
Measuring 44 square meters, the eco-friendly “tented” villa features a double-tented roof, which provides a shade from the sun on the wraparound terrace. The safari-inspired interior embraces the eco-concept with sustainable materials including a recycled teakwood floor, bamboo pillars and sleek, polished, bamboo doors. Under the draped canvas ceiling, the room is outfitted with wardrobes, canvas roller blinds, bamboo lamps, and a built-in desk. Any comparisons with a campsite, however, end here with the provision of a luxurious king-size bed; individually controlled air-conditioning; a ceiling fan; mini-bar fridge; a wall-mounted, 42-inch, satellite-channel TV and DVD player; and a pantry with tea and coffee making facilities. A spacious dressing area, complete with a washbasin and a mirror, is positioned behind the bed’s high leather-padded headboard. Finally, a walk-in monsoon shower and a toilet – accessed by two separate doors – are situated within the open-air courtyard bathroom, which has a pebbled floor and is surrounded by high bamboo walls for absolute privacy.
Sliding glass balcony doors lead from the bedroom to an outdoor terrace at the front of the villa, furnished with two all-weather cushioned sofas, and a table and chairs for alfresco dining. The 107-square-metre flat lawn is equipped with a pair of sun loungers and surrounded by a safety fence and pots of tropical shrubs, flanked by two frangipani trees.
The Tent Villa is also an elegant rooftop event venue. Its ocean views and private garden setting making it perfect for weddings, parties and cocktail receptions.
Death Toll of a Sunday Stroll in Bali
West Australian Woman Drowns After Falling into a Flooded Drainage Ditch in Bali
A 40-year-old Western Australian woman drowned in a drainage ditch on Jalan Tangkuban Perahu near Bali’s Kerobokan prison in North Kuta, Bali on Sunday, May 26, 2013.
Joanne Louise Randall accidentally slipped into a flooded ditch after disembarking a taxi during a torrential downpour.
Rushing water in the ditch carried the woman away.
She was returning by taxi from an afternoon outing with her husband that included lunch and a massage. When their taxi stalled in traffic in the rain, they elected to walk the remaining distance to their accommodation when the accident occurred at about 3:30 pm.
Unable to find his wife, the man immediately reported the incident to the police who, after a two-hour search conducted by search and rescues teams, found the woman’s lifeless body submerged in water some 100 meters from her point of disappearance.
Crime in Need of Arrest
Bali Police Chief Concerned by Large Number of Unsolved Major Cases
DenPost recently focused on the large number of unsolved high-profile criminal cases handled by the Bali police that remain unsolved.
Concerned by the police’s inability to break major cases, the Bali Chief of Police Inspector General Arif Wachyunadi has issued a warning to his ranks, insisting the subject criminal acts be resolved.
The Bali police spokesman, Hariadi, said the large number of open cases – many involving foreign nationals as victims - is a concern for Bali’s top policeman. As a result, Genera Wachyunadi has summoned the precinct chief for Badung and issued a "warning" to start becoming a more effective crime buster
Among the major “open” cases that remain unsolved in Bali, include:
The inability of police to make an arrest in the violent assault on environmental activist Wayan “Gendo” Suardana on November 5, 2012, despite confirmation by police that the name of the assailant is known.
The robbery of a 3 ATM machines at an ATM Center at the Tiara Supermarket on Jalan Gatot Subroto on December 29, 2012 resulting in the loss of more than Rp. 1 billion (US$100,000).
The murder of a door and window frame manufacturer Nyoman Kardana (32) in Petang, North Badung.
The violent stabbing attack on Australian Paul Gill during a robbery at Villa Chloe in North Kuta on January 4, 2013.
The robbery and rape of a 28-year-old Australian woman staying at Villa Damais in North Kuta on April 27, 2013.
The theft of money and goods belonging to Swiss national Maria Anna Johanna at knife-point at Villa Ipanema in North Kuta on May 2, 2013.
The armed robbery of a Canadian staying at a local villa on May 5, 2013.
Working on the Road
Tuban Officials Seek Work Opportunities for Locals at Bali’s New Toll way and Airport
Bali’s new toll way is schedule to soon open. According to the spokesman for the project, Drajat Hari Suseno, trial tests are scheduled for the second week of June 2013.
Meanwhile, the community chief (lurah) of Tuban, I Gede Raka, told DenPost on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, that he remains hopeful that the completion of the toll road project will provide job opportunities for the people of Tuban, the area surrounding new road that he serves.
Raka told the press that he is coordination with the chairman of the Tuban Community Association (LPM Tuban), Wayan Sunartha, to undertake discussions with the PT Jasa Marga Bali – the operators of the toll way.
Gede Raka said he has issued no local employment target in connection with the toll way project, emphasizing that the main issue to create opportunities for community members, at the very least working as the attendants staffing the tollbooths.
Raka went on to add the he also hoped the revamped Bali Ngurah Rai Airport would also provide job opportunities for the surrounding populace. He complained that the airport has published no job opportunities, saying any such announcement should be made known far in advance of the full operation of the upgraded airport.
Similarly, his office is approaching new hotels under constructionly in Tuban asking that steps be taken to ensure work opportunities are available to the people of Tuban.
Sunartha complained to the press that the management of PT Jasa Marga Bali has evaded his requests for a meeting to discuss job opportunities. He objected that the Toll way is advertising positions via their website instead of making a direct approach to local officials.
Sunartha said that if jobs were not available for the people of Tuban, then PT Jasa Marga should make a corporate social responsibility pledge to contribute financially to the surrounding community.
Sunartha added, “I trust that the a shiny new toll way will not open while the local people are relegated to the role of downtrodden spectators of development.”
License and Registration, Please
Police Cracking Down on Vehicles Registered Outside Bali but Operating Permanently on the Island
While Bali police have repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to curb the extended use of vehicles with non-Bali police registrations, efforts have been renewed to discourage Bali-based vehicle owners from operating cars, trucks and motorcycles with “out of island” license plates
BeritaBali.com reports that the Denpasar District Court recently heard a spate of cases where drivers have been cited for using non-Bali registrations. The violators were caught during routine vehicle checks carried out on the Island’s roadways.
During a court session on Friday, May 31, 2013, a number of vehicle owners paid fines in excess of Rp. 100,000 (US$10) when called before the judge.
On Friday, judge Gunawan Tri Budiono found Bali-based companies using vehicles registered outside the island thereby causing a loss in local road tax revenues for the Province. Provincial rules state that vehicles based in Bali (as opposed to visiting for a brief period) must bear “DK” license plates denoting local registration.
Other rules stipulate strict limitations on the ability to localy register vehicles aged between 5-10 years.
The judge told the drivers called before the court to advise their vehicles' owners that they will be fined repeatedly if they continue to operate “non-DK” vehicles in Bali. Gunawan said out-of-island vehicles should either be returned to their point of origin, re-registered in Bali or replaced with locally purchased transportation.
Among the companies from Badung regency called before the Court for illegally operating vehicles were PT Wings Surya, Luluk - paint company on Jalan Anggungan and a company selling dry goods.
Budi of PT Wings Surya admitted before the Court that his company operates five panel trucks with “L” plates signifying registration in Surabaya. Each of his vehicles were fined Rp. 300,000 (US$30).
The judge asked each of the drivers netted in raids if they preferred to pay the fines or, alternatively, serve time in jail. All those ticketed quickly elected to pay the fine.
One enforcement official said some 200 owners of non-Bali vehicles have thus far paid fines before the court.
The fines paid were relatively modest in comparison to the maximum penalty allowed under the law of Rp. 5 million (US$500) or 3 months in jail.
Enforcement to date has been limited to trucks and public transportation. Police, however, say enforcement may soon be extended to include motorcycles and private vehicles.
Said one official, “If you operate a vehicle in Bali, you better pay taxes in Bali.”
Bali Prepares to Inaugurate the Tallest Statue of Buddha at Gilimanuk, West Bali
The tallest statue of the Lord Buddha in Indonesia located at the Vihara Empu Astapaka Monastery in Gilimanuk, Jembrana, West Bali, will be formally inaugurated on Thursday, June 6, 2013.
The ceremony is expected to attract more than 1,000 Buddhist traveling from across Indonesia to witness the event.
Beritabali.com quoted the chairman of the Empu Astapaka Foundation, Pmy Sudiarta Indrajaya, who said in Denpasar on Wednesday, May 29, 2013: “The 25-meter high statue of Buddha and the surrounding area of the Vihara Empu Astapaka will be inaugurated on Thursday, June 6, together with the celebration of Waisak Santhuti Citta 2557. The inauguration of the complex will be presided over by the Regent of Jembrana Putu Artha, witnessed by the Director General of the Buddhist Section of the Ministry of Religion.”
Once officially opened, the statue is expected to become a significant tourism attraction for the Island of Bali.
“The statue of Buddha will become a new icon of Bali, marking Bali as the island of balance and stability (Dharma). Tourists who have just arrived in Bali via the overland route will see the new statues. The open hand of Buddha held facing forward will become a symbol of reconciliation and peace – marking Bali as the island of peace,” said Artha.
The complex is intended by its managers to not only be a place of pilgrimage for Buddhist but to also become a center of education and information.
A Reluctance to Set Things Right
Gianyar, Bali Officials Reluctant to Lower the Boom on Investor in Bukit Jati Waterboom Park
R.A. Raharjo of PT Karya Makmur Dewata Group - the major investor in the Bukit Jati Waterboom Park at Samplangan, Gianyar in Bali has escaped penalties that could have been imposed by the regency over the stalled water recreation park being built on public land.
A visit to the building site reveals and abandoned project whose future completion appears doubtful.
The Regency handed over public swimming pools to the company in expectation that a major tourist attraction would be built. The popular public pools, located in the center of the project, are no longer available to the public.
A meeting scheduled for Monday, May 27, 2013, convened by the Regency’s Secretary to decide the fate of the project and its developers was suddenly cancelled. According to Bali Post, the reason for the cancellation remains unclear, with regency officials citing scheduling conflicts.
According to the Bali Post, there are rumors circulating that the Regency is reluctant to make a ruling in the case, fearing to upset the former regent of Gianyar who formulated the deal with PT Karya Makmur Dewata.
The current regent has, however, ordered a review now underway of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Company and the Gianyar Regency. Officials are hoping that a solution can be found to allow the completion and eventual operation of the Bukit Jati Waterboom Park.
Licensed to Thrill
639 Guides Licensed to Serve Bali Visitors
639 tour guides in Bali holding expired licenses have passed recertification tests allowing them to once again work as legal guides.
The State News Agency Antara quotes the head of the Provincial Tourism Office for Bali (Kadisparda), Ida Bagus Kade Subhisku, who announced “the results of the training course and certification process run by the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI) has satisfactorily fulfilled our aims and wishes.”
The 639 certified guides can now receive a recommendation from the governor of Bali that will put an operational permit in their hands allowing to officially work as guides. Official identity cards issued by the government are being prepared to permit the public to recognize them as eligible to lead guided tours.
“From all those following the recertification process only eight people failed to pass the examination. Looking at these satisfying results, we will discuss repeating a similar course soon,” said Subhisku.
The head of Bali’s chapter of HPI, Putu Subaya, said the certification process represents a combined effort by his association and the provincial government to reduce the presence of illegal guides on Bali.
Subaya said there are still travel agencies in Bali who use unlicensed guides to lead their tours.
The certification course covered a curriculum of 23 different study modules and was taught by senior tourism practitioners and academics.
Saving Bali - One Kid at a Time
Kids 4 Kids Fundraiser at Cocoon Beach Club Bali June 8, 2014 to Aid Bali Street Kids.
A Kids 4 Kids Fundraiser will be held by the Safe Childhoods Foundation at Cocoon Beach Club on Sunday, June 8, 2013 from 12 noon until 6 p.m..
Kids 4 Kids is designed to be a fun-laden day for children and their accompanying parents while, at the same time, raising much-needed money to assist Bali’s street children.
special day will, however, first and foremost celebrate the joys of childhood. Entertainment and a range of activities will fill the Cocoon Beach Club on Jalan Double Six in Seminyak.
Money raised will given the Safe Childhoods Foundation in order to support the Safe Childhood Center Project slum school and senang workshop’s move into larger premises.
A fund-raising goal of Rp. 65 million (US$6,500) has been set for the afternoon.
Top talent from across Bali will be on hand to entertain including Tar Riq, Riwin of Tropical Transit, 98,5 FM Radio, Rosie and Kamau, Lisa Soul and Band, Bali Angels Canggu Club Dance School and Brianna Simorangkir.
Raffle prizes will be drawn throughout the day with prizes to be won worth more than Rp. 20 million donated by local business.
Adults pay Rp. 100,000 (US$10) to attend with children up to age 16 free-of-charge.
For more information call ++62-(0)361-731266.
Tear Down that Wall, Mr. Agung!
Hotel Town Square Suite Project in Kuta Under Scrutiny for Flagrant Ongoing Violation of Building and Zoning Codes
The Hotel Town Square Suite Project located on Jalan Nakula in Kuta is reportedly being partially dismantled by its owners due to their repeated failure to build in accordance with the approved Building Permit (IMB).
This fact was confirmed to DenPost by the chief of the Badung Zoning Commission (Dinas Cipta Karya - DCK), Putu Dessy Darmayanthi on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.
According to Dessy, the hotel project has already received two formal warnings. When the project director was summoned to DCK he finally admitted variances from the approved building plan and agreed to dismantle the offending sections of the structure.
“Several days ago we checked the project and confirmed that they are dismantling the errant parts of the building. We have asked them to make the structure match the building permit. We shall continue to monitor the situation until everything matches the original building permit,” said Dessy.
In addition to the Town Square Suite Project, the Hotel Prada (formerly known as Hotel Patas) is also being accused of making unauthorized variances from its approved building plan. Said Dessy: “Indeed they have deviated (from the oriignal plans) and have increased the area of the buildings, which should not have been done. Because the building has only installed foundations, they have promised to dismantle. They have also promised to change the front façade that will no longer face the main road and now will front on Jalan Beraban. If they don't demolish, they will suffer as their structure will be demolished by the toll way between Nusa Dua and Soka.”
Commenting on the variances between the approved plans for the Town Square Suite Project, Tjokorda Alit Krisdiyana, the head of the construction supervision department at DCK told the press:
The Building Permit (IMB) for the project was issued in September 2012.
The actual construction does not match the approved drawings.
The basement has been enlarged and in the process has eliminated an open garden area not authorized in the approved IMB.
The left side of the building in the approved drawings was set back 2 meters from the property line, but in reality is flush with the property line.
Green coefficient ratios stipulating 60% constructed area and 40% open land have been ignored with the building fully occupying all of the available land.
Because of these flagrant violations, the DCK has sent two formal warnings to the project on January 22 and April 29, 2013. After the first letter the hotel replied in writing promising to make the building conform to the approved plans and all local rules.
Efforts to submit revised plans to DCK by the building’s owners were rejected by the government, as they did not confirm with the building code.
The building’s owners also pledged to halt construction on the hotel project in all areas that were non-conforming to the rules.
According the DCK, the Town Square Suite Project failed to keep its promises and is now facing even more resolute enforcement measures.
Keeping Irish Eyes Smiling in Bali
Killkenny Irish Cream Beer Now Available on Tap at Gracie Kelley’s in Bali
Bali’s only Irish Pub – Gracie Kelly’s has brought Dublin miles closer to the Island by introducing the distinguished Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, available at Gracie's on tap.
A relative rarity in Bali, Kilkenny traces its roots to the 14th century when it was brewed in the small town of “Kilkenny” for 300 years before moving to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin in 2012.
Now imported directly from Ireland to Bali, Kilkenny is a nitrogenated Irish cream ale brewed by Guinness. It is mildly bitter and is known as the “young brother” of Guinness, due to the ancient recipe. Its full-bodied flavour and clean refreshing taste combine with the nitrogenated creaminess to produce an indulgent experience.
What sets Kilkenny apart from other beers is that being served in a similar manner to Guinness; it is nitrogenated, whereas other beers are commonly carbonated. This nitrogenation ensures Kilkenny Beer’s distinctive features – the velvety smooth, creamy head and the rich ruby red colour. These features come about while being brewed from 100% Irish malt which is mildly baked in the brewing process.
Gracie Kelly’s is located at the Bali Dynasty Resort and has just celebrated its’ 11th Anniversary. Gracie’s offer a relaxed dining environment and traditional Irish entertainment. The unique concept and interior adopts the theme of a traditional Irish country cottage pub combined with the traditional Irish Shop pub theme, which recreates the ambience of an old-style general store that can be found in every small Irish town. Gracie’s prides itself on serving wholesome home cooked food, specialities include beef and stout pie, bangers and mash and you cannot leave without testing Gracie’s Homemade Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding!
Despite its traditional trappings, all the “add-ons” of a modern pub are also in place with sports broadcasts live on the big screen presented in air-conditioned comfort.
Open from 11am daily serving both lunch and dinner.
A wee drop of the Emerald Isle awaits thirsty Bali residents and visitors at Gracie Kelly’s Pub at the Bali Dynasty Resort in South Kuta.
Bali: The No-Bikini Atoll?
Will Miss World 2103 Competition in Bali and Jakarta Include Bikini Competition or Become the Victim of a Cover-Up?
Bali has traditionally had a differing opinion with its finicky neighboring islands when it comes to matters of primp propriety. At ease in their own skin and less prudish on matters of sexuality, many Balinese villages traditionally thought little of woman going “topless” prior to WWII and Balinese daily speech is ripe with imagery and bawdy allusions that would shock Islamist neighbors just to the East and West of the island.
Similarly, in Bali male and female beauty are celebrated and oftentimes flaunted via diaphanous kebayas and half-naked danseurs chanting in the moonlight.
In Bali the locals are anything but prudish. As a result, the prospects of a bevy of world’s beauties descending when Bali acts as co-host with Jakarta of the Miss World 2013 pageant in late September 2013 is welcomed news for Bali, eager to benefit from the world-wide exposure and the chance to “eye” some of the world’s most beautiful women. Apparently, the same prospect of catwalks populated by swim-suited ladies is making people in other parts of the Indonesian archipelago more than a little uneasy.
Against this background, a minor brouhaha is brewing over the coming Miss World 2013 Contest that will attended by representatives from 120 countries in Indonesia on September 28, 2013. In keeping with the tradition with past Miss World Contests, the ladies will undergo interviews, talent contests and competitive fashion segments that see the contestants wear evening gowns, national dress and skimpy swimming suits.
What? Swimming suits? It appears that some of Bali’s neighbors to the East and West are uneasy with the prospect of bikini clad beauty queens gracing catwalks in Bali and Jakarta.
And, while Indonesia cannot prohibit the swimwear segment, some pressure is coming from more prudish quarters to supplant kebaya or batik for the more provocative bikinis.
The Jakarta Globe quotes the deputy minister of tourism and the creative economy, Sapta Nirwandar, who said the government is urging the organizers to avoid or minimize the use of bikinis in the competition, Adding, “But even if they do wear one, it should be in a closed room.”
Concern in some quarters that beautiful, scantily clad women may corrupt the hearts and minds of the nation’s youth, Sapta suggests that any swimsuit to be carried out by juries working behind closed doors.
Apparently, Sapta is trying to accommodate and appease objections tabled by conservative Muslim groups in Indonesia who claim the swimsuit segments would be offensive to traditional Indonesian values.
Abdusommad Bukhori of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), said that as a Muslim country, Indonesia should not have anything to do with the event.
Indonesian values less narrowly defined, however, see the Balinese scratching their heads wondering what all the fuss is about.
Sapta Narwandar, meanwhile, is busily navigating a middle-course, depicting those stirring any controversy over bikinis as only trying to seek attention. After all, he points out, beauty pageants are commonplace in Indonesia.
Said Sapta: “Those who are protesting are only seeking attention. We have been staging Miss Indonesia, Putri Indonesia and other beauty pageants for a long time.”
While it’s not immediately clear if bikini’s will be banned or remain a part of the Miss World competition in Bali, Sapta is adamant that the event, in whatever format, will bring much positive publicity to Indonesia.
Intrigue from Bali’s Recent Past
Bali History: The Mysterious Demise of Bali’s First Governor: Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja
While the Balinese have recently gone to the polls to elect the 10th governor and deputy governor in what was seen by many as a controversial politcal race, it may be a propitious time to reflect back on the first man to serve as Bali’s governor.
Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja (1923-1966) was Bali’s first “official” governor, appointed by President Sukarno in 1958 after Bali’s elevation as a Province of the Indonesian Republic. Sutedja was the Son of Bali’s last Raja of Jembrana, Anak Agung Bagus Negara.
Prior to this, Sutedja served from 1950-1959 as the head of the Bali Executive under an appointment of a Provisional Regional Council. The Provisional Regional Council took over the administrative affairs of the Island from a Royal Legislative Council (Paruman Agung) comprised of representatives from Bali’s many royal courts.
After his appointment by I Gusti Bagus Oka as temporary head of the Bali region for 1958-1959, Sutedja was then appointed as Bali’s first governor in December 1959. His second term of office as governor ended in 1965, a few months after the attempted coup of September 30, 1965, when he was replaced by the second man to serve as Bali’s governor, I Gusti Putu Martha.
Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja disappeared under very mysterious circumstances on July 29, 1966 in Jakarta, the presumed victim of a political kidnapping, tragically common during that era of Indonesian history.
Sutedja was never seen again, precipitating a great deal of popular conjecture as to his final disposition. As reported by Beritabali.com, some postulate Sutedja was the victim of a political conspiracy while other more stories contend he escaped overseas because of his connections with the Communist Party and the bloody aftermath of September 1965.
During the 1950s, Sutedja was known to have enjoyed a close relationship with Indonesia’s first president, Soekarno. His surviving wife, Anak Agung Istri Ngurah Sunitri (82), tells of how she and her husband often visited with Soekarno at the Presidential Palace in Tampaksiring, Bali.
In the period leading up to the fateful days of 1965, Soekarno frequently stayed at Tampaksiring, often accompanied by his daughter Megawati who would eventually go on to serve for a period as President of the Republic.
Most historical speculators presume Sutedja died in a “cleansing” following the GESTAPU (30 September 1966 Movement) related to his close links to President Soekarno.
Those who still recall Sutedja’s administration of Bali, give him generally high marks as the Island’s leader. He led Bali in a period of heightened political tension, managing to maneuver a neutral position between the two dominant political parties of the time: The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Nationalist Party (PNI).
Following the attempted coup of September 30, 1965, President Soekarno asked Sutedja to remain calm amidst the fast-moving political environment of the time. But, on December 2, 1965, the ancestral palace of Sutedja in Negara, Bali was attacked by hundreds of demonstrators, accusing the former governor of close ties with the PKI.
Fearing for his safety, President Soekarno summoned Sutedja to Jakarta, the next day, December 3, 1966. Until his disappearance seven months later, he remained in Jakarta staying in the Senayan Complex.
Anak Agung Gede Agung, Sutedja’s first-born son, says his Father was met by four men wearing military uniforms driving a Nisssan Jeep at around 9:00 am on July 29, 1966. The men ordered Sutedja to come with them to the military garrison on Jalan Merdeka Barat. Agung said his Father followed their orders, not suspecting anything was amiss.
When late afternoon came and went, the mother-in-law of Sutedja became nervous and personally visited the Garrison where she was told no one had been ordered to meet or bring the former governor to their headquarters. A report was quickly filed with the Minister of the Interior, but subsequent searches bore no fruit.
Ever hopeful, Sutedja’s family conducted tireless searches for the former governor from the date of his abduction until the Presidency of Megawati Soekarnoputri.
40 years after Sutedja's abduction, resigned to the fact that the former governor was now dead and that his remains would never be recovered - his family burnt a sybolic effigy on a cremation pyre in Bali, committing Sutedja's soul to the waiting universe.
Bali Hills Come Alive with the Sound of Jazz
Ubud Village Jazz Festival August 9-10, 2013
Up to 100 renowned international and Indonesian jazz musicians will converge on the Balinese hillside community of Ubud, August 9-10, 2013, to participate in the inaugural Ubud Village Jazz Festival.
Venued in the grounds of the Arma Museum, a dazzling program of world-class Jazz performers and musicians will perform under the stars over two nights, from twilight until late each evening.
The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is the brainchild of Yuri Mahatma, jazz musician and one of the founders of the Bali Jazz Community together with Anom Darsana, of Antida Music Productions.
"The idea to hold an international Jazz Festival was born after Serambi Arts Antida, Denpasar, was forced to close in 2012. Since then we have held highly successful Jazz Rendezvous events as a lead-up to this Festival. The musicians we have invited support our mission to promote high-quality jazz from around the world to a discerning audience," said Festival Director Anom Darsana.
The Ubud Village Jazz Festival, as part of it commitment to the community and sustainability will be only using LED lighting, home-made torches, bicycles for musicians to ride to and from venues, recycling bins and enforce a no-plastic bags policy.
The Festival has already garnered widespread support from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the Bali Tourism Board, Gianyar Regency, the creative arts communities of Bali and the people of Ubud.
"Ubud is a world famous tourist destination with a long tradition of fostering the creative arts. It’s the ideal place for an event of this nature." said Yuri Mahatma.
The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is a Bali-based initiative. "The event is run by those who wish to offer something to Bali but not solely for commercial purposes. We see it as a meaningful way to align the creative industries and tourism in an ongoing sustainable way ", said Anom Darsana.
Food stalls and refreshments will be available on site, offering many of Ubud's famous culinary specialties.
The detailed program, including supplementary workshops and gala events, will be available at the end of June 2013.
A Sound Investment?
Bali Prosecutors Investigating Major Corruption Case Involving Purchase of Sound and Lighting Equipment for the Bali Arts Center
Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office in Bali are refusing to comment publicly on their investigation of alleged illegal mark-ups in the purchase and installation of a sound system for the Bali Arts Center (Taman Budaya) located in downtown Denpasar.
According to DenPost, prosecutor’s reluctance to speak on the case to the press is tied to their active ongoing investigation. On Friday, May 31, 2013, the spokesman for the Bali prosecutor’s office flatly refused to speak in detail to the press on the case.
When the spokesman was asked about additional witnesses being called by his office, he admitted that was the case in the developing investigation and that, indeed, extra witness statements were being secured.
It has been confirmed, however, that one suspect has been named in the illegal mark up of sound systems, lighting, electrical generators, CCTV and other equipment for installation at the capital’s performing arts center. The initials of the person charged in the case are "KM" who acted as the personal responsible for the project.
The prosecutorial spokesman would only confirm a suspect has been named and that his initials were KM.
A total of five witnessed have been called in the case in which a corruption amounting to Rp. 1,087,600,000 (US$110,000) occured out of a total expenditure of Rp. 21 billion (US$2.1 million) from the provincial budget is alleged to have occurred.
The spokesman added: “This case is still in development. If more evidence is found, it is not impossible that other suspects will be charged.”
Many have looked at the equipment installed at the Art Center, claiming the maximum expenditure should not have exceeded Rp. 10 billion (US$1 million). Others have criticized that the subject equipment is only used once each year during the Bali Arts Festival.
DenPost has investigated the case suggesting the person bearing the initials KM mentioned by prosecutors is I Ketut Mantara Gandi, the person charged with securing the new sound and lighting system for the Arts Center. DenPost hastened, however, to add that only prosecutors could firmly confirm who they have, in fact, charged bearing those initials.
Bye, Bye Birdie
Environmental Activists and Udayana University Cooperate to Undertake Annual Audits of Wild Bali Starling Populations at Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
Bali Post reports that efforts to widen the habitat and wild population of the Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) on Nusa Penida Island still lacks needed support from the provincial and regional government.
In order to track developments in the population of the highly endangered Bali Starlings over the past year the Yayasan Pencinta Taman Nasional (Friends of the National Parks), and members of the medical and biology faculties at Bali's Udayana University are undertaking surveys at Nusa Penida June 26-29, 2013.
News of the planned surveys was advised by I Gede Nyoman Bayu Wirayuda, the founder of the Yayasan Pencinta Taman Nasional at a press conference held on Friday, May 31, 2013.
The project to establish a breeding population of Bali Starlings on Nusa Penida outside their normal territorial range was commenced in 2004. A count announced by the Foundation in May 2012 estimated a living population of 105 birds on the island located just off the coast of Bali
The population of Bali Starlings on Nusa Penida began to be disturbed in the beginning of 2013. Some loss of birds is blamed on natural predators, such as snakes and monitor lizards. At the same time, Bayu accuses certain individuals working in organized groups of capturing and selling Bali Starlings. The illegal capture of Starlings has also been witnessed first hand by. He said hard proof of poaching is hard to come by with some people posing as conservationists working instead to capture the birds for sale to rare bird collectors.
Bayu Wirayuda said the coming survey will include the participation of independent observers and cover 18 different observation points on Nusa Penida and nearby Nusa Lembongan.
Bayu said surveys would be carried out on an annual basis with the results handed to the regency and provincial governments. He said that to date there has been little official response to their survey findings, with little or no follow up to their findings by government agencies.
Power Cut Ahead?
Fed Up, Buleleng Bali Regent Wants the PLTU Power Plant Project in North Bali Closed Down
The regency of Buleleng has called for the giant Coal-powered steam power plant (PLTU) at Celukan Bawang to be closed due to the continuing failure of PT General Energi Bali (PT GEB) and China Hudian Engineering Corporation to obtain required licenses and operating permits.
Information collected by Bali Post on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, says the Regent of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradyana, issued a formal warning to the companies on April 19, 2013, listing five points why the Regent wants the project stopped. The points listed in the warning letter were:
The failure to create a company profile.
The failure to present a detailed environmental impact plan.
The lack of a detailed layout for the plant
The lack of an accurate time schedule for completion of the power plant project.
The failure to obtain all the licenses and permits required by both the central and regional government.
Separately, the Regent expressed his unhappiness with the two companies’ failure to keep their promise made to him to discuss a final resolution of the various legal issues confronting the project after Chinese New Year.
For all these reasons, Suradyana is calling for a closure of the mega-project.
The formal call by the Regent to close the plant prompted the Buleleng House of Representatives (DPRD-Buleleng) to convene hearings with the two companies on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
The two companies told the Buleleng legislators that the Regents letter dates April 19, 2013 was only received in Early May.
While the man in charge of the project for PT GEB, Egon Wisnu S, was unprepared to comment in detail to the Regent’s letter except to say that the information and data requested was in preparation. Wisnu said all the items requested by the Buleleng government would be handed to the Legislature within 10 days of his meeting with lawmakers.
Ego also said permits for the use of ground water had not been secured because the project had yet to tap local ground water. Meanwhile, a permit for use of a pier for unloading construction material has been temporarily addressed by closure of the subject pier until the requested permit is in hand.
The plant at Celukan Bawang has been the subject of protests from local landowners claiming they have not been compensated for use of their land. Meanwhile, immigration officials have arrested and deported groups of illegal Chinese workers at the project on at least two occasions.
Network on the Run
BIZNET Networks Continues Support of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013
BIZNET Networks is back as main sponsor of one of the biggest international sporting events in Indonesia - BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013.
This year’s BIZNET Bali International Triathlon takes place on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Jimbaran, Bali with a record number of more than 1,000 athletes expected to participate.
“Biznet sees Triathlon as a sport event that requires strength, speed, and reliability from all the athletes. These aspects are in-line with Biznet’s commitment to never stop innovating to further increase it service’s strength, speed, and reliability to all customers. By sponsoring the event, we hope that both Biznet and Bali International Triathlon will continue to grow and better recognized by the people in Indonesia and also international,” said Adi Kusma, President Director of BIZNET Networks.
BIZNET Networks has been the main sponsor of the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon for three years working together with Bali Discovery Events and Generic Events (USA).
BIZNET also sponsored a photo competition via social media that selected 2 lucky winners to participate in the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013 this June. The contest that ended on May 17, 2013, will see Chaidir Akbar and Yustinus Stein join the Olympic Distance Race and Sprint Distant Race.
About BIZNET Networks
BIZNET Networks is one of the leading companies in telecommunication and multimedia in Indonesia, just launched the newest service featured ultra-fast Internet with Cable TV HD as a bonus, max3 Internet and cable TV, on December 2012 and cover all Jabodetabek and several big cities in Java area. max3 will also be available in Bali in September 2013.
BIZNET Networks is the leader of fixed-line and multimedia telecommunication provider in Indonesia, providing network, Internet, data center, cloud computing and pay TV service.
Established in 2000, BIZNET Networks has been providing and operating the fastest fiber optic network and the biggest data center in Indonesia.
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