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

Tel:
++62 361 286 283

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1008 - 28 December 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


My Fatherís Mansion Has Many Rooms
Remote Village of Blimbingsari in West Bali Home to One of the Worldís Most Unique Protestant Churches

In Bali, many Christian churches have incorporated local architectural finishes that lifts both the eyes and the spirit of worshippers who attend Sunday and Holy Day services.

While there are a number of churches in an around Bali’s capital of Denpasar with Balinese “touches,” the full expression of this genre is encountered in the village of Blimbingsari, Bali. The Protestant Church that stands in this picturesque village was referred to until recent times as the “Pura Gereja” – blending the term of “Pura” or temple for Balinese Hindus with the Indonesian term from the Portuguese of “Gereja” for church.

Those travelling the well-kept roads leading into the village cannot help but notice the neat arrangement of homes built and the obvious commitment to trash-free cleanliness, worthy of emulation in other parts of Bali.

In from the Village Hall for Blimbingsari stands the Protestant Church – one of the oldest and most unique churches in Bali.

A community leader in the village of Blimbingsari, Gede Sudigda, told Beritabali.com that the existence of the community traces back to 1939.

“At that time, our ancestors had all traveled from Denpasar. After conducting a survey and obtaining permission, the village was built. At the time this was a dense jungle called ‘Alas Angker’ filled by dangerous animals such as large snakes, tigers and other vicious denizens of the forest,” said Gede.

The elders of the village of Blimbingsari then cleared away the jungle to make space for the first wave of settlers that numbered around 30 people. The trees cleared away, home were built, gardens established and village streets marked out. Among the essential structures erected was the Protestant Church of Blimbingsari.

”The founder of this village was Bapak Made Regug, Reverend Made Rungu and a small group of friends. After completing their survey they asked permission from the Sedahan Agung for permission to clear a 450-hectare tract of jungle. At that time, the church was built on a 20 are sector of land,” Gede explained.

Originally, the church of the Village of Blimbingsari was built in a European style. But, in 1971, an earthquake damaged the old church and a new church was built adopting Balinese architecture. That church, still standing today, resembles a Balinese religious temple with an outer yard of jaba sisi, a traditional Balinese split entrance or gapura, and a central place of worship. And, like a Balinese temple, but very much unlike a traditional church setting, the central worship area has no confining walls.

Gede added, “Our parents called this the ‘Pura Gereja’ because it resembled a Temple of Bali.”

The churches architectural finishes includes many Balinese style carvings made by an Ubud artists depicting stories from the Bible. One base relief shows Jesus washing the feet of his disciples with Jesus wearing Balinese dress.

Also unique to the Village of Blimbingsari, local church members attend services in traditional Balinese costumes for services that are conducted in the Balinese language. In the lead up to the Christmas holidays, villages make traditional Balinese Penjor stand that adorned local streets while the womenfolk prepare the traditional dish of lawar Bali for the coming communal feasts.

And, while other churches in Bali use the Western convention of a bell to call worshippers to prayer, the church at Blimbingsari strikes a wooden kulkul to summon the devote.

Because of its unique practice, architecture, open concept and overall beauty, the World Council of Churches leaders stayed in the village for 4 nights in 2009.

Desa Blimbingsari is now home to 270 Christian Protestant families living a short distance from the nearby village of Palasari settled in the late 1930s by exiled Balinese of the Catholic Religion


Bali by Boat
2015 Record Year for Cruise Ship Visits to Bali

As 2015 draws to a close, Bali’s southernmost port of Benoa tallies a total of 58 international cruise ship visits over the past year

The general manager of the Benoa Port Authority – Pelindo III, Ali Sodikin, admits that this years 58 ship visits fell two short of the 60 ships targeted for 2015. Ali says the shortfall was due to several cancelled ship visits.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, Sodikin estimates that the 58 ships visiting Benoa in 2016 brought 68,000 foreign tourists to Bali.

Ali reports that 11 cruise ships cancelled their visit to Bali in 2015 due to a variety of reasons, including insufficient passenger loads, ship re-routings and weather conditions that made landing passengers problematic. Sodikin said that when cruise ships cancel visits they seldom reveal the actual reason for that decision.

Sodikin also postulates that one of the reasons for cancelled visits are limitations at the Port of Benoa to handle large cruise vessels. While efforts to improve the port’s facility are ongoing, Benoa is currently able to handle only one cruise ship visit at a time due to the length of the berthing pier.

“Currently, Pelindo II is in the process of lengthening the pier so it can accommodate two cruise ships at a time. This is targeted for completion in 2016,” Sodikin explained.

Despite falling short of the targeted number of ships, Pelindo III is proud that the 68,000 passengers disembarking at Benoa in 2016 is a 95% increase in the 34,903 passengers who landed at Benoa during 2014.

Many ships are also opting to overnight in Bali which is expanding the average spend of cruise ship passengers and adding to Bali’s role as a turnaround port of call.

Cruise Ship Services from Bali Discovery


Bali as Home this Christmas
Record 30,894 Air Passengers Land in Bali on Christmas Eve Day 2015

A total of 30,894 domestic and international air passengers landed at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Thursday, December 24, 2015, marking the start of the expected rush of Christmas and New Year travelers.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the general manager of the Bali Airport Authority (PT Angkasa Pura I), Trikora Harjo, reported that 16,680 domestic passengers traveling on 106 airplanes, while 14,304 international passengers on 70 planes landed on the day before Christmas

Trikora said the numbers represented an 8.4% increase in international passengers over the preceding year

Passenger numbers are expected to grow as Bali approaches the peak New Year holiday period.

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Sleighs by Boeing and Airbus


Dealing with the Mob
After Violent Clashes, Bali Governor Promises to Evaluate the Existence of Mass Organisations Acting in a Criminal Manner

Following violent gang clashes in Bali’s capital of Denpasar that left at least four dead and many severely injured, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has promised to evaluate the existence of so-called “mass organizations,” particularly those groups proven to lawbreakers.

The Governor’s comments were made on Thursday, December 17, 2015 and reported by Kompas.com.

Referring to the mass organization, Pastika said: “We will continue to evaluate. Those proven to have broken the law will receive stern action.”

The Governor expressed his desire that mass organizations in Bali, particularly those involved in the recent violence at Kerobokan Prison on Jalan Teuku Umar, never repeat such hostile actions in the future. Pastika added the warning, “If they continue to fight, the law enforcement agencies will not simply sit by and watch.”

The Governor depicted the recent violence linked to Laksar Bali and Balikida as contradictory to the initially proclaimed goal of these groups to safeguard Bali. Moreover, the actions of these groups are now damaging the image of Bali

At the same time, Pastika invited the public to resume their normal activities and not be driven by fear, trusting that the police will do their job.

The night of violence by Laksar Bali and Balikida has led many in the community to increasingly view these two groups as criminal gangs that should be disbanded.

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Unforgiving Social Media
Coco Supermarket Group Reputation Tarnished After Being Caught Throwing Trash on Ubud Streets in Facebook Posting

Several photos published and shared widely on social media depicting irresponsible corporate behavior by a major Bali corporation have badly damaged the reputation of one of Bali's major brands - The Coco Group.

The photographs, form part of a series of photos taken on Jalan Raya Andong and Jalan Raya Tegallalang in Ubud and posted on the Ubud Community Page on Facebook
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The pictures show three men, presumed to be employees of Coco Supermarket, at 9:00 am on Christmas Day 2015 unloading a truckload of trash onto an Ubud roadside from a truck prominently displaying the Coco Group Logo.

The three men were all dressed in traditional garb, suggesting they are Balinese.

While such blatant disregard for Bali’s environment is sad in any context, it is very disheartening when such acts are committed by one of the Island’s leading, locally-owned companies.
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The Coco Group operates a large chain of supermarkets, convenience stores, gourmet delicatessens, bakeries, cafes and hotels across Bali.

Reacting to a barrage of criticism on Facebook and the inundation of angry emails, the company hurriedly organized a clean up crew to pick up trash in the area where shown in the photograph

In a posting to Facebook, the company said: “We are from Coco Group Bali, we apologize to all people for our bad staff that littered Ubud area with the rubbish and responsible our mistake that we had made. Our team already picked it up back that we threw and cleaned up that area. Actually we have permission (SOP) to keep clean our outlet, village around our outlet (desa adat), & especially all Bali area. One again, we apologize and we thank you for this information so our team could still improve for the next.”
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While many are applauding the prompt response to public criticism by the Coco Group, others continue to call for a wider clean up organized by the Coco Group, the termination of the employment of the men shown in the photographs, and the criminal prosecution of the Company by police for littering.

Environmental heroes or environmental criminals caught in the act?

If you would like to communicate with the Coco Group, write them via this Link .


Grim News for the Holidays
Execution of Drug Offenders to Resume in 2016

As reported by The Jakarta Post, Indonesian Attorney General M. Prasetyo has warned the public to expect a third round of executions sometime in 2016 for drug offenders now sitting on death rows at Indonesia penitentiaries.

While the dates or the numbers to included in the next group of prisoners to be paraded before firing squads have yet to be announced, Prasetyo said: “The executions will be implemented in 2016. This should become our focus. Law enforcement should keep moving ahead.”

The Attorney General’s comments were made in Jakarta on Wednesday, December 23, 2015.

If Indonesia goes ahead with the “next round” of executions it will represent a resumption of officially sanctioned shooting halted in late 2015.

Since President Joko Widodo has taken office, a total of 14 drug offenders have been executed.


Final Days for Baliís Notorious Hotel K
Calls Mount for Removal of Bali's Kerobokan Prison to New Location

Following prison riots at Kerobokan Prison that spilled over into surrounding areas of Denpasar, citizens living in areas surrounding the penitentiary are calling for its removal to a new location.

The traditional head (Bendesa Adat) of the Kerobokan District, A.A. Putu Sutarja, told NusaBali that the condition of the prison in no longer ideal and traffic congestion on the roads surrounding the prison has become chronic.

“The problem of the Kerobokan prison is like an iceberg that has become to melt. For this reason, we call on the government to move the Prison and that the land be converted to a public park,” said Sutarja on Tuesday, December 22, 2015.

Sutarja complained that repeated bloody incidents taking place in and around the prison and his resulting responsibility as Bendea Adat to undertake religious purification ceremonies after each incident, was becoming a burden on the community.

Supporting Sutarja’s calls for the prison’s removal is a member of the Royal Household for the Kerobokan Palace, A.A. Ngurah Ketut Agus Nadhi Putra (Rah Tut), who complained that the prison has become the scene of frequent uprisings and that, for this reason, should be moved to a new location.

Rah Tut expressed doubt that the dismissal of the Prison’s warden following the most recent riot will see an end to problems of violence behind the prison walls that are fueled by sever overcrowding.

A former lawmaker from Legian, Wayan Puspa Negara, said the current prison does not conform to zonal planning (RTRW) for Badung, He explained that the prison stands in an area zoned for tourism and industry and was no longer appropriate for prison operations.

He also said that the violent history of the prison is causing emotional trauma for those living near the prison who no longer feel safe and secure living in the prison’s shadows.


Expect Delays on New Years in Kuta, Bali
Bali Police Announce Road Closures in Connection with 2015-2016 New Years Festivities

The State News Agency Antara reports that the Denpasar Police will close a number of streets and divert traffic in an around Kuta during the transition from 2015 to 2016,

The head of the Denpasar Police Precinct, Anak Agung Made Sudana, announced the following traffic changes coinciding with New Year festivities:
  • Jalan Dewi Sartika or Jalan Kartika Plaza heading towards Kuta Beach will be closed with traffic to be diverted to Jalan Singasari or Jalan Ciyngwanara-Bemo Corner Intersection-Simpang Temcacun-Jalan Setia Budi-Simpang Dewa Ruci-Jalan Iman Bonjol or Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai.
  • Jalan Seminyak heading to Jalan Legian will be closed and vehicles will be diverted to Jalan Sriwijaya-Jalan Jelantik-Jalan Dewi Sri and exit on the Sunset Road.
  • Jalan Simpang Dewa Ruci heading to Jalan Setia Budi will also be closed with traffic diverted in the direction of Nusa Dua and Jalan Iman Bonjol-Jalan Teuku Umar.
  • Road closures will also take place from Jalan Sunset Road heading to Jalan Nakula and Jalan Kunti heading towards Jalan Seminyak. Vehicles will be diverted to Jalan Sunset Road-Simpang Dewa Ruci.
Police recommend that local citizens and tourist walk to Kuta Beach and park their vehicles at various parking areas provide, such a Central Parkir Kuta.


Thatís A Lot
Tanah Lot Seeís Record 17,000 Tourist Visitors on Christmas Day 2015

Bali’s iconic tourist of Tanah Lot remains Bali’s favorite tourism destination, particularly during peak holiday periods. According to Beritabali.com, visitor totals to Tanah Lot during the current Christmas and New Year Holiday have increased 200%.

“Normally daily visitors to Tanah Lot average 6,000 people, increasing to 7,000-8,000 on Saturdays and Sundays. But during the current Christmas Holiday visitor counts have touched 17,000,” explained Ketut Toya Adnyana, operations manager of the Tanah Lot attraction on Christmas Day, December 25, 2015.

Toya attributes the surge in visitors to the coincidence of the Christmas Holidays, national school holidays and Bali’s Full Moon. In addition to visiting tourists, there are many Hindu worshippers visiting Tanah Lot to pray, who in turn become part of the visitor’s experience.

Based on informal counts of license plates in Tanah Lot’s parking area, domestic travelers are hailing from Jakarta, Malang, Surabaya, Makassar and Solo.

Local pacalang teams (auxiliary security) and extra police have been deployed to maintain security and traffic flow at Tanah Lot. As an added security precaution, additional CCTV cameras are now in place.


Caught on Camera
Purse Snatcher Arrested in Bali after Targeting Western Australian Tourist

A female tourist from Perth, Western Australia, had her purse snatched while walking shopping on Boxing Day, December 26, 2015.

As a result of the theft, Suanne Mary Bridge (67) immediately reported to police the loss of Rp. 7.2 million, credit and ATM cards, and other personal items.

Based on the woman’s report and CCTV film footage retrieved from a restaurant allowed police to quickly arrest Made Roy (41), originally from Kintamani, but now residing on Jalan Bung Tomo C2 in West Denpasar.

When arrested, Roy still had in his the red handbag and other items stolen when he absconded with the Australian woman’s bag, including the Rp. 7.2 million and a receipt from Bridge’s ATM transaction.

Metrobali.com reports that following interrogation by police, Roy admitted the theft. The man had been apprehended in previous crime sweeps but a lack of evidence prevented police from making an arrest.


Holidaying with Criminal Intent
Bali Immigration Cracks Down on Foreigners Operating Document Forgery and Online Prostitution from Bali

Bali immigration officials arrested an Ukranian, Lupol Dionis, who was allegedly creating fake international driver’s licenses for visiting tourists in Bali.

As reported by The Jakarta Post, the arrest of the Ukranian was confirmed by the head of the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office, Yosep HA Renung Widodo, who shared that Dionis was arrested during a mid-day raid on a house in the Puri Gading area of Jimbaran, South Kuta,

Seized in the raid were dozens of fake driver’s licenses together with the supporting paraphernalia needed to produce falsified documents.

Widodo said: “The driver’s licenses were quite similar to original ones. Police would not be able recognize [the fraud] if they saw these driver’s licenses. Police would think that they were original [driver’s licenses], not fake ones.”

The ten-day investigation that culminated in the raid determined that Dionis was using computer technology to produce licenses that he sold for Rp. 400,000 each.

During the raid police also took into custody another Ukranian Igor Dresnov and three Russians - Anton Tikhonov, Natalia Krylova and Maxim Lyamenkov.

The four are not believed to have been involved in the document forgery operation but are believed to be conducting business in Bali on tourist visas ranging from a clothing business, a t-shirt design studio and tattoo artistry.

All five will be charged under immigration rules punishable with a maximum 5 years in prison.

Police may still seek criminal charges against members of the group.

The most recent arrest follows an earlier arrest of one Ukranian and three Russian women at a villa in Seminyak suspected of running an online prostitution business.

Evidence collected by immigration officials showed the woman were charging between Rp. 2.5 million and Rp. 17 million, depending on whether they provided services during the course on one hour or over an entire night.

Immigration officials report that all four women had been deported and blacklisted from future visits to Indonesia.


Just Imagine This
Hard Rock Hotel and Solemen Extend Much Needed Assistance to the Urban Poor of Bali

On December 15, 2015, Hard Rock Hotel Bali in cooperation with Soleman Foundation delivered much needed assistance in the forms of food, essential daily supplies and clothing supplies to more than 70 families living in the urban slum of Bung Tomo in Bali’s capital of Denpasar.

This followed an earlier donation of similar items given to the village of Waribang on November 18, 2015.

The donations were made with the support from Hard Rock Hotel Bali where the proceeds from an employee fundraising event were matched by the management. The Hotel’s food & beverage suppliers also joined the effort by donating rice, cooking oil, sugar and other daily staples.

Part of Hard Rock Hotel’s global “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign operated in cooperation with Yoko Ono and WhyHunger aiming to fight childhood hunger and poverty around the world through the support of sustainable agriculture education and nutritious meals. Inspired by John Lennon and his iconic song “Imagine” - the campaign strives to turn his dream of a world with no hunger into a reality.

In support of these goals, guests of Hard Rock Hotel Bali are invited to let their wish be heard with the “Imagine There’s No Hunger Wish Tree.” Guests are able to make donations in the Rock Shop for a wish tag on which they write their wish for the world and place it on the hotel’s Wish Tree.

Funds raised through the purchase of each Wish Tag go directly to support sustainable agriculture education and nutritional feeding programs. In addition to WhyHunger, the event benefits Solemen Foundation Bali, an Indonesian non-profit charity focusing its efforts on helping the disadvantaged in Bali.


The Oldest Profession
Bali Immigration Officials Bust 3 Russian and 1 Ukrainian Women Operating an Online Prostitution Ring in Seminyak

Four foreign nationals were arrested and deported from a villa the Seminyak area of Bali where they were reportedly operating an online prostitution business.

As reported by Kompas.com, officers from the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office conducted the arrests on November 11, 2015 during the course of a party underway at the villa.

Yosep HA Rening Widodo who heads the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office said on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, “When we raided the location, our officers confiscated hand phones containing details on orders, transactions, prices and terms of service.”

Those taken into custody were three Russians Olah Shabaeva, Eka Terima Gradoboeva and Anastasia Poludennaya, and one Ukranian Alinea Bondarenko.

All four have been deported and blacklisted from returning to Indonesia.

The four women were supposedly under the control of a Singapore-based “boss” and charged rates ranging from Rp. 2.5 million to Rp. 17 million for their services.


Early Check Out from Hotel K
Warden of Baliís Kerobokan Prison Fired after Violent Riot

Following the violent prison riot on Thursday, December 17, 2015, at Bali’s Kerobokan Prison that caused two deaths in the prison and spilled out into adjoining neighborhoods where more two more died and scores more were injured, the warden in charge of the penitentiary, Sunarto Bondan, has been dismissed from the position he had held for only two months.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, the head of the Bali office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Sulistiono, said on Monday, December 21, 2015, “Following the recent incident a decision was made to terminate the person heading the Kerobokan Prison.”

The firing of Sunarto as the Kerobokan Warden was performed at the office of the Ministry in Denpasar. The warden in charge of the Karangasem prison, Kusbiantoro, replaced Sunarto.

Sulistiono said Sunarto was fired for dereliction of duty and a failure to implement standard operating procedures that permitted the prison riot to occur.

Sunarto will be assigned a new position at the Bali office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

Damning Sunarto’s reputation even further were raids conducted by Police and members of the Armed Forces on the prison after the riot that uncovered sharp weapons, bunker of firearms, five revolvers, stocks of ammunition, bullet proof vests, three computers, and a pharmacopoeia of illicit narcotics that included potted marijuana plants.

Sunarto sought to mitigate his professional failing by blaming the short time of only two months he had held the top job of the prison and the interference in prison operations of influential members of the community in how the prison is operated.

Brutes’ Brutal Endings
 


New Man in Charge at Conrad Bali
Conrad Bali Appoints Frederic Lebegue as General Manager

Conrad Bali has appointed Frederic Lebegue as General Manager of its 5-star property located on Tanjung Benoa in South Bali.

No stranger to Bali, Lebegue worked as the Resort’s Resident Manager from 2007 to 2009, overseeing the opening of 55 extra suites.

“I am so happy to be returning to Bali and Indonesia, and I have so many fond memories of the island and the people. It will be great to reconnect with the team at Conrad Bali,” said Lebegue.

During his 20-year career with Hilton Worldwide, Lebegue has worked in Fiji where he was the General Manager of both the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa and the Double Tree by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island.

Lebegue has also worked in Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts in the Maldives, China, Malaysia, Singapore, England and his home country of France.

He began his career with Hilton hotels at the busy Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, starting in the food and beverage team managing the hotel’s 22 meeting rooms, three restaurants, and 2,000 square meters of banquet space.

As Director of Operations for the Conrad Maldive Rangali Island he oversaw the reopening of the resort after a US$45 million refurbishment.

“I have long admired Bali. Conrad’s vision is to go behind the scenes and discover the true identity of the destination. It will be fantastic to rediscover the people and culture of one of the world’s most amazing travel destinationsand I look forward to working with the team to enhance that reputation,” he said.


Sky-High Prices for Parking
Big Increases in Parking Fees at Baliís Airport to Take Effect in Janaury 2016

Parking fees at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport are set to increase in January 2016.
  • The hourly parking fee for four-wheeled vehicles will increase from Rp. 3,000 to Rp. 4,000 for the first hour. For the following four hours the rate will be Rp. 3,000 per hour.
  • Those leaving their cars more than five hours at the airport will pay an hourly rate of Rp. 15,000 per hour.
  • The hourly parking fee for two-wheeled motorcycles has increased from Rp. 1,500 to Rp. 2,000. Motorcycles parking at the airport for more than 12 hours must pay Rp. 1,000 per hour.
Those wishing to use long-term parking passes or passes valid for use over the course of a year must now pay Rp. 8 million per year. The yearly parking pass cost only Rp. 750,000 per year prior to the latest increase.

Motorcycles using the airport on a daily basis must pay Rp. 42,000 per month. If motorcyclists want a yearly pass they are asked to pay 11 x Rp. 42,000 or Rp. 462,000 per year.

The airport is defending the decision to dramatically increase parking fees as realistic and based on a thorough business review.


Savoring Indonesian Cuisine
Chili Festival Introduces the Spicy Sambal Sauces of Bali

Bali Safari & Marine Park once again played an active role in spicing up daily life in Bali by hosting the 6th Annual Chili Festival.

Held on December 26 – 27, 2015, at the Bale Banjar Area of the Bali Safari Park, the two-day event was dedicated to the proposition that “some like it hot” and was “warmly” welcomed by visitors, both domestic and foreign.

Adding to the growing reputation of the Festival, this year’s edition included participation by some of Indonesia’s leading professional chefs: Indonesia food Ambassador and culinary consultant William Wongso; the chairman of the of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Chefs Association (ICA) Komang Adi Arsana; TV-chef and cook-off judge Juna Rorimpandey, and successful Bali chef-restaurateur Mandif Warokka.

The two full days of activities included sambal-making competitions, cook-offs using chili-based recipes and live cooking demonstrations conducted by the celebrity chefs. The Chili Festival took on royal airs with the participation of 11 separate Kingdoms across Bali that were invited to present “local sambals” found in these individual regions of the Island. Rare and exotic flavors and ingredients, handed down from generation to generation, were enjoyed in events aimed to conserve Bali’s age-old culinary traditions.

William Santoso the General Manager of the Bali Safari & Marine Park said: “Bali Safari & Marine Park is a conservation and educational institution that always puts culture and nature at the forefront. Preserving Bali’s rich culture forms a part of our overall commitment to the Island. By hosting and supporting the Chili Festival, we desire to elevate the image of ‘sambal’ and its leading role in Indonesian cuisine, not only for the people of Bali but also for our many foreign visitors. We also have used this opportunity to introduce the ‘sambals’ of Bali’s Royal Kingdoms and present culinary traditions that were once limited to only to those who were members of royal households.”

Adopting the theme of “Chili-cious” the Chili Festival theme seeks to inform the public that chilies – in all the many varieties found in Indonesia – can be used to add zesty flavorS to a wide range of recipes and create new taste sensations based on Bali’s unique sambal traditions. Bali, as a small but very famous part of the Indonesian Republic, must face the challenges of global tourism by sharing its culture with the World, while, at the same time, working to preserve and conserve the Island’s rich traditional culture.


The Need for Law Enforcement
Tourism Minister Says Visa Free Facility is Not the Root Cause of More Transnational Crime

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya has emphasized that any increase in transnational crimes committed by foreigners in Indonesia is not the result of any liberalization taking place in the granting of visa-free visits.

Minister Yahya, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, said: “Any increase in transnational crimes committed by foreigners is due to a lack of law enforcement. It’s not the result of visa-free visits. Even without visa-free visits transnational crime perpetrated by foreigners would still be rife.”

Arief contends that if Indonesian has strong law enforcement it will prevent foreigners, even those using a visa-free facility, from undertaking criminal activities. The Minister said that when laws are enforced then the sovereignty of the nation would be respected. But, he warned, if officials are open to corruption, then foreigners will be free to break the law wherever they want.

The Tourism Minister alluded to Indonesia’s success in controlling illegal fishing in its territorial waters, saying strong and effective law enforcement has curtailed illegal fishing and caused those wishing to break the Nation’s laws to think twice before embarking on such illegal enterprises.

The Minister was challenged by reporters regarding the Indonesian government’s demand for reciprocity in the granting of visa-free facilities and the refusal of the Chinese Government to extend visa-free visits to Indonesian travelers, despite Indonesia’s readiness to welcome Chinese tourists visa free.. The Minister said visa policies must be viewed from two perspectives: profitability and reciprocity. Yahya said Indonesia is able to attract more Chinese tourists by virtue of its visa-free policy for Chinese nationals.

Continuing his analysis, Yahya said that if the Chinese did not want to reciprocate with free visas for Indonesian travelers, Indonesia would also then profit in terms of a tourism balance of trade in Indonesia’s favor.

Related Article

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Lacking a License to Operate
Badung Officials Say No Indications that Hotel Crystal on the Bay Will be Issued a Building Permit and Operation License

DenPost reports that the Badung Coordinated Licensing Agency (BPPT) has denied that an operating permit will be issued to the embattled Hotel Crystal on the Bay Project in Nusa Dua.

The chief of the BPPT-Badung office, Made Sutama, said on Sunday, December 20, 2015, “that as long as we refuse to issue a building permit (IMB), that hotel cannot commence operations.”

Sutama told the press that the Hotel Crystal on the Bay Project is still plagued with problems concerning zoning violations that will not permit his office to remove the administrative “seal” installed in the hotel’s front gate.

The head of the Regency Enforcement Agency (Satpol PP), Ketut Marta, confirmed that the hotel remains under seal and barred from commencing operations.

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Cheaper at the Gas Pumps
Fuel Prices to Go Down January 5, 2016

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Sudirman Said, has provided background on why fuel prices will be reduced on January 5, 2016.

As reported by Bali Post, Sudirman told the press on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, that a number of recent government policies have brought greater efficiency to the energy sector clearing the way for a reduction in the price of fuel paid by consumers at the gas pumps.

Effective January 5, 2016, the price of premium will reduce from Rp. 7,300 per liter to Rp. 7,150 per liter.

Diesel fuel prices will also go down on that date from Rp. 6.700 per liter to Rp. 5,650.

These lower fuel prices already include a special levy of Rp. 300 per liter for premium and Rp. 200 per liter for diesel fuel that will be introduced in 2016 to create funds for the development of alternative energy sources.

The reduced cost of fuel at the pumps, said the Minister, reflects cost savings in the supply chain, currency exchange rates, and lower cost of fuel globally.


 
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