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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1009 - 04 January 2016


Assigning Criminals to the Rubbish Dump
Bali Governor Wants Kerobokan Prison Closed and Moved to the Location at Island’s Main Rubbish Dump

Joining the growing chorus calling for the closure of Bali’s Kerobokan Prison and its removal to a more remote location on the Island is Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika. As reported by, Pastika renewed his long-standing call for a new prison for Bali during a meeting with a delegation from the Director General of Prisons, I Wayan Kusmiantha Dusak, from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights visiting his office on Monday, December 28, 2015.

Pastika told the Prison System Officials that that the Kerobokan Prison is overcrowded by as much as 300% and sees men, women and juveniles housed badly in a common penitentiary. Adding: “The capacity of the Kerobokan Prison, its location and the fact that foreign prisoners are held there – all argue for an urgent relocation of the prison.”

Governor Pastika told the delegation that included the Chief of the Provincial Planning Board (Bappeda), Putu Astawa, and the Chief Inspector for the Province, Ketut Teneng, that the best location for a new prison would be at the current main rubbish dump for Bali (TPA) in Suwung. Pastika supports this suggestion with the fact that sufficient land exists at Suwung for the establishment of a prison and the relative isolation of the area from residential settings.

Pastika is seeking a modern and sophisticated new main prison for Bali with a capacity of 1,500-2,000

The Governor asked the Ministry responsible for prisons to quickly prepare a prototype for the prison and a cost estimation for its construction.

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Corruption in High Places
Group of Photographers Extorted During Excursion to Mount Batur

A Sanur, Bali resident, Kadek Armita, has complained about illegal fees being demanded from visitors to the caldera of Mount Batur at Kintamani.

Armita, a member of a group of photographers shooting at the majestic mountain top location on Monday, December 28, 2015, was pressed to make payments to a man identifying himself as a member of the Association of Caldera Guides (HPKC). According to Nusa Bali. Armita reportedly subsequently registered his dissatisfaction with the entire incident on Facebook.

When NusaBali contacted Kadek Armita, he said that he was in the company of 12 friends taking photographs at the caldera when the man who identified himself as a local guide approached him.

“When we had taken several shots at the caldera of Mount Batur, a local asked if we were from the government. We later told him we were just normal citizens who wanted to make a video clip,” said Armita on the day following the incident,

The crater guide then showed the group a book containing a printed tariff for taking photographs on Mt. Batur, ranging between Rp. 250,000 and Rp. 10 million.

At the time, Armita was asked to pay Rp. 1 million, a figure he negotiated down to Rp. 700,000. Once this amount was paid, no receipt of any kind was issued. “I have no problem paying fees for the care and upkeep of tourism objects. It the fee was official, I would hope that in the future it could be accompanied with an official receipt,” Armita explained.

The photographer said that after paying the negotiated fee of Rp. 700,000 they asked the guide to lead them to several shooting locations. However, the guide quickly left with the money after bringing the group to only one of the requested locales.

Armita said the guide claimed the money was used to pay for the removal of trash that is done each Thursday. The photographer noted that trash was very much in evidence at several locations on the crater.

Contacted separately, the head of the Bali Conservation Department (BKSDA), Ketut Catur Marbawa, confirmed that government regulations set fees for photography at Mount Batura ranging from Rp. 250,000 for pre-wedding shots to Rp. 1 million for a handycam and Rp. 10 million for a commercial video. Tourists using simple cameras or hand phones are not charged.

Marbawa confirmed that the Rp. 700,000 collected by the "guide" at Mount Batur was clearly illegal, as the money was not paid into a government account.

Grooms to Spare
Controversy on Same-Sex Weddings in Bali Continues with Pictures of a South Bali Gay Wedding on Facebook

The subject of same-sex weddings in Bali is back in the news.

Following a sustained uproar by political, law enforcement and religious leaders when an alleged same-sex wedding ceremony was staged at a 5-star hotel in Ubud, Bali, controversy has again been ignited by reports of another “gay wedding” in the Ungasan area of South Bali.
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Click Image to Enlarge quotes a spokesman from the Bali Wedding Association (BWA), Elby Lukas Bundi, speaking at Bali Police Headquarters on Wednesday, December 30, 2015, as identifying pictures from the latest same-sex wedding as taken at a villa in Ungasan.

The pictures of the latest same-sex wedding (shown) were uploaded to a Facebook Page. The owner of that page is now being sought by police who want to trace the actual location and date of the purported wedding between two men. The pictures, were uploaded on December 20, 2015, with wedding congratulations from the Facebook holder to his two friends.

Elby told the press that the BWA never arranges same-sex weddings, but does regularly receive requests from gay men and lesbians to arrange such events. Elby said he knew of at least five same-sex wedding ceremonies held in Bali.

Elby also explained: “As far as I know, same sex weddings are only ceremonial in nature. Indeed there are some times a ‘mangku’ or Balinese religious elder who attends as a point of formality. No religious paraphernalia or Balinese religious rituals are ever used.”

Therefore, at most, the same-sex weddings that have drawn such strong public reaction are merely processions or ceremonies. Since Indonesian law does not acknowledge or accept same-sex unions, it is a legal and a practical impossibility for same sex marriages to be performed in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Hindu religious organization in Bali have issued statements stating their opposition to same-sex unions.

There are a number of Wedding Organizers in Bali offering gay and same-sex weddings, with at least one claiming European Management. These websites are careful to explain that such weddings are ceremonial events without any standing as a legal union under the law.

In the absence of an offer or attempt to legally join a same-sex couple in matrimony, and providing no religious elements is included in a same-sex ceremony, it remains unclear if any Indonesian law has been broken. The current spate of complaints have more to do with offending local traditions and mores. However, acts seen to demean any racial or religious group in Indonesia can be treated by Police as a criminal matter.

On December 31, 2015,’s and’s continuing coverage of same-sex weddings in Bali quotes the spokesman for BWA who confirmed the presence of many wedding organizers websites in Bali openly promoting same sex wedding ceremonies. BWA’s Lukas Bundi said: “There are many Wedding Organizers providing service for same sex weddings. Just check the site 'Bali Rainbow Weddings.' There it is clear who has become a Wedding Organizer for same-sex couples.”

Joining the renewed debate, the spokesman for the Provincial Government of Bali, I Ketut Teneng, said he regretted that same-sex wedding ceremonies were still taking place in Bali.

“This is very embarrassing. It is as though Bali condones being used as the location for same-sex couples to hold their weddings,” said Teneng on Thursday, December 31, 2015

Teneng stated that same-sex marriage is not known in any culture or any religion anywhere in the world. Saying, this is particularly the case among Balinese Hindus. The Provincial spokesman said no matter what argument is put forth, same sex weddings cannot be justified. Adding: “Same-sex wedding do not conform with any religion. Don’t let tourism be used to destroy the cultural order of Bali.”

Teneng warned that special attention would be given by the Provincial Government to the problem of same-sex weddings in light of its growing popularity as a destination for such ceremonies.

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Bali Police: The Year in Review
Bali Police Chief Reviews Crime and Death Statistics Foreigners in 2015.

As 2015 comes to a close, the Bali Provincial Police have ended the year with successfully assisting in the arrest and extradition of two international criminals sought by Interpol. On July 31, 2015, reacting to a request from the U.S. FBI, a former Austin, Texas Police Office,r Vontrey Jamal Clark, was arrested on a murder warrant and eventually handed over to American police on September 2, 2015.

Later, on October 25, 2015, Bali immigration officials and police arrested Indian national Mohan Kumar a/k/a Rajendra Cadashiv Nikalje, an Indian fugitive wanted as a serial killer who was extradited to India on November 5, 2015.

Bali’s Provincial Chief of Police, Inspector General Sugeng Priyanto, met with the press on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 to review the work of the police on the Island over the past 12 months.

As reported by, General Sugeng revealed the following police statistics related to foreigners in Bali from 2015:
  • There were 57 criminal cases committed by 193 foreigners.
  • There were 90 criminal cases perpetrated against foreigners that affected 119 foreign victims.
  • There were 31 foreign deaths in Bali in 2015 attributed to homicide, illness, drowning, suicide and vehicular accidents. This is a decline from the 69 foreigners who died in Bali in 2014.

The Salak Village of Sibetan, East Bali
Visionary 21-Year-Old Transforms the Economy and Agriculture of Bali’s Salak Growing Center at Sibetan

Putu Gede Asnawa Dikta, a 21-year-old man used his love of travel and the assignment of a school thesis as the catalyst for the economic transformation of Sibetan Village in Karangasem, East Bali.

Seeking a topic for a writing assignment while still in university in 2012, Putu Gede Asnawa Dikta was drawn to an impoverished farming community in East Bali. Traveling to Sibetan and meeting with those who lived there, Putu found a center for Salak fruit production that was, in some ways, the victim of its own success.

The “cobra-skin fruit” that is the pride of Balinese agriculture yields a harvest in Sebetan of 100 tons per year. Outside the peak harvest period, Salaks can fetch Rp. 5,500 per kilogram, while when the harvest arrives, the sudden oversupply sends prices down to only Rp. 300 – Rp. 800 per kilogram.

Relocating to the village to undertake his thesis research, Putu found farmers with no appreciation of how to properly dispose of the by-products of the Salak crop, creating a village environment that was both unsanitary and odorous.

Thinking “there must be a better way” Putu took it upon himself to develop an agricultural-tourism (agro-wisata) economic model for the village’s future development. Starting in July 2012, the Agro Wisata Abian Salak Project was launched, using the Balinese term for garden (Abian) in its branding.

Taking a step-by-step approach, Putu began by educating local citizens in how to manage their fields and their produce. Over time, he introduced simple but modern technology, waste management and composting processes, and promotional activities to help sell each crop. Seeking financial independence for the local farmers, Putu insisted that each innovation must be self-sustaining and not dependent on outside third parties for support.

Putu set aside 1-hectare from a total of 40-hectare Salak cultivation area as a pilot project, tourists began traveling to see how this unique fruit is cultivated and given a chance to pick the fruit on their own. During the visit tourists can also see how salak wine and salak snacks are produced and purchase a range of salak-based products. They are also served a delicious salak soup made from the stem of the salak plant.

Incomes for local farmers haveincreased 80% from Rp. 500,000 to Rp. 700,0000 per month for the 35 farmers who draw a living from the project.

In recognition of the determination and achievement of Putu Gede Asnawa Dikta he was the recipient of a Danamom Social Entrepreneur Award (DSEA) 2015 for his creation of an environmentally sustainable community-based enterprise.

Honoring Promises
Canggu Residents Threatening to Occupy Hotel Canggu InterContinental Site

DenPost reports that citizens of Banjar Canggu in North Kuta threatened to occupy the Hotel Canggu InterContinental Project if the owner of the luxury hotel resort does not answer their long-standing concerns and complaints.

The threat to occupy the hotel project was issued on Sunday, December 27, 2015.

As a precautionary step, the police and North Kuta District Chief (Camat) have asked for extra security to be put in place.

The threat was issued by local residents who are said to be unhappy with the Resort’s failure to abide with a recent agreement reached with the local village council (banjar).

Among the unanswered complaints are:
  • The seawall (L-Gator) built on the beach of the Resort is too high and must be reduced.
  • The repair of a pathway leading through the Resort to a local temple.
  • A resurvey of the property lines to clarify boundaries.
  • Removal and restoration of ditches and pathways built by the developer.
Local police and the district head are asking villagers to cancel plans to forcibly occupy the resort.

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Indonesia Can be a Moving Experience
4,300 Earthquakes Recorded in Indonesia in 2015

During the entire year of 2015, Indonesia experienced no less than 4,300 earthquakes measuring 3.0 or more on the Richter scale. Human populations felt 360 of these earthquakes across the archipelago, with 7 of these seismic events resulting in significant property damage.

Irwan Meilano, a seismologist from ITB University in Bandung, said data from the Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) proves earthquakes shake Indonesia on an almost daily basis.

Irwan told NusaBali that it is somewhat paradoxical that almost every new destructive earthquake emanates from a heretofore-unidentified source on Indonesia’s seismic map.

Irwan Meilano is a member of the team that is currently redrawing a map showing the history of earthquakes in Indonesia.

Recent new and potentially dangerous earthquakes have occurred to the north of Luwuk, Central Sulawesi (16 March 2015 – 6.1 Richter); Madiun, East Java (25 June 2015 – 4.2 Richter); and Mamberamo, Papua (28 July 2015 – 7.2 Richter).

Other significant earthquakes have been recorded near Alor (6.2 Richter); West Papua (6.8 Richter); Jailolo, West Halmahera; and Tarakan, East Kalimantan.

Irwan said that is imperative for Indonesia to quickly identify the sourse of all earthquakes and the location of major fault lines as the country embarks on substantial investments in mass rapid transport systems, nuclear reactors and major bridge projects.

Underlining his call for more research and understanding of the seismic map of Indonesia, Irwan Meilano bemoaned the fact that seismologists remain unable to answer even the most simple basic questions, such as whether or not there is a major fault (s) near the Nation’s capital of Jakarta.

High Hopes, We’ve Got High Hopes
Indonesia Targets 12 Million Foreign Tourists in 2016

The State News Agency Antara says the Indonesian government is projecting 12 million foreign visitors in 2016, extrapolated to generate US$12 billion in foreign exchange for the Indonesian economy.

The realization of this target is based on two presumptions. First, that Indonesia will end 2015 with 10 million tourist arrivals and, secondly, that the still-targeted total of 10 million can be increased by another 20% in 2016.

Both suppositions are viewed with doubt in some quarters of the tourism industry.

Indonesian foreign tourist arrivals achieved 8 million visitors at the end of October, leaving a sizeable stretch of 2 million more tourists to be garnered in the remaining two months of the year.

Based on year to date growth rates for the first 10 months of 2015, has projected a final count for the year of between 9.5 and 9.75 million foreign visitors.

Meanwhile, questions exist if current promotional programs in combination with a liberalization of the visa-on-arrival program is capable of generating a 20% growth rate in arrivals in contrast to current growth rates in national tourism arrivals of less than 5%.

Indonesia Tourism Minister Arief Yahya remains buoyantly optimistic, place great stock on collaborations-in-progress with travel agents, airlines and the media under the “Wonderful Indonesia” campaign will achieve the desired results.

Said Yahya: “This is being done in an effort to regain interest from prospective foreign tourists, so they will put Indonesia on their vacation wish list.”

Meanwhile, Yahya also  remains adamant that Indonesian will welcome 20 million foreign tourists by 2019.

Elegant Access to Komodo from Bali
Beyond Bali: Komodo Airport at Labuan Bajo, Flores Now Open for Business

President Joko Widodo officially opened the new terminal at the Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, Flores on Sunday, December 27, 2015.

Only a one-hour flight from Bali, the airport at Labuan Bajo is served by a number of direct flights from Bali and is the gateway to the Komodo National Park.

Attending the new airport’s inauguration were the First Lady of the Republic, Madame Widodo; the Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan; the Secretary of State Pratikno, the Governor for East Nusa Tenggara Frans Lebu Raya and the Regent of West Manggarai Tini Tadeus.

The new terminal at the Komodo Airport is capable of handling 1.5 million passengers per year.

Officiating at the opening ceremony and quoted by Nusa Bali, President Widodo said: “This Airport can become a gateway for the enjoyment of the beaches and underwater beauty of Labuan Bajo, the majesty of the Kelimutu Lakes, and to witness the Komodo National Park and its Pink Beach."

The President called on the Minister of Tourism to agressively promote the areas served by the new Airport.

The Komodo Airport has a runway of 2,250 meters in length and a width of 45 meters. It is currently able to accommodate Airbus A-320s, Boeing B737-800s and Boeing B737-900s.

The new terminal and took 3 years to complete and cost Rp. 191.7 billion for the construction covering 9,687 square meters.

Tragic End to 2015
Chinese Tourist Drowns at Tanah Lot While Taking a Selfie

A 59-year-old Chinese woman was swept to her death while taking a “selfie” with a friend at the popular Balinese sea temple of Tanah Lot in West Bali on Thursday, December 31, 2015. and report that Qi Ruiling was embracing a friend Zeng Fang as the two women posed for a self-portrait on a walkway with the iconic Tanah Lot Temple in the background.

The two women failed to notice a large wave sweeping into shore that came ashore and swept over the wooden broadwalk,  knocked them down and swept them out to sea.

The incident occurred at around 12 noon.

Floundering in the waves, Qi Ruilng drowned while her 59-year-old traveling companion Zeng Fang was rescued by a lifeguard on duty at Tanah Lot.

Qi Ruiling was dead when her body was retrieved from the sea, while Zeng was brought to a local hospital for treatment of head wounds and a broken left wrist.

This was not the first time that a visitor to Bali has died while taking a “selfie” portrait near the water’s edge.


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Three Cheers for Indonesia’s Transportation Minister
Editorial: Transportation Minister is Correct in Refusing to Invest More State Funding in Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal in East Bali

The announcement by Indonesian Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan that Jakarta would not be funding further development of the beleaguered Tanah Ampo International Cruise Terminal Project in Karangasem has been met with protestations from government and tourism circles in East Bali. The Secretary of the Karangasem Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI – Karangasem), Wayan Kariasa, accused Jonan of disappointing the people of East Bali who see the Cruise Terminal project as critical to their region's future.

Kariasa questioned how Minister Jonan could reject the view of his predecessors who saw Tanah Ampo as the ideal location for a cruise port and vowed to organize a campaign to compel the Government to stay the course and spend the money needed to complete the Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal.

Despite the displeasure expressed by Kariasa and his colleagues, we sincerely believe Minister Jonan is correct and the Tanah Ampo International Cruise Terminal was doomed from the very outset by unrealistic expectations burdened further by amateurism and cronyism.

The links at the end of this editorial offer just a sampling of’s consistently critical coverage of the Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal Project over the past five years.

When we were invited to tour the Tanah Ampo Terminal shortly after its initial opening, its many shortcoming were immediately apparent. Entrance doors were constructed in a way as to make it impossible for tour buses to maneuver through the entrance. The passenger pier was too short and inadequate to secure the vast majority of large cruise ships visiting Bali. At the same time, the finger pier was also too long and connected to a very circuitous cruise terminal that would prove challenging in distance for elderly cruise passengers. Moreover, street lighting had been installed on the terminal pier that would have been destroyed by the the first ship’s gunwale and docking lines. Equally disastrous was a floating pontoon that was both unsuitable and unsafe for use by cruise passengers; a fact proven when the pontoon was decimated during the first period of high waves.

Underlining the failure of Regency officials were cruise ships that refused to use the port after inspection by their on-board safety officer.

But, the major deficiency of a cruise terminal at Tanah Ampo is now and will forever remain its direct exposure to the open sea that makes unviable for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers during many periods of the year without the protection of a massive breakwater. Such a breakwater would cost trillions of Rupiahs to build and is seen by many experts as technically problematic.

Unlike the over enthusiastic officials of Karangasem, Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan quickly identified the problems presented by the absence of a breakwater and publicly proclaimed his resolve not to throw good money after bad by committing more public funds to creating a cruise port when a cheaper and more viable alternative is already available and in operatin at Bali’s southernmost port of Benoa.

While it’s not clear if a cruise port could ever be made to work at Tanah Ampo, it’s also clear to us that amateurism and cronyism cost Karangasem any chance it might have had at creating a cruise port.

We believe major cruise companies, eager to develop cruise itineraries to Bali, would have most probably donated their time and expertise in advising Karangasem on the criteria and design for a modern cruise port. There are also members of the local travel industry with extensive experience in handling cruise ships who could have provided invaluable insightsand advice to Karangasem officials. Instead, Karangasem officials played their cards close to their chest and decided to go it alone in designing and granting work contracts to local contractors in building the terminal, adjoining pier and floating pontoons. The results were predictably unsuitable to the needs of the cruise market they sought to serve.

Minister Jonan is proving himself a wise and cautious leader of Indonesia’s Public Transportation sector. His decision to abandon the Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal Project may be unpoular in local circles but brings to an end a long saga of incompetence in both the planning and execution of East Bali's cruise port ambitions.

Full marks to Minister Jonan for dispensing some much needed, albeit bitter, medicine to the Regency of Karangasem.

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Operating Illegally Offshore
Water Sports Operators in Complain of Illegal Foreign Diving Guides and Diving Instructors

The Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Marine Tourism Association (Gahawisri-Bali) is complaining to that unlicensed guides and instructors offering their services without any connection to a licensed company and without the needed immigration and working papers now dominate diving operations in Bali.

Quoted by NusaBali, the Chairman of Gahawisri-Bali, Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, told working meeting of his association on Monday, December 21, 2015: “We hope that the Government working through the Bali Provincial Tourism Service (Dispar) can act on the conclusions of this meeting. There are a great many diving activities or dive guides happening in Bali without operating permits. Characteristically these are only seasonal operations here during high season and 85% of these (illegal) operators are foreigners.”

Adnyana admitted that the predominance of foreign dive instructors working illegally in Bali is precipitated by the lack of certified Indonesian diving instructors. The Gahawisri Chairman called for government assistance in providing professional diving instruction as a means of creating employment opportunities for Indonesians in this sector.

The Casualty Count from New Year’s Eve
Bali’s Main Hospital Kept Busy Treating Assault and Firework Injuries Over the Transition from 2015 to 2016

The State New Agency Antara reports that Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital was busy treating injuries over the New Year’s Eve period.

And, as in years past, fireworks and firecrackers caused a large number of injuries, with an inordinate share affecting young children allowed to play with fireworks.

A summary list of those treated and their injuries include:
  • Nyoman Bayu Krisna (8) who suffered firework burns and blunt force trauma.
  • Sertafasius Darman (23) with burns to his genitalia from a firework explosion.
  • Indra Rahmat Wijaya with burns from mentholated spirits.
  • Putu Aritama (11) who was hit by exploding fireworks resulting in blunt force trauma and a ruptured cornea.
  • Muhammad Toriq (12) who was sprayed by stones sent flying from a firecracker explosion.
  • Kadek Dipa Sanjaya (9) injured by a firecracker.
  • I Putu Duta (5) of Abang, Karangasem who suffered injuries to both eyes from fireworks.
  • Dedi Jonata Saputra (8) with hand injuries from a firecracker.
  • Putu Kutang (5) who suffered an eye injury from fireworks.
  • Ariati (49) of Loloan, Jembrana who suffered an eye injury from a flying stone.
  • Wayan Sutama (55) of Kapal, Mengwi with a leg injury.
  • I Made Wirawan (24) with hand injuries from fireworks.
  • Dewa Nyoman Bisma (3) with injuries to both hands from fireworks.
  • Made Jelita (8) who suffered hand injuries due to a firecracker.
  • I Gusti Ngurah Putu Mahendra (25) from Marga, Tabanan with neck injuries.
  • Nyoman Sugiana (41) from Kerambitan with burn to both hands.
  • Kadek Adi Arsana (18) from Pejaten with a fractured finger.
  • Ketut Kastika (41) of Kediri with a burn to the eye.
  • Ahmad Holid (30) of Denpasar with burns to both hands due to fireworks.
  • Wayan Eka Putra with hand injuries due to fireworks.
  • Agus Sadikin (23), Riyan Hidayat (24) and Arif Efendi (25) and Jefri Paridan Nugroho (20) who all suffered beating injuries.
  • Dewi Yustiani (16) who entered the emergency unit after receiving a beating.

After the Party’s Over
1,000 Cleaners Deployed to Clean Up the Aftermath on Kuta Beach after 2015-2016 New Year’s Party

When the New Year’s Celebrations on Bali’s Popular Kuta Beach Front were over on the morning of January 1, 2016, local officials were faced with the daunting responsibility of removing an estimated 325 tons of trash to permit sun and sand worshippers to resume their enjoyment of the waterfront.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the head of the Public Hygiene and Parks Division for the Regency of Badung, Eka Mertawan, said on New Year’s Day the huge amount of trash was the aftermath of the night long partying and festivities by both domestic and international visitors used to welcome 2016.

The Regency deployed nearly 1,000 staff to quickly clean the entire length of Kuta Beach starting on the morning of New Year’s Day.

Also joining the clean-up effort were traders and shopkeepers who make their living working on the Island’s most popular ocean beach.

Assisting the cleaning exercise were four excavators were used on a round-the-clock basis to lift the trash to waiting trucks to haul the debris away.

On an average day the Kuta Beach front produces 250 tons of trash, considerably less that the 350 tons accumulated over New Year’s Eve.

Straight and Largely Level Flight
Flights and Passengers Handled by Bali Airport Declined 1% in 2015

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport presented a special welcome for the first passengers to land in Bali in 2016.

International passengers landing in the early hours of the New Year were welcomed with cultural dance-music performances, and presented with flowers and souvenirs. The music welcome featured Bali’s traditional dance of welcome – the “Tari Pendet” accompanied by a full gamelan orchestra.

Quoted by, the general manager of the Bali Airport Authority – PT Angkasa Pura I, Trikora Harjo, said: “As the main gateway for tourism, the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport wanted to give a good first impression about the character and culture of Bali.

The passengers disembarking Hong Kong Airlines flight (HX 6705) were the first to land in Bali on New Year’s Day 2016, while the first to depart the Island in the New Year flew on AirAsia QZ 7517 destined for Jakarta and Korean Air (KE 634) bound for Incheon, South Korea.

Trikora shared that during 2015 Bali’s Airport handled 74,200 domestic flights and 51,440 international flights for a grand total of 125,640 flight movements. This is a total 3% less than the number of flights handled in 2014.

During all of 2015, Bali handled 8,542,454 domestic air passengers and 8,503,600 international passengers for a combined total of 17,046,054 passengers. Passengers flying through Bali’s airport in 2015 declined 1% when compared to 2014.

Trikora attributed the slight downturn in passenger and flight numbers to flight disruptions caused by volcanic dust from Mt. Raung and Mt. Barujari (Rinjani) that occurred intermittingly between July and November 2015.

High Apple Pie in the Sky Hopes
Bali by the Numbers: Bali Predicting 11.7 Million Domestic and International Visitors in 2016

The Bali Provincial Tourism Service (Dispar) has admitted that it is pessimistic that the targeted 7 million domestic visitors for 2015 will be achieved, but remains convinced that the goal of 4 million foreign tourists would be met.

A.A. Gede Yuniartha, the head of Dispar told Bali Post: “If foreign tourists, I think we will reach the target. But, if domestic tourist numbers, I can’t promise (the target will be achieved). We experienced the opening and closing of the airport because of the volcanic explosions at Mr. Raung and Mt. Barujari. The school holidays also coincided this year with the fasting month, so not many came to Bali.”

Yuniartha said that through the end of October 2015, domestic tourist arrivals in Bali totaled around 6 million, leaving reasonable doubt that 1 million domestic tourists would come to Bali in the last two months of the year.

Despite these modest results, Bali is projecting 7.5 million domestic visitors in 2016 – an ambitious increase of 25%.

Yuniartha said that the target for foreign visitors to Bali in 2016 has been set at 4.2 million, an increase of 5% - if the Island ends the year with 4 million overseas tourists.

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Stimulating Tourism Industry through Hotel Investment
Will Indonesia Open Hotel and Restaurant Sectors to Allow More Foreign Investment?

The head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Franky Sibarani, has indicated the Government is considering changes in the current regulations to allow more participation by foreign investors in the hotel and restaurant sectors of the economy.

Current regulations only allow foreign investment in 3-4-5 star hotels, while 1-2 star hotels only permit a 51% foreign shareholding.

Sibarani said the a liberalization to permit 100% shareholdings by foreigners in restaurants and hotels could improve service standards in the tourism sector and address the inability of local investors to capitalize their participation in tourism projects.

As reported by NusaBali, Franky Sibarani said the opening up of investment possibilities for foreigners in hotels and restaurants remains a recommendation worthy of further evaluation.

Gag Order for Bali Gangs
Governor Orders Bali Gangs to Remove Public Advertising

Frustrated in his desire to disband “mass organizations” involved in murderous recent prison and street riots, Bali Governor Made Pastika has issued an order demanding that all banners and billboards and other forms of advertising erected by these now disgraced gangs be taken down.

Provincial spokesperson, I Ketut Teneng, confirmed on Monday, December 28, 2015, that instruction to dismantle “mass organization” advertising has been sent by the Province to all regents and mayors on the Island.

The Governor’s order was issued on December 23, 2015.

The removal of “mass organization” signage was the outcome of a meeting convened by the Governor attended by community leaders, law enforcement agencies and others following the violent prison riot and street riots that claimed 5 lives on December 17, 2015.

The prohibition on signs anticipates and precludes a slogan campaign before the public carried out by the warring factions.

Meanwhile, Police continue to identify suspect involved in the violence of December 17th while the Governor review the rules governing “mass organizations” to determine the future format and legality of such groups.

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Pave Over Paradise & Put Up a Parking Lot
Bali Nears 4 Million Vehicles on Roads Insufficient to Support High Traffic Volumes

Bali traffic officials estimate there are some three million motorized vehicles traveling the Island’s roads, a number that does not include “visiting” vehicles registered outside the province.

Officials warn that the number of vehicle on the island will soon reach a total equal to the Bali’s population of 4 million.

60% of all vehicles traveling on Bali’s roads are motorbikes.

The chief of Bali’s Transportation and Information/Communication Service, Ketut Artika, estimates that the number of vehicles in Bali increases by 13% each year while the amount of pave roads increases, in comparison, by a mere 1%.

City planner say that the ideal ratio of land space allocated for roads in a metropolitan setting is between 15 and 20%. In Bali’s capital of Denpasar, however, the amount of land used for roadways is put at only 6%.

As a result, Bali is fast approaching the point where the carrying capacity of the roads is inadequate to the volume of vehicles traveling those roads.

In order to bring the boom in vehicle proliferation under control, the government is implementing programs ranging from stricter control on parking, higher parking fees, progressive vehicle taxes for households owning more than one vehicle and programs to encourage the use of public transport.

Artika said the government must work to make mass transportation more efficient and comfortable to encourage greater use of mass transit systems, such as the Sarbagita Bus System.

The head of the Provincial Planning Board (Bappeda Bali), I Putu Astawa, added that Bali needs a rail-based mass transport system. Feasibility studies on a rail system are being prepared that would connect Denpasar, Mengwi and Buleleng.

Astawa said the very earliest that a train system could be introduced in Bali is five years in the future.

Money-Back Guarantee
Indonesian Government Sets Minimum Levels for Airline Ticket Refunds

The Ministry of Transportation has issued a Ministerial Decree stipulating the minimum refund due to air passengers who cancel a domestic economy class ticket before a flight’s scheduled departure.

The minimum amount of refund due to passengers who cancel a flight reservation as set for by Permenhub No. 186 of 2015, Section 10, Paragraph 2 are as follows:
  • Cancellation of a reservation more than 72 hours prior to departure: minimum refund of 75%.
  • Cancellation between 48 and 72 hours prior to departure: minimum refund of 50%.
  • Cancellation between 24 and 47 hours prior to departure: minimum refund of 40%.
  • Cancellation between 12 and 23 hours prior to departure: minimum refund of 30%.
  • Cancellation between 4 and 11 hours prior to departure: minimum refund of 20%.
  • Cancellation less than 4 hours before departure: Minimum refund of 10%.
Conversely, should an airline cancel a flight for reasons of force majeure for reasons outside the airline’s control, the airline should offer space on the next available flight to the original destination or refund the original fare less the following administration charges:
  • Refund of an air ticket on a full-service airline: the original fare less an administration charge of 20%.
  • Refund of an air ticket on a medium-service airline: the original fare less an administration charge of 15%.
  • Refund of an air ticket on a no-frill airline: the original fare less an administration charge of 10%.

A Fatal, Tragic Leap into 2016
Australian Dies After Motorcycle Plunges into Ocean at Candi Dasa in the Early Hours of 2016

A 42-year-old Australian tourist, Scot Freeburgh, died on Friday, January 1, 2016, just three hours into the New Year on the main road passing through Candi Dasa, Karangasem, East Bali.

Freeburgh, who was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed and was not wearing a helmet, lost control of his motorcycle whilst driving in a southerly direction and plunged together with his bike into the ocean.

As reported by Nusa Bali, the Australian’s head struck a large rock causing catastrophic head trauma. Freeburgh died later at a nearby clinic. 

Because the road was quiet at the time of the accident and his precarious location on a rocky shoreline it took police and officials one-hour to retrieve Freeburgh from the waves and bring him by ambulance to the nearby Penta Medika Clinic where he expire a short time later.

Forensic medical examination of the man’s body confirmed he had suffered a crushed skull and serious injury to his back and left arm.

Investigation by the police, including interviews with the man’s travel companions, cause law enforcement authorities to theorize the man had left a New Year’s party in an intoxicated state, shortly before the fatal crash, as traveled the two hour journey back to his accommodation in the Kerobokan area of South Bali at 3:00 am on New Year's morning.

We Try Harder
Bali Ranked #2 in 2015 Travel+Leisure’s List of 10 Best Islands in the World

Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has expressed his delight with Bali’s inclusion among U.S. Travel+Leisure Magazine’s 2015 list of the world’s best islands.

Quoted by the Indonesian State News Agency Antara, Yahya said on Sunday, January 3, 2016: "I am very proud of Bali for being selected as one of the worlds best islands."

While the top spot among the best islands went to Ecuador’s Galapagos Island with a score of 90.82, Bali ranked a close second scoring 88.98, followed by the Maldives (88.53) and Tasmania (88.32).
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Click Image to Enlarge

Jubilant and confident with the win, Yahya praised the natural beauty of Indonesia, adding: "We have to be confident that our tourism is great for snorkeling with the beauty of its diving tourism. We can outclass Galapagos, even with our two Rajaampat and Pulau Komodo tourist destinations."

Ranking in the prestigious Travel+Leisure list of “top islands” is based on voting done on line by the magazine’s 4.8 million readers."

The final scores and ranking in the 2015 Travel+Leisure list of the world’s top 10 islands in the world:
  1. Galápagos Islands-Ecuador (90.28)
  2. Bali – Indonesia (88.98)
  3. Maldives (88.53)
  4. Tasmania- Australia (88.32)
  5. Santorini – Greece (87.93)
  6. Moorea - French Polynesia (87.90)
  7. Maui – Hawaii (87.89)
  8. Kauai – Hawaii (87.88)
  9. Great Barrier Reef – Australia (87.31)
  10. Malta (86.90)

Tragic Loss at Nusa Lembongan
Australian Award-Winning Humanitarian Nurse Dies After Snorkeling at Nusa Lembongan Near Bali

9NEWS.CO.AU reports that a 55-year-old Australian nurse has died while holidaying on Nusa Lembongan - Bali’s offshore resort island.

Maureen Eddison from St. Kilda, Victoria, complained of not feeling well, was vomiting and had difficulties in breathing after snorkeling for 45-minutes on New Year’s Day 2016. She was taken to a local clinic by car where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

A post-mortem examination stated the woman died from a lack of oxygen.

Eddison worked as a team leaders with Operation Restore Hope – a group of volunteers that provides facial surgery for children in the Philippines. Awarded the Order of Australia for her humanitarian work, Eddison had coordinated medical and nursing teams from Australia to the Philippines for the past two decades.

She was holiday at Nusa Lembongan together with five family members.

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Bali Update #665
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Bali Update #664
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Bali Update #661
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Bali Update #660
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Bali Update #659
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Bali Update #658
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Bali Update #657
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Bali Update #656
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Bali Update #655
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Bali Update #654
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Bali Update #653
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Bali Update #652
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Bali Update #651
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Bali Update #650
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Bali Update #649
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Bali Update #648
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Bali Update #647
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Bali Update #646
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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #642
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Bali Update #641
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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #638
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Bali Update #637
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Bali Update #636
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Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #633
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Bali Update #632
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #630
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Bali Update #629
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Bali Update #628
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Bali Update #627
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Bali Update #626
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Bali Update #625
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Bali Update #624
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #622
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Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #620
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #617
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #614
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #611
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #601
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #599
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Bali Update #598
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #592
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #583
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Bali Update #582
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Bali Update #581
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #579
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Bali Update #578
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Bali Update #577
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Bali Update #576
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Bali Update #575
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #572
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
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Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #563
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
April 30, 2007

Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #539
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Bali Update #538
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Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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