Strike Cancelled after Last-Minute Meeting Between Union and Cabinet Ministers.
A threatened three-day strike by Garuda Indonesia's 2,347 member Garuda Flight Attendant Association (IKAGI) scheduled for August 12-14, 2005, was averted when in the early hours of August 12th the union formally announced the strike plan had been cancelled.
The cancellation of the strike call followed a rushed meeting between IKAGI representatives with three members of the Presidential Cabinet the Minister for Communication Hatta Radjasa, the Minister for Manpower and Transmigration Fahmi Idris, and the State Minister for State-owned Enterprises Sugiarto. Reportedly the Ministers volunteered to mediate meetings between IKAGI and the Airline's management.
A union spokesman said the strike was called off after meeting with the Ministers who explained the potentially grave effects the planned strike might have on Garuda. The debt-ridden Airline has an estimated US$820 in unpaid loans and, despite restructuring efforts, continues to experience substantial operating losses.
Garuda has recently contracted the services of an international consulting company specializing in salary and management issues to recommend a more equitable and competitive salary system for their employees.
With the threatened strike averted, both international and domestic Garuda flights on Friday, August 12, 2005, appeared to be operating as usual.
Bali's July Arrivals Set New Record Highs
Bali by the Numbers: Bali on Track for Making 2005 the Best Year Ever in Terms of Total Tourist Arrivals.
Foreign direct arrivals for July totaled 158,453 a 7% improvement over the same month one year before and an all time record high the month.
71% Improvement Over 2003
Total foreign arrivals for the first seven months of 2005 hit 847,427 6.4% better than 2004 and 71% better than the same period in 2003, Bali's Annus horribilis following the October 2002 terrorist bombing.
Still in Search of Quality
While total numbers of visitors continue to impress, local tourism industry observers continue to bemoan the lack of "quality" among current visitors in terms of length of stay and average per diem spending levels. The next installment of "Bali by the Numbers" will take a closer look at the various markets visiting Bali in 2005, demonstrating performance numbers from high-spending and long-staying guests in Western Europe and the Americas still lags behind levels achieved in 2000 and 2001.
Please Don't Feed Our Monkeys
Discovery of Simian Foamy Virus in Bali Causes Health Officials to Urge Visitors to Avoid Close Contact with Monkeys at Bali's Temples.
The discovery of a retrovirus that transfers from monkeys to man among people living near one of Bali's fabled monkey temples has scientists concerned and urging people to avoid "close contact" with Bali's primate population.
Visitors to Bali's estimated 45 temples where semi-tame monkeys congregate are being urged to avoid feeding or involving themselves in any behavior that could potentially provoke the monkeys to bite or scratch.
Simian Foamy Virus
Simian Foamy Virus (SFV) - the retrovirus found in tests conducted on a local farmer living near the Sangeh Temple, is the first confirmed case of SFV in Asia and one among 40 known cases world-wide. The other know SFV infections have been recorded among African bush meat hunters, and North American zoo and lab workers.
No Need for Undue Alarm
SFV has not been linked to any known disease symptoms among the humans infected, appearing to be non-insidious and benign to both humans and monkeys. Nonetheless, scientist are always concerned when any virus can be demonstrated to jump from one species to another, fearing that the virus could someday mutate into a dangerous disease within the human population. Many scientists believe HIV may have evolved as the source of AIDS after making the jump from monkeys to humans and laying dormant for years in the human population before evolving into a public health threat.
With only one SFV case confirmed among 82 people tested near Sanglah Temple, scientists do not believed that the disease is easily transmitted from monkeys to humans. Experts, quoted in the Jakarta Post, suggest people can still safely visit the popular monkey temples on Bali but should avoid close personal contact that could result in a bite or a scratch by a macaque.
The scientist also say people who have been bitten or scratch by monkeys need not become alarmed and do not need to undertake complicated tests to detect SFV.
Although genetically different form the virus in monkeys that later evolved into HIV, scientist are wary of how the virus might evolve over time or interact with other diseases in people infected by tuberculosis, HIV or other virus-based human ailments.
There is no scientific evidence that human beings once infected with SFV can contaminate other humans with the virus.
Visitors to a Bali Monkey Temple should do so as part of a tour lead by a licensed guide and follow all instructions given to them, refraining from feeding the monkeys or posing for photographs while holding the primates.
Truth and Friendship Commission Established
Indonesian-East Timor Joint Commission Based in Bali to be Dedicated to the Future While Healing Past Wounds.
Relations between the governments of Timor Leste (East Timor) and Indonesia entered a new phase last week with the formal establishment of a Truth and Friendship Commission (KKP) headquartered on the island of Bali.
Comprised of five members each from East Timor and Indonesia, the commission is charged with "healing wounds" and uncovering the causes of acts of violence surrounding the plebiscite on independence held in East Timor in 1999. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono welcomed the establishment of the commission, saying he hoped it would resolve any outstanding issues between the two countries in an appropriate, fair and forward-looking manner. Marking the commencement of work by the Commission as a "new page" between the two sovereign nations, President Yudhoyono underlined that the KKP is not a commission of justice but, rather a commission of truth.
Targeted to file a joint report by the end of 2005, the KKP may help deflect calls for the establishment of an United Nation's international tribunal to try and punish those who may have committed violent crimes during the period of East Timor's transition to independence. Indonesia has consistently resisted calls for any war crimes process while officials in East Timor have also opposed moves for such trials, staing their wish to concentrate instead on establishing mutually beneficial relations with its nearest neighbor. East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao, once jailed in Jakarta by Indonesia as a rebel leader, has said he hoped the work of the KKP would satisfy calls for international justice in connection with the events surrounding his county's independence struggle.
Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil
Bali's Sheraton Laguna Creates Employment Opportunity for a Group of Very Special Young Workers.
Bali's Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua prides itself on searching far and wide in order to secure the very best candidates to fill every staff vacancy. Recently, that search extended to Bali's Sekolah Luar Biasa, a special school established to help physically challenged young people discover life's true potential.
Four deaf-mute students from the school have been employed by the Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua to assist during the current peak season period in the capacity as daily workers in the food and beverage department. Ni Made Sari is working in the kitchens and receiving departments; Dewa Ayu Alit Setyawati is a cutlery dishwasher; Dading Kalbuhadi keeps very busy as a steward; and Yudi Kurniawan is training in the hotel's famous pastry pantry.
As you might imagine, the four high school level students are more than delighted with the opportunity to work at one of Bali's leading 5-star properties and the warm and friendly acceptance extended to them by their co-workers. Their next goal: permanent employment status after successfully completing their three-month daily worker assignment.
"These young people have done very well and quickly overcome obstacles in understanding orders. They are shy but their confidence is growing through contact with guests in the hotel area," said Sheraton Laguna Human Resources Director, Erika Isnijati.
Balinese Artists I Gusti Lanang Gede Atmaja Holds Exhibition at Westin Resort to Raise Funds for UNICEF.
Well-known and fast-rising Balinese artist, I Gusti Lanang Gede Atmaja, perhaps better known in local circles as "Ngurah," has created 20 new masterpieces of art to be sold in support of The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua' fund-raising initiative on behalf of UNICEF.
Opened on Thursday, August 11, 2005, the exhibition of colorful artistic expressionistic works by one of the most promising artistic talents on Bali's art scene will continue in the Resort's lobby through September 30, 2005.
In explaining his motivation for having a show dedicated to benefiting the world's children and the underlying theme of his latest exhibition, Ngurah said: "Children have the right to play. Play does not depend on age or physical ability, just the willingness to have fun, share or explore!"
Part of the Resort's ongoing UNICEF Check Out for Children Challenge funds raised will assist a special fund to immunize thousands of children in the region against childhood diseases that are preventable by vaccination.
"We are delighted to have Ngurah supporting us in this special drive," said Prhativi Dyah of The Westin Resort. Dyah explained how the Resort's relationship with Ngurah has blossomed over the past several years, starting with his participation in a joint exhibition to mark the grand opening of The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali held on the April 20, 2004. At that time, Ngurah participated as one of seven noted artists invited to display their works for a VIP pre-dinner cocktail party "Art in Modern Luxury" that saw eleven of Ngurah's paintings scooped up by enthusiastic art collectors.
Waka Sailing Catamaran
Latest Addition to the Waka Experience is a Luxury Catamaran Cruise Experience to Candi Dasa or Nusa Lembongan.
Three years in the making, Waka has recently launched their luxurious state-of-the-art sailing catamaran adding yet another dimension to the "Waka Experience" the Balinese-owned company's distinctive range of accommodation and holiday experiences.
16 meters in length and capable of accommodating 30 passengers, the Waka Sailing Catamaran is fully-crewed by a talented team equally adept at setting the mainsails and setting a tray of delicious refreshments. Based at Bali's Benoa Harbor, the "cat's" home port is a short drive from most major hotels in the southern part of Bali.
The Waka Sailing Catamaran is currently offering a choice of two cruise experiences, available on either an individual or exclusive charter basis.
An 8:30 a.m. sailing time brings you into Bali's Badung Strait while enjoying a breakfast of fresh juice, coffee and freshly-baked pastries. Under sail, the "cat" heads north, dropping anchor at Candi Dasa just before lunch. There, in the shadows of impressive sacred Mt. Agung, guests are ferried ashore to explore local villages and shops, swim, snorkel and partake in a delicious BBQ lunch. A mid-afternoon sail back to the south has passengers arriving back at Benoa harbor at sunset, just in time for a dash back to your hotel to commence another tropical evening in Bali.
A 9:00 a.m. sailing from Benoa harbor permits a landing at Bali's nearest island neighbor, Nusa Lembongan at 11:00 a.m. while enjoying light refreshment along the way. Passengers are free to spend 5 hours ashore on Nusa Lembongan, using the many recreational facilities available at Waka's Luxury Reef Club, explore a nearby village, visit an unique underground house, or see first-hand how the local seaweed farmers harvest their crop. During the visit a sumptuous Indonesian-style lunch is served at the Resort. A 3:30 p.m. departure allows a leisurely sail back to port, witnessing the sunset just as the ship comes alongside at its home port pier.
For more information and bookings, contact Bali Discovery Tours.
Government Announces Official Holiday Schedule for 2006.
Indonesia has published the list of official holidays for 2006. The schedule of official holidays - the subject of a joint Ministerial decision from the Minister of Religious Affairs, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, and the State Minister for Administrative Reform was published on July 29, 2005 and sets the dates for both official and religious holidays and the recently introduced "joint holidays" or "cuti bersama". "Cuti Bersama" is the officially declared long holiday established to stimulate national tourism and increase efficiency in the operation of government offices.
2006 Official Holidays
Sunday, January 1, 2006 New Year's Day
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 Idul Adha 1426H.
Sunday, January 29, 2006 Chinese New Year 2557
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 Moslem New Year 1427H
Thursday, March 30, 2006 Hari Nyepi or Bali's Day of Absolute Silence
Monday, April 10, 2006 Birthday of the Prophet Mohammed S.A.W. replacing the official date of April 11, 2006.
Friday, April 14, 2006 Good Friday.
Thursday, May 25, 2006 The Ascension of Jesus Christ.
Thursday, August 17, 2006 Indonesian Independence Day.
Monday, August 21, 2006 Isra' Mi'raj Nabi Muhamad S.A.W.
Monday, October 23, 2006 Cuti Bersama.
Tuesday and Wednesday, October 24-25, 2006 Idul Fitri.
Thursday and Friday, October 26 27, 2006 Cuti Berama
Monday, December 25, 2006 Christmas Day.
Sunday, December 31, 2006 Idul Adha 1427H.
Indonesia Celebrates 3 Score Years
Still A Great Notion: Indonesia Turns 60 on August 17, 2006 Having Much to Celebrate and Reason to Look to an Even Brighter Future Ahead.
Sixty years ago two young political activists, Soekarno and Hatta, stood before a microphone in central Jakarta to read a hastily prepared announcement proclaiming Indonesia a free and sovereign country.
3 score years later, Indonesia continues on its road to establish a free and democratic state capable of fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the world's fourth most populous nation. Indonesia has suffered both massive disappointments together with moments of great triumph over its first six decades and, like every great social enterprise in the history of mankind, there have been the "diaper years" the mandatory period of disorder and chaos that must be passed before evolving into a mature political state.
A Time of Great Optimism
Indonesia's celebration of its 60th Anniversary marks a period of great promise for the Nation. For the first time in its history, Indonesia's leaders from the very highest posts to that of village heads are being elected directly by popular vote. In response to the vox populi, the Country's First President directly answerable to the People is making significant progress in his pledge to fight the corruption that has drained the nation's life force in the past. To the West, a decades long conflict in the North Sumatran province of Aceh appears to be ending with both sides to the conflict signing a historic peace accord on the very eve of Indonesia's 60th anniversary. Meanwhile, to the East, a truth and friendship commission has been formed with former foes in East Timor, heralding a new era of friendly cooperation between Timor Leste and the Republic of Indonesia.
Still a Very Great Notion
The principles of humanity, social justice, national unity and nationalism envisioned by Soekarno and Hatta sixty years ago still burn bright in the hearts of most Indonesians. The task of nation building - uniting a people spread across more than 17.000 islands, and comprised of over 300 ethnic groups remains a formidable and often frustrating task. Without doubt there have been periods when the march forward towards Indonesia's national destiny when their steps have faltered; painful momentary retreats before finally managing a consolidation for the next, bold step into the future.
Principles of unity, social justice, and nationalism proclaimed by the Nation's founders 60 years ago remain with us today fueled by a new air of optimism based on recent events and a renewed sense that the man in charge shares a genuine concern and interest in the Nation's place in history. When wisely applied by the nation's leaders, the humanistic ideals given birth 60 years ago are certain to override any narrower interests of race, ethnicity, local culture and religious beliefs; successfully nurturing Indonesia's rich diversity while strengthening its unity.
balidiscovery.com takes this opportunity to extend its sincere wishes for a future bright with promise to the people of Republic of Indonesia.
"Dirgahayu Republik Indonesia H.U.T. ke-60!"
Piero Bellizzi Joins Bali InterContinental
InterContinental Veteran to Focus on Daily Operations of the 425-Room Bali Resort.
InterContinental Resort Bali has appointed Piero Bellizzi as Resort Manager. Piero replaces Shantha De Silva who has left Bali to take on the role of General Manager at the Holiday Inn Park View Singapore.
Piero, a Venezuelan/German national who speaks English, German and Spanish, has completed a number of important managerial assignments with InterContinental Hotels Group. He has worked as Hotel Manager with the InterContinental Frankfurt, Germany where he was responsible for the overall operation of a 770-room property, managing an extensive renovation of that hotel. He has held similar positions with the InterContinental Hotels Group in Barcelona, Dubai, Berlin and Miami.
A well educated hotelier by any standard, Piero holds a Master in Business Administration from Henley Management College in Oxfordshire, England; a Master of Science in Hotel and Food Service Management from Florida International University, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brown University.
In his latest assignment as Resort Manager at InterContinental Resort Bali, Piero will assist the General Manager, Amadeo Zarzosa with a special focus on daily operations of the resort.
Robbert van der Maas Popular General Manager at Grand Hyatt Bali Announces Change of Employment and Change of Island.
One of Bali's most active and well-known hoteliers, Robbert van der Maas has announced his decision to end a 23 year association with Hyatt International to accept a new position with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
After 7.5 years with the Grand Hyatt Bali, van der Maas will relinquish the helm at the 5-star 659-room Bali resort to become General Manager at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Hura.
van der Maas will assume his new post in the Maldives on September 1, 2005, leaving his many freinds in Bali where he has proven himself an active advocate for the island and the development of its tourism industry.
Replacing van der Maas at the Grand Hyatt is Detlev Truernit. Truernit, a 25 year veteran with Hyatt International has had previous career postings in Indonesia with the Hyatt Surabaya and Bali Hyatt. He comes to Bali from his most recent assignment as the General Manager of the Hyatt Regency New Delhi.
Prints, Pots and Paintings at Ubuds Mood Studio
Exhibition or Rare Maps and Prints, Shipwreck Ceramics and Rare Balinese Paintings at Newly-Opened Mood Studio in Ubud.
Recently opening its doors to the public, Mood Studio in Kedewatan Ubud is commencing operations with a triple-billing of rare prints, shipwreck ceramics and rare Balinese paintings.
Rare Chinese export ceramics were produced in China and shipped to and through Southeast Asia for the millennium between the 9th and 19th centuries. Ships laden with priceless plate, pots and table vessels often floundered on their journeys, waiting for discovery by ship's salvagers hundreds of years later.
A selection of rare and valuable shipwreck ceramic artifacts have now "resurfaced" in time to be included in the current exhibition at Mood Studio.
The Way They Viewed Us
The first printed plates depicting the journeys and discoveries of Western explorers and adventurers in the Indonesian archipelago were published in Amsterdam in 1596. The current exhibition in Ubud presents outstanding examples of the early engraved lithographs and maps, many appearing for the first time in Indonesia.
Paintings by Maurice Sterne
An American born in 1877, Maurice Sterne won a National Academy traveling scholarship in 1904 that sent him on an artistic journey including Paris, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Burma and Bali. Influenced by Cezanne, Monet, and the Renaissance Painters - the American paused and painted in Bali between 1912 to 1914. On the Island, he painted in colors and lines reminiscent of Gaugin a style he described as "quick and spontaneous what happened."
Sterne's colorful impressions of Balinese culture and life during the second decade of the 1900s when he was arguably one of the first expatriate artists working on Bali - form a part of the current exhibition at Mood Studio.
Commenting on the current exhibition in Ubud, gallery consultant Roy Thompson explains, "each of these exhibitions is a first time event on Bali. The shipwreck exhibition is being held in conjunction with the Department of Archaeology, and virtually no museums or galleries on Bali have any of Sterne's Bali period works."
Mood Studio is located near the intersection of Jalan Raya Lungsiakan and Jalan Raya Kedewatan in Kedewatan-Ubud, eight minutes from the center of town. Open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. the Gallery can be telephoned at ++62-(0)361-7825508, ++62-(0)361-974445 or mobile, ++62(0)816579787.
The current exhibition runs through October 3, 2005.