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Solo Exhibition by Rie Mandala in Ubud August 28 - September 27, 2009.
Life is a collage for artist Rie Mandala. From her native Japan, across Asia, to Canada and the U.S.A., Rie has lived, traveled and exhibited across the globe, absorbing and observing a mélange of cultures along the way. "Wandering Ripples" her latest exhibition is a collection of some 20 works of art, documenting this world-wide search of self-discovery.
While studying design at Okinawa University in Japan, Rie came to the realization that, in order to go beyond design and follow the evolving creative process, she needed to go on a journey. She then left the land of her birth, becoming a nomadic artists that, early in her travels brought her to Ubud in Bali, and ignited an enduring love for Indonesia. In ‘Wandering Ripples,' this talented artist explores the many doors she has passed through, mixing new cultures with her own and concentrating the elements with pure water. "How I open these doors and appreciate the worlds within is stamped directly on the art pieces which are created with found materials from each ripple," she explains. Rie's main medium is collage, using paper and materials she collects on her travels, particularly printed matter. This is a conscious effort on her part to recycle discarded items, creating something new from old. While Rie adopts a methodical and logical approach to the choice in positioning and consideration of the expressive quality of objects, her collaborations with foreign artists have given her a deeper understanding of foreign cultures. This process of assimilations is uniquely expressed in her artistic process. Working with her hands and expressing her empiricism of many foreign countries translates into colorful and richly textured compositions infused with the innate spirit of her homeland.
"Wandering Ripples" A solo exhibition by Rie Mandala Alila Living Gallery, Alila Ubud, August 28 to September 27, 2009
ar to Move Against Trash Burning
City Officials in Bali's Capital to Reduce Air Pollution by Enforcing No Trash Burning Rules.
In order to reduce air pollution in Bali, the Denpasar municipal government's Cleaning and Park Services Department (DKP) is promising to take strong action against those who openly burn trash. As reported by Radar Bali, the Head of the DKP, Ketut Wisada, said stern measures were needed to combat the increasingly polluted air quality in Bali's capital city of Denpasar. "Part of the problem is due to smoke from burning trash," explained Wisada. He also said that laws are already on the books that prohibit the burning of rubbish. The man charged with keeping Denpasar clean and tidy said, that in the final analysis, waste must be managed. This can be done in a variety of ways, including recycling programs. Wisada admitted that before any sanctions were meted out to local citizens caught burning their rubbish, his department would first undertake an educational and socialization process. The DKP has already established 182 rubbish collection points in urban villages and communities spread across Denpasar. Plans are to increase the number of collection points to 392, a number equal to the number of banjar or traditional villages found in the capital. Wisada told Radar Bali that his office will provide moveable rubbish containers for each banjar prepared to establish a waste management system. "We already have prepared 100 moveable containers," Wisada explained. In closing, Wisada bemoaned the fact that he only has a fleet of 35 trucks for removing trash to the City's trash disposal area. He admits that this number of trucks is inadequate to meet the burgeoning demand for trash removal services in the capital.
What's in a Name?
Indonesia's Home Minister Mardiyanto Complains Foreign Names Not Appropriate for Local Destinations within Indonesia.
Indonesia's Home Minister, Mardiyanto, is concerned with the increasing number of foreign-sounding names used for geographical locations across Bali and the potential threat to the local historical quality of the island posed by foreign sounding names being used for Balinese locales. As reported in BeritaBali.com, the Minister complained that some of the new foreign names adopted for Bali sub-destinations have no connection with local history or the cultural roots of the subject locale. If this situation is allowed to continue, the Home Minister is concerned that the traditional culture of Bali, communicated through the name of places and areas on the island, will eventually be lost. In making his comments to the press, Mardiyanto gave no specific examples of foreign-sounding names now in Bali. BeritaBali.com did, however, point to the popular surfing beach of "Dreamland" and "Jalan Marlboro (west of Jalan Teuku Umar), as just two examples of the increasingly frequent use of foreign place names. Speaking in Bali on August 4, 2009, at the Southeast Asian Survey Congress in Nusa Dua, Minister Mardiyanto said: "A number of places in Bali have changed their names, using foreign names or creative new names invented by foreign tourists. In some instances, these newly created terms become more popular that the actual names of the locales. In time, there is the real threat that the local names will disappear, replaced by the new foreign names. This is the equivalent of shaking our younger generation loose from their local cultural roots." The Home Minister told the press that it is time for the government to bring order to the use of geographical place names in Indonesia, in order to prevent the use of foreign names for Indonesian places. Mardiyanto insisted that the history and legends connected with Indonesian place names should be preserved. In doing so, he said the government will preserve local culture and imbue the public with pride and a love of nation. Mardiyanto concluded: "The names of place and their historical connection provide the Indonesian people with their pride of place and national identity. It is therefore very important to preserve historical names of geographical sites. Replacing geographical names in a haphazard manner without reference to history or culture will diminish the connection of the people with their place of birth."
Hee Ah Lee in Concert in Bali August 14, 2009.
Inspiring South Korean Pianist in Bali to Help Raise Funds for Westin's UNICEF'S "Check out for Children" Program.
As part of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali's collaboration in the UNICEF Check out for Children Program, a remarkable musical event will be held at the Auditorium of the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 2009. Dream the Impossible Dream
24 year-old South Korean pianist Hee Ah Lee is a professional musician who travels the world thrilling audiences with her artistic virtuosity. She has performed with her idol Richard Clayderman; played in recital at The White House in Washington, D.C.; and won numerous awards including First Prize at the Korean National Music Contest when she was just 7 years-old. Such achievement in one so young is noteworthy, but for a girl who was born with severe physical deformities, Hee Ah Lee's undeniable talent is breathtakingly inspiring. Born with only two fingers on each hand, afflicted with down syndrome and legs that end at her knees - doctors who attended her birth did not expect the child to survive. But, survive and thrive she did. Unable to even hold a pencil in her deformed hands, Hee Ah Lee took up the piano at the age of six with a discipline and determined ferocity that saw her sitting for hour on end at the keyboard. The results of this life-long connection with the keyboard are seen today in sparkling performances that dazzle and impress fellow pianist who concertize with a full set of fingers. Following rave reviews for her appearance in Jakarta in March 2007, Hee Ah Lee travels to Bali on Friday, August 14th for her second Indonesian performance, entitled "Dream the Impossible Dream." Proceeds from the performance will go to the UNICEF Check Out for Children Challenge which raised more than AU$93,000 in 2008 towards efforts to immunize thousands of children in the Asia Pacific region against major childhood diseases. In 2009, "the Challenge" has again adopted child survival as its theme. Every hour more than 300 children die because they lack access to lifesaving vaccines. UNICEF supply vaccines to 40% of children in the developing world, yet each year more than 30 million children miss out on needed immunization. For only US$30, a child can be immunized against the main childhood diseases of diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles, childhood tuberculosis and hepatitis B. Tickets for the concert cost Rp. 50,000 (US$5.00).
"Dream the Impossible Dream" – A Piano Concert by Hee Ah Lee Friday, August 14, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. Auditorium – Bali International Convention Center, Nusa Dua Bali Admission Rp. 50,000 (US$5.00)
For more information telephone the Westin's UNICEF Ambassador, Nyoman Satryani at ++62(0)8123887390.
A Party to Make You Envious
'Envy' Hosts Bali's Travel Industry to a 'Recharge Night.'
After a pause of several months, the monthly "Recharge" party for members of Bali's tourism industry reemerged on Friday, August 7, 2009 at Envy - the seaside venue at the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna, Bali. Demonstrating conclusively that tourism workers know how to party, hundreds gathered for free drinks provided by Hatten's Wines and Bali Moon Liquor and delicious food supplied by the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna, Bali. Capoeira (Ka-pu-e-ira) dance performances, drumming teams, painted body-builders and door prizes added to the festivities as the night progressed. "Recharge Parties" in Bali are made possible through the generous sponsorship and coordination of "Bali & Beyond" Magazine. Shown on Balidiscovery.com are some snapshots from the fun-filled evening.
Mental Health in Bali: The Darker Side of Paradise
Bali Institute Hosts a Dialogue on Mental Health in Bali, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 in Ubud.
The Bali Institute is hosting a dialogue with Professor Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani,M.D., Ph.D., of the Suryani Institute for Mental Health on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, at the Arma Watergarden Restaurant in Ubud. Dr. Suryani will lead a discussion of current mental health issues specific to Bali and provide a glimpse into daily life beyond the island's daily ceremonies and rituals. Dr. Suryani is the former department head of psychiatry at Udayana University and is a major advocate on Balinese mental health issues. The author of numerous books on spirituality and mental health, she has received many awards and appears on her own local television show focused on women's issues.
The Darker Side of Paradise A Dialogue with Professor Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani, M.D., Ph.D. Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Arma Watergarden Restaurant - 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. Admission Rp, 100,000 (US$10) with no charge for Indonesian guests
For more information telephone ++62-(0) 8174706246
Bali Discovery Welcomes Ricky Johansyah
Bali Discovery Tours Appoints Experienced Travel Industry Veteran as Director of Operations.
Effective 01 August 2009, Ricky Johansyah has joined the team at Bali Discovery Tours and www.balidiscovery.com in the capacity of Director of Operations. A proud father of five, Johnsyah has over two decades of travel industry experience in a range of capacities at tour and travel companies, and five star hotels. Most recently, he worked as the General Manager of a tour and travel company in Jakarta. Happy to be returning to Bali and apply his extensive knowledge of Bali-based travel with his new employers, Ricky has also held management posts while working abroad in Hong Kong and Thailand. Ricky told balidiscovery.com: "It's great to be joining the team of established professionals at Bali Discovery with everyone proudly working for one of Bali's most recognized destination management companies and event organizers. I particularly look forward to helping balidiscovery.com and ayokebali.com achieve new sales heights, as well as directing a very busy mice, incentive and conference department." Arie Sukirno, Managing Director of Bali Discovery Tours said: "Ricky has the kind of wide-ranging experience of hotel, tour and customer service that will see him in good stead with the responsibilities he holds with Bali Discovery. The careful handover now underway from Ricky's predecessor, M. Fathur Rozi, assures a seamless transition for Ricky and a bright future for our company." Ricky Johansyah replaces the much respected M. Fathur Rozi who is pursuing new business interests outside the travel industry. Rozi will stay on in a consulting role for several months, assisting Ricky in the transition into his new position.
Bali Police Chief Pledges to Keep Bali Safe
General Sutisna Seeks Support and Cooperation from Balinese People to Keep Island Safe from Terror Threats.
Bai's new Chief of Police, Inspector General Sutisna, has pledged to optimize security in Bali, citing security as his main responsibility during his Bali assignment. As reported on beritaBali.com, General Sutisna sees Bali as still threatened by the possibility of terrorist attacks. In a meeting with senior police officers serving under his command held on Monday, August 3, 2009, General Sutisna underlined that he would continue the programs of his predecessor, General Teuku Ashikin, in order to retain and further enhance the currently conducive security situation in Bali. "Lets think together to consider ways to retain Bali's cultural identity," said Sutisna. The new man in charge of policing in Bali also said he concurred with General Ashikin that Bali is an icon of national security. For this reason, he hoped the people of Bali would accept his assignment to their island and allow him to continue to maintain security and safety. Adding, "I hope the people of Bali will embrace my presence so we can work together to create a secure situation for Bali." Sharing the stage with his successor, outgoing police chief General Ashikin said terrorists still pose a real threat to Bali. Moreover, he fears that Bali continues to be a target for terrorists. This fact must serve as an incentive to urge those charge with security to do their utmost to keep Bali safe. Ashikin told those in attendance that Bali's role as an icon of security in Indonesia, makes defending the island necessary to retain the world's faith in the Republic of Indonesia. Driving home his point, Genera Ashikin said that the sea and air gateways to Bali have always been guarded by the Bali police. Recent bombings in Jakarta, however, have served to make the police redouble their diligence in guarding Bali's access points.
Two Foreigners Wanted as Pedophiles Extradited from Bali
Bali Police Ship Home a Frenchman and an Australian to Face Consequences of Pedophilia Charges.
After sitting behind bars at Bali's Kerobokan prison for nearly eight months, a man on Interpol's Most Wanted List, 46 year-old Christian Burger, is now in France to face child sexual abuse charges. Burger, who has both French and Swiss citizenship, was placed on a plane to Paris on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, following the issuance of a letter agreeing to his extradition signed by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. That President Yudhoyono has issued the needed letter on Monday, August 3rd, was confirmed by Public Prosecutor I Ketut Sujaya, SH. Radar Bali reports that prior to his departure from the Kerobokan Prison at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Burger received a medical check from prison doctors. He was taken directly from the prison to Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport accompanied by Department of Justice officials and placed on board a Thai Airways flight that departed at 3:30 p.m. connecting in Bangkok with another Thai flight destined for Paris. Two officers from Interpol joined Burger on his repatriation flight. Prior to his extradition, Burger, who originally hails from La Chaux Canton De Vaux in Switzerland, had the term of his imprisonment in Bali extended 8 separate times while the necessary paperwork were processed allowing his deportation and extradition. Working on am Interpol warrant, Bali police tracked Burger down to an address in downtown Denpasar and arrested him on October 26, 2008. When apprehended, Burger was reportedly living in rented quarters with his wife and child. Police also found camera equipment and a laptop containing pictures of naked Indonesian children. In France, Christian Burger is wanted in connection with an un-served sentence of four years for his conviction for violating the decency of a 15 year-old minor child. After fleeing France in 1997 and prior to his arrest. Burger had resided in Thailand, the U.S.A., Mexico, Australia before commencing residency in Bali in 1998. Suspected Australian Pedophile also Extradited A 48 year-old Australian was also extradited on Thursday, August 6, 2009, in connection with the charge of assaulting a teenage girl. Paul Francis Callahan was apprehended by Bali police in January after having run a surfing company in Bali for five years. At the time of his arrest, Callahan had an Indonesian wife and a daughter. The Australian press reports that Callahan had fled Australia in 2002 following his interrogation in connection with the sexual assault of a minor female that occurred in Byron Bay. A spokesman for he the Indonesian Justice Ministry said the apprehension and extradition of the two men should send a warning that: "Indonesia was not a refuge for people avoiding the law in their homelands. It also demonstrates that foreigners entering Indonesia must obey all the laws and not feel they can do as they like."
Hold Your Dragons!
Plans to Ship 10 Dragons from Komodo to Bali on Hold, for Now.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, plans by the Department of Forestry to move a sub-population of ten Komodos from West Flores to Bali is encountering strong resistance from Flores residents concerned that creating a large expatriate population of the world-famous largest monitor lizards would reduce the attractiveness of West Flores and Komodo as a tourist destination. [See: Komodo Dragons as Stay-at-Home Celebrities] As reported by The Jakarta Globe, the Ministry of Forestry had reportedly decided to put the plan to move the dragons to Bali on hold, at least temporarily. The agreement to cancel the plan was revealed by West Nusa Tenggara's Governor Lebu Raya, who told the National News Agency Antara that the Minister of Forestry had decided to axe the plan. Rebutting Governor Raya's reporting on their conversation, the Ministry denied he had made any decision to cancel the transfer of dragon, and was only postponing the move until a later time to allow more discussions with local stakeholders. The Forestry Ministry denied plans to place the dragons on display at a Bali animal park, saying they were merely trying to establish a Bali breeding population of dragons for eventual replenishment of dwindling Komodo populations in the wild.. Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika also chimed in on the subject, telling beritabali.com that he would reject any plans to ship the 10 Komodos to Bali. Pastika said plans to diversity the genetic base of the lizards in Bali was not realistic and insisting that the wildlife icons were best left in Komodo and West Flores. The governor also confirmed that he had yet to receive a formal request for the relocation of the Komodo for him to refuse. Forestry officials have responded to Pastika's threat to bar the shipment of Komodos to Bali by claiming that the authority to approve or reject any decision to move Komodos to Bali is not within the authority of the governor. Quoted in Kompas.com, the Director General of Forestry Preservation and Conservation from the Department of Forestry, Darori, said, "they have no right to refuse (the transfer) because this is not within their authority." Daori said the right of his department to move populations of endangered animals to new habitats was granted under Law Number 5 of 1999 on conserving nature. Darori insist the relocation of the reptiles is needed to widen the genetic diversity of the species, threatened with inbreeding in West Flores and their eventual extinction. A survey carried out by the Department of Forestry in 1991 counted 66 Komodos living outside the Komodo National Park in the Wae Wuul region. Another survey in 2008 counted only 17 Komodos in the region. Officials blame the declining populations on declining food sources, territorial conflicts with human populations, deforestation and illegal hunting.
Bali at the Crossroads
Jakarta Post Editorial by Leading Balinese Policymaker Raises Key Issues About the Island's Future.
The following editorial "Bali is Reaching a Crossroads" is reprinted from the Sunday, August 9, 2009 edition of The Jakarta Post. It was written by Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung who is a graduate of Harvard (US) and Leiden (Holland) universities and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (US). He was a member of the Supreme Consultative Body (MPR - RI, 1999 - 2004) and was a Minister of Societal Affairs under President Abdurrahman Wahid.. Bali is Reaching a Crossroads The rejection by the Bali administration to relocate 10 Komodo dragons from their natural habitat in Wae Wulu, West Manggarai, to the island province is a highly praiseworthy decision made for all the right reasons. For one, forcing the komodo dragons to exist in a possibly harmful alien environment is worthy of mention. Secondly, Bali has shown it will not pursue its own goals as a cultural tourist destination at the expense of something more significant. The second reason is a very important development in the mind set of Balinese officials, who have up until now only sought the maximum number of tourists by any means possible. The result has been catastrophic for the conservation of Bali's rich culture and environment. The erosion of Bali's, tradition, culture and natural environment as a result of massive efforts to boost tourist numbers has occurred in a number of ways. The most visible is the overload in infrastructure and overuse of precious natural resources. Roads have become cramped with cars at all hours of night and day, while farmlands have disappeared at a rate of around 1000 hectares per year to make way for hotels, villas and malls. All of Bali's 37 beaches and eight rivers have undergone serious transformations from their original states through development activities that have illegally violated building codes. Water levels at various points are so low they risk drying up altogether, inviting sea water to seep in. This problem and many more like it were foregone conclusions when the number of hotel rooms, set by French tourist company Sceto at a maximum 22.000 for Bali, exceeded the 70.000 mark. This excludes villas, home stays and condominiums which have mushroomed in quantum leaps these past few years. The more fatal effect of this overload of tourists lies in the impact it has culturally. As farmlands are converted into tourist infrastructure, alienation not only occurs with the land but also to the temples, rituals, ceremonies and communal life - the essential lifestyle of the people who used to live on that land. The Balinese way of life, culture and tradition has been displaced in the blink of an eye. Worse still, the hotels that have come to replace the indigenous farmers bring in their wake western values of individualism, meritocracy, efficiency and other modernist traits. These exist in stark contrast to the previous Balinese symbol-oriented society. Needless to say, rapid transformations occur wherever the Balinese language is abandoned for English as a sign of advancement. Considering this tragic trend, the recent announcement by the Balinese administration that the focus of its tourist industry is cultural is therefore something of a landmark. If seriously adhered to, this could signal the reversal of some of these damaging trends Bali has been enduring. Now that the intent is there, the administration needs to identify the means by which is plans to achieve its objectives, that is conserving the island's cultural and natural heritage. The important point here, as far as tourist management is concerned, is to heed to the basic idea that tourists travel to a place to experience its unique cultural and natural environment. With this in mind, the administration should focus on three strategies. First, it should aim to preserve and enhance the special cultures, traditions and natural environment of Bali through multifaceted defensive and motivational policies. Next, it should bring in the right type of tourists who can appreciate the culture and natural environment of the island. It should stop emphasizing the sheer number of tourists arriving and begin advocating for the right kind of people it wishes to host. This will prevent Bali from becoming everything for everybody and eventually nothing for nobody. In short, it will protect it from losing its uniqueness. Those visiting Bali for its unique culture will reinvigorate local pride in culture. Finally, Bali's key philosophy on life, the Tri Hita Karana, should be strengthened. The premise of the philosophy teaches that man in his every action should always heed his impact on the three main surroundings - his fellow being, his natural environment and his god or morality. In meeting his needs, man should balance them in such a way that the needs of those around him are not impaired. He should adhere to the way of the Tri Hita Karana, or the "Sacred Balance", which governs behavior to conform to propriety, reciprocity and interconnection, all of which mean honoring heritage and conservation. If Balinese can truly live the way of the Tri Hita Karana, they will refrain from achieving their objectives at the expense of their tradition, culture and environment. While the clock is ticking fast and Bali is rapidly approaching this crossroads, it is not too late to turn fate around. May the rejection of the Komodo dragons wake the Balinese to the dire danger that their rich heritage faces and galvanize them toward the right course of action.
ICAAP AIDS Conference in Bali
World Experts on Fighting AIDS Meeting in Bali.
More than 4,000 public health officials and HIV/AIDS activists from 65 countries are meeting from August 9 - 14, 2009 in Bali discussing how to provide better care to the growing number of victims in the Asia-Pacific region. Opened by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the International Congress on Aids in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) is the ninth such meeting of its kind. Delegates at the Bali conference are seeking ways to ensure that all AIDS sufferers have access to critical antiretroviral treatments necessary to the prolongation of life for those affected with the disease. Current estimates are that only 25% of the estimated 1.7 million people in the Asia-Pacific region requiring the medication have access to free antiretroviral treatments. Throughout the Asia-Pacific region an estimated 5 million people are afflicted with HIV/AIDS, claiming 380,000 lives in 2008. The number of HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia have tripled since 2005, with prisoners, prostitutes and intravenous drug users considered the groups most at risk.
Car Free Sundays in Downtown Denpasar
Sections of Bali's Capital City of Denpasar to be Closed to Motorized Traffic Every Sunday.
Bisnis Bali reports that Bali's capital city of Denpasar is taking a number of steps to reduce air pollution in Bali. Among the steps promised by the Denpasar city administration are special roadways for vehicles and the introduction of "Car Free Days" Car Free Days To get the "Car Free Day" program underway, officials will close all traffic in the roads surrounding Lapangan Puputan Badung on Sunday, August 16, 2009. According to The Jakarta Post the roads that will be closed to motorized vehicles on Sundays will be: • Jalan Raya Puputan • Jalan Cut Nyak Dien • Jalan Basuki Rakmat • Jalan Juanda Planned to become a regular fixture on every Sunday, Bali residents will be able to use the once busy roadways for strolling, jogging, cycling and other recrations To celebrate to start of "Car Free Days" city oficials will launch a special bicycle rally on August 15th and organize an open stage with live bands to entertain the public on August 16th. Depending on the public's response to the program, city officials say the number of streets closed to vehicle traffic may be expanded over time.
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