Monday, April 27, 2009
BALI UPDATE #659 - 27 april 2009
Balinese Court Music Comes to Singapore
Free Performances of Balinese Classics May 2-3, 2009, at the Esplanade in Singapore.
The centuries-old music of the Balinese Royal Court - a sound unlike any other music in the world and sometimes likened to the sound of water rushing down a mountain stream - is, to its admirers, a thing of ethereal, heavenly, and ineffable beauty.
Singaporeans will soon be privileged to hear live and on stage the rare sounds of the semara pagulingan - the "gamelan of the love god."
In feudal times, most courts in Bali possessed a semara pagulingan orchestra that served to lull the royal family to sleep, as well as accompany sacred pendet dances held in local temples. Today, due to the diminished role of palace society and the fast pace life of the modern world, this wonderful musical genre has become something of an endangered musical species. And, sadly, the remaining semara pagulingan sets left in Bali can be counted on one hand.
Mekar Bhuana Conservatory in Sanur [www.balimusic.org], was established in 2000 in order to preserve this vanishing art form. Working closely with senior teachers from traditional villages, and professional musicians and dancers, the Mekar Bhuana continues to make critical inroads in the documentation and rehearsal of rare Balinese court music and dance.
Living legends of Balinese dance and music are sought out and consulted, ancient recordings sourced from private collections around the world, and period instruments restored and returned to the performance stage as part of the organization's commitment to preserving Bali's musical heritage.
Appearing in Singapore May 2 and 3
Mekar Bhuana has been invited to bring the magic of semara pagulingan, played by 26 accomplished Balinese musicians, to the open-air stage at the Esplanade in Singapore as part of an international festival "A Tapestry of Sacred Music."
Performances on May 2 and 3, 2009 only. Details at [Esplande Website]
As part of this historic visit to Singapore, a seminar conducted by Vaughan Hatch, an ethnomusicologist and highly regard gamelan musician will be held on May 3, 2009 at the Esplanade Library at 3:00p.m. Hatch has spent more than a decade researching the classical style of the Balinese musical orchestra.
Sailing Tourism in Indonesia
Sailing Events Form Part of Five-Month-Long Regatta Stopping in Bali September 30 – October 4, 2009.
Radar Bali reports that Indonesia's Department of the Ocean and Fisheries have invited at least 10 countries to participate in 3 events intended to focus world attention on Indonesia's vast ocean resources.
The program, supported by the Indonesian government, is part of three ocean-centered events which include two international conferences scheduled to be held in Indonesia in 2009 and a five-month long sailing event.
The World Ocean Conference will be held in Manado, North Sulawesi May 11-15 and will host 121 countries discussing problems confronting the world's oceans. Running concurrently in Manado will be a meeting of the Coral Triangle Initiative, comprised of member representatives from Indonesia, the Philippines, Solomon Island, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Timor Leste, with the United States and Australia as observers.
Sail Indonesian – Sail Bunaken August 12-20, 2009
The August sailing regatta set to take place August 12-20, 2008 will see participation by visiting yachtsmen from 10 nations as well as tall ship visits and visiting war ships from friendly nations.
Organizers are targeting participation by 100 yachts that will be hosted to a range of activities including a food festival, official dinners hosted by the President of the Republic and the Governor of North Sulawesi, an organized sailing regatta around Manado and a fireworks display.
Sail Indonesia 18 July – 25 October 2009
A 5-month sailing course from Darwin to Belitung will also be held as part of Visit Indonesian Year 2009. Foreign yachts are welcomed to join the entire voyage visiting at lest 18 Indonesian ports of call or to only join a portion of the route visiting much of Eastern Indonesia.
The fleet will call on Bali September 30 – October 4, 2009.
The accompanying map on balidiscovery.com shows the sailing route, ports and schedule.
click images to enlarge
For more information contact:
Yayasan Cinta Bahari Indonesia
Raymond Timotius Lesmana
Mobile : +62 811 – 124574
[Sail Bunaken 2009]
Oh, You Give Me Fever
Bali Airport Installs Thermal Scans and Health Measures to Curb Singapore Flu Outbreak.
In an effort to control a regional outbreak of severe influenza known as Singapore Flu, officials at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport installed a thermal scanner Monday, April 20, 2009.
The severe, though seldom fatal, form of flu is thought to be spread by international travelers and can cause rashes and sores on its victims feet, mouth and hands and is especially prevalent among young children. Isolated cases have been identified in West Java and Jakarta, traced in several instances to recent visitors to Singapore.
Sometimes referred to a hand, foot and mouth disease (HMFD), only one fatality has been linked to the diseases from among nearly 5,000 confirmed infections.
Tourists arriving in Bali found to be suffering from a fever are immediately sprayed with a 70% alcohol solution before being sent to an examination clinic at the airport for examination. Then if "Singapore Flu" symptoms are confirmed the passengers is sent to an isolation ward at a local hospital.
A similar fever scanning unit is also in operation at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
The current outbreak of HMFD is not thought to be connected with the outbreak of Swine Flu now reported in the U.S.A. and Mexico.
A Round About Welcome
New Statue Being Erected at Entrance to Bali's Airport.
Visitors traveling the new road leading to Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport cannot help but notice the construction activity surrounding a new statue being erected at the round-about, approximately half-way between the Bypass and the airport; entrance.
Local interest began to pique last week when traffic trying to access the airport was detoured as construction workers and engineers struggled to place the 8 meter figure atop its foundation which brings the total height of the monument to 19.45 meters.
The bronze monument depicts I Gusti Ngurah Rai, a revolutionary hero who died in the battle of Margarana on November 20, 1946 and the namesake of Bali's airport. A lesser monument of I Gusti Ngurah Rai already stands at the edge of the mangrove forest at the eastern end of the airport's sole runway.
The new statue measuring 8 meters stands (including its podium platform) a total of 19.45 meters high. The monument will be surrounded by 17 water fountains. Those numbers are not coincidental and reflect 17-8-1945 the date on which the Indonesian Republic dates its birth when Soekarno and Hatta declared national independence in Jakarta.
Empowering People, Strengthening Networks, Fighting AIDS
9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific August 9-13, 2009 in Bali.
Organizers recently paid a visit on the Regent (Bupati) of Badung, Anak Agung Gede Agung, to brief him on preparations for the Ninth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) to be held in Bali August 9-13, 2009.
The theme adopted for the Bali conference is ”Empowering People, Strengthening Networks” and seeks to empower people - both HIV-positive and HIV-negative vulnerable to HIV - and strengthen networks - faith-based organizations, communities, governments, regions, sectors, as well as individuals - to affect change.
Specific issues to be discussed at the Bali conference to be held at Nusa Dua include mobility, migration, and people with disabilities within the context of those affected by AIDS/HIV.
Experts on HIV/AIDS and policymakers will share their experience and knowledge on the disease while in Bali. Expertise and knowledge will be exchanged to help control the spread of HIV/AIDS, focusing on creating policies that enhance access to the treatment and prevention of the epidemic.
[Asia-Pacific AIDS Congress in Bali Set for 2009]
[ Ninth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP)]
Crocodile Shock in Bali
Animal Rights Groups Up in Arms About Deplorable Condition of Bask of More than 130 Crocodiles Abandoned at Taman Festival Bali.
According to Jakarta Globe, the animal rights group Pro Fauna has raised the alarm regarding the deplorable condition of a large bask of crocodiles abandoned at Padang Galak, just north of Bali's famous Sanur Beach. The reptile collection were once part of the various attractions located at Taman Festival - a 9.8 hectare entertainment and recreation park operated by Indonesian businessman Bambang Pangestu. The bankrupted park closed in 2000 in a half-completed status.
Also left behind was a large group of captive crocodiles housed in a pit who have multiplied and survived, nourished by people who have brought food and, more recently, through cannibalization.
According to Rosek Nursahid of Pro Fuana, "We've monitored their condition for the past six months and they aren't being treated properly, although there are keepers that have been appointed to take care of them." The Malang-based animal rights group has made formal complaints to the Bali Conservational Agency (BKSDA) and the Ministry of Forestry in December but have received no response from these agencies.
The reptiles, kept in rancid pools, are resorting to cannibalism to stay alive. While difficult to count, a census carried out in 2007 estimated 130 crocodiles were living at the park.
The lack of an official response to a situation urgently threatening animals in Bali is pointed by some as an indication of the poor monitoring and control carried out by those charged with supervising animal welfare in Bali.
High, Dry and Busted in Bali
Huge Cache of Illegal Alcohol and Counterfeit Custom Stamps Seized in Bali.
Bali's Custom and Excise Officers have conducted a raid on a warehouse in Bali confiscating thousands of bottles of imported wine and alcohol. The raid, conducted in April 16, 2009, uncovered nearly 550 cases of alcohol containing over 5,600 bottles. Also discovered by customs officials were a quantity of counterfeit custom stickers.
According to NusaBali, officials estimate the potential loss in government revenues represented by the illegal alcohol and customs stamps at Rp. 8.7 billion (US$950,000).
Indonesian Customs regulations provide for criminal prosecution of those connected with illegal smuggling operations. Punishment under the law can total up to 8 years behind bars and fines equal to 20 times the applicable import duty.
Customs officials have taken into custody a businessman with the initials KS who reportedly purchased the alcohol and false stamps from parties in Jakarta and Surabaya.
On one level, the Bali raids can be seen as a manifestation of warnings from many quarters that the recently introduced custom's duty on imported alcohol approaching 300% are a virtual guarantee that a black market in imported alcohol will soon emerge.
Where Prayers are Not a Moveable Feast
Balinese Hindu's Seek to Protect Holy Temple at GWK Complex
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) officials have asked for the assistance from the highest ranking Hindu organization in Bali (PHDI) and the Department of Religious affairs to help mediate a long-standing conflict between the cultural park and local residents over the Pura Majapahit temple located within the boundaries of the 230-hectare facility.
The controversy centers around the desire of GWK's management to move the contested temple to a new location and the steadfast insistence that the temple be maintained in situ and local residents be allowed unfettered access to the religious site.
In recent weeks, local residents surrounding the GWK complex have launched protests and religious parades through the park, including a demonstration that briefly blocked the park's entrance on March 30, 2009.
Meetings held between GWK's management and local Hindu devotees living in close proximity to the park have reached an impasse, prompting GWK to seek outside mediation of the problem.
[See: Protestors Shut Down GWK Access for One Day]
Garuda's Profitability Zooms in 2008
Efficiency, New Aircraft and the Sales of Assets Allows Garuda Profits to Increase Eleven-Fold in 2008.
Garuda Indonesia experienced an 11-fold increase in net profits in 2008 as compared to 2007. Net profits in 2008 for the Indonesian flag carrier totaled Rp. 669 billion (US$59.7 million) while in 2007 only Rp. 60 billion (US$5.4 million) in profits were booked.
In 2008 Garuda carried 10.1 million paying passengers, an increase of 9.8% over 2007 when 9.2 million passengers flew with the airline.
Quoted in Kompas, the airline's CEO, Emirsyah Satar, analyzed Garuda's good fortune, saying: "in the current global financial crisis, airline passengers are decreasing more on long haul routes. Passenger loads on domestic and regional routes continue to grow."
Satar also attributed his airlines profitability on fuel saving programs, an increasingly younger fleet of aircraft, electronic procurement systems and other management efficiencies now being introduced.
An aviation analyst, Dudi Sudibyo, also credits Garuda's surge in profitability to the sale of the corporate headquarter building in downtown Jakarta, suggesting that the vastly improved profitability is not completely due to operational issues and may not be sustainable over the long term.
Garuda operates 50 Boeing 737-NG, 10 Boeing 777-300ER and is scheduled to receive a new Boeing 777-800NG and Airbus 330 in June of 2009.
Yuyun Ismawati Honored with Goldman Prize
Bali-based Environmentalist Honored for Grass Root Efforts to Save the World.
Yuyun Ismawati, a 44-year-old single mother in Bali has just been awarded a Goldman Environmental Prize for her work in establishing Bali Fokus - a community-based environmental group.
Established in 2000, Bali Fokus works with local residents to recycle waste and capture recyclable items before their disposal at local dumps. A total of 40 people now work with Bali Fokus separating trash and composting organic matter collected from over 500 households. Recycled items are turned into handicrafts that are sold and produce income while compost is bagged and sold to gardeners.
Ismawati is also credited with helping to establish SANIMAS - a community sanitation efforts that is now in operation across Indonesia in 75 cities.
She is also a founder of Indonesia's Toxic-Free Network - an association of non-governmental organizations working together to combat incineration of wastes, pesticides and the introduction of heavy metals into the eco-system.
.An indefatigable environmentalist, Ismawati has helped draft legislation on waste management and climate change.
Goldman Environmental Prize
The prestigious Goldman Environmental Award is given to community-based environmental champions working at the grass root level.
Now in it's 20th year, recipients are given a cash award of US$150,000 – divided among winners within one of six geographical regions.
Winner were honored at ceremonies held at the San Francisco Opera House and the Smithsonian National History Museum in Washington, D.C.
Garuda to Fly Brisbane-Bali in November 2009.
As Garuda 'Good-Byes' Darwin, Plans are Made to Restart Brisbane Service.
Bali Post reports that Garuda Indonesia is considering re-establishing flight service between Bali (Denpasar) and Brisbane, Australia. The re-examination of the viability of putting Brisbane back on the Indonesian carrier's Australian gateways comes on heals of the recent termination of service to Darwin and an ongoing evaluation of route efficacy.
Garuda's CEO, Emirsyah Satar told reporters in Jakarta on April 24, 2009: "We will re-open the Denpasar-Brisbane route beginning in November. We see the Brisbane market as prospective. Hopefully, everything goes as planned."
The Commercial and Marketing Director or Garuda, Agus Priyanto, said the re-opening of the Bali-Brisbane run is part of a general route restructuring and efforts to maximize the revenue produced by the current fleet. He also said that the current competitive setting demands that Garuda cannot afford to fly to destinations only once or twice in a week.
When asked about his Airline's recent decision to abandon Darwin after 28 years, Emirsyah said the decision to stop flying to Darwin was purely commercial in nature. The Indonesian carrier will continue to fly to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Said Emirsyah, "actually, it was not only Garuda who decided to no longer fly to Darwin, but also silk Air, Qantas, and even Royal Brunei."
Bali Considers New Laws on Pet Ownership
Bali Discusses Laws to Bring Island's Pet Population Under Control.
The provincial government of Bali is in the process of preparing new laws that will help control rabies by introducing rules and procedures affecting pet ownership.
The draft legislation, being discussed in a series of public hearings, stipulate:
• Any dog, cat or pet monkey running loose on public streets is subject to capture and detention.
• Pet owners will be able to claim their pets back after paying the cost of warding their pet in a detention center.
• Pets not claimed can be offered for adoption, but may be euthanized if new homes cannot be found.
• Pet owners will be required to register their pets with local animal control authorities.
• Pet shops and pet dealers must be officially licensed.
• Owners will be required to keep their pets under control and provide preventative inoculations.
The draft legislation, if approved, would set a new standard of attention to animal welfare on the island and require the authorities to build a pet pound to house captured pets awaiting reclaiming, adoption or extermination.
The new law is likely to prove controversial with many Balinese families who maintain a loose master-pet relationship with their dogs; allowing pets to come and go as they please from their family compound.
Another part of the new pet owner law also provides for 6 months of imprisonment and fines of up to Rp. 50 million (US$5,450) if anyone fails to report suspected cases of rabies to the authorities.
Take a Photo Tour of Bali
International Business Times Takes a Photo Tour of Bali.
International Business Times have published a photographic journal of a Bali tours by Debra Corbeil.
The article and pictures are available at [Traditional Bali – A Photo Tour]
Both the island and the on-line article are well worth a visit!
Global Concern Over Swine Flu
No Cases of Swine Influenze Reported in Indoesia or the Rest of Southeast Asia.
Fears of a potential global pandemic loom as new cases of Swine Influenza (H1N1) are now suspected in diverse geographical locations including Mexico, U.S.A., Canada, Spain and New Zealand. A unique form of influenza, the swine variety is described by health experts as containing strains of swine, bird and human influenze ciruses.
Symptom resemble typical cases of the flu with patients complaining of fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In some cases diarrhea and vomiting are also presented sypmtoms.
Unlike most influenza outbreaks which place the very young and elderly at particular risk, the current outbreak of swine influenza is most insidious among young adults. As of Monday, April 27, 2009, CNN reports 81 deaths have resulted from the disease, all in Mexico.
The disease has brought Mexico’s capital to a standstill. Schools and unioversities have suspended courses, public gathetings cancelled and Sunday masses in the strongly Catholic city were devoid of worshippers over the weekend.
The U.S. government has declared a public health emergency with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warning the U.S. to expect more, potentially severe cases. The CDC has activated is Emergency Operations Center while the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
The WHO is not, however, recommending any restrictions on trade or travel in connection with the outbreak.
Several countries have issued travel warnings cautioning against travel to the United States.
In this age of international air travel, governments world-wide have responded by setting up screening stations to help prevent the spread of the disease. Rehearsed and ready as a the result of the SARs scare of recent years, health officials in Asia have both the knowledged and equipment to employ. In Indonesia, public health teams have been deployed to international airports armed with thermal sceeners and the power to send passengers suspected of being infected with the disease to special isolation epidemic wards at nearby hospitals.
As of Monday, April 27, 2009, there have been no swine flu cases reported in Indonesia or in other locations in Southeast Asia.
In oder to halt the spread of Swin Flu people are reocmmended to:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
• Avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
• If you become sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
www.balidiscovery.com will provide regular Swine Influenza Updates via its home page.