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Originally posted by balidiscovery.com

Editorial: We Support Jakarta Globe Call for President Joko Widodo to Cancel the Benoa Bay Reclamation

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Editorial, Jakarta Globe, Benoa Bay Reclamation
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The Jakarta Globe recently published an editorial titled “Benoa Bay Doesn’t Have to Be Jokowi’s Legacy.”

Well-written and insightful, the editorial urged the President to annul the permits for the controversial reclamation project in Benoa Bay, labeling it a controversial remnant left by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that Indonesia’s new Chief Executive Does not need to embrace as his own.

Urging Joko Widodo to give full vent to his demonstrated image as a “protector of the environment” and populist leader, the editorial cited a recent lambasting given by the President to the devil-may-care attitude of large plantation companies that who set forest fires that pollute the entire region in order to widen the coverage of their plantation projects.

The Jakarta Globe editorial urged Joko Widodo to affirm the widespread opposition to the Benoa Bay reclamation project railroaded through in the waning days of the SBY presidency at the behest of the powerful business group behind the project who brazenly presents themselves as a protector of the mangrove forest that will be largely destroyed if their project goes ahead.

Suggesting that political payback should be ignored in the face of the public outcry against the project, the editorial called for the project to be stopped, or at the very least, halted and be put under critical review.

The editorial also underlined how those opposed to the reclamation are genuine members of the Balinese community and not the “rent-a-crowd” masses increasingly mobilized by the rich and powerful in Indonesia seeking to legitimize their positions behind public rallies.

We endorse the Jakarta Globe editorial and urge the President to bring this  dark chapter that is fomenting division in Balinese society quickly to an end by appointing a blue ribbon, independent committee to review the environmental, social and cultural impact of the Benoa Bay reclamation project.

Such a committee should also be tasked to review the protocols and procedures used in appointing the company selected to head the Benoa Bay reclamation. Such a massively important decisions should not have been made behind closed doors and, instead, should have been put up to a competitive bid system to ensure the public derives the greatest possible benefit from surrendering their lands to the private sector.

Clearly, the people of Bali await President Joko Widodo to once again prove his true stripes as a populist President.


For the Creator: A Balinese Hindu woman prepares offerings to commemorate Galungan Day in Gianyar, Bali, on Wednesday. Galungan is an important feast for Balinese Hindus that is held every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar, to honor the Creator of the universe and the spirits of honored ancestors. JP/Agung Parameswara

For the Creator: A Balinese Hindu woman prepares offerings to commemorate Galungan Day in Gianyar, Bali, on Wednesday. Galungan is an important feast for Balinese Hindus that is held every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar, to honor the Creator of the universe and the spirits of honored ancestors. JP/Agung Parameswara

Millions of Balinese Hindus across the island observed Galungan, to commemorate good’s victory over evil, on Wednesday.

From early morning, people flocked to temples and shrines to perform prayers. Wearing their best colorful Balinese attire, they brought offerings, including many kinds of fruit, cakes and canang sari (a delicate banana leaf arrangement with petals on top).

The Jagatnatha temples in regencies across Bali were also flocked by Hindu devotees.

At Denpasar Jagatnatha temple, hundreds of people performed prayers until night. Dozens of Hindu priests from the Paiketan Pemangku Kota Denpasar association voluntarily served Hindu devotees performing prayers.

Jagatnatha Hindu priest, Jero Mangku I Made Langgeng Buana, said that people had started arriving at the temple to pray from 6 a.m. “They are not only natives of Denpasar but also people from Buleleng and other areas of Bali who are working in Denpasar and cannot go to their hometowns for the holiday,” Buana said.

Observed every 210 days, Galungan is the celebration of dharma (virtue) over adharma (vice). According to the Purana Bali Dwipa lontar scripture, Galungan was first celebrated in Bali on the fourth full moon of the year 804 of the Balinese Hindu Saka calendar, or in 882 in the Gregorian calendar.

It says that Galungan has since been celebrated in Bali. However, more than three centuries later, Galungan celebrations were stopped by King Sri Ekajaya. According to the scriptures, for the time Galungan was not observed, calamities kept befalling the island. When King Sri Jayakasunu came to the throne in 1126 Saka, observations of Galungan recommenced.

Chairman of the Indonesian Parisada Hindu Council (PHDI) Bali chapter, IGN Sudiana, said that Galungan was the time for all Hindus to unify their senses and minds with god. “During Galungan, Hindus are expected to gain
enlightenment toward peace,” Sudiana said.

A series of rituals take place in the lead up to Galungan. Sugihan Jawa, held Thursday last week, marked the beginning of the celebrations.

Sudiana explained that the Sugihan Jawa ritual aimed to cleanse the Earth. Based on the Sundarigama lontar manuscript, sugihan Jawa is celebrated as a purification of the deities, or bhatara. During the ritual, families cleaned ceremonial utensils, places of worship and houses to be used for Galungan prayers and celebrations.

Meanwhile, on Friday, another ritual, sugihan Bali, was performed all across the island to purify the self before performing any ritual.

The series of rituals before Galungan continued with penyekeban, penyajaan and penampahan, where people prepared offerings for the big day.

On Penampahan Galungan, celebrated Tuesday, people mostly slaughtered pigs to make lawar and other traditional Balinese food. Sudiana claimed the philosophy behind this ritual was to remind people to slaughter bad characteristics.

Galungan is also a much-awaited time to catch up with relatives, including the dead. People in northern Bali not only flocked to temples and shrines but also to cemeteries to pray to their ancestors. This tradition is specific to the people of Buleleng regency.

Family gatherings are a traditional way for many Balinese to celebrate Galungan, as many who work away from home return to perform joint prayers.

Desak Ketut Warsiki, a Buleleng native living in Denpasar with her small family, was delighted to be in touch with all her relatives in Buleleng. “Galungan is the time to meet all the family,” the mother of one who works at a hotel in Kuta said.




LOW cost carrier Jetstar is breaking new ground with an express Cairns to Bali route starting from March 29 next year.

Air Asia X is understood to have also been eyeing off the route which gives travellers a relatively quick flight of just over three hours to Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destination.

The three times a week service will be launched today with a sale price of $99 one way until midnight Thursday or until sold out.

Just three hours away ... Bali is Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destination.

Just three hours away … Bali is Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destination.

The budget carrier has also announced plans to fly direct from Melbourne to Wellington from March 29.

It will be the first low cost carrier servicing the route, currently only flown by Qantas and Air New Zealand.

An initial sale price of $99 is being offered, rising to $199.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall said they were pleased to offer more international services to travellers along the eastern seaboard.

“We’re always looking to open up new travel opportunities for our customers and I’m delighted that we’re the first carrier to offer direct flights from Cairns to Bali,” said Mr Hall.

Checking in ... The new Cairns to Bali route will be launched today with a sale price of

Checking in … The new Cairns to Bali route will be launched today with a sale price of $99 one way until midnight Thursday.

“Bali is one of Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destinations and I’m sure our direct low fares flights will appeal to families and groups of friends looking for a relaxing beach getaway.”

Jetstar will also reintroduce a six times a week Gold Coast-Perth service next year with a sale price of $199 until midnight Thursday (December 18).

Mr Hall said the change of heart was brought about as a result of a change in market conditions.

Jetstar is delivering the extra capacity without adding new aircraft to its fleet.

“We’ve done a lot of work revamping our schedule to ensure we can deliver more seats with our existing fleet,” he said.


Image for Bali gets a new four-day dance festival

If your idea of a good time involves a tropical paradise like Bali and “four days of warehouse, club, boat, pool and beach parties featuring some of the world’s biggest artists,” then you might want to stop by the website for new festival Forgotten Island Bali and pre-register for tickets for their inaugural 2015 event.

The festival – scheduled for 6 to 9 April 2015 – has just dropped its first line-up announcement with a DJ set from DNB legends Pendulum (featuring MC Verse) leading the charge, while fellow West Australian bass head ShockOne, local champ Kilter and Aussie hip hop star Allday wrap up the first round announcement. Further details are scant for the minute, but check out the poster below and hit the Forgotten Island Facebook page for more information in the meantime.

Read more at IN THE MIX