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September 17, 2003

Visas....again a Question
Again the government has changed it’s mind and delayed the start of the proposed Visa on Arrival. According to the latest version, it may start in December. In addition the government is studying whether to allow tourists of certain rich nations (USA, Japan etc.) to be given visa free entry while poorer nations (Mexico, India etc.) would have to pay for their visas. Stay tuned. (JP, etc.)
Ferry Sinks Near Padangbai
The motor ferry Wimala Dharma sank in the Lombok Strait, south east of Gili Tapekong, at 3 a.m. on Sunday (7/9). Five passengers were killed while the another nine people are missing. Wimala Dharma was heading to Lembar, Lombok, from Padangbai. According to Head of SAR Operation Denpasar, AA Alit Supartana, a Pertamina tanker ship, a cargo ship, some motorboats and hundreds of fishing boats tried to save the passengers and the crew. The cause of the sinking is not clear at this time. (Nusa Sept. 8)
Kecak Dance Creator Dies
Wayan Limbak, who together with artist Walter Spies created the Kecak Dance, died on September 5 at the age of 106. Limbak and Spies created the Kecak dance in the 1930’s which has become the widest known Balinese dance in the world. (BP Sept. 5)
500 ha Forest Burns Each Year in Bali
Forestry Office of Bangli Regency said the forested area in Bali is only 22.56 percent of the whole island. Of that figure, 500 hectare of forests are burnt repeatedly each year in the same locations. The frequently burnt forests include on the foot of Batur, Abang Songan, Kintamani, Buleleng and Karangasem. The forest fires in other regencies are relatively small, which is less than 50 hectare. The fire are triggered by natural factors or human factors like open burning or land clearing. (Nusa 5 Sept.)
Harvest Failure in Bali
Failed rice harvests in large areas of Buleleng, Tabanan and Jembrana caused by the severe drought have threatened the food security in Bali. “The drought will likely be the second bomb that is ready to explode anytime in Bali if it is not well overcome,” said Dr. Ing. Made Mertha on Wednesday (3/9). “The failure of harvest   because of drought this year will be high,” he added. (BP 4 Sept.)
Amrozi Imprisoned in Nusakambangan
Amrozi will be moved to the jail in Nusakambangan Island, Central Java. The Central Java Police are preparing  security to move him from the Kerobokan Correctional Institution to the island. However, the schedule has not been disclosed. Director General of Institutional Correction of Ministry of Justice said they are preparing a jail in Nusakambangan especially for terrorists involved in the Bali bombing. Minister of Justice Yursil Ihza Mahendra opened the jail in a special ceremony in Semarang. (Nusa 31 Aug.)
Missing Student Found
The corpse of I Komang Mahawira Adi Pratama, medical student at the niversity of Udayana who fell into a 200 meter deep gorge in Sangkareang Hill on Mt. Rinjani arrived in Denpasar on  Thursday (28/8). Mahawira had been declared missing while hiking on Mt. Rinjani on Saturday (9/8) and was found on Tuesday (26/8). Mahawira and a friend, Agus became lost while hiking. Agus was later found near a cave by searchers. After a 19 day search, his corpse was found. (Nusa 29 Aug.)