Significant rise in tourist arrivals in Bali

Denpasar, Bali,(ANTARA News) - The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali rose significantly in the first semester of this year, a regional tourism official said.

“According to records, a total of 280,222 foreigners visited Bali in the first semester of this year, an increase of 22.26 percent from 229,198 in the same period last year,” the head of the local tourism service, Gede Nurjaya, said here on Saturday.

He made the statement after speaking at a seminar on “The Impact of Ban on National Flights to Europe on Tourism in Bali.” He said the ban by the European Commission had not affected tourism in Bali much.

But he admitted the ban for European tourists to use national airlines would disrupt distribution of tourists to other provinces and damage the image of the country that had just recovered from the impact of incidents such as terrorism, natural disasters and health scares.

Nurjaya said various efforts had to be made to immediately overcome the slump in the country`s tourism industry. “The central government needs to conduct continuous consultations and cooperation with the EU Commission so that a way out can be immediately found to overcome the shortcomings of the Indonesian airlines,” he said.

He also called on the country`s national airlines to improve their performance, including in the safety aspect in line with the air operator certificate requirements and standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Air Transport Association.

“They must also continue to inform the market about efforts that have been made by the government to improve their quality,” he said.(*)

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Javanese Culture Needs Renaissance

It is time that bad suppose about Javanese mythology system must be cleaned. Javanese mythology is not bad or dirty. The bad perception about Javanese mythology is an irrational, myth came from modern rationalist point of view.

Now, modern rationalist keep on redefine because of wrong way in defining the world. So that Javanese culture needs to wake from the wrong domination that comes from out side of Javanese point of view. Javanese culture should be renaissance.

Sugeng Priyadi a Javanese culture expert who has believed about myth stated that Javanese myth has much values to build up the noble civilization. A lecturer of Muhammadiyah University of Purwokerto (UMP) also member of Paguyuban Kerabat Mataram (Pakem) has commitment to his aspiration at the International Javanese Culture Conference (KIKJ) 2008.

The main point of his idea is breaking negative suppose or perception about Javanese myth, but studying myth is to find the value of mind (logos). The value becomes basic of renaissance growing up. The redefine mind also needs an implementation effort as a basic to build up the society.

Those values are Javanese wise ness exist on power and welfare ness. Now, both values become a measurement of successfulness. In philosophical Javanese point of view both values only have function as long as under the wise ness control. “In Javanese philosophy wise ness has include power and welfare. By the wise ness people can be stated has freedom” Sugeng said.

The Javanese wise ness builds up to the heterogenic people of java, but it can accept the local characteristic. Each local character has their own wise ness it is a result of their dialogue with their own social environment. “Now, its important to create relation among the local, each local must realize their life is being integration,” he said.

The understanding that the noble of Javanese culture is only dominated by kingdom must be broken. Perception that the culture is out side the kingdom is worse must be leave. The kingdom is not the only one of central culture, that is not true.

“Modernity is egalitarian society all the wise ness which having by local has the same noble. Its mean Javanese cultural contemporary also must be suitable with the period. So that the Javanese culture can enter the renaissance” said Sugeng.

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Seized terror bombs deadlier than Bali

Indonesian police say bombs seized in terrorist raids this week could have created explosions bigger than the Bali bombings.
Authorities were yesterday continuing to question the 10 suspects nabbed in South Sumatra, who have been linked to regional terror network Jeemah Islamiah (JI).

Authorities seized a cache of explosives in the raids, including more than 20 bombs, thwarting plans for fresh terror attacks targetting foreigners.

Police have said one target included a cafe in Bukittinngi, in west Sumatra frequented by westerners, but was reportedly dropped at the last minute because of fears of high Indonesian Muslim casualties.

Indonesia's National Police chief General Sutanto said the cache of seized bombs -- including 10 which were primed to explode -- had the potential for a greater blast than the 2002 Bali bombings in which 202 people died, including 88 Australians.

"It's very true because the technique now, the bomb it's not filled with metal ball bearings but its filled with sharp bullets," he told reporters.

"(They are) filled into it so that when the explosion happens, certainly it will have a double impact.

"If it is exploded, the bomb itself and the bullets, when exploded will hurt people and even could kill people."

He confirmed one of the 10 men arrested, known by the initials MH, was a Singaporean national.

The 35-year-old English teacher -- linked to fugitive Kastari, the alleged leader of JI's Singapore operations - is accused of training local hardliners in Sumatra in bomb-making.

He had also reportedly met al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden several times and was a former student of slain Bali bomb-maker Azahari bin Husin.

It is hoped the investigation could provide further clues in the hunt for South-East Asia's most-wanted terrorists, Noordin Mohammad Top and Kastari, who escaped Singapore detention three months ago.

Sutanto said that Kastari's photo would be distributed across Indonesia "so that people will know his characteristics".

"What's obvious is there are still some that have not been caught," he said.

The Singaporean government has accused Kastari of plotting to hijack a plane in order to crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport in 2001.

Top is South-East Asia's most wanted terrorist and is believed to head a breakaway faction of JI that is committed to al Qaeda style attacks on Western, civilian targets.

He is accused of directing the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings and three other attacks on Western targets in Indonesia that have together killed more than 240 people, most of them foreign tourists.

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