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Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok's complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every fortnight and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island. Use the Guide to explore Lombok and check out the best hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing options, to make your Lombok holiday special.

High season is in full force in Lombok, with most Senggigi hotels reporting high occupancy rates and anticipating more crowds during August. The Gilis are once again packed with European holiday makers seeking the sun and sea. Guests have even been sleeping on the beach at Gili Meno, according to one Meno business operator. It seems the middle island is being discovered as the Trawangan alternative by some!

But Lombok is a big island and there's plenty of room for everyone! If you are in Bali, why not escape the crowds and the heat with a getaway to Lombok? Spend the days dreaming by the pool or stake out a patch on your own private beach. If you're looking for a challenge, now is the best time to climb Lombok's famous volcano, Mt Rinjani, or maybe learn to scuba dive on one of the idyllic Gilis. Action and adventure, culture and tradition, rest and relaxation… Lombok has it all!

At The Lombok Guide office we wait with bated breath for this issue, when we take the bold step of printing a colour cover for the first time! With every issue, The Lombok Guide is growing and evolving. Issue 16 saw our paper grow to a massive 52 pages and we increased our print run to 1500 copies, to keep up with demand; now with issue 17 we're wearing a colour cover!

Pick up a copy of The Guide from the locations listed on page 30 or visit us on the web soon at www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself … like thousands of others, you'll be enchanted!

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The 8th Annual Senggigi Festival got off to a spectacular start on Saturday, 19 July 2008, with around ten thousand spectators lining the main street of Senggigi to witness the colourful Opening Parade.

The event started with a formal opening ceremony held in the centre of Senggigi, near Asmara Restaurant. The ceremony was attended by government dignitaries, including the Director General of Marketing, Sapta Nirwandar from Jakarta, and special guests from around Indonesia, including popular Indonesian television star Ibu Connie Sutedja, who makes a point of being at the opening ceremony each year.

There was a carnival atmosphere of excitement amongst the crowd on Saturday afternoon as the streets filled with people eager to witness the spectacular parade, including hundreds of tourists who were treated to a parade of the best music, dance and cultural performances in Lombok.

Each district of the island is represented at the festival, displaying an incredible array of traditional customs and talents, particular to each village or district. Colourful sarongs, delicate lace and luminous silks, flowers, sequins, beads and elaborate headdresses fill the parade with light and colour, with everyone from charming small children to beautiful maidens to regal old matriarchs and grandfathers proudly representing their respective regions.

There was a huge variety of dancing, performance theatre and re-enactments of historical events and cultural traditions during the Festival, as well as music from Lombok's famous Gendang Belek (big drums), traditional gamelan orchestras and not so traditional, but immensely popular, kecimol and dangdut with crowds of young people dancing along. The energy and spirit of the performers caught the imagination of the fascinated crowd and provided a great occasion for tourists and locals alike.

The parade ended around 5pm and the crowd then moved to the Senggigi Square, where stalls and shops have been set up for an art market, displaying and selling traditional handicrafts, clothing, wood, pearls and other distinctively Lombok products. The market will operate for the week of the Festival until Friday, 25 July.
There are also “peresean” (traditional stick fighting) competitions held every afternoon in Senggigi Square and live cultural performances of dance, music and theatre each night from 8pm until 10 pm. The performances are free and all visitors are welcome to attend.

The Senggigi Festival is held every year, usually in mid-July. If you are interested in authentic cultural events, unlike any held in the other parts of Indonesia, plan to be in Lombok at this time next year. The Senggigi Festival showcases the rich cultural diversity of Lombok, with its unique blending of Balinese Hindu and local Lombok Sasak traditions that make this island so fascinating.

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As reported in the last issue of The Lombok Guide, Bali-based airline IndoJet is proposing to introduce new direct flights between Australia and Lombok.

Mr Pathma Johnson, owner of IndoJet, met with members of the Lombok Hotels Association and other interested parties in Senggigi on Monday, 30 June 2008 to discuss the viability of the flights and how the hotels could work in cooperation with the airline to provide packages to the potentially lucrative Australian market.

Mr Johnson visited Lombok again on 18 July 2008 and, in an exclusive interview with The Lombok Guide, revealed that he wants to push ahead with his plans to commence a new direct flight between Lombok and Perth in Western Australia. He is currently in the process of setting up an office in Jalan Gora in Cakra, as the first stage of preparations for commencing the Perth-Lombok flights. He plans to have the IndoJet office operational by 1 August 2008.

The airline operates several flights a week within Australia under the OzJet banner between Perth and west coast destinations. In Indonesia, the company operates under the banner of IndoJet, which currently provides three flights per week between Perth and Denpasar, Bali. The company plan to increase this to four flights per week in September this year.

In Australia, OzJet operates a fleet of Boeing 737-200 Advanced aircraft, with a body length of 30.53m, is capable of landing at Lombok's existing Selaparang Airport, meaning that the company could conceivably start direct international flights immediately, rather than wait for the completion of the new Lombok International Airport, scheduled for 2010.

Mr Johnson has also been meeting with local hotel managers to discuss prices, proposed occupancies and package rates in preparation for offering holiday packages to the Perth market. In our interview, he said that initial package prices to Lombok must be cheaper than those currently on offer for Bali, in order to lure the market to a new destination. Bali package tours from Perth sell for around AU $899, including 7 nights' accommodation.

Convincing Australian travel wholesalers to buy Lombok is another hurdle to be addressed, as wholesalers have long established links with hotels in Bali, making their operations easy, and the destination itself is well established in the Perth market. However, IndoJet operate an internet-based direct booking system, which allows agents to book directly with the airline, whether for flights or packages. Mr Johnson envisages that once demand for Lombok is established, the wholesalers will follow.

“Lombok hotels will have to offer package rates at lower than usual prices for possibly the first six months to attract the Australian market away from Bali and to help establish Lombok as a new destination,” he said. “The Perth market is very price-conscious and Bali has been a favourite holiday destination for many years. However, I am confident that, once the Australians visit Lombok, they will love it!”

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Iran must decide between confrontation and co-operation in the dispute over its nuclear plans, the US has warned. At talks in Geneva, envoys from the US, EU and UN asked Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment in return for a pledge not to introduce new sanctions.

Iran gave no guarantees it would halt its activities, so the diplomats gave Tehran two weeks to provide an answer.

The meeting was the first time US and Iranian officials have held face-to-face talks on the nuclear issue. State department spokesman Sean McCormack issued a strongly-worded statement in Washington.

"We hope the Iranian people understand that their leaders need to make a choice between co-operation, which would bring benefits to all, and confrontation, which can only lead to further isolation," he said.

Diplomats had hoped that Iran would respond to a so-called "freeze-for-freeze" offer, under which a freeze of Iran's uranium enrichment programme at its current levels would be matched by a Western pledge not to strengthen sanctions on Tehran.
"It was a constructive meeting, but still we didn't get the answer to our questions," EU envoy Javier Solana told reporters.


The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, will be held in Beijing, People's Republic of China from 8 August to 24 August, 2008. The Olympic Games will be followed by the 2008 Summer Paralympics from 6 to 17 September, 2008.
The Olympic Games were awarded to Beijing after an exhaustive ballot of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Moscow on 13 July, 2001; beating Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. The Olympic slogan, “One World, One Dream”, calls upon the world to unite in the Olympic spirit.

10,500 athletes are expected to compete in 302 events in 28 sports; just one event more than was on the schedule of the Athens games of 2004. A total of 37 venues will be used to host the events, including 12 newly constructed venues. Earlier in 2007, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch had said that he believes that the Beijing games will be "the best in Olympic history”.
In total, thirty-one Beijing-based Olympic Games venues have been built for the event. The Chinese government has also invested in the renovation and construction of six venues outside Beijing, as well as fifty-nine training centres.

The centrepiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics is the Beijing National Stadium, nicknamed the "Bird Nest" because of its nest-like skeletal structure. The stadium features a lattice-like concrete skeleton forming the stadium bowl and has a seating capacity of 80,000 people. The Beijing National Stadium will be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the athletics events and soccer finals.


The new Batman film, “The Dark Knight” has set a box office records for the best opening weekend ever at the US box office, distributor Warner Bros has said.

The sequel took US $155.3 million, surpassing the previous opening weekend record set by “Spider-Man 3” last year, which took $151.1 million. “The Dark Knight” opened on 18 July 2008 and took $66.4m, which was also a single-day box office record.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, it cost $185m to make the movie. Critics have praised the film, which stars Christian Bale as Batman and the late actor, Heath Ledger, who plays the Joker. Ledger died following a drug overdose in January 2008, aged 28. Some supporters have suggested that he should get a posthumous Oscar nomination.
The last Batman movie, “Batman Begins”, grossed nearly $49 million in 2005, in its first weekend in North America. It went on to collect about $372 million worldwide.


Five bombs exploded in northern Spain on 20 July 2008, including four at popular seaside resorts.

The first bomb detonated outside a bank in the town of Getxo, north of Bilbao. Two more devices exploded near beaches in the resort town of Laredo, near the large northern city of Santander in the Cantabria region. Another bomb went off in Noja, and at Noja Golf Course, some 20km from Laredo.

Officials said the Basque separatist group Eta had warned of the attacks and nearby areas had been evacuated. There were no other casualties. Eta regularly targets tourist resorts for its summer attacks.

Eta has killed more than 820 people and caused thousands of injuries during its violent 40-year campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and south-western France. The group announced a cease-fire in March 2006 but formally ended it last June. The European Union and the United States list Eta as a terrorist group.


The 2008 United States presidential elections, scheduled for Tuesday, 4 November, 2008, will select the new President and Vice President of the United States. The two major parties' candidates have not been officially chosen, but their presumptive nominees are John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona, for the Republican Party; and Barack Obama, the junior United States Senator from Illinois, for the Democratic Party.

The 2008 election is particularly notable because it is the first time in US history that two sitting senators will run against each other for president.

The Libertarian Party has nominated former Congressman Bob Barr; the Constitution Party has nominated pastor and radio talk show host, Chuck Baldwin; and the Green Party has nominated former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Ralph Nader declined to seek the Green Party nomination and is running as an independent candidate.

United States presidential elections determine who serves as president and vice president of the United States for a four-year term, starting at midday on Inauguration Day, which is 20 January of the year after the election. The elections are conducted by the various states and not by the federal government.

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Two of Lombok's leading hotel representatives have just returned from a Road Show to promote Lombok in Australia and New Zealand.

Imam Wahyudi, General Manager of Hotel Vila Ombak on Gili Trawangan, and Ian Henderson, AGM of the Senggigi Beach Hotel and Pool Villa Club in Senggigi joined the “Australia New Zealand Road Show” organised by Bali Village in July 2008.

Imam and Ian, representing Lombok and their respective hotels, formed part of the group which included Accor Hotels, Segara Village Bali, Bali Beach Hotel, and Bali Safari & Marine Park, together with members from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The Road Show visited Perth on 30 June, Melbourne on 2 July and Sydney on 3 July, before continuing on to Auckland in New Zealand on 7 July. “The whole event was extremely well organised and well run,” Ian Henderson said, “every person participating in the road show was hardworking and very professional”.
At the presentations Mr I Gede Pitana, from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, welcomed representatives from travel agencies and wholesalers with an introductory speech before a traditional cultural performance. Guests then joined in “table top” discussions, with presentations from each of the hotel representatives. At each city, guests also took part in “lucky dip” draws, which included prizes from participating hotels.

The road show attracted over one hundred people at each of the Australian capital cities; with over 150 people attending the road show in Auckland. Leading travel agencies attending the table tops included Garuda Orient Holidays, Qantas Holidays, Flight Centre, Jetset Travel, Travel Centre and other well known Australian agents.

“The agents and wholesalers were all very interested in Lombok,” said Pak Imam, “we expect a good response from the road show.”

He went on to say, “All the travel agents in Australia and New Zealand we spoke to are aware of Lombok as a potential major destination. Some have already visited Lombok and many of them also mentioned receiving The Lombok Guide Magazine this year”.

The Lombok Guide Magazine 2008 was published in May and around 3000 copies were distributed to over 80 travel agents in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand in June 2008.

Both Ian and Imam discussed the new ways of getting to Lombok, including the reintroduction of Bounty Cruises' service between Bali and Lombok, and other fast boat options such as Gili Cat. There was also much interest in the news of Lombok's new International Airport, due for completion in 2010.

“Everyone we met was really interested in Lombok,” Ian said. “I'm sure we would have no problem selling Lombok as a destination, but we desperately need more flights, especially direct flights, between Lombok and Australia. The key factor in everyone's minds is access… access… access!”

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Brown, red and black dogs are fast disappearing in Bali, to meet demand for sacrificial offerings.
A heavy schedule of Balinese sacrificial ceremonies or mecaru over the coming few months have placed the lives of dogs of certain colours in extreme jeopardy. Ritual dictates that blang bungkem, bang bungkem and selem bungkem (brown, red or black dogs, respectively) be sacrificed as part of these ceremonies, intended to create harmony and balance in the cosmos.

According to Bisnis Bali, dogs of any of these three colors are now in very high demand, fetching top dollar during the current Dewasa Ayu period of ritual offerings. Demand for the dogs is also being fed by the high number of cremations traditionally held at this time of year and the requirement to hold a mecaru soon after a ngaben or cremation ceremony.

According to a "dog dealer" interviewed by Bisnis Bali, the brown, red or black dogs are currently fetching a price of between Rp 250 000 (US $27) to Rp 300 000 (US $32.50).

The dog supplier said past efforts to breed dogs of the specified colour have met with mixed success due to the constant demand for the dogs and "must have" attitude of the locals, which tends to thwart efforts to establish a viable pool of breeding stock.

Meanwhile, dog grooming parlours across the island are reporting a brisk business in handling requests for dye jobs to transform brown, red and black dogs into less dangerous colours.
In the words of one dog groomer, "It's a matter of dye or die".

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Every year Bali's leading lifestyle magazine, The Yak – covering tourism, fashion, sports, interior design, real estate, health and spirituality, food and wine, art and photography – runs a poll on their website asking readers and the general public to help to recognize establishments and individuals of note.

This year's winners and nominees were announced at a champagne reception held on the beach at Ku Dé Ta restaurant on Saturday, 12 July, 2008. Live music and dance performances formed a part of the evening together, with Moet Champagne, Belvedere Vodka, New Zealand wines by Gravitas and cocktails by Bar Solutions.

Delicious canapés were supplied from six of Bali' best culinary venues including The Bvlgari, Bali Catering Company, Marinelli Shellfish Company, Ku Dé Ta, Sarong, The Samaya, Wah Burgers and The Bale. The evening was also enlivened by an appearance by world musician Anello Capuano and Bali's internationally acclaimed contemporary dancer I Nyoman Sura.

This year's 19 winners were:
● Best Advertising Campaign - Biasa
● Best Retail Space - Jenggala Ceramics, Jimbaran
● Best Fashion Designer - Lulu, from Lulu Boutiques
● Best Resort - The Bvlgalri
● Best Villa - Aqua Villa
● Best Chef - Nicolas Doudou at Kafé Warisan
● Best Bar - Ku Dé Ta
● Man of the Year - Bruno Vaillant of E-Wines Asia
● Woman of the Year - Jocelyn Cunningham of Ku Dé Ta
● Best Newcomer - Anantara Resort
● Best Ubud Hotel - Four Seasons Resort at Sayan
● Best Ubud Restaurant - Mozaic
● Ubudian of the Year - Komang Wahyu Sutedja Neka (resort and gallery owner) and Victor Mason (author and Ubud icon)
● Best Event - Ubud Readers & Writers Festival
● Best Community Service Award - John Fawcett Eye Clinic
● Outstanding Achievement Award - John "Jack" Daniels of Bali Discovery Tours and Bali Update
● Best Spa - Maya Ubud
● DJ of the Year - Kevin K
● Best Sunset Venue - Breeze at The Samaya

Printed on a quarterly basis, The Yak and The Bud are distributed in Bali, Asia, Europe and the USA.

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To help overcome the problem of electricity shortages in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) the Department of Mining and Energy is planning to develop self-supporting energy villages by utilising waterfalls in seven locations around the local countryside. One of them, micro hydro power station PLMH Teres Genit in West Lombok is capable of yielding electricity equal to 30 kilowatts per hour.

State electricity company managers have been given management training that focuses on alternative energy sources, as well as training in economic solutions for the society. “We want to set a good example for energy efficiency,” said Heryadi Rahmat, Vice Chief of Mining and Energy NTB, “ there is a lot of potential for alternative energy sources in NTB; we don't need to use fossil fuels only”.

Besides the generation of hydro power from Lombok's waterfalls, the Board of Geology have been researching the potential of heat generated by volcanic fissures around Sembalun, on the northern slope of Mt Rinjani. Initial results show a yield of around 65 megawatts. Another heat source, in Huu in the sub-province of Dompu is being explored.

Even the currents of the oceans surrounding Lombok are potential energy sources, with a sea current energy station located in East Lombok being one of three such projects in the world today.

Italian company, Ponte di Archimede, designed the Kobold turbine which has been installed as the first sea current energy power station in the Messina Strait in Italy and the technology is now being used in territorial waters off Tanjung Menangis, East Lombok. The Kobold technology adopts a vertical propeller turned by the current to generate power.

The project, which is the first prototype of its type in Indonesia, was commenced in January 2008 at a cost of around Rp 8 milliar (US $8 million). Half of the investment is defrayed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), while the balance comes from Indonesian Governmental funds (30 %), NTB Government (10%) and East Lombok Regional Government (10%).

Yusron Hadi, the Subsection Chief of Natural Resources and Environment of BAPPEDA NTB, spent five months studying at the International Centre for Science and High Technology in Trieste, Italy where he learnt about the Kobold technology. After which, Dr Emilio Matasena, President of Ponte di Archimede SPA, visited Lombok to assess the location at Tanjung Menangis, which has an ocean current speed of around 2.75 metres per second and can operate for around 9 hours.

The turbine is located at a depth of between 20 – 50 metres, around 250 metres off the East Lombok coast. The power station can yield 110 KWH, providing power for around 200 houses in the area.

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Fire investigators said a fire that destroyed a Mendota Heights, Minnesota home last week was caused by a flowerpot. Fire Chief John Maczko said a flowerpot on the home's deck spontaneously combusted.

While rare, spontaneous combustion can happen to pots with the right mixture of soil, moisture and heat.

Home-owner Dan Stoven said it was hard to believe, but he was just glad his 17-year-old daughter was able to escape when passers-by entered the home to wake her up.

Investigators said the soil was in a plastic pot that had become hot after several days of high temperatures and humidity. It ignited on 8 July, and wind fanned the fire, spreading it to the deck and then to the house.


A kangaroo met an unlikely death after it bounded into the surf in southern Australia and was mauled by a shark, according to eyewitnesses.
Daniel Hurst, who says he saw the incident while out walking his dogs, was accused of being drunk or on drugs after he told the story to friends. But the emergence of a second witness and the discovery of mangled kangaroo remains appear to confirm his story. Experts say kangaroos will take to the sea only if they are ill or in danger.

Mr Hurst said he was walking along Torquay beach in Victoria when he saw the marsupial behind scrubland next to the dunes.
"It just headed down towards the water and in it went," he told Australia's ABC News.

"There's a bit of a rip in that area so... the kangaroo could have been dragged out, but I could still see its head, and that's when the shark leapt out of the water on its side. The kangaroo disappeared after that. I stayed around for a while, just very interested, and hoping the shark jumped again, but it never eventuated."

The unlikely tale appears to have been backed up by local officials, who discovered a kangaroo carcass on the beach. A second witness, Mick Boucher, came forward to say he also saw the shark attack.

Mr Boucher said the marsupial, which seemed dazed, stood at the edge of the water for about 10 seconds and then started swimming out to sea. He told the Geelong Advertiser that the unfortunate marsupial was about 200m from shore when the shark struck.

He said the predator's back was clearly visible above the choppy waves as it launched its attack. "It wasn't a huge shark and it was too far out to see clearly, but it was a shark. I couldn't believe it".


An upstate New York man says he's still upbeat despite losing the same leg twice. Scott Listemann told the Poughkeepsie Journal that he laughs about losing his foot and lower leg "both the first time and the second time."
The Poughkeepsie man lost his leg below the knee in a November, 2007 accident. Listemann, 47, lost his prosthetic leg last month while skydiving in upstate New York.

The lower leg below the knee, with a foot clad in a running shoe, flew off after he jumped from the plane but before the parachute opened. Listemann says he's sure "it will show up eventually." Listemann has distributed flyers throughout upstate Gardiner and hopes someone will find his prosthetic leg and call him.


An Australian woman has been saved by a pet dog which leapt to her aid after she was attacked by a large kangaroo.

The marsupial assaulted Rosemary Neal, 65, at her farm near Mudgee in New South Wales, 265km north-west of Sydney. Mrs Neal was taken to hospital with concussion and cuts to her face, hands and back.

"The kangaroo just jumped up and launched straight at her," her son said. "My dog heard her screaming and bolted down and chased him off. If it wasn't for the dog, she'd probably be dead."


Police said they will not file charges against a clerk whose parents and husband were charged with robbing the pizza restaurant where she worked, officials said. Police said the clerk didn't know they planned to rob the Pizza Patron in Denton, Texas.

While the robbery was in progress, the clerk discovered that her father was the robber when another clerk struck him, knocking him out and knocking off his wig and sunglasses. He was later apprehended after witnesses followed the getaway pickup.

"Her husband told us she didn't know. He knew they were going to rob someplace but he thought it was going to be a convenience store," police Sgt. James Brett said in a story in online editions of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

A surveillance video corroborated the clerk's story. A police report shows the trio was in custody within 14 minutes of the robbery. All three suspects were charged with aggravated robbery.

Seen near Batu Bolong

When you don’t have any rope...

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Indonesia's Supreme Court has given the green light for the execution of the three Bali bombers after rejecting their last appeal.

The announcement on Friday, July 18, 2008, that the third appeal to the Supreme Court by Amrozi Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron against their death sentence for their role in the October 2002 Bali bombing has been rejected, now suggests that the three's final appointment before a firing squad is now only a matter of time.
The Supreme Court in Jakarta has sent a letter to the Bali prosecutor's office confirming that the rejection of the bombers' last petition means the appeals process was exhausted, Denpasar district court head Nyoman Gede Wirya said. "The Supreme Court only acknowledges (the bombers') first appeal, which they've already rejected. The ball is now in the hands of the (Bali) prosecutor's office to carry out the sentence, the appeals process is over," he said.

Attorney General Hendarman Supandji was quoted by Antara news agency as saying the bombers had already refused to seek clemency from the president, clearing the way for them to face the firing squad. "According to the law, the punishment can already be carried out," Supandji said.

Bali chief prosecutor Dewa Putu Alit Adnyana said he had not yet received the letter but had already appointed a team to oversee the executions, which will be held outside Bali.

"I've already prepared the team to deal with the execution. We're ready whenever," he said.
The three members of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror network were convicted in 2003 and are being held at Nusa Kembangan, an island prison off the south coast of Java. While the execution of the three will be carried out near their place of imprisonment, the "official" administration of the firing squad rests with the Bali prosecutors, whose job it is to implement the final ruling of the court.

A chorus of national and international voices opposed in principle to capital punishment are expected to begin lobbying the Indonesian government to revoke the death sentence of the three. Rights group Amnesty International has come out in opposition to the bombers' execution, saying they were sentenced under a new anti-terror law that retrospectively applied the death penalty. "Under international law... and the Indonesian Constitution, a person cannot be tried under legislation brought in after the incident took place," Amnesty said in a statement.

The three terrorists, who remain defiantly unrepentant over their lead roles in the 2002 attack which killed 202 people, have said they feel no allegiance to the Indonesian Republic or its laws. Ironically, they can now only seek a delay of their death sentences by formally seeking clemency from Indonesia's President. The condemned men have said they will not seek presidential clemencies and claim they are looking forward to becoming religious martyrs.

However, their lawyer has said they would seek to challenge the death penalty itself through Indonesia's Constitutional Court. "I'm shocked knowing that the Supreme Court took a decision that soon. It's never happened before," lawyer Fahmi Bachmid said. "All of them have repeatedly said they will only ask pardon from God, not the president. This is their faith.”

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Dubai investor, Emaar Properties, has submitted its master plan to develop the tourism area in Mandalika, south Lombok, to the Ministry of BUMN in Jakarta.

Emaar Properties, one of the leading international resort developers in the United Arab Emirates, submitted their business plan on 14 July 2008, outlining their proposed investment and development schedule, with plans to break ground on the world-class resort development in January 2009.

Emaar Properties plan to invest around Rp 7 trillion (US $700 million) in developing 1 250 hectares on Lombok's stunning south coast, which includes the construction of a Giorgio Amani star hotel and a Ritz Carlton hotel.
The Head of the West Nusa Tenggara Area Planning and Development Body, Lalu Fathurrahman, said that expediting the Mandalika development has the full support of the Indonesian government and would be given priority by local government.

The Mandalika tourism area was originally slated for development by PT Perusahaan Pengelola Aset, but was taken over by PT Bali Tourism Development Corporation when the original developer failed to meet loan payments of Rp 1.3 trillion (around US $1.3 million) to PT Pengembangan Pariwisata Lombok.

PT Bali Tourism Development Corporation, responsible for much of the development of Nusa Dua in Bali, is working in partnership with Emaar Properties to manage the resort development.

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Garuda's Changing Armada to Focus on Fuel Efficient Boeing Aircraft.
Garuda's fleet of Boeing 737-800 New Generation aircraft have begun to arrive in Indonesia from their production plant in Seattle, Washington.

Quoted by Tempo Interaktif, the CEO of the Airline, Emirsyah Satar said on Thursday, 17 July, "One unit arrives on Friday and another one next month".

The new aircraft is being provided to the Indonesian flag carrier under a "dry lease" agreement worth a total of US $40 million per aircraft. Under the terms of a "dry lease" Garuda rents only the airplanes, providing their own pilots, crew, maintenance, fuel and insurance coverage. Despite the high rental rates, Emirsyah insisted "the main point is that we will profit because these new aircraft are 20% more fuel efficient than their predecessors".

Emir said the new Boeing 737-800NG will be used initially to increase flight frequencies to Perth and Hong Kong. On longer routes, Garuda will employ Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft.

Garuda presently operates a fleet of 49 aircraft, targeting to soon have 50 Boeing 737-800NG and 10 Boeing 777-300ER operating under its colours.

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The West Lombok Department of Tourism and Culture are sponsoring free performances of traditional dancing and music in the Pasar Seni (Art Markets) from now until the end of the year.

Performances take place twice a month, on every second Saturday afternoon. Join in the fun around 4pm and witness some of Lombok’s best performers and musicians... There is no charge and everyone is welcome!

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