Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bali International Conference Centre; rats, not mice

By Drs Sudarmaji
Feb 26, 2008, 07:08

Indonesian Anti-Corruption Delegation
MICE conferences and exhibitions are now the staple diet of Bali’s rat travel business which sees millions of dollars come into government and corporate travel agent pockets but next to nothing into Balinese pockets; most of these events are held at the “BICC”. The B.I.C.C. AKA Bali International Conference Centre is located in Nusa Dua, quite appropriately, in a very Balinese unfriendly ghetto area of land principally robbed from the locals by the Suharto regime using false / broken promises and well below market value compulsory purchase orders. Supported by and benefiting immensely from all this are the Suharto family owned / part-owned resort hotels, themselves on “stolen” land AKA Nusa Dua, such as the Laguna Resort and Spa, the InterContinental, the Four Seasons, Nikko Bali, Westin Nusa Dua, AmanNusa and Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, the BICC now is the focus of the rat pack Indonesian tourism industry to make a buck in the absence of many thousands of affluent western tourists who are boycotting Bali out of good taste and common sense.

Ironic then where independent western travelers vote with their air tickets to other destinations for Indonesia to reform its nasty ways that International governmental organizations like the UN should disgust their own staff and human rights organizations by holding very lucrative conferences at the Bali International Conference Centre, such as the immensely insulting Conferences for Climate Change and for Anti-Corruption. The climate change fiasco with polluting generators brought in, illegal effluence dumps near Nusa Dua hidden behind hoardings and the fact Indonesia is the world’s 3rd largest greenhouse gas polluter through illegal logging operations which are owned by or otherwise financially benefit senior politicians is well known. But for the UN to follow through with their anti-corruption conference in an area which is the corruption capital of Bali with master and host Indonesia one of if not the most corrupt countries in the world defies belief.

But it gets worse and should raise serious questions about the true mandate of the United Nations with any balanced person. At the start of the UN Anti-Corruption Conference the man the UN themself describe as the world’s greatest corruptor, Suharto, died and no doubt went straight to hell. Good news for the world and the conference delegates? Not really, you see Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cancelled his place at the conference to attend an insulting (to humanity) state funeral for the man who is said to have stolen billions, been responsible for hundreds of thousands of state murders, and ruined the economy of Indonesia through corruption. Oh well, the conference was a week long shindig so “SBY” as he is known came the next day or day after right? No, no he did not. So here was a lucrative (for hotels owned by the world’s greatest corrupter’s family) UN anti-corruption conference allegedly held on Bali to support anti-corruption efforts [sic] there, yet whose president cancels to afford one of the most corrupt and evil men this region has ever seen a full state funeral, then avoids the conference thereafter out of grief or more like shame and to avoid the flack.

You see it gets worse and shows that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesian “government” are actually just as corrupt as Suharto himself in that all the anti-corruption delegates at the BICC were forced to stand and observe a minute’s silence for Suharto by order of yes you’ve got it, SBY and the Indonesian Government. Delegates from around the world forced to honour the very man they had come to dishonour, while sleeping in beds owned by Suharto’s children and sipping drinks supplied by the murderous Indonesian military (TNI) owned local alcohol wholesaler (they supply all Nusa Dua hotels of course). Of course we could not expect anything better from mini-Suharto (SBY) as he clearly struck a deal with the "devil" promising criminal corruption charges would be dropped against his mentor if he was elected president; which he was and which did happen. What a joke? Yes, but a very sick joke and made worse by the fact it was all sponsored by the United Nations.

But it gets worse! These very, very profitable conferences are ultimately paid for by yes, you’ve got it, tax payers in the countries which sent delegates. Of course the ultimate insult that much of Suharto's billions came from extorting foreign tax payer's money poured into Indonesia by western governments will not be lost on many. What is more these delegates were further abused without their knowledge by the Indonesian government and Bali MICE brigade. First these conferences are misrepresented as “proof” that Bali is a safe place for normal tourists when all along the local highly ineffective Balinese police were pushed out of Nusa Dua so the Indonesian state police and army could protect these dear souls. Second, the delegates who typically made 3 round trip journeys each to their embassies in Jakarta and / or neighboring countries during the course of their respective conferences were abused statistically to falsely claim Bali’s tourism business was booming, not bombing as it really is. You see, every time each of these foreign delegates flew back into Bali even on a domestic flight from Jakarta the Indonesian Tourism Ministry and Bali Tourism Board counted these as foreign tourist arrivals! These falsified foreign arrival figures then used to try and make sheep out of foreign tourists, by attempting to fool them them into following the example and direction (to Bali) of the non-exitent sheep in front of them.

Yes sir, Bali International Corruption Central made some big bucks, useful faux PR and even managed to insult the foreigners they openly hate with these MICE events. We just hope that now, knowing the truth, foreign tourists with humanity and taste will continue to boycott the corrupt hate state of Indonesia (including Bali), not become unwitting sheep or worse lemmings at the hands of the wholesale dishonest Indonesian travel industry. Also that event organizers and / or even individual delegates will refuse to travel to Bali, sleep in a Suharto owned bed / hotel on stolen ground, drink a TNI supplied drink which profit pays for bullets, and sit in the BICC, the place which insulted the world on that infamous day on the 28th January 2008. Event organizers please, if you have any humanity, any decency, any class, take your conferences somewhere other than Bali. And delegates, if you are asked to attend a MICE event at the BICC or elsewhere in Indonesia, just say “No Bali way!” Do the world and Indonesians a favour; boycott Bali until the Republic of Indonesia respects human rights and international law.

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