Rabies: Culling Never Works
IT is interesting that more people keep dying in Tabanan (Latest Rabies Death Sparks Angry Row Over Vaccine Non-Supply, April 9). One would have thought that after 17 months of extensive culling of dogs (last reported by Tabanan: 50,000 dogs poisoned, or 90 percent of their estimated overall dog population), which according to authorities in Bali is the way to deal with rabies, this would not be happening.
According to the World Health Organisation and rabies experts, culling has never had an effect in rabies control. The only thing that helps is to stop culling and start vaccinating with the 1-3 year vaccine.
Taxman’s Sting an Own Goal
IT seems the powers that be in this country do their best to dissuade any tourists at all with the extortionate prices of booze and visas on arrival (Taxman’s Sting, March 29).
The attraction of Indonesia being a great value destination to visit has long gone, with many prices for food and drink now much more expensive than even the UK.
Wake up you idiots and smell the coffee – and start to look after tourists instead of penalising them for visiting your country.
Will the last tourist to leave please turn out the lights!
Australians, Bali and Drugs
UNFORTUNATELY some in Australia think that when their loved one is arrested overseas that their government will rush to their defence, tell the detaining government what to do and free the prisoner immediately.
Some even quote various violations of international law, human rights mandates and local laws. Others quote corruption and insist that foreign aid, given in times of emergency, i.e. tsunami, should be used as a bargaining chip to free the prisoner in question, or to cut all diplomatic ties as a means of demanding their release.
Reality check: foreign internment is a complex area. Where to begin if your loved one is arrested overseas:
First get a competent lawyer who won’t offend the detaining party by saying their laws are ridiculous (even if you think they are).
Make sure they are familiar with international law, sovereignty, foreign judicial process, AND mindful of cultural sensitivities (what is and isn’t offensive in that culture).
Establish a good rapport with the consular officers in the field, and with your point of contact through your relevant foreign affairs department.
Work with credible people who have proven experience to develop a sound, strategic plan away from the media, utilising the support and advice of known professionals who have extensive knowledge and key contacts in foreign relations.
Work with them to engage the foreign government with dignity and respect. After all, they are best able to make approaches without the emotional attachments that can derail negotiations early on.
Ever heard the saying “You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar”?
Understand that these processes are complex and not easily resolved. Understand the reality of what your government can and cannot do for you.
Indonesia has a difficult responsibility to stem the flow of drugs to other countries, being that many try to transit Indonesia with drugs.
Australians should be aware, now more than ever, with these cases as an example, that if you travel overseas and are arrested with drugs then the penalties may be much harsher than Australia, and that the judicial process may indeed be nothing like you would expect in Australia, where many drug offenders are given a slap on the wrist for a first-time offense. Even for those who may have had something planted in their bag, just saying “It’s not mine” or “Someone must have put it there” won’t do much for you by way of a defence.
Travel smart and travel safe. Here’s a good link to stay informed: www.smartraveller.gov.au/faq.html
Note that this is just my personal endorsement of the travel advice which is something every Australian should read before travelling overseas.
Ubud Security Concerns
ON the morning of April 5, my laptop, camera, two cellphones etc where stolen from my home in Penestanan, Ubud. I reported the matter to the police the same day. A week later, temples were robbed in Ubud.
My friends and well-wishers have told me about at least two major thefts of laptops, cameras etc that have gone unreported. The persons who lost their valuables have since left Bali.
I am convinced that a gang is operating in Ubud. I have shared my thoughts with the police and they are investigating.
I fail to understand why security cannot be increased. After all Ubud is the top tourist city destination and this situation cannot continue. It will not only affect business but have a serious negative impact on the beautiful centre of arts and culture and religiosity.
Bapak Tjokorda Raka Kerthyasa (of Ubud Palace) spoke to me about the robberies in the temples and he shared his anguish as a Balinese whose home is being vandalised.
I hope someone out there is listening and will be proactive and not reactive.