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Consular service - travel advice



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FORETOTST A F F A IR S ANT) 'T R A D E

Consular Branch

CONSULAR SERVICES - TRAVEL ADVICE

INDONESIA

22 October 1999

There were demonstrations and some violent incidents in Jakarta, Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia associated with the elections by the National Parliament of the new President and Vice President on 20 and 21 October. There is no evidence that foreigners were the target of these disturbances. The level of politically motivated violence throughout the country is likely to abate now that the Presidential election processes are complete.

On 21 October a number of government offices and shopping malls in the centre of Denpasar and in other areas of Bali were damaged during the unrest. The Australian Consulate in Bali suffered incidental property damage and communication links have been temporarily disrupted. There have been no reported incidents of political protest in tourist

areas such as-Nusa Dua, Legian and Kuta Beach although there were some disturbances in the Sanur area.

The situation in Bali is however returning to normal. Australian citizens in Bali are advised to avoid downtown Denpasar and remain in the tourist areas and to monitor the situation through the local media. Australians intending to travel to Bali in the coming days should monitor developments closely.

Travellers to Indonesia, as well as resident Australians, are advised to keep themselves well informed of developments that might affect their safety and maintain a very high level of personal security awareness and vigilance in light of possible threats to public order. In particular, Australian citizens should keep themselves closely informed of developments relating to security in areas they may be visiting. Australians should avoid large gatherings or demonstrations. Large public events such as political rallies and demonstrations could

give rise to violence with little or no warning.

There has been some public criticism in Indonesia of Australia’s policy following the ballot in East Timor which has been reflected in the media. There have been demonstrations and protest action at the Embassy in Jakarta, the Consulate in Bali as well as the Consulates in Balikpapan, Kupang and Medan and a number of other centres aimed at Australian citizens and Australian interests. The Embassy and a number of Australian businesses have received threatening phone calls, including bomb threats. There have been a number of shots fired at Embassy buildings damaging some windows and rocks and incendiary devices thrown

into the grounds.

The Consulates in Balikpapan and Kupang are now closed. The Honorary Consulate in Medan will reopen on 25 October 1999. Some companies in East Kalimantan have made the decision to relocate temporarily some Australian staff and dependents to areas outside the province. The dependants of Embassy staff have been offered assisted temporary departure for those wishing to depart Jakarta.

The deployment of the Australian-led multinational force to East Timor (ENTERFET) has exacerbated tensions between Australia and Indonesia with the risk of individual Australian citizens becoming increasingly the subject of criticism from individuals or groups who disapprove of Australia’s approach to East Timor issues.

Australians should defer non-essential travel to West Timor and Ambon.

Australians are advised not to travel to the Mt Rinjani area of Lombok due to recent criminal activity targeting tourists. The incidence of robbery and street crime generally is high.

Additional information on developments in other areas of Indonesia (Aceh, Ambon, Bali, Irian Jay a, Kalimantan and Jakarta) may be found on the Australian Embassy’s website under ‘Consular Advice’ and ‘Embassy Bulletin’ at address: http//www.austembjak.or.id/news.htm or by telephoning +62 21 2550 5678

Medical and travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Australians in Indonesia are encouraged to register their presence in the country with the Australian Embassy, which may be contacted by telephone (62-21) 2550 5555 or by fax on (62-21) 522 7101. Visitors to Bali may contact the Consulate on (62-361) 23 5092 or by fax (62-361)~23 1990. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may also

be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.

This travel advice should be read in conjunction with the advice issued for East Timor.

NB: While every care has been taken in preparing this Travel Advice, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees including any member o f Australia’s consular staff abroad, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Most recent previous issue: 21 October 1999

Consular Services, including information for travellers and Travel Advices are also available from the Department’s Homepage on the Internet, address: http://www. dfat. gov. au/consular