From: Consular_Office@dfat.gov.au
Subject: TRAVEL ADVICE 28 OCTOBER 2005
Sender: Ann.Clark@dfat.gov.au
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 14:59:14 +0700

This advice was issued on 28 October 2005
It supersedes advice issued 19 October 2005

This advice has been reviewed and reissued. It contains new information on health issues. The overall level of the advice has not changed.


Australians are advised to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia. Australians in Indonesia who are concerned for their safety should consider departing. Australians who consider their presence in Indonesia to be essential should exercise extreme caution. The recommendation that Australians defer non-essential travel applies to Indonesia as a whole, including Bali.

Following the bomb attacks at Kuta Square and Jimbaran Bay in Bali on 1 October, which killed and injured a significant number of people, including Australians, further terrorist attacks in Bali cannot be ruled out. Any popular tourist area or location known to be frequented by Westerners is a particular target, including resort areas such as Kuta, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran and Seminyak. Australians in Bali should exercise extreme caution and consider departing if concerned for their safety.

We continue to receive a stream of credible reporting suggesting that terrorists are in the advanced stages of planning attacks against Western interests in Indonesia. Attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia and could be directed at any locations known to be frequented by foreigners. We continue to assess that hotels, shopping centres, restaurants (including fast food outlets), bars, identifiably 'western businesses', schools, residential areas, embassies and all other areas where Westerners tend to gather could be targeted by terrorists without forewarning. The 1 October Bali bombings and bomb attack outside the Australian Embassy on 9 September 2004 underscore that the threat to Australians in Indonesia is real. On 29 August, Indonesian President Yudhoyono called for heightened security in Indonesia during September and October due to the risk of terrorist attack.

Australians are advised to avoid all travel to Aceh and Maluku province, particularly Ambon due to the unstable security situation and risk of terrorist attack. Australians in Aceh and Maluku should depart. As with elsewhere in Indonesia there is a risk of terrorist attack throughout Aceh and Maluku.

Australians are advised not to travel to Banda Aceh or other parts of Aceh to participate in humanitarian relief efforts unless under the auspices of a recognised aid organisation that has a security plan approved by Indonesian authorities to ensure the safety and security of its personnel.

Australians participating in the tsunami relief effort in northern Sumatra should ensure they have a robust security plan in place. We advise Australians not associated with recognised aid organisations and who are not covered by an approved security plan to depart in the interests of their own safety. All Australians in Sumatra and Aceh should register with the Australian Embassy via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on-line registration service.

There remains a risk to foreigners of kidnapping in areas close to the Philippines, such as the outlying islands of North Sulawesi, and the border regions of Kalimantan.

The Australian Embassy compound remains closed to the public as a result of the 9 September 2004 attack. Consular services are continuing to be provided by appointment. Consular inquiries should be directed to +62 21 2550 5500. Australians requiring emergency consular assistance can also contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra (24 hours a day) via tel +61 2 6261 3305.

Australians in Indonesia should register with the Australian Embassy via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on-line registration service.


Safety and Security

Terrorism

Australian travellers should be aware of the threat of terrorism globally and should read this travel advice in conjunction with the General Advice to Australian Travellers.

Australians are advised to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia and Australians in Indonesia who are concerned for their safety should consider departing. Australians who consider their presence in Indonesia to be essential should exercise extreme caution. The recommendation that Australians defer non-essential travel applies to Indonesia as a whole, including Bali.

Following the bomb attacks at Kuta Square and Jimbaran Bay in Bali on 1 October, which killed and injured a significant number of people, including Australians, further terrorist attacks in Bali cannot be ruled out. Any popular tourist area or location known to be frequented by Westerners is a particular target, including resort areas such as Kuta, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran and Seminyak. Australians in Bali should exercise extreme caution and consider departing if concerned for their safety.

We continue to receive a stream of credible reporting suggesting that terrorists are in the advanced stages of planning attacks against Western interests in Indonesia. Attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia and could be directed at any locations known to be frequented by foreigners. On 29 August, Indonesian President Yudhoyono called for heightened security in Indonesia during September and October due to the risk of terrorist attack. This follows the statements in May 2005 by the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) warning of possible further suicide bombings in Jakarta, identifying as potential targets places frequented by foreigners. Possible terrorist targets include international hotels, clubs, restaurants (including international fast food outlets), bars, embassies, international schools, expatriate housing compounds, office buildings, churches and other places of worship, shopping centres, outdoor recreation events, tourist areas, airlines and transport hubs or
identifiably western businesses and interests. The central business and embassy districts of Jakarta, other metropolitan and tourist centres in Java and Sumatra and premises and symbols associated with the Indonesian Government are also possible targets.

The bomb attack outside the Australian Embassy on 9 September 2004 underscores that the threat to Australians in Indonesia is real. The bombing of nightclubs in Bali on 12 October 2002 and a five-star hotel in central Jakarta in August 2003 and the 1 October bombings in Bali are further reminders of this threat. The possibility of another attack against Australians cannot be ruled out.

Civil Unrest/Political Tension

Several large public demonstrations are planned in Jakarta and possibly other cities around Indonesia from 28 September, 2005 to protest impending fuel price hikes announced by the government of Indonesia. Australians are advised to avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent. Most demonstrations are publicised in advance by the media and participating organisations. The areas near the Presidential Palace and the other major government buildings are popular sites for demonstrations.

Raids and assaults ('sweeping' operations) by militant Islamic groups against bars, nightclubs and other public places in Indonesia can take place during Ramadan. Ramadan is due to begin around 4th October 2005 and lasts for one month.

Aceh: Australians are advised to avoid all travel to Aceh, and those in Aceh should depart. The Aceh Peace Agreement was signed on 15 August 2005. However, the security situation remains unstable. Indonesian authorities have declared the waters 12 nautical miles around Aceh closed to all foreign shipping. Indonesian law bans tourists from entering Aceh and regulates the activities of other foreigners in Aceh, including journalists and aid workers. Foreigners wishing to enter Aceh for work must have written permission from the Indonesian Government.

Australians are advised not to travel to Banda Aceh or other parts of Aceh to participate in humanitarian relief efforts unless under the auspices of a recognised aid organisation that has a security plan approved by Indonesian authorities to ensure the safety and security of its personnel. While it is not clear if the recent shooting of two aid workers was undertaken for criminal or political reasons these incidents highlight the risk to aid workers in Aceh. Australians participating in the tsunami relief effort in northern Sumatra should ensure they have a robust security plan in place. We advise Australians not associated with recognised aid organisations and who are not covered by an approved security plan to depart in the interests of their own safety. All Australians in Sumatra and Aceh should register with the Australian Embassy via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on-line registration service.

Maluku and North Maluku: Australians are advised to avoid all travel to Ambon, Maluku province due to the unsettled security situation and risk of terrorist attack. Australians in Maluku province, including Ambon, who are concerned for their safety, should depart. Violence in Ambon has resulted in a number of deaths and serious injuries. The situation in Maluku and North Maluku provinces remains unsettled.

Kalimantan: Communal tensions in mixed Dayak and Madurese areas may turn violent. In northern Kalimantan, there is a danger of kidnapping for ransom by insurgents, criminals and terrorists operating from the southern Philippines.

Papua: Political tensions associated with separatists in Papua and communal tensions between indigenous Papuans and groups predominantly from other parts of Indonesia may lead to violence. Australians travelling to Papua for other than tourist purposes require a travel permit (Surat Keterangan Jalan) from the police. This can be obtained from the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta and should be sought well in advance of travel.

Sulawesi: The security situation in South Sulawesi remains uncertain. Sporadic sectarian and ethnic violence continues to occur. A bomb exploded in a cafe in Palopo in 2004, killing four people. There were specific threats against foreigners in the vicinity of Saroako in May 2004 and the security situation there continues to be problematic.

The security situation in Central Sulawesi remains unsettled and sporadic sectarian clashes continue. In May 2005 bomb attacks at a market in Tentena killed 19 people. There have been attacks on inter-provincial and inter-city buses in the area of Poso, including those carrying tourists. The possibility of further terrorist attacks in Poso cannot be ruled out.

In North Sulawesi, near the Philippines border, there is a risk of kidnapping for ransom by insurgents, criminals and terrorists operating from the southern Philippines.

West Timor: The security situation in West Timor remains unsettled, particularly in areas near the border with East Timor, where security incidents continue to occur and have the potential to inflame local tensions. Foreigners were evacuated from the border town of Atambua during riots there in early 2005. A degree of resentment towards Australians still exists in the provincial capital of Kupang. The UN has downgraded its security rating for West Timor to Phase III and UN personnel have returned.


Personal Security

There have been a number of incidents where Australians in and around Jakarta have been robbed after having their car tyre deliberately punctured.

Threats and assaults have been committed in taxis. Reputable taxi companies maintain counters inside the airport and can be booked by phone or from stands at major hotels.

Prior to travel, Australians should ensure they have a variety of financial options available to them including credit cards, travellers' cheques and cash. Australians should consult their automatic teller machine (ATM) card provider for information about overseas services and availability. Not all overseas ATMs accept Australian cards.

Australians should only carry sufficient cash for their daily needs, secure their valuables against theft and avoid displays of wealth at all times. Photocopies of valuables such as passport, tickets, driving licence and travellers' cheques should be kept separately from the originals.

Parents planning to place their children in schools or child care facilities overseas are encouraged to research and satisfy themselves about the standards of security, care and staff training of those establishments. Parents should exercise the same precautions they take before placing children into schools or child care facilities in Australia. Useful ideas on how to select child care providers are available at http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/children/, http://www.childwise.net and http://www.ncac.gov.au.

You are required by law to report a lost or stolen passport as soon as possible. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible. As of 1 July 2005, you need to pay an additional fee to have it replaced. In some cases, the Government may restrict the length of validity or type of replacement document. Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place.

Local Conditions

Some coastal areas of Indonesia were hit by a large tsunami on 26 December 2004 resulting in widespread flooding and damage. In March 2005 parts of the Nias and Simeulue Islands were severely damaged by a large earthquake. While basic services are now operating across this region, it will be some time before adequate facilities are in place to service casual travellers. Due to security concerns Australians are advised to avoid all travel to the west coast of Northern Sumatra, including Aceh Province and offshore islands.

Piracy occurs in the coastal areas of Indonesia. This advice should be read in conjunction with our travel bulletin on piracy at sea.

Some treks on Mt Rinjani in Lombok are suitable only for experienced climbers. Travelling with a guide is recommended.

Indonesia is located in an active seismic region. There has been a high level of earthquake activity in the region since the 26 December 2004 earthquake and tsunami. The Indonesian Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation provides daily updates on the status and Alert Level for volcanoes in Indonesia. Weekly reports on volcanic activity are also provided by the Smithsonian Institution. In the event of an earthquake or volcanic activity, local authorities will provide advice.

Local Law and Customs

Australians are reminded that when overseas, they are subject to local laws. Local laws and legal processes can be very different from those in Australia. A violation of local laws may result in a jail sentence, served in a local prison. Consular assistance cannot override local law, even where local laws may appear harsh or unjust by Australian standards.

Penalties for drug offences can be severe and include the death penalty. Penalties for possession of even small amounts of recreational drugs include heavy fines and imprisonment. In August 2005 Indonesian Police launched an official campaign targeting illegal drug use and possession across Indonesia, including Bali and Jakarta. The campaign has included the raiding of popular nightclubs and urine testing suspected drug users. While the campaign is not targeting Australians, the crack-down has resulted in Australians being detained and arrested on suspicion of drug-related offences, including for possession of small quantities of 'recreational' drugs.

Serious crimes, such as murder and treason, may attract the death penalty.

Gambling is illegal in Indonesia. There have been cases where tourists have fallen victim to organised gambling gangs, particularly in Bali resulting in the loss of large sums of money and threats of violence if travellers are unable to pay the debt.

Drivers must have an Indonesian or International drivers licence appropriate to the type of vehicle. Australian licences alone are not sufficient.

Some Australian criminal laws, including - but not limited to - those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism and child sex tourism, have extraterritorial effect. Australians who commit such offences outside of Australia may be prosecuted in Australia for those offences.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 17 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in sexual activity with children under 16 while outside of Australia.

Entry and Exit Requirements

Australians in Indonesia are required to register with the local Rukun Tertangga (RT) Office, the local police and if staying more than 90 days, the local immigration office. Australians are also required to carry proper identification in the form of an Australian Passport or Kartu Ijin Tinggal Sementara (KITAS) or Residents Stay Permit and ensure their visa remains current at all times.

Visa conditions are subject to change. For up-to-date visa information, Australians should contact the nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate, well in advance of travel.

Health Issues

Australians should read this advice in conjunction with our travel bulletin on avian influenza.

Since July 2005, there have been human deaths from avian influenza in Indonesia. The Department of Health advises Australians who reside in Indonesia for an extended period to consider, as a precautionary measure, having access to influenza antiviral medicine for treatment. Long term residents are at a greater risk of exposure to avian influenza over time. Medical advice should be sought before antiviral medicines are commenced. Australians intending to travel to Indonesia for shorter periods are at much lower risk of infection but should discuss the risk of avian influenza with their doctor as part of their routine pre-travel health checks.

If the avian influenza virus mutates to a form where efficient human-to-human transmission occurs, it may spread quickly and local authorities could move quickly to impose restrictions on travel. Australian travellers and long-term residents in Indonesia should be prepared to take personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being, including deciding when to leave an affected area and ensuring they have appropriate contingency plans in place. Australians in Indonesia should monitor the travel advice and bulletin for updated information and advice, and ensure that their travel documents, including passports and visas for any non-Australian family members, are up to date in case they need to depart at short notice.

In September 2005 the Australian Government decided as a precautionary measure to hold a limited supply of the antiviral medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and protective face masks at its missions in Indonesia. The antivirals would primarily be used to protect emergency staff providing consular and other essential services in the event of a widespread outbreak of avian influenza amongst humans. Australian missions will not be in a position to provide influenza antiviral medicines to Australians in affected areas and it is the responsibility of individual Australians to secure their own supply of such medicines (such as Tamiflu or Relenza).

The Department of Health and Ageing has received reports of 'polio' in West Java. A large-scale immunisation campaign is underway in the affected area.

The Department of Health and Ageing advises all travellers to Indonesia to ensure they have completed a primary course of polio vaccinations prior to travel. In addition, travellers to the West Java region should have a single booster dose of a polio vaccine if it has been more 10 years since their primary polio vaccination course or last polio booster dose. Travellers unsure of their polio vaccination status should consult a medical practitioner prior to travel. Further information can be obtained from the Department of Health and Ageing's factsheet on polio.

Indonesian authorities have reported a significant increase in cases of dengue fever. Doctors and travel clinics can provide advice about anti-mosquito precautions.

Smoke haze across much of the north-west part of the archipelago, usually from July to October, could impact on health and travel plans. Kalimantan and Sumatra are generally the worst affected areas.

For information on prevalent diseases and inoculations, travellers should consult their doctor, travel clinic or the World Health Organization. Further information can be found in our 'Travelling Well' brochure.

Travel and Health Insurance

Travel and health insurance is strongly recommended for all overseas travel. Travellers should check with their insurer to make sure that their policy meets their needs. In particular, travellers should seek advice from their insurer on what type of circumstances and activities are the subject of exclusions in their policy.

Australian insurance companies will not cover medical or evacuation claims for accidents where the driver is not properly licensed.

Consular Assistance and Registration

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta is closed to the public until further notice. Arrangements have been made for limited consular services to be available by appointment only. The contact number for appointments for consular services is +62 21 2550 5500. Australians requiring emergency consular assistance can also contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra (24 hours a day) via tel +61 2 6261 3305.

Australian Embassy Jalan H R Rasuna Said Kav C 15-16 Jakarta Selatan 12940 Indonesia Telephone +62 21 2550 5555 Facsimile +62 21 526 1690 Website http://www.austembjak.or.id/

Australian Consulate General Jalan Hayam Wuruk, Nos 88B, Tanjung Bungkak, Denpasar, Bali, 80234 Indonesia Telephone +62 361 241 118 Facsimile +62 361 241 120 Email Bali.congen@dfat.gov.au

All Australians travelling to Indonesia, whether for tourism or business or for short or long stays, should register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australians can register in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate or on-line. The registration information provided by you will help us to find you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family emergency.


Limited consular assistance, which does not include the issue of Australian passports, may be obtained from:

Australian Consulate Jalan R A Kartini 32 Medan 20152 North Sumatra Indonesia Telephone +62 61 415 7810 Facsimile +62 61 415 6820

Australians planning travel and those overseas are encouraged to monitor our travel advice updates, including through use of our free subscription service, at smartraveller.gov.au.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.

Other Useful Advice: Travel Advice FAQ | General | Visas | Brochures | Hints for Travellers | Piracy

While every care has been taken in preparing this travel information for travellers, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees including any member of Australia's consular staff abroad, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.
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