a new governor, and more cremation build up

It seems the all out Ubud offensive to get its own royal son (CBS), elected for governor of Bali didn’t meet with success. Mangku Pastika and his vice-governor candidate Puspayoga have come in with a landslide, 54% of the vote, the other two candidates were left to divide up the remaining 46% between them. Now it remains to be seen what Mangku Pastika of Bali bombing fame (as head of the police task force he caught the culprits in record time) will actually implement. As per the government de-centralisation scheme of several years ago, in reality the sub-provincial Bupatis tend to wield more direct on the ground power than the provincial governor. It will be interesting to see if he can get a much needed Mass Rapid Transport system up, and whether security really will be improved. MRT schemes have been met with great resistance here for supposedly religious reasons. ————Meantime the cremation frenzy continues to build up. It’s only 4 more days to the big bonfire, and workers are racing to get everything finished under the watchful eye of Cok Gede Raka Sukawati, cousin to the late Cokorde Agung Suyasa who was certainly one who loved a big ceremony. Here Cok Gede (seated) is seen talking to one of the workers.cok-de.jpgmeanwhile evenings are non-stop, and besides the inevitable gambling there is a rotating roster of those taking care of the offerings in the pavilion where the remains of the royal princes are laid out.semayam1.jpgYesterday I run into Cok Putera, heir to the throne (if it was the old days that is), elder brother of Cok Gede. He looks tired, and he grins away the frown lines on his face when stops to chat. He mentions the election, but then agrees quickly that it is time to move on. There is lots to do, and even though he tried to set out a timetable, it is Bali after all and things are hectically behind the suggested schedule. So the next days are going to filled with graveyard shifts (sorry about the unintended pun). Outside they are decorating the massive wings that will go on this enormous tower._d3b4290.jpg I have a house full of Monica’s relatives from Thailand and the US, and last night’s news of the demise of the Thai foreign minister is met with great interest. It seems there is more action brewing in Thailand. more later. —————-This afternoon I hear a commotion outside my window, and sure enough it is Cok Wah (Cok Suyasa’s youngest son) and his crew bringing down the enormous bull sarcophagus that Cok Wah has commissioned down to the palace. The boy sure likes to do things big…bull.jpg

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