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IT luminaries stranded in tropical paradise with Indian crime lord

Eruption of Indonesian volcano ground planes... worse places to be stuck

Some of the IT world’s finest channel brains and one of the world’s most wanted men were trapped at a conference resort on the tropical island paradise of Bali this week after a local volcano blew its top.

Resellers, distributors and vendor channel execs gathered on the island for Canalys’ APAC Channels Forum. Key Note speakers slated for the prestigious event included Dell’s head of global channels Cheryl Cook, EMC CTO John Roese, and HP Inc APAC’s veep for PCs and tablets Anneliese Olson.

However, Mount Rinjani on the nearby island of Lombok began erupting on Tuesday, hurling ash and debris 3500m into the air, and leading to the shutdown of local airports. Delegates and speakers would have been arriving on Tuesday, and some didn't make it to the conference. Others would have flown in early to spend more time on the island, famed for its beaches and meditation retreats.

However, with the event due to finish Thursday, some delegates that did make it are now trapped on the island. While the airports are now open, key airlines, including Virgin Australia, are reportedly waiting till at least Saturday before recommencing flights.

Luckily, a complete Lord of the Flies scenario has been averted.

Canalys CEO Steve Brazier told us the event had been "amazing" though "We obviously had some challenges".

The bigger challenge was getting back, he said, and some partners were still stuck on the island. "We have provided them all with hotel rooms and generous vouchers for subsistence. For a few, it has been really inconvenient. Others will make the best of the situation."

Just to add to the drama, the channel folk and vendor execs are sharing the island with one of Interpol’s most wanted men, after his extradition to India was held up.

The BBC reports that feared Indian underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje was nabbed at Bali airport last month, when he flew in from Sydney where he had been living under an assumed name.

Nikalje was due to be extradited back to India on charges including murder and illegal possession of firearms, but is now trapped on the island with hundreds of channel professionals. Who has more to fear, we can’t tell.

Earlier this year, the eruption of another Indonesian volcano was blamed by some locals on a group of Western tourists who stripped off after climbing to its summit. ®

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