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Radio and TV Stations to Go Silent on Nyepi?

Bali Broadcast Commission Asks Radio and TV Stations in Bali to Observe Nyepi by Signing Off for 24 Hours on March 26, 2009.

(2/14/2009) The Bali Broadcasting Commission (KPID) has asked that all radio and television stations located in Bali shut down in deference to the celebration of Nyepi - Bali's official day of silence on March 26, 2009.

In a formal letter (No. 482/48/KPID) dated January 30, 2009, the KPID has called on Bali's broadcasters to go off the air from 6 a.m. on March 26 until 6 a.m. on March 27, 2006.

In announcing their request, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the KPID in Bali called on Bali's broadcasters to demonstrate their social solidarity and responsibility in marking the celebration of the Balinese New Year (Saka 1931) by going silent during the period set aside for reflection and meditation. One of the rules for Balinese Hindus honoring Nyepi stipulates abstinence from pleasure and entertainment activities during the stipulated 24-hour period.

In previous years, the KPID only issued a suggestion to not broadcast during the Nyepi period, with many radio and TV stations continuing to operate. This year the KPID is issuing a formal request (short of a formal order) not to broadcast. Officials of KPID have said that they have no authority to punish or sanction broadcasters who ignore their requests, saying the public can judge for themselves the integrity and commitment of broadcasters' commitment to Bali.

Perhaps ominously suggesting some sort of future bureaucratic sanction for broadcasters who ignore their request, the KPID chairman said: "In turn, this fact will become a consideration of the KPID in the future in accordance with the duty and power granted to us."

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