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When Silence Becomes the Golden Rule

Cable and Satellite Broadcasts Ordered to Shut Down in Bali during Nyepi Observances on March 5, 2011.

(2/19/2011) As reported in balidiscovery.com [See: We Interrupt our Programming], Bali intends to shut down all broadcasting on and to the island for a 24-hour period during the Bali-Hindu celebration of Nyepi - the day of absolute silence on March 5, 2011.

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has now followed up the request of the Bali Provincial Broadcasting Commission (KPI-Bali) by sending letters to Indonesia's Minister of Communication and Information, Tifatul Sembiring and to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) requesting that all television and radio broadcast signals to Bali be shut down for one-day on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

Quoted by the national news agency Antara, the chief of Bali's provincial Communication and Information office, I Made Santha, said, "the broadcast of television and radio includes all (broadcasts), both local and national, including subscription television that can be received in Bali."

Santha defended the steps, saying the temporary shut down of all broadcasts reflected the aspirations of the people of Bali.

According to Antara, the governor's request has received a "green light" from the Ministry of Communications and Information and the KPI. The governor's letter and accompanying clarification from Santha now make clear that guests staying in Balinese hotels over the "day of silence" may, in fact, be unable to tune into subscription satellite broadcasts if the proposed prohibition is honored by national cable service providers, such as IndoVision and TelkomVision.

The interruption in broadcasts to and on Bali will take effect from 06:00 am on Saturday March 5, 2010 and last until 6:00 am the following morning.

Nyepi observances in 2010 shut down all radio and television stations broadcasting from Bali, but left undisturbed subscription cable services.

Air and Seaports Closed

During the same period, Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport and four seaports will also be closed for 24-hours.

The governor has written to four ministries regarding plans to close all air and seaports. Advised of the transportation shut-down have been the Minister of the Interior, Gunawan Fauzi; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marty Natalegawa; the Minister of Transportation, Freddy Numberi; and the Minister of Communications and Information Tifatul Sembiring.

No flights will be permitted to land or take off during the period, with only technical stops permitted at Bali airport. Any emergency personnel or transiting passengers still within the airport premises when the Nyepi period commences will be compelled to spend the entire 24 hour period in the terminal.

The Principles of Nyepi

A day of reflection to mark the commencement of the Bali-Hindu New year, the strict observance of Nyepi demands both silence and darkness for 24-hours during the period form sunrise on March 5, 2011 until sunrise on March 6th.

Summarized, the religious dictates of the day stipulate the compliance with four tenets :

Amati geni - not to ignite fires or turn on lights.

Amati Karya - to refrain from all activities.

Amati lelungan - to stay at home and embark on no trips or journeys

Amati lelanguan - to not satisfy any lusts or engage in other pleasurable pursuits.