NATA on censorship

29 August 2011 09:02 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol said today, that as of September 1, the censorship of alcohol and tobacco consumption on television will be scrapped and instead new regulations will be introduced to discontinue the airing of all television programmes showing alcohol or cigarette consumption.

These new rules will be implemented in accordance to the provisions of the NATA Act. However the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Chairman Prof. Carlo Fonseka said that in the case of programmes produced before the date on which the NATA Act became operative, which is December 1, 2006, and if there are practical difficulties in deleting such scenes, TV channels will be permitted to show such programmes under certain conditions.

“In the full 20 seconds preceding the commencement of the programme TV channels should air the opening message provided by NATA without any obstruction or comment. Whenever smoking/ or drinking scenes appear during a programme, the appropriate message provided by NATA should be aired occupying not less than 1/5 of the screen in,” Prof. Fonseka said.

He said that in  a programme originally produced in a particular language but is subtitled or dubbed in another language, the NATA messages should be shown in the language which the programme is dubbed or subtitled in. Prof. Foneseka said the appropriate message should be aired for the full duration depicting the smoking/drinking scenes and that some of the messages shown will be images of illnesses that are caused by the consumption of smoking or alcohol consumption.

Sri Lanka Medical Association Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya said that the new regulations are likely to be far more effective than the censorship of alcohol and cigarette consumption which has been in effect since 2006. “Images of alcohol and cigarette consumptions has increased dramatically in television programmes in the past few years. Research has shown that these images have a vast impact on viewers, especially young people. Our aim is to reduce consumption of alcohol and cigarettes,” Dr. Rajasuriya said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)

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  Comments - 10

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  • Kolitha Tuesday, 30 August 2011 01:21 AM

    This is an awareness program.

    Ben Tuesday, 30 August 2011 02:56 AM

    Jayaweva ! Jayaweva ! Awesome fellow citizen !

    willowsw Monday, 29 August 2011 09:12 AM

    what a joke????

    Lional Alwis Monday, 29 August 2011 09:21 AM

    Good decision. Now we can watch movies without any disturbances.

    Ben Monday, 29 August 2011 09:25 AM

    Thank god for cable TV!

    RAJIV Monday, 29 August 2011 09:22 AM

    What about the peoples freedom of choice. Make a more direct impact by starting off at school level. Make our cigarette packs have graphic images of smoking related illnesses. Make it law that all shops who sell cigarettes should display the images of smoking related illnesses. Do not take the choice of the individual away by stopping TV shows. Be proactive and not reactive. i am sure although parents like to think that their children done smoke or drink. But I am sure may be 8 out of 10 will try it and out of the 8 may be 4 will stay with it. Its an individuals choice.

    Ramesh Monday, 29 August 2011 09:23 AM

    I really don't understand the need of this censorship. The more you try to hide is the more you try to taste this. Instead you should spend that money in the awareness programmes...

    sparks Monday, 29 August 2011 09:45 AM

    Can we find children who have developed violent attitudes watching bugs bunny movies where animosity and hitting each other is common? The same goes to watching movies with passing scenes of alchohol and cigerrette consumption. Coaching children on dangers in alchohol and cigerettes is a parental responsibility. However, many parents are perpetrators and abuses where the child actually picks up. Obliterating sections of a movie showing consuming a cigerrette or alchohol is a very minute aspect that cannot control the mind of a child, as it is just a passing aspect of the movie. Even professors can get their wires crossed.

    KodeNathiSriLankan Monday, 29 August 2011 10:16 AM

    It is interesting to note that Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple got all the new ideas while on a trip on LSD. Now we know why Sri Lankans are not creative.

    J P Rajan Monday, 29 August 2011 10:43 AM

    Ramesh is right, curiosity kills the cat!!


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