Elimination, not reduction, of Voice of America Tibetan radio is proposed by BBG

The Dalai Lama said that Voice of America Tibetan radio is “vital medicine” for Tibetans, and the Tibetan people consider it as one of the most valuable and priceless gifts from the people and government of the United States to them.

Sign a Petition Save Voice of America Radio to Tibet

The Broadcasting Board of Governors Chief Financial Officer Maryjean Buhler pointed out at last week’s public board meeting that the BBG proposes in its fiscal year 2013 budget a reduction rather than an elimination of the Voice of America Tibetan Service.

The BBG proposal means, however, an elimination of the entire VOA Tibetan radio broadcasting service, leaving only a VOA Tibetan website and a VOA Tibetan television program. Neither of these can be viewed easily in Tibet due to the Chinese regime’s draconian restrictions on private ownership of satellite dishes and its effective blocking of VOA websites. This means that the VOA Tibetan Service would be reduced to providing news only to Tibetans living in exile rather than to Tibetans in Tibet, where the Voice of America is most needed and its radio programs are secretly listen to as reported recently by National Public Radio.

This video from last Thursday’s BBG board meeting includes comments by CFO Maryjean Buhler and BBG Governor Victor Ashe who is said to oppose cutting Voice of America radio broadcasts to Tibet. Ashe said that he received numerous protests and indicated that BBG members are taking another look at this matter.

 

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This document is reposted from savevoatibetanradio.com website.

Stop the Voice of America’s Tibetan Language Radio from going silent for the Tibetan people

In the FY2013 budget proposal, the Broadcasting Board of Governors plans on eliminating the Voice of America’s Tibetan language radio to Tibet.

The Tibetan People are burning with anguish and pain at this moment

This comes at a period when Tibet is literally burning, and China’s repression and crackdowns on the Tibetan people are at their harshest and most violent. Twenty five young people, mostly monks and  nuns, have self-immolated to draw attention to the attacks  on Tibetan religion and culture. China’s response has been to crackdown harder, conduct beatings and detentions and inflict painful and humiliating ‘re-education’ programs at Tibetan religious institutions.

Wrong political message to the Chinese Communist Party

Cutting this lifeline for Tibetans in their hour of need sends a wrong message to China. China will understand it to mean that decimation of Tibetan religion and culture, and indeed their very identity, will now be overlooked by America. And to the Tibetan people, it will be a heartbreaking blow from a nation that Tibetans love, respect, and consider a friend in stormy weather.

        VOA Tibetan language radio is a unique source of information for Tibetans

A recent NPR report on the Tibetan self-immolations in Tibet said, “The monks listen secretly to Voice of America’s Tibetan service news every night, despite feeling almost physical pain at the bleak news.” That’s because ever since 1991, when the Voice of America was mandated by an act of Congress to start its Tibetan language service, it has been the only international broadcast into Tibet that provides world news, US news, the activities and efforts of the Dalai Lama for his people, and information and analysis on the workings of the free world to Tibet. And today, VOA Tibetan radio is still the only one that gives all of that to the Tibetan people.

Shortwave radio is still a powerful medium in Tibet

Shortwave radio remains a cheap, easily concealed, and thus the safest mode of getting news and information in Tibet. Radio signals are jammed by the Chinese in town centers, but in the rural areas where the vast majority of Tibetans live, Voice of America’s radio is loud and clear.

The Dalai Lama said that Voice of America Tibetan radio is “vital medicine” for Tibetans, and the Tibetan people consider it as one of the most valuable and priceless gifts from the people and government of the United States to them.

Save VOA Tibetan radio on behalf of the millions of Tibetans living under extreme oppression, and the American people who have supported the plight of the Tibetans for over 50 years.

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