Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Thomas Mann opened the meeting and introduced Mr. Oystein Alme, Administrative Director of the Voice of Tibet independent radio station.
Mr. Alme explained that Voice of Tibet was registered as a foundation in 1995 and started broadcasting in May 1996, and has done so every day since. The objective is to produce and transmit unbiased news and information in the Tibetan and Chinese languages. 14 Tibetan journalists work in India and Nepal and produce daily programmes that are broadcast to Tibet and China. The programmes include news and events related to activities on Tibet throughout the world; world news on the situation of Tibetan exiled communities and from inside Tibet; developments of Tibetan issues taking place in the international arena; news on democraty movements in China; education and information on human rights; features on Tibetan culture, music and folk tales; reports and information on both traditional medicine and mordern health care; and information and reports on environment issues.
There has been continual jamming and censure of the Voice of Tibet since it began broadcasting. China has numerous monitoring and jamming stations provided with the best and most sophisticated equipment available and manned with experts trained specially for the mission. Emissions from powerful transmitters were put on top of the Voice of Tibet frequencies. Jamming stations have been built in numerous cities and towns in Tibet, with the help of Western technology. The jamming can be proved as recordings are made. Basic rights for people in the European Union are denied to people in China nad Tibet and exiled Tibetan communities.
The People's Republic of China is a member of the United Nations and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, but all protests about the jamming from the Voice of Tibet get no reply. Protests have been made to the Inernational Telecommunications Union, an organisation working under the United Nationas umbrella - which is supposed to oversee that, for example, short wave transmissions and frequencies are followed according to international rules and regulations - but the organisation has been unable to convince China to cease jamming.
Given the fact that listeners in Tibet and China will be imprisoned if they protest, Voice of Tibet is obliged to protest on their behalf and thus give a voice to the voiceless.