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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

US steps up radio broadcasts in crisis-hit Tibet

March 19, 2008

March 18, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said Monday it would increase radio
broadcasts to Tibet as China clamped down on media coverage of the
bloody protests in the Himalayan territory.

"The violent crackdown by Chinese authorities in Tibet compels us to
increase our broadcasts," said James Glassman, chairman of the
Broadcasting Board of Governors.

The board is an independent federal agency which supervises all US
government-supported, non-military international broadcasting, including
the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA).

At present RFA broadcasts eight hours daily to Tibet via shortwave
radio. VOA broadcasts four hours daily, also via shortwave.

Each will expand radio programs by two additional hours daily, the
broadcasting board said in a statement.

VOA also will double its weekly Tibetan-language television programming
from one to two hours via the AsiaSat 3 satellite.

"Our audience clearly will benefit from these trustworthy sources of
news and information, which differ sharply from Chinese government
sanctioned broadcasts," Glassman said.

RFA's Tibetan service "is working around the clock to bring
authoritative, breaking news to the Tibetan people," RFA President Libby
Liu said.

"These additional hours will greatly enhance our capacity to deliver
this news, including live updates, to people on the ground," she said.

At least 10 reporters from Hong Kong were expelled Monday from Tibet on
the heels of China's worst crackdown in Tibet in years.

China is facing mounting global pressure amid exiles' claims that
hundreds of people may have died in the crackdown even though Beijing
denied using deadly force.

Foreign journalists in China have also demanded that the government
allow access to report on the events in Tibet.

With Tibet's media tightly controlled, VOA and RFA are key sources of
information in a society where word of mouth is the top way to share
news, the broadcasting board said.
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