The Editor-in-Chief of Voice of Tibet (a radio station that broadcasts to Tibet in Tibetan and Chinese), Mr. Karma Yeshi, visited the International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 2006 and briefed the staff on their work.
He related their biggest challenge as being China’s attempt to jam their broadcast to Tibet and discussed with the ICT staff on ways to overcome that.
Voice of Tibet was established as an independent radio station, starting its Tibetan language broadcast on May 14, 1996. According to VOT, “It was founded by three Norwegian NGOs: The Norwegian Human Rights House,The Norwegian Tibet Committee and Worldview Rights.” Subsequently, the program has added a Chinese language component to the broadcast. Currently, VOT broadcasts a daily 30 minute program in Tibetan followed by a 15minute program in Mandarin Chinese. The programs are produced by Tibetan journalists, with the main editorial office being in Dharamsala, India.According to VOT, the programs mainly focus on development inside Tibet,activities of the Dalai Lama, and activities and workings of the Tibetan institutions in exile.
The British Broadcasting Corporation monitoring service observed that China started jamming the VOT broadcast soon after the station was launched. According to a Reuters report of July 9, 1996, “BBC Monitoring observed that the station was completely obliterated by a relay of China Radio International’s English-language domestic music service.”
Reporters Without Borders, in a report on July 6, 2006, said, “Jamming is standard practice in China, especially the jamming of Tibetan radio stations and foreign radio stations beaming programmes to the west of the country. A Reporters Without Borders release described this policy as the Great Wall of the airwaves.”
While in Washington, D.C., Yeshi also visited Radio Free Asia and Voice ofAmerica and discussed with them issues relating to broadcast to Tibet.
More information on Voice of Tibet, including recording of the broadcast, can be got by visiting their www.vot.org.