Monday, August 17, 2009
Radio Australia to launch new Burmese service
by Salai Pi Pi
Thursday, 13 August 2009 15:23

New Delhi (Mizzima) – In an attempt to promote Freedom of the Press and provide Burmese people with information, Radio Australia will launch a Burmese service programme.

Mark Hemetsberger, Marketing Strategist of ABC RADIO AUSTRALIA (RA) on Thursday told Mizzima that RA is looking to establish a special service for Burma to be broadcast in English and Burmese languages in the next two months.

“What we are going to do is redirect transmission time of short wave radio to Burma,” Hemetsberger told Mizzima.

“We will be looking at establishing our dedicated English transmission service to Burma first. And then we will establish the Burmese language capability in the future, hopefully in a couple of months,” he added.

Hemetsberger said the new radio programme is part of the Australian government and the Australia Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) initiative to fulfill a request made by the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for Radio Australia to resume broadcasting services to Burma.

“It is an opportunity for our service to be extended to the people living in Burma as we do in other parts of Asia and Pacific regions,” Hemetsberger said.

Hanh Tran, the RA’s Chief Executive Officer in a press release on Wednesday said, the events in Burma in recent times, including the devastation by Cyclone Nargis, the extension of detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and the prospect of the forthcoming elections, highlights the need for strong communication in the region.

The new service to Burma will be conducted as ABC Radio Australia used to provide Australian views and perspectives on Asian and Pacific regional affairs.

“A part of that, we will be providing our English language content, and English language programme with views. Maybe it will be an hour’s mix of English and Burmese programmes,” Hemetsberger said.

He said, ABC currently broadcasts across the Asia and the Pacific in eight languages.

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