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Sunday, May 20, 2007

China asks Indonesian broadcasting commission to monitor Sound of Hope

Sound of Hope/Era Baru Radio has all the rights to air some factual information about the war waged by the Communist party on Falun Gong. But the Chinese Embassy is doesn't think so and is calling the shots, not for long I hope.

Batam (ANTARA News) - 05/20/07 23:40 - The Chinese embassy in Jakarta has requested the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission`s Riau provincial chapter to monitor Era Baru Radio which operates in Batam (the province`s noted industrial area) as its programs may disrupt Indonesia-China ties.

Chairman of the commission`s Riau Islands chapter, Hendryanto, said here Sunday the private broadcasting radio station was believed to have disseminated reports on political propaganda which had discredited the Chinese government.

"We are monitoring the programs aired by Era Baru Radio the majority of its listeners are ethnic Chinese in Batam and Riau Islands," Hendryanto said.

A provisional monitoring showed that the radio committed several things beyond its comitment, namely that 60 percent of the broadcasting language is in Chinese and only 40 percent in Indonesian.

However after the verification on the use of the languages, almost 90 percent of the broadcasting programs of the radio which has been operating since 2006 is in Chinese.

He said the commission had yet to find the content of the radio`s broadcasting programs which had led to political propaganda but learned the phrases of Falun Gong and Falun Dafa several times in its broadcasting materials in the Chinese language.

Falun Gong is an organization banned by the Chinese government.

"As a matter of fact, the terms Falun Gong and Falun Dafa were learned at a broadcasting program we were monitoring, and according to the written materials, it only delivered programs on human rights, and other topics," he said.

He pointed out that under Law No.32/2002 on broadcasting, broadcasting contents must be neutral and must not disrupt international relations.

The monitoring result on Era Baru Radio`s programs would be reported to the central Indonesian Broadcasting Commission.

Era Baru Radio assumed the legal status of a limited liability company whose president director Gatot was reportedly chairman of Falun Gong`s Riau Islands chapter.

Meanwhile, Gatot said he considered that the Chinese government`s request as an intervention.

"As an Indonesian citizen, I am concerned over the Chinese embassy`s request," he said.

He said none of Era Baru Radio`s programs concerned political propaganda as alleged by the Chinese embassy, however, if such an allegation was true, it (the embassy) should point out which was considered political propaganda and when it was aired.

"Don`t easily make such accusation, but if there is evidence, it should be informed. They (the Chinese embassy) should come and see directly to Era baru Radio to forward their objection," he said.

If Era Baru Radio reported news on ill treatment against Falun Gong`s activisits by the Chinese government, it was a fact and in Indonesia, reporting news based on facts is not banned as it is stipulated in Law No.40/1999 on the press.

"Falun Gong and Era Baru Radio have no direct relations. The radio station only has an interest in the broadcasting sector," he said.

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