BBC World Service resumes FM broadcasts in Sri Lanka

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 13:50 hrs

The BBC World Service announced Thursday the resumption of FM programming in Sri Lanka, 14 months after they were taken off air due to interference.

World Service programmes in English, Sinhala and Tamil language, which had remained available on shortwave, will be reinstated on the SLBC national broadcaster, said a BBC statement.

"The BBC wishes to rebuild its partnership with SLBC -- part of a strong relationship with listeners in Sri Lanka that goes back to the 1940s," said Peter Horrocks, director BBC Global News.

"We have been reassured by SLBC that our contractual agreement will be respected, which guarantees that our programmes in English, Sinhala, and Tamil are broadcast uninterrupted," he added.

The programmes were suspended in February 2009 following "deliberate interference", a BBC spokesman noted, adding: "We are pleased that we can now offer listeners to the SLBC FM network the BBC programmes they used to enjoy.

"Our audiences understand that in order to cover news events in the most comprehensive and balanced way, the BBC adheres to specific editorial values that include impartiality, editorial independence and seeking a relevant range of views on any topic."

International rights groups have criticised the Sri Lankan government for a clampdown on opponents and the media after January's presidential elections, and condemned the detention of suspected Tamil rebels.



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