Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Radio Free Asia Retrospective

Radio Free Asia’s mission is to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press. RFA is mandated to broadcast to China, Tibet, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Burma.  RFA’s programming primarily comprises domestic news and information of unique and specific interest to its listeners.  All broadcasts are solely in local language(s) and dialects. 

I have been a regular listener of RFA since 2011. Over the years I have monitored their broadcasts in Burmese, Chinese, Laotian, Khmer, Korean, Tibetan, Uighur and Vietnamese. Of these broadcasts, the ones usually affected are their Chinese, Tibetan and Uighur programmes. China -- more precisely, China Radio International and China National Radio --  regularly and deliberately squats on the same frequency(ies), during the duration of these RFA broadcasts, in an effort to block reception.

This is one of the obvious reasons RFA operates on multiple frequencies from various transmitter sites, among these being either Kuwait, Germany (Biblis and Lampertheim) UAE (Dhabbaya), Tajikistan (Dushanbe), Taiwan (Fangliano and Kouhu), Mongolia (Ulaanbaator),  Northern Mariana islands (Tinian Island Agignan Point), Sri Lanka (Iranwilla and Trincomalee), Armenia (Yerevan), Lithuania  (Vilnuis), even Russia (Vladivostok).  

Whether one is a radio enthusiast or the intended Asian listener, RFA rewards with not only timely and relevant news but also sends out verification cards (QSLs). These cards often commemorate their anniversary, the Chinese New Year or Olympics with their mascot, the panda. Past issues have depicted traditional Asian musical instruments and their (International Broadcast Bureau) transmitter sites. Although I hasten to add, and perhaps for obvious reasons, not their more clandestine/leased sites.

It is with this background I offer up the following video compilation, featuring my RFA verification cards  for reception reports relating to their medium-wave and short-wave broadcasts. Enjoy and 73!

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