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BBC Says Burmese Language Broadcast

Subject: BBC Says Burmese Language Broadcasts Jammed

Attn: Burma Newsraders
Re: BBC Says Burmese Language Broadcasts Jammed

      LONDON (Reuter) - The British Broadcasting Corp. said Monday its World
Service broadcasts in Burmese were being jammed for the first time in their
55-year history. 

    ``BBC engineers have found deliberate interference on two of the three
regular short-wave radio frequencies carrying BBC Burmese language
programs,'' the BBC said in a statement. 

    Elizabeth Wright, the BBC World Service's Asia-Pacific head, said a
distinctive electronic ``wobble'' noise was first detected in the Burmese
capital Rangoon two weeks ago and had now been confirmed by BBC staff as

    The BBC said the exact source of the noise has not been established and a
spokeswoman refused to comment when asked whether the Burmese authorities
might be responsible. She said the jamming began shortly after a BBC
interview with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was broadcast in

    Suu Kyi was freed early last month from nearly six years of house arrest
by Burma's military rulers. 

    Wright said additional frequencies for the three hours of Burmese
language broadcast each day have been allocated to try to beat the jamming. 

    ``There is no possible justification for this systematic interference
with our broadcasts which are simply setting out to provide accurate and
impartial information about what is going on in the world, including Burma,''
Wright said. 

    ``Jamming is a practice which violates international broadcasting

    She said the World Service's English language broadcasts into Burma were
not affected by the jamming. 

    The BBC said its only other broadcasts currently subject to jamming are
Chinese language programs within China, which have been blocked since the
pro-democracy demonstrations of 1989 in Beijing. 


Reut15:52 08-21-95