Wisconsin Residents Can Save Tibetan Radio! (Radio Free Asia and Voice of America)

I spoke at the City Wide meeting last night about this. People expressed interest, so I'd thought I'd post the Students for a Free Tibet call to action email. (below) Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thank you,
*abi scott

We recently learned that the Tibetan language broadcasts of Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA) - US-based radio programs that broadcast into Tibet - may be in danger of losing some critical US government funding. The Broadcasting Board of Governors' (BBG), which oversees RFA and VOA, has proposed a reduction of US congressional funding for the Tibetan broadcasts. This is very alarming! RFA and VOA are virtually the only independent sources of news available to Tibetans inside Chinese-occupied Tibet, whose access to outside information is almost entirely restricted by China's heavy media censorship.

The proposed budget cuts would reduce RFA's Tibetan broadcast from 8 hours to 4 hours per day and VOA's Tibetan broadcast from 4 hours to 3 hours per day. As a result, tens of thousands of Tibetan nomads, farmers and other regular listeners, who cherish the radio broadcast as their only reliable source of information, would find their access to news and information seriously compromised. Tibetans living in Tibet aptly refer to RFA and VOA as the information lifeline of Tibet. They know that these two radio services are funded by the United States government and are very grateful for this American support to the Tibetan people.

As the 2008 Beijing Olympics approach, the Tibetan freedom struggle is building momentum and poised to become more dynamic than ever. The next few years are a critical phase of the freedom struggle as social and political activism is expected to increase dramatically. At this critical and historic moment, it is imperative that the Tibetan radio services receive more support, not less, from the American government.

Please call Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey, Chairman of House Committee on Appropriations:

Wausau district office: (715) 842-5606

Superior District office: (715) 398-4426

Washington DC office: (202) 225-3365

TALKING POINTS

1. Introduce yourself and where you are calling from. Say you would like to speak with the Representative or their assistant about a proposal regarding funding cuts of the Tibetan broadcasts of Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA).

2. Thank the Representative for his/her past support of RFA and VOA's Tibetan services. The two radio services represent the only reliable sources of news available to Tibetans inside Chinese-occupied Tibet, whose access to outside information is severely restricted due to China's heavy media censorship.

3. While the Chinese government pumps billions of dollars into suppressing freedom of press in Tibet, the Tibetan broadcasts of RFA and VOA represent the closest thing Tibetans have to freedom of information.

4. With the 2008 Beijing Olympics around the corner, the next few years are a critical phase in the Tibetan people's struggle for freedom. There will be a rise in social and political activism in the Tibet movement and Beijing's repressive behavior will come under intense global scrutiny. Therefore, there is an urgent need for more hours of Tibetan broadcast in Tibet by the two radio services, not less.

5. Since the United States government will be awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet later this year, this proposal to cut funding for Tibetan radio seems highly inappropriate and contradictory to existing American public support of the Tibetan cause.

6. We believe that such cuts may be interpreted by authoritarian regimes like China as a sign of weakening American resolve in the promotion of freedom and democracy.

7. For all the above reasons, please continue the United States government's support of RFA and VOA's Tibetan broadcasts.

VOA feature on WORT 89.9