My post was written some time earlier and scheduled to publish Saturday while I was traveling. Unfortunately, the Cold War Radio Vignettes articles I had linked to were removed prior to Saturday.
I contacted Richard Cummings who has kindly assembled a small PDF booklet with the text from all of the posts I had referenced and is allowing me to share it here on the SWLing Post.
Richard asks that if any Post readers have information about these clandestine broadcasts and is willing to share it with him, he would me most thankful. His contact information is on the front page of the PDF.
UPDATE: The links to Cold War Radio Radio Vignettes below became inactive just prior to publication. Richard Cummings has kindly assembled the texts I referenced and made a PDF booklet available for SWLing Post readers. Click here to download.
Last week, I received a tip from SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson: Radio Biafra, a new clandestine station, was audible on 15,560 kHz via the Universite Twente Web SDR.
Despite miserable propagation conditions, I tuned my receiver to 15,560 kHz and was surprised to hear a weak signal from Radio Biafra, here in North Carolina. I recorded a few minutes before conditions changed and Biafra’s signal began to fade.
This was the first time I had logged Radio Biafra, so I was amazed to have copy clear enough to understand.
Radio Biafra also known as Voice of Biafra, is a radio station that was originally founded by the government of the Republic of Biafra but is currently operated by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Believed to have had its first transmission before the Nigeria-Biafra war, the radio station was instrumental in the broadcast of speeches and propaganda by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to the people of the Republic of Biafra.
[…]Radio Biafra currently transmits via the internet and shortwave broadcast targeted majorly around Eastern Nigeria. Radio Biafra claims to be broadcasting the ideology of Biafra –”Freedom of the Biafra people”.
[…]Radio Biafra has been met with mixed reactions. While some critics have criticized the station for “inciting war” through its programmes and “preaching hate messages” against Nigeria which it refers to as a “zoo”, an editor for Sahara Reporters wrote in defence of the radio station after he compared Radio Biafra with the British Broadcasting Corporation Hausa service.
On 14 July 2015, it was reported in the media that the radio station had been jammed because it did not have a broadcast license from the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission. However, the radio station in a swift reaction labelled such claims as “lies” and went on to release its new frequency details to the public.
The Sudanese Minister of Information has admitted that attempts by the Sudanese government to prevent broadcasts by Radio Dabanga have failed.
Minister Ahmed Bilal was speaking in the Council of States on Tuesday. He pointed out the need “to create a number of radio stations to attract listeners and compete with Radio Dabanga, which incites the people”.
The Minister was facing harsh criticism of the State media from Members including Abdul Jabbar Abdul Karim. Karim accused the state media of not highlighting the facts and lacking integrity and credibility, acknowledging that Radio Dabanga and the Alrakubh website are the most popular news sources for citizens.
[…]Radio Dabanga broadcasts to Sudan from neighbouring countries via shortwave. The Sudanese censors have tried repeatedly to jam the signal, to little avail.
In May, a report to the Sudanese parliament acknowledged that that the majority of the people in Darfur and Kordofan prefer Radio Dabanga to any national broadcasting station.
MP Abdallah Ali Masar, former Media Minister, and currently chairman of the Transport Committee, commented by saying that his wife listens to Radio Dabanga “day and night. Every day, when I come home, I find her listening to Radio Dabanga.”
AUGUST 11, 2013: Press release, Radio Free Sarawak back on air from Monday
Sarawak’s independent radio station Radio Free Sarawak is back on air Monday 12th August following its holiday recess.
The rural radio station, which broadcasts mainly in Iban, but also in Malay has received numerous enquiries from listeners eager for information about pressing issues in the state, including the on-going plans to dam key rivers and evict thousands of native people from their lands.
“The state government has moved swiftly to try and take advantage of its dubious election wins by tripling Ministers’ own salaries (back-dating the increase by a whole year and a half) and pushing through further land grabs in native territories, including the proposed Baram Dam region” points out the UK based station head, Clare Rewcastle Brown. “Ordinary folk want to be heard on these issues and it seems their opinions may often be different from the propaganda put out on the state controlled licensed media, which only promotes the narrow interests of the super-wealthy and politically powerful”.
Radio Free Sarawak is the 2013 winner of the prestigious Pioneer of Free Media Award by the International Press Institute, which applauded the station’s efforts to bring freedom of information and freedom of speech to the isolated communities in Malaysia’s Borneo rainforest state.
The station’s call-in facility also provides an opportunity for longhouse dwellers to express their own views and concerns about the effects of deforestation, oil palm plantation, rural poverty and endemic political corruption. The radio station is linked to the online portal, Sarawak Report, which shares the same agenda to shine light on these and related issues.
Radio Free Sarawak is transmitted from London and its familiar team of DJs will be broadcasting from Monday on Short Wave 15420kHz from 7pm-8.30pm local time Monday-Saturday.
It is also available via podcast online www.radiofreesarawak.org , from where it can be downloaded via smart phone for mobile listeners or onto UBS sticks for car radio.
The local call-in line is 082-237191 and listeners are invited to get in touch with their comments and issues.
The clandestine station Radio Free Sarawak—who we most recently mentioned in connection with the Malaysian elections–has announced that they are going off the air. There is a note of finality in their announcement (below), yet they do leave some ambiguity by declaring, “We will be taking a break until further notice.”
Listen to their final broadcast (studio copy) embedded below:
(Source: Radio Free Sarawak)
While most PR supporters are still reeling from the results of the GE13 amidst widespread rigging that are essentially acts of treason, activists and ordinary people alike are not giving up on booting out the BN government The have set their sights on the 11th state election that will have to be conducted latest by early 2016.
Meanwhile, take a listen to the analysis of Dr Mohd Faisal Syam Abdol Hazis from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak of the results in the state.
Last but not least, we hear the sadness, anger, frustration and nevertheless, determination of RFS and PR supporters to realise the dream of changing the government in the near future.
p/s Today’s show will be our last. We will be taking a break until further notice. Thank you for your support. It will be a memorable 18 months! We hope you had enjoyed the experience as much as we did.
Clandestine station, Radio Free Sarawak, offers an alternative voice in Malaysia ahead of elections next week. For those living in remote jungle communities–places where the Internet is not readily available–Radio Free Sarawak can be heard on shortwave radio.
Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reports from a village in Sarawak: