Indonesian Falun Gong radio station shut officially

27 May

The Jakarta Globe reported on February 5 that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology declined to grant the Batam-based Era Baru radio station a broadcasting license and terminated its operations.

The private station, which has been on air for several years, is run by a foundation linked to the China-based Falun Gong movement, an organization banned by the Chinese government.

In fact, Era Baru had always been running illegally. When interviewed by Jakarta Post on October, 2008, Parlindungan Sihombing, chairman of the provincial Broadcasting Commission of Riau Islands (KPID) said that Era Baru was one of three stations that did not have a broadcast permit as their programs had the potential to disrupt bilateral relations between Indonesia and China. KPID and the Batam Frequency Monitoring Agency then planned to close the three stations.

According to the report of Jakarta Globe, recently a lawyer claimed that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology terminated Era Baru radio station following a request from the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta.

But Gatot Dewa Broto, spokesman for the Communications and Information Technology Ministry, denied denied on Wednesday (February 4) that the Chinese Embassy had a hand in the ministry’s decision.

“We never received the complaint letter allegedly sent by the [Chinese] Embassy,” Gatot said, adding that this is not an era where the government would interfere and apply strict censorship on the media content.

He said the radio station had breached some of the ministry’s broadcasting regulations. A provincial broadcasting commission official also said that Era Baru aired 90 percent of its programs in Chinese, a violation of the 60 percent cap imposed by the commission.

Sources from:

1. Chinese hand seen in media meddling  

2. China-bashing radio station to be shut 


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