R’kiri Minorities Plan Radio Station of Their Own

Three of Ratanakkiri province’s ethnic minorities may soon be able to tune into a radio station broadcasting in their own languages following a recent pledge of equipment for the project by a Japanese NGO, officials said on Friday.

The station, which will be staffed by several members of the Kreung minority, plans to broadcast programs in the Kreung language, which can also be understood by members of the Prov and Kavet minorities, said Huot Vuthy, a expert on HIV/AID reduction among the province’s indigenous population.

Kreung was chosen over the Tampuon and Jarai languages, as there are more Kreung-speaking minorities in Ratanakkiri province, Huot Vuthy said.

A small Japanese NGO, Basic Human Needs, which was formed by a group of former Japanese radio journalists and radio station workers, recently pledged to support the project and will provide equipment and generators for the station, he said.

Three Khmer and 12 Kreung minority members are currently conducting research on issues of concern for local ethnic minority communities as part of a project sponsored by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Asian Development Bank that will be used to produce a series of educational dramas for broadcast on the station, Huot Vuthy said.

“The production goal is to mainly focus on education, culture, language and other major issues,” he said, but added that politics, often a contentious topic, may also crop up in broadcasts. “It’s up to the station,” he said.


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