Sonando Sends Latest TV License, Radio Request

Independent radio station owner Mam Sonando filed his latest request with the Information Ministry on Monday, requesting a TV license and a radio relay station to push his popular radio broadcasts farther into the provinces.

Mr. Sonando, the owner of Beehive Radio and a longtime government critic, has made similar requests over the past several years only to be rejected each time on the grounds that there has never been enough extra bandwidth.

After the government rejected his previous request last month, Mr. Sonando on January 27 led several hundred supporters on a peaceful protest march to the Information Ministry that was violently dispersed by military police, who beat demonstrators and roughed up journalists.

If this latest request is also turned down, Mr. Sonando said that his supporters might stage a demonstration on their own. “I don’t want to be accused of incitement, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people want to demonstrate if [my request] is rejected again,” he said Monday.

Buth Bovuth, the Information Ministry’s director general of information and broadcasting, said he had not seen Mr. Sonando’s new request and would not comment on its possible success.

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