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Radio and television for Battambang

Radio and television for Battambang

T he government says it will begin a new FM radio station in Battambang with

broadcasting scheduled to start in early 1996.

Supported by a US$30,000

grant from UNESCO, "Radio Battambang" is to be set up at Chamkar Chek (Banana

Plantation) three kms outside of the provincial capital.

The site, a

former radio station built with USAID funding in the l970s, has two 108-meter

transmission towers which will be re-furbished, according to Ministry of

Information spokesman Leng Sochea.

Sochea said that the new station will

enable an additional three million people living in five northwestern provinces

to receive government broadcasts. At present, most people in Battambang, Siem

Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Pursat provinces are out of reach of

the existing govenment-run radio broadcasts.

"We plan to promote

education, health care services and rural development," Sochea told the Post.

The overall budget for the project, which includes equipment, staff

training, the construction of a new studio is estimated at around $72,000.

Sochea said that requests for the additional funds required had been made to

corporations, agencies and some embassies but that the ministry had "no relpies

yet."

In a related development, Sochea said that the Japanese government

has pledged US$18 million for the construction of a new TV station in Battambang

and that broadcasting should begin "early next year."

"Battambang is a

very strategic area," Sochea said. "We want to let the people know our plans and

to let them know what's going on politically and economically."

Sochea

added that both the radio and TV broadcasts would be used to reach people living

under control of the Khmer Rouge and to try and encourage defectors.

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