For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The BBC’s World Service Director, Peter Horrocks, today announced the suspension of BBC broadcasts on SLBC (the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation) following continued interruption and interference of BBC Tamil programming on SLBC.
Peter Horrocks said: “We regret the disruption in service to our loyal audiences in Sri Lanka, but such targeted interference in our programmes is a serious breach of trust with those audiences, which the BBC cannot allow. We spoke to SLBC last week about interference that took place on 16-18 March and warned them they were in breach of their broadcasting agreement. Further disruption on Monday 25 March has left the BBC with no alternative but to suspend the service with immediate effect. If the SLBC have specific complaints about any BBC output they should take them up with us, as we have invited them to do, and not interfere directly with broadcasts in ways that are unacceptable to the BBC and misleading to our audiences.”
The BBC took similar action in 2009 when its services were also disrupted. Audiences in Sri Lanka can continue to listen to the BBC on Shortwave and via our online services