Tai Freedom Radio provides a beacon for the people in Shan State in Burma. It is the radio broadcasting operation for the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), the political wing of the Shan State Army (or SSA). Tai Freedom Radio was established in 2002, and it has a team of more than 10 broadcasters, and transmits news on fighting and current affairs to people living in the area surrounding Loi Taleng, the SSA headquarters.
It also broadcasts the Four Noble Principles and the Six Policies of the RCSS to citizens in Shan state in the Shan (Tai Yai) language. This is the epicentre of the rallying cry for freedom from the RCSS.
The radio mast perched on a mountain was damaged by a powerful storm in June, and Shan soldiers have just finished repairing it. Heavy rain and clogging mud slow down operations in the rainy season. The station went back on the air in early September.
Broadcaster Sai Sang says that they can broadcast to an area of about 50 kilometres around Loi Taleng, a relatively small area. The head of the Information and Communications department told Mizzima that plans for Tai Freedom Radio to be broadcast on the Internet in October are underway, which although it has the potential to vastly increase the number of Shan listeners who live outside of Burma, is unlikely to have a significant effect in Shan State where access to the Internet is limited.
According to the station’s website, broadcasts are currently scheduled at 10am-1pm (local time) on FM 103 MHz.