London: Radio station wins award for coverage of Burma genocide

 Premier Radio, the London Christian radio station, has won the Christian Broadcasting Council's Silver Award for best radio documentary/interview for an interview on the genocide against the Shan people in Burma. The interview by Cindy Kent, who produced the programme, was conducted with John Broomfield, a Christian missionary to the Shan people and Wilfred Wong, parliamentary officer for the Jubilee Campaign. The Gold Award in that category was won by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The awards are to be presented at an award ceremony on 29 September. Jubilee Campaign has been working with John Broomfield to raise international awareness about the genocide against the Shan people in Burma. Broomfield runs a home in Thailand called 'House of Hope', which takes care of former boy soldiers and enables them to leave the Shan rebel army which is fighting against the Burmese military. John Broomfield's work has meant that large numbers of Shan young people have been cared for and given a proper education. Many Shan boys have been orphaned by the atrocities of the Burmese military and have no institution to look after them except the Shan Army, which is why so many young boys join up. The Shan Army has been very willing to hand them over to John Broomfield's care, but his work has been limited by financial constraints. The radio interview covered the atrocities against the Shan people and John Broomfield's work with child soldiers. Broomfield described one horrific account which a Shan boy gave him of seeing his young cousin flung into the air and impaled on a sharp stake by a Burmese soldier. Jubilee has been campaigning for an urgent international response to the genocide against the Shan, Karen and Karenni ethnic minorities in Burma. Over 300,000 Shan people have been internally displaced and many of them are hiding in the jungle from the Burmese Army with no food or medicine and are killed on sight when discovered. In May this year, there were several massacres by the Burmese army of Shan civilians slaughtering more than 90 people including women and children. In one incident six Shan women were raped by 50 to 60 Burmese soldiers then killed. Wilfred Wong said, "I am delighted that Premier Radio and Cindy Kent have won this award, especially since they have done so much to raise awareness about the genocide which the Shan, Karen and Karenni peoples are facing in Burma. I hope that the secular media will be as responsive to the suffering of Burma's minorities as Premier Radio, so that we can get more robust international action to deal with this appalling human tragedy."

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