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Email QSL from Ecclésia
I just received an e-mail QSL from Radio Eccelsia (Angola) via RN Flevo 15175 kHz.
It took about 2 weeks after I sent them a report by snailmail.
The station v/s is Antonio Jaca.
The e-mail address is: ecclesia@snet.co.ao.
(Hannu Romppainen, hcdx list, August 3, 2000)

Ecclésia stopped after few days
Radio Ecclésia transmissions via Radio Netherlands have stopped as of today. Due to technical problems in Angola, which are beyond the control of Radio Netherlands, the station has been unable to feed audio to us for the past few days. A previously-supplied standby programme has been transmitted on shortwave instead.
Since the technical expert who helped to set up the audio feed is no longer in Angola, the decision has been taken to suspend the shortwave broadcasts until further notice.
Everyone here at Radio Netherlands is disappointed that the broadcasts cannot continue.
Radio Ecclésia continues to be audible on the Internet, but the programme that was being transmitted on shortwave was specially produced, and is not available to us by any other means. (Andy Sennitt, Radio Netherlands, July 26, 2000, via DXLD)

Rádio Ecclésia, Angola, back on SW
Angolan Catholic broadcaster Radio Ecclésia is back on shortwave with the help of Radio Netherlands. The station, which came back on the air in 1997 after being silenced for many years, is a thorn in the side of the Angolan government because of its constant efforts to air uncensored news, and give a voice to political opposition within Angola.

Radio Ecclésia made its first appearance on 8 December 1954, with a transmitter power of just 50 watts. Daily transmissions began on 19 March 1955. However, the station was inaudible in many areas of Luanda. The installation was moved to the Seminary of Luanda, which greatly improved reception. The station's location changed again on 15 July 1964.

On its 15th anniversary in 1969, Radio Ecclésia began broadcasting 24 hours a day. The same year, a new transmitting centre was inaugurated, with three mediumwave, three shortwave and two FM transmitters. But six years later, political events forced many of the Radio Ecclésia staff to flee the country. The new government nationalised or closed down the radio stations, and Radio Ecclésia was silent for nearly two decades.

In March 1997, exactly 42 years after the beginning of the regular transmissions, Radio Ecclésia was re-inaugurated in the presence of the Archbishop of Luanda, the Minister of Social Communication and other Angolan dignitaries. However, since then the station and its employees have been subjected to a great deal of official harassment because of its editorial policy.

In January 1999, the Angolan authorities issued an implicit order for a blackout of news about the civil war in the country. This order was communicated via a memo from the Communications Ministry to the state media, telling them not to mention anything pertaining to the war. State media promptly responded by reducing their coverage of the war. The independent media, however, continued to report the war, and they remained the only sources of information about what was really going on. In an editorial in the government-owned daily, Jornal de Angola, it was suggested that by reporting on the war, journalists were "facilitating" the efforts of the enemy (the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola - UNITA) in its war against the government. Radio Ecclésia has been forbidden on several occasions to rebroadcast the African service of the Portuguese Catholic broadcaster Radio Renascenca, as its reports featured members of UNITA's leadership.

Not daring to close down Radio Ecclésia, the authorities have resorted to carrying out a campaign of threats and harassment against its personnel. On June 24, 2000, four armed men kidnapped the station's chief-editor, Jose Paulo. Paulo was snatched in Luanda city centre in the evening and driven out of the city limits. The kidnappers' car, however, got stuck in a bush track enabling Paulo to escape while being shot at.

Radio Ecclésia has consistently aired alternative and often dissenting views in Angola. In the days leading up to the attack on Paulo, the radio had aired an interview with vocal government critic, Rafael Marques. The radio also reported extensively on the June 21 attack on the Luanda office of the Voice of America. On the morning of June 24, Radio Ecclésia aired a live debate on the role of oil and diamonds in fuelling the conflict in Angola.

The station currently broadcasts in Luanda on 97.5 MHz FM, daily at 0600-2400 local time. Broadcasts can be heard worldwide via the station's Web site. Since 14 July two hours of programming a day are also broadcast on shortwave via Radio Netherlands facilities as follows:
0500-0600 UTC
Madagascar 200 kW
15195 kHz
beam 280 degrees

1900-2000 UTC
Flevo 500 kW
15175 kHz
beam 157 degrees

Radio Ecclésia http://ecclesia.snet.co.ao/

(Andy Sennitt, Radio Nederland Webzine, July 17, 2000)

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