Sri Lanka to build tourist zone at ex-VOA relay station site: PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will set up a tourist complex in a 400 acre land bordering the North Western coast where a former Voice of America shortwave transmitting station was located, Prime Minister Ranil Wickraamasinghe said.

The shortwave transmitting station operated until mid-2016 from Iranawila, in Chilaw, Sri Lanka.

"When the VOA relay station land is returned to the government we will build a tourism complex there," Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said at a ceremony in Gampaha Wednesday.

The VOA relay station at Iranawila and 500 and 250 kiloWatt shortwave transmitters that could broadcast to East Africa and Asia including Afghanistan.

The relay station drew political opposition from sections of the Catholic Church in the mid-1990s when construction started. Fears were spread that the station would be used to gather intelligence, communicate with submarines and fishing activities would be harmed.

With the rise of the internet, liberalization of FM radio and satellite TV the use of shortwave radio has declined in the world.


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