The Tamil service of the state-run China Radio International (CRI) on Saturday celebrated its golden jubilee here, marking 50 years of uninterrupted broadcasting to various parts of the world besides India and Sri Lanka.

CRI previously known as Radio Peking, broadcasts in about 56 languages including Hindi, Bengali and Urdu besides Tamil and English every day.

The CRI Tamil service was founded in Aug 1, 1963, and has expanded its operations on a multimedia communication platform with a mixture of shortwave broadcasting service, FM service, website, mobile and magazine services.

The service at present provides eight hours of programme everyday which included four-hour shortwave service and four FM service broadcasts from Colombo.

A colourful function was organised in the Indian embassy here to mark the occasion in which a number of Tamil scholars and Tamil enthusiasts from Tamil Nadu and China took part.

Senior Indian diplomat Vinod K. Jacob felicitated the Tamil Service on the golden jubilee.

The Tamil service has attracted large overseas listeners and has over 350 listeners clubs, a CRI press release said. It also said that plans are afoot to introduce Tamil software to mobile phone users to provide information about China.

The Tamil service like the Hindi and Bengali services are mostly run by the Chinese students who have learnt the languages in the Peking University, which runs language courses in vast number of foreign languages. They are assisted by expert broadcasters from the respective areas.

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