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Colombo Communications, Avtoradio receive international excellence award

Sri Lanka's Colombo Communications and Moscow's Avtoradio received the National Association of Broadcasters' 2005 International Broadcasting Excellence Awards April 18 at the convention’s International Reception.

Colombo Communications began operations in 1993 as one of the few privately owned broadcast groups in Sri Lanka. When the tsunami struck on December 26, 2005, CCL management and staff quickly developed a plan and responded immediately to organize makeshift field hospitals, solicit doctors and medical supplies, and locate missing persons.

To begin medical operations without delay, the staff of CCL donated $6125 of their own funds to purchase medical equipment. CCL established a missing persons alert service, which was able to provide distraught families with a coordinated, wide-ranging method of finding loved ones. CCL staff continued for weeks to coordinate emergency medical facilities, dispense supplies and help find the missing. CCL donated an additional $285,000 toward these efforts.

Avtoradio and its network affiliates comprise one of the few privately owned broadcast companies in Russia. In September and October 2004, Avtoradio launched and financed a major 6200mi motor rally "For the Sake of Life," from Vladivostok to Moscow, stopping for organized benefit concerts in cities across Russia.

The rally was joined in each city by cars from every Avtoradio affiliate station along the route. The rally had two purposes: first to gather small boxes of soil from sacred sites all over Russia to take to a tree planting at the school in Beslan, where terrorists murdered many Russian children in September. Avtoradio gathered not only 80 boxes of soil but also messages along the way from the Russian people expressing support for the people of Beslan. The second goal was to promote safe driving in a country where more than 30,000 people die in traffic accidents each year. Avtoradio donated nearly $100,000 for the motor rally.

Established in 1995, the awards recognize international broadcasters who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing services to their community.

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