CRA Scholarship changed my life: Shakthi FM’s Abarna Suthan

Abarna Sulthan started work in radio in 1996, and joined MBC Networks Sri Lanka a few years later.

Then he won an ABU Prize, which included a Commercial Radio Australia scholarship to study radio in Australia. It changed his life.

“The Prize included a scholarship from Commercial Radio Australia to study at AFTRS… While I was in Australia I met my wife and stayed there for some years.”

Abarna is now back in Sri Lanka as channel head for Shakthi FM, a Tamil language station of MBC Networks.

The word “Shakthi” is an ancient rich Tamil word which means “Power.” It comes from the ancient Hindu Lord Shakthi, the god of power.

The Tamil language radio channel has island-wide coverage, including the Jaffna Peninsula and most parts of the North Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Shakthi FM broadcasts music, live news, interactive interviews and a host of other program formats that are innovations for Tamil radio in Sri Lanka.

Since rejoining MBC to lead the channel, Abarna says he will put in place new methods he has learnt in Australia to keep Shakthi FM at the top of Sri Lanka’s competitive radio landscape.

Abarna was a member of the judging panel for this year’s ABU Prizes, and hopes that winning one of the coveted awards is just as rewarding for others as it has been for him. Winners will be announced in October at the ABU’s General Assembly in Bali.



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