Mr. Don Beattie, G3BJ

Dear Sirs,

I address you with this open letter in connection with the processes that are developing in the international radioamateur movement and specifically in Bulgaria and would like to bring to your attention  some of the reasons leading to its division and loss of popularity.

I have been a radioamateur since 1969. Since 1975 I have my own callsign - LZ1RF. I'm responsible for the LZ1KAA /LZ7A/ Club Station - . Three mandates - for 8 years I have been president of Bulgarian Federation of Radioamateurs. /BFRA/ Many of you and I know each other personally. Many of you have attended the events organized by BFRA on IARU's request. Many people doubted that at the beginning of the democratic changes in Bulgaria in the distant years 1995 and 1996, BFRA would be able to cope with the organization of international radioamateur events. I am thankful to all of those who then believed us. Sofia, Borovets, Primorsko, Obzor – HST, ARDF, the Bulgarian radioamateurs then proved that they have great potential and that they can be relied upon.

In the most difficult years in our country after the changes in 1989, the Bulgarian radioamateur movement managed to preserve its unity. Until the moment when the BFRA leadership elected in 2010 forgot the democratic principles and values. The licensed radioamateur no longer has the right to vote in our organization. The IARU Constitution was violated, and members of the BFRA became clubs instead of individually licensed radioamateurs. It was easier to usurp and hold power in the organization. Unfortunately, such a practice was imposed not only in our organization.

We tried to resist the situation. We turned to the Bulgarian court, which overruled the decisions of the General Assembly of BFRA. Our radio club was excluded from the organization. We informed IARU that the Constitution had been violated  but no attention was paid.  Even today, according to the Constitution, IARU members are national organizations in which personal members are licensed radioamateurs. There are no licensed radioamateurs in BFRA. In BFRA members are only 10 “sports clubs” that are not even duly registered under the country's legislation. Why and how, in this case BFRA is a member of IARU after the organization does not comply with the terms of the Constitution? Is it right? Don't the rules apply to everyone? From more than 6,000 licensed radioamateurs in the country no one is a member of BFRA. There are only  10 (ten) “sports radioclubs” members in BFRA and they choose the leadership of the organization. Licensed radioamateurs do not have the right to vote. Does IARU agree with this, and if not, why does not object to the violation of its Constitution?

It was clear to us that in parallel with what was happening with the amateurradio movement in Bulgaria, similar processes happened in other places too. For countries with a deficit of democratic traditions, such as ours, problems with the real and the applied democracy  are significant.

We do not encourage IARU to be a judge or to take sides. But it is illogical that such an organization as IARU with exceptional authority would not express its attitude and opinion on such processes  in accordance with its democratically accepted rules of action and practice. Otherwise, it turns out that IARU is interested not so much in the radioamateur movement development  as in the lobbying opportunities which it provides to IARU in ITU. We believe that if an organization representing a particular community as IARU or even the EU does not show its attitude to negative processes or phenomena, it becomes an accomplice to them. This also applies to our organization. We think that the problems in our movement are due to the disrupted dialogue between some of the radioamateurs, as well as the tacit support and self-confidence that individuals receive in connection with their negative activities in our organization.

The natural result of all these problems and processes and the desire of some of the radioamateurs to preserve and develop our hobby is to organise an alternative to IARU.

Just a few days ago, in IARU's official announcement, we were informed about the new radioamateur organisation – EUARO recognized by the ITU to represent the interests of radioamateurs as well. I can assume that the creation of this organization and legitimacy is also a result of processes and practices implemented by the radioamateurs in some countries, including in Bulgaria where IARU has not paid the necessary attention in due time.

My deep respect for all the Executive and governing bodies of IARU. For all of us who have been in government and administration, we understand the role of such an organization as IARU and its experts in regulating a huge variety of interests in the field of communications. Also my deep respect to all outstanding amateur radio professionals, who in many cases are the driving element in many spheres of life – comunications, space, national security, high technologies and modern innovative directions. We all  are responsible for the split in the radioamateur movement  and the fact that some radio hams feel themselves not represented in it.

We in Bulgaria have tried by democratic forms to solve the problems.. We hope the creation of the new organization EURAO, will  help restore the democratic principles in our movement and will really promote not only radio as the basic foundation in our lives, but also guide young people and show them new, modern technical directions.

We encourage IARU to make efforts to change the organizational attitude of its members, especially with regard to the Constitution, which should apply to all. There is nothing wrong with having two organizations, but let's show that radioamateurs, as part of a society with serious knowledge and potential, together we can all maintain and develop our wonderful hobby.



With deep respect to all radioamateurs!

Milcho Milanov

Radioamateur since 1969, LZ1RF since 1975


P.S. I hope you excuse my not perfect English, but I'm sure you will understand me correctly!


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