Friday, June 30, 2006

A Programme on the Cable TV problems

Here is a programme for all you cable TV viewers out there on Sunday 2nd July 2006 at 9:05PM on TNL TV. A weekly business magazine programme "Benchmark" is focusing on the present crisis in the cable tv industry. Let's just hope that they highlight not only the problems faced by the Cable TV industry but also the problems faced by the subscribers.

Information is also coming in that CBNSat is having a presentation on the technology used by them to the Media Minister. In addition it looks like they will also ask CBNSat to drop Fashion TV (or maybe even censor it) and also blank out the Sri Lankan news on channels such as BBC and CNN but we hope that they will not ask them to drop the two channels. If local news is to be blanked out on CBNSat then it should also be blanked out on other Cable Operators as well as the local TV channels. We wonder how censorship can be enforced since the government has not yet decided to censor the local news, or have they?

Well lets hope that something very positive happens at the CBNSat hearing on Monday July 3rd 2006.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

CBNSat : 7th Hearing - A Soup and a Laugh

Well here we are a brand new day and some more information has some into light regarding CBNSat.
First it is nice to have this blog back in action and once again a big thank you for the Blogger Team for making that all possible.
The actually happenings at the hearing is actually well - The English Langauge does not have words to describe it, maybe I should check French or German (Hai Hitler).
Now no license has been issued - so much for the reports that said the judge will drop the case if the Media Ministry does not issue license - and now the focus is shifted to the channels available on CBNSat. He must be a very forgetful judge.

The Media Minister representative has highlighted the following points

Fashion Shows must not be shown on CBNSat - They are obviously talking about Fashion TV (FTV), ok fair enough but all other Cable Providers show it and it is also a FTA Channel so I guess that they will have to jam the FTV signal. So Goodbye Fashion TV, but CBNSat decoder unlike other operators like LBN Analog, Multivision Sub Agents can be set to lock channels so parents can lock them if they are scared their children will view it, not sure about LBN Digital and Comet Cable Decoders, do they have the locking facility.

Security Issues being transmitted - Well this is the concerned area, are they talking about the news channels BBC and CNN or something else (some say it could be Discovery Channel, NGC, History - although we think that it is highly unlikely). Does this mean that Art TV will have to stop CNN and ETV has to stop Channel News Asia (we basically become frogs in the well without these, or may even go back to the bullock cart age) and the other operators are also showing CNN, BBC. By the way SLBC broadcasts BBC News also, then they too should stop.

We have a strong sensation that this issue although which we hope will be sorted out by next Monday when the hearing is due will be dragged on till the World Cup is over. It looks like they are finding excuses for the postponement of the case.

Well we do not mind if FTV is off but do not touch the other channels please

Related Links
Control of Content available over Cable TV?

CBNSat Case : Magistrate orders to meet Minister - The Daily Mirror 29th June 2006

The Colombo Magistrate yesterday ordered the satellite television company, CBNSat (Pvt) Ltd., to meet the Media Minister in connection with the switching off of the transmission by the CID. When the case was taken up in chambers the counsel for CBNSat and SLRC and Minister of Media and Mass communications made representations.

The Attorney General informed court the Media Minister had expressed his concern over two issues with regard to stopping the transmission. Firstly not to air the Fashion Shows and secondly to be concerned with regard to the transmission of security issues. The Counsel for CBNSat M.L.M Ameen PC undertook to abide by relevant issues. The Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the counsels to meet the minister and report to court on the outcome next Monday, July 3.

In this case the transmission was stopped following a CID investigation. On June 6, the CID selaed the transmission on the grounds that CBNSat had not obtained the necessary licence. The case was put off for July 3rd.

CBN Sat authorities ordered to discuss with Media Minister - The Daily News 29th June 2006

Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday instructed the CBN Sat authorities to meet the Media Minister and discuss the matter with regard to the issuance of licence and inform the decision before Court on Monday.

The Judge made this order when the CBN Sat and Sonic Network Technologies case was taken up for hearing. These two companies were sealed by the Colombo Crime Division on June 6.

Sandasen Marasinghe

Hurrah CBNSat Blog is now back in action

Yipee, a big thank you out to the Blogger Team who have taken steps and unblocked this blog in a short period of time.

Now we can continue to provide our readers the latest news as it happens regarding CBNSat.

Thank You once again for all those who came forward to help us when this blog was blocked.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

To all CBNSat / LBN Customers - Meeting

Dear All

We have been getting many requests on this blog to set up a meeting for all the customers who are suffering from this situation.

We will try our best to set up a meeting for all CBNSat and LBN Customers after waiting for the outcome of the CBNSat hearing tomorrow. Please email us the convienient times and days. I suggest we do this meeting after you guys have finished work on a weekday. If there is any lawyer who is a customer of CBNSat/LBN or who likes to help us please email and come for the meeting and advice us.

We need you guys to be genuine. Please no jokes and do not fail to come after promising that you will come. Over a hundred people will be good.

We the admins will not be present for this meeting due to security concerns but we will try to arrange a public place for you guys to meet and discuss the matter. We are confident that you guys will be able to come up with a solution. We need you to email us with your real name and contact details and the alias that you used to post in this blog. We will keep your details confidential. However we are concerned how many of you people out their will come due to fear of revealing yourselves. We will arrange this meeting based on the response only. So the faster you respond the better it is.

If you are in agreement to the above please email us on

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hopeful Week for CBNSat Customers

This week looks like a hopeful week for all the customers of CBNSat. Since the President has asked the TRC to draft up regulations and also to license all satellite TV operators.

Hopefully the Ministry of Media will not come to courts on Wednesday June 28th 2006 and say that they will have to wait till the new regulations are drafted.

Hopefully the Media Ministry will say that they will issue the license and then we will see the judge ruling in favor of CBNSat which will enable them to restart transmissions.

I would also like to clarify that this blog is not operated by CBNSat or any other operators and I am not an employee of CBNSat or any other operator. In addition the only other blogs operated by me are given below.

TV Radio Sri Lanka
Comet Cable Forum
LBN Cable TV forum

In addition there was a question raised why there is no blog maintianed for SATNet. The reason behind this is since SATNet is not a cable tv operator but only a vendor or agent for Dish TV India and Star TV Hong Kong. Therefore they do not qualify to have a blog dedicated to them.

A more detailed explanation is given on

Friday, June 23, 2006

Satellite TV Providers under spotlight - Daily Mirror 23rd June 2006

Please Click here for article

Morning Leader Editorial - 21st June 2006

The following is an excerpt taken off the Morning Leader Editorial - For Full Story Please Click

A typical example of this political-bureaucratic arrogance has been denial to thousands of TV viewers the privilege of watching the Soccer World Cup matches now on in Germany. A greater part of humanity is watching this sporting spectacle on TV but those in Sri Lanka who were entitled to watch detailed coverage of these matches on two private channels have been deprived of this pleasure because the telecommunications panjandrums have forced them to close down because of the problem over a licence issued to these operators. Coverage of these matches on state TV channels has been only in snatches and of a very poor standard.

We are not for a moment commenting on the legality of such action by the authorities. The legal issue is a matter for the courts. But it should be pointed out that the telecommunications bureaucrats should have considered the interests of the public in this issue. They should have been well aware of the public interest in the World Cup matches and could have taken action much before so that the licencing issue could have been sorted out before or after the end of the World Cup series. Not so today’s bureaucrats. Infliction of cruelty on the public for no fault of theirs seems to be an ingrained perversity among them.

Plans under way to regulate all satellite broadcasting services, phone service providers (The Daily News 23rd June 2006)

The Government yesterday said plans are under way to regulate all satellite broadcasting services and register satellite phone users amidst the current controversy surrounding a private satellite broadcasting network.

Kanchana Ratwatte, Chairman Telecommunication Regulatory Commission told the weekly Cabinet briefing that the Commission has received directives from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to formulate laws to regulate all satellite broadcasting stations and telephone service providers.

Ratwatte said the Commission was instructed to keep a list of satellite based service providers and satellite phones. Commenting on the issue, Government spokesman and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said under the existing Telecommunications Act, the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) has full authority to investigate and monitor satellite broadcasting in Sri Lanka.

SONICNET application dismissed - The Daily News 23rd June 06

Colombo District Judge Aruna C. Ranasinghe dismissed the application made by Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd seeking an enjoining order against the officers of the CID and to allow the SONICNET to commence its operations.

Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd instituted action in the District Court of Colombo, against, U.K. Mahindadasa Chief Inspector, A.R. Waidayalankara, Senior Superintendent of Police. L. Thilak Bandara, Sub Inspector, all officers of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) seeking an enjoining order preventing the SONICNET Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. from using the equipment at No 83 George R. De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 13.

President's Counsel Romesh De Silva appearing for the plaintiff informed court that SONICNET Technologies (Pvt) Ltd equipment were sealed by the officers of the Investigation Department (CID) as result of the search warrant issued by the Magistrate of Colombo with regard to Communique Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd (CBNsat) at 83 George R. de Silva Mawatha, Colombo 13.

The CID officers were not authorized by the Learned Magistrate to seize or seal any equipment belongs to plaintiff and this action is unlawful, illegal.

Further stated that the officers of CID had acted in malice and the said action is ultra vires.

Sumathi Dharmawardena, Senior State Counsel appearing on behalf of the 1 to 3rd defendants informed the court that Plaintiff Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd is licence holder in terms of section 17(2) the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Act. No. 25 of 1991 as amended and had entered into an agreement with Communique Broadband Networks (pvt) Ltd. (CBNsat) to do broadcasting of television programs.

CBNSat had failed to obtain a licence in terms of the Telecommunication Act. He further stated that the Magistrate of Colombo had issued the search warrant to inspect the premises and defendants are empowered to seal the equipments in terms of section 65 (1) of Telecommunication Act.

Senior State Counsel Dharmawardena brought to the notice of the court that defendants have acted in their official capacity and in terms of section 24 of interpretation ordinance the District Court cannot issue the enjoining order.

The District Judge made this order yesterday after considering the submissions made by both parties and held that presently the Criminal Investigation Department is conducting investigations pertaining to CBNsat

Television transmission and even if the enjoining order is made it will only restrain the defendants but not the CID. Further stated that same will not be an obstacle for the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to seek an order from the Magistrate of Colombo.

The District Judge observed that the plaintiff made an application to use the equipment before the Magistrate and same failed.

The Magistrate had observed that the CID obtained the search warrant after receiving instructions from the Attorney General's Department and search warrant had been executed as provided in the law.

Further District Judge observed in his order that the Magistrate had decided not to permit the transmission. Since the Magistrate had considered this application there is no provision for Civil Court to make a decision.

Aruna C. Ranasinghe the District Judge further stated that the High Court Judge of Colombo decided to make an order after issuing notice.

The District Judge refused the enjoining order stating that it will create a difficulty in conducting investigations by the CID and conflict with the pending cases before the Magistrate Court and High Court.

Romesh de Silva, President's Counsel with Mr. Sudath Caldera and R. Ameen, Attorneys-at-Law instructed by Mr. John Wilson appeared for the plaintiff SONICNET Technologies (Pvt) Ltd.

Sumathi Dharmawardena SSC with Mr. Suasantha Balapatabendi SSC appeared for the Officers of the CID.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

CBNSat : Message to their Customers

Dear valued customer,

Further to our communication on press with regard to our transmission being halted illegally by the CID, we wish to personally thank you for standing by us and being patient. Your support has given us immense strength to face all the battles against the unfair and unjustified actions taken against us.

We wish to gratefully acknowledge and thank our customers who have sent us emails and letters of encouragement and support. Sincere appreciation also goes out to those customers who have shown their support on the blog discussion pages.

We took this matter up in Courts and had several hearings so far and the Court verdict is currently pending. We have emphasized in Courts that in fairness to all our customers a quick resolution is immediately needed.

The overnight closure of infotainment service providers has now become an industry-wide issue. We maintain that we have all the necessary licences and documents required for our operations from both the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

The learned Magistrate has however requested us to obtain an additional licence to maintain a “private television broadcasting station” under section 28 of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act No. 6 of 1982. Although we are not a television broadcasting station, solely in the interests of our valued customers, we have submitted an application for the aforesaid licence under protest and strictly without prejudice to our rights in Court.

We understand the disappointment and frustration of our customers and would like to assure you that we doing everything possible to have the services back soon. In the meantime, please rest assured that we will not be charging subscription for the period during which the services were not available.

We are grateful for your loyalty and are confident that you will continue to stand by us. Together we will see this through and have CBNSat back on air again.

Yours digitally,

CBNSat Case on 28th June 2006

It is now confirmed that the CBNSat case will be held on 28th June 2006. Please read reports from the Daily News and The Island given below. If anyone has the reports about CBNSat from other news sources I request them to email it to and also post it as a comment.

I was read an interesting letter by a customer that appeared in The Island 22nd June 2006 Page 7 under the caption Cable TV : Confusion Worst confounded where the reader has written giving their displeasure over the present crisis. It is good for the you out there to give your opinions in the papers in the form of letters to the editor where you can express your frustration over the entire crisis. I am sure the authorities are reading these opinions.

We need well written opinions from the people out their to appear in the newspapers regarding the problems faced by the subscribers who have spent their hard earned money and bought these connections to watch something worthwhile. Even if the operators were operating illegally then the first problem is why did they the authorities wait so long to shut them down and the other issue is that they are shutting down the operators without giving consideration to the people using these services. Given below are the email addresses of major newpapers for their editors. I suggest that you say "Letters to the Editor" in the Subject line of the email.

The Island Editor

The Daily News

The Daily Mirror

The Sunday Times

The Sunday Leader

The Morning Leader

The Nation

Hopefully on Wednesday 28th June 2006 the judge will take a decision and I appeal to the Media Minister to issue the license keeping the interests of the customer in his mind when the decision is being taken. Issue the license and sort out the problems of CBNSat, LBN and also any problems that the SATNet customers themselves maybe having. Make sure that Pay TV customers do not have to go through this situation again.

Maybe if anyone can provide the address, fax number and email address of the Media Ministry then the customers can write to the ministry and also request them to issue the licenses and sort these problems out.

There is no use scolding anyone or blaming anyone let's just concentrate on requesting these people to allow these providers to resume services.

Also a sincere request out to all bloggers. PLEASE DO NOT POST FOUL LANGUAGE

Alleged LTTE connections led to investigations against certain private TV channels - Senior State Counsel (Daily News June 22nd 2006)

Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga yesterday submitted that the Criminal Investigations Department initiated the investigations into private television channels when the CID was informed that certain channels were allegedly helping the LTTE to transmit their necessary information.

SSC Kulathunga submitted it before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya when the cases against CBN Sat, LBN and Sat net were taken into consideration.

SSC Kulathunga said while that investigation was in progress the CID found that these channels were functioning without a valid licence.

The Court granted Managing Director of LBN Shivantha Herath, Managing Director of CBN sat Muhanda Kanage and Managing Director of Sat net Laxman Hulugalla Rs. 1,00,000 personal bail.

Attorney Kuwera de Soyza appearing for the Lanka Broadband Network said that their company was a BOI approved company and their company was sealed on June 15, by the CID came with a search warrant. They were not aware yet for what reason it was revealed.

Although they requested for a copy of the search warrant from the CID they did not get it. He submitted that the CID has gained the search warrant hiding certain facts to the court. Since their company was a BOI approved company if any order was issued with regard to such companies it should be done following hearing to their submissions.

The Defence Counsel said that LBN possesses a licence to import equipment, repair, maintain and install those equipment and a broadcasting licence. SSC Gihan Kulathunga stated that LBN does not have the licence from the Rupavahini Corporation and the licence from the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission for the function of this television channel.

Defence Counsel de Soyza said that they had no objection with conducting investigations but asked that they be allowed to continue transmissions.

SSC Kulathunga said that if the equipment was brought it would cause damage that the CID sealed them and if the relevant authorities inform the court that they were considering giving them the licence he had no objections to them being allowed to resume transmissions.

Attorney Anuja Premaratne appearing for the Sat Net said that their company was not doing any transmission. The transmission was being done from India and their company was only providing an apparatus to customers to receive programmes transmitted from India. Sat Net has the licence to import this apparatus sell, install, maintain and repair and that is what's our company doing.

SSC Kulathunga said that their company was charging a monthly fee from their customers and Defence Counsel said that they were the agent of the Indian company. Thereafter SSC Kulathunga said that it was illegal.

The Judge ordered the CID to submit a further report after investigations on July 6 since the CID requested for more time for further investigation.

Additional Secretary to the Media Ministry Vajira Narampanawa told Court that he handed over the application form of the CBN sat company for a licence to the ministry. He said that the applicants have to fill up other documents which is required from the Ministry and when those requirements are fulfilled the Minister would consider if the company could be given the licence. According to his experience it takes nearly four weeks for this process.

The judge observed that four weeks was too long and instructed to Additional Secretary to inform the court that if it were in a position to issue the licence or not on June 28.

Kuvera de Soyza appeared with Sumedha Mahawanniarachchi for LBN instructed by Sudath Perera Associates.

Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga, Senior State Counsel Sumana Dharmawardana, Senior Superintendent of Police Ravi Vidyalankara, Sub-inspector M.R. Dayaratne appeared for the prosecution while President's Counsel M.L.M. Ameen, President's Counsel Ikram Mohammed, Ian Fernando, Sadi Wadud, Riyad Ameen and Sajeewa Antony appeared for the defence.

President's Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya appeared for the Rupavahini Corporation.

Court refuses stay order against CCD Officers - The Island 22nd June 2006

The Colombo District Court yesterday refused a stay order against the officers of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD), in connection with a petition against the sealing of the equipment of CBNSat.

U.K. Mahindadasa, OIC, CCD and two other officers were cited as respondents.

SonicNet Technologies had petitioned Court that the CCD had taken into custody their property and also the equipment of CBNSat, which was a sister company. They said that the Colombo Magistrate had issued an order against CBN Sat and not on the Sonic Net Technologies, but the CCD had taken into custody their property also.

The lawyers further submitted that the order was to search the premises but not to seal the equipment.

District Judge Aruna Sri Ranasinghe said that if an order was issued in favor of the petitioner that would disturb the Magistrate's Court, that would also make it difficult for the police to carry out their investigation, the judge said. The Judge refused to issue a stay order against the respondent CCD officers.

The case was put off for July 03.

Court orders SatNet closure - The Island 22nd June 2006

Colombo Additional Magistrate Gehan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the CID to close down the SatNet TV Broadcasting station owned by Lakshman Hullugalle and take appropriate action against the station for violating the laws of the land by not obtaining the permission to run the station from the relevant authority.

Lakshman Hullugalle, who was summoned to appear in Court, was enlarged on security bail in Rs. 100,000.

Anuja Premaratne, appearing for Hullugalle state that they had obtained the licence to import TV equipment and sell it to customers whilst broadcasting was done from India and therefore the station had not violated any regulations under the Rupavahini Act or the TRC.

But Senior State Counsel Gehan Kulatunga, appearing for the CID said Hullugalle had violated Section 45 B of the TRC Act and came under the purview of the investigation.

The Magistrate ordered the CID to take the same steps against the other two stations under investigation as their failing to do so would be unfair.

Hemantha Warnakulasuriya and Kalinga Pasqual, instructed by Inoka Gamage appeared for the Rupavahini Corporation. Kuvera de Soysa appeared for the LBN cable TV station and M. M. Ameen PC appeared for the CBNsat TV station.

The Magistrate issued a seizure notice for the Transmission equipment of CBNsat and LBN cable TV and others. The same order was made against SatNet.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

CBNSat Case postponed till 28th July 2006

Reports are coming in that the Court Case has been postponed to 28th June 206. If this is true then it is a very long wait as it will be held next Wednesday which is exactly one week away.

Only time will tell of what transpired in the courts today. Please keep this forum updated with the breaking new throughout the night.

It looks like the Media Ministry needs more time to decide on the license or something like that.

CBNSat 6th Court Hearing today

CBNSat will be facing it's 6th Court hearing today. As per newspaper reports the directors of CBNSat, LBN & SATNet will have to appear before courts today.

Everything will depend on the Ministry of Media, if they agree to issue the license then the problems will stop here. I do not see a reason why they should not issue a license and we hope the Media Minister would have taken the decision taking into account the plight of the thousands of subscribers and employees of CBNSat. If there is a delay on the part of Media Ministry due to their incompetence then the judge should rule in CBNSat's favour.

An article that appeared in todays Daily Mirror regarding yesterdays Court Case is given below. It is very sad to note that none of the private TV stations including those of Maharaja's and EAP's do not come forward to highlight the situation. This is obviously because their viewship has dropped over the past few months and if CBNSat and the cable tv channels are closed down it will be very advantageous for them.

Action TV, etc is nonsense if they do not stand up for the rights of any broadcaster in this country and they should be ashamed of themselves because they are also not immune.


In addition there are rumours going around that some CBNSat customers are planning to be at the courts for todays hearing. Well if this is true then maybe those people concerned can give the time and address of the location where they are planning to meet. But remember no violence.

CBNSat Case Verdict Reserved - Daily Mirror 21st June 2006

Colombo District Judge Aruna C. Ranasinghe reserved the verdict in the case filed by Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., against the CID when the case was taken up at District Court yesterday. The plaintiff Sonic Net whic Romesh De Silva PC with Attorneys Riaz Ameen, Ian Fernando and Rikthar Mohamed represented stated that CBNSat was a company that conducted business publicly for a period of 12 months and within that period the Ministry of Defence, the SLRC and the Ministry of Public Administration had sought assistance from CBNSat.

The main grounds upon which the case was argued was on the legality of the CID officers sealing the company premises situated in George R. De Silva Mawatha Colombo 13.

It was further stated that the warrant issued by the Magistrate was only a search warrant and therefore did not give authority to seal the premises of Sonic Net. It was charged that the officers had been acting with a personal agenda. Romesh De Silva added that due to the irresponsible behavious of the police officers, 20,000 customers and 300 employees lives were in disarray and that the action taken by the officers had given undue advantage to the competitors of CBNSat.

Counsel for the CID stated that the officers were acting well within their boundaries and charged that the plaintiff did not possess a valid license for the broadcasting of satellite television channels. Responding to the above the counsel for the plaintiff questioned how the authorities did not have any problem with CBNSat for over a year in which advertising was done openly and as to why there were no questions raised when permission was sought to import equipment for the company and when giving free transmission for Rupavahini to the north. He added that SLRC Chairman Newton Gunaratne thanked the company for the support rendered to them in a letter dated May 25, 2006.

The defence was adamant that an interim order should not be given as it would affect the on going investigations, and charged the plaintiff again of not possessing the valid license. Counsel for the plaintiff said that CBNSat did have the necessary license but stated that they would not be arguing on the validity of the licence as that is not the main issue in question, but the unlawful sealing of Sonic Net (Pvt) Ltd. He charged that the CID did not have any right to seal the premises of Sonic Net an affliated company of CBNSat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CBNSat - 2 Weeks since Shutdown

With today it is two weeks since the CBNSat Cable TV service was sealed and shutdown by the CID. Over the last two weeks several court hearing have been held and also another CableTv provider LBN was also shut. But during all these I wonder whether the authorities took even one minute to think about the tens of thousands of people who will be inconvienienced by this move.

CBNSat has been in operation for well over a year and LBN for almost 8 years and now they are termed as illegal. Wonder what the authorities were doing all these years.

Anyway it is really a dumb excuse given in court yesterday that the Media Ministry did not receive the application.

At least tomorrow the CBNSat customers will see an end to this scenario and see their services restored. The Media Ministry cannot refuse to issue the license to CBNSat, since it is the fault of the authorities for not guiding them to obtain the proper licenses required. I also hear through well informed sources that the judge had made a statement that the hearing on 21st Wednesday will be the final hearing.

Given below are the newsreports from the Daily Mirror and Daily News paper of 20th June 2006. Anyone with access to any other newspaper is welcome to post a script of what the newspaper contains about CBNSat.

CID Officers noticed in Satellite TV Case (Daily Mirror 20th june 2006)

The Colombo District Court yesterday issued notice on three CID officers, following an application files by SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., the cable TV station which was sealed, following a CID search operation.

Colombo District Judge Aruna C. Ranasinghe noticed OIC, Commercial Crimes Unit-11, CID Chief Inspector U.K. Mahindadasa, SSP Ravi Waidyalankara and SI Thilak Bandara to appear today.

The complainant, SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., of 83 George R. De Silva Mawatha, Kotahena the affliated company of the CBNSat (Pvt) Ltd., is suing the CID Officers personally, asked for an enjoining order restraining the CID from preventing the Plaintiff from entering the company premises. SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., also demanded Rs 50 Million from the Defendants as damages.

Counsel for the Petitioner Romesh De Silva P.C with Sugath Caldera and Riaz Ameem supporting the application, informed court yesterday that SonicNet was transmitting on a license granted by the TRC of Sri Lanka. Plaintiff claimed that on several occasions it had assisted the SLRC to transmit from places where it had no access.

Counsel states that on June 6, 2006, the Defendants CID officers visited the Petitioners office and displayed a search warrant issued by the Magistrate's Court of Colombo, to search the premises. At this instance, the CID, acting illegally and unlawfully, shut down, disconnected and sealed the licensed telecommunication system CBNSat of the petitioner.

He complained that the sealing of the equipment and the disconnection of the service has resulted in the homes of approximately 20,000 customers not receiving the TV coverage.

Plaintiff asked court for a declaration that the alleged act by the CID officers was illegal and estimated the damage caused to it at Rs 50 Million.

Notice issued on CBNsat, LBN and SATnet directors (Daily News 20th June 2006)

COLOMBO: Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday issued notice on the directors of the CBNsat, LBN and SATnet television channels that were allegedly functioning without a valid licence to appear before the Court at 2 p.m. on June 21.

This was revealed yesterday when the CBNsat and Sonic Network Technologies case was taken up for hearing. These two companies were sealed by the Colombo Crime Division on June 6.

The Judge observed that it was unfair to close CBNsat while the SATnet was functioning and it should be fair by both parties.

The Additional Secretary to the Media Ministry Vajira Narampanawa said before the Court that he did not receive any application form from the CBNsat company for a licence.

President's Counsel M.L.M. Ameen appearing for the defence submitted before court that the application form for the licence was handed over to one Silva, a Co-ordinating Secretary to the Media Minister last Thursday.

The Judge ordered that the application form for the licence be handed over to Additional Secretary Narampanawa in open court.

The CID stated that still it was conducting investigations and has to take statements from the customers. The LBN was transmitting programmes from satellite charging the customers and it was a punishable offence. The Sat net was transmitting from India and only an office was here. They are retransmitting it here in Sri Lanka and the CID said that it was intending to seek the advice of the Attorney General to see whether it was illegal.

The Judge ordered the Additional Secretary of the Media Ministry to inform the court whether it was in a position to issue a licence for CBNsat or not on June 21.

Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga, Senior State Counsel Sumana Dharmawardana, Senior Superintendent of Police Ravi Vidyalankara, Sub inspector M.R. Dayaratne appeared for the prosecution while President's Counsel M.L.M. Ameen, President's Counsel Ikram Mohammed, Ian Fernando, Sadi Wadud, Riyad Ameen and Sajeewa Antony appeared for the defence.

Sandasen Marasinghe

Monday, June 19, 2006

CBNSat 6th Hearing on Wednesday 21st June 2006

The CBNSat court case has been put off for Wednesday on what is surely supposed to be the final hearing.

There are reports coming in that the media secretary had denied receiving the application but CBNSat lawyers had provided the judge with the receipt and the judge is supposed to have ordered speedy compliance.

In addition it also rumoured that there was an order given for the arrest of SATNet directors. This of course will bring joy into the life of CBNSat customers and LBN customers too if it is true.

Anyway hopefully, what exactly happened will come out as the day progresses and I am sure my fellow readers will keep this forum updated. Hopefully the customers of LBN will also have some good news today.

CBNSat 5th Court hearing today

Today is the 5th court hearing of CBNSat. A lot of CBNSat subcribers are hoping that the situation will get sorted out today. With tomorrow it is 2 Weeks since these events had transpired.

A report in the Daily Mirror of Saturday 17th June 2006 said that a court had issued a summon for the Media Secretary to appear before court on 19 June 2006.

In other events "The Nation" newspaper of Sunday 18th June 2006 had information about a request by the SLRC to CBNSat about carrying the Rupavahini and Channel Eye broadcast to it's Palaly Broadcast Station via CBNSat satellites. In addition in April 2006 it says that the SLRC had obtained permission from relevant authorities to allow them to continue broadcasting via CBNSat which was carrying out the service FREE OF CHARGE.

A request to all the people involved in this crisis to please allow CBNSat to resume transmissions today since there are more than 20,000 customers who are wondering about whay is going to happen to the hard earned money that the spent to purchase this connection.

Given below is the article that appeared in "The Nation" on 18th June 2006

Rupavahini sought CBNSat assistance for uplink

The Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) has requested the satellite television service provider CBNSat- whose premises were sealed off last week - to assist in providing its services to the Jaffna peninsular.

Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) Chairman Newton Gunarathne in a letter to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Communiq Broadband Network (Pvt) Ltd or CBNSat Muhunthan Canagey, dated April 4, 2006, had requested CBNSat to “extend the uplinking facility of both Rupavahini and Channel Eye on CBNSat platform,” The Nation learns.

The Chairman has also expressed his gratitude to CBNSat “for assisting SLRC without any charge, unconditionally on linking transmission to Jaffna …. From January 1, 2006.” Chairman Gunarathne in a letter dated December 31,2005, states: “The Secretary to the President has approved the proposal from SLRC to link SLRC Transmission to our transmitting station at Palali via your CBNSat with effect from January 1, 2006”

He has also stated that “(SLRC) may enter into a provisional MOU as in terms of the same signed between CBNSat and ITN.”

When the case was called up before the Colombo Magistrate last week CBNSat was of the opinion that it had obtained the necessary approvals and that Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd through which CBNSat provides its services, had a license granted to it by the Minister of Mass Media and Communications in 2003 which authorised it to provide services.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Time to fax your problems to the relevant authorities

Another weekend is upon the Customers of CBNSat without their favourite programs and only one can hope and pray that this issue will be solved by Monday. In addition the LBN Customers are also left wondering what is happening since LBN temporarily halted operations from yesterday. LBN Customers visit our LBN Forum for further information.

A big thank you for a reader for including this information that I have posted below. If there is anyone interested in writing to these people please do so and I have given below the names and addresses;

Mr.Kanchana Ratwatta
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission
276 Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 8.
Sri Lanka.

Fax : 2689341


Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala
Chairman / Director General
Board of Investment of Sri Lanka
Level 26, West Tower, World Trade Center,Colombo 01, Sri Lanka
Director General
Fax : 2447994 / 5

Mr. Sisira Kothalawala
Director General
Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation
Independence Square
Colombo - 07
Fax: +941 - 2500373

Fax them the appeals, since a fellow reader mentioned to me that they cut the line if you call them. The sooner the better then at least by Monday CBNSat services will be restored.

CBNsat customers can also fax a letter informing of your grievaness and requesting CBN to restore transmission immediately on FAX 4606099(FAX OF CBNSAT),and you should indicate your CBNSat Acount number also. It is time for the viewers of LBN and CBNSat to hold hands since they are being victimised against.

A big thank you for those who are updating this forum and I hope you continue to do so throughout the weekend. Who knows what will happen during the weekend.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dear CBNSat Customers (A fellow reader takes matters into his hands)

Dear CBNSat customers !

I'm going to forward a formal request to TRC asking them to take immediate action to restart CBNSat services on behalf of the customers.

Please send me your following details to

Contact No and
CBNSat Account number


** The above request is not from TV Radio Sri Lanka. This was a comment on this blog that I copied and pasted. I appreciate the work that is being done by this individual, it is time for the customers of CBNSat to get down to business and email this individual today, with all the information.

The above individual looks geniune but please take care when releasing personal information.

CBNSat Customers it is time to make yourself heard

Well I think it is time for the customers of CBNSat to make themselves heard since this case is dragging on for so long. Call up the TRC and the SLRC and all the relevant authorities and request them to reinstate CBNSat. The TRC is the organisation that has the power to protect the consumer in telecommunication disputes and they are bound to do something.

Lets not scold them. Lets make a request to the highest in the TRC and the SLRC. Waiting till monday is a very long time for all CBNSat customers, while the other operators with the same problem are continuing to broadcast. Do not shut the other broadcasters down.

All CBNSat customers should rise to this occassion and exercise your right as citizens of this country.

This is a request from this blog and not from CBNSat. CBNSat has nothing to do with this request.

CBNSat 5th Hearing on Monday

The court case involving CBNSat now looks like a chapter off the "Neverending Story". Now that investigations are to be carried out into the other TV Stations then I hope that they do not seal those stations and also start inconviencing their subscribers too. Hopefully on Monday all CBNSat customers will get good news.

I have posted the newspapers reports on the Daily News and the Daily Mirror below and I have highlighted certain stuff and you can judge the content and see what is going on. It is very obviously.

Anyway a request out to the Comet Cable guy who is posting on the CBNSat forum. Please do not post in this place for fun. This is for the CBNSat customers who are inconvienced as a result of this and do not use this forum to compare CBNSat with Comet Cable and play the fool with CBNSat subscribers as we never know what the CID will do as a result of the investigation into Comet Cable.

*** Please do not post using foul language. Your frustration is understood but please understand that there are several people reading this forum who may be offended by the use of such language.

Closure of CBNSat.....employees left in the lurch - Daily Mirror 15 June 2006

When the CBNSat was taken up for inquiry yesterday Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered Rupavahini Corporation to submit an Investigation report to court within two days.

Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulatunge appearing for the CID informed the court appearing for the CID informed the court that the inquiries on LBN Netowrk (Pvt) Ltd.,, SatNet (Pvt) Ltd., Multivision (Pvt) Ltd., and Electrotech were continuing and the report on the findings would be submitted to Court once the investigations were completed. State Counsel also undertook to allow CBNSat to function if the Medi Ministry could consider issuing a license to CBNSat.

Senior Counsel M.L.M Ameen PC appearing for CBNSat asked Court to make an interim order to open the network. It claimed otherwise the employees of the company as well as 100,000 of their clientele would fave severe difficulties.

He said reopening the channel would not affect CID investigations. Counsel also brought to the notice of the magistrate that while CBNSat had been kept shutdown the other TV channels into which Court ordered investigations were functioning unobstructed. He said this was a great injustice. He further stated that the CBN Network was operating on broadband and therefore it was not necessary to obtain a license from the Rupavahini Corporation. He pointed out that the network had obtained the necessary license from the TRC.

Counsel for Rupavahini Corporation, Hemantha Warnakulasuriya PC complined that though the Court ordered CID to get the place checked by an engineer from Ruapavahini Corporation some days ago, the CID acted on the order only yestersday creating hardships to the Rupavahini Corporation. The counsel sought five days to make their observations on CBNsat and report to court,

The magistrate allowed Rupavahini Corporation two days to complete their findings.

The case was postponed for June 19

(TV Radio Sri Lanka - Please Check Highlighted Text)

CBNsat case: CID given two days to probe three TV channels - Daily News 15th June 2006

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) failed to submit the reports before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya after investigating with the help of Rupavahini Corporation the transmission systems of three television channels and one radio channel that were allegedly functioning without valid licences.

This was revealed yesterday when the CBNsat and Sonic Network Technologies case was taken up for hearing. These two companies were sealed by the Colombo Crime Division on June 6.

Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga suggested that if the CBNsat company would take steps to a obtain a licence for their television channel it would be considered favourably and the prosecution would help.

President's Counsel M.L.M. Ameen appearing for the defence said that CBNsat was still off the air but the other channels were functioning although with the same legal background as CBNsat.

So it was unjust to cease their channel while the others were functioning and pleaded Court to let them restart the transmission until the decision was taken, he said. The Judge observed that the possible steps have been taken from the part of the law to prevent the said illegal transmission of the other channels. But it was the CID's delay in the investigation.

The Judge on June 12 ordered the CID to submit its reports of the investigation within two days following investigation of the transmission systems of Sat Net (Pvt) Ltd earlier known as TV Lanka (Pvt)ltd, Electro Tech (Pvt) ltd, Multivision (Pvt) Ltd and LBN Lanka (Pvt) Ltd radio Channel.

SSC Kulathunga stated that the Rupavahini Corporation was seeking security for the investigation and it was responsible for the delay.

President's Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya appearing for the Rupavahini Corporation said it did not seek security but they were waiting for the CID that was investigating the incident to come and accompany them to the said companies. But it was only yesterday at 12.30 p.m. that the CID came to the Rupavahini Corporation seeking the support of expert knowledge. Subsequently they went to two companies for the investigation and requested a week for the investigation.

The Judge observed that it was obvious that the investigation needed time but a week was too much and instructed the CID to submit the reports within two days.

SSC Gihan Kulathunga suggested that if these institutions take steps to obtain licences under the relevant law the Government would consider the matter.

The case was put off for June 19.

Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga, Senior State Counsel Sumana Dharmawardana, Senior Superintendent of Police Ravi Vidyalankara Sub inspector M.R. Dayaratne appeared for the prosecution while Presidents Counsel M.L.M. Ameen, President's Counsel Ikram Mohammed, Ian Fernando, Sadi Wadud, Riyad Ameen and Sajeewa Antony appeared for the defence.

(TV Radio Sri Lanka - Check out the highlighted stuff)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

CBNSat case postponed till Monday 19th June

In what was hoped will the day in which all CBNSat customers will rejoice and have their connections restored. Comments are appearing on this blog that the court has postponed the case till Monday, while the customers suffer. Is there no one in this country to solve the customers grievances.

Honourable President Mahinda Rajapakse, sir it is high time you gave ear to the customers of CBNSat.

The details of why the case has been postponed is still sketchy and I think the information will start pouring in as the hours tick by and I am sure my fellow bloggers will keep this forum updated.

With next Monday it will be two weeks since CBNSat went off air and even though an investigation is being carried out into the other operators, all of them are operating except CBNSat. We are not asking for the other operators to be shutdown, just resume operations and then carry out investigations.

There was a comment on this blog about calling the TRC and relevant government departments and requesting them as citizens of this country.

A mention was made to the ETV 1 and ETV 2 incident several years ago (more than a decade) about ETV 2 being shutdown as a unlicensed TV Station days after it was opened and when the viewers called the authorities concerned and put pressure on them, ETV 2 was back on air.

The phone numbers of TRC and BOI is given in a post below. The customers of CBNSat are frustrated and need to do something. Next monday is still almost a week away.

CBNSat is still to confirm that the case has been postponed.

CBNSat 4th Court hearing today

It is now just over a week since the dreadful events of 6/6/6 when CBNSat was shutdown by the authorities and their customers have been very patient with them I hear and also very angry with another person.

This is the 4th hearing and looks like things maybe finally sorted out today. The newspaper carried reports that the judge has told that it was unfair to seal a station when there are other stations also operating illegally. In addition he had also instructed the SLTRC to issue a license as soon as possible since there are over 20,000 customers awaiting their connections to be restored.

It was also reported that when CBNSat customers called them up yesterday, they were told that their connections will be restored after 5:00PM today. Will someone out there confirm this!

In addition it is rumoured that SLRC said that they will issue any license required by CBNSat within 48 hours. Is that 48 hours from today or 48 hours from Monday's hearing is not yet certain. Does anyone know?

Well thankfully the Judge in charge of this case has taken the customers of CBNSat into consideration in his decision making.

Please inform us when the signal returns all you CBNSat customers.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

CBNSat Decoder

There are several arguments regarding the CBNSat decoder on this blog. So I will try to settle this with this post.

The CBNSat works on FTA as well as Encrypted mode. Using software the decoder can be barred from receiving FTA channels. The decoder can be unlocked using the software.

The CBNSat decoder uses the SIM Card to decrypt the encryted transmissions from CBNSat. But the decoder will work without the card.

Satellite TV vendors in Sri Lanka have access to this software to unlock this software lock to prevent viewers from receiving FTA. Anway their are not many FTA channels on Pas 12 satellite.

Maybe you can focus the dish to the Doordharshan FTA DTH service which contains more than 50 Indian Channels but can anyone confirm whether we need to use their decoder to view this service.

The compatability of decoders between service providers is an issue around the world and not only with CBNSat. The decoder used for one provider can be used only with that particular provider. In fact I am not sure whether the CBNSat decoder can be used to receive Dish TV by inserting a Dish TV card and changing the direction of the dish.

Will keep you all of you posted on the compatability issue of decoders.

Satnet Involved in CBNSat Incident ???

I have been receving several posts in my Blog regarding the involvement of the SatNet chairman in the CBNSat case.

It is very likely since this issue of CBNSat came up after the launch of this service. Anyway looks like he in trouble too. Although I am not sure how the CID will shut his operations down. Since Satnet is only selling the Star TV Hong Kong and Dish TV India equipment in Sri Lanka. There customers will not be affected in anyway unlike the CBNSat customers who are badly affected.

Anyway I am sure he will find a way out of this too. He should be banned from selling the equipment in Sri Lanka. This is highly unlikely though.

Investigation into more Channels

Hi Guys! Sorry for not posting all these days. I was down with the flu. Thank You all for keeping this blog updated with the news.

Anyway what does this mean

"The Judge ordered the CID to submit its reports of the investigation within two days following investigations of the transmission systems of Sat Net (Pvt) Ltd earlier known as TV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Electro Tech (Pvt) Ltd, Multivision Com Net Cable (Pvt) Ltd and the LBN Lanka (Pvt) Ltd Radio Channel." - Courtesy Daily News 13th June 2006

Sat Net has no transmission systems in Sri Lanka and was earlier known as Star Lanka. There cannot be a shutdown since the transmissions are from Dish TV India and Star TV Hong Kong.

Electro Tech (Pvt) Ltd., isn't that Electroleks (Pvt) Ltd., the operators of TV Lanka.

Multivision Com Net Cable should be Multivision Comet Cable.

LBN Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Radio Channel ????. LBN is a Cable TV provider not a radio station.

Anyway these must be printing errors in the Daily News (don't they check before printing). Can anyone confirm whether the above mentioned companies are still operating or were they shutdown like CBNSat.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Legal Advice required on Protecting Rights of CBNSat Customer

Is there a lawyer or a legal advisor reading this forum. We want to know how the customer can protect their rights.

CBNSat has thousands of customers who have spent their hard earned money to purchase their connections. Several CBNSat customers are emailing me and asking me how they can take action and appeal to the courts to restore transmissions.

I appeal to any lawyer or legal advisor so come forward and protect the rights of the customers. The customers purchased CBNSat connections because it is a BOI approved company and the site gives information that they are a sattellite broadcaster.

The TRC cannot go around with the CID and raid and close down companies based on political influence. It is high time the Cable TV viewers in Sri Lanka formed an association and also the Cable TV companies must form an Association.

Please do not post unneccessary stuff instead lets now focus on the rights of consumers, I appeal to customers of other Cable TV companies to help in this effort.
Because remember the people who caused this can put their hand and disrupt other companies such as Comet Cable and LBN also.

The CBNSat customers are willing to ride out this storm and stick to CBNSat and most of them do not want to change service providers, but it now to time for the consumer rights to be upheld.

Daily Mirror - Restraining order on CBNSat till June 12

A Colombo magistrate yesterday restrained CBN SAT from telecasting its cable net television programmes until June 12.On June 6, the CID obtained a magisterial warrant to search and inspect CBNSat television station at Kotahena. After searching the place, the CID had ordered the CBN staff to shut down their programmes.On June 7, Communiq Broadband Network (pvt) Ltd (CBNSat) asked permission of the court to reopen its cable channels. After hearing the submissions of counsel for CBNSat Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya noticed CID and Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) officers to appear in court and to show cause for their actions. When the matter was taken up for inquiry on Thursday counsel M. L.M. Ameen, PC, making a lengthy submission stated that Communiq Broadband Network (Pvt) Ltd. and Soniset Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. are two sister companies carrying on a business of telecasting cable television programmes. Soniset Techonologies had got down the necessary electronic equipments after getting approval from the TRC, the Telecommunication Department, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ports Authority. Communiq Broadband Network had obtained the necessary licences and permits from the Telecommunication Department and the TRC. Further it had functioned as cable channel telecasters for more than a year, counsel said.

On or about June 6 the CID had obtained a search warrant from the magistrate concealing the facts about Soniset Technologies and its equipment. The CID had visited CBNSat premises unlawfully and in a surreptitious manner and had ordered to shut down the cable channel network system. The CID had not acted in a manner that a public officer should have acted when performing its duties. Knowing that the stipulated period to execute a search warrant was from morning till 6 p.m., the CID carried out the search until midnight. Further the CID had stationed a police officer on guard at the office grossly violating the rules and regulations of the Warrant Act, counsel said.

Counsel further said CBNSat had a clientele of over 20,000 and had telecast international cricket matches and was a reputed firm operating lawfully. Counsel produced various documents, photographs and invoices to prove the genuineness of the company and said the CID had acted in a harsh manner and pleaded to allow CBNSat channels to be reopened to the public.

In his submissions, senior counsel for the prosecution Gihan Kulatunge said the two companies had acted in a high handed manner by totally violating the law.

He further said CBNSat and Soniset are two different companies operating on two different floors in the building. Soniset does not have a permit or license to telecast cable channel programmes while CBNSat had a licence to encode only programmes from satellite and not from other telecasting media. Soniset was only permitted to sell and transact business relating to telecasting equipment and the company was only authorized to install the electronic equipment separately but not together as part and parcel of one unit. Further to carry on the business it had to obtain licences from the Rupavahini Corporation. Without a license it cannot function and counsel asked court to allow an inspection of the place by an expert engineer from the Rupavahini Corporation and report to court.

Commenting on the B report filed by the CID the magistrate said that according to the entry made by police it seemed that the respondents had not violated the law. However he restrained the company from telecasting programmes until June 12 and ordered the CID to submit to court a report from an expert engineer about his findings on the network.

Counsel M.L.M. Ameen PC, Ikram Mohamed PC with Riaz Ameen, Ian Fernando and Sujeewa Anthony instructed by John Wilson & Co. appeared for the respondent.

State Counsel Gihan Kulatunge, Sumathi Dharmawardena and SSP Waidayalankara (attorney-at-law) appeared for the prosecution.

Friday, June 09,2006

CBNSat Press Briefing

CBNSat is due to have a press briefing today. Contents of this will be available to the general available on the Daily News Papers tomorrow. If possible if there are journalists reading this blog, I hope they will be able to update us on what was said.

Information is not available on at what time or the location of the press briefing. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say about this allegation of not having a operators license.

Anyway if the issue of the operators license is true how come they were allowed to operate without it in the first place.

How is that Mr. Mangala Samaraweera former Minister of Ports and Aviation, Information was Media was also spoke at the opening ceremony of the now deemed illegal broadcasting station.

So much of advertising was done after that the CID and TRC are alleging that they are illegal. How come the Investigations began after the launch of SATNET.

Daily News Article - CBN SAT clandestine

The sealing of the private satellite television station, CBN SAT by the CID was a sequel to a two month long investigation where several details had surfaced pointing to the operation of an illegal transmission service by CBN SAT.

The CID on Tuesday armed with a search warrant raided the premises of CBN SAT. at No. 83, George de Silva Mawatha, Colombo 13. The search revealed that although CBN SAT. had a Vendor Licence, no licence was available issued by the authorities to operate Satellite Video Up-Linking services to transmit Direct to Home (DTH) TV programmes.

The CID which sought the Attorney General's advice in this regard was told that the private satellite station had violated section 17 (1) of the Telecommunication Act No. 25 of 1991.

Investigations revealed that CBN SAT was using a licence issued to a sister company Sonic Network (Pvt). Ltd. for the specific purpose of operating an External Gateway for International Telecommunication (EGO) to operate a Satellite Video Up-linking service.

The licence to Sonic Network was issued by then Minister of Mass Communications Imitiaz Bakeer Markar on February 28, 2003 for the purpose of operating an EGO under the provisions of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Act for a period of 10 years.

The licence permits the use of any type of technology but not a Satellite Video Up-linking service.

The functions of an EGO is only limited to telecommunication operations and not Video-Satellite operations. Hence there is no legal validity and legality in the agreement between Sonic Net-work (Pvt.) Ltd. and CBN SAT to operate a Satellite Video Up-linking Service under the existing licence.

Investigations further reveal that Sonic Net-work (Pvt) Ltd. and CBN SAT. (Pvt) Ltd. entered into a Service Agreement on April 1, 2005 to jointly operate international services specified on the licence issued to Sonic Net-work Ltd. namely to operate an EGO.

During the CID investigations it also transpired that the agreement CBN SAT has entered into with Sonic Network Technologies only grants the right to provide International Services specified on the license to transmit data.

Further inquiries revealed that CBN SAT promotes Direct to Home (DHT) TV programmes in Sri Lanka and they supply and fix small aperture satellite earth Station(VSTA) to consumers for a fee.

The VSTA supplied by CBN SAT is only compatible to receive programmes down-linked by PANAM

satellite and does not have the capacity to uplink or send messages. According to the CID it appears that CBN SAT had obtained local TV programmes from the TV operators in Sri Lanka and decoded same and transmitted through Sonic Net to PANAM satellite.

This process is an operation of a telecommunication system.

Evidence point to the fact that CBN SAT has made use of the EGO licence obtained by Sonic NET to uplink TV programmes consisting of audio and visuals.

On the other hand Sonic Net-work had entered into an agreement to provide international services to CBN SAT but in terms of clause 8 of the EGO licence the former Company (Sonic Net) should notify the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) about the said agreement.

However, without complying with this requirement they have continued to operate, which is a violation that could be termed illegal besides being a gross violation of Clause 8 of the said agreement.

CBN SAT customers receive TV programmes using VSAT as a result of the uplink by Sonic Net. This operation encompasses sending of messages to a satellite in orbit and retransmitting to Sri Lanka.

Hence the joint action by CBN SAT and SONIC Net-work to uplink live, presents and exercise leading to a telecommunication service.

The CID based on its findings has come to the conclusion that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) should take necessary steps against Sonic Net for breach of EGO licence conditions, and CBN SAT for committing an offense in contravention of Section 28 of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act No. 6 of 1982 warranting institution of criminal proceedings against CBN SAT and Sonic Net by the SLRC.

Daily News 09 June 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Comet Cable Forum now open

All Comet Cable customers can visit and post their thoughts and views on Comet Cable.

Please note that special news about CBNSat and Comet Cable will appear on the TV & Radio Sri Lanka blog as well as the related forum.

You can make use of the forums related to the provider for commenting. We are still contemplating the decision whether to open forums for LBN Cable and a general one for the other operators. Please repond with your views.


This is a forum for all the customers of CBNSat to give their opinions on the service offered by CBNSat and scold them or congratulate them.

Please do not use foul language and post unwanted material. This is an unfortunate situation that has risen so please make use of this to make your voice heard. No operator is exempted from this situation, since it may happen to any other operator in the near future.

Please take care to post only relevant material.

This Blog is not Sponsored by CBNSat

Some posts are appearing on this Blog saying that this blog is Sponsored by CBNSat. I would like to clarify that this Blog is an independant blog and is not affliated to any CableTV operator or any other broadcaster in anyway.

Pleae do not bring false allegations of this manner.

Ten Sports and Sun TV soon on CBNSat

Amid all this controvery about the stoppage on CBNSat transmissions. I heard a day before the shutdown that Ten Sports and Sun TV will be on CBNSat in about 3 months.

But with things turning out this way that might have surely extended.

Lets take more action

Okay we have had with the non sense by our authorities. It is time for the customers of CBNSat now to step up. All the customers purchased CBNSat connection because it is a TRC approved and BOI approved company.

Let's call them and force them to release CBNSat. All the supporters of CBNSat it is time to dial and get an expalation from the TRC and BOI.

Telecommunications Regulatory Commission
276 Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 8.
Sri Lanka.
Tel : +94-11-2689345
Fax : +94-11-2689341

Board of Investment
Level 26, West Tower,
World Trade Center,
Colombo 01, Sri Lanka.
Tel: (+94 1) 2346091
Fax: (+94 1) 2346091

Now it is time to for the customers to get their voice heard.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Government Directive???

There are rumours going on that CBNSat has been asked by the government to stop the service. Is this not a BOI approved project. Is this what a reponsible government will do? If they do not want the service to start then they should have not given the license to operate. There are several people who have purchased connections in view of the World Cup.

There are rumours also that a director of Comet Cable has influenced the government to get this disruption done.

Today is can be called the darkest day in the history of the Cable TV Industry. No one will forget this day 7/6.

CBNSat ceases transmissions

This is my first post in this blog that has started during these turbulent times. As of last night at approx 9:30PM 06/06/2006, CBNSat has ceased transmissions. I was always intending to start a blog dedicated to the CBNSat customers where they can tell their problems regarding this DTH service and also congratulate them for a job well done. In fact this is also open for the management of CBNSat.

What has happened is very bad and I hope the authorities involved will take steps to rectifiy this matter. CBNSat says that they have been asked to cease transmissions due to legal issues although they will not divulge what these legal reasons are. It came as a surprise as Rupavahini & Channel Eye became unavailable on CBNSat as of last friday and all traces to the channel were removed from the CBNSat website.

Does this transmission ceasing have anything to do with that, is it a government directive. Well we only can wait and see. Anyway all I can say is that CBNSat has been criticized a lot by us and by our sister blog

This critisizing was always intended to make their service better and as we criticised them we are also ready to support them if they require our help.

Anyone who knows any information about this problem please post your comments to us and keep reading as we update you on new developments.