Friday, June 09, 2006

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

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You just read this and the article in the Daily News,you see how bias the lake house is and who is involved.There is nothing about the B report which says that there is nothing illegal in the procesess.

With things like this happening and specialy to a BOI aproved entity i dont think this country will go anywhere,if the company has done anything illegal take action on them without giving petty excuses and politics.

People know whats happening and the government will become unpopuler with all these unwanted suff.

From what I hear though its not mentioned in the newspapers all fingers point at the guy from the famous channel nine deal,with the relaunch of his unsucessfull DTH,The world cup,His past record and his connections to the present Government (He gets close to whatever government which is in power)

Sorry man,by doing things like this people are not fools to buy some arsole sold by people like you.

Anonymous said...

I am sure this has been instigated by a competitor who has some political clout (influence). We should not let this happen again. Today it is CBN tomorrow it might be you or me.

My opinion is that we must teach these buggers a lesson. We should collectively take steps to do this. By just writing in this blog and not doing anything will not help any of us in any way.

What I propose is that we boycott products of companies that promotes, sell or act as represent the competitor who put up the authorities to these paraya business tactics.

Let us start to day. If not they will do it again to us another day in another day.

Friday, June 09, 2006 4:33:54 PM

Sinhale said...

I think we have to wait till Monday to see some action to restart transmitting of CBNSat channels. If not I think we have to come forward to safeguard our rights as the customers.

We have spent our hard earned money on CBNSat equipment to get Information, be educated and to entertain our kids. Can a single corrupt person using his political powers to stop all that. Where is BOI to protect the investors and why is TRC so silent over the whole issue. They will also need to come forward and tell what this is all about. They are the ones who should protect customers.

When CBNSat commenced operations it was not secretly done. The Approval have been obtained from BOI for the company and from TRC for their equipment. And SonicNet also have obtained the necessary licences from TRC for their operations. TRC is there to guide the investors and companies and to set guidelines. So if CBNSat or SonicNet is starting an operation they should have issued necessary licences complying with the country’s law.

We all know that the satellite broadcasting equipment is sensitive and it cannot be brought down secretly. Even the ministry of defence have approved the import of Satellite broadcasting equipment for CBNsat & SonicNet Technologies. And these equipment is being Used by the government broadcasting institutions like Rupavahini and ITN. So does that means that government also used illegal transmission.

So the final conclusion should be if CBNSat have violated any law they should be fined and given a proper licence to restart their services immediately. Otherwise if CBNsat operations are legal and they have all the necessary approval and licences the culprits behind this whole scene should be brought out and they’ll have to pay CBNSat for the damage they have caused not only to the Brand name of CBNsat but to the whole country and the prospective investors.

Either way as a peoples government I believe the CBNSat services should be restored ASAP safeguarding the rights of 20,000 customers. TRC is established to safeguard the consumer. And the country’s law is to protect people. And BOI’s duty is to set the guidelines for the investors as per the country’s law to carry out a decent business.

We all can see a result in few hours time.

My only hope is that it should be in favour of the 20,000 households across Sri Lanka.