Friday, June 09, 2006

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


TV & Radio Sri Lanka said...

This is only the CID stance. We will get both sides of the story after the CBNSat press briefing.

Anyway of getting to the press briefing.

Anonymous said...

Thi shows how bias the government press is just go through the daily mirror and see how fair the coverage is.The daily news article never mentions of points made by Mr.M.L.M.Ameen Pc.

And can anyone calirfy the point that Mr.L Hulugalle is the defence media advicer to the government and if its so,this is realy conflict of interest,he being the chairman of Satnet,his past record such as channel-9 and the relaunch of his unsucseeful star/dish network.

Sinhale said...

What clandestine is this ?

Daily news article clearly shows that there is a political motive behind the CBNSat closure. It was widely publisised the launch of CBNSat and the media minister also attended the inaugaration. It was given coverage on the government channels rupavahini & ITN. And Later on ITN and Rupavahini channels were also beamed through CBNSat. So how come one say that it's illegal ? Everything went publicly for 1 year and now what's the fuss ?

Anonymous said...

SATnet (earlier Star TV Lanka) is offering a new Direct to Home satellite TV fare covering the whole island 24 hours. It was launched in Colombo last week. Minister of Fisheries Felix Perera launched a website for the product and is seen with Chairman/ Managing Director of SATnet, Lakshman Hulugalle. Minister of Skills Development and Employment, Sripathy Sooriyarachchi, and MPs Nirupama Rajapaksa and Rajitha Senaratne also participated. SATnet brings two leading brand names Star TV of Hong Kong and Dish TV of India. The service offers over 110 channels. SATnet has also come up with a package of easy payment schemes in association with Sampath Bank and Hatton National Bank.

(Too Close contact with the Government)


Anonymous said...



Terminator said...

First of all i believe the Courts are not fully corrupted. And i strongly believe justice will be served and CBN will be back on air on Monday.

In case justice is not served, and CBN is banned forever, i for one will NOT move to SAtnet. I will live the rest of my life inside a cardboard box rather than having to watch thelingu and urdu bullcrap Hurugalle's gay service will provide. Mr. HUrugalle you've already lost this battle man, i give you the finger (the "fuck you" sign). In my view banning CBN= end of satellite communication's golden era in SL.

I am boycotting SAtnet and it's indian bullshit. And SAtnet will be a profitable business when some place very hot (hell) freezes over. And for those who switch (not many asi see it) to SATnet to view the world cup, i am disgusted at you. In my view you guys are the roots of encouraging foul tactics. You couldnt wait 2 days till MOnday? Will you eat shit if you are given no food for a while too? Stop being so selfish.

And i saw some ppl (once again, not many) from comet cable laugh at CBNsat customers and their current situation. Great work guys you will make the destruction of SL complete one day.

Many of us are with CBNsat. It is only two more days we have to wait. GO CBN, OWN em all them bitches!

Terminator out.

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up terminator,We should expose this channel nine fucker and realy there is nothing to expose,beacause the shady past record of his tells the story.

I am with you and 100% of the fellow CBNsat subscribers and not convert to HULUGALLES bull shit,

The legal system of Sri Lanka will give the correct answer on 12.06.06 and once the transmission is restored on monday,The 500 or SATnet subscribers should immediatly convert to CBNsat because you can see what kind of a network you are in.

CBNsat should without fear clarify to its subscribers once the system is restored on monday the "EVIL MAN" behind this fishing episode.

The thing here is that a fisherman is trying to uplink TV Channels.

Anonymous said...

It would only be fair that CBNSat be given the chance to obtain the necessary licence. However they should comply with the laws and regulations of the country. Having said this it really seems that the laws are only interpreted with political motives.

In this day and age it is a pointless task to try to regulate telecommunications. Let the air waves be free for all!

Sinhalé said...


1) CBNSat's customers have not since approximately 9 p.m. on Tuesday 6th June 2006 been available to access all channels including BBC, CNN, Discovery etc.

2) To dispel any false rumours or allegations the company wishes to present the facts of what has happened and why customers are not able to access those channels.

3) CBNSat is able to provide its services to its customers primarily through a company called SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd.

4) SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. Has a license granted to it by the Minister of Mass Media and Communications in 2003 which authorises it to provide services as set out in the licence.

5) SonicNet Technologies (Private) Limited also has obtained all necessary approvals for all the equipment it uses from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka.

6) It is the company’s position that CBNSat does not require a licence to carry out the activities which it has been carrying out since 27.05.2005.

7) On a complaint made by a person or persons the Additional Magistrate of Colombo issued a search warrant to the Criminal Investigations Department to search CBNSat’s premises. SonicNet Technology (Pvt.) Ltd’s equipment is situated at the same location.

8) CID officers raided the premises of CBNSat and SonicNet Technologies (Private) Ltd. On 06.06.2006. Both companies cooperated fully with the CID.

9) Although the learned Magistrate granted permission for the search to take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. the presence of the CID officers continued till much later in the evening.

10) The Learned Magistrate did not in his order confer any power on the CID to seize or switch off SonicNet’s equipment.

11) Because of the equipment of SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. Being switched off unlawfully and without any reasonable of justifiable ground the customers of CBNSat cannot access the channels mentioned above any longer.

12) A Magistrates’ Court hearing took place on 8th June 2006 at which lawyers appearing for SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. Made extensive submissions. However the proceedings have been adjourned for Monday the 12th of June, 2006.

13) CBNSat is hopeful that the learned Magistrate will make such Orders as are necessary to undo the damage caused by the action taken by the CID in excess of the powers granted to it under the search warrant.


1) Before the equipment of SonicNet Technologies was switched off, CBNSat sent a message to its customers on Tuesday night at approximately 9 p.m. informing them that they would be unable to access the channels due to unavoidable circumstances.
2) CBNSat has instructed its staff to inform its customers that CBNSat has sought legal advice and will be taking appropriate action in Court.
3) CBNSat will issue press releases as often as possible to keep its customers informed of the progress of the legal actions being taken by it and by SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd.

As for SonicNet Technologies (Private) Limited, it has also made representations to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to hold an inquiry and to restore the service pending such inquiry.

Until the CID action is reversed or reviewed, SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. will, unless it is otherwise advised, be unable to switch its equipment back on.

Until SonicNet Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd.’s equipment is switched back on, approximately 20,000 customers of CBNSat in all parts of Sri Lanka and abroad will be unable to access the above channels.

CBNSat deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to its customers but vows that no effort will be spared to restore services as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

The Daily news article today is at least acceptable (13.06.2006).The Daily mirror has clearly indicated today that the CID has carried out this actions to please Mr.Lakshman Hulugalle,And now the CID has to go to its masters den as the magistrate has issued warrents on SATnet along with LBN & COMET FOR COMPLIANCE ON THE LICENCE.

We can now see how these operators have functioned and there is a chance that some of these operators will also fall into trouble along with the matermind in this undercutting,putting thousands of innocent subscribers victimised.Its time people take action against thieves who are continuesly involved in shady deals at the stake of the General public,CBNsat shoud claim a clossal sum as damages from this man for depriving 25000 subscribers of quality programmes and for undercutting and trying to gain on his unsussful network with a mere 500 subscribers and which would be zero in the comming months when they learn what kind of man is running their network.

CBNsat should start retransmission with a bang,preferably with TEN SPORTS & REST OF THE STAR PACKAGE,We understand there are certain requirements to be fulfilled to obtain this,sooner the better,Then no one is going to paly around with you.

Anonymous said...

Hay all COMET users somthing is going on about COMET