Friday, July 07, 2006

There's a major security concern needing attention - Counsel (The Island 6th July 2006)

Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya adjourned proceedings , in the CBNSat case and the other two cases till August 15, to enable the police to file a plaint against any company if necessary. In making the order the Magistrate said any affected party could apply to the Minister and obtain his approval prior to that date. He said he would permit any party to re-open the case before that date and he would then make a suitable order.

President's Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, appearing for the Minister of Mass Media and Information, submitted to Court that as directed by the Court, he had arranged a meeting with the director and the technical staff of CBNSat and the Ministry. He said the meeting was held last friday and some important matters were discussed. There, a representative of the Defense Ministry had explained how their technicians had decoded the CBNSat transmission and were able to view the LTTE broadcasts. He said the representatives of CBNSat had no answer to that revelation.

At that stage President's Counsel M.L.M Ameen intervened saying that the LTTE bogey was being spoken about to prevent his client from carrying on a legitimate business, whereas others, who are broadcasting the same from India, are permitted to do so.

Counsel Warnakulasuriya told the court that he was not for a moment accusing anyone of being used by the LTTE, but there are many matters that have to be considered before issuing a license. For instance, there are many questions thatr have been raised by the officials of the Ministry. Why has CBNSat and the LTTE used the same Satellite Panamsat 12 satellite, to uplink and downlink signals? A major security concern needs ro be addressed, he said.

Earlier, Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulatunga tendered a report of the CID, wherein the CID had decided to obtain the assistance of the Interpol for further investigations in the CBNSat case.

To which Counsel Ameen, appearing for CBNSat, said the CID need not obtain the assistance of any other agency as his client would fully co-operate with the government and the CID to unravel any matter that has not so far been resolved. He pointed out that on the last occasion State Counsel Gihan Kulatunga had agreed to permit the broadcast by the channel until the matter was resolved by the government.

The senior State Counsel said that what was recorded was that, when the application is made and if the license issuing authority, the Rupavahini Corporation or the TRC, is willing to consider issuing the license, then they have no objection in permitting the CBNSat to broadcast.

The Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya then pointed out that when the chairman of TRC Kanchana Ratwatte appeared in Court there was a suggestion that an amicable settlement could be reached.

Counsel Warnakulasuriya told court that according to the statement of accounts submitted with the proposal there were certain areas which needed thorough investigation. CBNSat representatives had told the Ministry that the total share equity was 59 million, but borrowings from non banking related parties were 119 million. They had also revealed that Satellite Panamsat 12 had given them 6 months free air time. They had also stated that they had decided to have transmissions to the Maldives and then to the entire South Asian Region. These projects, he said would then be beyond the control of the Ministry and it was necessary to formulate rules and amend the Act to have rules governing this broadcast.

Magistrate : What about the other Television Stations like SatNet?
"The same rules apply to all. We will not permit of issue a license to any one of them unless they come within the criteria adopted by the government,"

Counsel Ameen then said that inspite of the order made by the Magistrate, Satnet was still broadcasting from India. And, the accused in that case was commiting contempt of Court. He requested the Magistrate to release goods seized by the CID to enable them to resume broadcasting.

At this stage, the Magistrate said that as the inquiries are not concluded he was compelled to give a long date.

Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa said that as far as his client was concerned, LBN Cable Television was local operation and that they have submitted their proposals to the Ministry and the Court should permit the channel to operate while the government and the Rupavahini Corporation can supervise. They had been in operating without any security concern for many years.

Counsel Anuja Premaratne on behalf of Satnet said that as the television broadcast is from India, they have not committed an offence. Snr State Counsel Kulatunga stated that Satnet had imported on a vendor license after the institution of this case. "There was no vendor license to operate before. On that basis charges would be framed in due course. The company has changed its directors and furter investigation was necessary to file a plaint against the accused."

Counsel Warnakulasuriya said that the minister was not in a position to issue a license to anyone of these companies until the Act was amended. As far as the Ministry is concerned the Minister has obtained the cabinet approval to amend the Rupavahini Act and put in place regulations to control and any Television broadcast and it will require at least three months to have the amendments legislated.

Senior State Counsel Mr. Gihan Kulatunge appeared for the CID.
Mr. Hemantha Warnakulasuriya PC with Mr. Kavinda Pasqua instructed by Inoka Gamage appeared for the Minister of Mass Media and Communication.
Mr. M.L.M Ameem with Mr. Ian Fernando, Mr. Riyad Ameen instructed by Jogn Wilson appeared for the accused CBNSat.
Mr. Kuvera De Zoysa, instructed by Sudath Perera Associates, appeared for LBN cables.
Ar. Anuja Premaratne appeared for Satnet.

9 comments:

dee.panadura said...

Can someone be paid some big some and get the nessesary approval to air?

I'm willing to contribute, of course in a very small way. Because there is nothing credible to watch in the local channels and the channels which could be watched is not very clear.

Cable Guy said...

Yah, I can put in some small amount too, if some thing like this is up.

Realist said...

CBNSAT STAFF ARE REAL STUPID AS ARE THE DEFENCE GUYS. CBN SHOULD HAVE TAKEN TAKEN ALONG A MERE RADIO RECEIVER ALONG FOR THE PRESENTATION AND MENTIONED THAT THE EELAM RADIO BROADCAST WAS BEING RECEIVED. IF THE PRESENT LOGIC APPLIES, THEN ALL THE RADIO SETS SHOUD BE BANNED OR ALTERNATIVELY THEIR RECEIVING FREQUENCY REGULATED SO THAT NO VOICE OF EELAM CAN BE RECEIVED. IT IS EASY TO SELL THIS ARGUMENT TO THE DEFENCE GUYS (OR YOU CAN PAY THEM TO BUY IT). THE LAWYER FOR THE MEDIA MINISTRY WILL CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THIS LOGIC ( WHICH RULES THIS CRAZY PLACE )

Lightning_Struck_Tower said...

CBNsat has filed a case in the supreme court (ITN news @ 12 noon today) asking to remove the suspension of transmissions. They are not going to sit and wonder till govt mofos draft regulations. Let's hope they get a judge who hasnt become a lapdog of the government.

OWN EM ALL CBN! (including some total assholes who posted in this blog claiming they are "customers".)

cbnrep said...

We will not give REFUNDS for customers!

ozman said...

hope everything becomes allright,i got mugged,and the police caught him and recovered 70% of my valuables,now i have go to the courts,never been in that scnario,can someone advice me,thanks

Lightning_Struck_Tower said...

hey ozman, sorry to hear about that but you have nothing to worry. Go to the court when

your case is on and talk to a lawyer there. He'll charge something like rs750 from you

and will talk on behalf of you. You just have to testify against the pickpocket and it

should be over in 2 hearings max (some of my frnds faced the same scenario and cases

were over in 2 hearings). But just hope you dont get the magistrate who's ruling the

CBNsat case coz if you do he'll postpone the case 37 times and will ask you to get

permission from LTTE to recover your valubles. goodluck

Anyone know the supreme court hearing date? Wish cbnsat will get someone like the judge

who gave ruling against Daya Sandagiri.

ozman said...

thanks lightning thats a relief to me,the thingis that i lost $1000,and they recoeverd 700,thank god,now facing the courts,oh well atleast i found something better than nothing thanks a lot you guys

dee.panadura said...

Yeah right, Major security concern.

One poor innocent guy was beaten to death by CID and cops because he was seen as a 'major security concern'