Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sarath Amunugama's speech

On Channel One MTV News 1st there was a report about a speech made by Former Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama.

Did anyone notice the context of the speech. He spoke of the future of television. He said that in the future taxing of tv programmes will not be possible and he also mentioned about DVB-S. He said that in the future local tv stations will be replaced by satellite based broadcasters operating on the DVB-S DTH mode. At least we figure that is what he was trying to explain.

We could not get the whole text of the speech that was shown but he sure mentioned that DTH is the future of broadcasting. Well at least it is nice to know that at least one person in the government understands that DTH is the future.

By the way does he hold any ministerial porfolios still? Given below is a news report that appeared on Lanka Business Online ( website. Anyone who knows about any news regarding CBNsat please post them here as the days progress.

Cable operator CBNSat seeks defence clearance - LBO 29th Aug 2006

August 29, 2006 (LBO) – Cable operator CBNSat has sought Defence Ministry clearance to re-start transmission, as the company steps up its public campaign appealing to authorities to expedite their government approvals.

The local cable company was shut down in June this year and equipment of affiliate company SonicNet Technology sealed by authorities for allegedly operating without the required broadcast licenses.

The cable operator sought legal recourse and the courts recently allowed CBN Sat to begin transmission pending approval from relevant government authorities.

"We have sent our application to the Defense Ministry. They will file their findings by September 4 and we can submit our appeal by September 12," Dilani Nandasiri Legal Manager CBNSat told LBO.

"We have also applied for a license from the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation," she said.

Pending official paperwork, CBNSat was allowed to run test transmission.

"We can commence transmission within 30 minutes of getting clearance from court," Nandasiri said while declining to disclose losses incurred since the government sealed its equipment early June.

The local cable company has been carrying out its transmissions since mid 2005 and has more than 20,000 subscribers throughout the island.

Over 100,000 viewers in Sri Lanka enjoy CBNSat which has a maximum of 28 international TV channels and packages ranging from 500 to 1375 rupees, to suit consumer taste.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Email to Swarnavahini Live @ 8 ........... 29th Aug 2006

The following email was sent to Swarnavahini today regarding the inconveniences done to CBNsat & LBN, its employees and the subscribers.

Dear Sir,

We are TV Radio Sri Lanka and we operate several blogs in this country that cater to the informational needs of the Sri Lankan public

TV & Radio Sri Lanka -
CBNSat Forum -
Comet Cable Forum -
LBN Cable TV Forum -

The first blog provides information about the Radio & TV Industry in Sri Lanka and the rest cater to the customers of the relevant Cable tv service providers. We are totally independant of the cable tv operators and any tv station.

Sir, the tv channel run by the EAP Group Swarnavahini was available on the CBNsat platform and was much clearer than the regular transmission.

As you may be well aware CBNsat and LBN were shutdown on false pretext on June 6th 2006.

However it is sad to note that Swarnavahini Live @ 8 is not providing any coverage of the court case involving CBNsat and LBN. Is it due to competition between the EAP Network channels and the channels available on CBNsat or is it because there seems to be politics involved behind the closure of these cable tv providers. We hope Swarnavahini is not avoiding the CBNSat closure news.

There are many subscribers inconvienced by the closure of these cable tv channels CBNsat (20,000 customers) and LBN (10,000 customers) having a total viewership of over 100,000.

Swarnavahini claims to be the most balanced news provider in Sri Lanka but we do not see it living upto it's reputation as being one of them.

We would like to request Swarnavahini to highlight the inconviences suffered by the subscribers of CBNsat as well as LBN and also to urge the authorities to allow CBNsat and LBN to restart operations.

There have been several people living in outstation areas who are unable to receive the Swarnavahini transmissions due to their location and have been enjoying the broadcast over CBNsat.

We hope that due consideration will be given and the plight of the customers, employees (over 300 employees) and the injustices suffered by the companies (LBN and CBNSat) will highlighted on Swarnavahini.

This email will be posted on the CBNsat blog without divulging your email address for all our readers to see.

Thanking you for your time

Admin - CBNsat Forum

For those of you who want to email Swarnavahini and tell them about your inconveniences regarding the closure of CBNsat and LBN please email them on "" and indicate them to forward the email to the Managing Director.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Email to MBC News First ........... 28th Aug 2006

The following email was sent to Maharaja Broadcasting Corporation's News First Division today regarding the inconviences done to CBNsat & LBN, its employees and the subscribers.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have for the first time in Sri Lanka formed a blog that gives information on the TV & Radio Industry in Sri Lanka. The aim is to inform the people and request the government for the introduction of digital tv and radio in sri lanka. As you may know several countries in the world are introducing digital tv and radio and have set deadlines for this purpose. In Sri Lanka there is no such plan.

Anyway we expanded our reach from the general purpose and had specialised blogs for the cable tv companies in sri lanka.

Please find the addresses of the blogs given below

TV & Radio Sri Lanka -
CBNSat Forum -
Comet Cable Forum -
LBN Cable TV Forum -

At the moment the blogs assigned to the individual companies such as CBNsat and LBN are concentrating on pressurising the authorities to restore services of these companies. These are independant blogs and not affliated to the companies in any way.

CBNsat has over 20,000 subscribers and LBN has over 10,000 subscribers and the viewship exceeds over 100,000.

These two companies were shutdown by the authorities and upto now they are not giving any consideration to the people who bought the connections from these companies.

People have spent their hard earned money to purchase these connections to watch educational programmes, sports programmes, etc which are not provided by the local tv channels.

News First is one of the most popular news bulletins in Sri Lanka, if not the most popular and Channel One MTV is the only private channel to carry out an English News bulletin.

Why has News First not given proper coverage of the court cases involving CBNsat and LBN. The News First motto is "We Report, You Decide". There has been no "We Report" on the matter regarding CBNsat and LBN. Where is Action TV which highlights the inconviences of the people in this country. Surely LBN and CBNsat customers are also being inconvienced and they are also citizens of Sri Lanka.

CBNsat and LBN are also media companies and it is very sad to note that News First is ignoring it and also the subscribers of these services.

This email that we are sending you will to be published on the LBN and CBNsat blogs.

We request News First to give due coverage and highlight the injustices done to the company, its employees and specially its subscribers in all three languages.

However at the moment it is regrettable that News First is not giving any information regarding the CBNsat and LBN case but we sincerely hope that this will change and News First will highlight the injustices done towards all parties involved in this case.

Thanking you for your time. Awaiting a favourable reply.


CBNsat appeals to the President

The following advertisements appeared in yesterdays (Aug 27th) The Sunday Times, The Sunday Leader & Sunday Lankadeepa newspapers. Please forward this to all your contacts.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The fight has to move into Top Gear

Yesterday was a very disappointing day for the customers of CBNsat and also for the employees and management of CBNsat. But it is time to put all that behind us and to continue our fight for justice.

We have posted below the reports from the Daily News, Island and Daily Mirror regarding yesterdays court case and we are also receiving reports that some of our readers have sent emails to the editors of certain newspapers expressing their frustration over yesterdays court ruling.

We would like someone knowledgeable in law to clarify the meaning of the following statement in the Daily Mirror report which states "Objections are to be filed on or before September 4 and the counter affidavit on or before September 12." The main text of the report is posted below this post.

Like we stated previously the motive of these corrupt people is to bring the company into bankruptcy by dragging this case since they cannot get a verdict against CBNsat. But they can have sleepless night because we will not let them do this nor will we let them get away with this. It is very sad indeed to note that a government which calls themselves the representatives of the people of sri lanka are not giving ear to the grievances of the people in this country. We understand that there are more serious issues in this country, but it makes one wonder how they will solve the more serious issues if they cannot solve a small matter like this.

Our hearts go out to the staff of CBNSat but it is high time they also took some sort of action because these corrupt people who go around making people jobless. Staff of CBNsat it is time to start something to make your voice heard.

We wonder how long this Defence Ministry approval will take but by judging the efficiency of our local authorities it will not surprise us if it is not anytime soon. By the way what is the BOI doing about all this? They should also bear the responsibility of what is happening since they approved the application of CBNsat. We wonder whether the new so called world class taxi service will also be sealed after one year under the allegation of carrying terror suspects. Will 3G be banned after one year? Will CDMA phones be banned?

Does Tv Lanka, Srilakvahini have Defence Ministry approval or are they somehow exempt due to political affliations? They probably are. What is the opposition party doing on behalf of CBNsat customers? Nothing at the moment.

People it is time to fire out in all directions. It is time to take a tougher stance on this issue, please email declaring your support for this fight to CBNsat Subscribers Unite, lets encourage them since they have been fighting on your behalf. The CBNsat staff have also got to take action, since they are in danger of loosing their jobs.

Today CBNsat has got a magisterial court hearing which is nothing more than a showcase hearing since the judge in the magisterial court is incapable of making any decisions. We wonder how he became a judge in the first place. Please keep us updated on the indecisive statement made at the magistrates court as the day progresses and any information on CBNsat as the days go by.

Defence clearance prior to granting relief : SC - Daily Mirror Aug 24th, 2006

When the Fundamental Rights application filed by SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd against preventing it from operating its Communiq Broadband Network (CBN Sat) transmission, came up before the Supreme Court yesterday (23), Court was of the view that prior to granting any relief, Defence Clearance had to be obtained and fixed the matter to be supported for leave to proceed and for interim relief for September 18.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justices Saleem Marsoof and Andrew Somawansa.

Counsel for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) informed Court that the President, acting under his powers, had directed to obtain Defence Clearance from a committee appointed for that purpose, prior to granting license.

He moved for time to inform Court of the progress made by the Defence Clearance. Objections are to be filed on or before September 4 and the counter affidavit on or before September 12.

The Supreme Court had earlier made directions for a compromise settlement on the consent of all parties, to expedite the operation of CBN Sat transmission, with safeguards to monitor it.

Observing that the equipment in issue, had been seized and sealed on June 6 this year, by a Magistrate order, provision had been given to Petitioner SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, by the Supreme Court, to inspect and service the equipment and also, if necessary, to carry out test transmissions, due to the sophisticated nature of the equipment

Petitioner cited Chief Inspector U.K. Mahindadasa, SP A.R. Vaidyalankara and SI L. Tilak Bandara, Police Commercial Crimes Unit –II, the IGP and the Attorney General (AG) as Respondents.

The Petitioner states that Communiq Broadband Network (CBN) is an associate company situated at No. 83, George R.De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 13.

The Minister had issued a license on the recommendation of the TRC, for it to operate an External Gateway for International Telecommunications (EGO License) valid up to January 31, 2013.

It alleged that, on June 6, the first three Respondents wrongfully, unlawfully and/or without any right, sealed and seized its equipment and prevented it from using its equipment and operating its services.

The Petitioner pleaded that the Respondents claimed that they sealed and seized the premises under a Magistrate order. Petitioner contends that the Magistrate did not order or authorise to do so, in his order and search warrant.

The Petitioner is asking Court to grant compensation of Rs 100 million and an interim order directing the Respondents to remove the seal and seizure of its equipment and not to obstruct it from using the said premises.

Romesh de Silva P.C. with Sugath Caldera, Riad Ameen and Evaj de Silva, instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam, appeared for the Petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Sathya Hettige with Senior State Counsel Sumathi Dharmawardana appeared for the 1st to 5th Respondents and the AG. D.S. Wijesinghe P.C. appeared for the intervenient petitioner the Minister of Mass Media and Information. Palitha Kumarasinghe P.C. appeared for the TRC.

By S.S. Selvanayagam

Defence Ministry clearance needed for satellite transmission - The Island 24th Aug 2006

Defence Ministry clearance and approval is needed for a satellite tranmsission licence under the SLRC Act Palitha Kumarasinghe P.C told the Supreme Court yesterday when he appeared for the TRC. The respondent in the fundamental rights violation application filed by the Sonic Net Technologies Private Limited, is challenging the seizure of their satellite transmission equipment and the sealing of their premises in Colombo on June 6th, 2006 by the CID.

Mr. Kumarasinghe said that the applications for licences were closed about a month back and the President had directed that thereafter, licences, issued under the SLRC Act should be granted only with Defence Ministry approval.

Counsel said that a committee comprising military personnel will study the issue and a report will be submitted to court, shortly. Any confidential documents will be submitted in a sealed envelope by counsel, for the perusal of Court.

Mr. Sathya Hettige, Additional Solicitor General said that, the Colombo Magistrate had permitted the servicing and the test transmission of the equipment. But general transmission was not allowed yet. He said that the earlier direction of the Supreme Court followed this issue. He wanted the status quo on this issue to remain the same for some time more and only test transmission and servicing should be allowed. The SC granted the request made by Mr. Hettige.

Romesh De Silva P.C who appeared for the petitioner said that his client had been operating for one year and both the SLTC and the TRC had made use of the clients good service. There had been no allegations against his client, whose premises were sealed on June 6th, 2006.

The TRC, the Minister of Media & Mass Communication and the CID will file further papers on the issue of granting satellite licence to Sonic Net Technologies and a few other similar companies.

The petition will be called before the Court again on September 18, 2006. Romesh De Ailva P.C, appeared with Sugath Caldera, instructed by G.G Arulpragasam for the petitioner, Sonic Net Technologies.

The Additional Solicitor General Sathya Hettige, appeared with the State Counsel Sumathi Dharmawardene, for the CID and the Attorney General,

Palitha Kumarasinghe P.C, appeared for the TRC. D.S Wijesinghe P.C, appeared for the Minister of Media and Mass Communication.

The Bench comprised, the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justice Saleem Marsoof and Justice Andrew Somawansa.

by Chitra Weerarathne

SC allows application to file several issues pertaining to discussions held between Media Minister, CBN SAT - Daily News Aug 24th 2006

The Supreme Court allowed an application by the counsel for the Media Minister to file several issues pertaining to discussions between the Media Minister and the broadcasting company, when the CBN SAT rights case was taken up, yesterday.

President’s Counsel D.S. Wijesinghe made the application on behalf of Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa who had discussions with the petitioner company regarding the granting of licences for the Direct to Home (DTH) satellite broadcasting.

The President’s Counsel submitted that during the discussions several important issues had been raised and moved to appraise the Court of them.

President’s Counsel Palitha Kumarasinghe for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission submitted that the petitioner company should get the clearance and the approval of the Defence Ministry to operate the satellite broadcasting in terms of the Rupavahini Corporation Act.

The Court noted that the petitioner company might as well go through these formalities due to the security situation.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva submitted that the petitioner company was suffering heavy losses due to the closure. He submitted that around 20 new competitors were seeking licences; therefore, company was at a risk of losing its viewers.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC and Justices Saleem Marsoof PC and Andrew Somawansa.

Petitioner Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. cited four officers attached to the Criminal Investigation Department including Inspector U.L. Mahindadasa and the Attorney General as respondents.

The Petitioner company stated that the respondents CID officers had sealed its office purportedly acting on a search warrant on June 6, in violation of its fundamental rights. The petitioner alleged that around 20,000 of its viewership was not able to watch the channels broadcast by the petitioner consequent to the actions of the respondents.

Romesh de Silva PC with Sugath Caldera instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for the petitioner.

D.S. Wijesinghe PC appeared for the Media Minister. Palitha Kumarasinghe PC appeared for the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

ASG Saththya Hettige PC appeared for the respondents.

The case was put off for September 18.

By Wasantha Ramanayake

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conspiracy Against CBNSat

Conspiracy is the only word to describe what is happening now. The CBNsat Supreme Court hearing is now postponed to September 18th. The postponement came after the Media Ministry says that they have submitted the CBNsat license applications to the Defense Ministry for further considerations. Accordingly till the clearance from the Defense Ministry (MoD) is given CBNsat will not be allowed to operate. We understand from the reports that when the CBNsat lawyers asked for the date in which they can commence operations the Chief Justice has said that due to this being a national security issue a date cannot be given. Therefore on the Sep 18th the Media Ministry has to hand over a document to the courts but this this is not a must and they can always say that the MoD has not given them the report.

The motive behind these moves is obviously to drive the company bankrupt. With the issuances of 3G licenses to mobile phones, etc. We wonder how the DTH technology can be the only threat to national security. Then the CDMA phones and 3G phones, etc and even companies like TV Lanka which is operated by a big time liar is also a threat to national security. It is a crime to victimise a company that has been cleared by the SLRC and put 20,000 plus customers who have spent their hard earned money into this type of a situation. This is indeed the work of people who have connections to the higher ups in the government and there is no doubt about this. Whether the Media Minister himself has an interest in shutting down CBNSat since they seem to be people who are dragging this case further is yet to be seen.

This is going to damage this country's image in terms of foreign investments, etc. These authorities have no consideration about the public who voted them into these positions and they think that they were born into these positions. We cannot let them go on destroying business at this rate.

The customers of CBNsat who are definitely demoralised by this decision must not give up their fight. They will have to take this fight to newer heights and see to it that these corrupt individuals are exposed alongside with their lapdog politicians.

CBNsat is however allowed to service their equipment and carry out test transmission under the supervision of the TRC. CBNsat is scheduled to have the Magistrates court hearing tomorrow and we cannot hope that anything useful will come out of that one because that too has been dragging for a long time.

We would like our readers to keep us updated on any new developments about CBNsat and those of you who would like to contact the Media Ministry can do so on these phone numbers

Mr. W.B.Ganegala
Secretary of the Media Ministry
Tel : 011 2513367 / 2513458
Fax: 011 2513365

Ms. Mallika Joseph
Coordinating secretary to Mr. Ganegala
Tel : 011 2513367
Fax : 011 2513365

Hon. Minister Mr. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa M.P.
Hon. Minister of Mass Media & Information
Tel : 011 2513370 / 2513508
Fax: 011 2513440

The Ball is in your courts Your Honour Chief Justice

Today (23rd Aug) CBNSat will be having their Supreme Court hearing. According to the previous Supreme Court hearing the licensing issues will have to be finalised by today. As of now we are getting reports that the highly efficient Media Ministry has not done anything. This shows the respect that they have for the law in this country. They obviously think that thay are above the law.

We know that the Chief Justice has issued some landmark verdicts and we hope that the same will apply once again. The Media Ministry asks for one month at each court hearing to issue the license and this is nothing but a ploy to drive the company bankrupt.

We demand that even if the license is issued or not today we want CBNSat to be back on air from today. The hanky panky of the Media Ministry must stop. Your Honour Chief Justice we request you to rule that CBNSat should start operations immediately and please take stern action against the officials who are holding ministerial posts since they are holding such posts because the people voted them into power.

Sir, you are the only one who can end this case that has been instigated by corrupt officials.

We would like to request all our readers to keep us posted on the time of todays hearing and also update us on the result of todays hearing.

CBNSat matter before Supreme Court today - The Island 23rd Aug 2006

At a Supreme Court hearing held on August 3rd 2006, the Chief Justice ordered the relevant authorities to take necessary measures to remove the seals from the equipment for maintaining and servicing purposes as well as the commencement of test transmission. This order was carried out by the CID officials on the 8th of August.

The Chief Justice requested the parties concerned to have a meeting to finalise matters they have with regards to the issue of any licenses and conditions. Even though the Media Ministry, through their lawyers, requested the Court to allow them one month to finalise the licences and any conditions the Chief Justice conveyed that this was too long and the time limit was set at two weeks. The 2 weeks limit express on the 17th of August 2006. The authorities will have time to resolve it before the 23rd of August when the case will be called again.

CBNSat is hopeful that the Media Ministry and TRC will finalise the issue of the license or what ever conditions that they may want to impose without any further delay, taking into consideration the plight of around 100,000 viewers who have been disadvantaged form the prolonged closure and constant delays that CBNSat has been subjected to.

CBNSat has stated in Court that they will have no objection to allow and aid the authorities in the supervision and monitoring of their transmissions in order to allay any feared threat to national security. The Chief Justice commented that should any unsuitable content broadcast with regard to any terrorist propaganda, surely at least one of the many subscribers would have brought it to the notice of the relevant authorities, which has not happened to date.

With regards to this issue, officials of The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the CID have visited the CBNSat premise and after a thorough inspection have handed in reports to the Courts Representatives of CBNSat Affirm that these reports clearly state that there is no transmission of any terrorist channels and the decoders sold by CBNSat cannot be used to receive any particular terrorist channels, thereby eliminating the concerns over the threat to national security.

The officials at CBNSat have gone a step further and agreed to comply with any regulations the necessary authorities would want them to adhere to Through this they hope to have a much better understanding with the authorities that would cause less confusion among the authorities in the future.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Press Release appears on Newspapers

The CBNSat Press Release has appeared in several newspapers like The Sunday Times and The Nation. There are other newspapers who will be publishing this press release within the next few days, according to informed sources.

The Sunday Times published the article under the heading "Media ministry ignoring CJ orders" and The Nation gave a summary of the press briefing.

We demand that the authorities consider the plight of the subscribers and also respect the decision of the Chief Justice and allow CBNSat to operate from Wednesday 23rd Aug.

CBNSat Subscribers Unite is doing a great job and we really appreciate their efforts to fight for the rights of CBNSat Subscribers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

CBNSat Subscribers Unite Press Release (Sinhala)

The Sinhala Language version of the Press Release from CBNSat Subscribers Unite is given above. The Press Release was made in English and Sinhala. Please forward this to all your contacts.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

CBNSat Subscribers Unite Press Release (English)

The English Language version of the Press Release from CBNSat Subscribers Unite is given above. The Press Release was made in English and Sinhala. Please forward this to all your contacts.

Call and make yourself heard

You did not read the heading wrong. It is time for the CBNSat subscribers to make their voice heard and put pressure on the authorities as individuals. You did it once using letters and now it is time to use your phones. The last time Mr. W.B. Ganegala Secretary of the Media Ministry spoke to CBNSat Subscribers Unite he said that he was waiting for the Court ruling on the CBNSat matter and he cannot do anything before the ruling is given.

At the Supreme Court on Aug 3rd the Chief Justice gave a ruling to issue licenses and finalise everything before 23rd Aug but at the Magistrates Court on Aug 15th the lawyers representing the Media Ministry ask for a further one month. At every court hearing they ask for one month to draft regulations. We have to pressurise them to act fast and not to delay this matter any further. All of the other Cable TV companies are functioning except for CBNSat and LBN and this is grossly unfair.

CBNSat Subscribers Unite have addressed a letter to H.E. The President, Media Minister and the Media Secretary (please read post below) but your phone calls to them will add to the pressure that is being exerted. We would request all the callers to get the above points across in a polite manner and request the Media Ministry to facilitate whatever the ministry can do to execute the Supreme Court order. Please post the result of your phone conversation with the authorities as a comment if possible.

Given below are the phone numbers of the concerned authorities
Mr. W.B.Ganegala
Secretary of the Media Ministry
Tel : 011 2513367 / 2513458
Fax: 011 2513365

Ms. Mallika Joseph
Coordinating secretary to Mr. Ganegala
Tel : 011 2513367
Fax : 011 2513365

Hon. Minister Mr. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa M.P.
Hon. Minister of Mass Media & Information
Tel : 011 2513370 / 2513508
Fax: 011 2513440

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Letter to the authorities from CBNSat Subscribers Unite Group

After the Supreme Court Verdict the CBNSat Customers have given ample time for the authorities to get CBNsat back on air. But it seems that they are not at all interested in the subscribers of CBNSat. Therefore a decision has been taken by the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group, and a letter has been sent to His Excellency the President, Hon. Minister of Mass Media and Information and Media Secretary of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information. Given below is a copy of the letter.

16th August 2006

Mr. W. B. Ganegala,
Hon Secretary,
Ministry of Mass Media and Information,

No. 163,
Kirulapone Mawatha,
Colombo 05.

Cc: His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksha Esq.,
Hon. President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Hon. Minister Mr. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa
Minister of Mass Media and Information


Dear Sirs,

We are writing to you as inconvenienced subscribers of CBNSat DTH Satellite TV service. It’s more than 2 months since the shutting down of CBNSat on 6th June 2006, letting down more than 20,000 subscribers. (More than 100,000 viewers).

We would like to bring to your notice that the welfare of the subscribers of CBNSat has been disregarded by all relevant parties up to date. The authorities showed no concern about the consumer whatsoever at the time of shutting down of the CBNSat services and afterwards.

CBNSat was by no means an underground operation. It is a BOI approved enterprise and the Head of TRC and then Media Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera endorsed the operations at the launch. It was advertised and featured on the state newspapers and even the state television channels were using CBNSat platform to transmit their programs to remote locations where they couldn’t reach by a terrestrial broadcast.

Most of the CBNSat subscribers are from remote areas where the signal quality of the local terrestrial TV channels is very poor. All of us have spent our hard earned money on CBNSat equipment to get Information, entertainment and access quality educational programs for our children. Most of the rural subscribers have bought this system under the easy payment scheme because they have no other way of accessing local television programs and quality international infotainment channels.

Through CBNSat these remote subscribers have been watching the local TV channels including the state channels Rupavahini, Channel EYE and ITN
with the best level of picture / sound quality which they’ve been missing for all these years. With the sudden shutdown of CBNSat they’ve been deprived of access to information.

We, the subscribers of CBNSat have invested in a legitimate product endorsed by the government authorities such as BOI and TRC and by shutting them down after almost a year of operation; we believe that our rights as consumers have been grossly violated

In a fast moving, rapidly changing world, it's vital for a nation be provided with all means of obtaining information, in order to be competitive with the rest of the world. Shutting down of CBNSat sends a negative message to prospective investors who wish to come to Sri Lanka and invest in this type of high-tech business ventures. So dragging this issue further will not only put us, the subscribers into utter inconvenience but as a country the image of Sri Lanka will further go down.

This is contrary to the Governments’ initiative to develop Sri Lanka as the regional center of the Asian IT dissemination networks
. (Page 69, Mahinda Chinthana – English Version)

We, the subscribers of CBNSat have waited patiently for more than 2 months for the justice done to us as law abiding citizens of the country. But day by day what we see is that the authorities are not caring about protecting our rights.

We got to understand that Hon. Chief Justice have given a Supreme Court ruling on the 3rd August 2006 to the authorities to finalize the licensing issues by the 23rd August 2006 without putting its’ subscribers to further inconvenience. But according to media reports today the Media Ministry have again asked for another month yesterday (15th August 2006) to bring in the new regulations. It is noted by us that the lawyers of the Media ministry is keeping on asking for 1 month at all court proceedings. We as law abiding citizens wonder how the other Cable and Satellite TV operators are serving their subscribers without this new license and only CBNSat and LBN Cable is shut and we the subscribers of the said services are discriminated and out of

So while thanking you for the positive steps you have taken on bringing this area under government regulation, We urge the Ministry of Mass Media and Information to let CBNSat to operate at least to the existing subscriber base till the new regulations and licensing scheme becomes active.

Thank you and wish you success in all your noble efforts in serving our country.

CBNSat Subscriber Unite”
Tel :

Visit Online petition at

How long does it take.....

During yesterdays Magistrates Court hearing there have been no charges brought against CBNSat according to the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group. In todays Daily Mirror it says that "State Counsel Gihan Kultunga appearing for the CID moved a date to file charges against the TV networks." This we assume are to bring charges against the TV networks for broadcasting without a license. But this license and regulation does not exist.

CBNSat had given the reply saying "Counsel for CBNSat M.L.M Ameen PC said they has obtained permission from the Supreme Court to run test transmissions. On the last date of hearings of their case in the Supreme Court there was a proposal for a settlement and the CID need not file action against them as the matter would be settled." Please read post below for the report in The Daily Mirror.

Therefore accordingly we can be assured that the terrorist link charges have been dropped and hopefully no self proclaimed intelluctual will try anything fancy. All eyes will be on the Supreme Court on Aug 23rd as they take up the case. Since the Chief Justice over ruled the Media Ministry's request for a one month time period for the issuance of a license at the Supreme Court hearing on Aug 3rd. They approach the Magistrate's Court and also ask for an one month time period. What were they doing from Aug 3rd upto yesterday? The two week time period given by the Supreme Court will end on Aug 17th but they have time till the Supreme Court hearing on Aug 23rd.

We sincerely hope that the Chief Justice will take firm action against these people who do not know the definition of two weeks and would see an end to this court battle by issuing a court order or whatever is required, to allow CBNSat to resume transmissions temporarily until the license is issued. Your Honour Chief Justice we thank you for the decisions that you have given upto now, but it is our firm belief that you will have to intervene to sort this out permanently. The lower court of Sri Lanka is on its way to obtain a bad reputation.

We would like all our fellow readers to keep us updated on the situation regarding CBNSat as the days progress and also regarding any test transmission.

TV Station Licences to be freely issued : Media Ministry - Daily Mirror 16th Aug 2006

Licence to run TV stations would be issued freely to anybody once the draft regulations come into operation, counsel for the Media Ministry, Hemaka Warnakulasuriya told the Additional Magistrate of Colombo yesterday.

He said that once the regulations were drafted Cable TV operators would have to adhere to the regulations. The drafting of regulations would take about another month and requested court to keep the cases pending until such time.

The counsel for SatNet, Anujaya Premaratne said that to enforce rules and regulations in retrospect was bad and those who have already obtained licenses should be allowed to continue with their licenses without calling for new applications from them.

Counsel for LBN said that the Supreme Court had allowed CBNSat to run test transmissions and to operate their equipment without telecasting the programmes. On those grounds, they too made an application to the magistrate to operate test transmissions. Their application was granted and they will start test transmissions on Thursdays.

State Counsel Gihan Kultunga appearing for the CID moved a date to file charges against the TV networks. Counsel for CBNSat M.L.M Ameen PC said they has obtained permission from the Supreme Court to run test transmissions. On the last date of hearings of their case in the Supreme Court there was a proposal for a settlement and the CID need not file action against them as the matter would be settled.

He also said that as the Supreme Court inquiry was fixed for August 23, the case could be called on August 24 to ascertain the progress. The case was put off for August 24.

By T. Farook Thajudeen


The magistrate's court was informed by the SLRC, CID and TRC that there were no charges whatsoever against CBNsat.TRC has informed that the new license of CBNSat is being processed and issued in future, since the deadline for submission of applications has been extended to 15.09.06. The media ministry has requested one month to pass the legislation in the parliament, Whereas the supreme court order issued has rejected the one month request and ordered a settlement within 2 weeks at the last SC hearing, Hence the lawyers of CBNSat has requested the next hearing for 24.08.2006 in order to produce the judgment of the supreme court scheduled for 23.08.2006 and which is binding and cannot be overruled by the magistrates courts.

CBNSat has not argued the case aggressively today as the order has been issued by the Supreme Court to resolve the matter within two weeks and the one month request on the previous proceedings were rejected.

CBNSat Subscriber Unite.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another Postponement to 24th Aug 2006

They have done it again and have postponed the hearing to 24th Aug 2006. Looks like the magistrates court does not have the power that the Supreme Court has. The authorities are using the Magistrates Court to postpone this but we feel that all the postponement will end when they face the Supreme Court on the 23rd August 2006.

We hear that one month was requested for the drafting of new legislations and that this was objected and no charges have been brought against CBNSat.

Therefore the only hope is the Supreme Court that has given a favourable verdict taking into consideration the plight of the customers.

Looks like the Cable tv license is the most sought after license in Sri Lanka since the TRC has postponed the deadline for the second time. The reason they give is that due to requests by interested parties. The interested parties we feel are still carrying out a collection in office to fund the license, therefore these people will probably extend the date until they get funds. Are these the people who are going to provide cable tv in the future? If so, how can we rely on the service that they will provide?

Your Honour Chief Justice your involvement in this matter is of vital importance, the authorities do not seem to be taking you seriously. We demand the authorities to issue the license to CBNSat immediately since the other operators are also functioning without the legislations. So to be fair LET CBNSAT RESUME TRANSMISSIONS.

We would like to request our fellow readers to update us on the events of todays court hearing as the day progresses.

Extension of Deadline for Cable TV Licenses

Please refer the following link for further information

Extension of Deadline for Cable TV Licenses

CBNSat Magisterial Court Hearing today

Today (15th Aug 2006) CBNSat is scheduled to have their magisterial court hearing. The two week deadline to issue the license that was ordered by the Chief Justice will end on the 17th and it looks like our authorities will be in big trouble if they try to drag this further.

Since the SLRC has also cleared CBNSat we hope that they will be given permission to go back on air. We sincerely hope that the people who were behind this closure will not try anything further, but needless to say that the CBNSat customers are ready to take action if they do try anything.

We would like to sincerely request the learned magistrate to allow CBNSat to continue operating, also would like to request the officials at the media ministry to take the plight of over 20,000 subscribers into consideration and issue the license to CBNSat.

We would like our fellow readers to post the time at which the hearing will be held today, and also to keep us updated on the result of today's hearing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Any Test Transmissions today 14th Aug 2006

We would like to know whether there were any CBNSat test transmissions throughout the weekend.

If any of you see any test transmission today please post the information on this forum. We would like to inform our fellow readers that the below post regarding the religious channels was to facilitate the discussions that have taken place over the weekend and not to divide the customers. Those not willing to participate in the discussion is welcome not to do so.

However we have not moved away from our main goal and that is to have CBNSat back on air first, otherwise all the channels that you would like to see on CBNSat become useless without CBNSat being back online.

Please keep us updated on the the result of the meeting between CBNSAT, TRC and Media Ministry if it took place.

What would you like to see

Taking a break from our regular posts about the CBNSat court case we have noticed that many of you are interested to know, what CBNSat is going to give for it's customers who waited patiently for these few months.

We are getting reports that CBNSat will relaunch with the Zee Package and Disney Channel (this is not confirmed) and will later be adding the Star Package and Ten Sports. Earlier we have had numerous requests from people who are waiting for CBNSat to add God Tv to their line up in order to purchase connections.

It is a well known fact that God TV and other religious channels are available on all the other Cable TV companies in Sri Lanks except on CBNSat and Comet Cable. We have reliable reports that Comet Cable does not include religious channels due to limited channel capacity.

So from our point of view we think CBNSat should include God TV and the other religious channels should be available on CBNSat since as a reader has mentioned CBNSat can keep the channel scrambled and only unscramble it for the people who want to view it. This will keep it from offending anyone and also the CBNSat competitor Satnet's Dish TV also has God TV on their lineup.

So we would like to know what you think regarding this subject?

The Magisterial Court hearing on CBNSat will be held tomorrow (15th) and does anyone know whether CBNSat has already met with the TRC and Media Ministry and if so, what was the outcome of the meeting? CBNSat is of course very confident of being on air on 23rd Aug 2006 or before that.

Friday, August 11, 2006

CBNSat commences test transmissions

We are receiving confirmed reports that CBNSat has commenced transmitting test signals and all customers are getting the Green Color light on their decoder. No channels are visible upto now and it looks like it will remain that way till the license is issued, however there may be a slight chance that some channels may be viewable as the hours or days pass by.

We believe the testing began at approximately 13:00Hrs and has been continuing on and off after that. It is not clear for how many hours they may test for a day. But this is a relief for many subscribers who were seeing the red light on their decoder for the past 2 months.

The local channels are showing "no signal" and the others are showing "scrambled" since the testing began. Our hope is that the licenses will be issued soon and things will be back to normal at least for the two cable tv operators LBN & CBNSat.

We would request our readers to keep us updated on the events regarding the test transmission and any other information related to CBNSat as we progress into the weekend.

CBNSat Test Transmission to commence today (11th Aug)

We are receiving reports that CBNSat will be carrying out test transmissions commencing today. Although the information is not very clear, we hear that the testing will be carried out internally and some other information suggests that some channels may be visible.

Well we hope the CBNSat customers who are at home or have connections in their offices will keep us updated on the status. Please inform us even if there is a signal received by the decoder. Initial information suggested that a message will be sent to the decoder inbox.

However it is left to be seen, what type of testing will be carried out. Since CBNSat has already been cleared by SLRC then we hope that CBNSat will be issued the license as soon as possible. Just a thought since SLRC wants to have world class coverage coverage of the SAF Games (commencing on Aug 18th), we feel that issuing the license to CBNSat and getting their assistance to cover the SAF Games would ensure a world class coverage of the games through CBNSat's modern technology. Well hopefully the authorities will consider this too.

We would like our readers to keep us updated as the day progresses and right throughout the weekend.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

CBNSat Test Transmissions to commence tomorrow

Unconfirmed reports say that CBNSat will carry out test transmissions commencing tomorrow. We require confirmation on this report and also would like our readers who have access to information such as what the nature of the test transmission is, to keep us updated on whether any channels will be visible to us during the test transmission and the timing of the test transmission.

We have got confirmation that the CBNSat seals were removed on Tuesday 8th Aug 2006.

According to a report in yesterdays The Morning Leader it says that CBNSat and LBN will be able to commence operations by September.

The report also says that SLRC have cleared CBNSat of having any links with the LTTE. Given below is an excerpt of the report by Dilrukshi Handunnetti of The Morning Leader 9th Aug 2006.

"In the meantime, Director General, SLRC, Palitha Gallage has submitted a report to the Colombo Magistrate that after technical evaluation of the equipment used by CBN Sat, it could be concluded that the satellite equipment by the company had not been used for broadcasting purposes by either the LTTE or similar channels compromising national security.

Further, Gallage had stated that the LTTE has regularly transmitted news using PAS 12 satellite during the period when CBN Sat was temporarily closed. PAS 12 satellite has been used for the transmission of National TV of Tamil Eelam which is a free to air transmission, Gallage said in his report."

We would like our readers to keep us updated on any new developments as the day progresses.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Good News : CBNSat Seals Removed

We are getting unconfirmed reports that the seals have been removed at CBNSat. This information is coming from a trusted source but it remains unconfirmed from our point of view.

Anyone who has the confirmed information please update us as the day progresses. Please also update us on information such as when the test transmissions are beginning.

Magistrate rejects CID application

The Magistrate's Court rejected an application made by the CID to order CBNSat to carry out test transmissions in the presence of CID, SLRC and TRC officers.

"The CID filed a separate application before the Magistrate to order CBNSat network to carry on their test transmission only in the presence of CID and officers from SLRC and TRC. The Magistrate overruled the application." - The Daily Mirror 8th Aug 2006. Please read LBN Forum : LBN to resume test transmission for a detailed report on this.

As of last evening the seals on CBNSat were not removed and we would like to know why? The Chief Justice gave the ruling and looks like the authorities are not complaint wth it either or did they wait and see what will happen yesterday. Now that the Magistrate rejected their application will they remove the seals at least today. They were in a mighty hurry to do the sealing and even stayed overtime but the same cannot be seen then they were asked to remove it.

We demand that the authorities remove the seals on CBNSat immediately and we request the Chief Justice to see that it is done with immediate effect.

We would like all of our fellow bloggers to keep us updated on this as the day progresses and if they do not do it, then we will have to start pressurising the officials to carry out the court order. We would also like to know any information about the meeting that is to be held between CBNSat and the authorities.

Friday, August 04, 2006

President directs Media Minister to issue license to CBNSat

Talk about strides. In two days it will be two months since CBNSat was shutdown and after some really frustrating court hearings now it looks like things are moving at high speed. With the landmark Supreme Court decision yesterday, now we are getting reports that H.E President Mahinda Rajapakse has directed the Media Minister to issue the license to CBNSat without any further delay. The directive was apparently reported on Neth FM news that was broadcast this morning. We cannot confirm this report though but we are pretty sure that all of our readers will give us the confirmation that we require. Hats off to you Mr. President for upholding the grievances of the subscribers and also for protecting the image of the country for prospective investors.

Furthermore the CID is supposed to remove the seals today and hopefully test transmissions will commence soon. We are also not clear what these test transmissions will be, perhaps they may be in the form of broadcasts or some other form. We would like our fellow readers who have information on the type of test transmissions that will take place to please enlighten us on this matter. Also keep updating this blog when the seals are removed to when the first test transmission and subsequent test tranmissions takes place.

We would also like to request you to keep us updated on the latest news regarding CBNSat as the day progresses and throughout the weekend.

CBNSat Seal Removed - The Island "Financial Review" 4th Aug 2006

LBN Seeks court approval today to start maintenance and test tranmission

Supreme Court yesterday gave the verdict for CBNSat to maintain its transmission equipment and to start test transmissions, which was sealed for almost one and ahalf months (since June 23).

CBNSat which is a BOI company was operating a satellite television service on a license issued by the Minister of Mass Communication in 2003 and is considered as an EGO with reference to the TRC website was sealed suspection transmitting LTTE pro television programmes were being aired. As of June 2006 CBNSat catered to 20,000 customers with 300 employees.

CBNSat Chief Executive Officer Muhunthan Canagey told The Island Financial Review that company is looking forward to obtain license before August 23, 2006 and to commence its commercial transmission. "If they want us to obtain any more license we are willing go for it. But have no plans of putting the increased cost burden on the shoulders of our subscribers. However, with the new license in place we will be bound to a pay a cess of 0.3% from our turnover. We need to thank our customers who were waiting patiently to see the services started and the financial institutions in recovering their funds." Canagey said.

CBNSat Manaer Legal Ms. Dilani Nanadasiri explaining thay the operations aspect stated that TRC or any other competent authority is welcome to monitor transmissions. "We would welcome authorities to monitor our services onm a regular basis to make sure no prop LTTE programmes are being telecast," she said.

Meanwhile LBN which is a cable tv operator has instituted legal remedies to maintain its equipment and the cable network laid within the Colombo Metropolitan and suburbs .

LBN which catered to 10,500 subscribers was also shutdown in early June and 140 employees on its payroll. "We will seek legal remedy with regards to this license issue and will continue to cater to our valued customers. We have no plans to revise prices though we will go for fresh licenses which are costly," said LBN Shirantha Herath.

According to industry cources, satellite television will be subjected to an annual cess fes based on 0.3% of total sales subject to a minimum of Rs 500,000/=. The licensee will not be permitted to establish its own telecommunications links, other than access to satellites to connect the systems to other compatible licensed systems.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Court permit SonicNet to maintain transmission equipment - The Island 4th Aug 2006

SonicNet Technologies will be permitted to inspect and service their satellite transmission equipment and make tests for transmission.

The CID and the Minister for Media and Mass Comuunication, yesterday consented before the Supreme Court to permit this when the fundamental rights violation was taken up before the Supreme Court, yesterday.

Romesh De Silva PC, who appeared for the petitioner said that the transmission equipment is sophistocated and needed to be serviced regularly. If not functioning will be impaired.

The respondents agreed to permit the inspection and the servicing, and if possible come to a compromised settlement for test tranmission, subject to safeguards.

The Minister of Media in the objections had said that the LTTE also transmitted through the same satellite and the technology used by SonicNet made monitoring by the SLRC difficult.

Romesh De Silva PC, appeared with Sugath Caldera, instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam for SonicNet (Pvt) Ltd.,

The Deputy Solicitor General Palitha Fernando appeared for the Attorney General.

Palitha Kumarasinghe PC appeared for the TRC, also made a respondent. D.S. Wijesinghem PC, apeared for the minister.

The Bench comprised the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justice N.K. Udalagama and Justice Andrew Somawanse.

The application will be called again on November 23, 2006.

By Chitra Weerarathne

** We believe there has been a printing error and the date should read as August 23, 2006 and not November 23, 2006. - Admin, CBNSat Forum

Cable TV company claims Rs 100m compensation - The Daily Mirror 4th Aug 2006

The Supreme Court yesterday(3rd) made directions for a compromise settlement on consent of all parties to expedite the operation of the CBNSat transmission with safeguards being introduced to minitor it.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, N.K. Udalagama and Andrew Somawansa observed that the equipment in issue had been seized and sealed on June 6 by a Magistrate court order. Provision was given to the petitioner SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., to inspect and service the equipment and also if necessary to carry out a test transmission as the equipment was of a sophisticated nature.

The court also directed to expedite process of licensing and listed the matter to be taken up on August 23.

The petitioner cited Chief Inspector U.K. Mahindadasa, Superintendent of Police A.R. Vaidyalankara and Sub Inspector L. Tilak Bandara, all of Police Commercial Crime Unit 11, the IGP and the Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner states that CBN is an associate company situated at No. 83, George R. De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 13.

It said that the Minister issued a license on the recommendation of the TRC for it to operate an External Gateway for International Telecommunications (EGO License) valid until January 31, 2013.

Since May 2005, it has been responsible for providing serveral television channels such as BBC World, CNN News and National Geographic Channel to over 20,000 homes throughout the island.

It stated that the Rupavahini Corporation procured its services to link up with the Palali Ari Base for three months without any charge unconditionally and the said facility was subsequently discontinued since the said corporation had installed its own Satellite Up-Link station.

Petitioner stated that it was issued a license for allocation of frequencies for the uplinking of video streams of circket matches in Colombo for the period from July 13 to August 13 in 2004. However it did not subsequently peoceed with the said uplink due to commercial reasons.

It aleged that on June 6, the first three respondents wronfully, unlawfully and/or without any right thereto sealed and siezed its equipment and prevented its services.

The petitioner pleaded that the respondents claimed that they sealed and seized the premises under an order of Magistrate. Petitioner contends that the Magistrate did not order or authorise to do so.

The Petitioner alleged that the aforesaid actions of the respondents are arbitary, capricious, unlawful and without basis and/or ultravires causing irreparable loss and damage to it.

Tjhe petitioner is asking court to grant compensation of Ras 100 million and an interim order directing the respondents to remove the seal and seizure of its equipment and not to obstruct it from using the said premises.

Presidents Counsel Romesh De Silva witgh Sugath Caldera, Riad Ameen and Eraj De Silva instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam apeeared for the petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Sathya Hettige and Senior Sate Counsel Sunathi Dharmawardana appeared for 1st to 5th respondents and the Attorney General.

Presidents Counsel D.S Wijesinghe appeared for the intervenient petitioner, Mass Media and Information Minister. Presidents Counsel Palitha Kumarasinghe apeared for the TRC.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chief Justice Upholds Justice

As reported earlier Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has given a landmark decision upholding the reputation of the legal system and taking into consideration the business image of sri lanka and the plight of the subscribers who have invested in CBNSat connections. Your Honour we salute you and thank you for what you have done.

Here is some information coming from the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group. Media Ministry Secretary Mr. Ganegala has contacted the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group today at approximately 9 AM and in a telephone conversation that lasted about one hour, he explained the need to make necessary amendments to facilitate such operations and was also willing to co operate fully with the subscribers. He understood the grievances of the subscribers and assured that a solution will be given as soon as possible. Mr. Ganegala we would like to thank you for the concern you showed for the subscribers of CBNSat.

According to the Supreme Court ruling the seals on the CBNSat equipment will be removed either today or tomorrow and test transmissions will commence soon in order to service the equipment that were kept shut off for a period of almost two months. It is not clear whether the test tranmissions will be in the form of broadcasts or some other form. But it is certain that CBNSat will resume transmission on or before August 23rd 2006.

We would also like to thank the management of CBNSat for not giving up and continuing to keep fighting for their rights. The fighting spirit is very much appreciated. Our minds are taken back to the story posted by one of our readers as a comment quoting the story of the "Judge and the Widow" from the Holy Bible. In the story the widow persistently asks for justice from the judge and finally she gets the justice she deserves. CBNSat your customers are definitely with you and will see you through till the uplinking is done and thereafter. Mr. Muhunthan Canegay we applaud you for standing up and fighting with your team in the time of crisis. CBNSat's technological superiority will definitely be an advantage for Sri Lanka as a whole from the city dwellers to the rural masses.

The CBNSat Subscriber Unite group which was formed amidst all these storms must not be forgotten and we hope that this group will continue to function and expand into a fully fledged lobby that fights for the rights of consumers as a whole.

Well finally it is not over still and we have to see CBNSat back on air with regular programming and we hope that things will now unfold without any problems. Please keep updating us on any developments as the day progresses.

Thank You everyone for participating in this blog, and this blog will continue to exist even after CBNSat comes back on air and will continue to fullfil it's primary objective which is given below.

"This blog is intended for CBNSat customers to tell the world about how efficient their service is, or any problems in their service or just plain congratulate them for a job well done."

Chief Justice orders authorities to let CBNSat operate

Reports are coming in that the Chief Justice has taken the CBNSat case today and he has ordered the authorities to let CBNSat operate within 2 weeks time maximum. Could someone please confirm all this. We also received an email saying that CBNSat will commence test transmissions from today. Can anyone please confirm all this. If all this is true we would like to thank the Chief Justice for a job well done. Thank You your honour for upholding the truth. Please read following communication from CBNSat Subscribers Unite Group.


Dear Friends,
The CJ have taken the CBNSat case today and ordered the authorities
to let CBN operate within 2 weeks maximum. he further said that try
to let CBN restart transmissions by the Aug 15th or 23rd he'll take up
the case.
So good news is that CBNSat WILL BE ON AIR BEFORE 23rd.
Security concerns were also raised at the courts and CJ have said if
it is so put 2 people to monitor the system from TRC. Regarding the LTTE
issue CJ have said out of 20,000 subscribers the majority is sinhalese
and why havn't at least one subscriber complained to police if ltte channel
could be seen through CBNSat.
I think CJ have taken a bold decision at the interest of the subscriber and
we are really greateful to him for bringing in justice to us.
"CBNSat Subscribers Unite"

CBNSat Court hearing today 3rd Aug 2006

Today we hear that CBNSat is scheduled to have two court hearings, one being the Supreme Court and the other being the Appeals Court. Can anyone please confirm these hearings and also post the time of the respective hearings.

Yesterday was quite an eventful day since a lot of information designed to misinform the public about CBNSat came out. Our thoughts were taken back to about an year back when Mr. Hettigoda who is the Chairman of Hettigoda Group (The manufacturers of Siddhalepa) said that the Sinhala language newspapers have to be blamed for many things happening in this country such as youth unrest, attitude towards the ethnic conflict, murder, etc. These sentiments were echoed yesterday by the irresponsible reporting of the CBNSat issue by the Dinamina and Divaina newspapers yesterday. All what they had reported were designed to bring disrepute to a company that would have contributed a lot to the development of the rural population by introducing services such as Distant Learning, etc. They are manipulating the attitudes of the majority of people reading Sinhala Language newspapers. This is unethical behaviour considering the fact that none of these allegations have been proven yet and CBNSat as a whole has not been charged on these allegations.

All this was undoubtly fabricated to stop the general public who were forming an organisation to fight, not for the rights of CBNSat but for the rights of the consumers. These people know that many people in the outstation areas are also being drawn into this fight for consumer protection and this was clearly drawn to put doubt in their hearts. We urge the CBNSat Subscriber Group to continue fighting for the rights of the consumer. As of now they have not got an appointment with the Media Minister who in his arrogance is disregarding the people whom he has to serve but instead has become the lapdog of the people with high influence.

The use of National Security as a scapegoat to bring down CBNSat is a low down thing to do since then many other issues also crop like we highlighted yesterday. In fact the Media Minister says that they cannot monitor CBNSat transmissions which is being broadcast from Sri Lanka, this is clearly a man who does not have any knowledge on media and the technologies used. Anyone with a little knowledge of satellite communication will understand that this is all bullshit. If he had any knowledge on media we figure he would have come up with a plan to phase out Analog transmission and introduce digital transmission in Sri Lanka like the rest of the world including Africa is doing now.

We appeal to the learned individuals in the Supreme and Appeals Court to throw out these baseless low down allegations and uphold the rights of a reputed business organisation as well as its consumers who are legitimate citizens of Sri Lanka. LET CBNSAT OPERATE FROM TODAY.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Divaina and Dinamina Articles on CBNSat

Above is Divaina article on CBNSat and below is Dinamina article on CBNSat


Media Ministry dancing to others tune and also not meeting with CBNSat Subscribers

The Minister of Media who previously said that under a request by the Attorney General will issue temporary licenses to CBNSat and LBN is now playing around.

Now they say that they cannot monitor the tranmissions of CBNSat under the provision of the present act as well as points out that the LTTE channel also broadcasts on the same satellite. Well does this mean that the hospital in which a LTTE leader Daya Master stayed will also be sealed since it was used to treat a terrorist leader? Will the airport be also sealed since the LTTE used it to travel outside Sri Lanka for peace talks and who knows how many times they are flying out of this country using the airport.

There are also reports coming in that the Divaina newspaper report says that the Media Minister said CBNSat broadcasts programmes that are not suitable for this country and that they help the LTTE carry out transmission (Can someone confirm this reports existance). CBNSat shows almost the same channels that Comet Cable has been showing for years. Helping the LTTE story is bullshit since the LTTE channel started operating long before CBNSat and are still operating even though CBNSat shutdown. The Media Minister is dancing to the tune of the people with high political influence trying to shutdown CBNSat and start their own pay tv operations and promote their unsuccessful pay tv operation.

The LTTE is using the same satellite but this does not mean CBNSat is involved. Any fellow with a satellite dish can view this channel using his dish and keeping CBNSat shut is not going to help the situation. If the Ministry is so worried they can make an official complaint to the Government of USA and request them to instruct Panamsat to remove the LTTE from it's satellite. Why are they not doing this?

If they cannot monitor CBNSat this means that the act does not allow the monitoring of channels such as TV Lanka and Srilakvahini too, so how come they have permission to operate. The dishes sold by Srilakvahini are FTA devices and if their direction is changed it can also be used to view the LTTE channel, but the CBNSat decoder is locked and therefore cannot be used to view any other channel. We earnestly request the learned individuals at the Supreme Court to throw these baseless allegations out of the court room and allow CBNSat to operate. The TRC is to allow a fifth mobile operater and a Wimax operator, will they also be shutdown because any individual can use these technologies to plan and transmit information that may lead to national security lapses. Sri Lanka's business image is being damaged beyond repair and we may not get any foreign investors hereafter.

The Appeal Court hearing is scheduled for tomorrow 3rd Aug 2006 and the Supreme Court hearing will also be tomorrow. If nothing happens tomorrow, the customers of CBNSat should take the initiative to bring about a positive ending. Victimisation of business oragnisations cannot go on in Sri Lanka & decisions cannot be taken without considering the consumer.

CBNSat customers are welcome to sign the CBNSat Subscriber Unite petition

The CBNSat Subscribers Unite Group that has been trying to meet with officials of the Media Ministry have so far been unsuccessful at their effort because the officials are not giving them an appointment. Is this how elected officials of the government behave? They came to power because of the peoples votes. They are the people who have to listen to the citizens of this country and address their grievances. We demand them to meet with the Subscriber group.

Media Minister files FR petition about SonicNet TV - The Island 2nd Aug 2006

The Minister of Media and Mass Communication has filed an intervenient petition, relating to the fundamental rights violation application filed in ther Supreme Court by SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., of Colombo 13.

The petition had said that the general television broadcasting sught to be carried out by the SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., using Direct to Home Technology cannot be monitored by SLRC or the local television broadcasting station with due authority, in terms of Act No. 6 of 1982.

Investigation reveals that the channel operated by the LTTE, "National Television of Tamil Eelam", has operated through the same satellite.

SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., had complained to the Supreme Court against the CID, claiming that the CID on June 6, 2006 siezed their equipment and sealed their premises acting in excess of a Magisterial order, issued to search the premises only.

The intervenient petitioner, requested court, to reject the fundamental rights violation application filed by SonicNet.

The Rights violation application is to be supported in Court shortly.

By Chitra Weerarathne

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Supreme Court hearing postponed to 3rd Aug 2006

We are receiving unconfirmed reports that the CBNSat Supreme Court hearing is postponed to 3rd August 2006. If anyone out there is able to confirm this, we would welcome them to do so. In addition the reasons for postponement are not clear either. It is rumoured that the TRC has submitted only one document. We would like those who have confirmed information to post the reasons for the postponement here on this blog as the day progresses.

On the 3rd the Supreme Court hearing as well as the Appeals Court hearing will be held. It is clear that the authorities are clearly bent on running CBNSat bankrupt. The law is under the mercy of the politicians and those they support. Are these the values that Sri Lanka stands for and upholds.

H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse announces that problems in this country can be solved by discussion but the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group is unable to meet with the Minister of Mass Media because they are not being given appointments. Are the elected officials unable to meet with the people, whom they are supposed to serve. What should be understood is that this group is representing the subscribers (where is consumer protection in Sri Lanka) and not CBNSat.

The law should uphold the rights of the citizens of this country and not the people who pulls strings and destroy the nation while filling their own pockets. Remember foreign investors are looking at what is happening in this country and may not invest if BOI projects are being vitimized like this. Why is the BOI not making any statement on this issue?

We would urge all CBNSat customers to get the message across to all people who have CBNSat connections and urge them to sign this on line petition. If the subscriber you know does not have access to the Internet you can get their consent and enter their details to the petition. We would like to urge CBNSat Customers who are living in outstations areas to get in touch with those who have CBNSat connections in their vicinity and spread the word and if they do not have access to the Internet please get their consent and enter their details to the petition.

We would also like to call on the Minister of Mass Media to give appointments to the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group and discuss the grievances faced by the subscribers due to the shutdown of CBNSat. All CBNSat Subscribers should give their full backing to the CBNSat Subscriber Unite Group. You can contact them on


CBNSat Supreme Court Hearing today

The CBNSat Supreme Court hearing will be held today. We would like to request our fellow bloggers to keep us updated on the time of the hearing.

Please update us on the result of today's hearing. In a few days time we will complete 2 months since CBNSat was shutdown and we earnestly seek a resolution to this problem and we believe we will see the end of this problem soon since the customers have taken this up too. We have received information that the CBNSat Subscribers Unite Group is seeking a meeting with the Minister of Mass Media, although the have not got a positive feedback on their request they have also sent another request for a meeting and we would like to urge him to meet with the subscribers.

We would like to request the subscribers of CBNSat to get the message regarding the CBNSat Online Petition out to the public and urge them to sign it so that it can be produced in courts. All customers of CBNSat should give their fullest support to this group that is representing their rights as customers.

It looks like LBN has taken a tougher stand on this case too, please read the link below
LBN Cable TV Forum : Notice on TRC temporary license to be Issued - Daily Mirror August 1st 2006