Wednesday, August 23, 2006

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.

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