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.



Cable Guy said...

It would be grate if we can get this on to "News 1st Action TV", as they follow up a story after broadcasting.

Dude said...

Hey guys lets pitch in. Lets send an email to and highlight our problems and ask them to highlight this situation regarding CBNsat.

If we also send them requests then they will definitely do it.

Alf said...

What about the Business programmes like LBO, Business report etc. They are suppose to highlight business operations. Are'nt they!!

TERRY said...

Thats good dude and why dont we start that immedietly and LBN has sent a letter to their customers informing that they will get the Defence clearance on 01.09.2006 and TRC has asked one week to process the licence thereafter?

What are the true facts as it was reported that the LBN appeal court case is on 11.09.2006.

Palitha Galappaththi said...

How can someone expect defence ministry clearance where one of the master mind behind the CBNSat fiasco chairs the top post? (hUllla) CBN paper ad to H.E President should have come more than a month ago.

hush said...

News first is done by a professional institution and they will in my opinion highlight the issue.

For the mail I sent on Aug 24, 2006, I have received a reply stating their position on CBNsat issue.

Am sure, if everyone sends mail regarding the issue they will definitely reply and highlight the issues concerned.The answer I got have been forwarded to

please write to them using your names and correct email to make it authentic.

Cable Guy said...

Just saw this on CNN,
UN has classified Somalian government as the same as Taliban regime.

Closest reason?

Somalian government has banned the TV broadcasts (back on June) of the FIFA World Cup to save the purity of the Islamism.

Hmmm, it’s sounds so familiar :)

Lisura said...

The CBNSat appeal to the president is on todays divaina too. Unfortunately I think the president is out of the country. Hope he'll do something once he return.

Now the issue is totally in his hands. He only can decide whether to let CBN operate without discriminating the subscribers any further or putting emloyees into trouble or to send the prospective investors away from this country.

People who read this blog is not only subscribers or sri lankans but the whole internet community of the world.

The interested investors also look at this issue how the government is handling it. So far it's been so negative from the governments side. For their inefficiency in providing security to the citizens the technology should not be stopped.

Very recently the TRC gave 3G licences to major cellular operators. According to the government argument this is also a risk to national security as a large video could be simlpy streamed using a hand held small mobile instantly. How does that sound !!

So when technology moves forward the defence technology also should move forward.

Otherwise we'll end up being like the state of Taliban or Somalia !!!

ROMESH said...

The President is un the country,He has hosted a dinner for the NOC officials(Sunday Night) and he would have defeneitly seen the sunday papers

jesika said...

I think News First can do something here. Everyone knows its the No1 news provider in srilanka.

But the problem is do Sirasa & MTV like CBNSat to come alive again? SirasaTv & MTV didnt come to CBNsat because there are broadcasting AXN programs like Alies, 24 ,etc

But I think they will do their work right.

News First we are counting one you...

dini said...

i think it's time we swing across those mails to the feedback unit of news 1st.

Expat Subscriber said...

Guys, Ive just emailed news first online with this. Has anybody else done anything?

Dear Sir/Madam

I am a subscriber of cbnsat and have been since March 2006. I have watched with extreme interest the court case after court case since cbnsat was shut down on the 6th June 2006. As a expatriate living in your country I can only describe the goings on as a complete 'farce'. I cannot believe how a company who has invested so heavily, employing 300+ local staff and providing TV that is in line with most of the world can be so harshly treated. But it is not only the company and staff that are suffering there are the customers/subscribers that have used their hard earned money to pay for the equipment and some I hear continue to do so. Speaking with many of the friends I have made during my 6 months here, cbnsat provided them with programs that educated them for the first time.

After nearly 3 months of closure most subscribers now feel that the end for cbnsat is so very near and also the loss of their hard earned Rs 17,900. How can a company having invested so heavily in the latest technology and not received any income from its subscribers survive.

I cannot understand why cbnsat cannot transmit. They have not been found guilty of anything (as far as I know) by the various bodies that have accused them, however the courts continue to prevent them broadcasting. Other companies such as Multivision and SatNet continue to broadcast showing most of the same programs and without the required licences. cbnsat should at least be able to transmit until they are proven guilty of some wrong doing!

Following the first Supreme Court hearing the CJ made some very strong decisions and for a short while the future of cbnsat looked guaranteed. At the second Supreme Court hearing the CJ I hear was a different character and like the Magistrate Court hearings before the outcome was the same, postponed until another section of the government reviewed the same information that many had already commented on and had no problems with.

I cannot believe that the subscribers have had to get involved and form the group 'Subscribers Unite'. These people like myself have jobs to fund their families and have very little time to fight what seems to be an endless battle for justice, but when it is clear to everyone that the Government and the judicial system cannot make a simple decision about a company that has been running for over a year now in full view of everybody including the government, has 20,000+ subscribersis and is BOI approved, what are these people playing at?

I hope that this goes someway in explaining how I feel about the entire situation and I'm sure many others feel the same.

Kind Regards

hush said...

so much so for transparency and justice in Sri Lanka.

whats the use of talking about justice when you don`t practise justice.

CBNsat case points out the level of political influence that has been imposed on the judiciary, it doesn`t matter whether you are right or wrong but who you know and what you can spend on the person you know.

Talk about making SL the IT hub for the region, when you kick the latest in technology such as broadband of CBNsat that even CNN uses as a tool in broadcasting technology.

Then again these media guys probably don’t watch CNN as it maybe too informative for them as well as a requirement of a dictionary been a hassle.

continous emails at least one mail per day by each subcriber of CBNsat to MTV till they take serious notice of the grieviences of subcribers and employees is required.

Pradheep said...

My email to MBC News 1st. I hope the others will also send them emails and ask them to highlight this story.


My name is Pradheep and I like to take this opportunity to first thank you for the great job that News 1st does during its daily news bulletins on Channel One MTV and it's sister channels.

Action TV is an excellent concept that highlights the problems faced by the people in daily life and also keeps track of the solutions to those problems but higlights the problems again if solutions are still not given.

However it is very sad to note that Action TV has not highlighted the CBNsat scenario and the inconviences faced by the subscribers of CBNsat. Not only on Action tv but also not on any News 1st Bulletin.

I have been a CBNsat subscriber since Aug 2006 and on June 6th 2006 at approximately 9PM we were informed that transmissions are being suspended.

The next day i got to know that CBNsat had been raided by the CID and shutdown. It was a big surprise since they were an extremely professional service and offered the highest level of customer service.

On Sep 6th it will be three months since the shutdown of CBNsat and during this time we were deprived of watching educational programmes and also the FIFA World Cup 2006 and also the Sri Lanka tour of England cricket series.

What baffles me most is that CBNsat was not an underground operation and was in operation for over an year and advertising on state and private media. They also transmitted the three state channels Rupavahini, Channel Eye and ITN. It is reported that they had a MOU with ITN, now how can a state channel have a MOU with an illegal company. Rupavahini and Channel Eye were broadcasting to their Palaly station using an CBNsat. Didn't they know it was illegal or was CBNsat just made illegal to please some individuals.

This channel was endorsed by the former Media Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera and it was also a BOI approved company. If CBNsat was illegal what was the TRC doing for one year since they are to educate the public on illegal broadcasters. Were they plain inefficient or did they carry this out under direction of political interests.

It is even more baffling because CBNsat is perceived to be a National Security Threat, they were accused of tranmitting the LTTE channel but it is a well known fact the LTTE channel still continues to transmit even while CBNsat is shut.

The Chief Justice on Aug 3rd issued a verdict saying to solve these licensing issues in two weeks time but on Aug 23rd the tone was quite different because CBNsat was asked to obtain Defense Ministry Clearance. Defense Ministry clearance is also required for LBN Cable TV too. This is absurd asking cable tv companies to obtain Defense Ministry clearance. If satellite technology is a threat then aren't 3G mobile phones which allow the transfer of video from any location, Internet, Wimax (for which licences will be issued soon) also a security threat. The Chief Justice has one tone on Aug 3rd and another on Aug 23rd. The legality of our legal system is questionable.

I have spent Rs 17,000/= to purchase this connection and I am now left in the lurch. The authorities are not at all considering the fact that CBNsat has over 20,000 subscribers and approx 100,000 viewers.

CBNsat has over 300 employees whose job is not stable anymore. The BOI is not responding when phone calls are given and also are not making any statement on this issue.

This will create a very bad image of Sri Lanka for overseas investors when BOI companies are being sealed off in this manner.

I would like to request News 1st to highlight the manner in which CBNsat has been treated by vested interests who are bent on destroying a highly professional company by influencing the decisions in court. In addition please specially highlight the plight of the customers who have spent money in securing the services of this company.

I hope that News 1st is not avoiding the CBNsat case because CBNsat poses competition to MTV or due to the political motives behind the CBNsat issue. Your motto is "We Report, You Decide" and one of your hoardings say "We do not make news, We only report it" or something to that effect. We are asking you as a reputed organisation in Sri Lanka to report the injustices that we as customers are going through at this moment.

I trust that I will get a favourable response to this email.

Thanking You for your time.

dini said...

I sent mine too.

I wish to bring to your notice that, holding your news broadcast ‘News First’ at the top of my menu of TV programs, I’m slightly disappointed about your lack of interest/coverage about the following matter.

I’m one of those information hungry persons who have secured a package with the private cable television provider CBNSat. What has been happening to them for the past 3 months is no strange news to anybody now and the saga seems to continue aggravating both the provider including its 300+ employees, and the 20,000+ customers. Another provider LBN too has been a victim along with CBNSat in this never ending episode although there are no charges against both providers up to now. What disappoints me is the fact that News First being, arguably, the number one news provider in Sri Lanka has not even mentioned a single word about this. I’m sure that you have your reasons. However, may I draw your attention to the fact that prospering businesses simply being flushed down the drain overnight is not a very pretty picture as far as prospective investors in technology are concerned? Further, information needs to be freely available to anybody who is willing to invest his/her hard-earned money on it. Hence, shutting off people from this fundamental freedom would only take us back in time as a nation. Being part of the people’s channel, I believe that you should cover this incident and bring it to the attention of the public and relevant authorities since it could happen to anybody tomorrow.

Regardless of the customers being deprived of services that they are willing to pay for, I’m more concerned about the employees of these organisations. The psychological agony experienced by a person on the brink of losing his/her job can be really devastating.

Any action from your part in this regard will be very much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

Dude said...

To email Sir Arthur C. Clarke on this issue and tell him the situation that is being faced by the CBNsat subscribers since he was chief guest at the launch, please use the following email address and in the subject line ask them to forward this email to Sir Arthur C. Clarke

cableguy said...

Here is what I wrote to NewsFirst. Please continue to email them and ask them report on the CBNSat on MTV and Sirasa.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am a regular viewer of MTV and Sirasa TV programs. I commend you for your honest and straightforward reporting and have enjoyed your stations and programs very much.

I am also a subscriber of CBNSat and I am sure as a frontline news company you are very much aware of what is going on with the whole CBNSat fiasco.

At the end, it is the poor subscribers like us and the employees of CBNSat that are the real losers in this blatant injustice done to by the governmental authorities to a section of its citizens, who are non-violent, peace-loving citizens who just wants to stay in their homes and watch some quality TV, with their own money. CBNSat itself may have insurance or some other sort of protection. But we the subscribers (over 20,000) are the real losers.

I along with many others that watch your channels on a regular basis, has been very disappointed by the lack of coverage of this injustice to the CBNSat subscribers and its employees on your channels. Whatever your reasons may be, I believe this situation is absolutely worthy of being reported and broadcast through your media.

I humbly ask you to do the needful as a responsible media company regarding the CBNSat injustice and tell the country the real truth. All we ask you is to "Report" and let the people "Decide" as your very popular slogan says.

You have a responsibility towards the citizens of Sri Lanka as a top notch media company. That also includes injustices and inconveniences caused to its citizens. The CBNSat case is a case study of the above.

Please! Please!! Please!!! Do us all a favor and report the CBNSat case on a regular basis.

This request is from a big fan of your media.


Alf said...

shall we write to Consumer Affairs Athority also to investigate the griviences of the subscribers. The address is;

Director General,
Consumer Affairs Authority,
PO Box. 1581

FAX NO. (011) 2399148

Alf said...

Doe anyone know what CBNSat is doing these days to get the service back.

Any inside news?? Would like to know their effort in this matter??

Pls update the subscribers!!

Dase said...

I sent emails to both T.V stations .

NotBloodyFooled said...

If any one from the CBNsat management does visit here, a point they need to make to the government is that....

There never was an instance where any Sri Lankan Government was or is credited with bringing new technology in to the country. It has always been the private sector companies that have made in roads with such ventures that has benefited the country as a whole. I provide two examples to justify my claim...

1. The first TV broadcaster was a private channel..ITN.. Which was taken over later by the government.. It was much later that the Rupavalini corp came in to being. For this to the country was lacking in technology that Japan was kind enough to make us the donation of knowledge and resources.

After the laps of years I do not know how many....there has been no expansion or development in this field where the government TV channels are concerned and just one more channel in the form of Eye...when there are 5 private channels that have come up in the last 10 years or so.

2. The Sri Lanka telecom was a white elephant dieing a slow death natural or induced I do not know. If one is old enough one would remember the time we had to wait months if not years to get a telephone connection. No Loops...was a common excuse. That was until new technology was brought in with private entrepreneur . We now even have CDMA telephones from SLT...not to mention ADSL. They even go as far as sponsor major sport events.

This proves the obvious....In Sri Lanka Innovation, technological advancement has been driven by the private sector; advancements that have benefited the entire nation as a whole.

I write here and not make my points to CBNsat directly because I have tried before and felt it was like pouring water on the back of a duck. And soooo if any one wants to communicate this to the management of CBNsat please be my guest.