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


Alf said...

Well done guys...but this should have come much earlier though..but its really great. Hope it was register posted to all the authorities.

Also propose that somebody can personelly hand over the latter along with pettition printout to TRC, Media Ministry and if possible to president's office.

amal said...

We should send this letter to Media guys as well.........(to all print and Electronic media))....
I hope you have allready done that..........

amal said...

How about a press conference..............

dee.panadura said...

Good initiative,

Im sure individuals have sent letters too. But this is more comprehensive.

I am willing to place my signature on the dicument if thats what it takes

Alf said...

I am also willing to place my signature if necessary

cableguy said...

Well written, well explained, and to the point.
I think the timing is absolutely right "alf". After all we all waited very patiently. So the fact that the letter includes our patience, carries more weight to it.
This letter definitely should be published in the newspapers.
This nonesense should STOP.
At times like this in the country, what better than to let people watch TV and keep them out of trouble. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Our narrow-minded politicians and their goondas dont give a damn about anything else, other than their own agendas.
Whats next??? Seal off DIALOG because some other goonda plans to start a cellular service. Go ahead! Try it!! Lets see how the people will rebel.

bank_dude said...

Great work guys. As Amal mentioned we should send this letter to newspapres as well. We have no gurantee that President may receive this letter due to corrupt officials. I know that he is going through all the news papers every day.

dee.panadura said...

There is news that SLRC chairman is going to be replaced.

Most probably some rougue will be appointed.

I wonder if there is a link?

hush said...

great work ,I do agree with bank dude that it should be published in papers as well cause the letter can get misplaced easily. remember how court documents submitted to SC got misplaced??

RabbitHole said...

As the common man on the street says, this is "Ela Kiri"!

By the way isn't it a good idea to translate this into Sinhla and Tamil and then send it to the press.
Also we the bloggers can show the hard copies to the subscribers who are not blogging here.

prmo said...

Yes we have to get it on the papers (for a start English and Sinhala dailies) and the subscriber unit was already contacted on this issue and they welcome your valuable ideas.The best we can do is continuesly call the media ministry guys to put preasure on this unethical conduct of theirs and continue with wriiting letters to the authorities untill the 23rd.

Lisura,Excellant work and better get the press releases out today itself.

RabbitHole said...

BTW, another idea.
If some one calls the authorities, you don't you record it and publish it here.
The country would love to hear what they say.
(I have done it with the TRC just as the troubles got started.) ;)

dini said...

fantastic letter. very strong the way it should be.

yes, i too think that we should get it published in the papers, so that everybody knows and even the concerned parties won't miss it regardless of whether they get the letter or not.

Alf said...

If the newspapers are not willing to publish it freely can we pay and publish...this could be an eye openner to all!!

Best news papers to submitt this is Daily mirror, Sunday Times, LBO etc.

prmo said...

LISURA should be working on the letter to the press at present and we will get many a guy to call these officials of the media ministry(Please get all the subscribers you can get get hold of to call them).

Rabitholes idea is a good one and if anyone can do that please publish on the blog and anyhow we can have a real laugh if the CJ takes on these media ministry & CID guys to task on the 23rd.

We should keep on putting pressure on these guys

ALISON said...

I somehow got hold of the Media guys and they are saying to patient as the regulations are being drafted so on and they dont wont to comment about the supreme court order and No charges,I got about 5 of my friends also to call and he seems to get irritated(The secretary).

As PRMO said it is vital to put preasure on this baseless closure and get all your friends to put presure on this sleepy and useless media ministry guys.

And good work to the subscriber unit for there action.


Rob said...

Called Ms Joseph. No sooner I identified my self as a CBNsat customer, she said'we got your fax' further she cannot comment on anything but wanted us to get in touch with additional secretary Narampanawa who is handling this subject. Seems Namarmpanawa is on leave today.

Max Payne said...

by d way alison, could u find another word to call rather than fools at the media ministry, cos fools are better than that.

God bless sri lanka with this media minister and huluballa.

Max Payne said...

hey people, can u think of these corrupted people? If they are doing this much corruption in front of all people, supreme court and Hon. President, I can't imagine what corrupted activities they are doing behind the scene.

may be activities that we have never thought of in our entire life. such as raping a just born... animal

Max Payne said...

seems that these corrupted people can't understand what is shame and fear which is called "Dheva Dhamma" in "Shaddharmaya" which leads to a better society.

Any religion is based on these two factors to make better people. But these animals don't know it.

If you splash Rs 10 infront of any of these corrupted people, they will come like iron balls to a magnet. It is clear that they just want money by any means. I'am sure they are have started killing dogs for money along time ago.

Further more, seems that they are not thinking about their next life or their life in heaven or hell. They just continue to do all the bad things and make their next life worst, such as a physically and mentally handicapted animal, cos I'am 100% sure that these folks wont get a human life again even after 1099999999999999.... years in hell.

prmo said...

Did any of you guys call the media ministry?And hopefully the letters will go the relevent media institutions today.

Please continue with the presure on this media officials who are depriving a basic human right of the people.