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.


Lisura said...

I think he is the Minister of Public Administration & Home Affairs.

May be his friends might have applied for the new licence. That's why now he got to know about it.

Their plan is to keep CBNSat closed till their favourites enter to the market. Then they will be able to capture the market. That is the conspiracy behind closing of CBNSat.

Lisura said...

Hon. Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs

Dr. Sarath Amunugama

Tel : 2662340/5362978
Fax : 2693304
Email :
Web :

hush said...

yeah lisura is right, he is the minister of public admin.The speech was at BMICH on 28th Aug if i am not mistaken.

He definitely did talk about DTH and how difficult it would be to tax such content.maybe thats whats taking long to grant license. Dont know whether they will let operators the licence and then impose a tax on operators for content.

cableguy said...

Just for fun I inquired about getting a new service from Multivision(Comet). Apparently they are not issuing any new connections for the next few months or so. Reason given was that they dont have the capacity or equipment to give out anymore connections.
I smell something fishy. Do you think Hulla and Abey threatened them too, in order to forcibly divert customers from CBNSat and LBN to SATNET?
Otherwise, I cant see what the big deal is about giving new connections. Wonder if a large number of CBNSat and LBN customers have already moved over to Multivision? Well if that is true, dirty Hulla will do anything to get that away from Multivision and make the money all for himself.

Any thoughts? Speculations? Conspiracy theories?

Lightning_Struck_Tower said...

Or maybe it's the govt's plan to close all TV stations other than SLRC and ITN. They'll allow all channels to convert to DVB-S, allow them to operate for few months, then close them all down saying that they are a threat to national security :p

About comet, i think they are just unable to give connection coz their decoders are way out of date and are not manufactured anywhere in the world anymore.

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 too, 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,just one more channel in the form of channel 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 (proof they now do make profits).

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.


hush said...

I also wrote to LMD business magazine and lets write to every publication around,

the text:

Dear Sir/Madam,
Let me first of all congratulate you on having one of the best comprehensive business magazines around in the business community here.

Unfortunately I have been constantly reminded of the dearth of reporting in respect of a fellow business institution like CBNsat for the past 3 months and the plight that a well respected organization had to go through. Maybe it was an oversight but let us not let the injustice done to such an organization go un publicized or forget the corporate responsibility that they have done by giving equipment for distance learning to tsunami effected schools and sponsorship of tennis tournaments and advertising awards.

It is your prerogative not only to highlight such issues but bring forth the grievances of over 25000 customers of CBN and 10000 customers of LBN cable TV providers to light .Viewership of both providers is over 150,000.

Other than the subscribers, the employees(300+) are at a high risk of losing their jobs and Sri Lanka stand the chance to lose the broadband technology even news services like CNN is utilizing.

You been a prestige magazine widely read by the business community would be aware how efficient and competent the services of CBN was during transmission to whole of Sri Lanka. I guess at least you owe them the courtesy of mentioning the injustice meted out by concerned authorities to them.

Hope that you will see it in the same light as we do and highlight in your magazine by way of an article the hardships faced by not only the companies but subscribers and employees as well or at least publish this letter in the upcoming issue.



ROMESH said...

Dr Amunugama is well versatile in this kind of subjects and he is one or the only ministers who is cabapable of doing something.

Lisura is right and he is well connected to the media (Former media minister) and is very close to Geetha Kumarasinghe and it may well be that his friends or whoever close to him would have applied for a licence.

But still there is some logic in writting to him than the rest of the fools or mugs in the government,as he is capable of understanding positively and doing some work.

kula said...

To Cable Guy

Multivision had this capacity issue since 2-3 years

dini said...

i believe there will come a time when all televisions will come with an inbuilt sat receiver and they will be incapable of receiving analogue signals. we'll have to be geared for it as a country. there is no escaping it.

cbnsatcustomer said...

I read an article by Dr Sarath Amunugama in Ravaya news paper about 1 month back. In this article he had laughed at government decision to tax foreign programmes and mentioned about
DTH and satallite tv is the future for
tv and had written about governments lack of knowledge about these new technologies

ALISON said...

Why dont we push with Dr.Amunugama as he seems to be well versed with the technology and the future and we all know that he is well educated and will understand the plight of the subscribers,company and the development perseptive of the country.

I dont think he would be fooled easily by Baluwardena and Huluballa as they did to HE.

kula said...

I am sure that some of the MP's would have used CBN/LBN.Can't we get their backing?

godaya said...

Cable Guy,
Why dont you tray calling SATNET and ask for a conection- just to see whether they still give conection inspite of Hulla having to pay 150,000/- at the Magistrate Court for not having a license.

Palitha Galappaththi said...

Satnet is giving connections even today. Its managed by someone above this country's normal judicial system. I am sure Minister Anura Priyadarshana, TRC officials, Defence Ministry officials are given SATnet connection FOC. Dr. Amunugama is a practical, futuristic individual. On the advice of JVP he was given a infamous ministry. There is a talk he may become State Minister for Finance as Ranjith Siyambalapitiya cannot speak English and do the begging work for foriegn aid, and he talks what JVP wants. H. E MR is now feeling the heat of embracing JHU and JVP.

Dase said...

when you go to you will see lot of websites related to Sri Lankan news .this includes BBc sandesaya also.why not send this appeal to them also.

Dase said...

If CBnsat really interested they can at least call Rawaya and leader and explain the injustice happen.i am sure they will give wide publicity.Anybody noticed initially bench for the hearing was chaired by Dr Shirani Bandarsanayaka and 2nd day it was changed?

ROMESH said...

The composition of the Bench would not have changed anything and the CJ is the only person who could have made postive order,and it was clearly evident that he was not the same person at the second hearing and was defeneitly influenced by the top executive in the goverment.

We are aware CBN are in touch or trying to get their story out with all these media,but some are reluctant because of the pending court case and the Leader may be having other concerns about being unecessaraly targeted.

As CBNsat say the president has taken the case beyond any legal solution and the commencement of transmission is soley in the hands of his excellancy and no one else.

hush said...

yeah romesh, H.E. been a lawyer himself has indeed taken beyond the legal framework the case concerned.

this emphasize the need for balance of powers between the executive, legislature and called the check and balance system currently prevalent in the US is best example of a working system.

also one has to taken in to consideration on the political front whether 150,000 votes of viewers are more important than the couple of votes from vested interests.

your prognosis on the issue of CBNsat is good as mine.

kula said...

At least the opposition party should realise the value of this 150,000 votes. Unfortunately they too silent about the whole issue up to now.

Palitha Galappaththi said...

do we have any opposition party in this country? Derana is Dr. Sarath Amunugama's daughter's property. I am not sure CBNsat is interested in getting the transmission started. They may be trying to get out of the country sooner than later. Subscribers may be left with a Dish and Decoder.

ALISON said...

The problem is that they think 90% of this voter base is mostly the urbun UNP vote and their target is the rural vote.

Yes the guy has been a lawyer but not a smart or capable one as most of us are aware,But he is playing a different game aided by his brothers and has been easily mislead by Baluwardena with the Support of Huluballa.

He was working behind the scene and only stepped in when he realised that this case could not be dragged any further without using his executive powers to destroy CBNsat.

Now he has stepped in as Romesh said,He is the only person who can rectify and remember the fools around him are poisaning him every minute.

bank_dude said...

I agree with Palitha. The way that CBN performed in last few weeks not encouraging at all. I believe that CBN screwed up the case from the very beginning. I hope all of you know about Nahil Wijesoriya's case. BBC couldn't sue the fellow. Likewise if CBN told that "they are not aware of any licences and if so we will obtain it", this might have end up in the very begining. As we know it is hard to sue a government. That is the truth.

Atleast CBN now go behind a minister like Amunugama and convince the president will help them a lot. This court case will drag for another 2-3 years. Once the media ministry put their concernas, CBN either have to object or have to agree it. It's a never ending cycle.

One other thing. Why don't we send a letter to Hiru FM about our concerns and tell them to conduct a program in "Rathu Miniththuwa". By the way Hiru FM also was on CBN sat too.

Cable Guy said...

I just took a peek at the web site dase mentioned (

It has listed as a Sri Lankan news link along with other sites like and


Isn’t that a similar thing like CBN and LTTE channel sharing the same satellite?

Lightning_Struck_Tower said...

Even google news lists Tamilnet as a news source alongside (in fact is a low priority result in google news)

But what have the govt done about that? Tamilnet is operated from colombo. And the authorities are sleep blaming satellietes and CBNsat.

It doesnt take a big effort to launch a DDOS attack and silence tamilnet, the tiger propoganda machine for good. Similar operations are carried by the FBI, such as operation site down and operation fastlink.

But in srilanka we dont give a damn about what tamilnet says.In sl, New technology is poison. Let the tigers spread lies while the govt closes legit companies down :p

godaya said...

Just a word abouut the President's skill as a lawyer. His first appearance in a court was not as a lawyer but as an accused in a murder case during a by-election. He entered Law college thanks to a special gazzette by Mrs. Bandaranaike allowing all MPs to enter Law College. He never went through the competetive entrance exam. Such are his brains! And see how we are being screwed by him and his cahoots!

ROMESH said...

Nahil Wijesuriya is a master and he had the support of the late Hon.Lakshman Kadirgamar who himself was a authority on interlectutal property law and both were classmates at a school in kandy.

Nahil,has the required political connections whoever is in power and is a one off case.

Lisura said...

The biggest joke is LTTE TV is displaying a telecom phone number as their contact number. I could even post it on the web. It's a Jaffna telephone number.



ParanoidJackass said...

Shit.... Really..? so... is the government gonna shutdown SLT for giving the LTTE the phone line...?

This sounds hilarious. don't the government know that it's a SLT number...? wonder Y..?

kula said...

It was reported earlier that"LBN’s application for a license from the TRC has been forwarded to the defence ministry for clearance in accordance with a Presidential Directive and a response will be given by Friday, 1st of September"

“Same repsonse to CBN by 4th Sep"

So today MOD is supposed to give a response regarding LBN.

I am sure that MOD will inform the court that they acknowledge the receipt of such a request and accordingly they will have to contact various technical expertises to provide their final report. However, they will not in a position to give a time period due to prevailing situation of the Country!!!!

What do you think?

Max Payne said...

Isn't baluwardana going to do a program on tv lanka about slt supporting ltte?

Max Payne said...

I came up with this... Mr.Balu

TV lanka supports LTTE by keeping silence of the SLT phone given to LTTE .