Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Attention Sri Lankans : CBNSat being threatened by Defense Officials

Please copy the email given below and forward it to everyone you know.

In the aftermath of approval by the Supreme Court allowing CBNsat to recommence transmissions and also the Share Purchase agreement which will make CBNsat a fully owned subsidiary of Dialog Telekom. The people who were originally behind the shutdown of CBNsat are frantically pulling all strings to keep the broadcaster closed. They have gone to the extent of issuing threats to CBNsat and also trying to force the police to start another investigation into CBNsat.

The only thing that is preventing them is the supreme court ruling which prevents anyone from interfering with CBNsat operations.

These people behind all these threats are top officials in the Defense circles who are making use of their positions to gain a business advantage and have no regard for the National Security of this country.

These people should be immediately removed from their posts since they are a bigger threat to the national security of this nation.

By this we understand that all the allegations brought against CBNsat were false and it was these corrupt individuals who made this all up to keep a business venture shut.

An article related to this has appeared in the Daily Mirror dated 29th Nov 2006.

Please forward this email to all your friends and relatives so that they may be aware of these corrupt individuals and know that the real truth behind the CBNsat shutdown.

We appeal to Your Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse to sack these corrupt individuals immediately.

CBNsat Customers

Top Defense Official trying to mess with CBNsat

*** We received the following as comment and it tallies with the Daily Mirror Report that is posted below this one.

savecbnsat Says :
It is known to us the interested party who holds a high position in the defense circles (all of you know who) have got another high ranking government defense official relating to the president to order DIG Colombo to search CBNSat premises again.

He had told the police to search and find anything to delay CBNSat restarting operations. The top police official have told that because of the court order they can't harass CBNSat any further. These corrupt goons have blasted the top police official to do whatever possible to stop CBNSat recommencing transmission.

I think this country will be a hell with these idiots in top chairs. They are using "National Security" as a cover up to run down their competitors. Look what they have done to CBNSat. They got the CID to close up a successful legal business approved by the government to close for 6 months without any valid reason.

Now even after the Supreme Court judgement these crooks are not willing to give up on their dirty tricks.

If these dogs think that we do not know anything they should know that we are closely watching the situation. We know what you are up to.

We will keep the masses knowledged of what you dogs are doing. If you do not stop your dirty tricks towards CBNSat you will rot to death !!!!!!!


It looks like these people who are behind this scenario are still continuing their dirty tricks. These people who hold senior posts in the Defense circles are supposed to be serving the nation, rather they seem to be making use of those positions for their advantage.

How can we trust the security of this nation on highly corrupted people like this, PLEASE SACK THEM FROM THESE POSTS IMMEDIATELY.

CBNSat Recommences transmission - Daily Mirror 29th Nov 06

CBNSat the satellite television channel which was sealed for six months ago will reopen transmission from today despite the alleged threats by a politician.

Executing last Monday's Supreme Court decision the management of CBNSat, SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. had started transmission.

When contacted by the Daily Mirror CEO Muhunthan Canagasooryam said that transmission would be started from midnight or probably today.

Refusing to comment on the political interference against the reopening of the TV station which had nearly 20,000 subscribers, Mr. Canagasooryam said "We cannot pay heed to these alleged threats. We will continue with the reopening."

The Daily Mirror learns that a politician had threatened against the reopening of the TV channel following the court order. The CEO said that the delay for the reopening was due to repairs to equipment which were no used for last six months.

CBNSat transmission was sealed by the CID on March 22 this year alleging an uplinking of a Tamil medium channel as part of its operation.

By Susitha R. Fernando

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Death Threats

We are receiving unconfirmed reports that the CBNSat CEO Mr. Muhunthan Canagey is receiving death threats after the ruling by the Supreme Court.

This appeared as a comment on this blog but we are unable to confirm this.

The below is from a blogger called SaveCBNSAT

Death threats to CBNSat CEO

After yesterdays court hearing to restore the CBNSat transmission up and running, CEO of CBNSat has began to receive death threats from certain parties who opposed to CBNSat operations right from the start.

They have called and threatened not to start the transmission immediately. If CBNSat start they said they will bomb the uplinking station.

It is sad that even after the supreme court verdict yesterday these corrupt people are not willing to accept the judgement delivered by Hon. CJ.

Lets all hope and pray CBNSat will not be turned down again by this unethical people who ruin our country by getting close to top politicians. Now it is very clear that their intention is purely for personal gains and not for the good and benefit of the majority community.

Enough is Enough !!!!!!!!

Lets rally round CBNSat to help them to start the operations ASAP.

Call them and encourage them to not to fall pray into these corrupt people.


That was followed by a comment from Lisura

Dear fellow subscribers,

This story may be true because even yesterday CBNSat have told me that soon after getting the court verdict on paper they are able to restart operations.

Actually the seals were removed few weeks back on a court order for servicing. So they should be up by at least with one channel or at least color bars.

There might be something happening underhand preventing them uplinking.

This can't go on like this ! What is the place for justice in our motherland ??? How can these corrupt people stop a verdict given by CJ.

If this story is true CBNSat should immediately inform this to CJ and act accordingly.

This country should be freed from these dog gone officials.

This must be the reason why there is a delay in the uplinking since CBNsat had previously informed that the up linking can be done within 30 minutes of the court order. They seem to have also threatened to bomb the uplinking station.

The above information may be all wrong but there is a possibility taking into account the calibre of the people who are behind all this shutdown.

IF this is true it is now time to rally around and support CBNsat more than ever. There is no need to mention the name's of the prime suspects since they are very popular among CBNsat customers and are at the receiving end of the curses of more than 20,000 customers.

We are also getting reports that CBNsat will be commencing transmissions anytime during the day today. It all depends on whether the above piece of information is true or not.

Please keep us updated on any new developments and also update this blog when the decoder light turns green.


Update from CBNsat

*** The below email was received by us yesterday and we regret our inability to post this earlier

In the Supreme Court today, we requested for interim relief and got the permission for CBNSat to immediately re-commence transmission.

Our Engineering team is working on this and we expect CBNSat will be back on air tomorrow morning.

We are proud that we did not give up and that we have succeeded in resuming the transmission independently through the CBNSat name.

However, due to the six month closure where the company did its best to honour as much of its commitments as possible, the company is now financially crippled and will need fresh investment.

In this regard, an agreement was signed with Asset Media (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of Dialog Telekom Limited whereby CBNSat will be purchased by them in the near future and become a subsidiary of Dialog Telekom Limited. Permission was also obtained for this transfer in the Supreme Court.

CBNSat will however remain intact and function as a separate business unit.

CBNSat is extremely grateful to the support given by its stakeholders, including the CBNSat Subscriber Unite group, the valued customers, its employees, the financial institutions and other parties whose patience and understanding was vital.”

Dilani Nandasiri
Manageress Legal

Communiq Broadband Network (Pvt.) Ltd.
83 George R. De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 13, Sri Lanka .
Tel: +94 11 460 6000 Fax: +94 11 460 6099

Dialog TV

Sri Lanka's Dialog Telekom picks up cable operator CBN Sat

November 27 2006 (LBO) – Dialog Telekom, the island's biggest mobile phone operator, Monday announced plans to acquire satellite pay television operator Communiqu Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd and CBN Sat (Pvt) Ltd for 532.8 million rupees.
A unit of Telekom Malaysia, Dialog said the acquisition is subject to the telco completing a share sale and purchase sale agreement with both parties.

The acquisition of 100 percent of both firms' share capital, will be carried out through Dialog's subsidiary, Asset Media (Pvt) Ltd.

Dialog bought Asset Media for 325 million rupees in October, and indicated plans to use its radio and television frequency license, to rollout a host of infotainment services ranging from television to mobile phone services.

A greenfield operation, Asset Media also comes with its own broadcasting studio, a free-to-air and pay television license. "The acquisition of CBN/CBNSAT is expected to provide Asset Media with cutting edge DTH (direct to home) Satellite Pay TV infrastructure and strong portfolio of Content partnerships, in addition to a healthy base of Pay TV subscribers," Dialog said in a statement.

Dialog said it plans to pay for the acquisition through internally generated cash. The digital convergence, also known as quadruple play or four-play, allows Dialog to offer cable television, broadband, fixed-line and mobile telephone services.

Earlier this year, Dialog moved into the broadband market by picking up a network operator MTT. Re-branded as 'Dialog Broadband', MTT also had a license to offer CDMA (code division multiple access) services or cheaper fixed line telephone services by using mobile technologies.
Dialog's CDMA operation, is due to start next January.

In August, Dialog became the first in South Asia to commercially launch third generation mobile services or 3G, giving customers the facility for high speed web browsing, video streaming, online games, music and movie downloads.

Sri Lanka, which became the first South Asian nation to start mobile services, when Celltel Lanka began operations in 1989, now boasts over 4.28 million subscribers, according to Central Bank figures.

Dialog Telekom, dominates the industry with over 3 million subscribers, followed by Mobitel Lanka, Celltel Lanka Ltd, Hutchinson. The telecom regulator is in the process of selecting a fifth operator.

SonicNet granted permission to commence operation - Daily Mirror 28th Nov 06

The Supreme Court yesterday (27) granted interim relief to SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd permitting it to recommence the operation of its Communiq Broadband Network (CBN Sat) transmission with immediate effect.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justices N. G. Amaratunga and Saleem Marsoof also granted the petitioner company SonicNet Technologies leave to proceed with the fundamental rights application for the alleged infringements of its fundamental right to equality and equal protection of the law.

The matter came up on a motion filed pursuant to the proceedings of November 6. Having considered the submission of the petitioner, court made order permitting the petitioner to negotiate a sale of the equipment and facilities to another service provider.

This order specifically stated that the negotiations could be entered into by the petitioner on the basis that the order sealing the equipment would be vacated, when negotiations are finalised.

President's Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for the petitioner submitted that the negotiations are now being finalised and the petitioner could sell the facility to the subsidiary of Dialog Telekom Ltd. Asset Media (Pvt) Ltd wholly subsidiary of the Dialog Telekom Ltd would purchase the shares of Communiq Broadband Network.

Counsel Romesh de Silva further submitted that Asset Media has already got licence under Section 28 of the Rupavahini Corporation Act (Media licence) permitting it to broadcast and that the Dialog Telekom has a licence under and in terms of Section 17 of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

He submitted that pursuant to the sale agreement with the petitioner, Dialog and /or its subsidiary would be permitted to carry on the broadcast that were carried on by the petitioner prior to the seal.

He also submitted that the petitioner company has imported equipment which have not been cleared and is kept in the port premises and that since the TRC has not granted the clearance pending these proceedings, appropriate steps be taken by the TRC to ensure that the petitioner could clear his equipments.

Court accordingly granted the petitioner interim relief pleaded in the petition (d). Petitioner was permitted to recommence the service that were provided prior to the seizure and there will be no obstruction to the petitioner and / or Communiq Broadband being all companies owned by the same share-holders from carrying on the transmission that was done prior to the seizure. Since there is a possibility of resolving the matter, no date for objection for hearing is granted. The matter was listed to be mentioned on January 16.

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 –II the IGP, The TRC and the Attorney General as respondents.

President's Counsel Romesh de Silva 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 1st to 5th respondents and the Attorney General. President's Counsel D. S. Wijesinghe appeared for the intervenient petitioner the Minister of Mass Media and Information. President's Counsel Palitha Kumarasinghe appeared for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Sanjeewa Jayawardane with Rajeev Amarasuriya appeared for the Dialog Telekom.

By S.S.Selvanayagam

Monday, November 27, 2006

Excellent News

After waiting 6 months and not knowing what will happen to the money that they invested in their cable tv connections, it now seems to be finally over. CBNsat was given permission to commence broadcasts immediately by the Supreme Court according to the information received by us.

The time and date of resumption of the broadcast is not known exactly since there are so many conflicting reports on that front. Some say today, some tomorrow, some next week. Well it should be noted that after waiting so long the customers of CBNsat will not mind waiting a little while more.

It looks like all the channels will not be visible as soon as CBNsat recommences transmissions and they will be implemented on a step by step basis since they will have to up link all the channels that were out for a long period of time.

According to comments being received by us on the blog it looks like Dialog GSM have struck a deal with CBNsat but we are unable to confirm this.

We would like to thank the management of CBNsat and whoever that has signed up with CBNsat and also the Honorable Chief Justice for taking into consideration the plight of the customers.

We hope that our readers will keep checking their decoders from time to time and update this blog as soon as CBNsat recommences transmission and also on any new developments.








CBNSat Subscribers Unite

From CBNsat Subscribers Unite




CBNSat Subscribers Unite

Monday, November 20, 2006

Uncertain Future

Yesterdays report in The Sunday Times Financial Times has become a hope killer for most CBNsat Subscribers, particularly the statement given below.

"The Defence Ministry is yet to clear CBN (Communiq Broadband Networks Ltd), off the air since June 9 this year for a media licensing facility and is unlikely to get one, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka, Kanchana Ratwatte, told The Sunday Times FT."

So the only option CBNsat has is to join up with another licensed provider. According to the report a CBNsat Customer Service Representative has told that the only licensed provider at present is Rupavahini. As reported in this blog the newspaper also reports that CBNsat has provided Rupavahini with the proposals and are awaiting their response.

However as new operators enter the market the options will increase but how long will it be before new entrants are also given the license and can a company survive so long. Like we said earlier we are made to understand that slow and steady progress is being made and we would appreciate it if CBNsat takes steps to keep their customers updated on the present status. We understand that everything cannot be disclosed but their will definitely have to be some information that can be disclosed to their customers since they are also stakeholders.

Questions are being raised by some bloggers regarding the credibility of information that is being released on this blog. Please understand that the information that we are bringing to you is what is being received by us. We are striving to maintain a high quality of information released via this blog.

CBNsat should now start looking for alternatives such as entering into a long term business partnership instead of just trying to sign an up linking deal. They should also try to explore possibilities such as selling the company to another party, this however is easier said than done since the person who started this company had a great vision and it is hard to let go of it.

The Defence Ministry have not cleared CBNsat still but we wonder how the TRC chairman can comment saying that "it is unlikely that CBNsat will get the clearance". It may sound like he is stating the obvious when looking at how things are proceeding at the moment but as the chairman of an state institution is it correct for him to pass the judgement before the decision is conveyed. He has to be neutral on the matter but it looks like he is biased.

We hope that CBNsat is able to recommence transmissions before the next court hearing which is on December 5th 2006.

Please keep us updated on the latest regarding CBNsat as the days progress.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Slow and Steady

We are getting reports that the agreement that CBNsat is pursuing with Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation is making slow progress but is said to be steady.

The pace of the progress may be due to the fact they are dealing with a state institution and the intricate paper work and discussions that are required.

According to unconfirmed reports that we are getting, their staff is still upbeat and are anticipating the relaunch of CBNsat.

We hope that the authorities at the SLRC will genuinely speed up the work and allow CBNsat to operate soon.

Please keep us updated on the latest regarding CBNsat as the days progress.

Friday, November 10, 2006

CBNsat settlement pending - Counsel for CBNsat (Daily News 10th November 06)

Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday put off the CBN Sat case to January 19 when President's Counsel M. L. M. Ameen appearing for the CBN Sat submitted that the Superior Court suggested a settlement and the settlement was pending.

President's Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya appearing for Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Media Minister submitted that the Criminal Investigation Department had conducted investigations against those television channels.

If the Attorney General was satisfied that the act of those channels was deemed to be a crime under the Rupavahini Act they would file plaints against all the accused. Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga appearing for the prosecution submitted that the CID had conducted the investigations and if the CBNsat could not come to a settlement they were filing the plaint.

The CID initiated the investigations when it found that several television channels were functioning without proper licence.

President's Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya with Kalinga Pasquel and Inoka Gamage appeared for the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Media Minister. Senior State Counsel Gihan Kulathunga appeared for the prosecution while President's Counsel M. L. M. Ameen appeared for CBNsat.

Sandasen Marasinghe

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

SonicNet allowed to recommence transmission through service provider - Daily mirror 07/11/2006

Could apply for licence under TRC and Rupavahini Corporation Act

The Supreme Court yesterday (6) granted permission to the SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd to enter into negotiation with a service provider for the recommencement of its transmission that was at a standstill for the last five months.

The Bench comprising Chief Justices Sarath N. Silva, Justices N.K.Udalagama and Andrew M. Somawansa granted this permission for the resumption of the transmission through any service provider that had been recommended by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC).

The SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd had filed this application contending that Commercial Crime Unit Police personnel on June 6 unlawfully sealed and seized its equipment and prevented it from using its equipment and operating its services whereas magistrate did not order or authorise to do so in his search warrant.

When the matter came up before the Supreme Court, the President's Counsel for the petitioner SonicNet Technologies submitted that the petitioner is now agreeable to transferring the equipment and business of transmission that has come to a standstill as a result of the order made sealing the equipment.

President's Counsel Palitha Kumarasinghe for the 7th respondent TRC submitted that the TRC has considered the applications submitted by the service providers and has made recommendations to the President in respect of some of them.

In these circumstances, the petitioner SonicNet Technologies may negotiate with any one or more of the service providers that had been recommended by the TRC.

The identity of such establishment should be made known to the President's Counsel for the SonicNet Technologies to arrange a transfer of the equipment concerned of such service providers on condition that the service providers will be granted a licence in terms of Section 17 of the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Act and that broadcast under the Rupavahini Corporation Act. Such negotiations would be entered into by the petitioner SonicNet Technologies on the basis that the order of sealing and seizure of the equipment would be vacated once negotiations are finalized.

Such order would be made on the basis that the service providers will take over the contracts already entered into by the petitioner SonicNet Technologies and its associate companies with all rights and liabilities to all proceedings in the District Court, High Court, Magistrate's Court and the Court of Appeal will be terminated without costs.

The petitioner SonicNet Technologies may enter into negotiation with a service provider with suitable arrangements which may be for a period. This will not prejudice to the petitioner SonicNet Technologies from pursuing its application for a licence under the TRC and Rupavahini Corporation Act.

The matter was listed for a final order on December 5 before a Bench of which Chief Justice is a member.

Petitioner in his petition cited Chief Inspector U.K.Mahindadasa, Superintendent of Police A.R.Vaidyalankara and Sub Inspector L.Tilak Bandara all of Police Commercial Crime Unit II and the IGP and the Attorney General as respondents.

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

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

Petitioner in the petition has asked 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.

President's Counsel Romesh de Silva with Sugath Caldera and Riad Ameen instructed by G.G.Arulpragasam appeared for the petitioner.

President's Counsel Palitha Kumarasinghe with Indika Idroos appeared for the TRC. Deputy Solicitor General Sathya Hetige with Senior State Counsel Sumathi Dharmawardana appeared for the respondent police officers.

By S.S.Selvanayagam

Monday, November 06, 2006

Update from CBNsat

We have received the following update from CBNsat regarding the Supreme Court hearing that was held today. We would like to thank CBNsat for taking time to send us this update.

This is an update on the Supreme Court hearing today.

Our initial delay in finalizing a commercial agreement with another operator was because there was uncertainty regarding whether the transmission equipment, which was initially sealed, will be released in order to re-commence the service with another operator.

We have obtained an order from the Supreme Court today to the effect that in the event an agreement is finalized with a licensed operator, the seizure of the transmission equipment will be removed. This will now speed up the negotiations. However, it was stated that the operator will need to have both the TRC licence and the Media licence.

In the meantime, the applications that we have made to the TRC and for the media licence will continue and have not been withdrawn.

We have also submitted a proposal to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and are awaiting their response.

The next date for the Supreme Court hearing is 5th December 2006 at 10 am.

Best regards,

Dilani Nandasiri
Manageress Legal

CBNsat Supreme Court hearing today (Nov 6th)

With today 5 months have been completed since the shutdown of CBNsat. Today CBNsat will be having a hearing at the Supreme Court. We are not sure what can be expected from this hearing and whether anything good can come out of it. However according to unconfirmed information that we are receiving, CBNsat is still negotiating with an undisclosed party in order to resume transmissions and we also hear that there is considerable progress that is being made.

Whether or not this will be mentioned at courts today is not certain. However it seems that one of the individuals behind the CBNsat closure B.A.C. Abeywardena is now in trouble over an issue at the Tea Board and has been asked to resign from his post as Chairman. However it seems that he is refusing to do so. Abeywardena you should understand that what you do to others will always come back to you since you are being cursed by over 25,000 customers of CBNsat and its 100,000 viewers and also the customer base of LBN. Resign without destroying the Tea Industry in Sri Lanka.

We are not sure on the time of todays hearing so please keep us updated on it. We also request our fellow bloggers to update us on the result of todays hearing as the day progresses.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Supreme Court hearing on Nov 6th

Well on monday (Nov 6th) CBNsat will be facing Court hearing number - we have honestly lost count of these court hearings. We wonder what the Supreme Court has to discuss and hopefully the Chief Justice will not get sick.

Information is only trickling in on the rumoured agreement between CBNsat and ????? party. According to unconfirmed information that we are getting, there is something going on behind the scenes and is being kept under wraps. Rightfully so, since these people who instigated this are waiting for a chance to pounce.

Please keep us updated on any developments regarding CBNsat as the days progress.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

FILEnetworks – TV & Radio Sri Lanka form partnership

We are very happy to announce that TV Radio Sri Lanka Group of Blogs and the FILEnetworks blog have formed a partnership in order to bring you the latest news and updates on TV-Radio industry and software related issues.

FILEnetworks will be bringing you the latest cracks and hacks that are available in the market place.

TV Radio Sri Lanka Group of Blogs consisting of TV Radio Sri Lanka Blog, CBNsat Blog, LBN Cable TV blog, Comet Cable Blog will be bringing you the latest in TV & Radio industry in Sri Lanka.

We hope to pass the benefits of this partnership down to our fellow bloggers.