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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2552

Hit by Intelstat closure Tamil Tigers plans a new TV satellite channel in France

Paris, 13 April, (Asiantribune.com): After the decision of Intelstat to close down National Television of Tamil Eelam (NTT) "within days" Tamil Tiger agents are planning to launch its second channel on the Hindu New Year day through Globecast which is at present said to be up-linking of the TTN television on the Hotbird satellite. TTN, a satellite Television operating out of Paris, is owned by the Taiml Tigers, formally known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an internationally banned terrorist organization. Kailayapathy Vagan Ponniah, Managing Director of the TTN France with branch office in London, is a cousin of Mathivathani, wife of Velupillai Prbhakaran, Leader of the LTTE.

GlobeCast ( www.globecast.com) is a leading global content management and delivery company. It is the subsidiary of France Telecom. This company manages and transports, through its worldwide satellite and fibre network, 10 million hours of video and other rich media yearly for its core customer base of broadcasters, as well as corporate, government and retail clients.

See 12245H for Video frequency in the left for TTN Television and for LTTE owned IBC radio in London

The company's global presence includes 15 teleports and technical operations centers throughout Europe, America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

Though the TTN – pay satellite TV operates from Paris up-linked by the GlobeCast , protests was earlier lodged by the Sri Lankan government about the terrorist propaganda broadcast from this TV station. Investigations into the accusations of broadcasting terrorist propaganda revealed that TTN was operating illegally without obtaining a proper license.

Licenses to operate televisions in France are granted by the media authority, Conseil Supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA). The CSA is an independent administrative authority that was established in 1989 to guarantee broadcasting freedom according to the conditions laid down by the modified Law of September 30th, 1986.

Tiger owners of TTN, who panicked, when the French authorities were on their tail, hurriedly applied for a licence to operate in France. The six member committee of the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel, the Media Authority which met on 21 February, 2006 to deliberate on the application made by the TTN Television management, rejected the application.

The CSA said that TTN has been set up in France and broadcasting programs on French soil without having any agreement (License) with the CSA. On this basis CSA decided to inform the illegality perpetuated by the TTN to the Attorney General for legal action against the TTN.

“The CSA said: “As the channel, which was already set up in France, was broadcasting programs on French soil without having any agreement (License) with the CSA, and as the later, in application of the modified article 42-11 from the law of September 30th 1986 and also in application of article 40 of Penal Procedure Code, went to law and reported that offence to the Attorney General, the CSA cannot give a positive answer to that request as long as this illegal broadcasting will last.” (Unofficial translation)

Accordingly, the matter was referred to the Ministry of Justice for legal action. As TTN was located in 5 Rue Emile Zola, 93120 La Courneuve, the matter was referred to the Tribunal de grande instance de Bobigny (Court of Bankruptcy of Bobigny), 173, avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 93009 Bobigny Cedex. Ultimately the court summoned M. Kailayapathy Vagan, Managing Director of the TTN to courts on 15 February 2007.

According to court sources Kailayapathy Vagan did not appear in courts on 15 February. French sources told the Asian Tribune that the court has given a fresh date - 15 may 2007 for Vagan to present himself in the courts

Asian Tribune learns that Vagan, originally from Punguduthievu in Sri Lanka, normally resides in London. He was in Sri Lanka in 2006 and underwent military training in Vanni.

Legal sources told the Asian Tribune, that depending on the nature of the case presented against the TTN TV, there is a likelihood of Court viewing the violations of media regulations seriously. Based on international and national laws against terrorism the TTN has no case to defend itself. Legal opinion is confident that the TTN's days are numbered in France.

It is learnt that French Court might order the closure of the TTN.

In the meantime, LTTE has come up with a new Paris-based TV channel aimed at undermining French attempts to close down its TV operations. Tamil Tigers are now desperately seeking alternative media channels after the decision of Intelstat to close down the broadcast of the National Television of Tamil Eelam, the free-to-air channel embedded in the Intelsat 12 satellite for the Sri Lankan and Asian viewers.

This is one of the official televisions of LTTE operating from Vanni. Intelsat Ltd which allowed Tamil Tigers to use their channels has so far not disclosed who or which organization is responsible for up-linking this TV channel to a transponder in the Intelsat 12 satellite.

But the two-hour daily program of the National Television of Tamil Eelam, beamed to Europe is being encrypted. Signals of National Television of Tamil Eelam are picked up by the Tamil Television Network (TTN) in Paris, France, which distributes the signals to the rest of Europe through its pay channel to propogate the terrorist agenda of the Sri Lanka’s separatist outfit.

Asian Tribune learns that though Globecast up-links the TNT television on the Hotbird satellite channel, they are not aware of the contents of the daily transmission of the TV programs. However pressure is building for the Globecast to cease the up-linking of the illegal TTN television transmission to Hotbird satellite.

- Asian Tribune

Also Read:

1. LTTE’s free-to-air channels to end "within days" – Intelsat

2. Asset Media failed to address the national security concern arising from Direct to Home service

3. Satellite based ‘Direct to Home’ television services a threat to National security

4. LTTE broadcasting illegally in Intelsat 12 satellite: Will be closed down soon – Intelsat Ltd.

5. Tigers open up new satellite radio station from Vanni

6. Sri Lankan government finances Tigers by buying their Tamil TV programs

7. French guillotine ready to chop the head of Paris-based Tamil Television Network.

8. Tigers grab Tamil TV and radio stations in France

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