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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2674

Sri Lankan government finances Tigers by buying their Tamil TV programs

Chennai, 26 February, ( Sri Lanka’s National Television station Rupavahini buys Tamil programs from the extensive global network of Tiger TV organizations.

Rupavahini operates two networks: Rupavahini (Channel 1) primarily in Sinhalese, and Channel Eye (Channel 2) primarily in Tamil and English.

One of the main sources that produce TV programs for Tigers is in Tamil Nadu. Tigers have an office and TV studio at T. Nagar in Chennai, to produce programs for their TTN TV.

Mallaiyappan of Tamil Nadu is the head of this Tigers office. He use to frequent Colombo to meet with Rupavahini officials for the sale of TTN TV programs.

Rupavahini buys TV programs produced in the TTN studio in Tamil Nadu from Mallaiyappan. This is one of the biggest money-making operations of the Tamil Tigers. By buying programs from the Tiger TV producers, Sri Lanka Government is helping the Tigers indirectly to amass money.

Tigers have also cornered the distribution market of Tamil films. The Tamil film distribution is handled by Sahadevan from Malaysia. He and Ayngaran Karuna who resides in London have the virtual monopoly of the screening rights of Tamil movies outside India.

Sahadevan sells the rights of the Tamil movies to countries in Europe and to the North American countries. Tamil Nadu film industry produces over hundred films annually. Those who own the screening rights get a lion share of the market.

Within India the screening and distribution rights of these movies are sold to many Indian theatres and Indian distributors. But the screening rights of these Tamil movies outside India are normally bought by the two Tiger agents, Sahadevan of Malaysia and Ayngaran Karuna who lives in UK. In addition to screening rights they also own the rights of making VCD’s and VCR’s -- all of which are money-spinners.

Ayngaran Karuna Distributors also controls many theatres for screening the Tamil movies not only in Sri Lanka but also in Singapore. The Singaporean chain of theatres is estimated to bring in huge revenue to the Tigers.

Last year Sahadevan obtained the screening rights of hundreds of Tamil movies and Sahadevan launched SR TV and began telecasting those Tamil movies in his TV, similar to that of HBO of the English movies.

Rupavahini buys Tamil movies to for local telecasting from this SRTV for its Channel Eye (Channel 2) primarily telecast in Tamil and English.

- Asian Tribune -

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