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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2867

LTTE’s Euro TV moves to Israel after blockade by France and Italy

Tel Aviv, 23 April, ( The Tamil Tigers started test transmissions of its Euro television channel from Israel using the RR Sat of Tel Aviv for uplink facility. This move came after its earlier attempts to revive the Euro TV from Italy and France failed due to timely action taken by Sri Lankan embassies in Rome and Paris respectively.

It is apparent that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a proscribed organization in the European Union and the United States had used a front organization to mislead the Israeli authorities. Diplomatic sources expressed confidence that Israel would not have granted uplink facility to the Euro TV if they had known that it was the television channel of the LTTE which is banned in United States, the powerful ally of Tel Aviv. “Israel would not have allowed it after it was closed down by Italy if they knew the connection,” a diplomat said. “I am sure that Israel would also close down this channel when they realize the LTTE connection.”

Earlier the Globecast, the Paris based European satellite provider and the French CSA, which is the telecommunication regulatory authority refused to grant a license to a seemingly innocent entertainment company set up by a Tamil Tiger front company when the Sri Lankan Embassy in Paris provided the details of the LTTE links with the front organization.

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris kept the French authorities informed about the LTTE attempts to obtain licenses for television and radio channels through different front organizations. Regular briefings by the Sri Lanka Embassy prompted the French authorities to check the antecedents of companies and individuals applying for licenses for Tamil television and radio stations.

The TTN, which was the main LTTE propaganda television station in Europe was closed down by the authorities after strong protest lodged by the Sri Lanka Embassy in May 2007. Since the banning of the TTN by French authorities and Globecast, a French based satellite uplink company last year, the LTTE made several attempts to establish a television station of its own. Last December the LTTE came out with the poster campaign announcing, ‘TTN is planning to recommence its transmissions soon based from Paris to the viewers of entire Europe.’

Earlier this year, the LTTE made another attempt, this time from Milan in Italy to register a European TV transmission. The Sri Lankan embassy in Rome moved in quickly to nip it in the bud.

Since then the attempts made by the LTTE to recommence TTN transmissions did not succeed. It had failed to obtain a license from the CSA, the Telecommunication Authority in France. The transmission was cancelled by CSA in May 2007 after Sri Lankan authorities informed the CSA that TTN was the television institution belonging to LTTE which is banned terrorist outfit.

Attempts made by the LTTE to register TTN during the court proceedings were also unsuccessful as the CSA had rejected the application. Later last year the French Tribunal looking into commercial disputes, while denying the right to transmit, however granted permission to function as a media institution and produce programmes.

The LTTE uses all possible methods including bribery and other corrupt practices to recommence TTN transmissions from France. However, the French authorities keep a close vigil on the LTTE and its front organizations since the arrest of 19 LTTE cadres in 2007 for various illegal activities on French soil. Three of the detained persons were granted conditional bail while the other 16 are still under detention and the court granted police additional time to scrutinize thousands of documents seized from LTTE offices and front organizations namely TCC, ORT France (TRO) and other offices in the French capitol.

Currently, the LTTE entirely rely on the Israel based Satlink and RR Sat for its transmissions of Tharisanam and Euro TV and early action by the Israel government to stop these propaganda arm of the LTTE would be a deadly blow to the terrorist organization.

- Asian Tribune -

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