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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2425

Breaking News: The LTTE TV Tharishanam goes off the air from today onwards

London, 22 June, (Asiantribune.com): Tharishanam TV (Revelation) another Tamil pay channel of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam operating from London, to go off the air from today ownwards.

The LTTE's international propaganda arm is expected to suffer a severe blow when Tharisanam TV is ultimately closed down - thus ending LTTE’s TV and other broadcast activities in Europe completely, except for the IBC Tamil radio broadcast from London.

Earlier, Asian Tribune brought to the notice that Tharisanam TV, the LTTE’s propaganda wing being run as a client of Globecast and linked on to the Israeli Satlink platform in the Hotbird 8 satellite.

Subsequently, Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry brought this issue to the notice of the Government of Israel.

Accordingly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel informed the Israeli Satlink, "In light of the high political importance that we see in resolving the issue, according to the manner required by the government of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is of the opinion that it is not appropriate that an Israeli company shall provide services, directly or indirectly to a body that is identified with a terror organization such as the LTTE. Therefore, we will be thankful for taking our aforesaid standpoint into consideration in the continuation of your activity."

The full text of the letter (unauthorized version) is given at the end of this news item.

This is a clear signal that Israel Government will not tolerate any of LTTE’s terrorists’ propaganda being carried out using Israeli facilities any longer.

Asian Tribune learnt that subsequently Satlink issued 72 hours notice on Friday of its intention of shutting down of the LTTE Television from the satellite platform.

Accordingly, Tharishanam TV yesterday ran a running announcement that the TV will go off from air from today onwards due to the pressure exerted by the Sri Lanka Government. They also vowed to their viewers that though closed, they may reemerge through another platform.

Many viewers said that this is a ploy for not coming forward pay back the balance of the suscriptions they recieved from the viewers.

However, at the time of posting this news item, Tharishanam has removed the running announcement regarding the closure of the TV and opened up as free to air.

But instead of the running the announcement, the TV makes special announcements at the end of each program, that they are going off the air from today onwards due to the pressure exerted by the Sri Lanka Government to the Government of Israel.

Since of late, LTTE had suffered a set of reversals starting with the closure of Tamil Television Network (TTN) in France in May 2007. At the time of shutting down of the TTN pay channel, it had 22,000 subscribers drawing around Euro Dollars 330,000 per month.

Thereafter, LTTE sponsored Tharishanam TV signed an agreement with ‘Makkal TV’. The ‘Makkal TV’ is owned by Pattali Makkal Kadchchi, a pro-LTTE, Tamil political party led by Dr. S. Ramadoss in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to telecast selected Makkal TV programmes in Tharishanam.

Subsequently, Tharishanam expanded its programmes from London to other European countries through agreements reached with Israel based Satlink and France based Globecast companies. Scheduling of programmes of Tharishanam is done from Israel in accordance with the instructions given by Tharishanam office based in London. Thereafter Satlink telecasts these programmes to the viewers in Europe through ‘Hotbird’, a satellite belonging to Eutelsat in coordination with Globecast, a France based Satellite Company.

In May 2008, Israel based RRSat commenced telecasting programmes of LTTE sponsored “Euro TV.” Transmissions of this TV were earlier brought to an end by Italian authorities due to its connection with LTTE. However RRSat ceased transmissions once the matter was brought to the notice of the authorities. RRSat is also involved in the latest attempt made by LTTE in June 2008 to recommence VOT (Voice Of Tigers) Radio transmissions through Serbia. However due to timely intervention this too was stopped.

Given below the text of the letter by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel to Mr. David Hochner, Satlink CEO. This letter was sent to Asian Tribune, courtesy – Tamil Broadcasting Corporation, London.

[Symbol]

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
JERUSALEM.

[Date according to Jewish calendar]
15/06/2008

Document number: 1-4037365

To,

Mr. David Hochner,
Satlink CEO,
02-5349145

Re: Satellite broadcasts of the Tamil underground organization by Satlink company

Hello,

Following our conversation, we wish to bring to your attention an application that has been received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri-Lanka, referring our attention to broadcasts of the Tamil underground organization LTTE, by Satlink Communications Company.

According to the information we have received, the company under your management is broadcasting, via satellite, a Tamil channel named Tharishanam.

The content of the broadcast includes propaganda on behalf of LTTE, to the Tamil community exiling in Europe, including an effort for money raising for the benefit of the activity of this organization in Sri Lanka. The government of Sri Lanka required from the State of Israel to act so that the Israeli company will cease the broadcast of the Tamil channel.

For your knowledge, the Tamil underground LTTE, is battling for independence in east of Sri Lanka and is making use of means of terror and violence. Said underground is defined as a terror organization in the United States, Canada, the European Union countries and India. It is not yet defined as a terror organization in Israel. However, any connection between it and an Israeli body is highly problematic and even extremely severe in light of Israel's coping against the terror organizations.

In light of the high political importance that we see in resolving the issue, according to the manner required by the government of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is of the opinion that it is not appropriate that an Israeli company shall provide services, directly or indirectly to a body that is identified with a terror organization such as the LTTE. Therefore, we will be thankful for taking our aforesaid standpoint into consideration in the continuation of your activity.

Sincerely,

[Signature]
Yaron Meir,
Vice Manager of South East Asia Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
60 Israel

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 Yitzhak Rabin Ave. Kiriat Ha'leom Jerusalem. (Letter to be confirmed)

Inputs for this report from - Ruwan Weerakoon, Colombo, TBC – London and Asian Tribune Middle East Correspondent)

- Asian Tribune –

Also Read

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2. Italian Police put the lid on LTTE Tamil television channel – Euro Television

3. Serbia stops Tiger transmission to Europe, Africa and Middle East

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

5. Breaking News: Tamil Television Network (TTN) shut down today afternoon

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