LTTE is paying for its broadcasts and no pirates, records show

By Walter Jayawardhana


Though the Washington D.C. based Intelsat Corporation at the beginning of March this year told reporters that the designated terrorist group in the United States the, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are pirates and using their satellite for their violent terrorist programs without paying money reliable government sources said that actually the communication giant is paid out of the outfit’s funds for those terrorist broadcasts and they are no pirates.

Intelsat Corporation higher-ups were quoted having told a website that the Tamil Tigers were pirates using their satellite illegally and they would be discontinued immediately.

But so far the propaganda broadcasts of the terrorist group are without hindrance being beamed across Europe, for which the armed outfit depend heavily for collecting funds for procurement of arms and planning further violence in Sri Lanka.

“LTTE is telecasting their National Television of Tamil Eelam (NTT) and broadcasting the Voice of Tigers (VOT) through INTELSAT 12 (frequency 11.506DHz) to viewers outside Sri Lanka. This has been happening since the end of 2006,” a Sri Lanka government official who does not want to divulge his name told this correspondent.

Records show , according to Lyng Sat, a chart showing all satellite Television channels and radio channels the NTT and VOT are subscribers of INTELSAT 12, managed by INTELSAT based in Washington DC.

The contents of the programs advocate violence and terrorism. The channels are sponsored by the LTTE to promote propaganda for their separatist cause.

After the designated terrorist group by the United States publicly announced that their propaganda programs will be beamed by the Washington based Corporation, the matter was taken up officially at the 31st Extraordinary Meeting of Parties of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) held in Paris from 20-23 March 2007.

David McGlade, CEO of INTELSAT was informed of this issue in person at the ITSO by Sri Lankan diplomatic officials. Mr. McGlade who had initially maintained the LTTE had pirated the TV and radio waves had promised to ensure the Tigers were no longer able to beam out through INTELSAT 12 .

Since no step had been taken to rectify the situation, a representative of the government of Sri Lanka sent a fax to the corporation reminding about the non-action . Mr. Phillip Spector, executive Vice President and General Counsel to the CEO got back to the official and protested why he sent a fax when this matter could have been mutually settled in a man to man discussion. The official reportedly told him that several attempts to contact them failed and his numerous calls were never returned. Apparently, he was upset why the protest this time came in a written form. When he was told the the satellite users were terrorists with links to Al Queda Spector reportedly reminded the Sri Lankan official that it should have been Sri Lanka’s look out to secure its borders. He is also reportedly told him if a thief comes to a grocery stores and steals, the grocery store owner couldn’t do anything about it. Mr. Spector, a leading Washington lawyer, studied law at the Harvard University and is recognized as an expert on the subject of communication law. But unfortunately Inelsat Corporation is having a long history of being paid by well recognized terrorist organizations to carry out their propaganda in the past.

In 2004 Intelsat was badly criticized by the US public for broadcasting propaganda of Al Manar, a TV station related to Hezbollah. It also carried propaganda of the MED-TV related to the Kurdish terrorist group in the past.

Incidentally, both groups have been linked to the LTTE. Meanwhile Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke told this correspondent that his embassy is scheduled to discuss and sort out this problem with Intelsat on Tuesday and he cannot comment on it further.

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Posted on April 7, 2007, in Sri Lanka and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on LTTE is paying for its broadcasts and no pirates, records show.

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