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Govt. distances itself from satellite launch

22 November 2012 01:36 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Government yesterday distanced itself from the first communications satellite to be launched today, despite it being endorsed by Scientific Affairs Senior Minister Tissa Vitarana and backed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s youngest son Rohitha.  

Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) Director Anusha Palpita told Daily Mirror yesterday that the government was in no way involved in the satellite launch.

“It is a venture undertaken by a private company and we are not involved in the project in any capacity. However, the company has applied for a downlink and uplink services’ licence from the TRCSL. We have not granted approval yet,” he said.

Mr. Palpita said TRCSL approval was required for new satellite services to be provided to local consumers just like the licence granted to television stations, corporations and other telecommunication carriers to promote their space-technology related services within the country.

He said the stationing of the satellite due to be launched today, is not based on a Sri Lankan footprint (the ground area of the communication satellite’s receivers and transmitters that offer coverage).

“At present Sri Lanka possess two satellite footprints but this particular satellite has not obtained approval for Sri Lankan footprints,” he said adding that even if the company applied for approval to obtain a local footprint, it would take at least two or three years because approval had to be sought from the International Telecommunications Union and other neighboring countries prior to reserving a footprint.

Mr. Palpita said though discussions were carried out on several occasions concerning the launch of a satellite with government involvement, the task was not undertaken as it would cost about USD400 million.

“It is a huge investment and there is no guarantee of a return on the funds invested,” he added.

What’s described as Sri Lanka’s first communications satellite – SupremeSAT I, is due to be launched today at the Chinese Xichang satellite launch centre at 3.43 p.m. (local time). During the news conference held on Tuesday at the minister’s office, it was announced that two other satellites will be launched next year and in 2015, as part of a five-year project handled by the private-owned Sri Lankan company Supreme Group. The design, manufacture and production of the satellites are assisted by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation at an estimated cost of USD320 million. (Lakna Paranamanna)

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  Comments - 14

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  • galapitamada Thursday, 22 November 2012 04:13 AM

    A great step forward

    Mason Thursday, 22 November 2012 06:52 AM

    In fact you did distance yourself from Satellite no sooner you came to power. Now she probably orbits with regrets.

    Revolted Thursday, 22 November 2012 10:09 AM

    Political intrigue is what it sounds like.

    mirror Thursday, 22 November 2012 10:14 AM

    Privatized service from outer space ?

    jan Thursday, 22 November 2012 10:42 AM

    Who is funding?

    kasi Thursday, 22 November 2012 11:22 AM

    India is watching

    Reality Thursday, 22 November 2012 11:33 AM

    After Sri Lanka goes Digital on TV the government involvement will materialize.

    pramo Thursday, 22 November 2012 12:03 PM

    Cheque bounced,buy a Lambo & take satalite for ride

    DIRK DE SILVA Thursday, 22 November 2012 12:26 PM

    Distancing......................... because of India's objections?

    Nishantha Thursday, 22 November 2012 12:32 PM

    to avoid India's pressure....

    pawlpaksa Thursday, 22 November 2012 02:02 PM

    Ratay sali tika iwari winasai.

    dd Thursday, 22 November 2012 03:18 PM

    so why SL flag on setellite

    Pamankada Alimankada Thursday, 22 November 2012 04:46 PM

    So what? You want EElam flag?

    Calistus Jayatilleke Friday, 23 November 2012 09:05 AM

    Because they hate the word "Satellite" (Chandrika)!


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