The Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) is incapable of blocking live LTTE propaganda broadcasts to Europe and South East Asia originating from a secret location in the Vanni.
It cannot jam broadcasts as the group has secured a direct link to Eurostar (satellite) facilities. `We have been bypassed,` an official said on the condition of anonymity.
The LTTE, despite being proscribed by the US, the British and topping the list of organizations facing UN sanctions over child conscription, had negotiated a deal with Eurostar, a major European satellite services provider.
Government regulations prohibit broadcasts without approval. The Telecommuni-cation Regulatory Commission (TRC) remains the sole licensing authority.
TRC Director General Anura Amarasekera yesterday said that they received a spate of complaints regarding the ongoing LTTE operation. The TRC brought this to the notice of the Criminal Investigation Department, he said.
Amarasekera has directed his engineering division to monitor programmes and submit a full report to relevant authorities for follow-up action.
Another official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the LTTE operation got underway in late March this year with live broadcasts to Europe. Unfortunately the government did not act swiftly, the official said adding that by August their services had been expanded to South East Asia.
The so called National Television of Tamileelam and the Voice of Tigers are using Eurostar at 11.5GHz. Their broadcasts reach India, parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mayanmar and China for two hours between 13.30 - 15.30 GMT.
The LTTE is believed to have secured the equipment needed in the Vanni to mount the operation during the previous UNP administration with the help of Norwegian facilitators. During the ongoing Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) the LTTE secured the State-run Rupavahini`s assistance to broadcast LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran`s annual policy speech made in late November.