Days of the Tamil Television Network (TTN) TV Channel - the main propaganda arm of the Tamil Tigers based in Paris, France -- are numbered, according to informed sources. Legal actions have been initiated to close down this operation owned by the Tamil Tigers.
French authorities began their inquiries when protests were lodged by the Sri Lankan government about the terrorist propaganda broadcast from this station. Investigations into the accusations of broadcasting terrorist propaganda revealed that TTN was operating illegally without obtaining a proper license.
Licenses to operate televisions in France are granted by Conseil Supérieur de l`audiovisuel (CSA). The CSA is an independent administrative authority that was established in 1989 to guarantee broadcasting freedom according to the conditions laid down by the modified Law of September 30th, 1986.
Tiger owners of TTN, who panicked, when the French authorities were on their tail, hurriedly applied for a licence to operate in France. The six member committee of the Conseil supérieur de l`audiovisuel, the Media Authority which met on 21 February, 2006 to deliberate on the application made by the TTN Television management, rejected the application. The CSA said that TTN is already set up in France and broadcasting programs on French soil without having any agreement (License) with the CSA and has, therefore, decided to inform the illegality perpetuated by the TTN to the Attorney General for legal action against the TTN.
`The CSA (Conseil supérieur de l`audiovisuel,) the French Media Authority, said: `As the channel, which was already set up in France, was broadcasting programs on French soil without having any agreement (License) with the CSA, and as the later, in application of the modified article 42-11 from the law of September 30th 1986 and also in application of article 40 of Penal Procedure Code, went to law and reported that offence to the Attorney General, the CSA cannot give a positive answer to that request as long as this illegal broadcasting will last.` (Unofficial translation)
(French original version)
Date de publication sur le site : 21 mars 2006
Assemblée plénière du 21 février 2006
``L`éditeur de la chaîne Tamil Television Network ayant demandé au CSA la conclusion d`une convention, le Conseil lui a répondu que, dès lors que cette chaîne établie en France émettait d`ores et déjà sur le territoire français sans convention avec le CSA, et que ce dernier, en application de l`article 42-11 de la loi du 30 septembre 1986 modifiée et de l`article 40 du Code de procédure pénale, avait saisi de cette infraction le procureur de
la République, il ne pouvait donner suite à sa demande tant que cette diffusion illégale perdurerait.` (Concluded)`
Accordingly the matter was referred to the Ministry of Justice for legal action. As TTN was located in 5 Rue Emile Zola, 93120 La Courneuve, the matter was referred to the Tribunal de grande instance de Bobigny (Court of Bankruptcy of Bobigny), 173, avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 93009 Bobigny Cedex
Ultimately the court summoned M. Kailayapathy Vagan Ponniah, Managing Director of the TTN to courts on 15 April 2007.
According to court sources Kailayapathy Vagan did not physically present himself before the courts on 15 February.
`Asian Tribune` learns that Vagan originally from Punguduthievu in Sri Lanka is a cousin of Mathivathany Prabhakaran, wife of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers. He normally resides in London. He was in Sri Lanka in 2006 and underwent military training in Vanni.
Sources told `Asian Tribune` that the court has given a fresh date - 15 April 2007 for Vagan to present himself in the courts. Another source told `Asian Tribune` that the case may be postpone to a date in May.
Legal sources when contacted told `Asian Tribune,` that depending on the nature of the case presented against the TTN TV , there is a likelihood of Court viewing the violations of Media regulations seriously. Based on international and national laws against terrorism the TTN has no case to defend itself. Legal opinion is confident that the TTN`s days are numbered.