18 July, 2018

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RTI Discloses TRCSL’s ‘Administrative’ Decision To Give Spectrum Frequency To Mobitel  

A ruling against the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) by the Right to Information Commission under the RTI Act has disclosed that a much sought after spectrum telecommunication frequency had recently been allocated to Mobitel (headed by President Maithripala Sirisena’s brother, Kumarasinghe Sirisena) without open competitive bidding and on ‘an administrative decision.’

Kumarasinghe Sirisena

This has come to light in an appeal filed before the RTI Commission by another competitor for the spectrum frequency, Dialog Axiata.

The RTI Commission directed the TRCSL, chaired by the President’s Secretary Austin Fernando, to reverse its earlier decision not to release the information

The Commission warned that the discretion exercised by TRCSL in such actions was not unfettered but must be exercised ‘in accordance with law and subject to the application of the RTI Act, absent a clearly applicable exemption …which overrides the public interest.’ Following the direction, the TRCSL released the information to the Commission on 3rd April (last Tuesday).

In an earlier ruling, information released by the TRCSL following an Order issued by the Commission regarding the blocking of the Lanka-E-News website indicated that the blocking had taken place after the Office of the President had complained against slanderous reports in the website.

Pointing out that the complaint submitted by the President’s Office on November 6th, 2017 only brings these news reports to the notice of the TRCSL and requests that suitable action be taken according to law, the Commission ruled that the information requested can legitimately be released under the RTI Act and dismissed the TRCSL argument that ‘national security’ and the ‘defence of the State’ required the information to be kept confidential.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    4

    [edited out] What about the much talked spectrum’s given to Kili Maha Raja under hand as revealed by Basil Rajapaksha?The real reason behind Lankaenews ban in Sri Lanka due exposure of buying old Russian War ship and used Helicopters just for “Jarawa” If the Gomarala has given a reason to block Lankaenews as publishing slanderous reports he should ban Sirasa before everything as Sirasa Airing slanderous reports against 2nd Citizen through out the day and night.
    Today news said Defense Secretory gone to Russia along with Navy Commander and other officials to buy this used warship and used Helicopters. Local Agent also went along with them. Intentions are clear that the proposed buying of war ship involved lot of “Jarawa” Lankaenews disclosed Kili Maha Raja and Gomarala’s Daughter and Son-in-low’s involvement in this transaction. This will be another “MIG” deal and Gomarala has to explain later to the FCID officials probably after his term in office as Gomarala is not clever like Rajapakshas.

    • 4
      3

      Basil Rajapakse is a well known thief who has connections to former SLFP and to UNP. HE has a long list of similar thefts. If he comes to get elelcted we can start writing. Besides, they have files on him, Basil may have copies provided by Wijedasa Rajapakse or Ranil himself. Need to see whether the voters are stupid eternally.

      • 8
        4

        Jim softy

        “Basil Rajapakse is a well known thief who has connections to former SLFP and to UNP. “

        Are you sure Basil Rajapakse (10%, 20%, 30%) is a well known thief? How could you brand him a thief even if he is one. His family saved this island from Demelas and destroyed LTTE. You should treat them with respect even if they don’t deserve it.

        • 2
          2

          Native Vadda

          You are indeed a vadda. The Rajapakses may have saved the country from LTTE terrorists on the one hand while plundering the country with the other. No body is above the law & there is no excuse for ruining the country. No wonder the country has gone to the dogs when there are people like you who are happy to look the other way & not stand up for justice & law while passing the blame to others.

          • 2
            0

            Raj

            Are you novice in this forum?
            You should acclimatize yourself in this forum before you start typing.
            Please visit old articles and and comments.

            • 0
              1

              Stupid Tamil Veddah
              Have you eaten too much thosai?How does one a climatisein this forum? By poking a hot rod up your rear end.

    • 2
      6

      GAMARALA is a respectable name omstead of saying former Catholics or former Anglicans. He is a buddhist. He is slow that does not matter if he peddle carefully. HE is doing a difficult job, H ie sourrounded by MR,CBK, Ranil, MANGALA, Rajitha Senrathne, Embassies, civil society NGOs catering to fpreign embassies then his own ministers who have histories of double crossing and looting.

    • 7
      4

      SAK Kili Maharaja along with Dayan J, Malinda, Gommanpila and Viagra Vimal and last but not least silisena all learnt a bitter lesson from the no-confidence motion.

  • 3
    0

    Saints go marching on and on in this Paradise Island of Ours.

  • 4
    13

    So what? Mobitel is SRI LANKA’S NATIONAL SERVICE PROVIDER!!!!! Of course, TRCSL should give priority to Mobitel which comes under Sri Lanka Telecom owned by the Ministry of Finance (the majority owner.) Mobitel doesn’t own by its Head man and the decision doesn’t give him a personal gain.

    • 10
      1

      Champa

      To correct your view, Mobitel is owned by SLT, yes.

      But SLT is Owned by Government of Sri Lanka (49.50%)
      Global Telecommunications Holdings N.V. of Netherlands (44.98%). Hope you get my point.

      It is a publicly traded company. Therefore, has to follow due process when it comes to competitive decisions, there is no question of priority!

      Thanks to RTI we will hopefully find out many hidden deals the government is keeping from the public. In future the government will have to be run much more transparently. Provided action is taken against cases as they are being exposed.

      Lasith

      • 0
        6

        Lasith
        Yes, the balance 5.5% is owned by the general public.
        I wish to reiterate this fact. SLT is owned by the government with 49.5% shares and Mobitel is country’s service provider. There is no need for the government to go for a bidding.
        There is nothing hidden there. The government (TRCSL) has a right to give priority to Mobitel. They should take care of Sri Lanka government owned SLT/Mobitel not Malaysian owned Dialog of which 83% is owned by Malaysian Axiata Group.
        RTI is only a tool to get information.

    • 0
      0

      It appears that TRCSL is having a lot of skeletons in their cupboard. They are in the habit of giving licence to all and sundry to erect Mobile Antenna towers in the roof gardens of condominium apartment buildings. This causes various sickness to people living around.These mobile towers are supposed to Emit Electro Magnetic Radiation which is a real heath hazard to humans and animals. Appeal against these erections are not considered seriously. They say the magnitude of emission comply with the TRCSL guide lines.But TRCSL itself is under question. The pigeons which frequented these condominiums are no longer present due this emission. Hence it is imperative that an independent organisation carry out the test. Test are very often deceptive and the practical aspect of the people falling sick for unknown reasons should be ascertained please..

  • 2
    4

    I suppose, Mobitel is owned by the govt, if so what is wrong ? there are so many competitions. Private competitors like to erase SLBC too.

  • 0
    3

    Only problem is Mobitel had corruptions and CEO had to Quit, there is no need of a chairman when there is a CEO. chairman also said to live a flamboyant life, cars and humongous salary to go with that IT is unjust govt employees to have such high salaries just the way money-losing Sri lankan iar line was doing. Anyway, where is Ranil National govt made up with TNA and other Tamils, SLMC and other muslims, %& NAtional List MPs and Ranil challenging President < SLFP anf Pohottuwa. Itis Palhoru #3 versus other Palhoru #1 and #2.

  • 1
    0

    In Sri lanka, voters are very proud. Chora rujina came gone, Alibaba #1 and the team came, salivating. now for the next term. Alibaba #3 and is doing well. Why Ranil is chicken to start a national govt ?

  • 4
    1

    When is someone going to ask for the lowdown on how Killi Maharaja did HIS spectrum deal?

  • 1
    1

    Spectrum deal during 2010/2014, WiMAX spectrum was given to a X Co. company related to a former president, instead of SLT. Finally SLT acured the company. X Co from nowhere had a good deal.

  • 6
    0

    It appears that what is disclosed is only the tip of the ice-berg. Insiders of TRCSL me that this allocation on an administrative decision was to compensate the intereference of a frequency band caused by activities in India. However, for the same reason, mobitel is trying to buy out other minor cellular service providers. You tender the same excuse or reason to get many things done. Typical Polonaruwian administration.

    • 0
      1

      Good Sense Modaya: that is a business practice the buying out of smaller competitors, or mobi tel can use other methods to make smaller competitors go bankrupt. IT happens very often in the business world, and happened even in Sri lanka.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 4
    0

    OK so President too up to “monkey tricks”?

    • 4
      0

      Lanki

      “OK so President too up to “monkey tricks”?”

      Tell us one who is not up to defrauding, embezzlement, theft, nepotism, …… ?

  • 8
    0

    Mauthree pala is an idiot. His primary task is not Yahapalanaya but looking after the interest of his family and his brothers. He has phoned directly to a bank not to grant a loan to one of his brothers competitors, a rice mill owner. Lejjai Maithree. Sometimes i feel you can’t expect many things because of his gramasevaka mentality

    • 5
      0

      All these comments fail to acknowledge the due credit to be given to Maithri and Ranil for bringing the RTI Act. Even the devil must be given credit where credit is due, right? Who else could have done this? The Beliatte raja who said that if anyone asks information, they should come to HIM! Give me a break, man.

      All Gvts try to hide. All Gvts try to take advantages for their cronies. Look at Modi. Look at Trump. Why shld we expect Ranil or Maithri to be different?

      Hats off to yahapalanaya for RTI! One solid reason to see that things are changing, slowly but surely. And hats off to gutty RTI Commissioners who worked without money last year and are now putting some good things into place which their successors will have to follow.

    • 4
      0

      Jay it’s not because of his Gramasevaka mentality, it’s because he is crooked. Many highly educated politicians are just as crooked. There are no straight men to be found. Ask Mangy, he should know.

  • 1
    1

    When we walk along streets these mobile service providers are a real headache because they’re forceful, especially for girls & women.

    It must be mentioned that Mobitel promoters are less offensive

    They try to sell their services by force & some even visit homes & waste peoples precious time compelling to buy their things.

    TRCSL please relieve people from this headache created by promoters.

  • 3
    0

    The good side of RTI here.
    RTI may not last long. An industry specialising in silencing RTI seekers will be in place soon.

    • 2
      0

      K. Pillai has a point. But lets be glad for something positive as we can see in a country where most things are negative.

      Kudos for our country’s RTI Commission which works silently and independently without grand marches and useless ‘Public Days’ inviting politikkas who then come and hold forth! The Commissioners are doing the work they are supposed to do rather than publicity seeking vain shows!

      The Gvt implementing agency, the Ministry of Media, should match the RTI Commission’s performance but it does very poorly. A recent article in the Ceylon Today showed that the Ministry was under-performing in every way and does not itself have the public details of its information officers.

      What is the point of all these funds going to the RTI unit of the Ministry when it has 1% to show for it?!

  • 2
    0

    RTI or no RTI, Gamarala and cabals are doing everything flamboyantly what Mara and cabals did except murder. If things go at this rate that too would happen soon. Son, daughter and son in law are before no bodies but now worth in billions. Kumarasinghe is floating in luxury milking the Telecom. Dudley the 60% not the Basil the 30%, the king of the Rice Mafia, taken over most of state land in the Little England, and doing thumbing deals to collect funds for bro Selyesena’s next try at the next big marcht, and because of his lunatics and idiotic behaviours the country going to the dogs and people are being pushed to the drains. They wouldn’t leave it or give up easily when they knew that they were in the gold mines.

  • 2
    0

    RTI or no RTI, Gamarala and cabals are doing everything flamboyantly what Mara and cabals did except murder. If things go at this rate that too would happen soon. Son, daughter and son in law are before no bodies but now worth in billions. Kumarasinghe is floating in luxury milking the Telecom. Dudley the 60% not the Basil the 30%, the king of the Rice Mafia, taken over most of state land in the Little England, and doing thumbing deals to collect funds for bro Selyesena’s next try at the next big marcht, and because of his lunatics and idiotic behaviours the country is going to the dogs and people are being pushed to the drains. They wouldn’t leave it or give up easily for they knew this is the once in life time chance, and to that they were in the gold mines.

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