Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers using satellite illegally: Intelsat

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2007 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have been illegally using a satellite of US giant Intelsat to beam their radio and television broadcasts overseas, the company said Wednesday. The issue was also taken up by Sri Lanka at a meeting of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization in Paris last month, Sri Lankan officials said. “We have been actively pursuing avenues to terminate the illegal usage of our satellite,” Nick Mitsis, the spokesman for Intelsat, the world’s largest provider of fixed satellite services, told AFP.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), fighting for independence in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions, has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States since 1997.

Intelsat officials and technical experts met with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Bernard Goonetilleke on Tuesday to discuss steps Intelsat was taking “to address the unauthorized use of one of its satellites by the LTTE,” an Intelsat statement said.

During the meeting, Intelsat’s executive vice-president and general counsel Phillip Spector said “Intelsat does not tolerate terrorists or others operating illegally on its satellit