Minister Samarawickrema tells JVP to refer question to previous govt

Agreement signed to launch communication satellite in 2012

By Saman Indrajith 

Minister of Development Strategy and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema told Parliament yesterday that he was not aware whether the communications satellite that was reportedly launched by Supreme SAT on behalf of Sri Lanka in 2012 had ever been launched.

"I don’t think such a satellite was sent into space. These questions should have been asked from the previous government," Minister Samarawickrema said in answer to a question raised in Parliament by JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa.

He said that an agreement had been signed between Supreme SAT Private Company and Board of Investment to set up and operate satellite system to provide telecommunications and broadcasting facilities to customers in May 2012.

The members of the Director Board of the private company were Ramasamy Muthusamy Manivannan, Shanmuganathan Sudharshan and Omar Siraj M Qandeel.

The Minister said he was unaware of their professional qualifications as regards satellite technology as no such declaration was made to the BOI.

He said the company had undertaken to invest Rs 1. 8 billion but no such investment had never been made. Claiming that Supreme SAT had been registered as a cargo company, MP Jayatissa demanded to know what a cargo company had to with satellite technology.

The Minister responded that the MP should ask that question from those of the previous government which had signed the agreement.

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