June 05, Colombo: The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said a TV network transmission center of the Teleshan Network (TNL) was shut down today on a court order.
The TRCSL said the TNL-owned transmission station in Polgahawela was shut down on the order issued by the Polgahawela Magistrate's Court.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers have raided the transmission center and confiscated the equipment because the network had not obtained the annual transmission license from the TRC and had failed to make payments since last year, the TRCSK said.
The network has denied the allegations saying that it has paid its dues.
However, local media reports said the transmission station owned by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's older brother was shut down because the network broadcasted a report criticizing the President Maithripala Sirisena over his outburst on the 100-day program and the Premier.
Sirisena, who rules in an unsteady coalition with Wickremesinghe, has specific oversight of the telecom regulator and the decision has aggravated frictions between the men, an AFP report said.
Wickremesinghe's allies from his United National Party -- which backed Sirisena to election victory in 2015 -- protested the decision in parliament.
"This is not something that we can accept. We are looking into this," AFP quoted media minister Mangala Samaraweera, who said he was kept in the dark about the decision.
The closure is regarded as the first act of censorship of a broadcaster by Sirisena.