ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s information technology chief, Muhunthan Canagey said he was forced to resign Monday following a public criticism of spectrum award said to have been made to a business group which operates a radio and TV network.
Canagey alleged that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka which is directly under President Maithripala Sirisena had given a block of 700MegaHertz spectrum to Colombo-based Maharaja group, causing a loss of over three billion to the state.
"Till today’s MTV (Maharaja TV) has failed to tell the public how they got the spectrum and causing a loss to the state of Rs. 3 billion," Canagey said in a tweet at the end of last month.
The network has also been targeting Canagay in its news broadcasts. In Sri Lanka mobile telecom spectrum is auctioned but television licences and spectrum has been given from time to time to various parties who have started TV stations.
There is also an international move to release parts of current TV spectrum and use it for the more lucrative mobile telephony and data. In Sri Lanka the entry of digital TV was supposed to release more spectrum for mobile communications.
Canagay claimed that the alleged award of TV spectrum affected the government’s digitisation efforts which are led by Canagey’s Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka which is directly under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
"I have been asked to resign by His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena…," he said in a letter outlining reasons for his sudden departure.
"I will never be part of aiding and abetting any fraud or corruption."
The Presidential Secretariat has denied any wrong doing.