Posted on November 28th, 2012

Editorial The Daily News

The day the opposition of this country finds better things to do, would certainly be a day of celebration. The wrenching sound of the latest breast beating fit of the UNP comes as a response to the launch of Sri Lanka’s first satellite into outer space.

The General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake was quoted as saying that the new satellite venture would cause ‘serious problems’, or words to that effect. A private Sri Lankan company launches a satellite into orbit, and it’s a Sri Lankan venture that rightly bears the Sri Lankan flag – – and the opposition goes into a fit of apoplexy?

When companies such as Airtel sponsor say the Asia cricket cup, or emblazon their logos on the Indian cricket team jerseys, does the India opposition go green with jealously?

On the contrary private sponsorships in this day and age are considered the motive force for launching national endeavours, be it in sport, or in areas such as aeronautics or space exploration. Launching into space, be it through a satellite launch or any other effort, is still frontier business. The satellite launch by a Sri Lankan company is therefore in the pioneering spirit of the early seafarers and explorers who discovered brave new worlds in hitherto unknown terrain.

It’s the East India Company and not the British government which did the early colonizing of Asia, and nobody heard the British government of the time complain.

No doubt the East India Company and the Spanish conquistadors were predatory elements that plundered the colonies and exploited their people. But minus that predatory spirit, adventure and entrepreneurship in frontier territory by private concerns has always been of greater good to humankind as a whole. Those of the likes of Vespucci, Columbus, Cooke etc. were not paid government servants of the day who were retained on the hourly wage!

They were adventurers with the frontier itch, who sailed and stumbled upon new territories, some as big as what we know now as the Americas. No doubt some of the Spanish seafarers had the Royal assent in the form of more than an agreeable nod by the Queen, but these Spanish sailors were also no more than private buccaneers lusting after gold and the riches of hitherto undiscovered territories on the planet.

In these days, private companies that are suffused with the frontier spirit are not motivated by the urge to exploit new territories that are already populated. Space as we know it does not harbour intelligent life; there is nobody out there to exploit, and space age exploration is the most benign form therefore of frontier adventurism that exists.

The sobbing sounds emanating for the area of Siri Kotha and the UNP leadership hunkered down there in this context, are rather amusing. Are the people to decry, in future, any private venture be it in outer space or on terra firma, as ‘non-Sri Lankan’?

Are we to collectively eschew Dilma or the Mlesna flavoured tea bags, and all the awards these brands have attracted worldwide, because, well, these companies are not ‘State’? Are we to disown former productive UNP governments say of the D. S. Senanayake era as non-Sri Lankan, because, after all, the UNP (as is the SLFP) is a ‘private’ party made up of ‘private individuals’ who are therefore not ‘State’ in any sense?

As the Minister Dullas Alahapperuma pithily observed in a brief interview to a private television channel, nationally important endeavours should not be assessed on the basis of the persons involved; the fact that Sri Lanka’s first astronaut hopeful, space engineer Rohitha Rajapaksa is in some way connected to this venture is no basis on which the opposition should decide that it is not a Sri Lankan venture — or that the new satellite should not bear the Sri Lankan flag.

Sri Lankan cricket fans do not make a separate application to the Sri Lankan embassies in London or Melbourne to carry the Sri Lankan flags and cheer the team from the old home country, when Sri Lankan cricket teams are on tours abroad. There is no such primacy attached to the flag; any venture that is Sri Lankan and that we are proud of, is Sri Lankan, and to cavil about the Supreme Sat pioneering venture into space is a sad commentary on the opposition on the one hand — even as it is funny to hear choked voices, and see silver tears on this issue from the direction of Siri Kotha.

11 Responses to “PLEASE DON’T CRY”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Whevever something good happens to SL, these LOSERS cry. They have to cry forever.

    UNP insiders call him Pissa Attanayake.

  2. Sirih Says:

    Actually orbit position released by the Chinese indicate this satellite is on Chinese orbit and NOT in Sri Lanka’s orbit. Each country is allowed to position satellites on their own orbit provided national permission is given and also neighbouring countries signals are not disrupted. ( Uplink and downlink signal powers are regulated by the world body).

    True Sri Lanka satellite will be if its on our own geostationary orbit. Having said that, having our own earth station near Kandy is a good thing and it will help with SL’s DTH platform.

  3. mjaya Says:

    People who condemn a national achievement are PATHETIC!

  4. jay-ran Says:

    These are the mad,frustated due to loosing,nothing to do other than bashing against SL Govt., always says something against all good work.

  5. Vis8 Says:

    These losers cannot handle the fact that SL is prospering and growing rapidly.

  6. Marco Says:

    Would somebody please explain how this venture will benefit the general populace of Sri Lanka.
    Yes, its a private venture (i’m hoping non of the tax payers money has been sunk into it)
    Explanation is required not to the Android, Iphone, Digitial TV, Sat Nav high tech users of Sri Lanka but to the folk who go with Rs 1,000 to the local pola to buy essentials for their family on a daily basis and come out with very little change

  7. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    MARCO Don’t behave like a stupid idiot.
    Communications satellites have a quiet, yet profound, effect on our daily lives. They link remote areas of Sri Lanka with cheaper and affordable internet, telephone and even high quality digital television. It is a very wise move by this company to introduce modern communication technology to the people hopefully, at a fraction of a cost.

    Most of these bad propaganda are due to the fact that other media such as fibre optics, cable, and other land-based delivery systems such as microwaves and even power lines can face severe competition from Satellites.

    The main advantage of satellites is that they can distribute signals from one point to many locations. As such, satellite technology is ideal for “point-to-multipoint” communications such as broadcasting. Satellite communication does not require massive investments on the ground—making it ideal for underserved and isolated areas with dispersed populations.

    Approximately 2,000 artificial satellites orbiting Earth relay analog and digital signals carrying voice, video, and data to and from one or many locations worldwide. With the growth of the Internet, a significant amount of Internet traffic goes through satellites, making ISPs one of the largest customers for satellite services. At present internet is connected to Sri Lanka through a subsea cable line which has its natural bandwidth limitations. Present bandwidth problem can be overcome with satellite communications and not only that satellite communications technology is often used during natural disasters and emergencies when land-based communication services are down. Mobile satellite equipment can be deployed to disaster areas to provide emergency communication services.

    A geostationary orbit is useful for communications because ground antennas can be aimed at the satellite without their having to track the satellite’s motion. To an observer on the earth, a satellite in a geostationary orbit appears motionless, in a fixed position in the sky. This is because it revolves around the earth at the earth’s own angular velocity (360 degrees every 24 hours, in an equatorial orbit). A geostationary orbit is useful for communications because ground antennas can be aimed at the satellite without their having to track the satellite’s motion. This is relatively inexpensive. In applications that require a large number of ground antennas, such as DirectTV distribution, the savings in ground equipment can more than outweigh the cost and complexity of placing a satellite into orbit.

    Satellites and other delivery mechanisms such as fibre optics, cable, and other terrestrial networks are mutually complimentary also. A combination of various delivery mechanisms may be needed, which has given rise to various hybrid solutions where satellites can be one of the links in the chain in combination with other media

    By the way, On 29 September 2012 Indian GSAT-10 telecommunication satellite was launched by French Ariane-5 VA-209 rocket. So do not get upset when we use Chinese rockets.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Micro aka Lacksiri F’do,

    “folk who go with Rs 1,000 to the local pola to buy essentials for their family on a daily basis and come out with very little change” have not and will not complain about it. They are patriots not parasites like those who support 13 amendment.

    Now SL has to pay millions of dollars to Indian, etc. sattelites. We can save this.

    SL can make use of space technology to destroy Tamil and Jihad aspirations. I cannot elaborate here because this is a public forum. This can save few more billions. When you come to Canada drop at my place and I can explain with images you may find disturbing!!

    The SL-China space partnership helps in defence, economic, political, etc. benefits to those people as well.

    If you think only Android, Iphone, Digitial TV, Sat Nav high tech users need sattelites, you must read the idiot’s guide to sattelites.

    Anyway keep crying.

  9. mark-annamoe Says:

    Reply to Marco, Think twice before you leave a comment on public forum please. I was saddened to see your lack of intelligence. Just follow the below link to find out what is communication satellite & its important to the society. Whether its government or private sector, this is a great effort for new era of communications in Sri Lanka. If you feel that Wikipedia article is too technical for you I am sure NeelaMahaYoda’s reply is sufficient enough to understand what is it.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Already the satellite services have been OVER SUBSCRIBED!!

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Anyway I couldn’t track the satellite path in websites. Supreme Sat – 1 is still not listed in them. But the other Chinese satellite that went with it is listed.

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