Nov 19, 2016

Rohitha Rajapaksa’s space stories a fib - Malik

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema said in parliament yesterday that he does not believe a satellite was sent to orbit under the guidance of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s youngest son Rohitha Rajapaksa.

Samarawickrema said this in response to a question raised by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa.

He said although ‘Supreme Sat’ Pvt Ltd. had claimed to have invested Rs. 18 billion for the launching of the satellite, no such investment had been made, adding that this company had no expertise in the satellite technology either.

It’s a cargo company:

MP Nalinda Jayatissa further stated that Supreme Sat was nothing more than a cargo company that handles sea and road goods transport and not space satellite launching.

He asked the government to summon the Director of Supreme Sat and question him on where the space satellite is at present, or launch another satellite in order to find out what happened to the earlier satellite.

In response Samarawickrema said, “Supreme Sat had signed an agreement on satellite technology with the Investment Board. I am not aware of the details as it was done during the previous regime.”

What was said then:

“Supreme Sat 1” communication satellite was launched on November 27, 2012 afternoon and the media reported it.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Vijith Pieris said the satellite was launched under the partnership of two Chinese and Sri Lankan companies and would be ready to provide satellite television transmission from July next year.

Space Technology Engineer Rajapaksa?

He further stated that this is a $ 320 million project and the initial idea was space engineer Rohitha Rajapaksa’s.

Former minister Tissa Vitharana and ‘Space Engineer’ Rahitha Rajapaksa had attended the launching of this space shuttle to space, it was reported.
Meanwhile, Chairman Supreme Sat R. M. Maniwanthan had told media earlier that the satellite was launched with the intention of improving satellite television services and Supreme Sat-1 was manufactured by China’s leading satellite manufacturer ‘China Satellite’ corporation and was owned by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Sat Company.