Both Dialog Axiata and Sri Lanka Telecom PLC appear to have removed the Islamic ‘Peace TV’ channel from their Dialog TV and Peo TV lineups respectively. The removal comes in the wake of Sri Lanka’s horrific Easter Sunday bombings.
The Dubai-headquatered Peace TV was founded by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, whose Mumbai-based Islamic Research Centre launched the TV channel in 2006. Peace TV offers programming in English, Urdu and Bangla languages.
As of 30 April, the channel is no longer listed in the ‘religious channels’ category of either operator. A Dialog TV representative, however, told RepublicNext that Peace TV had informed the company that broadcasting had been temporarily put on hold due to a technical glitch.
The Sri Lankan Government, meanwhile, has made not made any reference to banning the controversial channel.
Peace TV has come into conflict with authorities in other countries in the region, too. Bangladesh suspended the channel that prominently featured Naik’s preachings after local media reported that the militants who had attacked a Dhaka cafe in 2016 were his admirers.
Naik is wanted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in India on charges of propagating terrorism. His Islamic Research Foundation has been banned for five years running.