TRC - Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi unexposed to 5G signals | Sunday Observer
Commission to present report to President:

TRC - Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi unexposed to 5G signals

5 March, 2023

The Commission appointed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to investigate claims that the telecom tower in Anuradhapura harms the Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree, will present its report to the President this week, the Commission members told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Niranjan Gunawardena, had instructed its members, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) Network Director and Additional Director General Helasiri Ranatunga, National Botanical Gardens Director General, Dr. Shelomi Arulchelvi Krishnaraja, and Anuradhapura District Secretary Janaka Jayasundara, to ensure that their findings are scientific and compatible with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the standards of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

We asked TRC Network Director Ranatunga why the TRC had allowed the use of radio frequencies that could harm the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, as some groups had highlighted on social media platforms.

He said that the allegations levelled by these groups that the TRC had permitted 5G transmissions over the sacred Sri Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Mahamewna Gardens in Anuradhapura have no basis.

“The TRC has not permitted to carry out any 5G transmission trials or activity within Pooja Nagara (sacred city) limits of Anuradhapura,” he said.

“There are no 5G transmissions over the historic Ruwanweliseya Stupa or the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in these city limits,” he said. Asked whether they plan to set up 5G transmissions there, Ranatunga said, “No. But there will be 5G networks elsewhere in the country. As the country moves forward, there will be 5G transmissions elsewhere.”

“Then again, they will be set up in high-demand areas. Five G is purely for industry-type requirements. They are not for general public communication. These days we are doing some trials,” he said.

“Our operators do carry out some trials on 5G technology. But they will be carried out in Colombo and a few other metropolitan areas. There was no requirement for operators to carry out 5G transmission trials in the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi area,” he said.

“Certain individuals create videos and cook up material like this and release them to the internet with personal ambitions to be popular. But as the authority on telecom regulations, we cannot go behind such material and come to conclusions.”

“Internally, we have a special committee to prepare guidelines for telecommunication towers. Health Ministry representatives are also on this committee,” he said.