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Questioning ICT Myths

At an ICT policy consultation meeting in Dhaka, organized by the APC (http://www.apc.org/), two participants prompted a much needed reality check for a room full ICT4D professionals. Mridul Chowdhury, a research affiliate at the IT Group in the Berkman Centre, Harvard University also a director of D.Net, kick-started the discussion with a presentation that questioned some of the key assumptions that that form the premise to much work in the ICT4D space. For instance, a lack of community information can be resolved by building a telecenter; poor governance can be solved by introducing ICT systems into governments; a lack of market information can be solved by building e-commerce portals. Chowdhury stressed that certain underlying factors had to be taken care of first; the information gaps that we’re really trying to solve need to be identified; the governance process needs to be reformed before throwing ICTs at it, etc. ICTs cannot solve all the world’s problems, and before one tries to throw ICTs at it, one should really assess whether ICTs are really the optimal solution. Nalaka Gunewardena, Director at TVE Asia Pacific continued the discussion in his aptly titled presentation, ‘Rhetoric vs. reality.’ He raised a pressing question: do good policies necessarily imply good implementation? His response to this was not necessarily, and often, not. The overarching issue is that unless certain conditions are fulfilled and critical issues resolved (for instance infrastructure bottlenecks), ICTs alone will not solve the problem at hand (even if it is at all the optimal solution) and even good policies will not achieve the desired outcomes. It therefore appears that many of the common assumptions, which are the premise of many ICT4D projects, to which much hope and funds are pinned, need to be scrutinized if development goals are to be reached.

217 Comments to Questioning ICT Myths

  1. April 25, 2006 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Clearly infrastructure implementation requires a proper and adequate needs assessment – ideally drawing upon input from a range of stakeholders. In the same vein, after implementation, evaluation and ongoing project assessment mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that objectives were met – and continue to be met by the project or programme.

    The Hungarian Telecottage movement provides an excellent example of a programme that introduces telecentre infrastructure within the context of overall community needs – some of which are addressed by ICTs, some of which are addressed by the telecottage personal or simply the fact of organizing community resources in one location.

    Likewise, ideal e-governance / e-society programmes are introduced in stages – with ICT infrastructure targeting specific bad practices (corruption, graft, incompetence) and promoting good ones, such as the intention to extend the reach of government services.

    But as noted, introducing e-commerce in Cuba isn’t going to result in a whole lot of cigar sales in the US.

    I really don’t think there is any big myth about the value of ICTs or ICT4D – the crux of the problem is adequate programme and project design.

  2. Yudishdara's Gravatar Yudishdara
    April 28, 2006 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    The dismal failure of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lankan to deliver the goods, even after many years of its operation, to meet the anticipations at its ceremonial inception, can be largely attributed to the pitiable role played by its current Chairman.

    This is an aged Emirates Airlines… sorry, Emeritus Professor beyond the age of seventy and a serious diabetics patient. It is very clear given his health conditions he should be best rest at home and do some social work.

    He has been a bright academic in his younger days, no doubt, but as any medical student would tell you the memory cells start failing at the rate of one percent per every year after the age of just thirty. So definitely an elderly and ailing person cannot give leadership to a national level programme of the size of E Sri Lanka. It is high time that this Emirates Airlines… sorry, Emeritus Professor should go home and start doing something religious for the other world, he would visit sooner than later, after respectfully passing the baton to a dynamic and young leader. He is drawing a comfortable pension from the university and he has no family obligations. So there is no need for him to do a job. Unfortunately this power hungry and cash crazy Emirates Airlines… sorry, Emeritus Professor continue to stay beyond his capabilities.

    Information and Communication Technology is not the science of the old. It is the science of the young. Michael Dell built a multi million company when he was just 32 years old and Bill Gates wrote Windows at the age of 30 years. The Yahoo founders were in their twenties when they did. It is quite possible Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that this type of old and ailing man controls the interests of the computer industry at the national level while the talented young were blocked from getting involved in the Information and Communication technology activities.

    This man is perpetually jealous and feel threatened by the young professionals in the IT industry. (It is a different question why someone at his level should feel threatened by people so young and so junior to him.) He is jealous of so many other bright young professionals in the filed and done everything possible to stop them. This is one of the key reasons why no development in the Information and Communication Technology filed in Sri Lanka. Who wants to develop a field when such align and old avatars blocking every move they take? Who wants to join a programme, when the objectives of the programme are not to do anything good for the society or the country but to build ones own image?

    With pure jealousy this man has blocked so many reputed IT companies moving forward. It is a surprise that companies like Virtusa survived in such an environment. Perhaps it is because Virtusa aimed at the international market and not the local market. This Emirates Airlines… sorry, Emeritus Professor seems to think that any local IT company who has to do a project in Sri Lanka has to give a chunk to him. Otherwise his vicious senile mind finds some way of ruing the opportunities for the domestic companies and pave way for a foreign company. He does not feel threatened with foreign companies because they are outsiders. Only locals worry him.

    This pathetic person is jealous about anyone who wants to achieve something in ones life. He thinks the sole purpose of his creation is to stop anyone else achieving their ambitions. Like the typical Sri Lankans who perpetually suffer in the guardless pit in the hell, he cunningly pulls the leg of anyone who wants to go up. He does not like other people taking patents for their work. He hates to see anyone taking a patent and does his best to stop that.

    Number of patents obtained in a year is an indication that measures the intellectual capacity of a country. Till we get rid of this kind of people, it is difficult to think Sri Lanka will ever be treated by anyone as a country of adequate intellectual capacity.

    According to the Tender guidelines any government agency in Sri Lanka should follow the Executive head or the Chairman cannot be a part of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) of a deal. This is to prevent any influences to the TEC either political or otherwise. TEC should consist of people only drawn based on their technical capabilities. So it is highly questionable why this Emirates Airlines… sorry, Emeritus Professor so badly wants to be a part of the TEC in a USD 10-15 million deal. Why cannot he just let the technical people give their own decision on the bids than him interfering at the level of TEC?

    Before joining the Information and Communication Technology Agency, this pathetic soul was one of the worst critics of the E Sri Lanka project. Not a single aspect about Information and Communication Agency, from the salaries to projects missed his harsh criticism. These came in many different ways. Many a time they came through the press, through his pal journalists going the extra mile. The most modern technologies like internet and email too were not spared. These also went to the level of mud slinging on the basis of religion, when it comes to qualifications. Please note, very conveniently this man was born a Sinhalese Buddhist. Probably this is the only ‘qualification’ now he has to do what he does and earn a sizable salary from the World Bank. After the government changed he forgot all that and went after the powers to grab the available opportunity by both hands. Now he leads the same institution he once criticized so harshly, without changing anything. It is surprising how people change.

    This is the high time the Sri Lankan Information and Communication Technology professionals realize that nothing worthwhile can happen to the local IT industry unless bottlenecks like these are removed and the leadership in the Information and Communication Technology industry is given to young and dynamic professionals. May be Viagra can make some things work, but even Viagra cannot make old and ailing serpentine characters like this power hungry man any useful to the country.

  3. May 1, 2006 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Quote “He does not like other people taking patents for their work. He hates to see anyone taking a patent and does his best to stop that.”– unquote

    This is true. My patent is still pending. Since the inspectors does not have a very high knowledge in ICT they seek advise from Emeritus Professor .

    After reading the contents of the patents Hon Emeritus Professor and his group understands that they had missed the bus.

    When any other person comes out with an idea which is the solution to a specific problem in the field of technology which is an intellectual property and Intellectual property act No 36 of 2003 protect that individual. Hon Emeritus Professor nagate it.

    Poor inspector after the visit to Hon Emeritus Professor writes a negative report. Some times even gets a trip to an IT exhibition abroad. Then quit the job leaving the file on the table.

    ——————

    Quote “”poor governance can be solved by introducing ICT systems into governments; a lack of market information can be solved by building e-commerce portals.””unquote

    This is correct , BUT in Sri Lanka you cannot do this in Sinhala or Tamil. Simple reason is we does not have a proper Sinhala Alphabet registered in the SLSI or in Unicode

    The unicode for Sinhala is incorrect and incomplete. If you can read sinhala please visit http://www.akuru.org/images/rawaya2.jpg.

    I have given the solution for the problem. http://www.akuru.org
    This is not a solution only for Sinhala but it is the solution for the whole indic languages which was derived from Brahmi characters.
    http://www.akuru.org/developsinhla2.htm

    For the past five years I am making own presentation after presentation, all fall into the ears of Hon Emeritus Professor and his team. They do not accept the errors and blunders they had done even after proved by me and the public without any reasonable doubt.

    In Sri Lanka we cannot use the local language Sinhala in computer. We cannot transfer data using the local language Sinhala. Data is not not compatable.

    Simply because Hon Emeritus Professor need to study at grade one.
    The problem is very simple. Lay out the matrix for all sinhala characters. Only I have done it ISBN 955-98975-0-0 (Contents do have Copyright areas & Patent pending areas©2000-2006)

    Hon Emeritus Professor could not do it because he is an Emeritus Professor.

    Since I have done it he blocks me. The SLSI 1134 has to be corrected based on my work.

    This are the facts your comments are welcome!!

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

    read the following links

    http://groups.google.com/group/Sinhala-Unicode?lnk=li

    http://groups.google.com/group/SinhalaUserGroup?lnk=li

    http://groups.google.com/group/Anti-Sinhala-Unicode?lnk=li

  4. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 2, 2006 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    [The unicode for Sinhala is incorrect and incomplete.]

    It is interesting to note how just one person keeps on spreading this myth. Perhaps he has reasons which are linked to patents. Perhaps he has plans to earn millions of dollars which he cannot get from NGOs. Unicode on the other hand, has no patent and everyone can use it freely.

    It is a myth to say Unicode cannot support some Sinhala characters. Unicode can represent any Sinhala character, even the ones written in early pali ola leaves. It is completely incorrect to say Unicode cannot represent some Sinhala characters.

    This debate should now be put to rest. There is no point arguing for anymore. It has been proved beyond any doubt that Unicode can be used very well to represent all Sinhala characters. Unicode is an international standard and it has been accepted by all the countries. Only Sri Lanka cannot resist accepting it. There is definitely no need for another character code, because Unicode is capable supporting any Sinhala or Tamil characters.

    Sinhala alphabet is the property of all of us in Sinhale. One person cannot take a patent and restricts its usage. We do not care whether it is Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse. We cannot let anyone selling our national heritage. Sinhala language is free. Nobody can sell it, like they plan to sell the water or Sigiriya sometime back. We will not anyone sell Sinhala language.

    What the learned Professor Samaranayake has done is to firmly restrict anyone taking the patent for the Unicode. That is why they have gathered together and sling mud at him. A person like Prof. Samaranayake should be treated a national hero and be praised for his work done for the nation. Only those who could not earn big money by taking patents to our national heritage and the Catholic mafia keep on ranting like this.

    It is also surprising why this Catholic mafia keeps on pointing their fingers at Prof. Samaranayake, when there are so many crooks responsible for cheating the government money in terms of incredible salaries. Prof. Samaranayaka is a national hero and we all should praise him for what he has done for the nation, in spite of all the dirty mud slinging from Catholic mafia.

  5. May 2, 2006 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    1.
    Quote “Unicode can represent any Sinhala character” unquote

    Please give the code point for sinhala character “DU” from the unicode chart (www.unicode.org/charts). Also two code points for the “paksha” “kayanna badi shayanna”
    With Sinhala unicode registered in SLSI 1134 cannot write the name of our President.

    eg : Ayanna = 0D85 – Sinhala Letter ayanna (this is a unicode code point)
    likewise define “DU” and “kayanna badi shayanna” I accept only in the above form and only from the unicode chart registered with unicode.org

    2.
    Quote “Unicode is an international standard”unquote
    Nobody is telling unicode is wrong. I point out and others point out what SLSI 1134 registered with unicode is incorrect and incomplete Sinhala characters and correct this error.

    3.
    Quote”Sinhala alphabet is the property of all of us in Sinhale”unquote
    Can you write the full sinhala alphabet? Can you send me a name of a printed book or a photocopy of a page where all each and every sinhala characters are displayed other than my publication ISBN 955-98975-0-0.

    For Tamil Language if you take the “demala eka kiyaveem potha’ Tamil book one page 48 and 49 gives the matrix of all tamil characters. Give the sinhala equivalent if you can!!!!

    4.
    Quote”What the learned Professor Samaranayake has done is to firmly restrict anyone taking the patent ” unquote

    So far I had no legal document to link Hon Emeritus Professor to patent office. Now I have one and I will send you summons to appear in Courts. The summons will reach you via LIRNEasia as you have not identified yourself properly. This will be done if & when the time arrive.

    5.
    Quote “the Catholic mafia ” unquote

    First you & Emeritus Professor will have to give a public apology for using the above term.

    The Sinhala English dictionery was published in 1830 by Rev B Clough.
    He is not a SInhala Buddhist. This was the only SINHALA ENGLISH Dictionery we had for a long period of time. Even today we do not have a proper SInhala -English dictionery & the Sinhala enclylopedia is incomplete.

    Christains Missionaries were the people who brought the first printing machine to Sri Lanka made all Sinhala lead characters to print the Bible. Using these letter press characters all the other Sinhala Buddhist books came to alive in form of paper printed books.

    As far as I know The CEO of ICTA is also a non buddhist.

    You guys are the people who make the country divide. Write someting without any knowledge and harm the harmony among the Nation.

    I have a claen history for 3 generations. I can prove my family roots up to 1897 and byond.
    I have the blood and proper roots for a National Hero.Therefore I need not have additional credentials. I am not scared of people like you. Just because I have the name “DONALD” I am not a Christian. We are from South with proper family roots. I studied under Mr Arisen Ahubodu. He thought me my Sinhala. I had written articles to his magazine “EDIYA” . I can call myself a proper “Helaya’ than you.

    You guys are so cowards without a proper names and a back bone to do a postiing to make Emeritus Professor a national Hero.

    Yes he is a Natioanal Hero who distroyed the Language Sinhala.

    If you are a buddhist and been to “Daham pasala” You have been thought if you distroy a national language the place where you go will be “satara apaya” Emeritus Professor has just got his entry visa to the “satara apaya”!!!!

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  6. magechinthana's Gravatar magechinthana
    May 3, 2006 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    This is a very interesting debate. What I cannot understand is what religion does in a debate on ICTs. Have we become so obsessed with religion that we cannot discuss any other topic without the religion getting involved?

    We also like to hear the voice of the Professor concerned about the comments made above.

  7. harsha de silva's Gravatar harsha de silva
    May 3, 2006 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Let us please have a decent debate without slinging mud at people. Let us focus on the important problems that need solutions instead of wasting energy on personal attacks.

  8. May 3, 2006 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Yes, as MageChintana says, it is really tragic that no public discussion in Sri Lanka can progress beyond a certain point without invoking religion. The lowest depths to which otherwise intellectual discussions sink is when the religion of individuals is raised, either in defense or offence.

    This is the sign of a really backward, primitive society, where everything descends — sooner or later — to faith and belief systems.

    I’m not against religions or faiths, but am opposed to them being used as crutches for poor arguments, or as ineffective weapons against opponents.

    Religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel! Going by that dictum, Sri Lanka is teeming with scoundrels…

  9. CheeLanka's Gravatar CheeLanka
    May 3, 2006 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    What Yudishdara says about the sad state of ICT in Sri Lanka is entirely true. The sector and industry have been held to ransom by an unscrupulous, wily old man who has collected too many IOUs from too many influential people across the political spectrum.

    But, despicable as this emeritus is, he only epitomises a deep rooted malady in Sri Lankan ICT and other intellectual, or scientific, or technological circles: no one challenges the unfair, unjust and corrupt domination of entire sectors, for decades on end, by a handful of ageing and ailing dinosaurs.

    We have seen the same thing happen in engineering, wildlife conservation, distance education, public health and several other fields. And it is not confined to technical or scientific disciplines either. The gura-knows-best syndrome is widely prevalent in the humanities as well. These academics remind us of an irreverent rhyme that generations of British school boys were fond of saying:
    I am the master of this college
    What I don’t know isn’t knowledge.
    For origins of this, see:
    http://ajcc.aacnjournals.org/cgi/content/full/11/3/188

    In this day and age, it is incredible that such things are allowed to happen in this Smart Island of Lanka, and it is hugely depressing that younger professionals give in to such domination without any apparent protest. Perhaps they know how vicious these older professors can be — how they can ruin careers and drive more talented younger people away for good.

    Finally, while I admire what he has to say, I have to caution Donald not to get emotional and certainly not to invoke his religion and pedigree in a discussion that have no place for either. He has lived and worked outside Sri Lanka long enough to know that only in this potty little island can arguments be seemingly won on such petty points as one’s race and religion.

    If you guys want to take on the nasty old number now heading ICTA, you need to be cool, calculating and very resourceful just like the emeritus is. Emotional outbursts will not take you anywhere. Take this well meant advice from a friend.

  10. May 3, 2006 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    First I must thank “Cheelanka” for the valuble advise.

    I had to give part of the pedigree and the religion becuase “HELAYA” was hitting at Christians.
    That is the normal tendency in Sri Lanka either hit at Christians or Hindus or Muslims when they themselves are at wrong. This create lots of misunderstanding and damage the harmony among all of us.

    I re-request the “Helaya” to give a public apology.

    Getting back to the track why cant SLSI 1134 corrected to 2 byte system

    The present system takes us no where.

    Since the proffessor and the team missed the bus they do not like someone else to correct the SLSI and move the iT industry in Sri Lanka forward.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  11. Sandhya Herath's Gravatar Sandhya Herath
    May 3, 2006 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree with Mr. Harsha De Silva (or is it Ms.?) that we should not sling mud at any individual. We should look how we can change the situation positively, instead of pointing fingers at each other. ICT is an important sector in our country and we have so many issues to discuss.

    A very important issue under the same topic is the registration of dot lk domain names in Sri Lanka. I have heard many of my friends saying that it is extremely difficult and 2-3 times costlier to obtain a dot lk domain name than obtaining a dot com or dot org domain name. This can be the major reason why many Sri Lankan organisations do not opt for the dot lk domain names.

    In many countries, usually local organisations opt to go with the two letter domain name reserved for each country, instead of going as dot come or dot org. (Unless they operate at international level.) In countries like Sri Lanka and India the trend is the reverse.

    Perhaps we can analyse what we can do to resolve this issue.

    The official site of the LK Domain Registry gives the following names as the directors.

    Gihan V. Dias
    T. Ashok Peiris
    Rohith Udalagama
    G. Harsha Wijewardhana
    V.K. Samaranayake
    Jayantha T. Fernando
    L.M. Chandana Weerasinghe

    I would like very much if someone can explain to me, what is the type of this organisation and who appoints the directors. Is this a government agency? Or is it a non government agency? Or a government owned private company like ICT Agency? Who appoints its Directors? Is it President? Minister? Cabinet? Parliament? UGC? ICT Agency? What is the basis of appointing its directors? Where does the money paid for domain names go finally?

    Can someone please enlighten me on this?

  12. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 3, 2006 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    There are 18,875,000 people in Sri Lanka. 18,874,999 people agree that Unicode can support Sinhala and Tamil languages and it is the way to go forward. Only one person is making a big noise like an empty pot.

    Unicode standard for Sinhala fonts is desinged and presented by a well educated committe appinted by the CINTEC. They are all the experts in the filed. They do not have to take instructions from Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse.

    The CINTEC Internet Committee found that one of the major impediments to the development and use of the Internet in Sri Lanka, especially into rural areas is the lack of local language content. The Committee agreed that the availability of a high quality, free, and standards-conformant Sinhala font would enable content providers to create Sinhala language content.

    As a first measure, the Internet Committee decided that a Committee on Unicode Compatible Sinhala Fonts should be formed. This Committee would define the basic minimum requirements for Unicode compatible Sinhala fonts; define the essential features which should be present in a Sinhala character set, character combinations and their input, address the requirements for a standard Sinhala keyboard, key board stroke sequences, and issues relating to the glyphs and keyboard drivers.
    .
    The Council has appointed the following as Committee members and resource persons:

    1. Dr. Gihan Dias .lk Domain Name Registrar – Chair
    (Senior Lecturer and Head, Networking Unit, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa).

    2. Prof. J. B. Disanayaka Professor Emeritus of Sinhala, University of Colombo
    Department of Sinhala, University of Colombo.

    3. Ms. Amara Nanayakkara Librarian, National Library and Documentation Services Board

    4. Mr. Lalith De Silva Deputy Government Printer, Department of Government Printing

    5. Mr. Abhaya Amaradasa Head of Group – Operations, Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

    6. Mr. Anura Tissera Head of Division – Projects, Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

    7. Mr. H. Naveen Gunaratne Information System Manager, Wijeya Publications Ltd.,

    8. Mr. Niranjan Meegammana Chief Technologist, e-Fusion Ltd.

    9. Dr. Ruwan Weerasinghe Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, University of Colombo

    10. Mr. Harsha Wijayawardena Consultant, School of Computing, University of Colombo

    11. Ms. Padma Jayaweera, Commissioner, Department of. Official Languages

    12. Ms. Aruni Goonetilleke Assistant Director, CINTEC.

    13. Prof. VK Samaranayake Director, School of Computing, University of Colombo

    14. Mr. S. T. Nandasara Coordinator of the ADSTC (Advanced Digital Media Technology
    Center) School of Computing, University of Colombo

  13. May 3, 2006 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Please visit http://www.nic.lk

    See who owns gov.lk site

    Top Level Domain
    gov.lk is registered to LK Domain Registry
    Payment Due Date: 2005-01-01
    gov.assn.lk registered to ICT Agency of Sri Lanka

    Domain priu.gov.lk is registered in the Sri Lankan Domain Registry for Presidential Secratariat
    Registration Agent: LKNIC

    This leaves us who is the government of Sri Lanka (priu.gov.lk or gov.lk)
    Is it ICT agency or Presidential Secratariat???

    You can see who control the IT sector in Sri Lanka.
    They control the gov.lk .
    Poor Hon President (Minister of IT) who is unaware of who is cutting grass under his own feet!!!

    This is a national security problem. I warn you Hon President.

    The list has been given by “Helaya” who may be one of them writing with a pen name also avoid the question in Unicode “DU” “KSHA” and avoid the public apology.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  14. May 4, 2006 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    As one whose initial remarks at the APC South Asia ICT Policy Consultation two weeks ago in Dhaka sparked off this discussion, let me join it now – and try to take us back to the wider issues and concerns.

    Sadhya Herath has raised a very important issue, one that has not received sufficient attention and discussion in Sri Lanka: the proper, accountable management of Sri Lanka’s country code Top Level Domain, ccTLD, which is dot lk.

    For general background on ccTLD, please visit:
    http://www.icann.org/cctlds/
    http://www.wwtld.org/

    A less official perspective available from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_code_top-level_domain

    I have been trying to get more people interested in the dot lk issue, ever since I realised how badly it is managed by a cartel of academics who operate below the radar, exploiting the ignorance of government regulators and indirectly benefitting from the uninformed civil society activists (to whom rural connectivity and tele-centres seem to be all that matters).

    Yet, as LIRNEasia Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva has very rightly pointed in many forums, ICT development cannot take place if we don’t address fundamental issues and resolve them once and for all. To me, proper governance and management of dot lk is a core issue, just as the management of the electro-magnetic spectrum is. For several decades, Sri Lanka has mismanaged and squandered the E-M Spectrum (as acknowledged by a former head of TRC itself). We are now allowing a similar misfortune to befall our ccTLD through our apathy, ignorance and inaction.

    To position Sri Lanka appropriately in the globalised information society, and to project Sri Lanka’s image as a Smart Island, it is essential that Sri Lankan organisations – public, private and civil society – are allowed and encouraged the wide use of .lk domain names. Yet, engaging the dot lk registry has been made so bureaucratic and cumbersome that many have opted to take on globally used (non country-specific) domain names such as dot com, and dot org. If you like, I can list a whole series of public sector institutions whose websites don’t use dot lk!

    In our assessment of Sri Lanka’s ICT sector in the Digital Review of Asia Pacific http://www.digital-review.org/, Chanuka Wattegama and I wrote:

    “While the basic policy and procedures of domain name registration are outlined at the registry’s website , the basis for resolving disputes is not clearly articulated. Some industry sources express concern over the arbitrary nature of name assigning and dispute resolution. As a result, many Sri Lankan companies have opted to obtain more universal URLs with domain names such as .com, completely ignoring the country domain name.”

    This situation has not significantly changed in the three years that have passed since. Dot lk continues to be under-used, over-bureaucratised, and very poorly managed. The custodians of dot lk are not accountable to the government or people of Sri Lanka as far as we can tell.

    At the APC South Asia ICT Policy Consultation in Dhaka http://www.apcasiaictpolicy.net/, I initiated a discussion group on better governance of ccTLDs. Here are highlights of our discussion. which involved concerned civil society activists from Australia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and UK:

    • ccTLD management have historically been assigned and managed in an ad hoc manner. While some countries have taken steps to regularise this situation, others have allowed the status quo to continue.

    • Use of ccTLDs has been slow due to cumbersome, over-bearing registration processes. As economic, social, cultural and political implications of Internet use intensify, South Asian countries feel the need to rationalise and streamline ccTLD management. (.in registration went up from 5,000 to 175,000 within months when streamlined)

    • Private individuals (some non-resident) managing ccTLDs is a concern (.lk, .pk, .ph). Where’s accountability and transparency?

    • But is government take-over the best solution? What is a good multi-stakeholder management structure (as in .au, .za or .bg?)

    • Among other issues that need more study, discussion and engagement:
    – Monopoly vs. competition in registrars
    – Registry and registrar dynamics – need for strict separation
    – Role of ICANN and the option of ccTLD ‘redelegation’
    – Appropriate role of governments in internet governance
    – Need for civil society interfacing with ICANN Govt Advisory Council (GAC) members
    – Cyber-squatting and dispute resolution mechanisms
    – Managing basic data on domain name registrants
    – Issues of cost and quality of service
    – Privacy concerns: Whois database

    We recognised the following as follow up action items needed:

    * Need for documenting what has happened so far for purposes of the record

    * Country studies on ccTLD performance and potential (e.g. .ph study in progress)

    * Closer networking to keep track of Internet Governance Forum and other developments

    * Raise awareness among civil society groups and activists of this fundamental common property issue

    Clearly, we have much to do, and we have encouraged APC to provide a platform on which some of these issues can be advocated and taken forward.

    I welcome Sandhya Herath and other concerned Sri Lankans to join hands with me in exerting pressure on the current custodians of Dot lk to govern and manage the country’s top level domain name in a more transparent, accountable and professional manner. If not, Sri Lanka’s ICT sector will have yet another barrier that holds it back.

  15. Yudishdara's Gravatar Yudishdara
    May 4, 2006 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Please do not call this mud slinging. Saying the truth is no mud slinging.

    Corruption remains to be one of the key issues in the Sri Lankan computer industry. There are so many corrupted high-ranking government officers in Sri Lanka who make millions and billions of rupees in the computer deals, in the most unethical manner, exploiting the lack of knowledge of the general public on matters related to IT.

    Unless we tackle this issue there will be no future for the Sri Lankan computer industry. Public money will continue to end up in personal accounts, not just in Sri Lanka but in UK, USA and Switzerland as well. In addition, there is also the danger of the country getting useless systems that serve no purpose. So there cannot be any more positive move than exposing this kind of dirty rats who stands barriers to the development of the local computer industry.

    Let us see how the bid for the Check Image Clearing project was awarded in 2004. This is one of the largest computer deals awarded recently.

    Nine companies submitted bids for this project. Three companies were short-listed.

    A mandatory requirement for the eligibility was that the bidder should have successfully implemented a nationwide Check Image Clearing system

    The first bidder was ProgressSoft, a Jordanian company who has implemented a similar system in Qatar and was doing the same in UAE. By the time of the bid the operation in Qatar has successfully completed two years. This company was locally represented by DMS Electronics, a reputed IT firm having experience of more than 20 years. The bid value was around Rs. 100 million.

    The second bidder was Unisys, which was an internationally reputed firm in manufacturing computers, peripherals and software. Unisys is represented in almost every country in the region. In the banking sector it is one of the top five players. Unisys had the experience of running a similar system in the Automated Clearing House in Hong Kong for a period of more than one year. It was locally represented by BC Computers, another computer firm with an experience of more than 20 years. Its bid value was about Rs. 140 million.

    The third bidder, who gave the most expensive bid, was BCSIS, a Singaporean company. It has run a similar operation in Singapore for about one year. Outside Singapore its presence was limited only to Malaysia. There was nothing wrong with its technical solution but their partner was not a computer company but a domestic courier service. (Nobody was sure why they wanted to link with a courier service, until they heard the name of the Chairman of that courier service, and his relationship to banking.) Its bid value was nearly Rs. 200 million.

    If the technical aspects were considered, any of the above three companies could have implemented the Check Image Clearing solution. All three have proved that by implementing their solution in three different countries.

    However, finally the bid was awarded to BCSIS, the company that placed the highest bid of Rs. 200 million (That was more than twice the lowest bid.)

    Please do not ask me why. All I can say is one old man who was the Chairman of the concerned organization was also a part of the Technical Evaluation Committee. Please do not ask me how many of his children were studying in the US or about his career history.

    Now the history is about to repeat. This time another Chairman is conveniently chairing a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) to decide on another high value bid. Officially Chairpersons or CEOs of organizations cannot sit in a TEC. This is clearly specified in the regulations No. 352(10) issued by the Treasury Secretary dated August 24, 2000. This is to prevent any political or other influences on the decision. It is also mandatory for all high value tenders to get the approval of the National Procurement Agency. However, this particular Chairman who chairs his own organization as well as the Technical Evaluation Committee has conveniently overlooked all these regulations. It is also interesting how one can appoint oneself to a committee. He should have a dire need to do so.

    This time three Korean companies are bidding to install the nationwide government computer network. Since the evaluation is still going on let us call the companies A, B and C. A has given a bid for US$ 13 million B has given a bid for US$ 15 million and C has given a bid for US$ 28 million.

    Now everyone is waiting to see which firm this bid will be awarded to. An interesting fact is firms B and C do not have legally authorized local partners.

    A local partner was a mandatory requirement in this tender, as the computer network should be installed island-wide. (including North and Eastern provinces)

    No foreign company can do this without a local partner taking the responsibility. Practically Korean nationals only cannot install a country-wide network in Sri Lanka. Moreover, the bid documents clearly specified that the local partner should not be a sub contractor.

    However, our old and ailing chairman is now playing a different game. He has an obvious favorite. I do not know the exact reason why (it is anyone’s guess) but it is clear our man is trying to award this deal to a particular company. Which company is that, is again, anyone’s guess. He has gone overboard to help that company.

    Can we ever think of the development of the ICT industry in Sri Lanka as long as we have people like this driving the industry?

    Isn’t it the time to handover this country to uncorrupt and young professionals who would do an honest job?

    This is not mud slinging. This is the truth.

    My poor Mother Lanka!

  16. Yudishdara's Gravatar Yudishdara
    May 4, 2006 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I am extremely sorry if any of my posts have hurt the honest and hard working officials in the ICT Agency.

    ICTA has some of the best and honest officials in its ranks, no doubt. But the behavior of its current chairman brings disgrace to the institution and all its staff members.

  17. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 4, 2006 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Donald mahattayo,

    Is stupidity something running in your family or is it our free education system that made you this stupid?

    I do not have the facility to present graphics here, but I am sure so many people have shown you so many times how to write Sinhala in Unicode. I cannot imagine how one can be that stupid that he cannot understand simple logic. Anyway, let me give a try again.

    Unlike the European languages, the Asian languages do not have individual letter system. Instead we have special signs like ispili and paapili to be used with consonants.

    As you appears so uneducated in these matters, let me educate you a bit on the history of the European languages too. Few centuries back they too did not have vowels. Instead they have something called ‘nikkudims’ – tiny dots and dashes written either below or within the consonants to indicate what vowel sound accompanies them. This is the same method used in Unicode. When writing any Asian language Unicode combines the vowel portion and the consonant portion. So theoretically every letter is represented by two codes, but sometimes it is only one, if it is a pure consonants.

    So this is how you write your first name in Unicode in Sinhala.

    Do = 0DA9 0DCC
    na = 0DB1
    l = 0DBD 0DCA
    d = 0DA9 0DCA

    So you have to use only seven characters. If you write in English you still use six codes. (one code for each letter) See the important point here. Sinhala is a much complex language than English (54 letters in Sinhala alphabet against 26 in English) but you just need one more code to write your name in Sinhala.

    Why cannot you appreciate this simple logic?

    You speak about joint letters in Sinhala like ‘ksha’ (as in Rajapaksha) but this is easily possible in Unicode. You just have to write the letters ‘ka’ and ‘sha’ and join them using a Zero width joiner. It is as simple as ABC. By this manner you can represent any letter in the alphabet including yansaya and repaya. So what is the bid idea of making this big noise?

    You always complain that we cannot use Unicode anywhere other than in PCs, but that has been shown, not in theory, but by doing that practically. Do not you still know that now we can send SMS in Sinhala? Wake up man! Go update yourself. Do not live in the nineteenth century.

    I hope this post will end the useless argument with you.

  18. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 4, 2006 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Donald,

    If you want more:

    Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. The Unicode Standard has been adopted by such industry leaders as Apple, HP, IBM, JustSystem, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sun, Sybase, Unisys and many others. Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA 3.0, WML, etc., and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646. It is supported in many operating systems, all modern browsers, and many other products. The emergence of the Unicode Standard, and the availability of tools supporting it, are among the most significant recent global software technology trends.

    Incorporating Unicode into client-server or multi-tiered applications and websites offers significant cost savings over the use of legacy character sets. Unicode enables a single software product or a single website to be targeted across multiple platforms, languages and countries without re-engineering. It allows data to be transported through many different systems without corruption.

  19. Abiman's Gravatar Abiman
    May 4, 2006 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    yudisdara,

    you say: [ICTA has some of the best and honest officials in its ranks, no doubt.]

    can you tell me the names of these honest officers in the icta?

  20. May 4, 2006 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Where “Helaya and his team went wrong”

    “the Asian languages do not have individual letter system.”

    this is where your group went wrong. All Asian languages are individual characters.
    Computer is not a typewriter

    “54 letters in Sinhala alphabet”
    You know nothing, Sinhala Alphabet consist over 2000 characters
    With 54 can you write the word “He” of Helaya.
    Leave the typewriter thinking.

    “SMS in Sinhala”
    only on restricted mobile phones and a monopoly of one company. It is an illegal act on fair trade practice.

    “Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language.”

    So what is the unicode code point for “DU” in unicode chart you have not answered this yet
    .
    You are defending UNICODE our debate is what SLSI 1134 registered with unicode is incorrect.

    Nobody say or said UNICODE is wrong. WHAT SLSI 1134 REGISTERED WITH UNICODE is incomplete and incorrect set of sinhala characters. This is what we address.

    You all hold the tail end of Sinhala unicode
    When you hold the tail of a cobra you know what will happen!!!

    Solution is to register all Sinhala individual characters in the UNICODE
    all each and every sinhala characters are displayed other than my publication ISBN 955-98975-0-0.

    Can you give me an correct answer why SLSI 1134 registered four ayanna in unicode.?
    With what you say one ayanna is more than enough. This proves the “xxxxxxx” of Emeritus Professor and his team —- listed above in tread by Helaya.

    You all had no knowledge in “typology” or “typography”. These are the end results. When the errors are pointed still cannot accept the error.

    You have not given the public apology nor answered my questions.

    Have you seen the rawvaya newspaper last sunday!!!!

    http://www.akuru.org/images/rawaya2.jpg.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  21. May 4, 2006 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Correction:

    Solution is to register all Sinhala individual characters in the UNICODE

    No publication has all each and every sinhala characters other than my publication ISBN 955-98975-0-0.

    This is what boils the Emeritus Professor and his team

    Donald

  22. Sandhya Herath's Gravatar Sandhya Herath
    May 5, 2006 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    First of all, I thank Nalaka for his long and comprehensive reply on the ccTLD issue.

    I am also glad this forum is giving us an opportunity to discuss the maladies in the Sri Lanka’s ICT sector and possible remedies in a positive and responsible manner.

    For the past, what I have observed that no opportunity has been given for the GENERAL PUBLIC of this country like me to share their views in different matters related to ICT in Sri Lanka.

    This is very interesting because we always here that we live in a DEMOCRATIC and SOCIALISTIC REPUBLIC and people has the power to decide what they want.

    However, what had happened in the ICT filed in most of the occasions is HANDFUL OF DOMINATING CHARACTERS TAKING DECISIONS ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US – WITHOUT EVER BOTHERING TO ASK WHAT WE THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone might call it Stalinism and I call it as nothing but ICT DICTATORSHIP.

    These few individuals think they can dictate what the 19 million of people want without consulting the public – the very people they say would benefit from ICTs.

    This poses the fundamental question whether we live in a democratic society.

    HOW CAN JUST FEW PEOPLE DECIDE ON THE MATTERS THAT AFFECT 19 MILLION? HOW CAN THEY TAKE DECISIONS ON BEHALF OF 19 MILLION PEOPLE?

    For example, just take the two issues discussed above.

    Were there any public consolations about the dot lk domain registration process? Have the public of this country consulted on any occasion on the procedures? Or was it just handful of people decided what they thought best for the country? (My original question still remain unanswered: Who appoints these decision makers?)

    Were there any public consolation about the Sinhala Unicode alphabet? Or was it decided by few people who thought they knew best? Who were the Sinhala scholars participated in the process of deciding the Sinhala Unicode system? Were there any public consultation process?

    As far as I know, there were NONE.

    BOTH THESE ISSUES, WHICH ARE RELEVANT TO 19 MILLION PEOPLE IN SRI LANKA WERE DECIDED BY FEW INDIVIDUALS WHO THOUGHT THEY KNOW ALL AND THEY CAN DECIDE WHAT THE OTHERS WANT.

    Are we living in Stalin’s Russia or Pol Pot’s Kampuchea?

    Should we encourage this type of dictatorship? Or should we encourage a more democratic process, where everyone whether it is public sector, private sector, civil society, media or even just individuals are free to express their opinion and contribute positively to the policy making process?

  23. May 5, 2006 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Mr Sandhya Herath.

    You have understood the two major issues. dot lk and Sinhala

    First Let me tell you some history of SLSI 1134

    In the year 2004 April 26th The Sri Lanka Standards Institution Drafted
    a published SLSI1134 for public comments

    Only two groups objected to this
    Myself & the other is the Sri Lanka Association of Printers
    My objections were rejected by a panel of more than 20 people.
    None of the panel had any knowledge in typology or typography or
    willing to listen to me.
    But this meeting was documented and recorded it in the files of SLSI.

    The SLSI 1134 was approved.
    This is incorrect and incomplete set of Sinhala Characters

    Even before the SLSI 1134 in the year 2003 I made a public lecture at
    the University of Sri Lanka and it can be downloaded from

    http://www.cssl.lk/PL/ICT-&-lang3.ppt

    SLSI 1134 went ahead with the part of the characters (glyphs) to
    construct a character.
    This became a problem. text created by one application will not read as
    the same text in another application etc etc

    Legal Issue:
    During this time the of year the Intellectual Property act No 36 of
    2003 came into effect.
    My concept of individual characters to be used in computer became a
    area protected by the above act because—( THE ACT DEFINED — )MY
    PROCESS, SYSTEM & Idea permits in practice — the solution to a
    specific problem in the field of technology.

    ************

    Where is “KU” “REPAYA” “YANSAYA” “LU” “DU” “Kayanna badhi shayanna” to
    write the name of our President Rajapaksha.

    Recently I wrote this mail to Executive Chairman of the ICTA

    —-I quote from my mail ——–

    Dear Executive Chairman of the ICTA,

    I hope you read my article to the Daily Mirror Sat 4 March 2006.

    Do you know that your SLSI 1134 is incorrect and incomplete?
    Do you know that ICTA will never be able to implement the e-SL program
    in Sinhala Language and Tamil Language.
    Do you know that the Constitution of Sri Lanka requires the Government
    to use Sinhala Language and Tamil Language in Sri Lanka.
    Do you know that this is a mandatory requirement.
    Do you know that google.lk is just a hype
    Do you know that without Sinhala and Tamil the e-SL program it self a
    hype.

    If your SLSI 1134 is the correct solution why cant the content
    developers develop the web site in Sinhala Language and Tamil Language?
    Please note that computer is not a typewriter. With your SLSI 1134 you
    can use a computer as a typewriter but not as a computer.

    Until when are you going to fool the general public and the Minister
    for IT who is the Hon President of Sri Lanka?

    Hope you have the time to visit my web site http://www.akuru.org.

    “”” Quote””” from a comment I received

    Well asked – but don’t expect these people to reply!

    The Chairman of ICTA is also the former chairman of CINTEC who created
    the current problem with Sinhala fonts. He is the least likely to do
    anything to resolve it, because he will then be exposing his earlier
    bungling.

    Besides, his UCSC ‘golaya’ yyyyy and his buddy “xxxxxx” have
    globe-trotted for a decade saying they are doing Sinhala fonts. All
    that will be exposed and brought into question the moment things are
    done PROPERLY even at this late stage.

    ”’UNQUOTE”

    All because of SLSI 1134 is incorrect and incomplete.

    The image of SLSI 1134 is annexed at the bottom.

    These are facts.

    Please read understand and act to save Sinhala language.

    NOW come to the dot lk

    I use akuru as my web site.

    ALL AKURU sites of dot lk is registered with ICTA but the pay date is expired
    I ask this question at Seminar from ICTA Lawyer MR Jayatha Fernando

    He admitted publicly in the seminar ( William Tell Circle March 16 2006) verbally this is an unethical act of ICTA but there is no way to solve it.
    Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will have to mediate but the laws are not passed.

    Then I found that the akuru dot lk’s payment due date has been expired
    I wrote an e-mail to Mr Manju Hatthotuwa requesting him to change the owner ship to me
    Also wrote the same E mail to the ICTA Lawyer Mr Jayatha Fernando.

    Both of them never acknowledged my mail.

    I also applied to nic.lk asking for akuru domain as the payment due date has been expired they too never replied.

    This is Sri Lanka’s IT Mafia.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  24. May 5, 2006 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Dear All,

    Eventhough I dont want to point fingers at any one, I would like to bring some factual information with regard to some of the things discussed above.

    – Sinhala Unicode is proven by many, including our company Microimage. The Unicode Fonts are available and can be used for all types of desktop applications. Apart from Microimage many private and public institutions has released respective versions of Unicode compliant products.

    – Microimage was the 1st to realease the fully unicode compliant mobile browser. So even the unicode is working on the mobile browser. This proves unicode standard can be implemented on a mobile phone as well.

    – In unicode it’s important to understand how it works in order to implement solutions.

    – Patent – We never had a issue with a PATENT which we filed way back in 2004 for our Mobile implementation. After 1 year of delays and evaluations we were granted a PATENT for mobile based sinhala/tamil key manipulation and rendering. No one blocked this matter. Further would like to state MI obtained the PATENT in order to safeguard our local efforts from overseas companies who enters our market and takes ownership of our hardwork. And this is not obtain in the intention of blocking any local company/individuals doing simmilar work. PATENT details are available at http://www.microimage.com

    – ICTA – What I have realized about pointing fingers at ICTA is that, ICTA alone cant take ICT initiatives forward. All the stakeholders in the industry and all vetrans needs to join hands as well as do there respective bits to develop and take initiatives forward. The mobile sinhala / tamil SMS and browser initiatives which we took and implemented back in 2004/2005 were all surprise news to ICTA. They even didnt know that we were doing such projects till these came into the market. However, upon launch they appreciated our work. We didnt wait till we find donors and research funds or ICTA fund to be granted to do such initiatives. Another project which we did was disaster warnning after getting some expert advise from some of they key veterans in this subject whom we are working closely even now and this too is something that ICTA didnt even knew about. If we all think that ICTA is going to do the entire eSri lanka initiative then it will not be a reality. All of us has to play our role as I see even intellectuals and people with different views such as Mr.Donald should put his act together.

    This debate of Mr. Donald against the entire ICT industry is going on for many years now. What I kindly suggest Mr.Donald whom I have respect for his intellectual work is to bring his ideas to the table in a future revision/review of Unicode and it’s standard. Also most importantly technially develop his version and present to people concerned and general public. The negative side of Mr.Donalds argument is that his method is not technically developed so far and presented or released. As majority of the working groups which included Microsoft to Linux based groupd who agreed on the Unicode it doenst make sense to keep this dragging rather than do technical implementation which is vital for the country.

    In conclusion I quite agree to the fact that many more things needed to be done in Sri Lankan ICT industry to enable Sinhala/Tamil Unicode usage in general ICT use. However would like to notify that there are many websites popping up which are Unicode compliant now compared to year ago.

    Finally, again would like to notify all that this comments are to present facts related to some of the discussed topics but not to harm or accuse anyone.

  25. Palitha Manukulasuriya's Gravatar Palitha Manukulasuriya
    May 5, 2006 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    This is a good debate. After reading what other wrote I like to add my two cents.

    Somebody mentions about a big old dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus rex, who prevents the dynamic and young professionals to move ahead in the ICT field.

    Let me ask: Is this something unique to ICT field? Don’t we have such big old dinosaurs in every filed of our country?

    Have you ever seen Amaradeva giving a helping hand to any young musician/singer? Did you see him coming and wishing the Sirasa Super Stars? Did you ever see Amaradeva saying a single good word about the talent of any Sirasa Super Stars? Do you think he has not observed the classic voice of Dharshana Promod?

    Have you ever seen Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera praising a budding writer or a poet? Do you know what he has said about young poets? Have not you seen the way he has totally demoralized young writers and poets?

    Have you ever heard Dr. Sunanda Mahendra De Mel or Emeritus Prof. J. B. Dissanayake saying anything good about a young academic? Have you ever seen any one of them writing a good review about a book by a young author?

    My dear, all these are big, old and ugly dinosaurs in our country and their life mission is to block others reaching the level they are now. No doubt, they were all very talented people in their hey days, and they have reached a certain level because of that talent. Now they are so threatened by the young blood and perpetually scared that someone would come up one day to their level and push them down. So naturally they do everything to stop anyone going up.

    Therefore, one such dinosaur in the ICT field is nothing. Cheer up! In other fields, we have so many such big bad dinosaurs. You have only one.

    But do not worry. Don’t we all know what happened to the Dinosaurs? For what ever the reason, they got extinct from the face of the earth. So just wait, it is only a matter of time.

    P.S. Of course, there are many seniors who willingly give a helping hand to the juniors of their fields. One always remembers how Lester fought for Vimukthi Jayasundera and now he is fighting to save Handagama’s new film. We should also respect Khemadasa for his genuine appreciation of the talents of the young Super Stars.

  26. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 5, 2006 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Donald mahattayo,

    I thought you are bit more intelligent, and now you ask questions even a second grade student will not ask.

    [“54 letters in Sinhala alphabet” You know nothing, Sinhala Alphabet consist over 2000 characters.]

    I said 54 letters in Sinhala alphabet. You talk about characters. Letters are not characters. You do not even know the difference. Go to grade one and learn.

    [So what is the unicode code point for “DU” in unicode chart you have not answered this yet]

    Easy man, go to http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0D80.pdf and learn how to write it.

    Du = 0DAF 0DD4

    [Nobody say or said UNICODE is wrong.]

    So if you agree Unicode is not wrong, let us all use it. What is the big deal?

    Have you run out of all stupid questions?

  27. May 5, 2006 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear Helaya

    Du = one code point not two code points

    You are talking about a type writer not a computer.

    I cannot see du in unicode chart

    You are avioding the question : There is no debate about unicode consotium
    BUT SLSI 1134 is incorrect and incomplete.

    What you registered with unicode is incorrect and incomplete.

    The Sinhala Alphabet have more than 2000 letters or characters (what ever you call)
    With you 54 letters where is the letter “HE” of Helaya
    You avoid the answer

    Dear Harsha

    What I have told is truth.

    With parts of characters you can use computer as a typewriter but not as a computer.

    Can you copy and paste unformated sinhala text from your helawadane to adobe illustrator?
    or v.v

    Can you copy a sinhala unformated text from Helawadana into note pad and paste it to word?

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  28. May 5, 2006 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Harsha

    Quote”to bring his ideas to the table in a future revision/review of Unicode ” unquote

    It is sad even you have got the wrong side of the coin.
    There is nothing to review on UNICODE

    My point is SINHALA UNICODE = SLSI 1134 is incorrect and incomplete

    Unicode and the Sinhala registered in unicode are two different subjects

    I talk of SInhala SLSI 1134 = Sinhala unicode chart
    This is incorrect and incomplete.

    First is to accept this fact. SLSI 1134 is incorrect

    Then we can go into the secoond step.

    Other option is what I have presented the full character system

    If you accept this rest fall in line.

    Even your limited SMS is based on full characters not parts of characters. am I correct?

    quote”doenst make sense to keep this dragging rather than do technical implementation ” unquote

    If one cannot copy and paste sinhala text from one application to another
    If software developers are unable to make sinhala OCR
    Voice to sinhala text and sinhala text to voice
    name a few
    The exsisting system is at fault.
    We have to correct this ASAP

    Donald

    —————————————–

    Now back to “HELAYA”

    You have not answerd

    The public apology!!

    Can you give me an correct answer why SLSI 1134 registered four ayanna in unicode.?

    Where is the character or letter “HE” in your sinhala 54 letter alphabet

    Unicode Code point for “DU” and “ksha”

    You have not repilied to Ravaya news paper

    Have you seen my publication ISBN 955-98975-0-0.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  29. May 6, 2006 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Palitha Manukulasuriya has actually amplified on what I posted earlier (see Post No 9).

    Dinosaurs – which literally meant terrible lizards – are all too common in so many fields in Sri Lanka. The whole Sri Lankan armed forces cannot even begin to help the dinosaur-size insecurities these once-talented great men and women seem to have!

    Somebody once called them Bo trees – they are large and revered, but they don’t allow other trees to come up under them. Our intellectual and artistic dinosaurs don’t leave any proteges or successors worth talking about.

    In the case of ICT, we can only hope that the big ugly dinosaur will become extinct soon for everyone else’s benefit. And just as well he leaves no next generation behind!

  30. May 6, 2006 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Donald Gaminitillake’s passion and commitment to the cause are admirable. But sometimes single-issue activists like him can’t see the bigger picture. They need to take a few steps back from time to time and get some perspective.

    Streamlining and rationalising Sinhala fonts is absolutely essential and urgently needed. No argument. But that is only a first step. What then?

    What have all the promoters of Sinhala culture and heritage done to generate substantive, quality content in Sinhala that can be placed online the moment Sinhala Unicode is cleaned up?

    Where is metacontent in Sinhala? Metacontent is things like dictionaries, directories, searchable listings, online encyclopedias like the Wikipedia.

    We will continue to have the content vacuum in Sinhala even when (or if?) the Sinhala fonts are standardised and made fully compatible for all the IT and ICT functions.

    We should prepare content and metacontent from now onwards, even if offline initially, to be placed online when there is a standardised Sinhala font.

    We can’t expect this to be initiated by the professors of Sinhala whose only skill with keyboards is to just type.

  31. May 6, 2006 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Don’t you dare to criticize our Chairman of the ICTA. He is the greatest ICT expert in the history of Sri Lanka, and father of ICT in this country. Only the jealous failures try to discredit him. But his track record can speak for itself. We are indeed fortunate to have a man of the stature of Professor V K Samaranayaka continuing to provide able and visionary leadership to ICT development in Sri Lanka.

    We will deal with those who dare to criticise him. We wil track them down using the technical and legal powers vested in ICTA. And we will teach them all a good lesson.

    After all, our chairman is an Emeritus Professor, and he loves to teach!

  32. May 6, 2006 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks Aksharaya

    I am not talking about fonts

    I am talking about the base that makes fonts and other applications. Unicode is not a font. It is the base code points for development software. If the SLSI 1134 = Sinhala Unicode is incorrect and incomplete we got to correct it.
    Once this is done the dictioneries, online encyclopedias , will automatically gets generated
    There are thousands of people out there who wants to do this type of work but they are deprived of it.
    You cannot do any of above with the present method other than to use a computer as a typewriter.

    Like Mr Palitha Manukulasuriya said we have to show the public the location of these Dinosaurs.
    In Sri Lanka most of the general public yet to know about computer. see the following link.

    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2004/11/14/bus02.html

    MaRa need to open his or her eyes wider and see the actual situvation. Hope MaRa has the time to read the Ravaya Newspaper also see the above link.

    and

    This article appered in Ceylon Daily News and in two parts on pdf format

    Computer imbroglio in keeping with Sinhala language
    by Aelian de Silva B.Sc. Eng. (Lond.), CEng., FIEE (UK), FIE (SL)

    you can download it from http://www.akuru.org

    MaRa just give up. There is no need to protect any Dinosaurs who had distroyed my language Sinhala.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  33. Sampath's Gravatar Sampath
    May 6, 2006 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    This is related to the post about the Lanka Clear.

    I have worked few months in LankaClear & I have very good idea about that.

    All your thoughts are absolutely correct. Lankaclear is full of corrupted people and lot of under arm deals as you mentioned.

    I joined there in last year to work on new image clearing system. In few months I understood this is a wrong please to me. I wonder how there IT manager, Project manager and all IT superiors came to these positions. They know nothing about IT. Chairmen is an old man with out any knowledge in IT. He is not only the chairmen of LankaClear, He is the chairmen of lot of institutes like Sri Jayardanapura hospital. You may know current poor status of that hospital. He is the man behind all.

    He also own some business. One is that currier service now the Software partner of new image clearing system ! They don’t have any experience in software industry. I wonder is Central Bank of Sri Lanka, major share holder of lankaclear approving these kind of deals. As a result Image Clearing system is still lagging. They plan to complete it on last year. But until today it was not success.

    In LankaClear account department is privatised. That was doing by Old mans own company. Operators of check clearing system were out sourced. They are taken from manpower company, that also Old mans own one.

    I know government spend lot of money in IT industry, but all are wasted. I feel so sorry about my country.

    What shall we do ? Can we take an action against this ?

  34. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 6, 2006 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Donald mahattayo,

    Looks like you have very little brain power. That is why you keep asking the questions we have answered already. You do not even have the brain of a Grade one student.

    Or is that because Catholic Church pays you every time you make a post? (So I will reply to you this time too because you can reply back and get your payments from the church.)

    1. You say: Du = one code point not two code points

    So what? Who dictates that we should have only one code per letter? If it is so, we would never be able to write anything other than pure consonants in Sinhala.

    2. You say: You are talking about a type writer not a computer.

    Old man, we too are talking about computers. Not type writers. Do you think we are also dinosaurs like you to talk about type writers? Old man, unlike a type writer you are used to, a computer can combine two characters to make a new letter (character). That is why we use the Unicode chart.

    3. You say: I cannot see du in Unicode chart

    This is like saying I do not see an engine in this, so this engine does not have any engine. Man, you have to open the bonnet and see. I have shown you already how ‘Du’ is represented in Unicode. Now, do you also want me to show how ‘Gu’ is coded in Unicode?

    4. You say: What you registered with Unicode is incorrect and incomplete.

    Prove it old man, prove it. Show us a single letter that cannot be written using Unicode. Then we believe you.

    5. You say: Where is the character or letter “HE” in your sinhala 54 letter alphabet

    Have not you seen a kombuwa and the letter ‘Ha’ in the Unicode chart? Combine them and get the letter ‘He’. Unicode gives only 128 (16×8) locations to any language. This is the rule not for Sinhala, but for any language in the world. You whether you like it or not you have to represent all characters in the language in 128 spaces. You talk about 2,000 letters in Sinhala. If you are a mahadenamutta, please go ahead and suggest a better way to represent these 2,000 characters within 128 spaces. We are ready to listen. This is a challenge. If you cannot do that please do not argue any more.

    6. You say: You have not replied to Ravaya news paper

    Why should I reply to newspapers? I do not have any obligation to reply to newspapers. If you want you reply.

    7. You say: Like Mr Palitha Manukulasuriya said we have to show the public the location of these Dinosaurs.

    Very good. You are the biggest Dinosaur we have here and we are glad to get rid of you for the benefit of this nation. We do not want any agents of Catholic mafia to teach us about our heritage. We know how to protect our heritage.

    Now reply in triplicate and go and collect your due payments from the Church.

  35. Anjana's Gravatar Anjana
    May 6, 2006 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you guys have nothing else to do other than mud slinging at each other?

    We have an international ICT seminar in Colombo next week. So many IT experts will be coming to Sri Lanka for that. What do you think the outsiders will think about Sri Lankans if they see something like this?

    Don’t you think we should settle our minor internal differences more amicably?

    Please do not behave as children.

  36. May 6, 2006 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Anjana you are correct

    But let the world see what these guys are doing in Sri Lanka.

    I hope all the visitors visit this link before they attened the meeting.

    the method of assignment of glyphs differ from one software to the other, it leads to incomprehensibility of text composed on different software. For example, for a document composed with software X using font type AB, the document must also be read on an application running SoftwareX using font type AB. Otherwise, a character “DU” used in one software would be reproduced as ‘Ã©ú§¨’ in another. Similarly, key in methods would encounter the same obstacles. There is also a limitation of the usage of characters. Uncommon characters have been discarded. A user is therefore restricted to individual systems and unable to use different types of software. This is a direct result of existing software for Sinhala and Tamil having fixed parameters comprised by a fixed set of font(s) predetermined by the software developers.

    “DU” “GU” “repya’ “yansaya” has no code point in unicode (many more)
    see charts in the unicode. These are not registered in sinhla unicode or SLSI 1134

    quote
    Unicode gives only 128 (16×8) locations to any language
    unquote

    Unicode gives any number of locations based on the National Stadared of a country

    There are more languages using more than 128 locations

    I can give 64,000 locations for Sinhala. If you need 490,000 I can give 512,000 locations
    BUT you will use the same “QWERTY” or Wijesekera Keyboard to accsess the 512,000 locations

    This is my technology and my knowledge.I know you cannot think byond 128 .

    Quote letter “HE” in your sinhala 54 letter alphabet — unqoote
    You were the person who brought the Sinhala 54 into the picture. Sinhala unicode = SLSI 1134 is not the Sinhala Alphabet. If you say SLSI 1134 is the sinhala alpabet you know nothing about sinhala language.

    The emptyness of your knowledge is show to the world

    Soon you will have to go public and make an apology to the church for writing comments like this
    “quote
    We do not want any agents of Catholic mafia to teach us about our heritage. We know how to protect our heritage.”
    unquote

    What the church has done for the sinhala language is more than so called “saruwa pittala buddhist” like you have done.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  37. May 6, 2006 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Interesting site for “Helaya”

    http://mail.linux.lk/lurker/message/20050607.201450.090d7f8c.en.html

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  38. Yudhisdara's Gravatar Yudhisdara
    May 7, 2006 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting to see how people talk about mud slinging and brining religion to the totally unrelated filed of ICT.

    Who started all these?

    It is an open secret that our Emirates Professor was the number one critic of E-Sri Lanka and ICTA ever had. There was not even a single aspect of E-Sri Lanka or ICTA that missed his sharp and harsh criticism.

    The simple reason was this so-called father of ICT (in fact ‘great grand father of ICT’ would have been a more correct term) was jealous and threatened as he was completely ignored in the set up of the E-Sri Lanka program.

    To rub salt to this Emirates Professor’s wounds then government appointed Mr. Eran Wickremaratne, a successful business personality and a gentleman to the core, as the Chairman of the ICTA. One might have found it extremely difficult to point finger at such a non-controversial character.

    However, Mr. Wickramaratne was also a junior priest of the Assembly of God (AOG) sect, the church of which was just next door to ICTA.

    Then in 2003 December Ven. Soma Thero died in San Francisco in Russia. There is no need to go for details as all of us know how this incident sparked so far non-existent hatred towards Catholics and Christians. Terms so far we have never heard like ‘Catholic mafia’, ‘Fundamentalists’, ‘Non Ethical conversions’ were suddenly on everyone’s mouth. Overnight everything Catholic/Christian became synonymous with devil. (Apparently people like our Helaya here have not still woken up from that dream.)

    Then we also started reading e-mails, newspaper reports and stuff on Internet all linking the E-Sri Lanka program and ICTA to Catholics and Christians. Mr. Eran Wickremeratne and ICTA even had to issue a public statement denying any relationship between ICTA and Catholic/Christian church.

    The most interesting part was these e-mails, while criticizing the key officials of e-Sri Lanka program for being Catholics/Christians, also indicated that the program had never taken advices of expert Sinhalese Buddhists. The brief list of these ‘expert Sinhalese Buddhists’ included the names of the Emirates Professor and one Mr. Wickremesinghe.

    So one cannot help wondering how prophetic these e-mails/news reports were when the Emirates Professor assumes the duties as the Chairman of ICTA immediately after the government change. The said Mr. Wickremesinghe was not on the board, but apparently his brother got a place. Very prophetic mails and reports indeed! (It just looked like someone above had heard the pleas in them. How coincidental!)

    Abuddhassa here says religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel!

    So now we know who the biggest scoundrel is!!!!!!!!!!

    It is also interesting that the people who look down on Christians do not find any reason why not to do certain unethical transactions with them.

    Perhaps it might be because the Korean won notes do not depict the images of Jesus Christ!

  39. May 7, 2006 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    When they lose a battle they want to focus it towards an irrelevant area. In this case they chose a religion

    See how many technical questions went unanswered.

    1,
    The unicode for Sinhala is incorrect and incomplete. If you can read sinhala please visit http://www.akuru.org/images/rawaya2.jpg.

    2.
    In Sri Lanka we cannot use the local language Sinhala in computer. We cannot transfer data using the local language Sinhala. Data is not compatible.

    3.
    For Tamil Language if you take the “demala eka kiyaveem potha’ Tamil book one page 48 and 49 gives the matrix of all tamil characters. Give the sinhala equivalent if you can!!!!

    4.
    See who owns gov.lk site
    This leaves us who is the government of Sri Lanka (priu.gov.lk or gov.lk) Is it ICT agency or Presidential Secratariat???

    5. Where is “KU” “REPAYA” “YANSAYA” “LU” “DU” “Kayanna badhi shayanna” to write the name of our President Rajapaksha.
    Give code points from Unicode chart or SLSI 1134.

    6. Can you give me an correct answer why SLSI 1134 registered four ayannas in unicode.?
    7.
    Do you know that ICTA will never be able to implement the e-SL program in Sinhala Language and Tamil Language.
    8.
    Do you know that the Constitution of Sri Lanka requires the Government to use Sinhala Language and Tamil Language in Sri Lanka.
    9.
    Do you know that this is a mandatory requirement.
    10
    Do you know that google.lk is just a hype
    11
    Do you know that without Sinhala and Tamil the e-SL program itself a hype.
    12
    Can you copy and paste unformated sinhala text from your helawadane to adobe illustrator?
    or v.v
    13
    Can you copy a sinhala unformated text from Helawadana into note pad and paste it to word?
    14.
    Even the limited SMS is based on full characters not parts of characters. am I correct?
    15.
    If one cannot copy and paste sinhala text from one application to another If software developers are unable to make sinhala OCR
    Voice to sinhala text and sinhala text to voice name a few
    The exsisting system is at fault.

    16.
    Have you seen my publication ISBN 955-98975-0-0.?

    17.
    have you seen the following link
    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2004/11/14/bus02.html

    18
    This article appered in Ceylon Daily News and in two parts on pdf format
    Computer imbroglio in keeping with Sinhala language
    by Aelian de Silva B.Sc. Eng. (Lond.), CEng., FIEE (UK), FIE (SL)
    you can download it from http://www.akuru.org

    19.
    “DU” “GU” “repya’ “yansaya” has no code point in unicode (many more) see charts in the unicode. These are not registered in sinhla unicode or SLSI 1134

    20.
    ALL AKURU sites of dot lk is registered with ICTA but the pay date is expired I ask this question at Seminar from ICTA Lawyer MR Jayatha Fernando
    He admitted publicly in the seminar ( William Tell Circle March 16 2006) verbally this is an unethical act of ICTA but there is no way to solve it.
    Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will have to mediate but the laws are not passed.
    Then I found that the akuru dot lk’s payment due date has been expired
    I wrote an e-mail to Mr Manju Hatthotuwa requesting him to change the owner ship to me
    Also wrote the same E mail to the ICTA Lawyer Mr Jayatha Fernando.
    I also applied to nic.lk asking for akuru domain as the payment due date has been expired

    they too never replied.

    ———————————–

    Twenty unanswered questions are on float in this discussion. (based on my postings)
    None of these questions are based on any religion.

    I request the members of the IT conferance to put forward these question at the seminar obtain proper answers form the people concerned.

    Expose the truth and protect the public interest of Sri Lanka.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  40. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 8, 2006 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Readers,

    They say in Sinhala, it is easy to argue with 100 pundits than to argue with a single modaya.

    I know this, but since the questions this man poses are so easy and he thinks I do not have answers let me go ahead. In fact many of the points are not even questions and many are irrelevant. Please see my replies in capitals.

    1,
    The unicode for Sinhala is incorrect and incomplete. If you can read sinhala please visit http://www.akuru.org/images/rawaya2.jpg.

    THIS ARTICLE SAYS UNICODE IS INCOMPLETE, BUT IT DOES NOT SAY WHY. I ASK WHY? PLEASE SAY WHY INSTEAD OF BLINDLY REPEATING IT IS INCOMPLE INCOMPLETE LIKE A PARROT.

    2.
    In Sri Lanka we cannot use the local language Sinhala in computer. We cannot transfer data using the local language Sinhala. Data is not compatible.

    COMPLETELY WRONG. WE ALREADY USE SINHALA IN COMPUTERS. JUST BECAUSE YOU CANNOT DO IT IT DOES NOT EVERYONE CANNOT. WE OBVIOUSLY CAN.

    3.
    For Tamil Language if you take the “demala eka kiyaveem potha’ Tamil book one page 48 and 49 gives the matrix of all tamil characters. Give the sinhala equivalent if you can!!!!

    IRRELEVANT. WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH UNICODE?

    4.
    See who owns gov.lk site
    This leaves us who is the government of Sri Lanka (priu.gov.lk or gov.lk) Is it ICT agency or Presidential Secratariat???

    IRRELEVANT. WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH UNICODE?

    5. Where is “KU” “REPAYA” “YANSAYA” “LU” “DU” “Kayanna badhi shayanna” to write the name of our President Rajapaksha.
    Give code points from Unicode chart or SLSI 1134.

    ALREADY ANSWERED. PLEASE REFER MY EARLIER POSTS.

    6. Can you give me an correct answer why SLSI 1134 registered four ayannas in unicode.?

    THERE ARE ENOUGH SPACES. SO WE CAN HAVE NOT 4 BUT 20 AYANNAS WE NEED.

    7.
    Do you know that ICTA will never be able to implement the e-SL program in Sinhala Language and Tamil Language.

    IT HAS ALREADY DONE. SO QUESTION DOES NOT ARISE.

    8.

    Do you know that the Constitution of Sri Lanka requires the Government to use Sinhala Language and Tamil Language in Sri Lanka.

    YES.

    9.
    Do you know that this is a mandatory requirement.

    YES.

    10
    Do you know that google.lk is just a hype

    IRRELEVENT. WHY SHOULD I CARE?

    11
    Do you know that without Sinhala and Tamil the e-SL program itself a hype.

    WRONG. E-SL PROGRAMME ALREADY USES SINHALA AND TAMIL.

    12
    Can you copy and paste unformated sinhala text from your helawadane to adobe illustrator?
    or v.v

    IRRERELEVANT. WHAT I HAVE TO DO WITH HELAWADANA AOR ADOBE? THEY ARE PROPERITORY SOFTWARE. ASK THE DEVELOPERS.

    13

    Can you copy a sinhala unformated text from Helawadana into note pad and paste it to word?

    SEE ABOVE ANSWER TO 13.

    14.
    Even the limited SMS is based on full characters not parts of characters. am I correct?

    WHY DO YOU WORRY AS LONG AS YOU CAN TRANSMIT THE MESSAGE.

    15.
    If one cannot copy and paste sinhala text from one application to another If software developers are unable to make sinhala OCR
    Voice to sinhala text and sinhala text to voice name a few
    The exsisting system is at fault.

    IT CAN, SO IT IS NOT.

    16.
    Have you seen my publication ISBN 955-98975-0-0.?

    NO. I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN WASTE MY TIME READING WHAT ALL THE MORONS WRITE.

    17.
    have you seen the following link
    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2004/11/14/bus02.html

    IRRELEVANT.

    18
    This article appered in Ceylon Daily News and in two parts on pdf format
    Computer imbroglio in keeping with Sinhala language
    by Aelian de Silva B.Sc. Eng. (Lond.), CEng., FIEE (UK), FIE (SL)
    you can download it from http://www.akuru.org

    IRRELEVANT.

    19.
    “DU” “GU” “repya’ “yansaya” has no code point in unicode (many more) see charts in the unicode. These are not registered in sinhla unicode or SLSI 1134

    THEY HAVE CODE POINTS AND I HAVE ALREADY GIVEN THEM. PLEASE READ MY EARLIER POSTS.

    20.
    ALL AKURU sites of dot lk is registered with ICTA but the pay date is expired I ask this question at Seminar from ICTA Lawyer MR Jayatha Fernando
    He admitted publicly in the seminar ( William Tell Circle March 16 2006) verbally this is an unethical act of ICTA but there is no way to solve it.
    Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will have to mediate but the laws are not passed.
    Then I found that the akuru dot lk’s payment due date has been expired
    I wrote an e-mail to Mr Manju Hatthotuwa requesting him to change the owner ship to me
    Also wrote the same E mail to the ICTA Lawyer Mr Jayatha Fernando.
    I also applied to nic.lk asking for akuru domain as the payment due date has been expired

    IRRELEVANT.

    Now Donald mahattayo,

    I have replied to all your 20 ‘questions’ successfully. Now lete me ask a simple question.

    If you do not agree with Unicode chart give your own way of representing ‘du’ within a 16×8 = 128 matrix. If you cannot do that, accept Unicode is superior and stop arguing.

  41. May 8, 2006 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    The topic is not unicode it is ICT myths so answer all correctly and technically you cannot say IRRELEVANT.

    quote”THIS ARTICLE SAYS UNICODE IS INCOMPLETE, BUT IT DOES NOT SAY WHY.”unquote

    We talk of SLSI1134 = sinhala unicode

    SLSI1134- Sinhala unicode deos not have code points for all sinhala characters
    I give one example where are the code points for repaya yansaya in unicode chart or SLSI 1134 chart.

    Quote” JUST BECAUSE YOU CANNOT DO IT ” unquote
    If one cannot use it on all exsisting operating systems there is a real problem with SLSI 1134

    quote
    For Tamil Language if you take the “demala eka kiyaveem potha’ Tamil book one page 48 and 49 gives the matrix of all tamil characters. Give the sinhala equivalent if you can!!!!-unquote
    reply by Helaya
    IRRELEVANT. WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH UNICODE?

    This where helaya has gone wrong he does not know total number of sinhala letters we have in our alpabet. Grade one work

    The topic is not sinhala unicode it is ICT myths so answer

    See who owns gov.lk site
    This leaves us who is the government of Sri Lanka (priu.gov.lk or gov.lk) Is it ICT agency or Presidential Secratariat???

    The topic is not unicode it is ICT myths so answer

    Do you know that google lk is just a hype
    IRRELEVENT. WHY SHOULD I CARE?

    becuase you cannot use sinhala on it!!!!! You cannot avoid it answer correctly

    Do you know that without Sinhala and Tamil the e-SL program itself a hype.

    WRONG. E-SL PROGRAMME ALREADY USES SINHALA AND TAMIL.

    No it is an hype.if you cannot use in google.lk you cannot use in e-SL program.

    IRRERELEVANT. WHAT I HAVE TO DO WITH HELAWADANA AOR ADOBE? THEY ARE PROPERITORY SOFTWARE. ASK THE DEVELOPERS.

    This givse the IT knowledge level of Helaya.

    I ask simple question movement of unformatted sinhala SLSI 1134 text.
    Say you can do it or you cannot do it — technically Harsha should have answered. or any one could post an answer

    Even the limited SMS is based on full characters not parts of characters. am I correct?
    WHY DO YOU WORRY AS LONG AS YOU CAN TRANSMIT THE MESSAGE.

    Because the system differ. using complete characters and glyphs. SMS is not using your SLSI 1134.= Sinhala unicode.
    This also leaves you another problem. Can we use the SMS text in the computer. or send a SMS in Sinhala using SLSI 1134 on the present system

    Sinhala OCR how can you use with SLSI 1134 give examples a application etc
    Where is Voice to sinhala text and sinhala text to voice applications based on slsi 1134

    ISBN 955-98975-0-0. is the only publication is Sri Lanka gives all sinhala characters.

    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2004/11/14/bus02.html

    gives IT litercy rate in Sri Lanka . How come it is IRRELEVANT.

    Computer imbroglio in keeping with Sinhala language
    by Aelian de Silva
    This is a very important article for IT and Helaya cannot understand it

    “DU” “GU” “repya’ “yansaya” has no code point in unicode (many more) see charts in the unicode. These are not registered in sinhla unicode or SLSI 1134

    You have not given any code point from the SINHALA UNICODE CHART or SLSI 1134 CHART
    I must see them physically on the chart published in unicode consotium

    akuru dot.lk problems are also related to IT in Sri Lanka you cannot avoid it by answering “IRRELEVANT.”

    Most silly answer is
    Can you give me an correct answer why SLSI 1134 registered four ayannas in unicode.?
    THERE ARE ENOUGH SPACES. SO WE CAN HAVE NOT 4 BUT 20 AYANNAS WE NEED.

    Why not the 2000 other sinhala chareacter went missing in the SLSI 1134!!!!

    Hey please give up answer technically and correctly

    Educated Readers will decide who had asnwered the questions

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  42. May 8, 2006 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Please note that the I never said any thing about UNICODE CONSOTIUM or unicode

    BUT WHAT SRI LANKA SLSI 1134 registered with the unicode and seen on unicode sinhala charts is incorrect and incomplete as they have missed so many sinhala letters.

    Sinhala language has a history over 2000 years. We do have over 2000 individual sinhala characters to be represent in sinhala unicode.

    Until all characters are represented in Sinhala Unnicode I will fight by myself. Hope readers will understand and join me.

    Donald Gaminitilake
    Colombo

  43. May 10, 2006 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Since there are few areas in the discussion where I can shed some light to make those clearer, I would like to add few lines. ( I am not a technologist though I have a PG Dip in Computer Science)
    1. As both parties have agreed the Unicode Character set is the best way to represent Sinhala characters in computers
    2. The technologists and linguists have worked with Unicode Consortium for no of years to come up with the current Character set which conforms to Unicode Standard 4.1.0
    3. CINTEC sought public opinion for this character set and I myself attended one such event held at Hilton Hotel in 2003 representing the Ministry of Public Administration where I was working then
    4. ICTA, once it was established invited and canvassed public opinions for this character set
    5. Having worked to address the issues as far as possible, ICTA worked with industry, academics, linguists, public sector (Names of the members of that committee appeared above) to draft and approve SLSI 1134
    6. Since that was the best solution available to start computing in Sinhala, Re-Engineering Government Programme (of which I became the Director, after Mr. Lalith Weerathunga left to be the Secretary to Prime Minister) adopted the Unicode Character Set for this purpose. We do not want to blame the dark for ever, we try to light few candles at least.
    7. We have installed the Sinhala Unicode Kit for Windows (produced by a team comprising Microsoft, UCSC, Microimage and ICTA) in computers of many govt organizations and they are working fine to meet their day to day computing requirements. The 3,250 computers which will be provided to 350 govt organizations under the “Lanka Govt Network” project (which is scheduled to be rolled out in June 2006) will all be installed with Sinhala Unicode Kit.
    8. Computers installed in all Nenasalas are equipped with Sinhala Unicode Kit. The rural people who use Nenasalas use Sinhala Unicode fonts for their computing needs with out any problems.
    9. We have so far developed more than 30 trilingual websites for govt organizations. Our plan is to develop 200 more such websites. Almost all current sites are equipped with content management tools to provide dynamic info. Some of those websites use MS SQL server and MS Access as the backend db while others use MY SQL. If you have installed Sinhala unicode fonts in your computers, you can view those sites hosted at Govt Internet Data Center (www.gidc.gov.lk). So far no problem is reported in viewing Sinhala or Tamil pages by the people who have Sinhala Unicode fonts.
    10. I have joined two discussion groups one of which uses Sinhala Unicode fonts as the only characters that can be used for posting blogs while other allows English too. I view those Sinhala blogs (written using Uncode fonts) in IE 6 and Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.3 with out any problem.
    11. We have requested major database principals such as Microsoft, Oracle, MY SQL, DB2 to incorporate the Unicode Sinhala support and the Sinhala collation algorithm which requires for sorting and serching. Microsoft and Oracle have already started work.
    So these are the local language based actions that we have taken so far to make sure that our eGov work is intended to Sri Lankan public and govt sector.
    I am not an expert to argue whether SLSI 1134 is correct or wrong; but it has so far worked fine for us and experts have assured that all future requirements could be met. Sinhala Unicode is only a tool for us. You have heard that the bad workman fights with his tools. We use our tools (not even to fight with baddies) to provide info and services to citizen and govt.
    Thank you
    Wasantha Deshapriya

  44. May 11, 2006 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Dear Wasantha

    SLSI 1134 was published for public opinion and I objected to it.

    SLSI 1134 was registered under protest and with this set of characters you can use a computer as a typewriter only

    Quote “day to day computing requirements” unquote
    Quote “Nenasalas use Sinhala Unicode fonts” unquote

    as a type writer only.

    Can you use it on excell spread sheet for data sorting?
    Can you transfer text data between any appilcation? on any registered OS system?
    If you cannot do above the SLSI 1134 is incorrect and incomplete

    Quote”
    We have so far developed more than 30 trilingual websites for govt organizations.” unquote
    Web site means one will be able to read the text using any operating system
    Can you give a single site with correct content that I could see from any operating system
    Are these sites are restricted to Microsoft Windows XP only?

    Since it is restricted to Microsoft Windows XP these not web sites but sites only for windows users which is not the objective of the internet.

    quote”I am not an expert to argue whether SLSI 1134 is correct or wrong;”unquote

    I am telling it does not represent all the sinhala characters that we use in Sinhala language
    I cannot accept any SLSI which does not represent all the Sinhala characters.
    All the sinhala characters need proper code points in the unicode.

    Govt Internet Data Center (www.gidc.gov.lk). Talk only of

    example only
    http://www.pensions.gov.lk/ — No SINHALA
    http://www.msd.gov.lk/ — No SINHALA

    see
    http://www.fonts.lk/download/SinhalaIE.html

    reads as
    Sinhala for Internet Explorer 6
    This pack enables Sinhala in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.
    It does not work with older versions of Internet Explorer, or with other browsers.

    This is your SINHALA, and you defend this.
    SLSI 1134 is incorrect incomplete. You all are bluffing the general public including the Hon President of Sri Lanka who is the Minister for IT.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

  45. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 11, 2006 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya,

    Thank you very much for the post and you have proved beyond any doubt that we can work with Unicode in practical applications.

    As I said before out of the 18,875,000 people in this country 18,874,999 have no problem with Unicode.

    Only one pissa is shouting too much.

  46. May 11, 2006 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I submitted my previous posting only to clarify our stand and explain the members of the forum and general public what we are doing to enable computing in local languages. We try to refrain from getting in to unnecessary debates as it is a waste of time. We are trying to be doers rather than talkers! However as some remarks in Mr. Donald karunathilaka’s blog iare misleading I have the duty of correcting those.

    These are the points.
    1. Quote “day to day computing requirements” unquote
    Quote “Nenasalas use Sinhala Unicode fonts” unquote

    as a type writer only.

    My Reply; This is not true. People use Unicode for making powerpoint presentations, MS Excel sheets, sending emails. For a start I think that is great.

    2. Can you use it on excell spread sheet for data sorting?
    Can you transfer text data between any appilcation? on any registered OS system?
    If you cannot do above the SLSI 1134 is incorrect and incomplete

    My Reply; Yes, we use Sinhala in MS Excell, though it does not support sorting. Microsoft has agreed to include the collation algo in MS Vista. We are very hopeful then most problems related to this issue will be solved. I copy text from MS Word and paste in MS Powerpoint and MS Outlook. I have been doing it for more than a year. I do not see why any body cannot do that.

    3. Quote”
    We have so far developed more than 30 trilingual websites for govt organizations.” unquote
    Web site means one will be able to read the text using any operating system
    Can you give a single site with correct content that I could see from any operating system
    Are these sites are restricted to Microsoft Windows XP only?

    Since it is restricted to Microsoft Windows XP these not web sites but sites only for windows users which is not the objective of the internet.

    My Reply; This is again not completely true. The Sinhala sites are >80% ok with Redhat which is the only one I have personally tried.
    Anuradha Ratnaweera who is working on GNU/Linux has confirmed that they can view Sinhala websites and they are working to improve it with a definite timeline.
    We had a meeting with technologists who are working with Linux, Redhat, Obantu, Dabien and they have concrete plans to enable Sinhala Unicode support.

    4. quote”I am not an expert to argue whether SLSI 1134 is correct or wrong;”unquote

    I am telling it does not represent all the sinhala characters that we use in Sinhala language
    I cannot accept any SLSI which does not represent all the Sinhala characters.
    All the sinhala characters need proper code points in the unicode.

    My Reply; Sinhala lingusts have agreed for the current representation. If I am able to convey all what I have to tell to my audience, without breaking any grammetical rule that is good enough for me.

    5. Govt Internet Data Center (www.gidc.gov.lk). Talk only of

    example only
    http://www.pensions.gov.lk/ — No SINHALA
    http://www.msd.gov.lk/ — No SINHALA

    see
    http://www.fonts.lk/download/SinhalaIE.html

    reads as
    Sinhala for Internet Explorer 6
    This pack enables Sinhala in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.
    It does not work with older versions of Internet Explorer, or with other browsers.

    This is your SINHALA, and you defend this.
    SLSI 1134 is incorrect incomplete. You all are bluffing the general public including the Hon President of Sri Lanka who is the Minister for IT.

    My Reply: http://www.gidc.gov.lk is not to provide examples. That is the proper Govt Internet Data Centre which hosts all websites that we support to develop.

    I can not see why you can not see Sinhala pages in http://www.pensions.gov.lk. The site has a Sinhala button at the top right corner. If you click on that button, you should be able to view Sinhala pages with out any problem.

    Same goes for http://www.msd.gov.lk. I just checked this and it works fine for me.
    Again I have to say, I am not here to defend Sinhala Unicode. My duty is to use the best available tools to implement egov to achieve its objectives. I do not fight with my tools or its creators. If Sri Lanka produces a better language tool for computing we will switch to it (nothing is so far in the horizon). There are so many tools to convert fonts now so it will not be a big problem to switch (just visit ucsc site to see the Unicode font converter.)
    I do not want to bluff as I believe in what I am doing.
    Since this has already taken a considerable chunk of my valuable time, this would be my last blog related to this issue, unless moderator requests for my response.
    Thank you
    Wasantha Deshapriya

  47. Helaya's Gravatar Helaya
    May 11, 2006 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya,

    Thank you very much for your response and the bold stand you have taken in this issue.

    If anyone reads from top to bottom of this blog, one will find all the answers one is looking for regarding Unicode. All questions – I repeat all questions – including some of the very stupid ones that have been raised by Donald Ducks and Mickey Mice have been answered clearly.

    Now there is no doubt that;

    (a) Unicode Sinhala set is complete and useful
    (b) No Sinhala characters were left in Unicode
    (c) Unicode Sinhala standard can be used successful in creating Sinhala content
    (d) The usefulness of Unicode Sinhala standard is successfully proven and
    (e) We do not need any more standards to compliment Unicode Sinhala standard.

    I think we can close this debate on that note.

    Let us all be intelligent enough to accept the reality.

    We do not expect anyone to issue public apologies and all, but please level us alone now. Sinhala language is now being successfully integrated to computer environment now and this is the time to create the content, as someone has correctly mentioned.

    Finally, we are all grateful for ICTA for the good work it did in this regard. We are very happy that ICTA is now run by people who understand the needs of Sinhale.

  48. HeWhoMustNotBeNamed's Gravatar HeWhoMustNotBeNamed
    May 11, 2006 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    “Somebody mentions about a big old dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus rex, who prevents the dynamic and young professionals to move ahead in the ICT field.”

    Well Dinosour is going to devour whole ICT Agency. His first victim is Manju H.

    Everyone is scared of this dinosour specially small time journalists like me. Dinosor knows how to silence Media in this country.

    We cant say Manju H is 100% correct or good. Only he knows it. But when Dinosur gets into the big seat, he will eat the whole industry.

    This is high time journalists in this country, and the universities to fight against this Dinaosur who devours everything.

    Akuru.org guy should be praised to being bold to reveal who this dinosur is while the whole crowd in the industry keep silence due to fear.

    HeWhoMustNotBeNamed

  49. SinhalaLover's Gravatar SinhalaLover
    May 11, 2006 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Donald should come with a plan and do something we can see phisically than only in theory. Anyone can say things and critisize. Why cant he show what he can do as at least a pilot?

    Its true Dinos will never allow Donalds, sciencelands (Thibus), MicroImages, Gihan Dias’s to do anything about Sinhala as Sinhala is Dino’s boodale. Dinos cant do anything than blocking others.

    It was this Dino blocking ICTA as well. By getting Divaina to publish that mud slinging article according to the sources. Who else knows such confidential details if it is not Dino himself? Dino will not die till he gets at least once that 1.6 M salary for himself.

    The best thing ICTA CEO can do is to build a statue of Dino somewhere to please him at this old age. Hopefully with a statue of Donald facing it ha ha haa!!!!

    According to the hottest news in the ICT field Dino will replace Manju Hattotuwa within next 30 days. Donald will have an even stronger barrier. Gihan D will get the axe too. Dino thinks Gihan D stole Sinhalla “boodale” from him to get a place in ICTA and without axing him, there is no survival for Dino.

    Dino has strong support from the top level. Give up fighting Donald. You are in the hit list too.

  50. May 11, 2006 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Good top down reading. This is what happening in Sri Lanka.

    First I must thank Helaya for giving me a number

    quote \\
    As I said before out of the 18,875,000 people in this country 18,874,999 have no problem with Unicode.// unquote

    This protects me by intellectual property act No 36 of 2003 to 100% .

    He mx up unicode and sinhala unicode = SLSI 1134

    The main problem is with SINHALA UNICODE = SLSI 1134 and not unicode consotium.
    UNICODE is not SINHALA UNICODE. Sinhala unicode is one of the registered languages in unicode consotium which is incompele and incorrect.

    Quote from Wasantha
    “The Sinhala sites are >80% ok with Redhat which is the only one I have personally tried.”

    REDHAT is LINUX Operating System. So your Sinhala is only be used with REDHAT not with windows , MAC , and any other operating systems

    Quote from Wasantha “My duty is to use the best available tools to implement egov to achieve its objectives.”unqoute

    Publish in news paper and TV that to use Linux in Sri Lanka ban all other opreating systems!!!!

    Quote from Wasantha
    “Yes, we use Sinhala in MS Excell, though it does not support sorting.”

    This proves SLSI 1134 is incorrect.

    About the typewriter concept

    Wasantha Reply; This is not true. People use Unicode for making powerpoint presentations, MS Excel sheets, sending emails. For a start I think that is great. unqoute

    This clearly prove that SLSI 1134 is a typewriter base system not a computer based SLSI. As he said before — “though it does not support sorting.” —-

    All above facts prove clare;y that SLSI 1134 is only be used as a typewriter
    and only with Red Hat which is linux

    This is not the objective of Internet and Unicode Consotium.

    The code points for all Sinhala Chracters are not listed in the Unicode consortium sinhala chart.

    Therefore the SLSI134 = Sinhala unicode is incorrect and incomplete
    Cannot use in other Operating Systems other than RedHat OS
    Wasantha proved it.

    SLSI1134 has to be revised As soon as possible. Repealed the old SLSI 1134 with immediate effect.

    Quote \\ Since this has already taken a considerable chunk of my valuable time, this would be my last blog related to this issue, unless moderator requests for my response.// unqoute
    by Wasantha

    Wasantha started to write by his own will. When he is lose the game trying to put it on others.
    Unless otherwise the “”Emirates Airlines… sorry, Emeritus Professor and the team”” requested to write.

    Now Wasantha got scared to write into this site becasue I quote The Minister of IT Hon President of Sri Lanka. I wish the Hon President will have the time to look into this site soon evaluate the facts and take a wise decision for the betterment of the cuontry and Sinhala Language.

    The only availabe solution will be 1/18,874,999’s (Donald Gaminitillake) system.
    Using code points for all Sinhala Characters.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    Colombo

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