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Questions about the budget allocation for e villages

The 2009 Budget contains the following statement:

Allocations were made in the 2006 Budget to connect rural villages in backward areas with the rest of the world and enable them to blend with the global community and economic trends, through Information Technology. This program has enabled online connectivity through around 500 Nana Sala Centres, between villages, schools and state and public institutions, and also facilitates to broaden the knowledge of English and Information Technology. I propose to name the year 2009 as an year dedicated to expand the knowledge of English and Information Technology and allocate Rs. 100 million to broaden the scope of this programme.

The questions are:
* The Budget contains no other allocations for ICT related activities, explained possibly by the existence of a USD 80 million or so e Sri Lanka program, funded primarily by a concessionary IDA credit and a Korean loan which has not been fully disbursed and is in danger of being cancelled. Why was it not possible to include the e village program (which appears on the face to be closely related to the Nena Salas) within the e Sri Lanka funding. Work will get done; disbursement will increase. Is there some opposition to e-villages within ICTA that causes this work to be outside?
* How much was allocated in 2006; how much has been spent so far; how many villages were converted to e villages and has an assessment been done before additional funds are spent? Original plan was for five villages in five provinces. Now what is the score?
* Why is it that it is schools that join the program, not villages? Is the program better described as e-schools?
* Does anyone see an irony in the same amount being allocated for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization that gave the President his first job? Or the insult of 60 times the allocation made to e villages being made for an airline that already lost over LKR 3 billion and is guaranteed to lose more in today’s aviation industry environment?
* What specific actions will be taken to expand knowledge of IT and English? Is this the year that the government will finally provide accreditation to the various IT courses being offered across the country?

Unlikely that we’ll get answers from the do-nothing Parliament; perhaps some readers with specialized knowledge will chip in.

42 Comments to Questions about the budget allocation for e villages

  1. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    November 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    There are various types of evillages. ICTA related, MOE related, Dialog GSM funded (Medamulana evillage).

    But no any plan with them. Only start and end. See ICTA related project the result is nil.

    So, why president relates the neneasla’s which is conducting by the ICTA. Dialog GSM project will be the same. Because they do for it to only the publicity. Not any more.

    First you need a plan. Achievable goals. Sustainable mechanism.

    If not the result will be as same as the Mihin Air.

  2. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    November 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    November 12, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Watch news on 10.11.2008 at 8.00 pm on SLRC about Medamulana eVillage run by Dialog

  4. Donald Gaminitillake's Gravatar Donald Gaminitillake
    November 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    see

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFLWxYzqZ7c

    waste of funds without proper usage of local languages!!!

    Donald Gaminitillake
    I set the standard

  5. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    November 15, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Very good youtube example for ICTA projects.

  6. November 16, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    As far as I know, Nenasala and eVilage projects are two completely different projects and ICTA has nothing to do with eVillage project. I too was surprised to see the link http://www.icta.lk/Insidepages/programmes/e-village.asp at ICTA website as soon as the 100 million budget allocation was announced in 2006! To see some information about the eVillage project see http://evillage.wordpress.com/ (This is not the official eVillage blog. There is no official eVillage website as well yet as far as I know.)

    I think someone is deliberately misguiding the president by showing the link etween ICTA and the eVillage project.

    EVillage project was started in Mahavilachchiya in year 2005 as part of the Horizon Lanka project and later the government showed interest in replicating it islandwide.

  7. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    November 18, 2008 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Hi, ICTA,

    WHERE IS THE KETAWALA E-VILLAGE?

    Previously this page contained about the unsuccessful project called Ketavala e-village.

    But it was completely unsuccessful. So, ICTA now modified the page to display Mahavilachchiya achievements and to get the credit from it and to keep their occupation.

    You know the issue of Sinhala firefox edition. ICTA need only the credit even hunting dogs.

    To run e-village concept, needs special skilled,foreseeing resouce people. Who are the reasourse people to replicate the Mahavillachchiya project to the other villages?

  8. November 18, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    IF ICTA is going to take the credit of Mahavilachchiya first the ICTA chairman / CEO should be Wanni not anyone else.

    Second I too have a stake at Vilachchiya. Wanni started this project before ICTA was born. I went to Vilachchiya when every one was scared to go beyond Anuradhapura.

    I have never made any claims to the development of Vilachchiya if ICTA make any claim for it I too come forward and place my claims for the project.

    Not only self there are few others who were initially involved in Vilachchiya and all these people should be given the honour before ICTA take any credit.

    Donald Gaminitillake
    I set the standard

  9. November 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear Prof. Samarajiva,

    I am out of the country right now. I will write a detailed description about your concerns once I return.

    Kamal,

    As for the Ketawala project, most of the credits should go to http://www.learn-aid.info/ apart from the founders of the project. ICTA also has contributed and I do not no much about that apart from what I can see from LearnAid website. Ketawala is a village close to Mawathagama, Kurunegala.

  10. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    November 19, 2008 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Mr. Donald,

    We too agree with you! Mr. Wanni is most important resource to the nation.

  11. Sampath Aruna Pradeep's Gravatar Sampath Aruna Pradeep
    November 19, 2008 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    If ICTA is trying to take the funds given for Mr. Wanni’s project we should object. I do not know him personally much but atended a lecture. He is a honest and capable gentleman who can do many things for the country.

    ITCA has given funds to so many other not important projects but not to the successful e-village project of Mr. Wanni. Mr. Waani has taken big efforts to develop e-villages. Why ICTA not recognizing it and help him to build e-villages? ICTA, if you treat him like this Mr. Wanni will leave the country.

    Mr. Niranjan Meegammna is another very capable e-village leader. He is doing a great service to the Nenasala in the Uva province. Most of the nenasala in Uva provice is there because of Mr. Niranjan and not because of ICTA. But I am happy ICTA supports Mr. Niranjan. That is how they should support building e-villages.

    Why cannot ICTA support Mr. Wanni the same way they support Mr. Niranjan? Please all of you get together to build the country. Together we can build 10,000 e-villages.

  12. November 20, 2008 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Mr Donald, Kamal,

    The ICTA needs a Barack Obama, not someone like me. :-)

  13. e-village teacher's Gravatar e-village teacher
    December 4, 2008 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    We do not want icta in evillage. they dont do anything. they didnt support evillage. but now they are trying to get 100 million and put a link http://www.icta.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=68 They are trying to cheat the president.

  14. December 4, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    When I heard about budget allocation for Evillage project ,It made me surprised and we were the most satisfied Teachers .Because we are doing Evillage project under the guidance by the Secondary Education Modernization Project of the MOE.I represents Southern Province. I am doing this using School computer lab. Pleas visit http://www.ruhunulanka.org and see what we are doing in this rural village in Beliatta.We hope that new budget allocation will help us to do more .

  15. e-village teacher's Gravatar e-village teacher
    December 4, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Amal,

    You will not get anything. icta will get the money and waste like they waste in nenasala.

  16. Kalana Dampiya's Gravatar Kalana Dampiya
    December 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I was very happy to here that the government decided to give founds to develop ICT in rural villages.We also doing a project named “evillage” under the guidance by (SEMP)Secondary Education Modernization Project of the Ministry of Education. I represent as a Central province evillage coordinator. visit us http://www.rewesternlanka.org http://www.mahalakotuwamv.sch.lk we stated it in 2007 and doing ICT activities in school level. now we reached many victors and in future we surely can reach BIG TASKS after reaching the new founds. visit our hot videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69_A66NJG7w
    http://www.youtube.com/user/dampiyata

  17. December 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    This is not going to work. Unless the environmental conditions are properly identified.

  18. December 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    We are from wayambalanka e-village in Sri Lanka. This is an excellent project for uplifting IT literacy in rural parts of Sri Lanka. Our IT programmes launch in school computer centre for now. But it is so difficult effort. SEMP Project of Ministry of education giving a good support to build up this project. But if this project bring to a strong position, Sri Lankan Government must be attend recently. We know the current president enthuse to IT. You can see more about us from this link. please visit it.
    http://www.wayambalanka.org

    Krishantha

  19. Waruna's Gravatar Waruna
    December 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    ICTA is a DEN OF THIEVES!More talks on works..

  20. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Amal,Krishantha and other eVillage teachers,

    I studied your projects relating SEMP in the MOE, and understood you will not receive anything for your projects. You work voluntarily for 24 hours for school and the evillage, and you will have to suffer various disturbances in the education system and in the end SEMP or President will dispell you as array dogs. And appoint a Henchaiiya’s on to it.

  21. Without Shame's Gravatar Without Shame
    December 5, 2008 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    See this page at http://www.island.lk/2008/12/05/business5.html today. ICTA has no shame in getting credits out of Mahavilachchiya. ICTA has done more damage to Mahavilachchiya than supporting it. Still it claims Mahavilachchiya to be one of its programs. To know how ICTA ried destroy Mahavilachchiya see the threads on MV in this blog itself.

    “‘e-village’ – While a comprehensive model ‘e-village’ was set up in Mahavilachchiya in Anuradhapura feasibility study is underway for setting up two more “e-villages” in Ketawala and Kandeketiya. “

  22. Without Shame's Gravatar Without Shame
    December 5, 2008 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Nenasala is another farce ICTA is spending millions on. Yet they claim it to be a successful project.

    “‘Nenasala’ – While 570 ‘Nenasala’ Rural information communication technology centres have been established island-wide, necessary preparations have been made to set up 330 other centres during the first quarter of next year. “

  23. Reen's Gravatar Reen
    December 5, 2008 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    That is ICTA’s job. They are not suposed to work. Their job is to facilitate.

  24. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Reen and ICTA,

    Why do not you use Ministry of education’s e-village teacher projects to as models succeeded within short period? You have started Ketawala evillage before 2 or three years ago? Why do not you tell the result as nil?

  25. Kalana Dampiya's Gravatar Kalana Dampiya
    December 5, 2008 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I represent as an e-village teacher in Central province. In the very beginning we started some ICT programmers to develop ICT literacy in village level. It was get success and then SEMP of MoE appointed us the model evillage in central province. There are 5 evillages appointed form province level in 2007 like us. We five still doing our works as volunteers. The SEMP giving grate support to develop our ideas. As we know Mahavilachiya is the first model e-village in Srilanka created by Mr.Wanni.We all got a chance to visit it and got many ideas and imitate it an our own scope and frame according to our backgrounds. When I heard about the budget located for evillages we really surprised and dreaming about our future plans such as BPO,Telecentres,e-agro concepts, ect.. But here I heard some giants going to get it. We can’t fight with them.
    But I want to say this; If this funds located to our e-village project under SEMP we can do a remarkable job to our rural Srilanka. We still not give up our carriages. we have energy to expectations of “Mahinda chintanaya” become a reality.
    Visit us – http://www.rewesternlanka.org http://www.mahalakotuwamv.sch.lk
    Hot videos – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69_A66NJG7w
    http://www.youtube.com/my_videos

  26. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I just began laughing to see the pilot projects on e-village!

    Started before 2 or 3 years before and now again started!

    ICTA you are really joker!

    Apply for the comedy star!

  27. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    December 5, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    ICTA is a propaganda shop for Mahinda. Its attempts to align with Chinthanaya, which did not even exist when ICTA started is hilarious.

    Sadly, instead of trying to correct that mistake some jealousy group keeps on ranting. Their only worry is some others robbing the money and not them.

    Mahinda should to give some carrots to these ranters. Then they too can start robbing and will be silent. Not that they would do anything differently.

    Unfortunately this is the level of ICT-politics in Sri Lanka. Nobody wants to serve the country. Everybody is fighting with each other for a larger share of the money. Not a surprise we live in such a pathetic mess.

  28. Derham's Gravatar Derham
    December 5, 2008 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Ketawala was not started by ICTA. There had been a good computer teacher and an English teacher who already did some good work and ICTA only took the credits by showing it as their project.

  29. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Oh, my god!

    What happened to the Ketawala pilot project page of ICTA web site.

    Did it caught to tsunami?

  30. Derham's Gravatar Derham
    December 5, 2008 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Ketawala is not president’s interest anymore. The president praised Wanni on TV recently so now ICTA goes after Mahavilachchiya. That is as simple as that. If you cannot beat MV, join them is the motto of ICTA nowadays.

  31. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Dear Derham,

    Really good stuff!

  32. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    President is interesting on Medamulana evillage! no?

  33. Derham's Gravatar Derham
    December 5, 2008 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Well, Dialog started an evillage in medamulana, so no worries, but icta was not invited.

  34. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Really? really interesting stuff!

  35. December 5, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    We are the oasisdamahana eVillage in Balangoda.The evillage projct conducted by under the SEMP is doing great services in ICT for the villagers’ and also school children. As school teachers we are working
    from morning to evening among communities.There are five evillage projects in five provinces combing with us.Still we are volunteers.
    We think If this funds located to our e-village project under SEMP we can do a remarkable job to our rural Srilanka.
    Please Visit- http://www.oasisdamahana.org
    http://www.damahana.sch.lk
    http://oasisdamahana.wordpress.com

  36. Asantha De Mel's Gravatar Asantha De Mel
    December 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Is Mahawilachchiya e-village a success? According to following mail, it is closed now.

    Dear Mr. Wanni

    ‘I write with reference to the meeting held with me in Colombo on 14th October 2008. Although the meeting was suggested by you, at my suggestion it was also attended by Messrs. K. Samarawickrema (Ex-GA who has been assisting me regarding the transfer to my husband, of the title of the land on which the school has been built), Vinod, Denuwan (a friend of yours as well of the villagers) and Tyrone Abeygunawardena (with whom you dealt regarding financial transactions relevant to the building of the school and payments of salary.)

    For my part, I was keen to hold the meeting to find out the reasons for the failure of the Foundation to carry on its educational activities in the past one and a half years and for the deplorable state of its finances. I had also been receiving negative reports about the Foundation and its management.

    You would recall that at this meeting you were keen to have a new proposal by you accepted; but it was not. The reasons why you failed are many. Although you constantly mention the availability of funding, you had failed to maintain the activities (the reason for the existence of the Foundation) that had been carried out for a number of years at the Foundation or to ensure its financial viability. Further, at the meeting you declared your intention of resigning and allowing the senior students to take over responsibility for the running of the establishment. You would admit that despite numerous requests in the past you have up to date not provided me or the donors with a statement of how donor funds have been expended. What you have instead informed me and the donors of are the debts owed by the Foundation. In other words, you have failed to make a proper accounting of the funds received, which is one of the key obligations owed to any donor.

    ‘You were thereafter handed the new proposal I had drawn up and its contents were clearly explained to you in both English and Sinhala. Your reaction to it was that you were happy to accept it and that you felt as if a weight had been removed from your shoulders since you felt unable to cope with the situation in Mahavilachchciya. You left the meeting with a copy of my proposal and a promised to get back to me with suggestions if any, to improve on it. However, you did not communicate with me on the proposal, as promised.

    ‘Since the meeting however, I had heard that you are no longer in favour of my proposal in which I have stated that the present bank account of the Foundation would be closed and a new one opened for which I will take responsibility. My proposal also recommends the removal of the website for fund raising until the new administrative and managerial structure is in place and the Foundation’s educational activities are resumed. You will admit that when these were explained to you at the meeting on the 14th of October 2008, you were agreeable to them. I telephoned you about what I had heard and you then made it clear that you and your directors were against my proposal and that you also objected to the presence of the afore-mentioned individuals at your meeting with me on 14th October. At this point in the conversation I mentioned to you that if your directors and you were unhappy with my proposal, you were free to move on taking the name of the Horizonlanka Foundation with you.

    ‘In these circumstances, I would like you to explain in writing:

    ‘(a) why, for the past 1 1/2 years no teaching of children has taken place at the school, thus depriving poor children of the village of an education which has been paid for by the donors;

    ‘(b) why you have failed to inform both the donors and the Government that no educational activities have taken place in the past one and a half years, although you continue to publicize on your website that education is being provided;

    ‘(c) how you have accrued a debt of a sum of over Rs. 500,000/-;

    ‘(d) How the money received from the donors has been spent by you and your directors. In this connection I refer you to clauses 43, 44, 45, 47 and 48 of the Articles of Association and to clause 11 of the Memorandum of Association of which you approved and which clearly indicate the necessity for proper financial accounting and transparency;

    ‘(e) Why, despite requests, you have consistently failed to provide me and the donors with a list of donors indicating what sums of money have been received from each of them;

    ‘(f) why you object to the company ON TIME which is supported by the NGO FARO and John Keels Ltd. which provides employment to the youth of Mahavilachchiya without their having to move to a city to find employment;

    ‘(g) what has happened to the rent of Rs.10,000/- per month paid by this company to the Foundation for occupying space in its building; and

    ‘(h) why and how the lorry load of IT equipment which should have been at the Foundation’s building at Mahavilachchiya, came to be in your garage, as stated by you at the meeting referred to which was held on 14 October 2008. You would recall stating that we should make arrangements to move it to the Foundation.

    ‘I would appreciate receiving your written response to the above-mentioned matters at your earliest or by 30th of November 2008 the latest.

    ‘I might repeat that if you are unhappy with my proposal and since you also mentioned your decision to resign, you would THEREAFTER be free to move on.

    ‘It would be appreciated that I have been the major donor to the project by providing a sum of over Rs 8,000,000, much of which has been spent on providing the necessary infrastructure for the Foundation to function. I therefore have every right to be concerned about the way matters have developed and to raise questions in this regard.’

    ‘Yours faithfully,

    ‘Mrs. L. Charles
    Major Donor

  37. Kamal's Gravatar Kamal
    December 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    There will be positive and negative stories! We need to get use the positive experiences of them.

  38. Nandasiri Wanninayaka's Gravatar Nandasiri Wanninayaka
    December 6, 2008 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I have answered this email which is full of baseless allegations with the lawyers’ advice. I will seek the lawyers’ advice again and if they are okay for me to publish the same answer here I will do so.

  39. December 11, 2008 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I got a call from someone from Ketawala yesterday and I was shocked to hear that despite much ado about Ketawala, they have not been given connectivity as yet by ICTA. This is totally unacceptable.

  40. December 11, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    In another shocking revelation, Kadurupitiya http://ashokamala.wordpress.com/ had been given connectivity from ICTA only for less than 6 months!!!! See how ICTA hyped this project at a big event in Colombo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcLIKpoFsmI Now the project has been relocated to another location according to its founder. Hope ICTA will provide internet to this place.

  41. December 11, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    See the story below about Kadurupitiya. Taken from ICTA website. http://www.icta.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73:corporate-social-responsibility-through-ict-&catid=34:e-society&Itemid=37 They only marketed Kadurupitiya and Ketawala for their benefits and did very small in return.

    What use are information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a community grappling with problems of daily life? Can technology enhance their daily lives and provide them with a decent living? Sceptics constantly stress that the provision of basic human needs must take precedence over the introduction of ICTs to rural and disadvantaged communities. However, the Information & Communications Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) has clearly proven that technology can play a major role in improving the lives of remote and marginalized villages. One such example is Kadurupitiya, a small village situated on the outskirts of the Wilpattu National Park, that has come alive with the introduction of ICTs. The village school, Ashokamala Kanishta Vidyalaya, which for years suffered poor attendance now boasts of a near 100% attendance – all on account of the advent of Information Technology.

    ICTs can also illuminate the lives of the visually handicapped – bringing about greater opportunities in our society. The ICT Agency is already working with the Daisy Lanka Foundation in producing a collection of digital talking books which would be invaluable to the print disabled.

    How can an organisation be a party to these efforts and assist in bringing the dividends of ICTs to communities who know so little about it? How can a successful business enterprise share its expertise with a rural or disadvantaged community and thereby contribute to its well being?

    ICTA under its project portfolio – has a variety of projects designed to take the dividends of ICT to all levels of society. One such project is the Community Assistance Programme (CAP) that provides grants directly to community based organizations to develop their communities through ICT. At present, 51 communities have been short listed through a public and transparent process. The selected organizations will be provided with grants assisting them to purchase hardware, software for implemening a community ICT project. While these communities display a high degree of motivation in deploying ICT to improve their daily lives – a lack of innovative ideas, advanced project management skills and specialized technical expertise is a deterrent.

    To fill this gap, ICTA is seeking to partner private and public sector organization in using ICT as lever in their the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Organizations that are already involved in CSR activities or plan to be are invited join hands with ICTA in this venture.

    CSR is fast becoming a core area for successful organizations and such activities can help the relevant organisation by improving employee motivation and satisfaction. Organizations that have limited budgets for CSR can partner ICTA in implementing ICT based community projects which would help uplift the lives of disadvantaged communities in the country. The Community Assistance Programme, a programme under the Agency’s e-Society Development Initiative would cover the communities’ direct costs up to a maximum value of USD5,000. This is an excellent opportunity for organizations to help empower rural communities and ensure that the benefits of ICT reach all segments of society.

  42. December 11, 2008 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    E village is a program which is to be launched by choosen schools by them selives with the help of the MOE.Behind this e-village program there are teachers who has devoted for years.As Batuwangala evillage is still infant we would like to forcast the explanation given by Mr.Wanninayaka who is the founder of the theme.
    it is nice to her from government side that they are going to fund us.we are one e village from down south of sri lanka.I dont know why people talked about just five evillages.i know there are more than 25 of them are undergoing by MOE of course by SEMP.
    I here would like to elarm that not only the our selves but principals and all the other staff of particular schools are working with this evillages.so firstly we may learn from wanni and then remove for any other.As he has done it and not have been talking for last 10 years or so.
    for sure no body will consider evillage as a succesfullway to teach ICT and English who are worming chairs over there.
    visit us http://www.batuwangala.sch.lk
    http://www.batuwangala.org for futher information.

    Aruna Chaminda
    Manager Batuwangala evillage
    Batuwangala
    Neluwa,
    Galle.
    arunabmv@yahoo.com
    http://www.batuwangala.org

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