LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific (About)


LIRNEasia Alumni

For more details on the alumni, click on the alumni name.

Aileen Agüero | Aileen joined LIRNEasia for a six-month internship in 2009 from the IEP (Instituto de Estudios Peruanos – the Institute of Peruvian Studies), affiliated with DIRSI, LIRNEasia’s sister network in Latin America. At LIRNEasia, she worked on two research papers, one on expenditure patterns on mobile phone services and the other on the potential for mobile remittances, both in emerging Asia. She also studied the similarities and differences in the OECD-based methodologies used for calculating mobile price baskets in Latin America and Asia, as well as the available data on ICTs in both regions. At the IEP, where she returned to immediately after LIRNEasia, she has been involved in several research projects including broadband development, universal service, rural telephony, utilities regulation, and in consultancies for the Peruvian telecommunications regulator (OSIPTEL) and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Anusha Wickramarathna | Anusha was a junior researcher at  LIRNEasia working on the  Knowledge to Innovation project. She holds a bachelor’s (Hons.) degree in Town Country Planning from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.  She was involved in developing Clean City Performance Indicators through an analysis of a Clean City Survey conducted in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Before joining LIRNEasia, she worked as an independent contractor for a local economic government project conducted by the Asia Foundation. She is currently studying for the Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA) professional qualification.

Anushke Guneratne |  Anushke joined LIRNEasia as an intern . He was involved in the research project on Knowledge to Innovation. He is currently reading for a Masters in Science Technology and Environmental Policy (MS-STEP) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, USA. He holds a  BSc. Hons. (IT) from the Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

Asanka Kumara| Asanka was a former researcher for LIRNEasia’s Knowledge to Innovation project, whilst concurrently reading for an MPhil in environmental management at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. His research thesis examines the effectiveness of training programs conducted by local government authorities on solid-waste management practices in Sri Lanka.  LIRNEasia’s Knowledge to Innovation project funded this research.

B K T Ratnakanthi | Ratnakanthi is a primary school teacher at the Yasodara Balika Maha Vidyala, in Ward Place, Colombo, Sri Lanka. She joined LIRNEasia in June 2008 as a researcher and worked on the IDRC funded project  ‘Linking knowledge to innovation in government services: The case of solid-waste services in local government in Sri Lanka.’

Chammi Gunathilake| Chammi worked in LIRNEasia’s Knowledge to Innovation project as a researcher. She conducted the survey on good practices for local government authorities in solid-waste management, examining the use of networks among solid-waste managers for fostering innovation in services. She also coordinated and assisted training programs for solid-waste workers of the Colombo Municipal Council, aimed at informing households about effective waste-management practices.

Chanuka Wattegama | As a senior research manager and broadband specialist, Chanuka managed LIRNEasia’s Mobile 2.0 project, which examines the basic competitive and regulatory conditions for the use of mobiles for more-than-voice, as well as case studies of the same in emerging Asia. He also led research on broadband quality-of-service experience. In addition, he has led research in measuring telecom sector and regulatory performance in Indonesia, as well as the development of indicators for measuring the effectiveness of national regulatory authority websites in providing information to stakeholders. Chanuka has over 14 years of experience working at specialist and management-level positions on developmental issues. Before joining LIRNEasia, he worked as a program specialist in ICT4D at the UNDP, where he worked on various projects including telecom regulation, disaster management and e-government. He is a regular writer and commentator on ICT issues in the Sri Lankan media, and has co-authored several books on ICTs and Media. He is now a research fellow at LIRNEasia, leading the Sector Performance Review study for Indonesia.

Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara | Dimuthu joined LIRNEasia in February 2007, serving as the in-house statistician. He led the statistical analyses of the use of ICTs among the bottom of the pyramid, and was involved in research exploring the use of ICTs in reducing transaction costs in agricultural markets. He was involved in the development of a decentralized database for the collection of accurate ICT statistics amongst regional telecom regulators. Dimuthu left LIRNEasia in February 2009 to join DFCC Bank, Sri Lanka, as a risk analyst.

Divakar Goswami | Divakar has over ten years of international experience in the telecom sector, having worked on a variety of mobile convergence and regulatory reform projects. As Director of Projects and Organizational Development at LIRNEasia, he also led research on the ICT sector in Indonesia, leading to one of LIRNEasia’s most significant projects in terms of policy impact. He was also responsible for the Pacific component of a global assessment of local capacity for ICT policy and regulation. Divakar was ABD at the Ohio State University and has two MA degrees from the US and India. Divakar left LIRNEasia in May 2007 to join Deloitte Research’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) team in India, providing thought-leadership to Deloitte on major issues facing the TMT industry through research reports, client briefings and presentations at industry events.

Dilini Wijeweera | Dilini joined LINREasia with experience in the manufacturing, construction and research sectors. With a strong interest in ICT, capacity-development and knowledge-sharing, she has been working with the Knowledge to Innovation (K2I) and CPRsouth projects at LIRNEasia. She specializes in knowledge management, communication and process improvement. Before joining LIRNEasia, Dilini worked in the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) as Head of Communication and Knowledge Sharing at the International Water Management Institute. Prior to that, she was a Senior Consultant and Director of a private consultancy company. Dilini holds a MBA and is also a Chartered Architect.

Don Rodney Junio | Rodney joined LIRNEasia as an intern in January 2012. He is currently working at Research Analyst at Telecommunications Research Project Corporate (TRPC), a boutique economic consulting firm based in Singapore. Prior to joining LIRNEasia, while at TRPC, Don assisted in data analysis for an International Finance Corp (IFC) paper on mobile banking in Indonesia and helped draft a paper on a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework for the United Nations Asia Pacific Training Center for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UNAPCICT), among many projects. Don also worked as an International Business Executive at Double A (1991) Public Company Limited in Thailand in 2008. He completed his Master’s degree in International Political Economy in 2010 at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University and his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Erwin Alampay | At LIRNEasia, Erwin studied the use of mobile phones for payment transactions and related regulatory requirements.  He also led research on measuring telecom sector and regulatory performance in the Philippines. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG), University of the Philippines. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Development Administration and Management from the University of Manchester. Most of his research has involved universal access to ICTs and bridging the digital divide in the Philippines.

Harsha Vardhana Singh, PhD | As a research fellow at LIRNEasia, Harsha led a study which explored why adequate network backbone or access to it may not be available or provided, based on a case study of India. Since October 2005, Harsha has extensive experience as Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Geneva, Secretary cum Principal Advisor (2001 to 2005) and Economic Advisor (1997 to 2001) to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. He has been Consultant to various national and international organizations. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for International Legal Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has been Honorary Professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations and a visiting faculty member at the TERI University, New Delhi. He holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford University, UK.

Haymar Win Tun | Haymar completed a one-month internship at LIRNEasia in December 2009, whilst working towards a master’s degree in public policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She worked with Rohan Samarajiva on a paper examining the application of the World Bank’s Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) for building knowledge economies.

Hina Sarfaraz | Hina led research on freedom of expression in the dissemination of mobile content, a part of  LIRNEasia’s project on ‘Mobile2.0@BOP’ between 2008 and 2010 . She has also conducted research on measuring Pakistan’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. She previously served as a research assistant in the Law and Policy Department of Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. Her key areas of interest are business, ICTs and law. Hina holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Institute of Management Sciences, Pakistan, and a master’s degree in law in International Commercial Law from the University of Westminster, UK.

Il-haam Petersen | Il-haam completed a three-month internship at LIRNEasia in late 2009. Her research work included developing a framework for classifying universities in Sri Lanka and South Africa, with the aim of contributing to the understanding of university systems in developing countries. After leaving LIRNEasia, Il-haam moved to Ireland to pursue a PhD in sociology at the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland.

Iran Fernando | As a junior researcher for LIRNEasia’s agriculture-related projects, he worked with Sriganesh Lokanathan and Harsha de Silva in exploring how ICTs can improve farmers’ decision-making abilities by reducing information asymmetry in market price information, and thereby improving livelihoods. He left LIRNEasia in May 2011 to join Rural Returns (Guarantee) Limited, a non-profit organization aimed at economically empowering rice-farming communities in Sri Lanka. Iran holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, specializing in agriculture economics from Rajarata University of Sri Lanka; he was reading for his postgraduate degree in organizational management from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka at the time of his departure.

Joseph Wilson, PhD | Joseph lead LIRNEasia’s Sector Performance Review study for Pakistan. Joseph has over 18 years of experience of practice, research, and teaching in regulatory laws.  He was an Associate Professor of Law & Policy at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan before joining the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) as member.. He is a member of the State Bar of New York, USA and Lahore High Court Bar, and also serves on the International Advisory Board of the Loyola University Chicago’s Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, USA.

Juhee Kang | Juhee joined LIRNEasia as a six-month graduate research associate in 2011. She is a PhD student of the Department of Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University, USA. Her research foci are ICTs for development and telecommunications policy in emerging Asia. Previously, she was a junior researcher on special services at the ITU Asia Pacific Office, and a market analyst at Samsung Electronics Research Institute, UK, specialized in the European mobile device and service market. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Yonsei University, South Korea, and a master’s degree in International Communications and Development from City University, London, UK. At LIRNEasia she was involved in the Teleuse@BOP4 project and universal service policy research.

Juni Soehardjo | Juni is a Director of the Telecommunication, IT, and Media (ICT) Sector, of the Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KADIN ), located in Jakarta, Indonesia.  She is also pursuing a Masters degree in European Studies at the University of Indonesia. Juni has been involved with LIRNEasia, as a researcher, since 2006.  In 2008 – 2011, she was a co-researcher, as well as a co-writer, of the Indonesian Report for Telecom Regulatory and Policy Environment in Indonesia: Results and Analysis of the 2008 TRE Survey. In 2006-7 she was a  junior researcher for the 2006 TRE Survey.

Kasun Suranga| Kasun joined LIRNEasia soon after completing his advanced Level examination. As a trainee accounts assistant at LIRNEasia, he assisted the accountant and senior finance manager in all accounting-related work. Kasun left LIRNEasia in September 2010 to pursue his bachelor’s degree in accountancy at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Lara Alawattegama | As a researcher at LIRNEasia, Lara was involved in benchmarking regulatory websites as well as compiling broadband price and quality indicators in emerging Asia.  She also assisted in the development of a manual for LIRNEasia’s multi-country assessment of telecom regulatory environment. Lara holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney, with majors in government, international relations and international business and a minor in political economy. Lara left LIRNEasia in 2009 to pursue a master’s degree in accounting at the Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

Lorraine Salazar, PhD | As a research fellow at LIRNEasia, Lorraine led research on measuring telecom sector and regulatory performance in the Philippines. Her research interests include comparative political economy of Southeast Asia, in particular, market reforms and regulatory issues in telecommunications, ICTs and utilities. Lorraine has extensive experience as a senior research analyst at McKinsey & Company, assistant professor of political science at the University of the Philippines and a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. She obtained her PhD from the Australian National University in 2004.

Mohammad Abdul Mobarak | Mobarak  is a former Senior Research Fellow for Bangladesh, where he led  the Telecommunication Regulatory Environment (TRE) study of Bangladesh in 2008. Mobarak has held senior positions in government including Prime Minister’s Office, Ministries of Posts and Telecommunications, Home Affairs, Family Welfare and Establishments and Bangladesh Election Commission. He has also worked as Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate for Dhaka and Sherpur Districts and Additional District Magistrate for, Dhaka District. He has actively participated in various policy formulation works of the government and administered development projects impacting the people’s socio-economic standards. He has also worked as part time trainer and examiner on criminal laws, environmental laws, cyber laws, land laws, service laws, rules and regulations in various institutions and academies since 1993. Mobarak holds an MA in History from the University of Chittagong.

Moinul Zaber | Moinul Zaber  is currently pursuing his PhD in Telecommunications policy at the Engineering and Public policy department of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. His dissertation is on the the impact of regulatory structures and the methods of spectrum management policies on the diffusion of telecommunications technology. He has an MSc in Engineering and Public policy and BSc and MSc in Computer Science and Engineering. At LIRNEasia Moinul was engaged in the capacity building project for the telecommunication industry regulators focusing broadband diffusion.

Muhammad Aslam Hayat | Muhammad Aslam Hayat is a ICT legislation, policy and regulation expert from Pakistan with a focus on emerging markets.   He was the Centre Director of the “Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Centre,” a project being administered by LIRNEasia for the World Bank. The PIRRC is located within the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and will develop innovative ways of providing regulatory support to all the Pacific Island countries. He has been associated with LIRNEasia since 2007 and has shared his regulatory experience and knowledge with regulators and operators of emerging markets at LIRNEasia’s “12th Executive Course on Telecom Reform: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence” in Singapore on 10 – 14, June 2008.  In 2010 he was appointed to the Board of CPRsouth, a capacity building initiative to develop Asia-Pacific based policy intellectuals on ICT policy regulation among junior to mid level scholars. Muhammad Aslam Hayat has been appointed as the Chief Corporate Affairs and Security Officer in Telenor Pakistan.

Natasha Udu-gama | Natasha Udu-gama is a former Research Fellow and Project Dissemination Manager for the Last Mile Hazard Warning System (HazInfo) project for LIRNEasia. In this capacity, she organized three international HazInfo dissemination workshops with practitioners and experts in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia.  She also researched the use of mobile cell broadcasting for commercial information dissemination and public warning system for the Maldives, as part of LIRNEasia’s Mobile2.0@BOP study. Her research interests include community-based disaster risk management and appropriate technologies for community-based disaster risk information systems in poor urban areas and information technologies for risk communication. Natasha has an MSc in Disaster Management from the Royal Military College of Science at Cranfield University, Shrivenham, UK. She was reading for a PhD in Environment and Geography at Macquerie University, Australia, at the time of writing.

Nishantha Hewavithana As a statistician at LIRNEasia, Nishantha was involved in research on telecom access and use among the bottom of the pyramid, as well as on the use of ICTs in lowering transaction costs in agricultural markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and statistics from University of Colombo  and was reading for an MBA in finance at the University of Colombo, at the time of writing.

Nirmali Sivapragasam | As a researcher at LIRNEasia, Nirmali was primarily involved in research exploring the demand for ICTs among low-income earners or the BOP. Her areas of focus were on examining the use of mobiles for sending remittances between migrant workers and their families at home as well as the significant decline in the use of public phones and the corresponding uptake of mobile telephony. Before joining LIRNEasia, Nirmali interned at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, the country’s leading economic policy think-tank. She has also worked as a part-time field researcher for Nielsen Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, where she was involved in various quantitative and qualitative projects both in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.  Nirmali holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management with First Class Honors from the London School of Economics, University of London (External). She left LIRNEasia in May 2011 to pursue a master’s degree in public policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore. Her current profile can be viewed here.

Onno Purbo | As a research fellow at LIRNEasia, Onno was involved in research into the use of Wi-Fi to extend connectivity in Indonesia. He established and led a technology movement through which several innovative and alternative low-cost Internet technologies have been introduced and adopted by Indonesian ICT communities, such as Wi-Fi-based Internet Infrastructure and VoIP MaverickNet. Onno is a former civil servant and retired lecturer, and holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada. More information available here.

Pratichi Joshii | Pratichi joined LIRNEasia for a five-month internship in 2009. She was involved in research work examining preconditions for a knowledge-based economy in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the potential of online communication platforms for furthering LIRNEasia’s mission. Before joining LIRNEasia, she worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Communication and New Media, National University of Singapore (NUS). At NUS, she also assisted in research on the Global Patterns of Creative Commons License Use and the PAN Localization Project on building local-language computing capacity in Asia.

Priyanwada Herath Priyanwada joined LIRNEasia in 2008 as a part-time research intern working on a study on Indo-Lanka economic relations. She is currently assisting in research on mobile finance among those with irregular incomes in Sri Lanka. Previously, she worked as a research associate for a UNDP study on the Economic Impact of the Global Financial Crisis in Sri Lanka, and has interned at Nathan Associates in Washington DC. Priyanwada holds a bachelor’s degree (special) in economics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Puree Sirasoontorn, PhD | As a research fellow in Thailand, Puree led a study on business models for delivering mobile value-added services, a part of LIRNEasia‘s Mobile 2.0 research project.  As an professor at the Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, Thailand,  her research interests included economics of regulation, industrial organization, and energy economics. Her experiences in the energy policy and regulatory field have been extensive, including research projects of energy tariff regulation in Thailand, implication of Energy Industry Act for Thai energy sector and Thai economic measures and policy on energy crisis. Her research interests have also extended to analysis of sectoral-level economic measures and policies on climate change such as energy and agricultural sectors. Puree holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University.

Sajeevani de Silva | As a researcher for LIRNEasia’s Knowledge to Innovation project,, Sajee examined the use of stakeholder networks for fostering innovation in services. Her main area of focus was on building knowledge networks among local authorities and community groups in the management of solid waste services. Sajee left LIRNEasia in March 2010 to pursue a teaching career in the sciences.

Samangi Hewage | As project manager for LIRNEasia’s Knowledge to Innovation project, Samangi worked with municipal councils in Sri Lanka, among other entities, to build a network of stakeholders with resources to educate and implement the program through the network. Samangi joined a leading hotel in Sri Lanka as a coordinator for nature and cultural activities after leaving LIRNEasia in August 2008.

Sanchala Arangalage | Sanchala as Operations Manager was responsible for all administrative functions at LIRNEasia. She has also worked at the Ministry for Economic Reform, Science and Technology and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, where she provided secretarial and administrative support in organizing meetings and seminars with local and foreign officials. She completed her studies at the Sri Lanka Law College in 2009 and subsequently joined the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka as an Attorney- at- Law.

Shamistra Soysa | Shamistra joined LIRNEasia in February 2007. As a researcher at LIRNEasia, she studied the use of ICTs in reducing transaction costs and improving traceability in agricultural markets, as well as in the delivery of governance services. She also worked on improving the methodology and developing a manual for LIRNEasia’s telecom regulatory environment (TRE) assessments, and assisted in conducting the TRE study in the Maldives. Shamistra left LIRNEasia in December 2008 to join PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sri Lanka as an associate consultant in the Performance Improvement Consulting team.

Sumudu Pagoda | Sumudu was responsible for all administrative functions at LIRNEasia, and assists both the Executive Director and Head of Finance in related duties . Organizing meetings with ministerial officials, as well as organizing seminars and other public events are the core duties that she carried out. Sumudu started her career in 1998 as a Cadet Officer, later serving as a Pilot Officer in the Sri Lanka Air Force. She is currently working as the Director Operations at Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka

Subhash Bhatnagar, PhD | As a research fellow in India, Subhash led a study on the provision of government services over the mobile phone in India, a part of LIRNEasia‘s Mobile 2.0 research project. Prof. Bhatnagar is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Prof. Bhatnagar worked for 30 years at IIMA before taking an early retirement in September 2003. He has served as Visiting Professor at Eastern and Southern African Management Institute, Tanzania,Fairleigh Dickinson University, New JerseyNew York University, and Visiting Fellow at East West Centre, Hawaii and University of North Carolina, Chapell Hill. Prof. Bhatnagar also spent two full years and four half years at the World Bank in Washington DC to mainstream e-Government into activities of the World Bank. Prof. Bhatnagar’s academic research, teaching and consulting work has covered National IT Policy, Corporate IT strategy, IT for development, E-Government and E-Commerce. He has authored many research papers and books, including ‘Information and Communication Technology in Development: Cases from India’ published by Sage Publications in 2000 and ‘e-Government: From Vision to Implementation’. Prof Bhatnagar has served on many committees set up by Government of India and is currently a member of the National Advisory Council on eGovernment.

Tahani Iqbal | As a research fellow at LIRNEasia, she conducted a study on mobile number portability in emerging Asia. Previously at LIRNEasia, she managed its capacity-building initiative, CPRsouth. She also researched ICT access and use among Asia’s bottom of the pyramid, and compiled comparative mobile price indicators across the SAARC region. Before joining LIRNEasia, Tahani worked for the National Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process and the National Agribusiness Council of Sri Lanka. She holds a bachelor’s degree (external) in economics and management from the London School of Economics, University of London, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore.

Tilan M Wijesooriya | Tilan conducted a survey of production of graduates by private and public Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and a ranking survey of HEIs that offer ICT degrees. In addition, he was involved in a literature review pertaining to information sources used by industries as they innovate and how the sources of information vary with the organizational attributes such as size of the firm, type of business, sector, location, etc. All these projects were done under the supervision of Dr. Sujatha Gamage, a lead scientist at LIRNEasia.

Thiruchenduran Somasundaram | As a project assistant for the Knowledge to Innovation project at LIRNEasia, Thiruchenduran worked with local authorities in Sri Lanka in building a network of stakeholders with resources to educate and implement the program through the network.

Vipulakshi Fernando | Vipulakshi assisted Prashanthi Weragoda and Priyadarshani Liyanage in all finance-related functions at LIRNEasia. She has previously held positions at Ernst and Young and Aitken Spence (Pvt.) Ltd.  While at Ernst and Young, Vipulakshi was attached to the Business Risk Services division where she was responsible for planning, performing, coordinating and reviewing assignments among several companies in both manufacturing and service sectors.

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