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

Author Archives: Chanuka Wattegama

Sri Lanka: Internet users beware, says CPA Report

Attempts to regulate online content; block websites; attacks on journalists and repeated statements from government officials threatening those who provide alternative views do not appear good for the future of online freedom of expression in Sri Lanka, says the latest Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) report released today. This analysed the Internet freedom in Sri […]

Book Review: ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction (ICTD Case Study)

ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction (ICTD Case Study) Published by: United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP) Demonstrating the true impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in any other field has never been easy. Robert Solow’s cynical remark has certainly outlived its time. If not for […]

Access to Facebook is a human right – Sri Lanka’s TRC Chief

Ban Ki Moon will be surprised to learn how far Sri Lankan government goes to ensure the human rights of its people. It may not necessarily make him an activist, but the chief of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission makes it clear why Facebook should not be banned: Access to it is a human right. Mark, did […]

LIRNEasia Tests Prepaid Mobile Broadband Quality in Western Province

LIRNEasia’s preliminary round of mobile broadband quality testing in selected locations in Western Province unveils both hopes and issues. The good news is that the quality of both key pre-paid mobile broadband services is satisfactory, in majority of locations. However, unusual quality drops in several places indicates that this performance is not always a certainty. […]

Disaster Mitigation: Time to bridge the gap between Policy and Practice – Vinya Ariyaratne

There is an imminent need to revisit the institutional arrangements for disaster mitigation, response and warning systems because serious gaps still exist between practices and the policies in effect, as indicated by the recent folds and tsunami alerts, said Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, General Secretary of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, delivering LIRNEasia’s Disaster Risk Reduction Public […]

CHAKULA features an e-interview with LIRNEasia’s CEO

CHAKULA is a newsletter produced by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). Named after the Swahili word for ‘food’, it aims to mobilise African civil society around ICT policy for sustainable development and social justice issues. The latest issue features an e-interview with LIRNEasia’s CEO Rohan Samarajiva, but it is not the only reason why […]

Sri Lanka: Is an SMS prank on your wife a criminal offence?

Lankadeepa online today reported this strange incident of Sri Lanka’s Police arresting an individual in Medavachchiya for playing an SMS prank on his wife.  He allegedly texted his wife, who was on a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura about a ‘terrorist attack’ at the sacred city. The report further says Police has already questioned six and looks […]

Finland makes 1 Mbps broadband a ‘legal right’

Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen. From 1 July every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection. Finland has vowed to connect everyone to a 100Mbps connection by 2015. In the UK the government has […]

Public Seminar: Harsha De Silva, Lead Economist, LIRNEasia to speak on Mobile Payments in Public Transport in Sri Lanka

The Private Bus Operators Association of Sri Lanka has proposed to introduce a service for sale and purchase of bus tickets via mobile phones and/or customized electronic cards. These e-reload passes are readable by the existing GPRS-enabled ticket machines. The current plan is that passes will be in the form of physical re-load cards or […]

Sri Lanka: Only 11% of population uses ‘Snail mail’, reveals survey

  Gone are days that postal services were an integral part of Sri Lankan culture. According to a recent Postal Department survey, only 11% uses snail mail now, reports Divaina. The drop from over 90% in pre-1978 days is attributed to the widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), including mobile phones, faxes and […]

Our tester wasn’t hit by a train; but 15 others were less lucky

Ranmalee took this photograph of Supun Sudaraka, testing mobile broadband connections on the move, using Mobile AT-Tester, the family of test tools developed by LIRNEasia. Broadband quality testing isn’t a desk job anymore. We simulate real conditions. Unlike in case of fixed connections, mobile broadband usage is always, er, mobile. This was one of the […]

Good News for Sri Lanka’s mobile content providers: Etisalat to adopt ‘App-Store’ model

LIRNEasia’s advertisements last week, while highlighting the limited usage of Mobile 2.0 services by ‘low income’ users, suggested steps to be taken by regulators/policy makers and operators to make Mobile 2.0 galore. . We think this is the right time for Emerging Asian mobile operators to adopt what we call an Mobile Application Store or […]

Sri Lanka’s reaction to tsunami alert following Nicobar quake: Were we right?

Was Sri Lanka’s reaction to tsunami alert today early morning effective enough? Did we observe the dos and don’ts? We do not jump to conclusions. The information is inadequate and contradictory at times. We will try reconstructing from what we heard, from mass media and other sources. Please feel free to add your own story […]

Sri Lanka: LIRNEasia welcomes Public Hearing on Telecom Tariff; look forward for one on Electricity tariffs too

Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara wants telecom tariffs down. Quoting an unnamed ‘prominent mobile operator’ who placed the operational cost of a phone call at LKR 0.20 (Less than one fifth of a US cent) at a meeting at the Treasury, Mr. Nanayakkara asks why not the telecom firms reduce the mobile phone charges. LIRNEasia welcomes this […]

LIRNEasia researcher Joseph Wilson on ‘Economic and Governance Challenges Facing Pakistan’

LIRNEasia researcher Joseph Wilson will talk at IDRC on the ‘Economic and Governance Challenges Facing Pakistan’ on June 1, 2010. Pakistan has achieved some economic success – mainly in agriculture and industry – despite recurring political instability since the country’s independence in 1947, says Wilson. Yet millions of Pakistanis still live below the poverty line. […]


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