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 we thought of highlighting the issue. The content is interesting and very readable. We publish two e-interviews from July 2010 issue here fully, as they are not available on public domain.
“I came more to learn from you; than to teach” was the message I passed before my two presentations with Sujata. Thanks Fusion/Telecentre.org for the opportunity. The three days spent with 200+ telecenter operators from eight provinces in Sri Lanka was a worthy investment. One does not interact with so many ground level ICT4D practitioners every day.
There has been much speculation about the strategy that will be adopted by the Indian juggernaut Bharti when it enters the Sri Lankan mobile market as the fifth player. Bharti is offering food for thought, though of course, reality may not always match what is told at news conferences. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Bharti Airtel will offer value added services, especially music which has been a big hit in the Indian market. “We do more music in India than some of the music companies,” Kapoor said. With broadband and 3G services telecom firms can offer more applications for customers, Kapoor said, adding that they would be “aiming for share of wallet rather than share of telecom.
“MY NAME is Mohammed Sokor, writing to you from Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab. Dear Sir, there is an alarming issue here. People are given too few kilograms of food. You must help.” A crumpled note, delivered to a passing rock star-turned-philanthropist?
Lebanon’s mobile phone provider MTC has launched a benchmark report titled, “Mobility: A Nation Under Siege”. It analyses the vital role played by mobile telecommunications in assisting disaster recovery within Lebanon during the Israeli-Lebanese conflict in July 2006. The report contains unique insights in to the reliability of telecoms infrastructure throughout the conflict and examines the reasons why mobile communications played a pivotal role in ensuring that families stayed in touch, the population received food and medical supplies to the correct locations and emergency services could effectively plan their disaster response procedures. The study is at the very bottom of this link.
This article shows that government’s instinct to ban cellphones from conflict zones because of the belief that it will be used by militants/terrorists to further their cause, actually neutralizes one of the security agencies most potent weapons to track subversives. I doubt that the Sri Lankan government will allow cellular service to be available any time soon in the North. But at least it gives the security agencies some food for thought. The Indian government was similarly reluctant to have cellular service in Kashmir, but the Indian security agencies are their biggest proponents now. ———— Troops in Kashmir master new weapon: cell phones Reuters By Sheikh MushtaqSun May 21, 1:53 AM ET Minutes after a bomb exploded recently in Kashmir and wounded Indian soldiers, a senior member of an Islamist rebel group called local newspaper offices to claim responsibility for the blast.
From www.timesonline.com Telecom charity forges links for tsunami victims by Elizabeth Judge Vodafone and its industry peers are backing a new kind of aid for striken areas AS EARLY images of the Asian tsunami disaster were flashed around the world, an aircraft loaded with equipment touched down in Sri Lanka at Colombo international airport. Within minutes, technicians had set up an emergency telecommunications centre with satellite phone lines and high-speed internet connections. Relief organisations were quick to avail themselves of the service.
The wind was not held back Below is a talk given 6 years ago entitled “To hold back the wind.” That was an attempt to get disaster preparedness going. It failed, obviously. The walls of water came in with no warning; thousands died instantaneously; millions are homeless. Parentheses refer to 9/11 in the US for scale: in a few hours on the 26th of December more that 17,900 (3,000) died out of a population of 19 million (280 million).
Dear friends, well-wishers and partners of LIRNEasia, all members of the LIRNEasia team based in Colombo are safe. Despite the devastation wrought by the tsunami over most of coastal Sri Lanka on Dec 26, our office is functioning. Sarvodaya is grass-roots organization that has been around for 47 years and is doing an incredible job of getting relief to the tsunami victims. They have an extensive network of volunteers and stations in 34 Sri Lankan towns, including the most heavily damaged. Although they are busy providing temporary shelters, drinking water, food and medicine to tsunami victims, they are also gearing up for medium and long-term rehabilitation that includes reconstructing homes, providing trauma counselling, preventing outbreak of disease and providing a home to the orphaned children.