LIRNEasia’s lead economist Dr Harsha de Silva has been selected for the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship. Our warm congratulations to Harsha on this high recognition of his potential as a decisive actor in public policy. The focus on potential for future contributions is evidenced by the fact that all Eisenhower fellows have to submit a proposal of what they will do upon their return. Mr Lalith Weeratunga who was an Eisenhower Fellow from Sri Lanka some years back is now Secretary to the President. I guess the Eisenhower process works.
Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka, was recently elected to the chair of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Committee of ESCAP – the Economic & Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Speaking to Sandeshaya Weeratunga said that “during the past three years computer literacy in the country has increased from 5 per cent to over 20 per cent” He elaborated that the ‘e-Sri Lanka’ initiative has enabled people to obtain authenticated copies of Death, Marriage and Birth Certificates – essential documents within a few minutes. Responding to a question that some rural tele centers have been dysfunctional Weeratunga said there are about 600 Telecenters and it’s not unusual for a few to fall behind. “However we will relocate them if necessary”, he said. Commenting on the Sri Lankan expertise of the diasporas, Weeratunga said that there are those who want to help but in actual fact most of them are really in search of jobs. “We cant pay them the salaries they expect but if anyone wants to genuinely help they could log in to the ICTA web site (www.
The service sector drives network economies and information societies. The foundation of this sector is the communication network. As such, modern network economies depend on effective reforms in telecom infrastructure to strengthen links among local, national, regional and international networks and markets. Professor William H. Melody Technical University of Denmark London School of Economics … in his presentation on public administration in an e-economy to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.
The LIRNEasia Launch Party went well – with plenty of eating, drinking and dancing (and minimal photo-taking). Here are a few: Bill Melody, Milinda Moragoda, and Michael Spence Lighting of the lamp in gale force winds The view from a Mount Lavinia Hotel Room It was an auspicious launch with the personal message from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered by Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to Prime Minister (see previous post for tea with the PM) and a message delivered by MP Milinda Moragoda. Also in attendance were Manju Hathotuwa, CEO of the Information Communication Technology Agency. There were also 3 generations of Samarajiva’s including Ainsley and Evelyn Samarajiva.