In the late 1980s, I supervised a Masters thesis on the emergence of the fax. Those days, fax was big. Among the drivers she found were the significance of Japanese corporate culture and ideograms. It appears that the Japanese who were then the most enthusiastic adopters have not given up on it yet while the rest of the world has. Japan is renowned for its robots and bullet trains, and has some of the world’s fastest broadband networks.
Today, Rohan Samarajiva delivered a speech at TEDx Colombo held at the Punchi Theater, entitled “Government services: Anytime, anywhere, any official language, now.” Much emphasis was laid on the usage of ICT in order to help trilingual government service delivery. Using the T@BOP data he illustrated the popularity of mobiles among the Sri Lankan BOP, and therefore their suitability as a medium for accessing government services, to answer queries or assist in contacting other government offices. This kind of help line service cannot be provided by private organizations; government has to be involved, in order to provide credibility. Ultimately, any citizen should be able to get things done, without hesitation, promptly, no matter what language they speak.