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

Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

Mergers sweeping South Asia

First it was Bangladesh: Robi and Airtel. Then it was India: Reliance and Sistema plus maybe Aircel. Sri Lanka: SLT/Mobitel and Hutch. Now Pakistan: Mobilink and Warid. VimpelCom is looking to combine Pakistani unit Mobilink with local rival Warid Telecom, claiming the first merger in the country’s telecoms sector. The new entity will serve 45 […]

Comparative poverty in Sri Lanka, from Independence to now

Some people are surprised that after all these years of speaking, responding, discussing, I still prepare when asked to speak in public. So when I was asked to serve as a discussant at a CEPA conference on infrastructure and urbanization, I read the papers. They had very little to do with the subject matter, choosing […]

Novel proposal in Sri Lanka’s 2016 Budget

Just a few sentences but this is a new solution to a real problem. I propose to form a special purpose company under the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA) to bring about sharing of telecommunication resources efficiently and to protect air waves and the environment. All the fiber optics owned by telecommunication companies and […]

Sri Lanka ICT sector governance: Freedom House report exemplifies shoddy research or success of opacity?

There is no debate that the laws governing the telecom/ICT sector in Sri Lanka are among the most convoluted. So I have some sympathy for the people who write about it. But I assume they are paid for their work and they have a duty to check their facts. The excerpt below is just one […]

Entity-based and technology-specific taxes approved by Sri Lanka Parliament

When these misguided taxes were proposed back in January in the interim budget, I protested. An example is here. They could not get the bills passed in the previous Parliament. It was the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce that labeled them as entity-based. But now they are through. Wrong then; wrong now. The Resolution under the […]

Open Data Dialogue in Sri Lanka

This past Thursday (15th October 2015) I was invited to give my comments at event, alliteratively titled “An open dialogue on open data.” The dialogue was organized by InterNews and Transparency International and held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute in Colombo. I was part of a panel that included Nalaka Gunawardene and Sanjana Hattotuwa. […]

Course on how to engage in broadband policy ends with presentations to key Lankan decision makers

The four-day course on how to engage in broadband policy and regulation included as one of its most important elements a team project. Each team was asked to make evidence-based presentations that we hoped would form the basis for a public consultation organized by the Ministry of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure. The teams were assigned […]

Time-sensitive tariffs: Is this a win for LIRNEasia?

We’ve been promoting time-sensitive tariffs to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka since 2013. They were available to commercial customers, but we wanted them made available to residential customers as well. Three years down the road, it looks like the dam has broken. CEB is offering a low-user tariff effective from 2230 to 0530. […]

LIRNEasia joins the Sri Lanka smart cities discussion

Our intervention in the most widely read English daily in Sri Lanka emphasizes the “smart” in smart cities. A middle option focuses on citizens moving through time and space in the city as the primary sensors. They generate the big data that when analyzed constitute the feedback that is the essence of a smart city. […]

A valley in every country, yes. But a hub?

“A hub is the central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axle, and from which the spokes radiate.” Singapore talks about about hubs, and generally pulls off the creation of the hub, relegating others to spoke status. But this has had the unfortunate side-effect of making hub a bit of a meaningless […]

Agriculture proposals in three major party platforms for 2015 Sri Lanka General Election

I’ve been invited to moderate a three party discussion on live TV organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, on the government SLRC channel at 10 PM today. In preparing for the task, I read through the economic proposals contained in the General Election manifestos of the JVP, the UPFA and the UNP. Given our […]

The continuing saga of inward payments by Paypal in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan ICT entrepreneurs have been asking that inward payments by Paypal be facilitated. I’ve pushed it in various settings. Government has promised it would do this many times. But nothing has happened. Here is the latest promise: Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce under the theme, […]

Mobile bans: Crossing the river by feeling the stones

I’ve been waiting for a good example of the application of Deng Xiao Ping’s approach to policy: cross the river by feeling the stones. Fine tune policy actions based on feedback. One has come up: in Sri Lanka of all places. The department of wildlife said sightings of large mammals such as leopard are usually […]

Sri Lanka regulator takes first step to make licensing less opaque

The telecom and broadcast licensing regime in Sri Lanka is obsolete. Broadcast licenses are issued under obscure provisions of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Acts. The licenses have no terms and fees are to be informed in the future. Telecom service providers, including Internet Service Providers, are licensed under section […]

Our piece on big data for urban planning is out!

Multiple authors; truly multi-disciplinary; published in the center of gravity of our work. I am excited, even though it is still behind a paywall at the Economic and Political Weekly: There is a middle path that positions the citizens who are the ultimate beneficiaries of urban development as the primary sensors. Instead of seeing the […]


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