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

Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

Light-touch regulation for the downstream petroleum market

The Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka was established to serve as regulator for any of the hard infrastructure industries that needed regulation as a result of reform. All this time, all it was given was electricity. Now, there is a possibility that downstream petroleum will also be brought under its authority. So they had […]

Making the university relevant: Open University lecture now on Youtube

On April 10th, I delivered the sixth Distinguished Lecture of the Open University of Sri Lanka on the subject of making the university relevant. In an increasingly complex world where difficult decisions have to be made by those in government, there is demand for evidence to support political and policy choices. The university is the […]

Practical applications of the ability to identify communities using mobile network big data

I’ve been putting a significant amount of my time in the past three months into Constitutional reforms because an unusual “policy window” or Constitutional Moment opened up as a result of the outcome of the Sri Lankan Presidential election of January 8th. The Common Candidate of the opposition included in his manifesto a series of […]

How poor legal drafting can blunt the power of RTI

A few days back, I included the following in a guest column for the Financial Times: Most of the 192 words specifying the Right to Information (RTI) as a fundamental right are superfluous. There is an entire bill in third draft that probably includes the very same language (if it does not, the Constitutional language […]

Preconditions for growth of high-value agricultural exports

In our work on agricultural supply chains, we looked at how small holders could participate in export value chains because these were the most difficult cases and also where the money was. At least at the beginning of the adoption process, the greatest demand for ICT based innovation is likely to come from these supply […]

Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Bill improved through consultation

Last week I did a colloquium at LIRNEasia based on the second revision of the RTI Bill. Before I got around to doing a post, the third revision made its way out of the bowels of government. Sigificant improvements have been made, for which the Secretary of the Ministry of Media and Information should be […]

Sri Lanka to become a testbed for highest-quality development indicators?

Sri Lanka has pretty good indicators, compared to many countries we work in. So if the UN is thinking of conventional indicators there’s not much to do. But if the intention is to bring in big data . . . The Visiting United Nation’s assistant secretary-general and United Nation Development Plan’s regional director Haoliang Xu, […]

Distinguished lecture on “Making the university relevant”

The Open University of Sri Lanka invited me to deliver the sixth in a series of distinguished lectures on the 10th of April 2015. Looking through the titles of the previous lectures, I saw that the common theme is the university and higher learning. Therefore, I proposed “Making the university relevant” as the topic and […]

Sri Lanka’s IT and ITES exports have more than doubled over the past five years

Not bad for a young industry. But I do hope the results of the survey will be disclosed quickly and with breakdowns of export and domestic earnings and employment. Last time it had to be extracted in dribs and drabs. “Sri Lanka has launched an ICT value survey to find the national hi-tech exports it […]

Key issues in India-Sri Lanka relations

India used to be the center of gravity of everything we did at LIRNEasia. In terms of expenditure and effort, perhaps the center is shifting. But intellectually, the challenge of managing the asymmetrical relationship between Sri Lanka and India continues to engage. I was asked to write something for the visit of Prime Minister Modi. […]

Effects of punitive taxes on Sri Lanka mobile industry quantified

A Ratings Agency has put specific numbers behind the entity-based and mobiles-sector specific taxes in 2015 interim budget. Should the proposals go ahead, 2015 FFO-adjusted net leverage for Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT, BB-/Stable) and Dialog Axiata (Dialog, AAA(lka)/Stable) is likely to deteriorate to 1.8x and 2.5x, respectively (2014: 1.2x and 1.3x), while the operating EBITDAR […]

Morning after: Thinking through Sri Lanka President’s free WiFi promise

Haven’t had time to analyze this election promise, so was very happy to see a CPRsouth alumnus take an excellent run at it. Usually, these free Wi-Fi services have lower speeds compared to the average home connection, and often come with a data or a time cap. Perth, for example, offers free public Wi-Fi in […]

Different perceptions of Sri Lanka’s mobile-only tax

Yesterday, I was the only non-politician on a political debate show on TV known as “Satana” (battle). The topic was the new President’s/government’s 100 Day Program (of which more than one-third has passed). I was not expecting to talk about the taxes imposed on the mobile industry, but right in the middle, one of the […]

What can the Sri Lanka government do regarding mobile taxes in interim budget

A 24/7 news channel interviewed me about the mobile-only taxes proposed by the new government. It is not online (yet) so I cannot give a link. The last question I was asked by the interviewer was about my recommendations to the government. Here is what I said: 1. The proposal that the mobile operators should […]

Efficient management of state-owned utilities

This is a problem that comes up in countries that LIRNEasia works in. In Bangladesh and India, where the government-owned telcos were not privatized, they are on life support. Based possibly on comments made by entities such as LIRNEasia, the government of Myanmar has chosen to effectively hand over the management of its government-owned telco […]

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