2005 March

COLLOQUIUM April 1, 2005 In accordance with standard economic principles, an all-hazards early warning system is a public good that is both non-rivalrous (consumption by one economic agent does not prevent consumption by another) and non-excludable (a user cannot be excluded from consuming the good without significant effort) in nature. Given these characteristics and the related “free-rider” syndrome, pure public goods will not be supplied by the market. Goods with significant public-goods-characteristics tend to be undersupplied. The two classic solutions to the problem of funding and the supply of public goods are taxation and the bundling of a public good with a private good. The latter solution is an innovative one that has not been fully explored in the public goods literature nor is there much evidence that such a solution has been deployed in practice.
Some of the key recommendations made by LIRNEasia in the National Early Warning System (NEWS:SL) concept paper are now being picked up by policymakers and the media in Sri Lanka as can be read in this new report by the Lanka Business Online: One Voice On Tuesday, Sri Lankan legislators called for a single body to issue warnings on potential natural diasters This is one of the key recommendations that LIRNEasia made in its paper ( NEWS:SL section 2.12, page 18). Mr. Newton Gunaratne head of the state-run Independent Television Network said: “We could not find any authority who was willing to say it was safe for people to go back, that is why we need a centralised system from where authoritative information can be obtained.” LIRNEasia recommended that a well-designed warning system will clearly alert a local population of the hazard and also provide all-clear notofications (NEWS:SL 2.
NEWS:SL [National Early Warning System: Sri Lanka] was presented to the �Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Inquire into Matters Relating to the Conduct of Relevant State Institutions/Agencies Following the Natural Disasters which Occurred on 26 December 2004, and the Measures that Should be Taken to Improve Early Warning Mechanism for Natural Disasters and Thereby to Prevent or Mitigate Such Devastation� following a presentation of same to the Commission� on March 15 2005, less than three months after the greatest catastrophe faced by Sri Lanka in modern times. The salient features of the Concept Paper were presented to the Commission, in addition several other research findings relevant to the Commission. The importance of an all-hazards approach was stressed and governance model options were discussed. Recommendations on actions that are needed by government were made and intended actions by the Vanguard Foundation were presented. Commission members, retired Supreme Court Judge H.
English Press Release English Background & Executive Summary Sinhala Press Release
Sinhala Tamil
Our colleague, Nishantha Kamaladasa, Director of the Center for Housing Planning and Building, testified before the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Tsunami on March 7th, 2005. The difficult-to-find and oddly named website of the Select Committee is at http://www.srilankanparliamentonnaturaldisasters.org/Sixth%20Meeting.htm The sixth meeting contains the slides and text of Nishantha’s presentation.
It has been three months since Sri Lanka lost 40,000 valuable lives and the Indian Ocean region 300,000. Given below is the e-mail message that LIRNEasia sent to its friends and well wishers on this sad day of remembrance. It is being posted here in case we missed your e-mail address or got it wrong. Three-month alms giving in remembrance of the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami Prompt action to establish an effective National Early Warning System is the best memorial we can build to the 40,000 valuable lives that were swept away for the lack of a few minutes of warning and a little awareness.—NEWS:SL Concept Paper It is customary in Sri Lanka to offer a dana (an alms giving wherein offerings are made to monks and the resulting merit is offered to the departed) three months after the death of a dear one.
National Early Warning System: Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL):  A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System (Version 2.1) Annexes: A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System (Version 2.1)   *Executive Summary*# *The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of one in 500 of Sri Lanka�s people and displaced one in twenty has highlighted the critical importance of an effective National Early Warning System for Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL)*. Meeting this need, which has been discussed (and forgotten) after each of our too frequent disasters such as the cyclones of 1978 and the floods of 2003, can no longer be postponed. # *Public warning is a system, not a technology*.
By Payal Malik In his budget speech the Finance Minister of India promised a release of Rs. 1,200 crores (USD 275 million) for the Universal Service Fund. While it is heartening that the funds are being released and are not being gobbled by the Contingency Fund of India, what is however disheartening is that competition and liberalisation has not achieved its full potential in bridging the rural urban divde and like in the monopoly era one has to wait for budgetary pronouncements for rural telephony to jumpstart. An extract from his speech: Telecommunication is the best way to provide connectivity in urban and rural India. By the end of January 2005, we had achieved a tele-density of 8.