Dharamsala meeting on WiFi

Posted on May 7, 2006  /  147 Comments

AirJaldi Summit – Dharamsala, India

Above is a link to a meeting on license-free WiFi networks, centered on what has been built at Dharmasala, the venerable Dalai Lama’s headquarters (he was denied the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka for the 2550 Buddha Jayanti, despite all the Buddhist rhetoric of our current government: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=1,2155,0,0,1,0.)
But that is another story.

What they can do in Dharmasala, we cannot do in Sri Lanka. Underlines the need for revision on the obsolete 1991 Act.


  1. Here’s an article on the Mahavilachchiya Mesh Networking Pilot Project funded by Pan Asia from Daily Mirror (May 9, 2006) that talks about the problems with having to pay for frequencies [that in many other countries are unlicensed] and how it is preventing connectivity solutions in rural areas.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/2006/05/09/ft/12.asp (Subscription required)

    “Despite the fact that his project would cater to the requirements of a very rural community, it is now facing restrictive frequency licensing fees imposed by the Government telecommunication regulations. The jungle terrain of Mahavilachchiya has prevented optimum coverage and necessitated an increase in the number of nodes to be used (preliminary testing was carried out using two nodes); consequently, the frequency charges have gone beyond the budget availability of the project. Currently discussions are underway to reduce the license fees drastically so that the funding for this project will be sufficient to provide connectivity to all 30 homes.”

  2. Aren’t we all hypocrites in this country?

    We talk so much about Ahimsa, Metta, Karuna and Muditha and wage war at the drop of the hat.

    We talk so much about Buddhist heritage and prevent Dalai Lama visiting our country.

    We talk so much about taking ICTs to villages and put all the barriers to it, in the form of licensing of WiFi, which makes an Internet connection for a rural user more than hundred times costlier than what it is for an urban user.

    We talk so much about building a brave new generation of IT and let a 70 year old ailing dinosaur to lead that program.

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

    The list is endless.

  3. In honor of the Dalai Lama, LIRNEasia will offer to contribute its knowledge to the Dharamsala Summit. When he has the time, our resident WiFi expert will make the necessary inquiries. If the Dalai Lama is not allowed to come to Sri Lanka, at least some people from Sri Lanka should go to him.

  4. Hi This is Revantha I am quite new to this forum but have been associating with the Horizon Lanka foundation for quite some time, and have been following up on the so called mesh networking project (launched by ICTA and ETPL- Enterprise Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, after much fanfare, which is quite usual I guess) during my tenure at UNDP from last year onwards.

    I’ve recently visited Mahavilachchiya over the last weekend (vesak holidays) My primary objective was to see how far the so called mythical mesh networking project has progressed and the benefits to the community at large. Cos I’ve seen on most occasions how ICTA was going on and on the project while ETPL was dragging their feet on the implementation…

    as oppose to what’s said written on the article on daily mirror (http://www.dailymirror.lk/2006/05/09/ft/12.asp) where the author(s) boast about test sites, high speed internet connectivity and all the other nice to have stuff none exist at the real site.. NON EXIST MY FRIENDS !!!!!

    I found out that none of the test sites are functioning , the antenna mounted on for the distribution purpose is a mere 6-9dbi low gain omini directional antenna which is mounted on the existing LankaCom tower. The antenna does not have sufficient gain to provide even a 36Kbps connectivity to the test sites which are located around 100-125m (LOS- line of sight basis) away from the central site.

    I also fail to understand how an Low Gain Omini Directional Antenna mounted on a central site and a Directional Antenna mounted on subscriber could work in tandem….

    The main wireless access point/bridge used is from Strix Systems (www.strixsystems.com) is more geared towards providing wifi access in indoors and not in an outdoor situation. Hence the project is a failure BIG TIME….

    in a Nutshell I like to point out that: the so called ICT gurus in Colombo tend to get loss with newer and emerging communication technologies; Mesh networking is fine in the Metropolis but may not be ideally suited in the same format for the rural areas of Sri Lanka, primarily due to the capital cost and the complexity of the technologies involved. I am not completely negating the effects of Wireless Mesh Networking but the implementer has to choose the technology case by case, in the case of Horizon lanka a simple point to multipoint links with couple of redundant backbone wireless access point would have achieved the project deliverables in no time.

    But sadly the project implementer has chosen to do justice to a preferred equipment vendor by overlooking the benefits to the Mahavilachchiya community at large WHICH IS VERY PATHETIC…….

    Almost all the houses in Mahavilachchiya has Electricity the only lacking factor is Communication should the project taken off the ground we would have seen how strongly VOIP enabled technology could be implemented with a local touch to the benefits of this community, but like I said sadly this process is not happening.

    True enough TRC would have it’s objections but has the gurus in ICTA, ETPL and TRC looked at the big picture is the big Question . Friends much could be achieved if we use the right technology at the correct place but sadly in the local context that’s not happening ICTA is lost in their own world while TRC is battling a survival game and has lost touch with the real world — the End Results is We as a Country Sadly Does Not progress with the Tech Advancements in improving the quality of the People at Large…..

    Guess this is all for now will pop in again adios amigos …… will post some pictures on my tour very soon…

  5. Hi, this is Krishan just went through the article which was done by a Sri Lankan called Revantha who I personally think does not have a clue about ICT developments in the country. I feel like he has other personal interest in Mahavilachchiya but not IT development.

    This so called former UNDP guru has visited this village trying to impress the vilagers in what he thinks and knows about mesh networking. Hey, just to tell you first check the TRC regulations and then talk about what you want to tell. He says he has a more powerful antenna at his home, then it’s high time the cops visit his house since he is doing something illegal!

    So truly I feel this guy should keep his mouth shut and let the ICTA do there job. ICTA has been very active in getting all necessary approvals and licenses with ETPL from TRC and when they actually complete the job anybody could visit the site and make comments rather than trying to comment on a test implementation.

    I personally thought of writing this simply to tell others too that pls. don’t write for the sake of writing but try best to make this discussion site more meaningful. Anyone can write rubbish, it is only valuable if what you are saying is the truth.

  6. Hi Krishan,

    First I am not a guru and Please dont label me as an UNDP guru…and please dont get UNDP into this context, fine if you say so I do not have a clue about the ICT developments in the country thats ok tooo. I’ve been in the field long enough to know what is wireless what is wired and what is mesh networking and what is ICT development(s)

    Your grammar and the articulate language speaks for your professionalism sir.. for which I pity yourself. If the admin of this forum wants to shut the door for me thats fine too. I guess kishan you actually dont have a clue about the mesh Networking project and the history of it for which I dont think it would be of any use to argue with you since you arguments are biased by nature…

    Fine let the cops raid my home no issue on that as per the TRC regulations indoor wifi on ISM band 2.4GHZ is fine. I do not know whether that argument has change by now but any way if that’s the case i am prepared to pay the fine no issue on that.

    What I wanted to elaborate was to use the correct technology at the correct place without trying to do justice to preferred vendors. I’ve been in the field long enough to see successful wifi implementation carried out by an innovative group of handful local ISP’s using variety of low cost solutions. As well I have seen and heard how successful long distance wireless communication projects have been implemented in other developed/developing countries and the benefits they have brought apart to the communities at large.

    well if I am uttering rubbish thats for the readers of this forum to judge not for a single person to judge that fact. Also Rukshan I know the prevailing TRC regulations on the ISM band and I know the difficulties TRC is facing in making the band free of charge for the public usage. The question I put forward was to forgo all these barriers and look at the community at large the benefits it could reap for the kids in an around Mahavilachchiya if this project get going.

    As a Final note I do not have any interest in Mahavilachchiya, except for that fact that I do have a personal interest on the natural beauty surrounding Mahavilachchiya and the uncomplicated life style of the villagers… Over to you.. also Kishan if the test sites are not working can we look forward to a real implementation over… to your fellow reader to Judge…


  7. Also Kishan I am Proud to Call my self a “SRI LANKAN” !! are you from another nationality ? was just curious since you did start your blog by saying

    “Hi, this is Krishan just went through the article which was done by a Sri Lankan called Revantha”

  8. This is a response to the email posted by Revantha Udugampola shown below. It is distressing to see that someone with little knowledge on the facts of this rural project can make accusations. A true professional will not make statements without checking if his assumptions are in fact true.

    I have worked on this project from its inception so I know the facts and I have been fighting very hard to get this project off the ground. What I want to bring to you is the truth about this project and not just a mere outsider’s viewpoint based on false assumptions.

    The mesh networking project in Mahavilachchiya project is a pilot project to test a new innovative networking solution that has been successful internationally, especially in Indonesia, Bangladesh, USA, Canada and the UK. ETPL chose Strix Systems because it has proven to be reliable and robust and requires minimum operational maintenance and support. Since Horizon Lanka is in a remote town with dense jungle, this system was chosen not because of it’s low cost, but because it was the best equipment in the market that fit the necessary specifications.

    This project is not dragging; on the contrary it is due for completion in the end of July as originally scheduled. The only unexpected bottleneck faced was in acquiring the TRC licenses for the equipment. TRC does not allow the use of high gain antenna’s above 8dBi for 2.4GHz and 15dBi for 5.3GHz. Thereby it is against the law for anyone to use antennas of a higher gain than this. We have been in discussion with TRC on the high license fee (which Horizon Lanka will have to pay yearly) and they have informed us that this fee will be reduced to a more affordable amount soon after passing Government approval. Horizon Lanka has already received TRC approval and is now awaiting security clearance for the necessary frequencies so this project is not “mythical”.

    Contrary to what Revantha says, when I called Wanni (who is the founder of Horizon Lanka), he informed me that the test sites are working but currently one computer was shifted to another location therefore they are not using one of the sites.

    In reference to the statement on omni-directional and directional antenna working in tandem, it is similar to a point to multipoint system, nothing special.

    As an IT professional that has worked in the US and come back to Sri Lanka to help the country develop by working on rural projects, I am deeply saddened by comments made such as below. New technology is emerging everyday and if Sri Lanka wants to develop as fast as other Asian countries have, why should we push aside a technology that has proven itself? There are several cheap solutions for wireless networking but very few are resilient and have successful implementations under jungle terrain conditions. To every

    In conclusion, there are no major hurdles left to complete this project and it will be completed as scheduled. The Mahavilachchiya project is a pilot project and it is bad taste to condemn it before it is implemented.

  9. Hi RW,

    My knowledge on wireless and RF techniques might be limited an I may not be an IT or an engineering professional such as you… nevertheless none of the test sites were working while I was there from last Friday to Saturday, the facts would speak to them self for which I do not want start another barrage of argumnets (even if you visit Mahavilachchiya today you could see it for your self, I’ve been told the reception is poor and some time there is connectivity for couple minitues only).

    In any case the single Strix systems unit used was more of an indoor class unit,thats as per the data sheet of the unit says…(correct me if i am wrong) By the way I did call wanni in the morning (today) and he did said that none of the remote sites are working, by the way wanni is in badulla my friend and right now not in Mahavilachchiya….

    To make a long story short since you gave an assurance that the project would be concluded by the stipluated dates lets wait till such time since facts would speak for them selfs. My only hope is that be it mesh or point to point, Strix systems or Metrix or Mikrotik the project would be able to deliver the goods as per the stipluated budget (LKR 2.8Million I belive) and the Kids in Mahavilachchiya would be able to enjoy at least some level of seamless connectivity to the Internet and broaden theire knowledge….


  10. Does anyone know anything about unlicensing the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands in Sri Lanka?

    Sometimes back, I heard it was done and now they charge only a nominal fee of Rs.100 per Access point. Am I correct? If so what is this big problem about implementing a wireless network?

  11. magechinthana,

    you are correct mate last i heard from TRC is that 2.4Ghz ISM band was to be deregularized at a nominal cost of 100bucks per AP as per the TRC act it canot be made zero value.. but I am yet to find out any infor as to wether the necessary changes to the acts has been done…. but if that process has already I fail to understand the rationale behind some of the arguments raised above by the author RW…

    5.1Ghz ISM band yet to be touched by the regulator but i’ve seen some sort of proposal callout by TRC for 5Ghz band usage related stuff on last weeks DailyNews

    Folks you would be interested in looking at the following URL as to how innovative people have been in useing wirless mesh networking cocepts in this part of the world; please refer :


    sadly most of the IT shops in Sri lanka tends to lock horns on propriory vendor solutions (this I guess is common not only in IT but i guess in most of the other aspects as well in our society) without going that extra mile to be CREATIVE….

  12. Dear RW,

    You give a long reply to the issues Revantha raised, but carefully avoid answering some of the very important technical questions he asks. Let me ask them again.

    1. You say: [quote] This project is not dragging; on the contrary it is due for completion in the end of July as originally scheduled. The only unexpected bottleneck faced was in acquiring the TRC licenses for the equipment.[unquote]

    Why do you say this bottleneck was unexpected? Of course, if you have visited the SLTRC web site you should have known that the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands are not free/deregulated in Sri Lanka. (though they may be free in Dharamsala) Didn’t you know this, when you started the project?

    Further, we still don’t know whether these bands will be deregulated or not. That is up to SLTRC. So how can you give a guarantee that this project will be complete by end of July?

    2. Renantha says: [quote] The main wireless access point/bridge used is from Strix Systems (www.strixsystems.com) is more geared towards providing wifi access in indoors and not in an outdoor situation.[unquote]

    I do not think you have addressed this issue fully. Why do you want to use a system more geared towards providing indoor wifi access in an outdoor LAN? Why not use an outdoor unit (with the proper antenna)? This wont be a problem if SLTRC deregulates the bands. What matters is not the power of the antennas but the bandwidth.

    So why do you think an omni directional indoor unit is better than a multi directional outdoor unit in a multi point out door network?

  13. Dear Revantha,

    In one of your posts you say: [quote] I’ve been in the field long enough to see successful wifi implementation carried out by an innovative group of handful local ISP’s using variety of low cost solutions. [unquote]

    Can you please give us some examples where such projects have been carried out. I ask only about outdoor wireless LANs. Not Indoor. If SLTRC has not deregulated the 2.4 and 5 GHz bandwidths how can anyone implement such LANs? How can they bring the equipment to SL?

    Can you please elaborate?

  14. Well “Sat on a wall” I do not want to start a name game… as per my knowledge there are 2 ISP (probably more)in Colombo who are using Wireless technologies to deliver internet and other data services to a varied set of clients, using equipment from Aironet/Cisco to Mikrotik and what not…

    let me take you a brief historical journey as to why the TRC is facing issues of de-regularizing the ISM 2.4Ghz band.. long before the ISM band came in limelight TRC allocated the 2.4Ghz band (more or less allocated it over) to couple of local ISP’s, this was during the era of I would say 1990’s and charged them a fee for using the frequency, so if now all of a sudden TRC goes on and make the frequency free for all they would be entangled on a legal issue with the ISP’s who have been paying for the frequency all this while….plus due to the inherent limitations of the 2.4Ghz ISM band if the band is made free for all (for outdoor I mean) the ISP’s using the band at the moment might encounter service quality issues as well. SO looking at these issues it’s a long journey ahead to get things sorted out…

    I am not aware of the 5Ghz band usage locally but you never know it may be used in the tiger territory…

  15. Revantha,

    I have read about the Mesh network at http://summit.airjaldi.com/home/dharamsala-wireless-mesh-network/

    Yes, this is a very good example and I am sure we in Sri Lanka can learn a lot from this example. However, don’t you think everything in Dharamsala had been made possible because outdorr WiFi has been deregulated last year.
    Do you think the same will be possible here, if the TRC deregulates outdorr WiFi? Any idea when that will be done?

    This is what they say about the devices they use.

    The AJMR is built around a SBCs (Single Board Computers) which we extract from low-cost popular WiFi devices such as Linksys’s WRT54G.

    While most of the SBCs we use, utilizes a 200mhz MIPS CPU with 4Mb of Flash memory and 16Mb of RAM, we also use much lower-scale units and recently also more powerful units. We find the Netgear WGT634U, to be most suitable for our application and we are happy to see a constant decrease in it’s price. This small SBC draws less power then its bulkier cousins, features a MiniPCI slot for radio card, hosting a great Atheros b/g radio, double the flash and ram of the WRT54G and maybe the greatest feature of all is a USB2.0 port.

    Does this mean they manufacturte their own devices (at least partially)? Can we do that here? If so that will definitely reduce the cost of the equipment. Any thoughts?

  16. Hi Magechintha,

    thanks you sir for your kind words I will come back to you shortly on the issues you raised. Just want to put this idea across isnt it high time that we put together a wireless user group like the once which exist in other countries…(will give you example soon)

    Forum members over to you wouldnt it be a good idea…appreciate your input…


  17. Dear RW from ETPL,

    I am waiting for your replies to my two questions.

  18. Can someone tell me more about this WIFI project at Maha-somewhere? Sorry I cannot access the Daily Mirror site.

  19. Catalyst 4948,

    You could find more infor on http://www.apdip.net/projects/ictrnd/2004/L43-lk/

    also have a look on http://www.horizonlanka.org


  20. Catalyst,

    In addition to what Revantha says, this is what you find in ICTA site.

    ICTA looks at Innovative Communication Solutions for Rural Sri Lanka
    Mahavilachchiya Mesh Networking Pilot Project

    25th April 2006

    A student in the rural areas of Sri Lanka has to pay an average of Rs. 150 for 30 minutes as internet surfing charges mainly because service is scarce in these areas. This amount does not include transportation costs and the time spent to reach the internet café. The demand for knowledge of IT has increased in Sri Lanka but not at the pace of other developing countries mainly due to barriers such as the high cost of hardware equipment and system software, high Internet surfing charges (to be paid to the ISP separately), telecommunication charges (to be paid to the telecom service provider), cost of electricity and value added taxes (VAT) applicable to the above services. These reasons prevent rural children from advancing and reaping the benefits of IT.

    The Horizon Lanka Institute is a non profit organization situated in Mahavilachchiya that provides education including English, Science, Mathematics, Computer Science and Graphics to about 200 village kids. This school is exceptional because they have been able to receive aid from foreign donors to provide children with computers to their homes. The children have a zeal to learn about computers and have developed websites after studying graphics and web design. Currently about 50 households have computers but they do not have internet access nor are they connected in a network.

    In February 2005, ICTA partnering with Enterprise Technology (Pvt) Ltd, was awarded a grant by the Pan Asia ICT R&D grants program to set up a pilot mesh network in Mahavilachchiya. Mesh networking is a new innovative solution that can provide a low cost communication network to villages in rural areas that are hardest to reach. This pilot project aims at providing high-speed internet access to 30 households and to identify the key success factors for sustainable services. New Orleans recently built a free citywide network using mesh technology after identifying that it could have facilitated in the Katrina hurricane relief.

    Mesh networking comprises of a series of smart digital routers (Meshboxes) designed to carry high performance wireless internet over a wide area. Mesh networking is unique because instead of having a central server which determines how data is passed between computers, the mesh creates a network of equals, so individual computers find the best way to communicate with each other. All the computers are connected together to form a resilient network in such a way that the more devices there are on a network, the more routes there are through it. It can grow organically and will automatically organize itself. The ad hoc nature of the mesh makes it easy to start small and expand where necessary, without the complex reprogramming involved with adding to a traditional, top-down network. If one node were to fail, the network will automatically redirect data through an alternative route.

    Despite the fact that his project would cater to the requirements of a very rural community, it is now facing restrictive frequency licensing fees imposed by the Government telecommunication regulations. The jungle terrain of Mahavilachchiya has prevented optimum coverage and necessitated an increase in the number of nodes to be used (preliminary testing was carried out using two nodes); consequently, the frequency charges have gone beyond the budget availability of the project. Currently discussions are underway to reduce the license fees drastically so that the funding for this project will be sufficient to provide connectivity to all 30 homes.

  21. Hi Magechinthana,

    Apologies for the late reply, late me address your concerns;
    Please refer to the following web sites to get an overview of the SBC devices which are more geared towards setting up low cost but highly reliable wireless infastrcutures


    I know for a fact that Mikrotik devices are used heavily by LankaCom to deploy there wireless services to the clients, metrix is yet to be heard and used in Sri Lanka but Mikrotik has a big time presence with the ISP LankaCom.

    Sadly none of the above devices are reachable to us cos the mighty TRC may block us from getting the units, thats a sad story but we are actually beeing deprived of useing an innovative low cost solutions to achive many a things in the case of Mahavillachiya there are plenty of low cost viable solutions available but sadly none are explored.

    Please checkout the sites for wireless antennas and other gadgets.


    Also Linksys WRT54G comes with a Linux kernel which could be fine tuned and custermized as well. I will shortly share with you couple of publications on low cost viable wireless technologies accessible to developing countries.


  22. Hi “Sat on a wall”,

    I dont think RW will come back with answers, not too sure what the rationale for her to matain the silence..

  23. Has this site now become the place for people to settle their personal grudges with others?

    In one thread we hear about the Catholic mafia and the grandmother of Prof. Samaranayake and in another thread this guy Revantha uses the free web space to tarnish the image of a competitor.

    Given that he himself is a network engineer, how ethical for Revantha to talk about the failures of the projects implemented by the competitors? Should he abuse this free web space for that purpose like this?

    If he is so passionate about ICT for development activities, isn’t it better for him to get involved in such projects himself than criticising what others do? Will Revantha like if one of his own competitors use this space to critisise his activities? If Revantha is not the person who finances this project why is he so concerned?

  24. Dear Muditha,

    I have no grudges against ETPL or ICTA please don’t get my professional affiliation into this context. I am merely highlighting the actual facts, which I believe the members of the forum would understand…

    I am open for criticism always and I have no hidden agenda’s it seems Muditha that you are representing a particular party since your comments are biased by nature.
    I have no affiliations to Horizon Lanka (though i have been assisting them in my own small ways by donating used computers and ICT related publications) and i have no affiliations to UNDP right now.

    Muditha I am not financing this project that’s true but I have all the right to highlight what’s happening and what’s not happenings on a process which I have a interested in, and I believe I own that right and you have no right to contradict it. Your representation in this forum highlight quite clearly about your professionalism in addressing an issue of this nature

    In a Nut Shell Muditha you are still too SMALL and amateurish my friend in addressing the deep impacts of this project.. this dialogue goes beyond your thinking patterns which are limited, may I say that you wait for couple years and have your eyes wide open to the happenings of the world and spend more time in reading more material on different aspects of ICT and it’s development related publications… just a piece of advice my friend…take it or leave it no issue (checkout http://www.ieee.org there are some fantastic articles, checkout http://www.cuwireless.net for wireless community network implementation you would be amazed )

    Also Muditha if I am abusing this free space the admin of the forum would have shut me down long time ago. just need to wind of by elaborating the fact that I have no grudges against ETPL (inclusive of RW) or the ICTA…I have been in touch with RW from last year (on occasionally though) and have proposed that atleast they (she) get in touch with the Network research group of the Waikato university in New Zealand (http://www.crc.net.nz/ ) in exchanging information and best practices related to similar rural wireless networking projects of this nature. But sadly none had been heeded to so far. Now please don’t lambaste me saying I have an affiliation to University of Waikato in NZ !!!!

    I need the members in this forums to see the actual picture and by enlarge at least make a long lasting effort for the said project to be successfully implemented with the proper proven viable technology(s)… and bring about a benefits to the communities concern and aim for replicating a similar model in other rural areas of Sri Lanka…. That’s all my friend my agenda is Simple “Connectivity to everybody, use the proper technology viable to our country and give more power to the local tech thinkers and innovators to go that extra mile to be innovative” that’s all…

    I am no RF expert and no Network Expert so Over to you…


  25. Sorrey folks the above Muditha should be Muchalinda apologies for the typo…

  26. I agree with Muchalinda. This site should not be one where competitors bad mouth each other but one where people could voice suggestions and say something that will benefit the IT industry in Sri Lanka. It seems like Revantha really has no job but to reply to people…

    This is the last time I will voice my opinion, but I check this blog on and off to see if people have any quality words to share. I was disappointed to see Revantha completely criticise a project that he has no involvement in just because he is a competitor. Settle your personal grudges seperately and spare us the pain of reading it especially if you do not have your facts straight.

    So please, for the sake of others, make true statements that will raise discussion to help us develop and get ahead in IT.

  27. Hi “Sat on a Wall”

    The article you shared above speaks volumes about the wireless mesh networking and it’s benefits that would bring about to the communities and all the other good things..but sadly the author(s) fail to address the economical viability and the sustainability of the technology in a local context (it may be fine in the US of A ) in a nutshell I would like to post the following question to RW and the others :

    1.Mesh box if implemented who is going to maintain ?? what resources do you need for it’s sustainability and do you think it would be viable for each house in Mahavilachchiya to maintain a mesh box just facilitate the mesh networking infrastructure

    2. who is going to pay for the electricity for the mesh box (even if the consumption is ultar low)

    3.what are we trying achieve with a mesh box if there is only one internet link coming to the village as oppose to multiple redundant links terminating at key locations. Since the original agenda was to provide internet access to the kids around the area from the 128k single internet link terminating at the horizon lanka foundation complex

    4.what costs are we talking about in terms of the mesh box implementation and what technologies are we looking into (open source or otherwise)

    The Mahavilachchiya project was inaugurated or at least the funds were approved to the ICTA as far back in 2004/Dec (http://www.apdip.net/projects/ictrnd/2004/L43-lk/) what are the deliverables so far ??? other than mounting omini-directional antenna on an existing tower which hardly relays a useful signal for less than 100m (may be 70m,) and setting up non functioning two point to point links as oppose to much talked about mesh topology links…

    I am no scientist but it is my thinking that if I am running a test site I should include to the test site at least partially the actuals of the live or the intended configuration… but in context of the ongoing dialogue the implementor talks about wireless mesh networking but have tested point-to-point links is this the reality ??? isn’t the mesh box missing ??? or did the TRC said no to use the mesh box ??? WHERE IS THE MESH BOX ????

  28. Nimal,

    I am not a competior as you class me Just becuase I mentioned a name of an ISP in the local context dont jump into conclusions… as for the rest you said I leave for the forum members to judge…


  29. I think this guy Revantha works with Donald Gaminitilaka. Both have very similar characteristics. Both have nothing else to do at their offices so go on critisising others without doing anything worthwhile themselves. Both are not happy with ICTA. Apparently both of them have so much time to kill posting here.

  30. My Dear Friend Muchalinda,

    I do not have any relationship with Mr.Donald Gaminitilaka, but i believe he is presence is very widely felt in an another forum of this site… anyways since you mention about the ICTA and I am being venomous towards the ICTA; I would like to kindly remind you to look at the crust of the issue which is highlighted above posts..

    I respect for what ICTA is trying to achieve and I criticize when they fail to look at the big picture so in that essence i have no hidden agenda’s in tarnishing the image of the ICTA nor of it’s representatives… you are petty minded you are locked in your own little world my friend wake up don’t wash other dirty linen.. see for your self what’s happening and then speak out….


  31. Revantha, I personally would appreciate if you could not take up space in the blog criticizing what people before you have written. I notice a common trend in your writing, you crush a thought and then attack that person if you do not agree. Recognise that everyone has a right to a different view and your view is not always the right one.
    Let’s all try to get along instead of “judging” and write more about wifi technology and how it can impact Sri Lanka.

  32. While we are at the topic of Mahawilachchiya let me add what I have heard. (Please correct me, if I am wrong.)

    After the GKP Forum, there was a plan to take some of the international delegates to Mahawilachchiya village to show the good work that had been done there. In fact, this was initially organized by Grandfather Sam’s own people.

    At the last moment Grandfather Sam vetoed this visit ostensibly because of the security.

    Security in Mahawilachchiya? I think Colombo is much more dangerous. GKP Forum was held at Hilton, just less than one kilometer from a location a bomb blast took place few weeks back.

    It is not difficult to guess why Grandfather Sam stopped the international delegates visiting Mahawilachchiya. It was an achievement of another bright young man. And to Grandfather Sam young and bright professionals are like chili power in his eyes. How can he let international delegates see a project where he has no had, and a project which he himself has criticized so much just few months back?

    I know even by writing this I may put NW in further trouble, but we do need to bring these issues to the public domain.

    I think it is great that we have this forum. Now we have an opportunity to discuss issues like this which perhaps five years ago, Grandfather Sam would have conveniently swept under the carpet.

  33. Doc Livingston,
    As for the GKP forum and the aftermath I too heard that the delegates were to visit the Mahawilachchiya to see the functions carried out by Horizon Lanka and the impact on the community at large, but I guess the visit did not go through, not too sure what the rationale was to cancel the visit last moment but guess a security issue was highlighted…

    But folks as correctly pointed out by Dr. Livingstone Mahawilachchiya could be termed more safer than Colombo I never encountered any issues while visiting and spending the night over By the way there are already two female volunteers from UK who are loved by the kids and are tasked with teaching english to the kids…

    I would like to invite armchair critics to visit Mahawilachchiya and see the true facts…

  34. Mahavilachchiya was found by a Daily Mirror feature journerlist Mr Gamini Akmeemana
    His article was published in IPS services. I picked up this news from Lacnet news letter when I was in Japan.

    I am not blowing my own horn My wife and I gave them the initial hand , guide them the proper way, went to Mahavilachiciya during the war time (even before the CFA) nothing happened. It is safer than Colombo.

    Now that small project had grown bigger and both of us look at it from a distance.

    Next is my Sinhala project http://www.akuru.org this is for the every person who use the language Sinhala. Implementing my system I can create thousands of Mahavilachchiya’s in Sri Lanka.

    I am guiding another one at Higurukaduwa. It is also at very initial stages. your help is welcome

    If you guys really want to help, Please help the following person too

    Mr Anada Weeerasena of Malabe Boys Modle School, Malabe
    Email me if you need Mr Ananda’s phone number

    Revantha if you have some resourses help Malabe.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  35. Hi Donald,

    Would glad to be of any help, let me know how i could proceed..


  36. Dr. Livingstone,

    Cancelling the GKP event was a very minute incident compared to what Prof Sam did to destroy Mahavilachchiya project in 2003. He got his buddies in CSSL to crush the future of the young men and women in that village by stopping all the funding opportunties using his evil plans. There are recorded voice cuts where Ugly, Bad Sam conspired aginst those in the jungle. No sooner than later Sam and his buddies will make Mahavilachchiya at the targt of mud slinging again. After being the President, Sam prevented even ICTA helping Mahavilachchiya many times but ICTA did its best to help the project in its capacity.

    I too feel very sorry for those young people there and they will be dead silent to all these misdeeds as they are sacred to talk due to the pressure put by Sam and his buddies.

    Prof Sam threatned all the journalists who wrote about MV project and even tried to cancel a TV program on MV sometime back. Sam comes and talks on TV about the importance of taking IT to the villages but when those kids are doing it in the jungles Prof Sam did his best to prevent them achieving success. If we didnt have a Sam in SL, MV would have become another Microsoft or Google by now. Unfortunately those people there are so fed up and the project is in great danger now.

  37. Dr. Livingstone / EyesWideOpen,

    I totally agree with you.

    As Dr. Livingstone correctly puts it, Mahawilachchiya Horizon Lanka project has always been like chilli powder in the eyes of Grandpa Sam. Sam did everything possible to destroy it from its very inception.

    I too have heard that Grandpa Sam had warned journalists not to write anything about this project saying Nanadasiri Wanninayake is a crook. Fortunately there were some journalists Grandpa Sam could not buy.

    On the positive side, the extraordinary success of the project too was also due to the commitment of some other officers of ICTA.

    Without any doubt, Manju Hattotuwa takes the lion’s share of the credit for helping the little kids in Mahawilachchiya and making this e-village what it is today. Actually Manju had gone out of the way to help this project. Since there was no funding he diverted funds from some other project. I am sure he made the right decision. I am also sure Manju today feel extremely proud of that decision.

    It was Manju who gave Oxygen to this project; when Grandpa Sam was trying his best to strangle it and kill it prematurely.

    Also Wanninayake and his little heroes, Isuru, Ruvini, Radhika, Majith and all were too smart for Grandpa Sam. They silently but bravely faced all barriers put in their way by the vicious old man.

    Had you been at Hilton, the day these little heroes did their presentation at CSSL, when both the sound system and multimedia projector failed to work for some unknown reason, it would have brought tears to your eyes. It was on that day I realized Grandpa Sam could never stop these courageous little kids.

    So finally Grandpa Sam had no option than admitting defeat. Now he is trying to kiss the hand that he could not cut.

    Wanninayake, take my advice. In future you have to be very careful about this old ugly man full of jealousy. Be extremely careful. Here is a man full of venom ever ready to bite you.

    To give credit where it is due, within ICTA so many others have worked towards making this project a success. Chitrangani and Maithri have definitely done a lot and I have heard Radley and Reshan too are now playing important roles in the mesh networking part. Sorry if I have missed anyone. I know there are many dedicated and hardworking officers at ICTA.

    Recently a two storied Computer lab was opened at Mahawilachchiya and you can see some pictures taken at http://www.horizonlanka.com/news/opening_ceremony/speeches.htm

    You will immediately observe the genuine smile in the face of Manju. He has every reason to be proud of the great work he has done by giving a helping hand to this project.

    On the other hand, Grandpa Sam, conscious of the dirty work he did in the beginning, did not have guts to visit Mahawilachchiya. He had to send his so-called ‘congratulatory message’ through another officer!

    I am sure the small kids in Mahawilachchiya will have learnt a lot from this firsthand experience. All the best to you kids. We want you to build the Infosys of Sri Lanka one day!

    Do not let ugly old jealous men ever stop you in your path!

    Manivatte Abhikkamma!

  38. More, more and more

    Dear Thoppi Velenda,

    Not only this. Prof made sure those kids’ presentation (at CSSL 2003) come as the last item of the day so that it could get the least number of listners. Mess up in sounds and projectors was also a part of the drama. It is said that the children (presenters) were even refused the lunch on that day by the organizers at a time they threw out a huge amount of food after lunch!!!!!!!!!! The idea must have been to weaken the kids.

    Prof had also asked the American IT guru who made the keynote speach at the event not to highlight Horizon anywhere else. But he still promotes Horizon all over the world.

    If you go into details, it was during this event that prof maliciously threw out a paper which was submitted by contreversial Donald to do a presentation. So, Donald-VK grudge started here and poor children in Horizon were the casualties as Prof took the revenge from those innocent kids in Mahavilachya.

    Wanni, do not be scared, there are thousands of people who love and respect you and the children. Come here and speack the truth yourself. Keep your head high. Mud slingers cannot harm you. You are not the little guy from the jungle. You are stronger than Tarzan boy.

    As for the Manju’s part, this (Promoting Horizon) could be the only happiness Manju takes back home when he leaves next month. Manju, hats off to you. At least you have one feather in your hat. It’s a pity that the new ‘owners’ of ICTA (Prof Sam n the Clan) will cut off all the help to the jungle.

    Wanni, better get an insurance coverage yourself!!!!!! Prof has Sam Sung (korean) money to hire underworld thugs.

  39. I think dealing with SAMSUNG will make SAM-SUNG!!! (Sam ivarai) :-)

    Sorry Sam, could not help the pun!

  40. More, more and more (from Dharamsala meeting on WiFi)

    Quote””it was during this event that prof maliciously threw out a paper which was submitted by contreversial Donald to do a presentation. So, Donald-VK grudge started here and poor””unquote

    I presented a paper for 22nd National Information Technology Conferance = held 3-4 July 2003 at Colombo Plaza (today – Cinnamon)

    My paper was rejected but Mr Dimuth Abeysuriya invited me to a public lecture at the university.

    I was the first person to tell the public in Sri Lanka that complete Characters has to be used in a computer.

    Now I will quote something

    All quoted by “Proceedings of the 22nd National IT Conferance Colombo Sri Lanka” ISBN 955-9155-11-3

    Topic “The Reality of Digital Government By Prof V K Samaranayake”

    Page 5, section 4.1 Issue

    ….. Need to use National Languages…
    ….. Need for Litracy aand languages Skills

    Page 7 Section 4.2

    – Use of Local languages
    …… Although UNICODE standards have been available for both languages since 1998, there are many more problems to be solved

    This remark by professor himself proves that sinhala unicode is incorrect and incomplete.

    I will copy the same text into the myths too

    Donald Gaminitillake

  41. Donald and others, please keep discussion on Sinhala unicodes, fonts, etc in the one thread where it is being discussed. Kindly do not proliferate same topic in different threads. Thanks for your cooperation.


  42. All,

    Do not make CSSL the scapegoat for what Prof Sam did. Only less than 10 ppl approved prof’s dirty deeds. Rest of the CSSL crowd still supports the kids from Mahavilacciya. Those days prof was too powerful in CSSL and we couldn’t raise our voice. Children, we are with you. Let’s hope MESH works well with you guys.

  43. Quote
    prof was too powerful in CSSL and we couldn’t raise our voice.

    This proves that you guys are lacking a back bone.

    In a democratic country 90% is scared of the DIno
    Unable to voice and tell the truth for the betterment of the country
    This shows the lack of resposibility.

    Most beauty of it is you publish to the world your own ingenuity without any shame.

    Out of your group I respect Dimuth.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  44. Hoping to bring the discussion back to wireless networking, I would encourage the participants to look at the recently posted research paper on WiFi in Indonesia: http://www.lirneasia.net/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/Indonesian Wi-Fi Study 1.2.pdf

    Another related article is at http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/02/wireless-and-development/

    The basic argument here is that wireless cannot be dropped in without the policy and regulatory prenditions being satisfied.

    In summary, if the policymakers and regulators can
    1. Create the conditions for build out of backbone networks so that reasonably priced leased lines are available throughout the country, and
    2. Enable users and ISPs to build their own access networks using WiFi,

    the problems of Mahavilachchiya will be solved.

  45. Continuing back on the wireless situ at Mahavilachchiya, like I outline on one of my earlier post, TRC has allocated the 2.4Ghz ISM band to couple of ISP and a cable TV operator in the country (please correct me if I am wrong), this was long before the ISM terminology was adopted and the frequency allocation was done by the respective standards institutes. I do not fault TRC for doing this at that point of time cos there was a request and they simple heeded for that without anticipating the future events that would take place in the wireless spectrum.. any way now that’s history….

    So now I believe it’s an uphill battle for the TRC to free the 2.4Ghz ISM for the general public after all the said companies had been paying for it all this while and their services could affected…. I would say it would be a multi dimensional approach together with the necessary government support the TRC must muster in order to find a long lasting solution for this issue . I am not too sure what the thinking pattern of the TRC in this matter but perhaps Prof.Samarjeewa could enlighten us as to what avenues the TRC is looking in the resolving this ISM band issue, cos I’ve heard that TRC was looking to free up the 2.4Ghz ISM band for a once off cost (said to be a very nominal fee).. any ways if Prof.Samarajeewa could provide his arguments on this it would be appreciated…

    Well coming back to MV… and the masterpiece : Wireless Mesh Networking Project it is quite evident that ICTA and the project implementor put forward the project proposal and got cracking on the project without knowing the rules of the game by enlarge the TRC’s goldern act. Any way since the project has been initiated (though progress has been limited in providing a tangible benefit to the community at large). Let me put it in a simplified manner oh how if the project could be got off the ground had the necessary think tanks being a bit innovative..

    So let me start : the 2.4 GHz ISM band at this point of time is the baby of couples of selected ISP plus a cable TV operator… their service lines are more or less in and around Colombo and greater Colombo areas mostly but hardly the respective major service lines touch base at MV except the case of one ISP.. So for example if a techy in MV wants to setup a wireless access network between the Horizon Lanka foundation and his home, he could contact the one of the ISP’s (who have access right to the frequency) and get the job done.. the infrastructure is owned by the ISP, the techy probably pay an agreed monthly payment for the service.. TRC cannot find any fault cos the installation as done by an ISP who has a legitimate right of using the frequency band..is’nt it quite simple… I am no expert on the TRC act and the legal frame work which surrounds it but please let me know if my argument is wrong or it needs any tinkering..

    I am not too sure in the case of the MV Wireless mesh Networking Projects if the above model was given any thought.. it is quite evident that the chosen systems integrator was trying to have the cake all by his self (or should I say herself ) without actually looking at the bigger picture.. If you don’t own the damn frequency you cant do the darn job and you cant put the icing on the Air.. no amount of pestering the TRC will get the job done…so why not work with an entity who already have access to the frequency and get the job completed… unless you have any other hidden agendas…:0 and probably agreeing on the modalities of the sustainability of the project and building the capacity at MV to maintain the project and hand them over the total ownership of the project say after 1 year down the line….( if this path had been already looked at, please elaborate)

    As for Horizon lanka paying for the frequency that’s a Joke my friends. These guys are running on donor money and in dire straits of getting the required funding for carrying of the much needed educational programs for the kids…hence I am sure that the donors too would not like the money spending on a frequency allocation for which they have no interest on.

    Also the project was a brain child of the ICTA and ICTA should be paying for the frequency charge if that’s the way forward .. not Horizon lanka ( I am not a spoke person for Horizon Lanka but simply airing my thoughts…), even the bus which was operating between Anuradhapura and MV to get kids ( 50 odd) from the Anu’pura was stopped too, cos the budgetary allocation was not enough to continue the transport services……

    So Horizon paying for the frequency … Are we looking at the Correct Picture if at all if the project gets off the ground (for which I have my doubts)…. Over to you folks.


  46. Can anyone update me on the progress of this Mesh networking project?

    Has it moved forward after the discussion here or still at the same point?

  47. Last I heard was that it would be completed by August/2006, perhaps RW could provide us with an update.

  48. It is pathetic how some people in Colombo take the poor village kids for a ride.

    The information of this project is available at http://www.apdip.net/projects/ictrnd/2004/L43-lk

    It says the following,

    Community Mesh Network for Mahavilachchiya, Sri LankaDocument Actions Grant awarded in November 2004 to Information and Communication Technology Agency, Sri Lanka to develop a low-cost wireless broadband architecture for providing high-speed Internet access services in Mahavilachchiya.

    Project Title:
    Community Mesh Network for Mahavilachchiya, Sri Lanka

    Recipient Institution:
    Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka

    Project Leader:
    Manju Haththotuwa, CEO/Managing Director

    Amount and Duration: US$ 27,656 / 18 months

    Commencement Date:
    December 2004

    Abstract of Project

    Internet access is largely perceived as a way to reduce isolation, provide educational and economic opportunities, and ultimately improve the quality of life. Unfortunately, high capital and operating costs have limited rural access to a handful of heavily subsidized and supported demonstration projects in Sri Lanka. An innovative integrated strategy, based on existing technology and rural social structures, could address a variety of barriers and ultimately help get large numbers of villagers on the Internet.

    Mahavilachchiya is a part of the rural sector of Sri Lanka that still remains largely unconnected to the Web. Even though there is a high density of computers in the village, they do not have internet access nor are they connected to each other.

    However according to Revantha, this project had hardly commenced. Almost nothing had been done since Dec 2004. That was nearly one and half years ago.

    The company that has undertaken the implementation of this project is ETPL and as far as I know they have also bid for the implementation of LGN project that involves setting up an island wide computer network connection the DS offices.

    My question is how can a company which is not even capable of implementing a simple mesh network implement and maintain an island wide WAN?

    ICTA should consider this fact before awarding the tender for LGN.

  49. Continueing in the same lines on what Plum Pudding elaborated Quote “Mahavilachchiya is a part of the rural sector of Sri Lanka that still remains largely unconnected to the Web. Even though there is a high density of computers in the village, they do not have internet access nor are they connected to each other.” Unquote

    You hardly get a decent mobile signal in MV, teleco providers in Colombo go very hyper on CDMA but you hardly get a decent CDMA coverage in MV. The 2 or 3 CDMA connections I saw were useing external antennas (The likes we use for TV reception) to get across the CDMA connectivity but there is congesstion when ever you try to ring up an outbound number.

    While I was at the Horoizon lanka Foundation I saw villagers carrying across mobile handset and comeing near to the LankaCOm’s 120feet high tower errected (for getting across internet connectivity) at the Horizon Foundation which also host a Dialog GSM mini antenna to get a decent signal and make an outbound call, even at 10.30pm this trend continued.

    Well overoll it’s quite sad how most of the service providers tend focus only on Colombo and the surburbs and forget about the rest of the country (specially the rural areas)… perhaps they are interested in covering their short term targets and keeping to the budgeted figures accordingly rather than provideing a service to the country at large…I believe this trend would continue in the Sri Lankan telecom/ISP sector in years to come cos no matter how big investments are made in advaceing the infrastructure for fancy services only affordable to a specific class.. it’s more or less the fancy media coverage the service providers are after…


  50. Quote
    comeing near to the LankaCOm’s 120feet high tower errected

    This tower belongs to Horizon. Horizon had to find the funds for the tower.
    With lots of difficulty Horizon collected funds for this tower.

    If Mobitel or Lanka Bell use this tower facility to give mahavilachchiya area a proper connection it will cover a radius of 30 Km. But because of thick vegitation around this area the coverage may be reduce to 10 -12 Km.

    Lanka Bell why not give it a try. So the people will be “kurukuruless”

    Donald Gaminitillake

  51. This is a very interesting discussion. I have involved with Horizon Lanka for more than 3 years and I know Wanni very well too. Btw, I am a IT professional having over 10 years of experience in US and also the founder of a similar project called Lak Daruwo in Sri Lanka. So I believe that I qualify to comment about this project.

    I always visit Horizon Lanka in Mahavillachchiya when I go to Sri Lanka. When Wanni told me about this Mesh project I was very interested and was asking the status of it time to time. This time, when I visited Sri Lanka in May 2006 I went to Horizon Lanka and wanted to see the progress of the mesh network too. My impression of the work completed on this project is quit unsatisfactory. I couldn’t stay there to find out all the details. Also it may be true that there are issues with TRC getting permission to use the equipment. However, I feel that ICTA could have used better products to implement this project. Instead of Strix equipment, they could have used Cisco outdoor access points made for Mesh networking like Aironet 1500 series AP’s. Although these may be more expensive, they provide a better value for the money spend. I also notice that wireless coverage of the access point installed in the building was quit limited. I tried to connect to it using my notebook computer and found that the signal quality to be very low.

    I am not going to critise without knowing all the facts behind the implementations decisions. However, this project has been given too much publicity and has been decorated too much in the public eye. Work that has been done does not match the hype it has generated. So I was dissapointed after seeing the implementation. I have already told this to Wanni.

    Anyway, I am not a fan of ICTA in Sri Lanka. The money they have spend does not justify the work they have done to improve ICT in Sri Lanka. It seems that I am not the only one with that impression after talking to some high ranking officials.

    I am not sure that they will be able to finish the mesh network project by July. That is my opinion after seeing the progress of it in May. However, I want this prject to be a successful one. After all, it is important to our country to see success in this type of project. I hope that the implementors has the same passion as we do to do things right.

  52. In fairness to ICTA, it must be judged by the appropriate criteria.

    A few months ago, ICTA was attacked for mistakes in the content of the Parliamentary website. If ICTA is to be held responsible for the detailed implementation of every project that it funds, it would have to have 800 employees like the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. That is obviously not the case.

    ICTA manages projects done by others, and for the most part simply gives out money from funds that it manages (e.g., E Society Fund). It can and should be blamed if it releases payments to badly designed or managed projects; but not for the everyday implementation of the projects.

    Those who criticize the ICT Agency should do so using appropriate criteria and in a constructive manner. No useful purpose will be served by converting ICTA into another CINTEC. Some of us remember how dysfunctional that entity was.

    The comments of “high-ranking officials” do not constitute the best evidence on the efficacy of ICTA. I would need to know what achievements these high-ranking officials have to their credit.

  53. At a broader level, I think the issue is that no proper independent evaluations are conducted on these projects. People can say various things about this or any other project, but without scientific evaluations, how can one say with any degree of confidence if a project is successful or not?

  54. Like to comment on the issue of pilot project evaluations.

    ICTA has already evaluated some of its pilot projects using a local consultancy company and the results are available at http://www.icta.lk/insidepages/downloadDocs/Nenasala/OutcomeEvaluation_of_PilotProjects.pdf

    However, in this case ICTA has been the client and the paymaster, so I do not think anyone, including ICTA, will take the outcome seriously.

    It should be an unbiased evaluation done by an outsider/outsiders. (definitely not a Sri Lankan and preferably not even a South Asian) The issue is who would finance such an evaluation.

    Also a project should also be evaluated against the measurable results stated in the proposals. For example, there is no meaning saying a project is unsuccessful because it did not reduce the poverty level by x%, unless poverty reduction but that percent is stated as an expected outcome. The projects should also be evaluated against the amount of money spent on each. Spending US$ 20k and achieving the result A is different from spending US$ 100k and achieving the same result A.

  55. Going on the same lines as “Tuk Tuk Driver” and “Harsha”, I believe ICTA should take projects which involved high degree of technical know-how seriously and get couple of independent technical evaluations done before going ahead on the final decision making and the selection process.

    For example if you take on the MV wireless mesh networking project, as I outline in one of my earlier post, the wireless mesh networking concepts would not be able to be applied in it’s original format to the case of MV, but it would be more of customized solution with the appropriate proven technology used. The wireless market segment is complicated with offering from vendors the likes of Cisco’s and the Aruba’s and the 3Com’s and the Alvarion’s and so on in providing enterprise class services to the likes of Mikrotik and Metrix who ;look more on a community level wireless deployments…

    I believe it is upto the wisdom ,the creativity and the experience of the solution provider to come up with a best fit solution while taking into consideration the financials, sustainability of the solution, impact on the community, environmental barriers which exist at the a given location..

    What I see in ICT solution business industry in the local context is that most of the so called industry leaders are yet to get out onto the field with a with an enthusiasm to deploy the best fit technologies for a scenario, rather they tend to tag along with a preferred set of vendors/suppliers who they think is the best….But we need to look around talk to people who have done similar projects and share best practices among each other in successfully implementing projects which have a deep impact in a community , But I doubt if this process is given any thought


  56. Dear Prof. Samarajeewa,

    You say:


    It (ICTA) can and should be blamed if it releases payments to badly designed or managed projects; but not for the everyday implementation of the projects.


    Very true. However, what actually happens is usually ICTA tries to take credits more than its deserved share. So even when there is a problem with implementation, people naturally tend to point a finger at ICTA.

    If you can remember the inauguration of the parliamentary web site, you might remember it was publicity crazy ICTA chairman who tried to pop in his rectangular face to every TV channel, as if he himself is the only one who worked in the project.

    In fact, ICTA had only disbursed money for the project. That was not even its own money, but WB money. So ICTA should have taken a back seat and let the people who actually did the work to take the credit.

    Instead, ICTA Chairman decided to earn some extra marks from his political masters so media and public got the wrong message. So when things went wrong media/public naturally put the blame on ICTA.

    The bottom line as long as ICTA tries to earn more credits than it deserves, it will have to share part of the blame too, as and when it comes. One cannot say yes to extra credit and no to extra blame.

  57. There is no point criticizing anything. However, we should point out the failures and find alternative approaches to make things work. Bottom line is that, ICT is very important to Sri Lanka. We have a talent pool in the rural areas which needs to be educated, polished properly to make them a productive workforce the improve the ICT productivity in Sri Lanka. India and China is doing that. Those countries has taken initiatives to introduce national level policies to improve ICT infrastructures, education etc to prepare those countries to take the advantage of the changing world economy. We must also work to position our country to do that. That is what I see the role of ICTA. Not to go after small projects and evaluating the success of it or creating web sites. It should also work with the government to lay the foundation necessary to bring growth to ICT in Sri Lanka. Today we don’t even have a proper ICT infrastructure in the country. We have no solid information highway. We still fight over frequencies. Those are important matters to our country. Until we lay out a solid foundation to solve issues with our infrastructure and education, Sri Lanka will not be able to take advantage of these opportunities. That is something I personally try to push for with the government because it is important.

    I haven’t evaluated everything ICT does. But I had a opportunity visit one of the ‘Nana Sala’ centers and inquired about there approach. Sorry to say that but its a joke that will not work. There are things that works for Sri Lanka specially in the rural areas. Western policies does not necessary work in our country. Those who does this work, first should understand the country, the people and work with a passion to get things done. The head priest of temple where the ‘Nana Sala’ is opened now wants a Lak Daruwo center be opened in that place because he sees its useless and I am working on getting it done.

    I have a reason to be disspointed by seeing the approach that ICTA has taken. There is a better approach and there are important things that must be done. The goal is to bring value to our economy through ICT. And if that is not done I have every right to be dissapointed because I am a person who is passionate about my country and has done a lot of work for it with my time and energy.

  58. Just want to add to my comment above. http://www.icta.lk web site identify itself “as the single apex body involved in ICT policy and directions for the nation”. This clearly communicate there role. Now I would like to ask them what national level policies and directions they have introduced to steer our nation to establish a better ICT environment in Sri Lanka. Clearly ICTA’s main job is not to manage and fund those small projects done by others, according to its purpose identified in its own web site. But everything what they have done so far indicates that they have forgotten there mission and are doing something else. I would like ICTA to come back to the original mission and to do what it suppose to do. That is my message to the Presidents Office under which ICTA functions, when I met the proper officials while in Sri Lanka. Anyway, this is not the message board to discuss about ICTA. We need to talk about the MV mesh network. I only wanted to talk about ICTA because they are involved in this and that many people have made comments about that too. I am in contact with Wanni who is the founder of Horizon Lanka and I will do my best to do what I can to make the Mesh network thing successful because it is important to that village.

  59. I agree with “Tuk Tuk Driver” when he says “a project should be evaluated against the measurable results stated in the proposal”.

    On the contrary, I am surprised why Nuwan thinks evaluations are not necessary when he says “(ICTA’s job is) not to go after small projects and evaluating the success of it …”. Big or small does not matter; when Government agencies spend tax payer money (or money that will have to be repaid by us and our children) on projects, it is our right to know if it brings the expected benefits. If not, they should not spend that money. Also it must be the agency commissioning the project (in this case ICTA) who should pay for the independent evaluation.

    Of course this is easier said than done. We waste billions of LKR annually on useless projects; be it in health, agriculture or sanitation. I am not saying that all what the ICTA is spending is useless, but, evaluations should be mandatory for every project. We must learn what works and what does not; and thereafter scale up the ones that work. I think that is what Rohan (Samarajiva) is also getting at saying money should not be released if the project is not going anywhere (badly designed and/or managed). We never seem to learn from our mistakes; we go on making the same mistakes over and over again.

    I am not sure if the “mesh project” that some of you are blasting to pieces is a project or a pilot. If it is a pilot, note that it is only a learning exercise and an opportunity to innovate. I think it is not quite fair to pounce on a pilot (if in fact it is one) like this. If we do this, people will be very reluctant to try new things, don’t you agree?

  60. Nuwan,

    Useful to read the Act that created the ICT Agency. It was designed as an implementing entity. The Council and the Taskforce that were to set policy were never established, not under the Wickramasinghe government that obtained the funding for e Sri Lanka and enacted the legislation, not under the CBK government, and not under the MR government.

    You may say that this is not the place to discuss the design of ICTA’s mission and functioning, but in all your comments you bring those issues in. These are important questions that are being ignored as people jockey for power under the normal bureaucratic incentives.

    I would also wholeheartedly agree with Harsha’s comment about using different criteria to judge pilots and projects. ICT is a cross-cutting activity. Doing good ICT implementation requires management of many complex relationships and insulating the project/pilot from the dysfunctional environment within which all government and even private sector activity occurs in Sri Lanka. We have to approach this in a nuanced way. Trashing everything in sight may be fun, but it is rarely productive.

  61. Harsha,


    If it is a pilot, note that it is only a learning exercise and an opportunity to innovate. I think it is not quite fair to pounce on a pilot (if in fact it is one) like this.


    I do not know whether you have understood properly what Revantha said about this project.

    He does not say it has failed. To fail or not, there is NO project. The money is there. The hurdle put down from TRC had been cleared but in spite of all these this project has never get off the ground. So there is nothing to evaluate at all.

    You might have heard the story of the Sri Lankan politician who boasted how a hundred percent of a bridge went to his pocket. (There was no bridge) This is something like that!

  62. Prof. Samarajeewa,

    Can you enlighten us how you measure the success/failure of the projects carried out by LIRNEasia? What are the yardsticks? Are they measured by the impact they make in the regulatory policy process or by the feedback you get from anyone (governments. media, public, donors)?

    I completely understand the nature of the projects you do are very different from what ICTA does. But is there anything that you can contribute which can be useful for ICTA and other government agencies in Sri Lanka) in evaluating their ICT projects?

  63. I am not saying evaluating these pilot projects is something that should not be done. Even horizon lanka itself is a pilot project on educating rural Sri Lanka in ICT. Even Lak Daruwo is something like that. There are success in these and other projects. There are things ICTA/Government can learn from these projects. However, what I am dissapointed about is for all those years, ICTA functioning, they have not formulate any major important policies in the ICT area. These small pilot projects can not change the whole country. Nationa level policies, regulations must be introduced to some major areas to take the country forward in ICT. ICT has been functioning for seveal years. I don’t know how long they are going to be in the evaluation business than getting something important done.

    btw, as I understand, MV mesh project is not a direct ICTA funded project, the project proposal has been written by the CEO of ICTA but the funding is not from World Bank. ICTA has received a very large grant as a loan from world bank. That is what our future generations have to pay. And we all as Sri Lankans, have the right to question whether that money is being spend wisely. Anyway, there will be some changes inside ICTA since I am not the only one who is dissapointed. I hope those changes would trigger a change in direction and put ICTA back in its mission.

  64. BBC article has brief discussion on various wireless standards:

  65. While we are on the trail of ICTA can some one enlighten me on the following : in this little isle of a paradise if you wanna provide outdoor comms links you have to get the permission from the all mighty TRC, even the ham radio guys have to… So in this context has the ICTA considered whether the chosen System integrator (ETPL so i hear) has the necessary licenses to operate and provisioning the MV mesh networking project.

    If the above process has not been given any thought I believe ICTA has not taken this project seriously and has just dished out the project to the chosen system integrator who does not posses any licenses from the TRC what so ever to operate or to provision outdoor communication infrastructures (wireless or otherwise). While ago I checked the TRC web site to find out whether the ICTA appointed system integrator is listed under any of the categories as a license entity to provide comm. infrastructure but did not find the name under any of the listings.


    What really baffles me is that how ICTA operates, these guys just get donor money and spend it out like nobody’s business, ICTA may be good at doing up static web pages for government institutions, but while handling an innovative project like this it has failed Miserably….

    I would like to drop this question to any ICTA representative in this forum (if there is any) :

    1.On what criteria has the system integrator (ETPL) has been selected to carryout the implementation work of this project,

    2.Has the ICTA circulate any invitation of expression regarding this project, so that others could respond.

    3. The Project manager is listed as the CEO of ICTA, could you please explain to the forum of the progress made so far and why you have failed to deliver the goods, after almost 2 years .

    4. What’s the rationale behind awarding the project to a vendor who does not possess a license issued by the TRC to provide outdoor comms infrastructure ?…

    ICTA any body out there….??? We are waiting for answers….

  66. Nuwan,

    just quick follow up on your post above, the MV mesh networking project may be a pilot project on it’s own, but the question is wether any body has evaluated on what technologies to be used, rather than getting loss in an array of offerings from vendors and piloting out their stratergies at the cost of the project. I believe you know the difference between an Indoor wireless Access point and an Outdoor Acess point and the limitation each exhibit, but in the case of the MV mesh project the chosen implementor has not given any due consideration to even the basic parameters of the unit used.

    Also the project proposal was not completely written by the CEO of ICTA though his name appars as the project manager, the project is funded by UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (www.apdip.net). ICTA’s task was to follow up on the project progress and get it implemented within the stipulated budget. But as of today the project deliverables are a big question ???… I was told by RW that the project would be completed between the period of July-August’2006, at the pace i am not too sure wether the said dealine could achived…


  67. I have told this in an earlier post and let me repeat. The two guys Donald and Revantha who basically run two threads here (as if they have nothing else to do at their places) are only critics, not doers. They have never contributed or cannot contribute anything on their own to the local ICT scene, so they go on criticizing the others.

    Come on, guys, what is more difficult is to do something. You will find all the problems when you are into something. It is very east for an arm chair critic to blast a project, but the difficult part is to complete one successfully, not to criticize it.

    I do not say ICTA is hundred percent perfect, but within its limited existence it has done so many things which would have been dreams just sometime back. I also do not say these two projects, the one on Sinhala fonts and the Mesh Networking project are flawless, but we should be happy because something is happening at least.

    Let me tell this both to Donald and Revantha, why do you always try to criticize what others do. Write your own proposals get money and show us what you can do. Do not be jealous about the success of the rest.

    As they say, it was not critics who built the Rome and of course, Rome was not built on one day.

    Give them sometime and I am sure ICTA will have a superb Mesh Network at MV and kids will be all smiles in few months time. Don’t push things unnecessarily. If you do not have any work at your offices, play Solitaire or Minesweeper in your PCs. It will be a more productive usage of your time than writing these posts with negative stuff.

  68. Dear Muchalinda,

    While we argue for a cause which you has no clue of and for which you dont make any effort in doing any root cause analysis.

    You My friend Act more less like a “Stray Dog” popping out in the middle of a discussion and trying to deviate it.. Grow up mate…. there is much to achive if you wake up from your deep slumber…


  69. My dear friend Revantha,

    May we know the so-called cause you are arguing for?

    What we all see is you just fire everywhere without any aim thinking that one of your bullets will hit the target. Aren’t you feeling ashamed to use a public forum to sling mud at one of your key competitors in the networking business? Are you jealous with ETPL because they got one of the key business you have missed? That is not their fault man, the customers go for the best solutions and who will go for DPIT which will be closed in near future.

    It is you who should grow up and start discussing something sensible, instead of blindly criticizing others. Blind criticisms, like the ones you and Donald make will not take you anywhere.

    If you are fighting for a cause, select another village like MV, design a solution, get some grants from somebody and build your own network. Why do you waste time on a site where somebody is already implementing a network. No matter how hard you try and how bad you cry this job will not be given to DPIT.

  70. Muchalinda,

    I would appreciate if you dont get any of our professional affiliation into this context, you participation in this forum amply displays your knowledge in this subject domain, hence I have no comments for any of the issues you have raised. Please dont make this forum to dish out your perosonal vandetta.

    Thanks to this ongoing discussion on the forum the World knows about whats happeining about the said project which if not would have been swept down under…..

    The members of the forum who are a part of discussion would understand the facts raised above,sadly you are a typical small minded person, who has limited thinking patterns my friend.


  71. Dear Muchalinda “”Nagaya””

    If I discribe you in one phrase “YOU KNOW NOTHING”

    I talk of a standard not a set of FONTS — re Sinhala Akuru.

    Came on that thread to talk more

    The problems re MESH has been proved in this blog byond resonable doubt.

    Technically the entire Board of Directors of ICTA will have to resign and pave way for the people who can work.

    There are hundereds of better qulified young people in Sri Lanka than the present group.

    Consultant – IT Bank of Ceylon
    a medical doctor with an MPH from Johns Hopkins, and the son of one of the original founders!!!!!
    Professor of Mathematics.
    Deputy Director General National Planning Department Ministry of Policy Planning and Implementation Colombo, Sri Lanka
    a grandfather over 70 years
    Only person who can do and think differently but beaten up

    But none of them have any knowledge of IT or typography or typology or from the publishing industry or know how to write the sinhala alphabet.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  72. It is a real surprise that some people keep on talking about failures of others while very conveniently not mentioning a single word about the failures of the projects they themselves are involved in.

    David Pieris Information Technologies Ltd. (DPIT) http://www.dpitl.com where Mr. Revantha Udugampola works at present too was given a responsibility of operating the VGK at Matara by the same ICT Agency. This project was one of the most disastrous pilot projects ICTA has ever engaged in.

    It is not me who says so. It is Ernst and Young, the consultancy company employed by ICTA for the evaluation of their pilot projects that gives this verdict. This VGK Matara project by DPIT has been evaluated UNSATISFACTORY for its outcome, and NEGLIGABLE on its impact on the target audience. Anyone who is interested can see the results of this evaluation at http://www.icta.lk/insidepages/downloadDocs/Nenasala/OutcomeEvaluation_of_PilotProjects.pdf

    Further Ernst and Young had said, the project has not been in the operation for the six months prior to the evaluation date and the centre attacks very few people for IT training and Internet related activities. The report also says the centre does not have enough trainers to provide training for the users. I am sure Mr. Revantha Udugampola will tell us why. Can he deny that it was because DPIT was only interested in money?

    This is what Daily Mirror of October 18, 2005 has to say about this project.

    [q] THE MOST STARTLING REVELATION IS THE FAILURE OF THE VGK MATARA WHEN SIMILAR CENTERS AT JAFFNA AND NUWARA ELIYA HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL. The potential for these centers is tremendous as seen in many parts of the world and ICTA needs to focus fully on getting these community and rural centers up and running across the country. In India the government successfully implemented the Community information center (CIC) project in the far-flung Northeast and the people have accepted it despite initial hiccups. [uq]

    Full article is available at http://www.southasianmedia.net/index_opinion.cfm?category=Science&country=SRI LANKA

    I wonder what Mr. Revantha Udugampola would say about the total failure of this project which his own organization handled, and which had failed to bring the expected outcome.

    Isn’t it better for people to look after their own affairs than criticizing the projects others do?

    Hope Mr. Revantha Udugampola of DPIT now learns a lesson not to throw stones at others while living in glass houses.

  73. For those interested in checking out an article published in Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine on the product chosen to be used in the mesh project check out this link:

  74. Muchalinda

    Are you trying to be up close and personal in matters which are of no relevance to this discussion and for which I have not been a part of ??. It seems that you are trying stear this discussion to some other destination, perhaps you could ask the forum admin to start a new thread on Failed ICTA initiated projects, perhaps then realities would surface.

    Please not dont try to give an impression to the audience that this is a dialogue between solution providers in the industry bitching over each other for a project. Dialogues so far has been conduceive and constructive, none of us have taken our professional affiliations into this context but dishing out the facts as opposed to whats said and done, for which I believe the fellow forum members would vouch. I beleive your mentality is the same as most of the commonners in the local ICT arena. You my friend simply argue for an aggrieved party and your Un-Professionalism is abundantly displayed to the WORLD AT LARGE…


  75. My dear friend Revantha,

    In this thread there are so many posts about failed ICT projects and about the evaluation etc.

    So there is nothing wrong discussing about a project that has failed. Unfortunately for you, it has been undertaken by your own organization.

    Do you think criticism is one way process? Those who make criticism should be beardy to reply when someone else questions their activities. Those who throw stones from Glass Houses should be ready to face when someone else throw stones at you. I brought the example of the failed ICT project of DPIT to prove this point.

    Comparing the two projects at least ETPL has done something in MV, but DPIT on the other hand has completely failed.

    It is not my, but your intention to abuse this free space to disrepute one of your key competitors. I have only exposed you.

    Moderators, this should not be the platform for guys like Revantha to take pot shots at their business competitors. It is something very unethical for you to entertain such posts.

  76. Dear participants, let me make it clear once again that this is a BLOG and not a moderated forum. There are no administrators to review individual posts or to edit them. We are here to discuss serious issues that relate to ICT policy and regulation, not just for Sri Lanka but for developing Asia. Please keep the tone civil and focus on the ideas, not the person behind them.



  77. Quote
    This VGK Matara project by DPIT has been evaluated UNSATISFACTORY for its outcome, and NEGLIGABLE on its impact on the target audience.

    Any “mottatya” will say all nanasala’s are unsatisfactory no need to pay Ernst and Young to say so.

    How can you have a nanasala in Matara without correct & Proper Sinhala!!!!

    Muchalinda why are you so scared come out with your correct identity!

    Donald Gaminitillake

  78. Muchalinda,

    Just beacuse the said VGK project was undertaken by the organization which I am employed at, it does to lead to the fact that I am answerable to the same and for a process which I was not a part of.

    This thread on the forum was not started with a one way wish at all and I would like to categorically elaborate this fact that, DPIT has no dealings what so ever with Horizon nor with the Mesh Networking project, . It may have dealings with the ICTA and other agencies for which I am not a part of and I am not a spoke-person for the organization.

    I started contributeing from the 4th post onward to this blog, cos I was personally following up on the wireless networking project at MV, due to the personal relationship I enjoyed with Horizon and also due to the fact that it would induce a positive deep rooted impact on MV community at large, a process which Horizon could show-case to the world and further replicas of the said model (while takeing into consederation the necessary technical alternatives and methodologies) could be implemented at the ground level of the least develop areas of our country to improve internet acces and other underlying communication infrastructure.

    But since you did mention the fact that a VGK project has failed in Matara I will check the relevant facts from the
    teams who handle the said project.


  79. Dear Goswami

    We got to use local ethnic languages in all over Asia for any ICT project.
    All of the indic langauges do have this problem not using the two byte system

    Link langauge Engllsh is required but we have to serve ICT to all the local communities with respective mother tongues

    Donald Gamnitillake

  80. Here comes the truth


    I quote from the content of E&Y report given by Muchalinda

    SME Portal
    Outcome is insatisfactory due to many reasons
    – Language being a barrier in the use of the portal


    So I have proved again and again and again

    Donald Gaminitillake

  81. Revantha,

    Bro, let me give you this friendly advice. You are young. Don’t become another Donald in future. People like Donald can only criticize what others do. They cannot do anything on their own.

    If you have a passion for wireless networking and the need to help rural kids, which I see from your posts, you forget about this MV project and do something of your own. MV is not the only village in Sri Lankan. There are tens of thousands of more villages. In those villages too you will find kids who do not have any Internet access because they have no way of communicating.

    For a start, you can write to Yahoo groups and technical blogs like this about the necessity of wireless networking and the plans you have in your head. I am sure technical people outside read these blogs (I do not mean this blog only. There are so many other blogs in technical subjects and I remember seen one in wireless networking.) I am sure if you try, you will find so many willing to help you.

    There are nearly one million Sri Lankan expats. Try to convince one or two of them and get the wheels rolling.

    Please do not bother what others do or not, try to contribute something to the world on your own. Donalds of this world never makes history. They only pass hot air. Do not take an example from him.

  82. Responding to the question about evaluation of LIRNEasia’s work that was posed a few days back now because I was in the interior of Senegal and away from the Internet.

    Please see my speech at http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/03/workshop-on-ict-indicators-for-benchmarking-performance-in-network-and-services-development/

    This clearly shows that the particular task we have taken on is quite complex and that the causal relationship is tough to nail down.

    The new work program for LIRNEasia that started on the 1st of June will be placed on the website shortly. Section 2.0 of that document summarizes our achievements in the first cycle.

    LIRNEasia was founded in October 2004 as a non-profit legal entity, incorporated under the Companies Act of Sri Lanka. Its mission is “to improve the lives of the people of Asia by facilitating their use of information and communication technologies; by catalyzing the reform of the laws, policies and regulations to enable those uses; by building Asia-based human capacity through research, training, consulting and advocacy.” Lacking institutional funding, LIRNEasia began its work with three full-time professionals (from India and Sri Lanka), one part-time administrator and a team of researchers on assignment (a total of eight, from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka).

    LIRNEasia at one year can claim considerable achievements. Its 2005 research program centered on the World Dialogue on Regulation [WDR] theme of approaches to network extension has yielded substantive findings that have been well received by stakeholders and will be developed into a book, in addition to multiple journal articles (some already under review). LIRNEasia made a significant contribution, along with its sister organizations in Africa and Latin America, to the side events organized in conjunction with WSIS. The findings have received news coverage in India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

    The 2005 research program lays bare the policy and regulatory conditions necessary for the successful mobilization of ICTs to serve the needs of people in specific emerging-economy contexts. The research has identified hitherto unknown aspects of telecom use by low-income users, analyzed various non-optimal, but best-available, workaround options to connect people to access networks in the context of dysfunctional policy, regulatory and market environments, and provided critiques of large scale policy and regulatory actions for building out backbone and access networks.

    Significant pressure is being exerted on the policy processes in multiple countries through media interventions and rapid response actions, among others. Rapid response actions were undertaken in five countries, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In India, the rapid response intervention and the draft findings of the research on the universal service fund and access deficit charges found a receptive audience in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), to the extent that little difference exists between LIRNEasia’s recommendations and TRAI’s recommendations to government and decisions on the same subjects.

    In March 2006, the Indonesian Minister issued a call for “revolutionary policies” if required to reduce leased-line prices in a statement that drew extensively from LIRNEasia research, as covered in the Indonesia news media. In Sri Lanka, the regulatory agency is in the final stages of drastically reducing license fees on WiFi, driven partly by news reports and other pressures generated by LIRNEasia’s work. The Sri Lankan Commission’s final decision on CDMA frequencies was more or less in line with LIRNEasia’s intervention. The introduction of CDMA has given rise to a spike in fixed telephony in Sri Lanka. The Nepal interventions have not yet had significant results, possibly because the political crisis is washing out other factors. In Bangladesh, the rapid response intervention has changed the direction and tone of the debate on the undersea cable (including among civil society groups), though final decisions have not yet been made.

    ‘Disaster and ICTs’ as a research theme was added to LIRNEasia’s research program in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, assisted by IDRC. Two completed research projects on ICT and disasters laid the groundwork for substantial policy impacts, publications and dissemination, and a CAD 500k grant from a tsunami-research fund at IDRC that is being implemented in association with several partners. LIRNEasia also mobilized CIDA and World Bank funding for disaster-related research. The biggest impact was in shifting Sri Lanka’s largest CBO, Sarvodaya, from a preoccupation with relief and recovery to active engagement with crucial issues of preparedness and warning, including a central role in the LIRNEasia-led consortium implementing the IDRC funded pilot project. LIRNEasia may have also contributed to the broad acceptance of an all-hazards (versus tsunami-specific) approach by around April 2005 and to the higher importance now being given to dam-related hazards within Sri Lanka and the issue of the ‘last-mile’ in disaster warning, internationally.

    LIRNEasia conducted a successful training course for 36 persons from 18 countries in Singapore in September 2005 in partnership with a leading regulatory agency (Infocomm Development Authority) and a regional university (Nanyang Technological University). The course also included a WDR Expert Forum that enabled the dissemination of research results to an influential audience and to obtain useful feedback on the research. The highly appreciated (according to student evaluations) course is likely to be the prototype of an annual Asia-Pacific course on regulatory strategy. The scholarship-based support extended by IDRC allowed the participation of a broader range of participants, ranging from a Deputy Minister from Cambodia to a young female researcher from the Philippines. Approximately one-third of the attendees were women, a high proportion for a telecom course. The model of partnering with a leading regulatory agency and a university is likely to be adopted for future courses.

    A networking meeting for 30 researchers from 14 countries was held in Jakarta in October 2005 in partnership with the Indonesian Telecom Society, Mastel as a component of a larger program of knowledge mapping and related network building activities. This meeting too had women making up approximately 1/3rd of the participants. The public presentation of data on comparatively high leased-line prices initiated the pressure on leased-line prices, referred to above. Mastel also requested research on taxation, which is included in the Indicators research.

    Efforts to build partnerships with quality Asian universities with regional ambitions have been a priority since the beginning. The many-faceted effort to partner with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore ended as a result of NTU being unable/unwilling to commit resources to ICT policy and regulatory issues of importance to emerging Asia (its interest was solely in Internet governance). The focus is now on partnering with the National University of Singapore. At lesser degrees of intensity, discussions were held with the Asian Institute of Technology and researchers in Thailand, university researchers in Taiwan China and researchers in the Philippines.

    Five news conferences were held in three countries; op-ed pieces were contributed to major newspapers in two countries; and significant media coverage was obtained in four countries. The LIRNEasia website is now well over 100 Mb, is highly interactive and attracts quality traffic, shifting from a mostly Sri Lankan audience to a worldwide audience in October 2005. It is highly ranked in most Google searches that use related keywords. The average number of unique visitors per day is now approaching 100; quarterly visitor and pageload numbers in 2006 Q1 have exceeded the aberrant, tsunami-driven highs of 2005 Q1.

    Figure 1: LIRNEasia website statistics from StatCounter.com, 28th March, 2006

    In its first year, LIRNEasia’s research program was funded primarily by IDRC through LIRNE.NET/Technical University of Denmark, with direct funding provided for a few projects by IDRC, CIDA and the World Bank. Development activities, such as the submission of proposals (to the European Commission, infoDev of the World Bank, ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, IDRC, CIDA, etc.) and the building up of relations with universities were directly funded by LIRNEasia.

  83. Dear Frendly advice

    You guys had made history by messing the mesh at MV and sinhala language in Sri Lanka
    Paid E&Y our tax money got a report any “mottaya” can produce and taken our tax money and had produce nothing for the people of Sri Lanka.

    Donald can only criticize what others do

    I have not criticize any one but pointed the wrong doings and the wrong path that you have taken in ITC in SRI LANKA. You have no guts to accept the errors and at least try to correct the path for the betterment of the public. I voice for the public. When you hear the voice of the public you pass hot air and take Losartan.

    Why dont you come forward with proper names and face the public.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  84. friendly advice,

    While acknowledge your post,would like to point out that the above posts I have initiated were not done with an ultimate goal of tarnishing image of an concern party. But getting across the actuals to a world at large on a project which was given a high degree of publicity by relevant parties but tangible deliverables were zero or none. Thanks to the ongoing discussion on this forum the donor agency is querying the status of the project and other activities are happening in the background, which have pushed the parties involved in the project to jump start the implementation process.

    In regard to me criticising others, well once the bullet hit the target(s) anonymous some contributors converted the ongoing discussion to show the rest of the readers and the world at large that this blog is a mighty battle of two system integrators in the local context bitching over the Horizon mesh networking project while dragging in my professional affiliation as well. If only the necessary parties could have reacted to the questions raised above (i.e by meshbox, Sat on a wall, Nuwan, etc) the truth would surface… this discussion was not about the equipment vendors neither was it about the type of equipment to use, but was against the delaying the project and adding cost to the project due to short term thinking.

    As for me starting my own wireless networking project targeting the rural areas of the sri lanka, i dont think i need to be carrying across the begging bowl around the sri lankan expats calling for funds, there is local capacity available. yes I am looking forward to starting a local wireless user group not limited to yahoo groups but for real implementation (non commercial) as well.

    Last but not the least I would appreciate if you do not make any comparison against Donald Gaminithilake and my self, Donald has a vision and is a subject domain expert for what he is trying to achieve and he is pursuing relentlessly in that aspect, while I am pursuing a matter which I have an interest in.. dialogues of this nature should take place and encouraged in the local ICT arena, it’s only then we could find out what’s really missing out as oppose to the many fairy tales like stories which are flying around in many quarters as being achieved by successful ICT implementations in the sunny island of Sri lanka.

    Before I end would like to point out that the mighty TRC is calling up for regional level facility based service providers (data,internet,voice,etc) and this is a good stepping stone in the direction of deregulating the ISM band and getting across the much needed wireless services to the masses.


  85. I am sure at least some people from the TRC are monitoring this site now. It would be appreciated if some light can be shed on the rationale for facility-based licenses limited to the unserved and underserved areas. Need not be under the real names.

    I am very familiar with the way unserved and underserved areas were sought to be served in South Africa and how they were to be served under the larger e Sri Lanka design (now in tatters). In both cases, specific attention was paid to backbone access, interconnection, and least-cost subsidies. Is this also the case in the current proposal?

    If wealthy and powerful companies like Electroteks have not served the rural areas despite having broadly defined licenses, there would have been good reasons such as:
    –SLTL and the other operators would not give them interconnection or access to backbone;
    –The costs of building new backbone was too high;
    –The expected revenues would not allow for recovery of capital and profits.

    The South African and Sri Lankan designs were based on analyses of why these areas were unserved. Is this the case in the present tender?

    Otherwise, are we not likely to see promises being made prior to obtaining the license and then reneged when the cold hard facts hit them in the face?

    It is good to see young people being optimistic, but I fear Revantha is headed for disappointment unless the TRC can assure that the key regulatory preconditions will be satisfied.

  86. Some reasons why most of the companies do not expand their networks to rural areas:

    (a) Number of prospective subscribers are small (Unlike in cities, the population densities are less in villages)

    (b) Even among the handful of subscribers, the usage is minimal (for different reasons)

    (c) Collection is a hassle. (Rural folk cannot and will not pay at supermarkets)

    (d) Supporting the network is very difficult (technicians may have to travel long distances)

    (e) The opportunity cost of providing connections at rural areas is large. (With the same effort and investment, they can get a much higher income in the urban areas.)

    So the question is not supplying telecom facilities to the villages, but how to convert the villages into cities so that this will no more and issue.

    Providing telecom facilities to the entire country cannot be done without a support from the government. Whether you like that type of solution or not, there is no other option. Till the volume increases the price will not come down and till the price comes down the volume does not increase. So it is more a chicken and egg situation.

  87. Quote
    So the question is not supplying telecom facilities to the villages, but how to convert the villages into cities so that this will no more and issue.

    You are not aware how many srilankans live out side homeland.
    All these people are from villages not from the city of Colombo

    They communicate a lot with the loved ones. Most of them on mobiles

    Sri Lanka have only 300,000 tax payers but do have over 2 million mobile subscribers

    Colombo vote register was aprox (I may be wrong) 480,000 anyway Colombo is not a million city.

    If you allocate 600,000 mobiles to Colombo where would the other phones be!!!!!

    Please move the CEB HQ to Mulativ, Insurance Corporation to Wellawaya, Sri Lanka Telecom HQ to Mahavilachchiya, Bank of Ceylon head office to Kirinda, Peoples Bank Head office to Kaluthavalai, Ceylon Petrolium HQ to Hambantota then this country will develop.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  88. been away the last couple of days but found something interesting on wifi and rural connectivity…

    http://www.icamericas.net/index.php module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=753


  89. Revantha,

    Looks like you are scared or they have made you silent. Does the project in MV goes as planned or did they make you silent? Are you happy about their approach? Donald too is silent.

  90. Dear Concerned,

    Not that I am silent on the MV issue neither has I’ve been silenced by any hidden force.

    I am keeping my eyes wide open sir… was told that once july would be the deadline for the project and then again was told August’2006 (I guess horizon was informed too), so it’s more or less a wait and see approach now since the facts are on display to the world at large about whats said and done..

    In the mean time I am gethering some stuff to contribute which I hope to dish out today…I belive donald is busy in the other quaters of the blog..


  91. Hey Concerned

    My area is Akuru or Sinhala Standard. There are enough postings made by me on that issue. Nobody knows the differnace between a Character Allocation Table and a set of FONTs.Or nobody wants to understand the difference. Sinhala will not exsist in the computer without a Character Allocation Table. Since you guys are well educated better try to learn a different language. Like Tamil or Japanese. Then you will be able to understand what I am talking. Think before you learn a language(non latin script) what you have to do. You got to learn the script. I talk that.

    Also none of the people in the Sri Lankika administration wants to develop any village in Sri Lanka. They only talk no action. If you need I can post enough of practical examples. This is not a thread to do that.

    better read the Hindu News paper.


    Donald Gaminitillake

  92. the points highlighted by the contributor “telecom-man” is quite true when it comes for most of the telecom providers in deploying their services in the rural areas, I’ve even heard my colleagues who are attached to local teleco share the same sentiments in this regard. I guess infrastructure cost out lives the opportunistic cost

    What I believe is that the angle which the local teleco’s see the rural areas should be changed :

    it’s true that the number of subscribers may be too small and collection could be a hassle but why not look at reduce tariff mechanisms for rural areas and bundling value added service with the voice lines.

    Collection could be an hassle but why not think about building local capacity at the village level for collection related stuff,

    supporting is difficult if you want to dish out support from Colombo but why not develop regional support bases and develop local capacity at the village level surely couple of technician level jobs could be generated, level 3 support could always happen from Colombo or from nearest town limits.

    As for the local teleco’s investing on the largely remote areas at this point of time might be some what or very remote, guess the government should provide them with some sort of incentives for telecom projects targeting the very remote areas of sri lanka..

    TRC calling for regional level operators is a good stepping stone in this regard, but I wonder what types of red tape would exist and how many would respond.

    Can we look at a IP for providing the much related voice services to the rural areas, as an alternative to deploying traditional wire line voice services and drawing cables across the board or erecting massive towers ???? BT in UK is going all wireless for their voice services, wonder there are any initiatives from the local teleco industry in looking for IP enabled voice services…and useing wifi for last mile connectivity at least for VOICE…


  93. folks,

    quote “BT in UK is going all wireless for their voice services” unquote

    should read as BT in the UK is going all IP for their voice services.

    apologies for the typo..


  94. Mesh is happening at Dharamsala, check out http://www.tibtec.org/

    Guess we are far behind…


  95. Very interesting points highlighted above.

    Though the capacity, collection all these difficulties are there it’s very impotatnt the rural areas are covered by teleco’s. I think the key teleco’s who are making big profits and specially who have social obligations to the nation should reach out and take initiatives to make things happen.

    As per collections, support quite agree with post from Revantha where teleco’s should be innovative to find out mechanisms to address such issues. I beleive if rural village banks can be operated why not collection points? And why not we establish few support, call centers to cover regional areas? This will create job opportunities for rural youth who are dreaming to work in such environments, and the language issue isnt there either since it has to operate in Sinhala and Tamil depending on the area.

    I think if either one of the key teleco’s take stepping stone and take such initiative and equip these people with teleco’ infrastructure in turn which will lead to knowledge revolution I am sure expectation of villages turn into cities will not be a dream.

    As donald pointed out in another post the rural masses are more enthusiastic and very energetic when they are empowered with technology and communication. A classic case is MV and it’s transformation to produce kids, youth who can develop web sites and other content.

    If the teleco’s keep on thinking only expanding the towns/cities the overall socio economic development and a knowledge economy wouldn’t be realized for many years to come.

    The advent of CBNSat technology enabeld any rural village to get connected to global news and knowledge. (Even starting from the KADA MANDIYA or the KOPI KADE as the 1st step). When I inquired from them whether they have plans to offer much more lower package in future?, they said YES which will target rural masses with a content packaged to suit them. It’s pretty unfortunate that particular operation was halted and cant understand the respective reasons highlighted. It’s pathetic to see that it happens after 1 year of operation where such questioning/investigations should have happened within a month’s of operation and sorted out, as it was a very visible organization.

    Finally, I think big teleco’s to media/content providers should really think about rural masses as equally important and part of Sri Lankan citizens and deliver simmilar services. If there are difficulties they should figure out innovative ways to address there needs using possible technologies available as people highlighted in above posts. If we continue to ignore them we will have more Social unrest/revolutions rather development and prosperity of this nation.

  96. Harsha,

    This is not the first time TRC did this to prevent development. They support SLT, not anyone else. They don’t want any competitor to go above SLT.

    This is why they block all the new innovations. If CBN didnt have licences, the TRC could have easily given them a week to rectify the problem.

    TRC is doing SLT’s dirty contracts

  97. From today’s LBO online.


    Thu, 15 June 2006 18:37:22
    LBO >> ICT

    Text Box
    04 May 2006 17:15:41

    Sri Lanka plans to test the limits of smart digital mesh boxes

    May 4 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to test the limits of smart digital mesh boxes to connect 30 rural homes onto the World Wide Web, officials said.

    Costing just under 30,000 dollars, this pilot project is initiated by the ICTA – the government’s key IT agency – is due to kick off in July, giving free internet access to children in the village of Mahavilachchiya, 50 kilometeres off Anuradhapura.

    ICTA is partnering with Enterprise Technology (Pvt.) Ltd, a local firm, to deploy the project, while non-profit organization Horizon Lanka Institute has chipped in with 30 computers.

    Mesh networking consists a series of smart digital devices called routers or ‘Meshboxes’, which use infrared or radio waves, to carry high speed wireless connection over a wide area.

    This type of networking is unique, and is currently being used by local financial institutions like banks to transfer data between branches.

    Instead of having a central server – which decides how data is passed between computers –the mesh creates a system which can be shared with every computer connected to the network, allowing individual computers to communicate with each other.

    It can grow organically and will automatically organize itself.

    The ad hoc nature of the mesh makes it easy to start small and expand where necessary, without the complex reprogramming involved with adding to a traditional, top-down network.

    If one node were to fail, the network will automatically redirect data through an alternative route.

    According to Radley Dissanayake, Program Manager at ICTA – the government’s key IT agency – Mesh is the most suitable architecture to connect rural hamlets.

    However, experience shows that this is the most expensive architecture in network environment.

    Mahavilachchiya’s geographical location, makes it mandatory to connect household computers through a wireless connection, explains Viranga Jayartne, Network Engineer at Enterprise Technology.

    Horizon, which uses a lease line, will act as the main access point for internet connectivity.

    But in a similar environment, once can use a powerful broadcasting antenna by making Horizon Lanka as the Hub and use a wireless network, making the network cheaper.

    The use of radiowave frequency also requires approval from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC).

    Viranga Jayaratne says they have been waiting for nearly a year for TRCs approval.

    The original project is also likely to expand as Horizon Lanka has donated a further 20 computers to Mahavilachchiya.

  98. Yes Horizon had CBN Sat in Mahavilachchiya. Villages not only watch the international channels but other Srilanka Channels that never reached these villages. CBNSAt should post some statistic of the number of customers according to locations in Sri Lanka. This would enlighten the public more. With these facts in hand the public in Sri Lanka will have the chance to decide who is wrong and who is correct. My observation is sealing of CBN Sat is a direct hit on the rural community than the rich Colombo community.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  99. Why is TRC can not make some of those key frequencies public. Like for instance the wireless equipment has a standard frequencies and those frequencies are open in other countries. These are world standards. The world is not going to change these frequencies for Sri Lanka. It is us who needs to listen and make necessary changes. There may be obstacles to do that because of poor decisions made long time back. However, ICTA should work with government to free up these frequencies for public use. This is a necessary national level ICT policy. With all these limitations and obstacles how can we expect a healthy ICT growth in Sri Lanka. I know that mesh networking is ideal for many rural communities in Sri Lanka. However, if implementors have to fight with TRC for frequency it is not going to happen the way it should. Like these there are some key issues that must be solved to promote a healthy ICT growth in the country. These things are not options that we have, but something that must be done. And ICTA and the GOSL must understand this and work on it. Without proper infrastructure to support ICT, we will not be in a position to take advantage of the global ICT market. You can not build a house without a proper foundation and we as a country does not have that foundation for ICT. These small pilot projects are good, but what good will it do the whole country if we can not replicate it everywhere ? A mesh network in MV is not going to bring economic prosperity to Sri Lanka. It is only if we learn from the experience we get implementing it and apply it througout sri lanka, would encourage ICT growth in the country. I wonder when those so called “intellegent” professors and other experienced people in ICTA would have “brains” to understand this and act on it. We can not expect politicians to have be domain experts in these things. They are clueless. That is why we have ICTA.

  100. Donald says

    “My observation is sealing of CBN Sat is a direct hit on the rural community than the rich Colombo community.”

    I too feel the same. Now they trying to brand it a trators TV station. Isn’t this to entertain the new comer LBN Sat the station only for Colombo??????

    CBN risked a lot to reach the rural masses. I think the public should stone the TRC.

  101. It would be interesting if the participants of this thread were to (a) read the consultants report on WiFi, available at the TRC site: http://www.trc.gov.lk/wifi.htm and (b) comment on the new 5 GHz consultation document at http://www.trc.gov.lk/pdf/cd_5ghz_outdoor_licence.pdf

    When government consults, we should use that opportunity. Ranting later may be more fun, but is definitely less useful.

  102. Read the following site


    Sri Lanka plans to test the limits of smart digital mesh boxes

    May 4 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to test the limits of smart digital mesh boxes to connect 30 rural homes onto the World Wide Web, officials said.

    Costing just under 30,000 dollars, this pilot project is initiated by the ICTA – the government’s key IT agency – is due to kick off in July, giving free internet access to children in the village of Mahavilachchiya, 50 kilometeres off Anuradhapura.

    Go to the site for more information

    Donald Gaminitillake

  103. Has this project phisically started. Has TRC reduced bandwith fees as mentioned in the press some time ago? Who will bear the cost of TRC fees? ICTA or those villagers? What concessions has TRC given for such an innovative project in a jungle? Why are Revantha and Nuwan silent? Is there any plan to replicate this technology in other parts of Sri Lanka/South Asia?

  104. “Costing just under 30,000 dollars, this pilot project is initiated by the ICTA – the government’s key IT agency – is due to kick off in July, giving free internet access to children in the village of Mahavilachchiya, 50 kilometeres off Anuradhapura.”

    Is this true? Will Internet access totally free for the students? Who gives the coverage for them? Who are the ISP? Somebody told there is no SLT coverage?

  105. Horizon donors have paid for the tower , internet connection to this tower is provided by LankaCom.

    At one time donors paid these bills and for sometime ICTA paid.Now I donot know who pays these bills. Horizon will have to answer this question

    Anyway If you have any extra computers please send them to Maha Vilachchiya.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  106. “Anyway If you have any extra computers please send them to Maha Vilachchiya.”

    Why more PCs to MV? Their website says they have 40 PCs at students’ homes…….

  107. I am coping a mail I received from Horizon

    Read the following article. Horizon Lanka Foundation http://www.horizonlanka.org
    has been able to secure a grant to provide Internet access to 30 students’
    houses using a technology called mesh. When the project was designed, the
    students’ used PCs which were bought under Digital Butterflies
    http://www.digitalbutterflies.org were sufficient but since the implementation of
    the project has taken more time than expected, most if the PCs are out of
    date or out of order.

    We would appreciate if you or your company can donate your used PC to
    Horizon Lanka Foundation so that we could donate the PCs to the students who
    are going to get Internet access soon. Usable hard drives, CD Drives, etc.
    too will be of immense help to repair the PCs at students houses.

    Contact Rohan rohan@horizonlanka.org if you have any PC to be donated to the
    students in Mahavilachchiya.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  108. Hi Concerned,

    I am not silent mate…just keeping a closer watch on the happenings…. as for what you have outlined, the USD 30,000 thingy I believe is basically about the UNDP-APDIP funded mesh project

    which was to start way back in 2004, please refer :


    Community Mesh Network for Mahavilachchiya, Sri LankaPage Tools

    Grant awarded in November 2004 to Information and Communication

    Technology Agency, Sri Lanka to develop a low-cost wireless

    broadband architecture for providing high-speed Internet access

    services in Mahavilachchiya.
    Project Title:
    Community Mesh Network for Mahavilachchiya, Sri Lanka
    Recipient Institution:
    Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka
    Project Leader:
    Manju Haththotuwa, CEO/Managing Director

    Amount and Duration: US$ 27,656 / 18 months
    Commencement Date:
    December 2004

    See the media hype plays a major role in this country without even looking for the true facts surrounding the said project, the said grant was approved in 2004, but now it’s 6 months down 2006 and

    project is still in it’s infancy…

    I hear thanks to this blog there is some activity happening which is also primarily due to the donor agency querrying the status from the relevant parties.

    Hope what evere said and done the project could be completed in due course, with some degree of sustainability …


  109. According to the reportes pointed by Samarajiva, it has been recommended to TRC to make some of those widely used wireless frequencies public. I hope they would do it. That is very necessary to a healthy growth of these technologies. To reply Concerned, I am not silent, and will voice my opinion when necessary. Mesh project in MV has started but progress is very slow. The internet will be free for these selected homes but Horizon Lanka will have to find funding to pay the bill. Donors and ICTA so far has done it but don’t know what will happen in the future. Also, the internet connection is through a radio link so the bandwidth is limited. And when all those homes connect to the internet with mesh network, they will have other problems because all share this limited bandwidth. It will be interesting. At any rate, at least these people will be able to do email communication and web browsing to a certain extend. Voice or Video communication is not realistic at all. This is a pilot project to show that it can be done. But the publicity it gets paints a much rosier picture in the peoples mind. 30 houses get connected to the internet is true. However they will all have to share a 128Kbs radio link and funding to keep that link alive is not very well determined too. It depends. So in reality things are different from how it is shown in these articles. That is ofcourse given that they complete a working mesh network. That remains to be seen. If it happens its a start. Then we can replicate it in other places with better technologies and with better implementors. It should not take 1 1/2 years to create a mesh network to connect 30 computers. I hope that answers some of the questions Concerned had. Some of the computer those students have are very old and not suitable for wireless networking. So that may be the reason why they are asking for better computers. Computer technologies grow very fast and things get obsolete soon. Yes, many students may have computers but many of them may be obsolete too for these new technologies.

  110. Thirty houses or 300, it’s still a project. When the free money dries up, the project dies. The key to sustainability is making the policy and regulatory changes that will make it possible for companies to provide services and make money (not fulfil CSR obligations) in these areas. This is the point we have sought to make.

    The world is littered with telecenter projects funded by people of goodwill, which then died because the telecom environment was not hospitable.

    It’s Mahavilachchiya today, it was Kotmale yesterday. There should be some learning, at least.

  111. For those with a burning interest in Mahavilachchiya, this piece that I found in my hard disk from 1999-2000 may be of interest:


  112. I agree with Samarajiva when its come sustainability. We can put up all these telecenters or computer education centers but if we don’t develope a plan to sustain them, those are not going to be successful. There will be funding to finish the project( to build the telecenter ) then comes the problem of sustaining the operations and maintenance. Most people dont think about that well. We try to always depend on foriegn funding instead of developing some ways to sustain these projects. I am experimenting some self sustainability initiatives in our Lak Daruwo project. There are many things that can be done to use these facilities to make people produce marketable goods and services. Just giving these facilities free is not going to work in the long run. We need to have proper plans in place to guide these people and make them produce things with these technologies or using it so that they can sustain themselves and keep these operations sustainable too. The bottom line is that the purpose of these projects should be to build these rural communities to help them to build themselves and ultimately help build the economy of the country. That should always be the primary long term goal of all these programs. There is no point doing these things to make u feel good or to make someone looks good in the news paper.

  113. Prof.Samarjeewa,

    Agree with your comments, most of this type of projects die a slow natural death when the funding is dried off.. it is mostly due to the non sustainabilitity of the project and the methods used in implmenting, without actually giveing an ear to the actual ground situation…

    I am @ CommunicAsia 2006 in Singapore and will contribute more when I am back… WiMax is flying overe here with lots an lots of Chineese / Taiwan companies getting into the rat race .. which I will believe would drop the WiMax subscriber units prices drastically….


  114. Sri Lanka have some funny attitude problems.

    These are related to dignity of labour, responsibility towards the society and assuming that they get things free.

    a practical example:

    100% of the Students who enters the university attend private tuition classes.
    How much do they pay for two or three years to attended these extra tuition classes?

    Incl lodging, transport, Cloths, food and tuition fees =???
    Has anyone done any research work?
    In the case of A Dr Nimal paid close to Rs 45,000 plus her parents too paid some bills.
    Keeping the above data in mind
    Total would be around 60,000 to 100,000 for attending these private tuition classes.

    Once they get into the university what do they do? Rag, Strike and act like a bunch of stallions running around putting up posters and banners!!!

    If you ask them to contribute the same fees that they paid for the private tuition classes do they pay?
    Even students who have the money apply for “mahapola” aid . Actually there are students who will need extra money to buy clothing, books, pay for the boarding houses etc who will need more than the Mahapola grant. We do not have any system to manage these needs of the students.

    The fees have to be proportionate to the income level of all students. The difference could be paid through the Mahapola grant or Bank loan scheme. Once they are employed they will have to pay back all the costs incl Mahapola grant. These returns could be reused for the future students.

    Once the students learn the reality of money the sustainability will not be a problem.

    The people should feel there is nothing free in this world. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It only changes the form.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  115. Regarding the request for used PCs from Horizon… Why cant Intel give PCs from this program for Horizon? They have shown more than enough with used PCs. They deserve brand new PCs.


    Outback PC 4 Comment/s
    19 June 2006 17:48:05
    Intel to soon pilot ‘rugged’ PC for rural Sri Lanka

    June 19 (LBO) – Intel Corp together with Sri Lanka’s ICT Agency will soon pilot a rugged alternative to the conventional PC for rural areas, running on a car battery if electricity goes out.

    The dust resistant, low power demand Intel model called a ‘Community PC’, developed and just rolled out in India, could find its way to Sri Lanka this year.

    “The Community PC is designed to meet the needs of rural communities without reliable power, no reliable internet connections, where there is a rugged environment. It is developed to work in these conditions,” Shane D Wall, Vice President, Channel Platforms Group, Intel Corp., said in Colombo on Monday.

    “The PC can be recharged easily on a car or bicycle battery. This platform was developed in India and I expect will certainly be of great benefit to Sri Lanka in the near future.”

    The model is designed to handle power fluctuations, with an in-built Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and can charge on three hours of electricity for eight hours of running.

    It can also run on a car battery for ten hours and has dust covers for non air-conditioned environments, common in rural areas of the island.

    If a customer is buying the PC on an easy payment scheme, the PC functions on a key system, where each time an instalment is paid, the user gets an access number.

    If the next instalment is not paid when it is due, the machine automatically locks itself, until the next payment is made and the user gets another access number – in built protection against default and a godsend for lending banks.

    “We don’t have a launch date for Sri Lanka as yet, we have just launched in India in the past few months. We are looking at a pilot in Sri Lanka this year and are currently looking for pilot sites,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, Director for Sales and Marketing for South Asia, said.

  116. Well said Donald. I agree completely. And I am 100% oppose to the tution scheme that is in Sri Lanka. Eventhough the education is free in Sri Lanka, the tution system has turned the free education obsolete. Children should go to school come home and do there studies. Instead they spend the whole day in tuition classes and some of them even go to 2-3 classes for one subject. That is totally pathetic.

    Also, I completely agree that Sri Lankans have some very extreamly negetive attitudes regarding equality, work, and society. Until these attitudes are change Sri Lanka is never going to be developed. Our people need a complete attutide shift. I work on this a lot in our Lak Daruwo project. Even with all the education you provide, if we dont guide children to build correct attitudes, they will never achieve what they are suppose to achieve. The reason I focus on children is that their attitides can be changed with right guidance. But it can not be done for adults. The biggest hurdle with children is coming from their parents who constantly try to poison the minds of their children with bad attitudes.

    Among everything, expecting everything free, instead of relying on your own is one of the biggest weakness we have in Sri Lanka. Until we carry this attitude, we will be begging all around the world.

    Although this discussion is not relevent to MV project, this is a very important observation and something that must be mentioned. All those project will have no proper outcome to the country, if our people do not learn to lead their lives with correct attitudes.

  117. Why should we wait until intel or IBM gives a set of computers

    There are companies in Sri Lanka who wants to upgrade their systems why can’t they pool all these computers to be given to projects. Also I have seen there are some copmpanies who have already changed the system but due to silly accounting rules they rent a store and keep the used computers.

    What a beautiful country Sri Lanka rules and regulations are observed 100% on the wrong avenues.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  118. Donald talks about standards in a language. We are a nation without standards. Our telecom companies boast of being the fastest but, to open a webpage we waste hours. Wht standards???? In every Lanka Indian Oil gas station you see men’s and women’s wash room symbols but there are no loos for even the staff let alone the visitors. But we have regulating bodies who don’t see these bitter realities. We, as a nation are substandard. How can we expect good standards with SLS?????

  119. What you have given are service facilities. I know that the A/C bus charges the money for A/C services from the public but the BUS runs without an A/C. We have authorities to check all these incl the loos in the gas stations. With a little bit of rupees everything change.

    We have to amend the old Roman Dutch laws in Sri Lanka.

    According to copyright law it is illegal to sell copied DVD’s and CD’s. But the Law will not be implemented due to another flaw in the implementing area of the same law.

    That is if I copy and sell some song of a singer named Donald. Donald’s representative or Donald should be in Sri Lanka to make a complain. Donald will have to say that one Gaminitillake is selling the copied DVDs. Then what about Sunil selling the same item in a different area. Then Donald will have to go to that area will have to make a complain against Sunil. This is not a practical way to implement a law. Again nobody talk — all are deaf, dumb and Blind on this subject. VKS and his lawyer golaya talk big about the TRIPS LAW of Intellectual Property ACT. Basic fact is there are enough copied software for sale in Sri Lanka.

    That is why I have mentioned several times that our media is weak, the public is weak.

    I will not give up on Sinhala Standard until I leave this planet

    Even now it has been badly affected. Take any religious book. Compare the text — what was printed in 50’s-60’s with that of today. Technically we have moved forward but the Text contents have moved backwards. Our own people destroy the rich Sinhala culture. Not LTTE destroy the Sinhala but by the so-called the “Sinhala Buddhist educated elite” destroy the language.

    After proving beyond reasonable doubt the group has gone underground and dead scared to come in public TV to face the truth.

    Donald Gaminitillake

  120. What happened to this mesh project?? Can we see any results yet?

  121. Hi Interested,

    I think Revantha is sleeping.

    ETPL might have figured out it is lot more easier and economical to provide sleeping tablets for Revantha, rather than installing the Mesh network.

    So Revantha in deep sleep while the kids in MV still cry for Internet.

  122. Hi Cisco2900,

    I am not sleeping Bro….. I am on the virgil as to the happeings at MV as of this day nothing has happened it the project is still in deep slumber…. a stake holder from ETPL- RW was told that the project would go Live by 2007 August, So was keeping a closer watch on the happenings while beleveing the words of a professional Engineer from ETPL, who gave me the said deadline

    Could some body from ICTA update as to whats happeing at MV/Mesh project and where the bottleneck is… UNDP/APDIP it’s time you guys take closer look on this issue…. the original project manager assigned for mesh project at ICTA is no more, hence I anticipate the project would hit a deadlock and die a slow death, if no real interest is shown by ICTA on the progress…

    ICTA it’s your CALL NOW……


  123. Hi,
    I am also new to this forum, but having worked on many Rural WiFi projects in S E Asia and reading through the pots on this forum, I thought the article in CONVERGE – Network Digest was worth bring to the forum.

    Wireless Mesh Networking for Developing Countries

    by Nan Chen, VP of Marketing


    Wireless mesh networks have become a new economic stimulus for the developed economies of North America, Europe and East Asia. This is especially true at the municipal level, where city after city are announcing major Wi-Fi initiatives.
    However, the impact of Wi-Fi and mesh is even more significant in developing countries, where telecom services have been limited. The pending arrival of integrated multimedia communication devices, such as Wi-Fi-enabled.handsets and low-cost laptops, could dramatically open politically-stifled economies.

    As interest in wireless mesh networks has swelled, technically savvy investors are now realizing a new business opportunity exists—and it is not just limited to providing phones. By cost-effectively implementing a countrywide wireless mesh network, every person in that country is now given a new opportunity. In the near future, wireless mesh networks will go global on a massive scale. This will change the way people do business, providing the tools to create new business opportunities and the potential to uplift third-world economies.

    Wireless mesh network products are proving that large-scale and future-proof networks can be built to support large populations of people in vast regions cost-effectively, enabling VoIP and broadband Internet access. In Chittagong , Bangladesh , for example, a wireless mesh network will provide VoIP to every person in a given region and Internet access to those who need it.

    Case Study: Chittagong, Commercial Capital of Bangladesh
    Chittagong, a port city of 3.5 million people that is the commercial capital of Bangladesh, is the site of a new wireless mesh network that provides both phone and Internet service to residential and business customers. Initial deployments will serve an estimated 200,000 voice subscriber lines, but ultimately the network is expected to expand to involve all of Chittagong as well as cities and towns within the licensing area. The mesh network is the result of a partnership between Accatel, Inc., an international carrier based in New York, and Nextel Telecom (Bangladesh).

    Accatel saw that in a developing country such as Bangladesh, a reliable wireless mesh network provided a quick and cost-effective way to facilitate communications and bring more citizens into the world economy. The IP-based network lets the company provide voice, data, and video service to subscribers in areas that do not currently have phone service, without having to build a traditional communications infrastructure. In addition to being completely wireless, the installation will be completely off the electric grid. To ensure the network will operate under all conditions, the wireless nodes will run on batteries that provide 4-6 days of power before being recharged—and the batteries are backed up by solar panels.

    The Profile of a Mesh-Ready Nation
    While there are opportunities for mesh networks worldwide, not every country is a good candidate for a nation-wide wireless mesh network. While some nations may already be looking for ways to proactively stimulate growth and propel their economies, others may be too isolated to consider alternatives. Wireless mesh networks can provide the stimulus a developing nation needs, breaking its isolation and enabling it to enter the global marketplace.

    Nations that fit the profile must have a number of prerequisites in place before they can deploy a network. First, business-savvy people who understand of the country—its politics and the role politics plays in developing telecommunications solutions, its business climate and how a service provider would operate within that climate, its terrain, and more—must be involved in the process of bringing a wireless mesh network to the country. There must also be people who understand, or are capable of understanding, the international telecom industry, since building a mesh network will connect the nation to that industry. The next requirement is for an integrator or service provider, local or international, capable of providing service to the country.

    No deployment will be truly successful without a plan or business model that takes the country’s existing economic situation into consideration and tailors the deployment accordingly. Especially in a depressed economy, it will be very important to establish the relationships needed to create economical programs for education and business to sustain the network’s growth. With all of these prerequisites in place, a service provider can develop a plan for implementing a wireless mesh network.

    Why a Mesh Network Is Right for Developing Nations
    Wireless mesh networks are an attractive solution for developing nations because they will work over any type of terrain, no matter how mountainous, and reach any region, no matter how isolated, far more economically than other approaches. All the country needs is one link—a landline link, a satellite link, or a long-range wireless link—to connect everyone on the mesh network to the outside world.

    The benefits of the mesh network are myriad. Deployment can take place in a matter of months—far less time than required to deploy cellular or any other service—and the network is very cost effective. For example, a network with nodes powerful enough to have a transmission range of 16-24 kilometers provides maximum service reach and costs less to deploy because it requires fewer node-to-node hops to reach isolated areas, for example beyond a mountain range or across a wide river. In addition, a wireless mesh network provides excellent service. Throughput can be as high as 108 Mbps near a node, and it can average from 24-54 Mbps, down to perhaps 16 Mbps at the edge. One node can thus serve many individual subscribers, each with a 1 Mbps broadband service or even a 3 Mbps service—much better than the best cellular service, which costs far more. For the price of 20 cell phones, for example, a mesh network approximately can serve upwards of 768 voice subscribers.

    A mesh network with a multi-radio architecture that employs three or more radios is particularly appropriate for developing nations, since the country can carve up bandwidth to offer multiple separate services such as public Internet access, voice, business communications, public service, and education, with throughput optimized for the needs of each service. Such an architecture can also support voice, video, and data communications upon deployment; the developing nation does not need to wait to deploy new services or create overlay networks to offer all forms of communications immediately. Perhaps the most important benefit of a multi-radio wireless mesh network is its ability to scale easily as the user population grows. Subscriber density can increase and new technologies can be added to the network without forklift upgrades of the solution or of the devices in it. A scalable mesh network that supports multiple services can

    Changing Lives for the Better
    Deploying a mesh network in a developing country can literally change lives. These countries frequently have limited residential and business phone services, and the cost of service may be well beyond the pocketbook of the average person. In addition, businesses may have little or no access to data communications. Expecting the existing landline service to step into the breach is unrealistic. These services are often limited and expensive, and customers may wait months or even years before their service is installed. As a result, consumers may never have access to even basic voice service. Nor is cellular service a viable option because it is typically too expensive for those with low incomes.

    In contrast, a wireless mesh network allows subscribers with a PC, PDA, or cell phone with Wi-Fi capability to sign up for and receive an economical service very quickly. A VoIP application such as Skype running over a wireless mesh network can for the first time provide an affordable voice service to someone making as little as $2,000 a year; international Skype-to-Skype calls are free and VoIP service prices are dropping.

    While the ability to establish international communications on a countrywide scale can have a positive effect on the country’s economy, it can also have an effect on the global economy, as other businesses in other countries begin to benefit from the relationships they establish with local businesses.

    New Opportunities Enabled by New Services
    A high-quality communications infrastructure that enables far better and far more available communications service will have a profound impact on businesses as on a country’s international relations. For the first time, the country will be attractive to international companies looking to establish outsourcing facilities because the wireless mesh network enables the facilities to connect to customers around the world easily and cost effectively. Communications will also stimulate the growth of R&D and manufacturing capabilities by making it possible for local companies to sell their products far beyond their country’s borders.

    Communications will have an even more profound effect over the long term; used in an educational setting, a combined voice, video, and data communications capability will enable the emergence of a new generation of technology leaders who will have a direct impact on the country’s new economy. Learning how to use the new communications capabilities will enable users to take advantage of new opportunities in the short term, while making technology part of the learning process in schools and universities has a long-term effect.

    Making the Mesh Network Happen
    Despite the best planning efforts, and despite all the economic benefits mesh networking brings, actually implementing the network may require more resources than are available in-country. Programs to set up, maintain, and reimburse the costs of building the mesh network are key to making it happen. Developing nations can receive assistance from a number of U.S. and international agencies and organizations that provide expertise and funding, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, an independent government agency that conducts foreign assistance and humanitarian aid to advance the political and economic interests of the United States. Private business groups that encourage an interest in international commerce can also be sources of assistance. Most importantly, the country needs service provider partners, which may be local or international, that can work with local authorities and carriers to make the network happen.

    The challenges of deploying a countrywide wireless mesh network are many, but the rewards are great. These networks are not just a convenience or a new source of revenue for a municipality, they can be an engine for growth that integrates a formerly isolated country into the global community.

    About the Author

    Nan Chen is VP of Product Management and Marketing at Strix Systems. He is also President of the Metro Ethernet Forum, a worldwide standards organization for Metro Ethernet. Before Strix, Mr. Chen was Vice President of Marketing at Atrica, the Director of Product Management/Marketing at Force10 Networks, Director of Technology at Nortel/Bay/SynOptics, and founding board member of 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance. Mr. Chen has received 10 significant industry accolades/awards. He holds two MS and one BS degrees. Mr. Chen is also known as a record holder in pole vault at Beijing University.

    About Strix Systems

    Strix Systems was founded in 2000 by an industry-leading management and engineers. Strix Systems entered the wireless network industry committed to design and manufacture the industry’s most technically capable, resilient and future-proof carrier and enterprise class architectures supporting 100% reach-ability and 100% mobility.

    Strix Access/One family of products, protected by 10 U.S. and international patents, delivers the highest performance wireless mesh network products on the market. Having garnered industry-respected installations and accolades, Strix Outdoor Wireless System (OWS) provides the industry’s only in-field modular and future-proof architecture supporting multi-radio, multi-channel, and multi-RF mesh networking technologies. Strix OWS provides significant advantage when presented with the challenges of the outdoor environment including obstructions, interference, distance and climate and has been implemented over a broad number of applications both outdoor, indoor, for metro, public safety, government, energy, transportation, hospitality, education, enterprise, residential and carrier access markets and providing total coverage for countries, cities, large rural areas, hot-zones, and enterprise environments.

  124. Finally it seems that the mesh network is working in Mahavillachchiya. That is good news. It took a significant time to implement it. However, it is a good milestone and and pilot for Sri Lanka. I hope ICTA will have many lesson learned from this implementation and that it will not stop in Mahavillachchiya. One main vision of ICTA should be to formulate strategies to provide internet access to the whole country. MV mesh project is a start. I bet there are many lessons to learn from that implementation. MV is not the only rural village that needs internet access. I hope with the new CEO of ICTA who will be appointed soon will take correct initiatives away from those OLD school of thoughts and finally get something done to the country.

  125. After much deliberation, it has startedd to work it seems! Hats off to those kids!!!! Hope Donald will allow this thread to be WiFi related. Usually he even barges into tsunami related issues too to promote his Sinhala language solutions.

    Can we use mesh in other parts of Sri Lanka? Will ICTA replicate this in other parts of Sri Lanka? We heard that Mahawilachchiya has PCs in most of the households. Do we have this in other parts of Sri Lanka? Mahavilachchiya seems to have a fuly pledged IT culture. Visit http://www.mahavilachchiya.net/ their slogan is IT Happens in Mahavilachchiya!!!!!

  126. Prof Samarajiwa,

    Some of the comments we make do not appear in this blog. Does this mean a moderator selects only the suitable comments here?

  127. Unfortunately the automatic spam filter sometimes produces false positives and thus legitimate comments are sometimes incorrectly labeled as spam.

    I just checked the log and saw a few comments that were incorrectly labelled as spam. Have reinstated them. Going throug the spam log is not something that we do frequently so we appreciate feedback when a user’s posts dont get published, at which point we will go in and rectify the problem if it has been accidently flagged as spam.

  128. Few students from Mahavilachchiya communicated with me and they say that the speed of mesh is encouraging.

  129. DOn’t we have any more news (official stuff) from this pilot in Mahawilachchiya. we need to see the success.

  130. Yes, please. Can somebody update me about the status of the mesh networking project at Mahavilachiya?

    It was a great mistake of my father (Dino) to let this project continue. He badly wanted to ruin it at the inception. Perhaps his brain is not properly working these days due to old age. Probably that was why he could not stop this project earlier. Still I don’t think it is too late. If I know its status I can tell him immediately to stop it by bringing some technical or licensing issue.

    How can we get the godaya kids of Mahavilachiya use computers and beat us the Royalists? If every Sirisena’s, Kamalawathie’s and Karuppan’s sons and daughters start using computers and learning English how can we Colombo kids find a good job in the future? (For instance like the post of CEO of ICTA) If we let this happen, in another ten years a godaya kid from Mavavilachiya will become ICTA Chairman. My God. How can we let that happen? (There should be a rule that says the posts of Chairman and CEO ICTA are reserved for Royalists – still better the second or third generation Royalists.)

    That is why my long sighted father always blocked these godayas learning computers and English. That was his main objective of being the Chairman of CINTEC and Chairman of ICTA. That is why he chased off Dilantha and Manju from ICTA after such a fight. These two were trying to help the godaya kids and my father was very angry about them for that. How dare they do that?

    This Wanni guy has so far been very smart and the Mahavilachiya kids are not easy to be discouraged. However, let my father give another try and see.

    OK Sam (Son of VK Sam aka Dino)

  131. Mahavilachchiya mesh network is almost completed now. kids are accessing and enjoying with the internet using their mesh.

    Where is this Revantha now? what happend to him?

  132. May be Rehantha was the catalist of the project. Mesh became a reality due to Rev’s storng comments in this blog. Long live the blog. Long live Samarajiva.

  133. Jehan,

    On the contrary I think Revantha too was part of the gang who did not want to see this project see the light of the day, for reasons better known to them.

    Being employed in a competitor networking firm, Revantha was not ready to accept that ETPL could do a project like this which his own company could never do. It was professional jealousy, nothing else which made Revantha to bad mouth about this project.

    ICTA, ETPL and Mahavilachchiya kids have beaten all of them by successfully implementing the mesh network. Three cheers to them all!!!

  134. Revantha is not the catalyst of this project bro. as we know, he was the person who always criticized this project to ruin it from its inception (criticizing is his main job role; he has nothing do in his company other than criticizing what others do) . This type of people can talk a lot about the failures of the projects implemented by the competitors but they can’t even tell a single word about what they have done useful to our Sri Lankan Society.

    Second thing; It’s a big joke that a person who “fails to understand how an Low Gain Omini Directional Antenna mounted on a central site and a Directional Antenna mounted on subscriber could work in tandem” , tries to evaluate a wireless project which he has not involved with at all!!

    Anyway, it seems that his “MYTHICAL NON-EXISTING MESH PROJECT” (as revantha call) has become a reality at Mahavilachchiya now.

    Thx to the guys whoever actually involved with this project to get it done!! Hope this type of projects will be replicated in the other rural areas as well.

    Jehan, my dear Bro,

    There are some guys in our society who give only BIIIIG BIG TALKS. What they can do is just talking and writing bla, bla, blaaaa….(not the media ppl!!). They can’t do anything worthwhile to the society and contribute something useful to this wonderful world.

    Guys, any more updates about mahavilachchiya mesh??

  135. Not only mesh, even Dialog is going to cover Mahavilachchiya with a base station according to the news. Long live the blog as someone else said. Looks like Mahavilachchiya is going to be a Syllican valley soon with these infrastructure …. …. Hope Sam Sung doesnt get a heart attack by hearing this.

  136. Admin,

    Since this blog is more on mesh in Mahavilachchiya than Dharamsala, can you change the topic, like you did it with ICT Myths … to Standarsizing Sinhala

  137. This is great news. I can imaging how Willachchiya will now transform into a knowledge village thanks to the succes of this proejct.

    Eventhough I have not visited MV since I went there 3 years ago, I keep continous relationships with peopel concerned and as per credible sources the MESH is in action live now. I still remember 3 years ago the Horizon Prize giving took place under a tree but was organized in such manner which is simmilar in terms of presentation in Oscars. Everything was handled professionally by the ever hardworking team and all the kids.

    Imagine with these technologies in place they can take their innovative ideas, content to their success stories to other parts of the country and also in to the developing world. They can play many roles now in content development to other. Who knows MV will become a BPO destination at least for some internal work in future. And am confident there will be many professionals coming out from MV thanks to all the technological advancements and more than that connectivity to the internet.

    I hope the government and other relavant authorities will replicate such technology in other villages. However, in my opinion we need a strong village champion as well to make all this a success and also to face numerous obstacles/critisizm coming from various individuals to organizations.

    Also, am sure constructive critisizm is essential rathern than the opposit to take challenging projects forward and make them realities rather than faliures.

  138. Revatha is the superhero in mesh project. Without him, implementors would have simply forgotten the whole affair as they had done so for years. But when Reantha played an explosive innings on the blog, everyone got startled anc completed the project. Hats off to Revantha for a brave job. Ultimately, Revantha is “the man of the match” in the project.

  139. Thoppi welenda,

    You are correct!! Revantha is the supehero of the mesh. Great!!!

    He was the one who got the fund for this project. He was the one who designed this mesh. He was the one who fighted with the TRC and finally got approvals for the project. He was the one who imported equipment. He was the one who went to Mahavilachchiya and did all the implementations. He was the one who involved with this project from its inception to the end, faced lot of difficulties and finally completed it successfully.






  140. Hi everyone,

    I am here Live and Kicking, was absent on the blog for quite some time but was watching from the distance on progress of the Mesh Project at MV… well my soul agenda was to get the project up and going that all was not after crictsizeing others nor did I have any personal agenda as per the MV mesh project…. I saw a pitential in the project and pursues it thats all..

    hope to be in MV soon to see the project status, Thank you ETPL for going that extra mile and makeing this a reality and thank you all the Bloggers for all the compliments and critizisem and personal remarks made……


  141. Revantha,

    When you do to Mahavilachchiya take Dino also with you.

    Two of you are the ones who said this could never be done.

    Now ETPL and Mahavilachchiya kids have proved you and Dino were wrong.

    Hope this would have been a good lesson for you and Dino…

  142. Folks in Mawilachchiya,

    Beware of Dinosorus! You guys are being mentioned repeatedly in ICT week’s proceedings and Dino is not at all happy about this. He will be marking time to devour you all.