BIG BROTHER backs off: Individual mobile phone ‘Licenses’ not for another eight months!

Posted on July 16, 2008  /  5 Comments

Perhaps to the shock of those who wholeheartedly justified the new regulations on mobile and CDMA phones, it looks as if Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has decided ‘National Security’ can be compromised for another eight months. You still can afford not having a piece of paper (aka a license) to carry your phone through a check point.

We do not know how many terrorists will take advantage of TRCSL’s ‘flexibility’ or why TRCSL wanted to back off if that move were so essential for security reasons. All we know is this (temporary?) backing off will help at least one third of the population – those who don’t own the phones they use – at the bottom of the pyramid. Now a poor woman in Dehiwala can use the phone of her husband without risking an arrest.

We also see this as an example of what a timely policy intervention can achieve. Response by LIRNEasia – among others – even after the formal announcements of the regulations has made at least TRCSL rethink.

Your response might make them rethink even more. According to what their site says Director General of TRCSL can be accessed by the mail address Faxes can be sent to +94-11-2689341 and just dialing 1900 from any phone will connect you to them. Please let them know what you think about the proposed regulations.


  1. Nalaka Gunawardene

    This news does bring a respite to the hasty and drastic regulations that were proposed over the weekend. But don’t expect the telecom and defence babudoms (aka bureaucracy) to back off so easily and nicely. It’s more likely that they found holes in what they were proposing, and after spending millions of tax payer funds advertising the new regulations in last weekend’s newspapers, they now say the matter will be reviewed.

    Meanwhile, if you read my own views on this incident – taken with other recent incidents of stepmotherly treatment – that mobile phones keep receiving in Sri Lanka, you will realise the reasons run deeper:

  2. Today’s Lankadeepa carried a vague retraction of the story above. It appears that the actual start date is indeterminate; but TRC does not want to say it’s an 8 month postponement.

  3. rohan is my guest tonight [18 july 2008] on biz1st in focus at 9.30pm on mtv and shakthi tv [repeat at noon on sunday] discussing this issue along with the industry in general. catch it if you can.