ICTs to address the language barrier?

Posted on July 19, 2009  /  2 Comments

Today, Rohan Samarajiva delivered a speech at TEDx Colombo held at the Punchi Theater, entitled “Government services:  Anytime, anywhere, any official language, now.”

Much emphasis was laid on the usage of ICT in order to help trilingual government service delivery. Using the T@BOP data he illustrated the popularity of mobiles among the Sri Lankan BOP, and therefore their suitability as a medium for accessing government services, to answer queries or assist in contacting other government offices.  This kind of help line service cannot be provided by private organizations; government has to be involved, in order to provide credibility. Ultimately, any citizen should be able to get things done, without hesitation, promptly, no matter what language they speak.

The slides are attached here


  1. One member of the audience, Mr Gihan Fernando, has accused me of insulting the Sinhala language or Sinhala speakers or both: http://gihangamos.blogspot.com/2009/07/tedx-place-for-inspiration-not-insults.html. He has not yet approved my response, but I hope he will.

    Others in the audience have not heard the alleged insult: http://saintfallen.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/insults-at-tedx-colombo/ and believe that Mr Gihan Fernando has misinterpreted the comments. All in all, evidence that the presentation has engaged the attention of the audience.