At LIRNEasia, we all do our own CSR. Rohan and Harsha are perhaps among the most invited speakers to business conferences. Helani taught Information Systems to Masters students. Call this mine.
I do not blog. That is, if you do not count occasional posts at this site and comments on few others. I hate being called a blogger (Contrast to ‘Kathandara-kaaraya’ or story-wallah, whose Embarkation card identifies him a ‘Blogger’. Come on, what is wrong with ‘Engineer’?) Neither I have free time like Akkandi of UNDP Afghanistan, who enjoys the break after being airlifted few weeks back, or Beyond Frame – the bizarre character, going by the frequency of his posts, who should certainly be jobless. Apart from that, typing Sinhala is a pain.
Still I blend with Sinhala bloggers – virtually, most of the time. These are nice people, though a bit weird. I start my day reading blogs, not newspapers. Once in a while I find myself in the middle of a heated discussion. Sinhala bloggers have added significantly to our project on Broadband QoSE, so that some formally work with us. Malinthe, for example, does QoSE testing and Kalinga beta tests mobile versions of AT-Tester.
Sinhala bloggers do worthy job. If not for them, the online Sinhala content in the net would have been pathetic. These volunteers bridge that gap bringing content of diversified subjects varying from Buddhism to Politics and Cosmology to Literature, catering to a massive readership more conversant with vernacular. As of the last count the Sinhala blog reader syndicates 600 blogs, more than what Kottu.org does.
First Sinhala bloggers’ meeting at Excel World yesterday, was mostly an informal gathering. Finally we give faces to those avatras in cyber space. Sudaraka discovers every Sinhala blogger taller, while I find the frivolous ‘Makara’ (Dragon) is a PhD student in NUS. Pity that we miss the anonymous political bloggers – Beyond Frame, Taboo Subjects, Ramachandra, W3Lanka, Migara and the Boondi crowd. Perhaps they fear the white vans. I do not blame them – given the nasty stuff they pen.
I am happy that I make a positive outcome. Stating soon Sunday Lakbima will publish extracts of Sinhala blogs, just like Sunday Leader does English ones. Sundara Nihathamani De Mel, Editor, Lakbima Sunday Edition readily agrees to my proposal. It is more work as we are yet to settle the issues with Sinhala fonts (Donald, art thou listening?) but the good news is it will happen soon.
Finally, thanks Kalinga for the opportunity. Sinhala bloggers, keep up your good work.
(Photos: Ravimal Bandara and Rachintha Jayawardhana)