Sri Lanka: Telegrams bite the dust

Posted on June 9, 2011  /  1 Comments

The train displaced the canal barge. The airplane displaced the train as a means of long-distance travel. Such is the way of the world. Now the telegram has gone the way of the canal. Who would have thought that government could function without telegrams? How will employees tell their bosses they are not coming to work?

Sri Lanka is to finally scrap its telegraphic service, which has been overtaken by mobile phones and the Internet and handles just 50 telegrams a day, an official said Wednesday.

Transmitting telegrams using a network of postal messengers across the country was too expensive, postal ministry secretary Hemasiri Fernando said, adding that they could not compete with phones and text messages for speed.

“It is too costly. Telegrams have competition from email, courier and SMS (short message services) on mobile phones,” Fernando told AFP.

The department charges three rupees ($0.03) for a telegram of 10 words while it cost the postal department 250 rupees ($2.29) to transmit it to the recipient, Fernando said.

Story from AFP on LBO.

1 Comment

  1. You raise the same question that crossed my mind: “How will employees tell their bosses they are not coming to work?”

    The babus have always sought what I call the ‘comfort of paper’. That’s why they collect everything in writing, and often insist that we fill forms in triplicate (or worse). Telegrams may have been telegraphically sent but were delivered written/typed on paper. It’s going to be hard for SMS or email or other means to offer our babus the same assurance.