Mobile bans: Crossing the river by feeling the stones

Posted on July 14, 2015  /  0 Comments

I’ve been waiting for a good example of the application of Deng Xiao Ping’s approach to policy: cross the river by feeling the stones. Fine tune policy actions based on feedback. One has come up: in Sri Lanka of all places.

The department of wildlife said sightings of large mammals such as leopard are usually conveyed to other vehicles using mobile phones inside the Yala park where wild animals had been run over by speeding visitors.

“When a leopard or other interesting sighting is made by one vehicle, the news is rapidly transmitted by means of mobile phones, attracting large numbers of vehicles to the site, causing severe congestion and spoiling the experience for everyone,” the department said.

It said the telecommunications regulator has agreed to switch off mobile phone coverage within the Yala park for six hours daily at the peak visitor times starting July 20.

There are more mobile phones than people in Sri Lanka where the cellular phone density is 107 for 100 people.

The department said they will also undertake a study of visitor behaviour at the park from July 20 to September 13, ” to assess the impact of the mobile communications suspension.”


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