Blog — Page 330 of 336 — LIRNEasia


Industrial policy revisited

Posted on April 28, 2005  /  0 Comments

In the 1980s and 1990s, a debate raged in the US on the question of industrial policy; the proponents arguing that the government should pick sectors and “winners” and the opponents arguing that government bureaucrats were not in a position to do so and that the market should be allowed to take its course. One of the most effective methods of policy argumentation in the US is “we are falling behind [fill in the blank].” Those days, the country that was forging ahead of the US was Japan, in most cases (e.g., Fifth Generation Computing, High Definition Television) .
On being asked to identify what I thought were the key on-the-horizon policy issues, I came up with the following. It would be helpful to have a web discussion on this with the intention of coming up with a ranked list that may include new items. 1. I am even more convinced that the backbone is a critical hole in the original reform thinking. Its significance is highlighted by Korea’s success in broadband and everything ICT.

2004-2005 Report of Activities

Posted on April 27, 2005  /  0 Comments

Choices: LBO Monthly Column

Posted on April 21, 2005  /  0 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva writes a monthly column on Choices for the Lanka Business Online. His second column titled Nanny State (March 15, 200) deals with the controversial 100/200 meter rule that the Sri Lankan government wants to impose on people living along the coast line, preventing them from building houses within 100/200 meters from the sea. The third column is titled BPOs or daha dahasak wewu? (April 20, 2005) discusses the realistic policy choices available to decision-makers for moving the Sri Lankan economy to a high trajectory growth-rate.
NEW DELHI, APRIL 13: The government is in the process of amending the Indian Telegraph Act to extend the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund support to cellular mobile services (both GSM and CDMA). As of today, the government is giving USO fund support to only the fixed line operators offering services in the rural areas. “We are looking at amending the Telegraph Act to accommodate the cellular services and CDMA-based services to reach the rural areas. We are looking at sharing of the passive infrastructure with the cellular service providers,” communications and information technology (C&IT) minister Dayanidhi Maran told reporters. Besides covering the villages, the minister is of the opinion that the wireless services should also provide connectivity to the Railways and highways especially in rural areas.
NEWS:SL was presented to Mano Tittawela, Chairman of TAFREN [Task Force for Rebuilding the Nation] yesterday (April 6 2005). Handing over Concept Paper; Tittawela, Samarajiva

University links explored

Posted on April 6, 2005  /  0 Comments

On March 7th (I know, this is late; but as they say better late . . ), LIRNEasia had a full day of presentations and meetings at the School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The main presentation by Rohan Samarajiva and Sujata Gamage and the related concept paper may be of interest. Other conversations covered disaster-related and other research collaboration possibilities.

Tsunami Lessons

Posted on April 1, 2005  /  8 Comments

Ten preliminary lessons of the 28th March 2005 Sumatra great earthquake (Photo Source) LIRNEasia, together with Vanguard Foundation, intends to systematically analyze the Sri Lankan media response to the great earthquake of the 28th of March. However, it appears useful to draw some preliminary lessons from this tragedy which has cost over 1,000 lives, including the people of Nias and other islands and those in Sri Lanka and elsewhere who died as a result of the warnings. The conclusions are preliminary; comments are welcome. # Earthquake hazard detection is easy; tsunami hazard detection is not. One cannot simply infer the existence of a destructive tsunami from an earthquake.
COLLOQUIUM April 1, 2005 In accordance with standard economic principles, an all-hazards early warning system is a public good that is both non-rivalrous (consumption by one economic agent does not prevent consumption by another) and non-excludable (a user cannot be excluded from consuming the good without significant effort) in nature. Given these characteristics and the related “free-rider” syndrome, pure public goods will not be supplied by the market. Goods with significant public-goods-characteristics tend to be undersupplied. The two classic solutions to the problem of funding and the supply of public goods are taxation and the bundling of a public good with a private good. The latter solution is an innovative one that has not been fully explored in the public goods literature nor is there much evidence that such a solution has been deployed in practice.
Some of the key recommendations made by LIRNEasia in the National Early Warning System (NEWS:SL) concept paper are now being picked up by policymakers and the media in Sri Lanka as can be read in this new report by the Lanka Business Online: One Voice On Tuesday, Sri Lankan legislators called for a single body to issue warnings on potential natural diasters This is one of the key recommendations that LIRNEasia made in its paper ( NEWS:SL section 2.12, page 18). Mr. Newton Gunaratne head of the state-run Independent Television Network said: “We could not find any authority who was willing to say it was safe for people to go back, that is why we need a centralised system from where authoritative information can be obtained.” LIRNEasia recommended that a well-designed warning system will clearly alert a local population of the hazard and also provide all-clear notofications (NEWS:SL 2.
NEWS:SL [National Early Warning System: Sri Lanka] was presented to the �Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Inquire into Matters Relating to the Conduct of Relevant State Institutions/Agencies Following the Natural Disasters which Occurred on 26 December 2004, and the Measures that Should be Taken to Improve Early Warning Mechanism for Natural Disasters and Thereby to Prevent or Mitigate Such Devastation� following a presentation of same to the Commission� on March 15 2005, less than three months after the greatest catastrophe faced by Sri Lanka in modern times. The salient features of the Concept Paper were presented to the Commission, in addition several other research findings relevant to the Commission. The importance of an all-hazards approach was stressed and governance model options were discussed. Recommendations on actions that are needed by government were made and intended actions by the Vanguard Foundation were presented. Commission members, retired Supreme Court Judge H.
English Press Release English Background & Executive Summary Sinhala Press Release
Sinhala Tamil

Parliamentary Select Committee

Posted on March 26, 2005  /  0 Comments

Our colleague, Nishantha Kamaladasa, Director of the Center for Housing Planning and Building, testified before the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Tsunami on March 7th, 2005. The difficult-to-find and oddly named website of the Select Committee is at http://www.srilankanparliamentonnaturaldisasters.org/Sixth%20Meeting.htm The sixth meeting contains the slides and text of Nishantha’s presentation.
It has been three months since Sri Lanka lost 40,000 valuable lives and the Indian Ocean region 300,000. Given below is the e-mail message that LIRNEasia sent to its friends and well wishers on this sad day of remembrance. It is being posted here in case we missed your e-mail address or got it wrong. Three-month alms giving in remembrance of the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami Prompt action to establish an effective National Early Warning System is the best memorial we can build to the 40,000 valuable lives that were swept away for the lack of a few minutes of warning and a little awareness.—NEWS:SL Concept Paper It is customary in Sri Lanka to offer a dana (an alms giving wherein offerings are made to monks and the resulting merit is offered to the departed) three months after the death of a dear one.

National Early Warning System

Posted on March 7, 2005  /  11 Comments

National Early Warning System: Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL):  A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System (Version 2.1) Annexes: A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System (Version 2.1)   *Executive Summary*# *The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of one in 500 of Sri Lanka�s people and displaced one in twenty has highlighted the critical importance of an effective National Early Warning System for Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL)*. Meeting this need, which has been discussed (and forgotten) after each of our too frequent disasters such as the cyclones of 1978 and the floods of 2003, can no longer be postponed. # *Public warning is a system, not a technology*.