The looks may deceive, but this is a radio station. Prabhavi Community Radio – the first Internet community radio in Sri Lanka comes from Prabhavi Resources Center, Weranketagoda, Ampara – the post-conflict district in Eastern province (8 hours travel from Colombo). It operates from a Nenasala, one of the 500 odd telecenters funded by the World Bank under e-Sri Lanka program. A brainchild of Ajith Karunarathne, it runs as a nonprofit venture entirely by volunteers Asiri (red shirt, first photo) and his team. Strangely, this radio station connects to Internet thru a 128 kbps pipe.
LIRNEasia and Sarvodaya initiated the Webhamuva program with assistance from the World Bank’s Small Grants Program to give voice to the people whose opinions go unheard in the post-tsunami reconstruction work. The final report is available here (PDF): WEBHAMUVA: Report on People’s Consultations on Post Tsunami Relief, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka The findings from the report indicate that people are dissatisfied with the pace of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Most of the tsunami-affected spoken to have yet to recover their normal lives in terms of livelihood, permanent housing and their sense of safety and security. The feeling of helplessness and despair is quite prevalent especially when people do not have the capital or means to engage in sustainable livelihoods. Needs assessment from the donors has not been very effective because there seems to be a large discrepancy between what people need and what is supplied to them.