CSR Archives — LIRNEasia

When e Sri Lanka was designed, we thought that lots of jobs would be created, some through conventional firms in the IT and IT enabled service industries, but more in entrepreneurial startups. The first hope was realized more or less, but not the latter. Since two people with direct experience, LIRNEasia international advisory board members Ashok Jhunjhunwala and KF Lai, were in town for the LIRNEasia@5 conference, I offered them as speakers to SLASSCOM. A well attended meeting that included local entrepreneurs such as Dinesh Saparamadu (hSenid) and Mifaan Careem (Respere) and a significant number of U of Moratuwa engineering students saw a fruitful exchange of views that has already led to the establishment of an entrepreneurs society at U of Moratuwa. KF Lai talked about how he had been encouraged to start his own business while a government scientist, by the Government of Singapore.
Lakshaman Bandaranayake of Vanguard Management, who worked with LIRNEasia closely in the post-tsunami period, was kind enough to arrange meetings for Stuart Weinstein of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center who attended the LIRNEasia@5 conference. For those who may not know, Stuart was at the controls on December 26, 2004 when the great earthquake that caused the tsunami occurred. I visited PTWC a few weeks later and met Stuart and his colleague Barry Hirshorn leading to my first piece on early warning, post-tsunami. Despite all the controversies that were swirling around, Stuart and his colleagues were incredibly forthcoming and open, even agreeing to give evidence via a video link for the useless Presidential Commission on the Tsunami. Being the practical man he is, Stuart installed some new software at the Met Department that will help them make better use of ocean level information sent by the World Meteorological Organization and has also drafted some recommendations for the Sri Lanka authorities on how to improve their processes.