Government of Sri Lanka Archives — LIRNEasia

In the process of trying to deflate inflation numbers (not inflation), the Government of Sri Lanka has removed alcohol and tobacco from the new price index because they are socially undesirable (not because government taxes are driving those prices through the roof) and included for the first time mobile phone charges.   This is a positive move for a government that has imposed an additional 7.5 per cent levy on mobile charges (the government currently takes LKR 26.50 of every LKR 100 spent on mobiles through value-added and mobile-specific taxes).  At least this should bury the misconception that mobiles are used only by the rich.
The usually well-informed LBO.LK appears to have gotten confused in the “fog of war” created by interested parties seeking to extract rents from the sale of 25% of SLTL shares by NTT to GTH, both private companies, and by the unfortunate opacity of the transaction (something that is quite surprising because SLTL is a publicly traded company and the interests of thousands of shareholders are affected by the transaction). The source quoted by LBO below appears to have been quite familiar with the ORIGINAL shareholders agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and NTT in 1997, but appears to have been comatose since then. Provisions regarding no universal service obligations (USO) and international exclusivities were in that agreement and did bind the Government of Sri Lanka. The no-USO provision continues to date, though the international exclusivity ended with the issuance of external gateway licenses in March 2003.
LIRNEasia organised a press conference to highlight two major initiatives in the area of hazard warning, one that it launched on providing disaster mitigation and last-mile connectivity to tsunami-affected villages and the other that it wrapped up on dam-related hazard warning system for Sri Lanka. LIRNEasia released A Concept Paper for a Dam-related Hazard Warning System in Sri Lanka: A Participatory Study on Actions Required to Avoid and Mitigate Dam Disasters in collaboration with its project partners, the Vanguard Foundation, Sri Lanka National Committee on Large Dams (SLNCOLD), Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) and Sarvodaya. This work was funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia, handed over the final concept paper to U.