Mahinda Rajapaksa


At least some have first assumed it a practical joke, but Daily Mirror online confirmed President did send a New Year wish to all mobile users today. Using romanised Sinhala President wrote “Kiwu paridi obata NIDAHAS, NIVAHAL RATAK laba dunnemi. Idiri anagathaya sarwapparakarayenma Wasanawantha Wewa! SUBA NAWA WASARAK WEWA! Mahinda Rajapaksa” (As promised I delivered you an independent and free country.
“I am the teacher; you are the student; but still we are in the same class” (guruthumee mama, sisuviyayi numba; eath api eka panthiye) This line from the popular Sinhala song ‘Saroja’ (sung by the wife of a powerful minister of the current regime) tells it all. First it was for students, but now the government wants to extend the mobile phone ban for teachers too. Not a surprising move by a government that wants to block  ‘Adults Only’ films watched by…er, adults. Reported Daily Mirror: “I have heard that the Nuwara Eliya incident had taken place involving a teacher and the other incident was connected to a female student. Education Minister Susil Premajayantha has taken measures to prohibit the use of mobile phones at public schools.
Old habits die hard. When you have been a member of a tiny Trotskyite left political party for the longer period of your life and seen the World Bank as your arch enemy, you may forget that you are on the same side now. This seems to be what happens to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Tissa Vitharana, once in a while. His latest holler, as reported by ‘The Catalyst’ – the newsletter of the Information and Communication Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the apex body of ICTs that spearhead the e-Sri Lanka program, funded by the World Bank, goes as follows: “At a time when the ‘world funding bodies’ proposed the setting of Internet cafes in cities of Sri Lanka in a manner that would only cater only to the rich elite, President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided that Nenasalas or wisdom outlets should be setup instead island-wide to cater to the poor rural folk.
Infosys Technologies chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy has declined to be the IT advisor to the Sri Lankan government, the IT bellwether said Wednesday. In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Murthy said he had decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons. “I thank you for the courtesy shown to me during my recent visit to Sri Lanka.
Mr Narayana Murthy of Infosys has always been a straight-talker and a clear thinker. The Sri Lanka President deserves congratulations on picking him as his advisor. He will give good advice. We hope the President will take the advice. Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appointed N R Narayana Murthy, chairman of India’s Infosys Technologies, as his international advisor on information technology, the president’s office said.
Dialog Telekom and Sri Lanka Telecom won the first and second places respectively among the Business Today’s Sri Lanka Top Ten business firms. President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the awards at a function organized by the Business Today Magazine. The recipients were Dr. Hans Wijesooriya of Dialog Telekom, Leisha De Silva of Sri Lanka Telecom, Harry Jayewardene of Distilleries and Aitken Spence, Sumithra Gunasekara of John Keells, Rajendra Thyagaraja of Hatton National Bank, Ravi Dias of Commercial Bank, Eran Wickremerathne of NDB Bank, Nustanfer Ali Khan of Ceylon Tobacco and Thila De Soysa of Bukit Darah. Source: Colombopage
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Sri Lanka has dropped a controversial fixed levy from mobile phones which would have hit the poorest phone users the hardest, but slapped a 7.5 percent tax on calls, telecom minister Rauf Hakeem told parliament Thursday.The government initially proposed a fixed 50 rupee charge which would have hit the poorest or ‘bottom of the pyramid’ users hardest, as well as tripling a usage based charge from 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Future of telecenters

Posted on July 14, 2007  /  3 Comments

As LIRNEasia plans its future research plans, which will be centered on mobile as a “more-than-voice” mode of access to means of communication, information retrieval and publishing, as well as completion of transactions (including payments), we have come up against the need to critically examine current efforts on, and plans for, telecenters.   Obviously, this is a discussion that will be Asia-Pacific-wide, like everything LIRNEasia does.  However, we’d like to get this started with a provincial news report in a Sri Lankan newspaper, simply because it was posted on the website by a reader/writer.  The comments and thoughts of all on the future of telecenters are welcome. :: Daily Mirror – Opinion :: The Nenasala Information Technology Training Centre in Ganewatta DS Division in Hiriyala electorate which was declared open by the Provincial Council Member (NWP) Laxman Perera ceased to function within days of opening.

Public Administration in an e-Economy

Posted on September 21, 2004  /  0 Comments

The service sector drives network economies and information societies. The foundation of this sector is the communication network. As such, modern network economies depend on effective reforms in telecom infrastructure to strengthen links among local, national, regional and international networks and markets. Professor William H. Melody Technical University of Denmark London School of Economics … in his presentation on “public administration in an e-economy” to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.

LIRNEasia Launch Party

Posted on September 17, 2004  /  0 Comments

The LIRNEasia Launch Party went well – with plenty of eating, drinking and dancing (and minimal photo-taking). Here are a few: Bill Melody, Milinda Moragoda, and Michael Spence Lighting of the lamp in gale force winds The view from a Mount Lavinia Hotel Room It was an auspicious launch with the personal message from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered by Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to Prime Minister (see previous post for tea with the PM) and a message delivered by MP Milinda Moragoda. Also in attendance were Manju Hathotuwa, CEO of the Information Communication Technology Agency. There were also 3 generations of Samarajiva’s including Ainsley and Evelyn Samarajiva.