Professor Xue Lan of Tsinghua University in Beijing participated in the inaugural session of the La@5 conference through a video link, kindly provided by Tata Communications Lanka. We were worried about this, because he was competing with real people (Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Justice and Law Reforms, Sri Lanka, and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Center for Policy Research, New Delhi) in the co-presence of the large audience. This report by an LBO journalist who was in the room suggests that the message overcame the limitations of the medium. Ad hoc public policy formulation can be disastrous and both China and India are evolving evidence based processes to back effective government action, academics and researchers said at a policy forum in Colombo. “The strategic direction is set by the Party and State Council and the People’s Congress makes legislation,” Xue Lan professor of Public Policy at Tsinghua University in China said, participating in a regional policy forum in Colombo.
It was gratifying to see McKinsey picking up on the work that PIPU did in 2002-04 and praising the TRCSL in the regulatory chapter in GITR 2009. There is a lot more refarming to be done TRC; keep up the good work. The move toward a more technology- and service-neutral spectrum policy was mainly triggered by a desire to treat all providers equitably, the urging of mobile providers to shift to GSM technology, and the need to use CDMA as a low-cost solution for fixed wireless access in rural areas. Although the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) was constrained to some extent by existing allocations and defense considerations, it issued more spectrum space. The regulator also recognized the problem of scattering spectrum and attempted to streamline allocations while it cleared capacity in the 1800–1900 megahertz range.
The following column on LBO.LK discusses an issue that has involved one of the discussion threads in the website. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Recently, the blog has become controversial. Since April 2006, one thread has been used by various persons to discuss Sri Lankan ICT policy issues, with emphasis on the appropriate standards for using Sinhala in computing. Not all the comments on this thread have been rational and civilized and some commenters have engaged in personal vilification.
Yesterday, I spoke to a large and restive crowd (made so by lack of air conditioning and a delayed start) in Matara (main city in the South of Sri Lanka) at the launch of the Pathfinder Foundation’s first book, a Sinhala translation of Janos Kornai’s Toward a free economy. I was asked to talk about globalization and the relevance of Kornai’s ideas for facing the challenges posed by globalization. In this talk that I pieced together thanks to time zone differences that caused me to wake up at 3 in the morning while in the US, I illustrated the issues referring to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a broad area of service exports for which efficient, flexible and low-cost telecom is a pre-condition. I think the talk provides the "big picture" of the necessity of telecom reforms of the type that we at LIRNEasia are involved in. If we are to go beyond simply giving people phones, to giving them "money in the pocket and hope in the heart" this big picture is essential.
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.