Sri Lanka Archives — Page 55 of 60 — LIRNEasia


Standardizing Sinhala for IT

Posted on May 30, 2006  /  204 Comments

PLEASE CONTINUE DISCUSSION ON STANDARDIZING SINHALA FOR IT APPLICATIONS IN THIS THREAD. CREATING ICT MYTHS THREAD HAS BEEN ARCHIVED. EXCERPT FROM PREVIOUS DISCUSSION BELOW:
In May 2006 Airtel launched a Tamil SMS solution developed by MicroImage, a Sri Lankan software firm, in the State of Tamilnadu. Tamil and Sinhala SMS are offered in Sri Lanka by Dialog Telekom and Celltel Lanka. The service is based on a key-entry system enabling a customer to type the SMS as fast as in English and “a one touch function guiding them using the key pad to type Tamil letters”, according to Airtel. “The subscriber needs to download the application free of charge from ‘Airtel Live’ on to their handsets. Those receiving the Tamil SMS also need to download the application in order to read it in Tamil.
A report on the Indicators Workshop held in New Delhi by LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is available here [PDF]. The report provides a review of international initiatives and best practices, examines some of the difficulties regarding standardising indicators across the region, the challenges of measurement and collection of indicator data and the process of developing an indicators manual for the South Asian region.
This article shows that government’s instinct to ban cellphones from conflict zones because of the belief that it will be used by militants/terrorists to further their cause, actually neutralizes one of the security agencies most potent weapons to track subversives. I doubt that the Sri Lankan government will allow cellular service to be available any time soon in the North. But at least it gives the security agencies some food for thought. The Indian government was similarly reluctant to have cellular service in Kashmir, but the Indian security agencies are their biggest proponents now. ———— Troops in Kashmir master new weapon: cell phones Reuters By Sheikh MushtaqSun May 21, 1:53 AM ET Minutes after a bomb exploded recently in Kashmir and wounded Indian soldiers, a senior member of an Islamist rebel group called local newspaper offices to claim responsibility for the blast.
The first phase of the Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination (HazInfo) project funded by IDRC, was completed recently with the training of trainer component. LIRNEasia is implementing this project along with its project partners Sarvodaya, the largest community organization in Sri Lanka and TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP), a non-profit media organization working in the Asian region. LIRNEasia has undertaken a number of initiatives in the area of ICTs disasters and early warning post the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of 2004. However, this is by far the largest project undertaken LIRNEasia in this area to evaluate the suitability of a number of ICTs (information and communication technologies) deployed in varied conditions for their effectiveness in the last-mile of a hazard warning system.

Seismic monitoring in Sri Lanka

Posted on May 15, 2006  /  0 Comments

The link below is to a comprehensive article by a geo scientist on Sri Lanka’s seismic monitoring capabilities. Paper Articles – The Island “The seismic monitoring equipment available at the University of Peradeniya with peripherals at other national universities needs to be operationalized properly as a national network. The entire system must be maintained with the involvement of a competent group of scientists. The data processing centre at Peradeniya should be linked to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau enabling independent data processing and interpretation at both these locations. Further, the coordinating centre of the security forces should have a direct link with the network to receive real time information.

Dharamsala meeting on WiFi

Posted on May 7, 2006  /  147 Comments

AirJaldi Summit – Dharamsala, India Above is a link to a meeting on license-free WiFi networks, centered on what has been built at Dharmasala, the venerable Dalai Lama’s headquarters (he was denied the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka for the 2550 Buddha Jayanti, despite all the Buddhist rhetoric of our current government: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=1,2155,0,0,1,0.
LIRNEasia is sending its Lead Economist Harsha de Silva to participate on a MIT scholarship to the first ever executive course offered by the Poverty Action Lab this summer. The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a unit within MIT’s Department of Economics, serves as a focal point for development and poverty research based on “randomized trials”. According to Harsha, this program can significantly contribute to WDR & LIRNEasia’s ongoing and future research projects on ICTs. For example, “In the Teleuse on Shoestring project it is difficult to measure how much the poor actually benefitted from having access to the phone. There are a number of variables like cultural background, access to other infrastructure services, level of education etc which make it difficult for us to pinpoint how much access to telephone had in improving the quality of life of the poor in India and Sri Lanka,” said Harsha.

Shoestrings study in the news

Posted on May 2, 2006  /  4 Comments

Hello… how do the poor use their phones?  By Frederick Noronha, Indo-Asian News Service  Dhaka, April 30 (IANS) It’s a billion dollar question: how do the poor of the planet use their mobile phones? A South Asian study conducted in India and Sri Lanka that looks at telecom users with monthly incomes of less than $100 says that over half the respondents do not even own the phone they use. Read more at DailyIndia.com Click here to access the main Shoestrings study
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO LIRNEasia’s research from the outset has focused on the conditions for greater investment in the ICT sector. The effects of the larger political environment on the cost of capital in the ICT sector is one that was discussed in the research, but not fully supported by evidence. It appears that the sad deterioration of the political environment in Sri Lanka offers a natural experiment in assessing how the qualitative and sudden deterioration (as opposed to gradual decline) of the political environment effects investment in ICTs. It is hoped that the Sri Lanka team of the 2006-07 research cycle will capture the evidence as it appears.
Avanti Moonesinghe, Harsha de Silva, Neluka Silva & Ayoma Abeysuriya April 2006, Version 2.2 Version 3.0 The latest in the series of Teleuse on a Shoestring papers is now available for comment.  It is often claimed that access to telecommunication facilities is a propeller of economic prosperity in developing countries.  Mobile phones in particular are considered pivotal in encouraging growth.
The Webhamuva Project was showcased at the World Bank’s launch of the Small Grants Program (SGP) 2006 in Sri Lanka on April 6, 2006, as an example of the previous year’s funding under the same program. www.webhamuva.org was launched last year to ensure that the voices of the tsunami affected were heard widely and their interests and input were taken into consideration during the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase. Divakar Goswami, Director of Organizational Development and Projects at LIRNEasia made a presentation on the project and highlighted some of the findings.
Mangroves failed to protect coastal villages in ‘04 tsunami – INQ7.net “The World Conservation Union, also known as IUCN, and other nongovernmental organizations earlier reported that mangroves saved lives in Sri Lanka and India — a finding they said could motivate hard-hit communities across Asia to consider replanting mangroves. A quarter of mangroves have been destroyed in tsunami-impacted countries since the 1980s due to development and the rapid growth of shrimp and fish farms. But Baird, of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, and his co-authors argued that governments would be better off putting their resources into an early warning system and evacuation plans. They also called for many coastal communities to be moved to higher ground.
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Wired World 03 April 2006 12:24:30 Sri Lanka’s new computer sales to grow 11% by 2011 Apr. 03 (LBO) – Computer sales in Sri Lanka are forecasted to grow 11 percent by 2011, largely driven by demand from public sector, telecom and financial sectors, an IT study released Monday said. In 2005, sales of new computers rose 11 percent to 102,208 in Sri Lanka, despite risky peace talks and the after effects of tsunami, with Hewlett Packard being the favourite brand said the International Data Corporation who surveyed three South Asian countries. The report which covered Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan said new computer sales in these countries grew 16 percent to 851,735 units in 2005. Pakistan with a 19 percent growth, led the table followed by Bangladesh (13 percent) and Sri Lanka (12 percent).
An AFP report states that: UN Under Secretary Patricio Bernal said Egeland and former US president Bill Clinton had taken to task government officials from countries in the Indian Ocean in a closed-door meeting here in a bid to speed up the process. “We are not worried about the technical side. At the moment we have 17 sensors in the Indian Ocean and by July we will have 23. If anything happens tonight, somebody will be there to move an alert,” he told AFP. “What we are afraid of is whether this information will flow down.
The LBO story states: Sri Lanka’s two private wireless local loop telecom operators have been called up to pay around Rs. 400 million as duties for importing handsets, industry officials said. Last month, the island’s Board of Investment (BOI) slapped a 33 percent import duty on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) handsets with immediate effect. CDMA is a low cost cellular technology that has been effectively used world over to provide cheaper connectivity to rural homes. Though the technology is similar to mobile phones, the handsets are similar to a bulky fixed line unit.