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Industry hails Harin for selection of professionals to new ICTA Board

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The country’s IT industry has hailed Minister Harin Fernando for his selection of professionals to serve on the Board of ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).

In reconstituting the ICTA Board, Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando picked professionals with knowledge and expertise in the software and business process outsourcing sectors, telecommunications, cyber security, Government and verticals that are major users of ICTs.

The new ICTA Board comprises of Prof. Rohan Samarajiva (Chairman), Damith Hettihewa, Lakmini R.H. Wijesundera, Kapila Sri Chandrasekera, Lal Dias, Reshan Dewapura, A.A.M. Hilme, M.C.L. Rodrigo and P.H.A.S. Wijayarathne.

 “The new Board appointments are professionals who are qualified and respected,” a senior IT industry leader told the Daily FT. “We hope the new Board will help steer the IT industry effectively and efficiently as well as step up eGovernance initiatives and the broader digital Sri Lanka initiative,” he added.

Computer Society of Sri Lanka President Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama said: “We CSSL as the nation’s professional association for IT professionals believe that ICTA should be governed by professionals, who have sufficient knowledge to be able to contribute towards guiding Sri Lanka’s IT sector .We have the confidence that the new Chairman and board of directors are a team of high caliber professionals and are suitable to handle the significant challenge at hand to build a digitally inclusive Sri Lanka.”  

“We are also pleased that CSSL’s Honorary Secretary Damith Hettihewa too has been appointed to the board. CSSL wish the new board success in their new endeavors and look forward to closely working with industry’s apex body,” he added.

SLASSCOM Chairman Ruwindhu Peiris said: Overall, as a country we need to fast get into execution mode and leap frog using technology.  ICTA has a huge role to play in enabling the digital landscape of the country and as done in the past we look forward to working collaboratively with the new team to help drive our economy towards its full potential.”

In a statement ICTA’s new Chairman Prof. Samarajiva said last week, “Within a week of receiving the letters of appointment, the Board got to work in earnest, conducting a broad review of the activities of the Agency. It is developing a plan to focus and consolidate the many ongoing projects and restore momentum to ICTA’s important role in working across multiple government departments, agencies and coordinating with private and civil society stakeholders to ensure that digital initiatives contribute to efficient government, a dynamic economy and an inclusive society.”

The Chairman expressed confidence that, “With the leadership of the Board of Directors and the commitment of the staff, ICTA would again become a trusted partner to all who wish to leverage the exciting potential of ICTs for the betterment of our country.”

Following is a brief profile of the new members of the ICTA Board:

Prof. Rohan Samarajiva (Chairman): Former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission who contributed to the design of the e-Sri Lanka initiative that the ICTA implemented from 2003. He served on the ICTA Board during the organisation’s formative period 2003-05.

Damith Hettihewa: Has over 24 years of experience in Telecom, ICT, Banking Industries and FMCG. He is a chartered engineer graduated from University Moratuwa with a BSc (Eng.) degree in Electronics and Telecommunications and obtained his MBA from University of Hull UK. He had a short tenure at Unilever followed by Nestle Lanka Ltd.

Lakmini R.H. Wijesundera: Has over 24 years of experience in corporate governance, technology management and global expansion of enterprise ICT products and is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of IronOne Technologies and BoardPAC. These companies operate globally across 20 countries, the business has successfully collaborated forming international partnerships with leading companies in the telecom sector such as Maxis in Malaysia, Vodacom in South Africa, AirTel in India and Robi Axiata in Bangladesh among others.

Lal Dias: Was instrumental in establishing Sri Lanka CERT|CC and presently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. He is a Chartered Information Technology Professional and a Member of the British Computer Society, educated in the UK and Australia with a Computer Science Degree from the University of Manchester and MBA from Murdoch University.

Reshan Dewapura: Currently the Chief Executive Officer at GSS International Ltd, one of the fastest growing BPO operations in Sri Lanka. Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, a Masters in Project Management, and has been in the ICT industry for over 32 years and was former CEO of ICTA as well. 

Kapila Sri Chandrasekera: Currently Head of Telecom and Transaction Advisory at M Power Capital a boutique private equity and advisory firm in Sri Lanka. Counts over 15 years C Level experience and 20 years of experience working for telecom and ICT service providers including subsidiaries of NTT International, Telecom Malaysia  & Axiata Group, and Amper S.A. (Spain) in Sri Lanka, Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa. 

A.A.M. Hilme: Read for his BSc. (Hons) Degree in Multimedia Computing & Technology at the University of Staffordhshire, UK, and is currently enrolled at the University of Staffordshire, UK for his MSc. in Technology Management. Hilme was appointed to the Board of ICTA in January 2016

P.H. Ananda S. Wijayarathne: Has over 20 years’ experience in Sri Lanka Planning service (SLPS) and pursued his career in Sri Lanka Administrative Service and served for Divisional Secretariat, Rideemaliyadda, Ministry of Plan Implementation, Department of External Resources, Department of National Budget, Department of Public Enterprises. He is currently serving as an Additional Director General at Public Enterprise Department under the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

M.C.L. Rodrigo: Additional Secretary to Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure. He is a MBA Graduate of University of Moratuwa in e-Governance, MA Graduate of University of Dortmund, Germany and University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus in Regional Development Planning and Bachelor of Arts Graduate of University of Colombo. He had school education at Sri Sumangala College.

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