Honouring local contributions to ICT possible due to President: Lalith Weeratunga

Friday, 19 November 2010 02:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka is now able to see, evaluate, appreciate and enjoy local contributions to ICT, thanks to the leadership of the President, says President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa handing over a

trophy at e-Swabhimani 2010
President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga delivering his address as the Guest of Honour at e-Swabhimani 2010

Weeratunga said so while participating at the e-Swabhimani 2010 award presentation for best e-content developers held at Chinnamon Grand Colombo recently under the patronage of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest.

Delivering his address as the Guest of Honour, the President’s Secretary said that if the President had not eradicated terrorism and restored peace by his determination and wise guidance, Sri Lankans would not be having the opportunity to recognise local talents and appreciate their contribution to ICT today even at an event like e-Swabhimani 2010.

Speaking further on the occasion Weeratunga said that e-Swabhimani 2010 was another instant where ideas in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana – Vision for the Future’ were put into action. This was under the e-Sri Lanka initiative.

“The country is now reaping the benefits of the e-Sri Lanka initiative put on track in 2004 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa then as Prime Minister and revamped from 2005 as President,” the Presidential Secretary said.

Relating e-Swabhimani 2010 to the President’s foresight the President’s Secretary stated: “The development of talents in e-content through e-Swabhimani 2010 testified to the value of the guidance given by the President for leading the country to win the war of socio-economic development.”

Paying a tribute to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who had graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, Weeratunga said that the country was fortunate that Minister Basil Rajapaksa was available to spearhead the support to the President in reaching development benchmarked by a number of achievements including 75% ICT literacy by 2016.

As compared with the first e-Swabhimani event last year organised by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, e-Swabhimani 2010 was a great improvement both in number and quality of entries.

As compared with the 130 entries under eight categories at e-Swabhimani 2009 there were 163 entries spread out under 11 categories this year. While there were 18 winners of awards for the national best e-content in 2009 there were 26 winners this year. Among the projects which won awards at e-Swabhimani 2010 ICTA too made its mark, while ICTA was the winner of an award for its product, SL GovSMS Portal: “SMS to 1919”.

ICTA was the producer of another award-winning software, e-Revenue Licence Project created in collaboration with the Provincial Commissioner of Motor Traffic. ICTA was also producer of yet another award-winning project, namely the Birth, Marriage and Death Certificate Digitisation Project in which ICTA collaborated with Theekshana and Sanje Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

Speaking on this occasion ICTA Chief Executive Officer Rshan Dewapura said: “I think it is all our fortune, that we have Minister Basil Rajapaksa, a minister who is giving leadership to the challenge of taking Sri Lanka to goals clearly articulated in our government’s policy statement ‘Mahinda Chinthana.’ It is important to recognise and give prominence to local talent, local skills and local innovations. e-Swabhimani is intended to do exactly that.”

ICTA Chairman Prof. P. W. Epasinhge, World Bank Senior Economic Specialist – Private and Financial Sector Development in South Asia – Tatiana Nenova and World Bank Operations Officer Sandra Sargent were also present on this occasion.