Minister of the newly set up Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry Ranjith Siyambalapitiya Tuesday launched the website of the Ministry.
A special feature of the newly launched website www.ictmin.gov.lk launched in the premises of the Information and Communication Technology of Sri Lanka (ICTA) is the opportunity it provides for participatory communication.
This is accentuated under the two sub-heads “Tell your Minister” and “Voice of Citizens”. Anyone is able by email to put forward to the Minister any ideas, views, thoughts, proposals, concerns, requests, suggestions with regard to the Telecommunications and Information Technology field by using this website. There is provision for this under the section “Tell the Minister”. Like the other side of the same coin any citizen can use the facility under “Voice of Citizens” to come out with any idea that he or she wishes to share with others or thoughts not directly addressed to the Minister but intended to be disseminated in general and aimed at promoting improvement in Telecommunications and Information Technology.
Inviting the Minister to light the oil lamp as a traditional prelude to launching the web-site ICTA’s Strategic Communications Senior Programme Head Athula Pushpakumara said that it was significant that in 2003 President Mahinda Rajapaksa lighted the oil lamp at ICTA inaugurating his thrust into the field of ICT.
The seed of ICT for national development which the President had sowed at that moment and continued to nurture all these years had resulted in a massive tree exuding its fragrance locally and internationally. He said that anyone who had listened to the ICTA radio programme Subharati this morning would have been astonished at the deep knowledge the Minister has about ICT. Speaking on the occasion ICTA Chairman Professor P. W. Epasinghe said that the appointment of Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to head the new Ministry of Telecommunications and IT, a fond subject of the President, showed the great trust the President had in the Minister.
Making his maiden address on the first occasion of the new Ministry the Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the goal placed before the nation by the President, namely reaching 75 per cent ICT literacy in 2016 was a big challenge but attainable due to the guidance of the President who had proven that he was a leader far outstanding, a leader the country had been fortunate to have in centuries.
The Minister said that the proof of this was not only in the better known victory of the ethnic war but also in the lesser known victories such as in the sphere of the economic war. Going on to mention a brief example in his tight schedule of the day including a committee stage budget debate including expenditures of the subject heads of Telecommunications and IT, the Minister said it was indeed a wonder already that under the President’s guidance the land phone to mobile phone ratio in this country which was 12:5 in 2003 was 17:85 today.
Welcoming the audience comprising representatives from ICTA and the Department of Telecommunications including Lal Ranjith and the media the Ministry Secretary Nimal Atukorale said that the very fact that much behind the scenes work was done by all concerned whether they were abroad or in the country in putting up the new website within such a short time as six days was a reason for joy since founded on the rock of unity, brotherhood and dedication we could achieve the task ahead of us, namely making Sri Lanka a Wonder of Asia.