CSSL elects new council for 2019


The Annual General Meeting of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) was held recently, and the new Executive Council for the year 2019 was duly elected. Prabath S. Wickramaratne was elected as the President, whilst Damith Hettihewa was elected as the Vice President.

The other members of the Executive Council are Secretary Dr. Malitha Wijesundera, Assistant Secretary Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda, Treasurer Dr. Ajantha Atukorale, Assistant Treasurer Dr. Parakum Amaranga Pathirana, Student Counsellor Heshan Karunatratne, Publications Secretary Buddhika Senasekera, and Council Members Yasas V. Abeywickrama (Immediate Past President), Sajith Sameera, Shageevan Sachithanandan, and Heminda Jayaweera.

President Prabath

Prabath S. Wickramaratne, a known industry activist, has been with CSSL Executive Council over the past six years, prior to being elected as the President.  He is currently attached to Deutsche Bank AG, Sri Lanka as the Vice President / Head of Operations and Head of Information Technology.  In addition, he is a visiting lecturer at a number of leading Government and private universities in Sri Lanka.

The new President thanked the outgoing President Yasas V. Abeywickrama for his successful two-year term as President, during which he guided the Society strategically to a new level. Wickramaratne presented his vision based on Five Pillars themed ‘Strategy 2020 and Beyond”.  The Five Pillars are Profession, Empowerment, Engagement, Our Presence, and Digital Strategy. The new council will focus strategically on these five areas by implementing various events, activities, projects and initiatives.

The CSSL was established in 1976 in Sri Lanka by a group of dedicated professionals for the purpose of promoting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and professionalism among those engaged in this field, and to maintain the highest professional standards among the ICT professionals. CSSL has played this role for over 40 years and is the apex body for ICT professionals in Sri Lanka. It is a not-for-profit body. The CSSL is best known in Sri Lanka for hosting the National IT Conference (NITC) which provides a platform for national and international speakers to present papers.  CSSL also organises the National Schools’ Software Competition (NSSC) as well as the popular IT MasterMind Television Quiz Show that is nationally televised on ITN.  These activities have collectively lead to a surge in popularity for the CSSL and also for a renewed energy in driving large projects for building awareness and capacity.

The CSSL also provides networking opportunities as well as workshops and seminars that are organised on a regular basis.  One of the major achievements in the recent past is obtaining the Provisional Signatory status of Seoul Accord, which would assist to shape the dimensions of ICT higher education in Sri Lanka.

The new initiatives for 2019 will be launched shortly and interested professionals and students are welcome to visit the CSSL website at www.cssl.lk to learn about our activities and also to apply for membership.

ICTA Celebrates the Winners of the 2018 e-Swabhimani Awards


The 8th annual e-Swabhimani Awards focusing on the social impact by digital applications and solutions was held on 29th of November 2018 at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. The esteemed e-Swabhimani Awards were introduced to acknowledge and reward the exceptional work of the digital social impact domain. The awards are solely given on Merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their creativity and innovativeness of the digital solutions proving them worthy of recognition.

e-Swabhimani Awards were honoured in 9 categories. Winners of e-Swabhimani were determined by an independent panel of 16 judges who scrutinized the received 190 entries selecting 51 best applications across the categories for award.

“Sanvaadha” – Android Mobile App for Deaf produced by Ahanna (Listen) Foundation which was the Winner under Inclusion & Empowerment is an android based Sign Language Communication Mobile Application to overcome communication barrier between hearing and deaf individuals in communication with each other.  It has a sign language GIF animation recognition system which eases communication between hearing and deaf people by translating sign language into Sinhala and Tamil languages and vise-versa.


It also consists of a module with frequently used words for teaching deaf people and kids in GIF Sign Language Animation.

“Vidusath Mehewara” produced by Vidusath Social Responsibility Service won a Merit Award under the same category is developed to cater the needs of needy students and solve their problems in order to make sure the right of education for all is ensured and the standards of education are elevated.

Through this platform, economically hampered students, who have special distinctions in Sports and education, students who have special needs and schools in rural and remote areas can present their requirements and problems with the assistance of volunteers through this platform to donors who are willing to support students. In this process, there is a mechanism to publish only verified information on the website. The project aims to donate a website to every school in remote rural areas and to have access to internet facilities with the approval of the Ministry of Education.







Educate to Innovate program of ICTA

Several sessions of the Educate to Innovate program of ICTA were held from the 26th of November to the 29th of November 2018. More than 1150 trainee teachers placed in over 500 schools around the island participated in these sessions that were held at the Pasdunrata National College of Education, Ruhunu National College of Education, Dharga Nagar National College of Education, Nilwala National College of Education and the Wayamba National College of Education.

Educate to Innovate is a program conceptualized, designed and implemented by the ICTA toward creating awareness for school teachers on the importance of STEM / STEAM education concepts, entrepreneurship and innovation. At this program, teachers were also given “maker-kits” and asked to assemble a toy propeller car that can work on land and water as an example of innovation education.

We would like to thank our resource persons Mohammed Fawaz from ESOFT, Krithika Thushyantha from Technobrain International, Jehan Wijeysinhe from IgniterSpace, Chamil Jeewantha from Zone 24×7 and Jayanandi & Vandana from Gateway College who contributed their time and knowledge at these sessions.




Sri Lankan IT-BPM delegation visits Sydney for market expansion






In collaboration with the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney, seven IT-BPM companies led by Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) visited Sydney from 28-30 November on an accelerated market access program to facilitate and support the IT industry in Sri Lanka.

Under the Economic Diplomacy Program initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sri Lankan Consulate office in Sydney had arranged Business Networking for the visiting IT Delegation on 28 November. The main objectives of the networking event were to showcase Sri Lanka’s knowledge services industry as well as to present opportunities available for Australian software companies to collaborate with Sri Lankan counterparts. Consul General Lal Wickrematunge, Consul Commercial Abdul Raheem and ICTA Project Manager spoke at the occasion and the visiting members of the delegation had the interacting session with invited companies.


Consulate Office also arranged a familiarisation visit to the Computer Department of the Macquarie University for the Sri Lankan delegation on 30 November. Presentations were made by Prof. Christophe DOCHE, Executive Director/Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, Prof. Margarat Hudson, Director Macquarie Park Innovation District and Prof. Michael Sheng, Head of the Computer Department. Members of the Sri Lankan IT Delegation were briefed about ongoing IT innovations in Australia.

In association with Thesalesdesk, a Consultancy Agent, ICTA also arranged a matchmaking meetings and B2B sessions for the Sri Lankan companies on 29 November. ICTA Project Manager Sachindra Samararatne made a detailed presentation on IT industry sector in Sri Lanka and opportunities for Australian companies to partner with Sri Lankan counterparts. CAMMS Managing Director Joe Collins, who has his business operations in Sri Lanka spoke about his experience running a business venture and the enabling environments in the country.

Sri Lanka’s IT and BPM sector tripled exports and doubled the workforce in the last five years. Total earnings from the ICT sector amounted to $920 million in 2017, an 8 percent growth over the previous year and the fifth largest export segment. The software services sector includes telecommunications, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and software testing. The BPO sector includes financial and accounting services, investment research, engineering services, and UK-based legal services.

Sri Lankan IT delegation to Sydney, Australia include Softcodeit Solutions Ltd., 27/7 Techies Ltd., Inexis Consulting, hSenid Business Solutions, PayMedia Ltd., i-Context Content Convergence Ltd., Data Management Systems Ltd. and Projects Managers Nilan Thimbiripola and Sachindra Samararatne of ICTA.

Sourced By : www.ft.lk

Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness ties up with Sri Lanka’s #Suhuruliya


Panel discussion (from left): Moderator Sharanyan Sharma, District Coordinator (Northern Province) Seyon

Ganeshamoorthy, ICTA Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Entrepreneur Kajanthini Raveendran, South Asia

Facebook Policy  Programs Manager Rajat Arora


Jaffna, in Sri Lanka’s picturesque north, recently saw Facebook teaming up with the #Suhuruliya initiative to promote economic empowerment of women in Sri Lanka. As part of this partnership, Facebook’s globally renowned #SheMeansBusiness program will partner with the #Suhuruliya program to train rural Sri Lankan women in digital skills and promote entrepreneurial activities in the island nation.

The #Suhuruliya program, under the aegis of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs (MCWA), seeks to create economic opportunities for women through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The ICTA is incorporating #Suhuruliya in its Smart Social Circles, a national programme for empowering citizens through ICT.

As part of this partnership, Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness program will train Women Development Officers from the MCWA, who will subsequently function as trainers, as well as women entrepreneurs.

In a ceremony marking the launch of this initiative, 10 women and knowledge agents from Smart Social Circles from the Jaffna region were felicitated. The day’s events also included a #SheMeansBusiness workshop attended by over 500 participants. The participants also went through an #OnlineSafety workshop to help them safely navigate the online economy. Both workshops were presented in Tamil.

“We are committed to capacity building in ICT to deliver economic growth throughout Sri Lanka. Suhuruliya is a key element in our plans to introduce Sri Lankan women to entrepreneurship and this partnership with Facebook will greatly help in taking digital skills to rural Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs,” said ICTA Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajiva.

“It’s only when women participate in economies, do nations grow. For women in Sri Lanka, as elsewhere, it’s important to be a part of the digital economy as that’s where the future points to. We have always been committed to Sri Lanka and believe in the power of such initiatives to strengthen society and promote peace and prosperity. Sri Lankan women have a lot to look forward to in the coming days!” said Public Policy Director – India, South and Central Asia Ankhi Das.

#SheMeansBusiness by Facebook has been launched in 16 countries around the world, including India, and is designed to reach both aspiring and established women entrepreneurs through a series of workshops and online resources that will arm them with the knowledge, skills, connections, and technology required to build and grow their business.

There are more than 60 million businesses around the world who actively use Facebook Pages because they’re free, easy to use, and they work well on mobile. Small businesses discover Facebook for their business because they know how to use it personally: Setting up a Page is just as easy as setting up a profile. And Facebook is where their customers already are.

Source by : www.ft.lk

Procurement of Services of a Service Provider for providing logistics for a Launching event of NSDI System – ICTA/GOSL/SER/NS/2018/12A

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Invitation for Quotation

Published in the Daily News on November 15 and November 17, 2018

Deadline for submission of Bids: 1500 hrs (3.00 p.m.) on November 23, 2018

Sri Lanka’s IT industry must take the lead to build a talent pool for the future – Norwegian Ambassador

NorwayIT BPM

The Sri Lanka – NORDIC Business Council along with the Norwegian Business Association Sri Lanka, and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held an ICT breakfast forum and networking event at Cinnamon Grand on 9th November.

The Royal Norwegian Embassy supported the event in cooperation with SLASSCOM and ICT Norway. The Chief Guest at the event was H.E. Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther, Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The event was held with the aim to facilitate possible collaborations between an ICT delegation from Norway and ICT companies in Sri Lanka. There was also a panel discussion on the theme “21 Century Skills – How do we create a talent pool for the future”.

Addressing the gathering Ambassador Gaustadsæther said, there will be a considerable shift in skills and talent required from the global workforce in the next decades.

“Jobs of the future will require more critical thinking, advanced skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), creativity, interdisciplinary knowledge and people skills among others. Building this talent pool for the future has to start now, and it is the responsibility of government, policy makers, as well as the private sector and individuals.”

The Norwegian ambassador said since the need is so critical, the IT industry must take the lead.

“If you wait for the government, this will take too long and might not be what you require. Therefore, the IT industry must come together, although competitors with each other, in this question you have only one goal: that is creating the right pool of talent for the industry needs,” he emphasized.

Speaking during the panel discussion, Jeevan Gnanam, Chairman SLASSCOM said that this year alone the IT industry needs about 16,000 individuals to join the industry, and that the current university system does not meet the needs of the industry.

Lars Mortensen Lægreid, Founder of Emergence School of Leadership in Norway said that it is good governance, which makes Nordic countries prosperous. He also spoke of the importance of sustainability for all industries and the ability of technology to provide new solutions to problems.

One of the key areas in which skills are rapidly changing is the ICT industry. With more than 300 companies, the local ICT sector serves a broad range of industries ranging from communication, apparel and textiles, banking financial services & insurance (BFSI), healthcare, manufacturing, media, retailing, transportation to travel and leisure among others. The discussion on the skills requirement was topical in the ever-changing ICT landscape.

Source By : www.colombopage.com

AG stresses on importance of cyber security for socio-economic growth

CB1CB2Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC yesterday said successfully facing the growing cybersecurity challenge is key to safeguarding socioeconomic prosperity in the country.

The importance of cybersecurity, challenges towards it and some of the measures taken so far were highlighted by Jayasuriya in his address after inaugurating the 11th National Cyber Security Week 2019 organised by SL-CERT and ICTA at the Hilton Colombo yesterday.

He said the value of global cyber security incidents in 2015 was $ 590 billion and estimated to be $ 2.1 trillion, a fourfold increase.

“There are certain challenges countries and organisations will have to face when mitigating cyber threats. Some of them are lack of awareness of cyber threats among citizens, lack of readiness of stakeholders to deal with it, gaps in laws in relation to modern cybercrimes, lack of cooperation among relevant stakeholders and countries,” the Attorney General said.


In that context he commended the SL-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) for its pioneering initiative in enhancing awareness of cyber security in the country as part of its core role of being the focal point for cybersecurity in Sri Lanka.

“Knowledge sharing is critical for the society to be better equipped to achieve cleaner secure and stable internet environment. This is important for socio economic growth of Sri Lanka,” the Attorney General emphasised.

The full-day forum featured a host of international and local experts shared key insights to latest challenges and trends on cyber security.

During his address Jayasuriya also noted that Sri Lanka has made tremendous progress in meeting the challenge of cyber security. Among them were the creation of sectoral CERTs such as for the financial sector and education sector. Another was the Cyber Defence Command Centre at the Air Force. The latest was the launch of National Cyber Security Strategy, which the AG said “paves the way to coordinate multiple actions and bring together all stakeholders”.


Nevertheless, Jayasuriya stressed the need for continuously safeguarding the achievements and initiatives the country has progressed with. “If the systems are abused or attacked, they may lead to disruption of what we have achieved so far. So we need to have proper mechanisms and thereby ensure all that we enjoy is protected from cyberattacks,” said the AG, who commended the courage and determination of all stakeholders to ensure “we live in a secure cyber world”.

Focusing on his area of expertise, the AG said cyber security and provisions relating to cybercrime were interconnected. “Cyber security deals with prevention whilst provisions relating to cybercrime takes care of criminal justice aspect to the breaches of cyber security,” he said, adding that prosecutors face many challenges when endeavouring to be successful in meting out justice against cybercrime.

He said following the enactment of the Computer Crime Act in 2007, based on the Budapest Cyber Crime Convention, the ICTA and SLCERT worked very closely and tirelessly for eight years to make Sri Lankathe first country in South Asia in the Budapest Convention in 2016. Being a State party to the Budapest Convention, Sri Lanka has created legal and policy framework to meet the challenges associated with cybercrime, he added.


The AG also said since cybercrime is cross border and given the challenges, a uniform mechanism, rules of procedure and evidence are of paramount importance, which can be achieved by bringing all parties/stakeholders together under the umbrella Budapest convention.

The Convention he said provided judicial officers, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders with capacity building opportunities to deal with cybercrime investigation and prosecution.

“Having such a mechanism will not and should not distract our attention from having a proper system of prevention,” stressed Jayasuriya. He also said cybercrime threats will enhance the scope for cyber security jobs and professionals to be involved to ensure all stakeholders will have the benefit of a secure cyber world.

Estonian Information System Authority International Relations Director, NATO CCD COE Ambassador Liina Areng focused on what ensures resilience of a national cyber security strategy in her presentation.


She said it was important to have a proper interface between public and private sectors, defence as well other stakeholders. The need for proper balance between policy and processes with clear action was also stressed. To deal with increased complexity of threats, the benefit of security by design was another aspect. This, she said, requires both developers and defenders to work together.

Among other key foundations for resilience were education, community building, harnessing cyber culture, law enforcement capacities to keep pace with cyber criminals, and international cooperation.

SL-CERT Chairman Jayantha Fernando told the opening ceremony that SL-CERT now handles over 4,000 cyber security incidents per year, as opposed to below 50 when it was set up in July 2006. It was pointed SL-CERT has remained relevant and effective because of its inclusive approach collaborating with multiple stakeholders.


Fernando also highlighted a host of initiatives carried out by SL-CERT, and the significance of Sri Lanka being part of the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime. He said the initial operational funding challenges compelled us to think out of the box – to find ways and means to deploy sectoral CSIRTs with key stakeholders, with Sri Lanka CERT functioning as the umbrella org. This approach led to us to establish the FIN CERT, which supports the banking and financial sector, and the EDU-CERT. The FIN CERT is housed at Lanka Clear and functions with a CBSL led Steering Committee implementing the Baseline Security standards for Banks.

Similar initiatives have been taken in other sectors – The Cyber Defence Command of the Ministry of Defence, hosted by Sri Lanka Airforce, is another land mark initiative to address Cyber security challenges in the defence and military sectors.

“Our ability to respond effectively to the needs of our stakeholders will determine whether we stay relevant. Sri Lanka CERT stayed relevant primarily because the multi-stakeholder Board representation, which added so much value to the effectiveness of Sri Lanka CERT. Past and present Board members of CERT should be thanked for their guidance over the years,” Fernando said.


He also said during Sri Lanka’s entry to the Budapest Cybercime Convention, Sri Lanka CERT became the Centre of Excellence with a vision of making Sri Lanka a Cyber security and Cybercrime capacity building hub. “Sri Lanka CERT has shared their expertise at various Council of Europe training activities since then, including the establishment of Tonga CERT. We also managed to attract support from British Govt to partner us in a number of activities,” the SL-CERT Chairman added.

He also said the 2018 edition of CSW was the biggest to date, and that it was significant since it was the first since the launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy and SL-CERT becoming an independent legal entity, as opposed to it being part of ICTA previously.


Among experts who made presentations at the forum included H. Ogawa, Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat, Director for International Strategy, Japan National Centre of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity, Japan;  Dhanya Thakkar, Vice President Trend Micro Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa; Leonard Kleinman, Chief Cyber Security Advisor, Asia Pacific and Japan, RSA Security LLC; Sean Duca, Vice President, Regional Chief Security Officer, Asia Pacific, Palo Alto Networks; and Hoo Chuan Wei, Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Cybersecurity Systems Group, ST Engineering Electronics, Singapore. Local experts included WSO2 Founder, Chief Architect and Chairman Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana and Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies Director Dr. Harinda Vidanage.

Secretary Ministry of Digital Infrastructure Chulananda de Silva, ICTA Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, CEO Damith Hettihewa and SL-CERT CEO Lal Dias were among officials present at the opening.

Apart from the full day conference, the 2018 Cyber Security Week comprised technical workshops, a hacking challenge and an information security quiz.

Principal sponsors of the Cyber Security Week 2018 were EZY, Trend Micro and VMWare, Gold sponsors were Just In Time Group, RSA, Intel and Dell and Silver sponsors were APNIC, Paloalto and ST Engineering. Official Payment Network was LankaPay, Education Partner was ISC2, and the Communication Partner was Dialog. Daily FT along with Sunday Times and Daily Mirror were the Print Media sponsors.


Source by : www.ft.lk

The first of the three Social Innovation Camps organized under the National Youth Social Innovation Challenge was held in Kandy

The first of the three Social Innovation Camps organized under the National Youth Social Innovation Challenge was held in Kandy from the 30th of September to the 5th of October 2018.

50+ participants from 12 teams selected for the thematic challenges of the program participated in this camp which was conducted by experts from the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

The National Youth Social Innovation Challenge is a program jointly organized by the Ministry of Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment, The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), National Youth Services Council Official and UNDP Sri Lanka.

Two more such camps are to be held in Habarana and Beruwala during this month of October 2018.





National ICT Exhibition INFOTEL-2018 starts today

National ICT Exhibition INFOTEL-2018, under the theme ‘Towards a Digital Economy’, which is organised by Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) starts today at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo. As the biggest and most prestigious ICT exhibition in Sri Lanka and the whole of South Asia, INFOTEL-2018 will be from today to the 4th.

CEOs of local and international ICT companies, professionals, decision makers, entrepreneurs, educationists, school and university students and public numbering over 100,000 will visit the exhibition. The highlights of the exhibition will include a digital government pavilion, Military innovation pavilion by Tri forces, an E-sports pavilion, career guidance service, IT pavilion, a start-up pavilion, hardware and software solutions, a shoppers pavilion with discounts and an ICT education and training pavilion. In parallel to INFOTEL the National CxO Forum 2018 will also be held.

The FITIS is receiving the support and cooperation of public and private organisations for INFOTEL including the Ministries of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, Defence, Education, Higher Education. The National partner of INFOTEL is Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) while the main sponsor is Sri Lanka Telecom. Computer Society of Sri Lanka, BCS Sri Lanka section and SLASSCOM are industry partners while many companies in the private sector are also supporting it. There will be over 200 trade stalls displaying new products, services and solutions in the field of Information and communication technology. The general public will get the rare opportunity to see equipment and solutions of well-known local and international companies under one roof at INFOTEL.

In parallel a program on career guidance will be held at the venue for school and university students and it is expected that over 5000 students and 800 teachers will participate. In addition it will also provide jobs for the ICT qualified persons and the top ICT companies will participate to fill their vacancies. Higher education and training in ICT is given priority and therefore well-known higher education institutes providing ICT education from here and abroad will participate to showcase the opportunities available for students to pursue a career in ICT. It is an excellent opportunity for students who are planning to pursue a higher education to get an idea about the available courses, fees, recognition as well as advice from the representatives about what suits best for individuals.

INFOTEL has provided an opportunity for students of schools, technical colleges and universities to showcase their innovations in ICT. In addition young entrepreneurs in the field of ICT can also showcase their new and innovative products and services at INFOTEL. This will also give an opportunity for the public to purchase goods and services from reputed local and international companies at a discounted rate together with a warranty. In addition a separate booth for online purchase of goods and services will also be setup. 30 booths will be setup for ICT enthusiasts to play computer games. A Digital government pavilion will be set up to showcase the digital services provided by public institutions and also provide an understanding to the public about these services.

In parallel to INFOTEL the National CxO Forum 2018 will be held where CXOs of local and international companies, professionals, researchers, decision makers, entrepreneurs will participate. It will be a venue where new trends in ICT as well as issues and solutions will be discussed.

Source By : www.ft.lk