The new Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology aims at making Sri Lanka become 75 per cent IT literate while turning the IT industry into a major export earner.
This was expressed by Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya at a simple function for inaugurating the new Ministry at 79/1, Fifth Lane, Colombo 3 last forenoon (17). The highlight of the ceremony was the invoking of blessings on the Ministry and the country by clergy representing Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The concurring message of the representatives of the clergy who performed the respective religious rites in front of a large gathering was that the multi-religious ceremony augured well for the country as well as the Ministry.
The Minister emphasised the challenge placed before the Ministry by President Mahinda Rajapaksa , of making Sri Lanka reach the 75 per cent mark in IT literacy in 2016 and optimising IT as a foreign exchange earner. “The efforts towards this objective should be well planned and worked out with a dedication similar to winning the war. The above-mentioned twin goal of the Telecommunications and IT ministry is an essential part of the wider goal of winning the economic war. The bench mark of this is the doubling of the country’s per capita income within the target period which in its turn will contribute heavily towards Sri Lanka becoming Asia’s Wonder ”, the Minister emphasised. The Minister said, thanks to the foresight of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the IT literacy rate that was about 4 per cent when His Excellency took over the portfolio of IT, had now reached about 30 per cent. Sri Lankans are clever. Given the proper impetus and leadership they will achieve what seemed to be impossible . We have seen this happening with regard to eradicating terrorism. We can all unite, without being distanced by language, religion or any other differences. Fifteen years ago the rural people were shy to place the receiver of the phone close to their ear and say ‘hello’ with their mouth. But today it has become both a useful and fashionable part of their routine lifestyle to use the mobile phone. The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka has contributed greatly towards making the benefits of ICT reach the people thus. All citizens should be ‘socio-economic’ soldiers in winning this economic war and making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia.
A large gathering from the public sector and the private sector including Secretary to the Telecommunications and IT Ministry Nimal Atukorale, ICTA Chairman Professor P. W. Epasinghe, ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura participated in the function.
(This article is carried in Daily News [short] and WeekendFT [long] 18th December and Daily Mirror [short] and The Island [long] of 20th December and Daily News of 21st December [short])