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    Deputy Foreign Minister Perera highlights Sri Lanka's achievements in ICT

    April 19, 2015

    Speaking at the Global Conference on Cyberspace held in Netherlands, the Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera underscored that Information and Communication Technology was the tool and enabler that would push the boundaries of socio-economic development in Sri Lanka and that e-Government led reforms would be a catalyst in bringing greater transparency, efficiency and accountability. He also briefed on various initiatives underway in the ICT sector that had brought Sri Lanka to the lead position in South Asia on the UN e-Government Readiness rank.

    The Global Conference on Cyberspace was held at The Hague in Netherlands from 16-17 April 2015.

    The Sri Lanka delegation to the conference included Wathsala Amarasinghe, Chargé d'Affaires a.i, Neil Unamboowe, Senior Deputy Solicitor General, Chitrangani Mubarak, Chairperson of the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and Chanuka Wattegama, Board Director, ICTA.

    The Statement of the Deputy Minister is as follows:

    " Hon Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I wish to express my sincere congratulations to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for hosting this landmark Global Conference on Cyberspace. I also wish to express my appreciation to the Government of the Netherlands and Hon Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the invitation extended to Sri Lanka and for the gracious hospitality extended to my delegation.

    Sri Lanka strongly believes that Information and Communication Technology is the tool and the enabler that will push the boundaries of socio-economic development in countries such as ours. While harnessing the full potential of ICT for development, e-Government led reforms will be a catalyst in bringing greater transparency, efficiency and accountability.

    Substantial investments are already made in the deployment of ICT in key sectors of the economy under the “e-Sri Lanka Development initiative”, supported by the World Bank. Our Networked Readiness Index has improved steadily and the UN e-Government Readiness rank has also jumped 41 places bringing Sri Lanka to No. 1 position in South Asia. A large number of government services are now available on line to citizens through our country portal (LankaGate), facilitated by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka.

    The new Government’s 100 day programme has guaranteed access to free Wifi as a citizen’s right. This free Wifi programme was launched in several key public places across the country. The Government expects to increase it to thousand hotspots in the coming months.

    Sri Lanka has had a long-standing tradition of supporting an open, interoperable and secure Internet. It remains an active participant of ICANN and supports the Internet Governance Forum.

    Whilst protecting the freedom of the Internet, several policy and institutional measures have been adopted to combat internet crimes. Recently, Sri Lanka was invited to join the Budapest Cyber Crime Convention of the Council of Europe. We are strongly committed towards fast tracking our accession to this global convention.

    Thank you. "

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