Rural Horizon for the New Year – TecKnow, Daily Mirror – April 07, 2004


The general elections are over with all the traditional self-interest of party politics, which this time descended into pigsty politics if not muddled lunatic politics.

After the rhetoric, the double manifestos and sometimes-vicious propaganda campaigns we now have the makings of a new government with major questions as to how long it will go on.

But something more lasting and important for human development is the National New Year which hopefully would heal at least of some of the wounds that election politics inflicted on our country.

This sixth issue of TecKnow comes to you today in the auspicious red for the National New Year, though the colour is not to be identified with the red-hot ally in the UPFA.

As usual, the New Year TecKnow brings you, in full colour, the latest awesome techniques and amazing gadgets arising from super computers and the spectacle of cyber space.

Our special New Year feature comes on our centerspread featuring a bold and dynamic teacher who has taken a significant step to bring about a more equitable distribution of benefits of the computer era. Teacher Nandasiri Wanninayake has dared to till fertile ground by going deep into a remote village off Anuradhapura to give computer training to poor children of farmers and other villagers.

We salute this trail blazing pioneer and founder of the ‘Horizon Computer School’ in the village of Mahavilachchiya. Though he probably won’t be given the world status or power of a Bill Gates, Mr. Wanninayake has certainly opened the gates for the power of modern education to flow to areas where millions of people are dispossessed and marginalized. We hope that the good seed he is planting in the form of computer chips would transform kilobytes into megabytes and produce for Sri Lanka top-level computer specialists from the villages.

We also hope that Mr. Wanninayake’s exemplary action would inspire others to go beyond the air conditioned institutions of privilege in cities to take the knowledge and power of computers to the grassroots which form the heart of Sri Lanka.

The essence of the computer revolution is that the microchip and techniques of cyber space transcends the borders and barriers. The National New Year in Sri Lanka also provides such an opportunity, to blend the time honoured best in our ancient traditions with the best in modern technology beyond the barriers of race, caste, religion or social status.

So we wish all are readers Suba Aluth Avuruddak ! and Puthandu Valthukkal!

-Kishanie S. Fernando