e-Village Programme Underway in Five Provinces – Daily News – March 15, 2008

Mahawilachchiya Reservoir

The e-village programme was initiated under the Mahinda Chinthana concept of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and developing e-villages was another fulfillment of the 2008 budget proposals.

The first phase of the project was implemented in the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Western, Uva and Southern Province. Under the second stage of the programme, community computer centres are scheduled to be constructed in addition to schools computer learning centres.

Prompted by the success of the programme in Mahawilachchiya, the President has advised the Ministry of Education to initiate the e-village concept in selected rural communities. Accordingly, the SEMP of the Ministry of Education has so far established five projects in five villages.

“On successful completion of these projects, the programme will be further extended within its long-term scope,” Education Ministry sources said.

“The country can easily be developed by educating people regarding modern technology such as information technology related fields which help the development of any country. Apart from that our human resources can be enriched with modern technology which can cater to the demand of employment opportunities,” Secretary to the Ministry of Education Nimal Bandara said.

Dharma Sri Abeyratne

Three Sri Lankans receive Ashoka Social Entrepreneur Award – The Morning Leader – March 05, 2008

Nanda Wanninayaka
Nanda Wanninayaka
Nanda Wanninayaka

Three social innovators in the fields of veterinary education, technology for youth and human rights have been selected as 2007 Ashoka Fellows.

Dr. Nalinika Obeyesekere (Colombo), T. B. Nandasiri Wanninayaka from Mahawilachchiya in the North-Central Province and Fr. Nandana Manatunga (Kandy) are those who have been selected as Ashoka Fellows.

They join the nine other Ashoka Fellows in the country to receive this prestigious international award since it was established here in 2003.

Ashoka is an international citizen sector organisation that invests in social entrepreneurs with system-changing solutions that address the world’s most urgent social challenges, a press release stated. Founded in 1980, Ashoka has selected and invested in more than 1800 Fellows in 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, America and Europe. Ashoka Fellows work in the six broad fields of education, environment,

Village BPO Serving Blue-Chips – The Sunday Leader – March 02, 2008

OnTime BPO
OnTime BPO
OnTime BPO

A village based business process outsourcing  (BPO) service that handles part of the backoffice operations of Sri Lanka’s largest diversified company, has also been contracted by the country’s biggest telecoms operator, whilst having talks to provide similar services to Sri Lanka’s largest white goods supplier.

This BPO operation located at Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura, that processes data of suppliers’ to John Keells supermarket chain (a process that began some months ago) has now been employed by Dialog Telekom to process some of their market research data, Dilip Jayawickrama, Projects Director, Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunity in Sri Lanka (FARO), an NGO, told The Sunday Leader.

FARO, which was among seven NGOs to receive World Bank grants of Rs. five million each through the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) on Wednesday  to develop ICT opportunities to the rural and disadvantaged people, provides support to this BPO operation in Mahawillachchiya.

The village youth involved in this project, some eight of them, had their basics right, that is having a working knowledge of English and in the use of computers, due to the work of another NGO, Horizon, said Jayaweera.

“This made it possible for our entry, such a foundation has to be first laid before we can move in,” he added. Jayaweera said that outsourcing of this work by Keells has helped them to cut costs, with eight of their staff who were involved in this work earlier, being relocated to other departments.

He alleged that Dialog which hit the top in a short span of under 15 years, with most, if not all of their work done inhouse, were somewhat cautious in outsourcing their work, though a start has been made, with some of their market research data being now handled at Mahawilachchiya.

In the case of Singer, talks have been initiated, with no business deals having been yet procured, he said. Jayaweera further said that he wants to start a similar BPO unit in Seenigama, a village which was devastated in the recent tsunami.