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Sri Lanka Advances Telecommunications Reform After 28 Years

May 10, Colombo (LNW): State Minister for Technology, Kanaka Herath, announced a significant milestone as the long-awaited bill to amend the Telecommunications Regulatory Act, dormant for 28 years, is set for presentation in Parliament. This reform underscores the government’s commitment to modernize regulatory frameworks in the rapidly evolving telecommunications landscape.

During a press conference themed “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC), Herath outlined the government’s multifaceted approach to digital transformation. He revealed plans to introduce the National Cyber Security Act in May, a crucial step in safeguarding the nation’s digital infrastructure and data assets.

In a bid to invigorate the tourism sector, an allocation of Rs. 750 million has been earmarked for the development of the Pinnawala and Kithulgala tourism corridor, signaling the government’s dedication to nurturing key economic drivers.

Integral to Sri Lanka’s digital future is the endorsement of the National Digital Strategy 2030 by the cabinet, which encompasses six pivotal areas ranging from infrastructure enhancement to the digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises. Notable aspects include prioritizing cyber security, fostering digital literacy, and promoting digital financial services.

Highlighting collaborative endeavors, Herath underscored the upcoming global project promotion conference slated for June 25, aimed at attracting international investments in the burgeoning digital landscape. Additionally, initiatives such as the provision of 1,000 user-friendly classrooms for schools and the creation of job opportunities for non-IT graduates signify a concerted effort towards inclusive digital growth.

In response to the exponential growth in social media usage, Herath emphasized the imperative for a National Cyber Security Act to mitigate emerging threats. Collaborative efforts involving 29 government agencies and the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SL CERT) have been instrumental in fortifying cyber security measures, with five projects already in implementation.

The impending amendment to the Telecommunications Regulatory Act heralds a new era of regulatory clarity, enabling effective oversight of critical telecommunications infrastructure, including undersea cables. With Sri Lanka’s user base across social networks swelling to 74 million, these legislative and strategic initiatives underscore the nation’s commitment to harnessing digital technologies for sustainable growth and resilience in the digital age.

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