H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

                                  

                                

The onset of the 21st century has ushered in an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will be both enriched and challenged. In this context of rapid global development it is our duty to ensure that no country or citizen is left behind.

We are proud to be associated with the World Summit Award (WSA), which since 2003, has been striving to do just that. The WSA has evolved as the international showcase for content industries that can inspire the information society worldwide.

This new wired world has brought humanities together in unprecedented ways but at the same time it has the potential to distance nations by threatening their sovereignty. In the light of recent developments across the globe, the notion of cyber sovereignty is an increasingly salient issue and one that cannot be ignored.

Sri Lanka, having successfully concluded the internal conflict, is currently engaged in multi-pronged socio-economic development with a hitherto unknown speed and degree of success.

As Sri Lanka forges forward in this climate, it is my vision that every citizen will reap the benefits of the rapid technological changes taking place around us.

In an endeavor to reach this vision, a project for making the benefits of ICT accrue to all, especially the disadvantaged was formulated. Called the ‘eSri Lanka’ programme, the initiative succeeded in taking the dividends of ICT to every village and every citizen and re-engineering the way Government thinks and works.

After successfully implementing the ‘e-Sri Lanka’ Development Programme, Sri Lanka is now journeying to the next level of the ICT Development agenda, ‘SMART Sri Lanka.

I welcome you all to Sri Lanka and invite you to enjoy the warm hospitality of the oldest democracy in Asia.