December 2004

The Unique Experience of Sri Lanka

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Introduction
For the scope of this paper 'Analogue divide' is defined as the non-ICT based socio-economic gap that exist between the have and the have-nots in the society. This is not a standard term, but used for illustrative purposes. The difference between the info-rich and info-poor, in terms of their abilities to access the information and communication facilities, is often referred to as the 'Digital divide'.

Analogue divide
As far as bridging the 'Analogue' divide is concerned Sri Lanka has always been a success story. Its achievements in the socio-economic arena, especially in the fields of education and health are remarkable for a developing country and a third world nation. The following statistics further illustrate the developments Sri Lanka has made on the socio-economic front.

In spite of its per capita GDP of US$ 947, Sri Lanka is far more with developed countries rather than developing countries. This is largely attributed to the welfare schemes carried out by the successive governments in the post independence era.

Digital divide
Internet age in Sri Lanka officially began on April 26, 1995, and it was the first South Asian nation to open its doors to commercial and unrestricted Internet access. (Computers Today, 1995)

However, apart from few sporadic and isolated examples like Kothmale Internet

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