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Chanuka Wattegama
  • Male
  • Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
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Profile Information

Category That Best Represents Me. Note: You may create a separate profile for your organization.
Academic/research, Network, Nonprofit organization
Job Title
Director -Reserach
About Me (biography or organization description)
Chanuka, director Reserach at LIRNEasia leads the Mobile 2.0@BOP project that focuses on the non voice mobile usage at grassroots.

In addition, he is also the lead researcher for the projects Broadband QoS benchmarking, NRA website survey and the country study of the Telecom Regulatory Environment analysis in Indonesia.

In the previous research cycles Chanuka has led the projects Virtual Organisation and NRA website survey in 2005.

Before taking this position he worked as Programme Specialist ICT4D at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) out-posted to Colombo Regional Center’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Initiative. His focus was to use Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) for poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs. In this capacity he has worked on various projects on different areas covering poverty reduction, Telecom Regulation, Gender and ICTs, Disaster Management and e-Government.

Chanuka has over fourteen years experience at specialist and management level in for Development. As a researcher, he has co-authored the Sri Lankan chapters for the books Cyber Communities of Asia (AMIC, Singapore), Media in Asia (Sage Publishers, New Delhi), Internet in Asia (AMIC, Singapore) and Digital Review of Asia Pacific (APDIP, Orbicom and IDRC). He was also the lead researcher for Sri Lanka in a nine-country study on ICT for Human Development in Asia, by UNDP. He is a regular writer and commentator on ICT issues in the Sri Lankan media. He was the founder consultant editor of ‘Pariganaka’, the largest selling ICT magazine in Sri Lanka with a circulation of more than 40,000 copies. He has won the Science Writer of the Year Award, presented annually by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, twice.
Areas of Interest/Expertise and Types of Services Provided
ICT4D, ICT for Disaster Management, e-Gov, telecom policy, broadband, technology
Street Address
22, Jayanthipura, Battaramulla
City (or closest town or municipality)
Sri Lanka
Languages (in order of preference):

Chanuka Wattegama's Blog

Sri Lanka telecenter connectivity story: If there is a will there is a way…

On January 16, 2008 a bus bomb went off killing 25 and injuring more than 60, in a remote area of Moneragala, arguably the least connected district in the island. Within less than two hours, the international news channels were up with clips. Nuwan Sameera (inset) FTPed them from his Nenasala telecenter in Bibile town – about one hour journey away.

Nuwan operates just within 200 m from a telecom tower (see photo) but bureaucracy is… Continue

Posted on December 24, 2008 at 12:13pm

Should a rural telecenter pay 32 times more for broadband?

Everybody talks about taking ICTs to villages and encouraging telecenter initiatives. Still, the reality can be different as seen from this Sri Lankan example. Surprising how even some easily solvable issues contribute to further widen the digital divide.

Ambuluwawa, about 1,100 m above sea level, is probably the highest point in the vicinity of Gampola in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Not surprisingly, all telecom operators… Continue

Posted on December 22, 2008 at 12:43am

Telecenters can now test their broadband quality more comprehensively

Is broadband quality a subject of interest only to urban top-of-the ladder users?

Not necessarily. With the latest developments in telecom services broadband access is increasingly becoming a reality to rural populations as well, even in developing countries. The penetration levels might not be the same but should that mean quality should be compromised for rural users?

Broadband quality is critical for telecenters where a… Continue

Posted on December 12, 2008 at 1:05pm — 2 Comments

What do we know about Sri Lanka’s telecenters?

Here are the summarised results from the telecenter operator survey done by LIRNEasia at the weCan workshop in October 2008. Sample was not representative, but large enough to get a general idea about the telecenter operations in Sri Lanka.

Out of a total of 147 operators surveyed, the bulk, 101 were from Nenasalas, the 500 odd telecenter network created under the World Bank funded e-Sri Lanka programme. 10 were from Sarvodaya… Continue

Posted on November 20, 2008 at 12:55pm — 11 Comments

Three days with Telecenter Family in Sri Lanka (and Four Lessons learnt)

“I came more to learn from you; than to teach” was the message I passed before my two presentations with Sujata. Thanks Fusion/ for the opportunity. The three days spent with 200+ telecenter operators from eight provinces in Sri Lanka was a worthy investment. One does not interact with so many ground level ICT4D practitioners every day. It was a learning experience, for them; and for us.

From what I saw (and heard from… Continue

Posted on October 30, 2008 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 9:57pm on November 4, 2008, Sameera Wijerathna said…
Hi Chanuka

nice to c you back
At 4:59pm on October 29, 2008, Vignesh Sornamohan said…
Dear Chanuka,

Welcome to!

Please take a few moments to read through our Getting Started guide for some important information. You can find the community guide here:

Feel free to contact me for guidance.


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