Harin urges President to move fast on a digital future

Harin Fernando Member of Parliament from Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya

ECONOMYNEXT-Opposition MP Harin Fernando is saying that if Sri Lanka is to go forward as a digital country, first, there is a need for digital payment platforms but no such thing was mentioned in the budget speech.

Speaking in Parliament this morning, he said that when India is conducting transactions through WhatsApp, Sri Lanka is unable to even get Paypal its people.

Fernando who was the Cabinet Minister of Telecommunication said that he was able to introduce Stripe online payment platform which was the second-best after Paypal but since the Central Bank did not approve it the project was not implemented.

“Due to delays in the governments, none of these projects could be taken forward,” he said.

“But I’m happy that this subject is under the President. I request the President to appoint a digital task force made up of experts,”

Further, he said if the Google Loon Project which was done during the former government had existed today there would be no problem in Internet connectivity to rural communities and Zoom classroom for students could have been conducted.

“Sri Lankan government did not even pay a cent for the project, it was sabotaged by the former President. President Rajapaksa has allocated Rs 15 billion to TRCSL to give 4G, If the loon project was done 4G technology could have been provided to the entire country,” Fernando said.

He said that today Kenya had got countrywide 4G technology as the project was given to them by Google after it was removed from Sri Lanka.

Moreover, he said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the only person who can do the digital revolution in this country as TRCSL is under him. (Colombo/Nov23/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe





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  1. I do agree with the Hon. Harin Fernando. Furthermore, it would be advisable to redefine the role of Ministry of Technology (MoT) so that its primary responsibility would be to publication of National/Public broadcasting & Telecom policy for 2021-2030 and amend telecom legislation or better bring new Communications Bill. it is a clear indication of the policies and strategies being pursued in SRI LANKA in the right direction for this B & T sectors.
    It should be mandatory that Secretary of the subject MoT (Policy Maker) shall not be the CHAIRPERSON of the Board of Directors of such Regulatory Agencies and or Regulatory Commission or Regulatory Authority to keep arms-length dealings/terms with the Policy maker and the Regulatory Agency and providing the Regulatory Agency with a distinct legal mandate, free of ministerial control.
    This is only a suggestion and submitted for your kind consideration please. Hope the Government will always ensure the citizen’s right to think freely, hold independent opinions, and express themselves without any hindrance.

  2. One of the biggest fools in politics,,,attacked the Cardinal during election time and nearly lost the catholic votes, Sajith had to do damage controll and save face,,, now without attacking the Govt fully as the opposition,,,trying to advise the Govt and President how they could succeed in coming years..,,then doesnt he understand that will only put them the SJB in the opposition for another 5 years from 2025. Also as a minister , when his father told of an impending attack without notifying the defence persons or the higher authorities like the PM ,,just staying at home,,a school boy will act more responsibly,,,he seems to have something wrong in his head,, seems as we say n comon language mongal,

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