Archive for November, 2010

By Joseph Thavaraja

Sri Lanka is now more efficiently managing the immediate post war refugees in comparison to, say, mid 1999. In this case, the helpless refugees from Vanni and other close-by areas.

The government is making significant progress in this regard since the staggering 300000 (plus) refugee head count in 2009 May in the immediate aftermath of the final battle has now dramatically fallen. According to the Mr M.B.Dissanayake, Secretary of Resettlement Ministry, the refugee population in Nothern relief camps are just 17932 (6896 families-as of first week of November 2010).

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Experiments with coal power

Posted: November 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Joseph Thavaraja

As last Sunday’s (24) fire at the construction site of Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) began to flash on the news headlines and later when the Police and Government Analysts began to probe the cause of the fire, there was near panic -especially within the power supply sector in the country.

The NCPP and more importantly, coal powered electricity, was suddenly in the spotlight.

The incident was sufficient to invoke panic-considering not only our power supply and demand dynamics-but more.

The main crisis faced by post war Sri Lanka is the power crisis.  At present, hydropower produces 37% of electricity and the deficit of 63% is from fuel. In addition, the power demand increases by 10%  each year.

Sri Lanka’s annual energy generation is around 9800 GWhours. Demand (at peak) is recorded at 1922 MW. Sri Lanka achieved 80% electrification by 2008 and its national energy policy is now geared to raise this to 95% by 2015.

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Are you getting this signal?

Posted: November 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Joseph Thavaraja

90% of world population now has mobile network access. And close to a quarter (23%) of the 8.3 billion world population has access to Internet, according to International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Released on the eve of the first ever World Statistics Day (Wednesday October 20), “The World in 2010: ICT Facts and Figures” by ITU says that 90% of world population now has mobile network access (this, of course, does not mean that 90% ‘own’ a mobile phone-only that they have ‘access’ to mobile networks/coverage). ITU however warns ‘mobile cellular growth is slowing worldwide’. It adds that among the estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions (by end 2010), 72% -that is 3.8 billion- will be from the developing world.  On the other hand, in the developed countries, growth in mobile sector has slowed ‘considerably’ during the past five years.

Data (‘SMSes’), rather than voice services (‘calls’) are leading the growth in mobile services with close to 200,000 text messages being sent every second-over the period of 2007 to end 2010, the global SMS volume stands at a ‘staggering 6.1 trillion’, said ITU. Average cost of an SMS is US $ 0.07 (SL Rs 8.00) and every second, Rs 1.5 million worth SMSes (US $ 14000) transmitted globally.

People are moving rapidly from 2G to 3G platforms, across globally and in 2010, 143 countries were offering 3G  commercially. ITU says that Sweden, Norway, Ukraine and the United States have started to offer services at even higher broadband speeds called as 4G, which is the next generation wireless platform.

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