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· 3 min read
MoT Editor


• Cyber ​​Security Act to be presented to the parliament this year.

• World Bank Expert Support to Sri Lanka's Future Cyber ​​Security Strategic Plan.

-- State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath

As Proposed in the Information and Cyber Security Strategy of Sri Lanka (2019: 2023), the Cyber Security Bill will be submitted to the parliament this year, stated the State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath. He further pointed out that this Act leads to the establishment of the Cyber Security Regulatory Authority, Protect Critical National Information Infrastructure, and helps to mitigate the risk of maliciously misusing the digital systems from various cyber threats.

Mr. Kanaka Herath expressed these views whilst attending a workshop in Colombo which was jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (Sri Lanka CERT) and the World Bank in Colombo on Sri Lanka's next cyber security strategy.

A hundred invitees representing the IT sector including officials attached to ministries, departments, and other government organizations have been invited for the workshop which was held at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo on the 23rd of February 2023. The State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath further explained that along with the development of the IT sector in the country, the government has paid special attention on the aspects related to cyber security. Mr. Kanaka Herath, appreciating the technical and expert advisory support extended by the World Bank for Sri Lanka's next cyber security strategy, also stated that this effort is extremely important at a time when Sri Lanka is embarking on its digital transformation.

“The government has already taken steps to protect citizens’ privacy from the adverse effects that may arise from digitization. Accordingly, the Data Protection Act which regulates the processing of personal data was approved in the Parliament last year. Under that it is planned to establish the Data Protection Authority by March 2023. The government has identified cyber security as an essential element in digitization and it is necessary for the national security, national economy, and the security of various sectors of the country.”

Also, Mr. Herath stated that from 2024 March onwards, all payments and charges of government organizations are planned to be implemented only via digital electronic payment facilities, whilst adding on that necessary steps have been already taken to drive the country towards a digital transformation.

Ms. Chiyo Kanda, the World Bank Country Manager for Sri Lanka, pointed out that the World Bank has been continuously working for the development of Sri Lanka for nearly 70 years and will continue to provide the same support in future as well. Mrs. Chio Kandha, stressed the fact that in the current context there is a growing trend of cyber-attacks, particularly from 2021 to 2022, cyber-attacks have increased by 38% globally. She further added that necessary remedial actions should be taken to control this situation.

The World Bank's Senior Digital Development Specialist Ms. Junko Narimatsu, the Secretary to the Ministry of Technology, Professor Neranjan Gunawardena, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (Sri Lanka CERT), Mr. Rohan Muttiah, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka CERT Dr. Kanishka Karunasena and some other public sector officials graced the occasion by their presence.

· 4 min read
MoT Editor

‘’ exceeds 400 startup registrations

The platform which was developed by targeting technology startups in Sri Lanka, ‘’ website has exceeded 400 startup registrations, said Programme Head of Industry Development, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) in Sri Lanka, Sachindra Samararathne.

He said currently, this website has startups registered under more than 40 business categories including agri-tech, artificial intelligence, robotics, e-commerce, software and hardware. Visitors and users of this website are facilitated to search and contact these startups based on business category, startup stage, funding stage and date of registration according to their needs. Various local and foreign parties are using this website, for search and contact startups and also some are using it as a source of information for analysing startups in Sri Lanka.

“This website has been launched with the aim of bringing Sri Lankan startups, investors and other professional organisations into a single platform to empower entrepreneurs. Also there are several volunteer organisations that are collaborating and supporting this measure. The Finance Ministry has mandated that tenders for all Government software contracts costing less than Rs two million should be directed to these startups,” said Samararathne.

In 2019, the then Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology has initiated this Startup Sri Lanka and is currently being operated together with ICTA. By the end of 2020, we had 350 registrations and now it has 409 registrations, he added.

This platform is the single largest online platform for startups and freelancers in Sri Lanka, which connects them to thousands of other startups as well as other key stakeholders such as investors, mentors and incubators. A steering committee has been set up including members from ICTA, startup community and some other Government institutions. This committee is working together to support the tech community and accelerate the growth of Sri Lankan startups and freelancers.

The website is maintained and administrated by ICTA, according to the guidance given by the Ministry of Technology. The Secretary of Ministry of Technology, Jayantha De Silva stated that providing new business opportunities and digital infrastructure for these startups is the top priority of the Ministry of Technology and this programme has become a huge support for achieving that.

Samararathne said registration is offered free for startup founders and by registering, they are privileged to get many benefits such as accreditation, partnership opportunities with various professional bodies and organisation, special financial schemes, and market access opportunities facilitated by ICTA.

He further said according to the mandate of the Ministry of Finance, tenders for State software contracts costing less than Rs two million should be directed to startups registered on this platform. Secretaries to Ministries, State Ministries, Chief Secretaries of Provincial Councils, Heads of Departments and District Secretaries, Heads of local Government authorities, Chairmen of Corporations, Statutory Boards and Chairmen of State owned enterprises have been informed in this regard.

The Founder of Digital Pulz (Pvt.) Ltd, Koliya Pulasinghe said free cloud credits offering they received to fulfil their technology needs was a tremendous support during the pandemic. This offering of free AWS cloud credits for startups registered here carried out by collaborating with Amazon Web Services organisation. Application for various awards and competitions are facilitated through the same registration of the website.

Samararathne added that those registered will get additional benefits such as visibility for their startups or product and investors and other stakeholders who can support their growth. Also, they will be given facilities to share and mutually benefit as the startup community will face difficulty at the inception. To find solutions as a community for projected economic downtime, USD 1,000 free credit will be offered by Amazon Web Services for registering.

In addition, this will benefit the country as this is the only portal with all start-ups being registered by level of maturity, industry vertical serving and will enable information for decision-makers.

Special finance schemes such as government concessions, loans, grants and future tax holidays as well as other tax benefits will be available for startups and government-led venture capital schemes could be accessed.

Startup Sri Lanka will have partnerships with various professional bodies in Sri Lanka and overseas, where the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem could benefit from the links in terms of expanding their business within the country and outside. This will give information and subsidized rates to expand outside Sri Lanka.

‘All technology startups in Sri Lanka are invited to register with us at portal and registered startups will be given priority when considering benefits extended by the Government,” he said.

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