Global Symposium for Regulators
Tuseday 2 October - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Chairman, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka
Your Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and our Chief Guest this morning
Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of ITU
Honourable Deputy Ministers
Mr. Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary General, ITU
Secretaries of Ministries
Chairmen & Chief Executive Officers of Regulators & Operators
Mr Anusha Palpita, the Director General of the TRC of SL
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ayubowan, Wanakkam and Aslam Walikum and good morning.
I am extremely pleased and privileged to welcome the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa to the 12th Global Symposium for Regulators jointly organized by the International Telecommunication Union and the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka. Your Excellency’s participation in the opening ceremony undoubtedly encourages all of us. We sincerely thank you for your most distinguished presence here today.
Your Excellency, your presence here today is all the more significant because you have not only brought peace to our motherland but also because you have been the live wire and the force behind Sri Lanka’s success in ICT and Telecommunications, both subjects being very close to your heart. Your passion and desire to empower our rural communities has earned you praise from such Giants of ICT like Mr Bill Gates. Undoubtedly, we draw inspiration from your presence at this Symposium.
Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU’s Secretary General is no stranger to us in Sri Lanka. I wish to welcome you, Dr Touré to this Global Symposium very warmly and at the outset thank you for all the support and guidance you have given us at the TRC to make this symposium a success. Dr Touré, this is not the first time for you to be here in Sri Lanka and during your past visits, I am sure you would have observed what the terrorist conflict had done to our country during a prolonged period of thirty years. You will now observe, I am sure, during the period you are here, the giant strides Sri Lanka has made since May 2009.
It is also a privilege to welcome Hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the Hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers of a large number of countries. I welcome you all to this opening ceremony of this Global Symposium.
I must also welcome Mr Zhao, the Deputy Secretary General of the ITU and all other senior officials of the ITU to this Symposium. Their support to the TRCSL has been tremendous and it is really good to have most of the Senior ITU staff in Sri Lanka for this global event.
Your Excellency the President of Sri Lanka,
This Symposium brings together some of the stalwarts in the global telecommunication industry. Among them are inventors, academics, key industry players such as CEOs of large telcos and of course the Regulators who handle very tough situations in their respective countries. I welcome all of them to our beautiful country and to this Symposium. It is their thoughts, view points and deliberations that will keep the entire Symposium alive.
I also warmly welcome all the distinguished invitees to this opening ceremony. There are many High Commissioners, Ambassadors who are present here this morning. A warm welcome to all of you. Your presence here this morning gives us much needed confidence to forge ahead in many path breaking initiatives.
Your Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, I am sure you would be very pleased to hear that this Symposium will discuss many topics related to the telecommunication and ICT sectors that will have a great impact on the telecommunication services offered to the people in our respective countries. Later in this opening ceremony we will be privileged to listen to you and all of us look up to your guidance and words of practical wisdom that will help us to shape our policies to serve our peoples better.
Although I am tasked with making welcome remarks, in conclusion, I consider it my duty to thank the many people who contributed tremendously to make this event a success. The Director General of the TRC worked tirelessly with TRC staff and many other stakeholders within and outside the government of Sri Lanka for months to bring this event to what you see today. A special word of thanks to our Security Chiefs for helping us in numerous ways. The list of supporters and contributors are far too many to mention by name. Let me thank all of them for the unstinted support they have given to us.
Finally, I invite all our foreign colleagues to savour our hospitality for which we have earned a name throughout centuries and wish you the very best in all the work you undertake on behalf of your people whom you are representing at this remarkable event.