Is Sri Lanka open source spin or spice?

Developing countries have a habit of latching onto new economic, geo-political and technological initiatives to hijack them for self-serving aims, which sometimes have more spin than substance.

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Did the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura lay out strategic plans for real open source focused software application development when he proclaimed recently that Sri Lanka could become the open tech hub for Asia?

Or did he have to say something to the gathered crowds at the ICTA Tech Forum 2013 held at JAIC Hilton Colombo and he thought open source would go down well?

“One out of the many accolades and recognition Sri Lanka has received in the ICT sector is for its vibrant and resourceful open source community,” said Dewapura.

“On the scale of the skills/population ratio, and with the limited economic resources this is seen as a significant achievement. [This recognition] is plus point that we can and should leverage for the growth of our IT/BPM Industry,” he added.

Sri Lanka’s tech workforce in the country is estimated to be over 100,000 employees and the industry is estimated to be around GBP£ 2.5 billion, if we go along with Gartner.

To its genuine credit, Sri Lanka has established the http://opensource.lk/ Lanka Software Foundation (LSF), which has successfully incubated projects such as; Apache Axis 2 C++, Apache Axis2 Java; a Disaster Management System by the name of Sahana and — the team has also contributed to Apache Geronimo.

A little spin perhaps, but some substance and spice here also.

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