Our Resource Persons
1) Prof. Gihan Dias
Prof. Gihan Dias was educated at Royal College, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and earned a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and a PhD from the University of California (Davis). He is a professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Moratuwa. One of the most significant milestones in Prof. Dias’ career was setting up the country code top level domain .lk. He is the CEO and Founder of the .LK Domain Registry (LKNIC) and has been at the fore of the country’s ccTLD management since 1990.
Prof. Gihan Dias was one of the pioneers in setting up and running the Lanka Educational and Research Network (LEARN) and was also the founder and first president of the Lanka Academic Network (LAcNet), a nonprofit, volunteer organization of Sri Lankan students, teachers and professionals. He has also assisted a number of Internet service providers in setting up their own networks.
In 2003 and 2004 Prof. Gihan Dias was a founding Program Director of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the apex Government body responsible for the development of ICT in the country. At ICTA he led the program on using ICT in local languages, and worked on the development of Unicode compliant fonts and developed the draft ICT Sinhala standard which was standardized by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) as SLS 1134 : 2004. He is the Chair of SLSI’s Sectoral Committee on ICT. While at ICTA, he organized extensive awareness and capacity building programs on the Unicode standard for font developers and other stakeholders. He also chaired ICTA’s IDN Task Force which worked through a consultative process on agreeing on the two IDN ccTLDs for Sri Lanka, (for Sinhala and Tamil) which were implemented through LKNIC. He is a past president of the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter. In 2013, Gihan was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for his pioneering work on developing the Internet in Sri Lanka.
2) Ms. Aruni Goonetilleke
Ms. Aruni Goonetilleke holds a MBA degree from the Postgraduate Institute of Management(PIM),University of Sri Jayewardenepura and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science also from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Ms. Aruni Goonetilleke was a Senior Program Manager at ICTA where she has served since 2003.She managed the Local Languages Initiative, through which key projects on enabling the use of ICT in Sinhala and Tamil have been implemented. Ms. Aruni Goonetilleke has also managed projects under the area of Information Security including the project on setting up Sri Lanka CERT. She was also involved in drafting the Government ICT Policy. Prior to joining ICTA she worked at the Council for Information Technology where she coordinated the work of the Internet Committee, the Committee on Law and Computers and the EDI Committee and she was also involved in the area of ICT Policy.
3) Mr. Harsha Wijayawardhana
Mr. Harsha Wijaywardhana is a Biochemist turned Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Consultant with more than twenty years of experience in hardcore ICT. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree majoring in Biochemistry and Chemistry and Minor in Mathematics from the University of Miami, United States of America and is also a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS, CITP).
He has been involved in Government ICT projects and has designed and implemented government networks such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Information Department of Sri Lanka as well as the Policy Research Information Unit of Presidential Secretariat (PRIU). He was responsible for setting up of Software Development Unit (SDU) of University of Colombo and is the COO/CTO of Theekshana, a company which is associated with University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC). He was also responsible for some of the major national level software projects such as the Birth, Marriage and Death Certificate Issuance System and House Holder List set up at every Divisional Secretariat, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for the Sri Lanka Police etc. He is also involved in developing the Electronic Government Procurement System (eGP) of the Government with the Ministry of Finance
Mr. Wijayawardhana was appointed as the ICT Consultant to the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) of Sri Lanka in January 2014. He served on the Board of Directors of Lanka Government Information Infrastructure (LGII) from 2010 to 2015. He is also a Board Member of nic.lk (LK Domain Registry) since its inception. He was the founding president of ISOC LK Chapter. He is the Co-Chair of Sinhala Generation Panel of ICANN.
He has been recognized as one of the Internet Pioneers in Sri Lanka in 2015 and was honored by Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN) as one of the seven founding members of LEARN at its thirty-year celebrations.
Mr. Wijayawardhana has published several scientific papers and authored several books.
Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe has a first degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He ventured into the field of IT and Computer Science through postgraduate study in the UK. Since then Dr. Weerasinghe has been involved in many facets of the ICT industry. He started with small scale projects and feasibility studies for State Sector organizations.
Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe has been part of the pioneering bodies which were instrumental in the introduction of the Internet to Sri Lanka; through both the Lanka Educational and Research Network (LEARN) and also the Internet Committee of the Council for Information Technology (CINTEC) which was the apex body on ICT in Sri Lanka until 2003. Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe also served as an instructor for the Internet Society which was involved in training network personnel in developing countries, from 1996 to 2000. He has also been closely involved in many aspects of the e-Sri Lanka Development Program which was implemented by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). Dr. Weerasinghe is a very active member of ICTA’s Local Language Working Group.
As an academic he has taught students from various backgrounds in all aspects of IT and Computer Science. His research interests have been in various aspects of Human Language Processing in computers, particularly in Statistical and Corpus-based approaches and in Machine Translations.