Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

ICANN Appoints Nitin Wali Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement for South Asia

ICANN has appointed Nitin Wali, a 25-year veteran of the technology industry, as the Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the South Asia region, covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. For the last 18 months Wali has been Regional Director for GoDaddy Registry.

Continue reading ICANN Appoints Nitin Wali Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement for South Asia

Sri Lankan Community Preparing for a Multilingual Internet Using Local Scripts

ICANN logoICANN and local experts in policy, technical and linguistic fields convened in Colombo today [12 Dec] to introduce the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) program and launch the Sinhala Generation Panel (GP). The launch signifies an exciting future where the local community contributes towards developing secure and stable access to the Internet in Sinhala.

The Asia Pacific region is linguistically diverse. Of the 6,800 languages in the world, about half of them or 3,500 are spoken in APAC. 21 of the top 30 most spoken languages in the world are used in the region. This diversity adds challenges to the Internet domain name space.

IDNs are domain names represented by letters or characters from different scripts and writing systems. They offer the possibility of using the domain names in languages across the globe, including Sinhala, Tamil, Thai, Chinese, Hindi, and others. Thus, providing a truly multilingual Internet with greater flexibility and opportunities for billions of users,” said Sarmad Hussain, ICANN‘s IDN Programs Director.

“The ability for Internet users to come online in their native languages and scripts is a significant development for the Internet. As Sinhala is a commonly used language in Sri Lanka, the work by the Sinhala GP will lay the groundwork for allowing complete domain names in the Sinhalese language,” added Hussain.

The Sinhala GP comprises two Co-Chairs and a number of local community representatives from the policy, linguistic fields, as well as members with technical expertise in Sinhala language computing, Unicode and the Internet’s domain name system.

Harsha Wijayawardhana, Co-Chair of the Sinhala GP, said, “We are all extremely excited about this new development. The Sinhala GP will work on developing root zone label generation rules for the Sinhala script. There will be significant technical work involved, such as developing the rules for computers to understand how to form correct top-level domain names in Sinhala script. Our efforts will help to form the basis for allowing complete domain names in the Sinhala language.”

Earlier this week, members of the Sinhala GP attended a workshop to discuss the work plan and next steps. The Neo-Brahmi GP is also in Colombo this week. They are developing label generation rules for nine Neo-Brahmi scripts including Tamil, the other commonly used language in Sri Lanka. When both the Sinhala and Neo-Brahmi GPs’ work are completed, Sri Lankans can look forward to accessing the Internet’s domain name system using domain names in their scripts and languages.

Work has been completed by the respective GPs for the Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Lao and Thai scripts, and is underway for many more, including Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Korean, and Latin scripts. ICANN is currently calling for volunteers to form GPs for these four scripts: Hebrew, Myanmar, Tibetan and Thaana.

Enabling a Multilingual Internet – Additional Information

In addition to developing rules to form valid top-level domains (TLDs) in the local script, many computing systems need to be upgraded as they do not recognize or appropriately process new domain names, primarily because the TLD or IDN may be more than three characters in length or in an alternate format. The same is true for email addresses that incorporate these new extensions.

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), supported by ICANN, is a community-led, Internet industry-wide initiative working on creating awareness and identifying and resolving problems associated with the universal acceptance of domain names. To learn more, or report an issue with Universal Acceptance, please visit www.uasg.tech.


For more information on IDNs, please visit here.
For more information on UA, please visit here.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN Discusses Future of the Internet in Sri Lanka

ICANN logoICANN today [12 Dec] discussed the evolution of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) and its potential implication for Sri Lanka.

ICANN is currently overseeing one of the biggest changes ever in the history of the Internet with its New Generic Top-level Domain (gTLD) Program. This is driving the largest expansion of the DNS, promoting choice, competition and innovation for the benefit of consumers and businesses.

ICANN is also enhancing the usability of the Internet through the introduction of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). IDNs will enable the global community to use a domain name and access content in their native language or script.

Sri Lanka currently has an Internet penetration rate of approximately 32 percent, which is below the average penetration of 46.7 percent in Asia1. However, rapid rise in mobile broadband subscriptions can change that. According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, mobile broadband subscriptions have risen from just over 90,000 subscriptions in 2009, to over 4 million in June 2017.

“The DNS‘ expansion will help provide for the growing Internet community in our region. In a time when everyone and everything is going digital, a website and domain name are essentials for every business, including people. We are seeing the Internet evolve as more people coming online can do so in their own languages,” said Champika Wijayatunga, ICANN‘s Security, Stability and Resiliency Regional Manager. Wijayatunga is also responsible for the engagement and outreach in the South Asia markets, including Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka, where Sinhalese and Tamil are commonly spoken languages, the IDN program will enable non-English speaking Sri Lankans to come online using their native scripts.

One of the key pre-requisite is the formation of a Generation Panel (GP). Consisting of local experts from policy, technical and linguistic fields, the GP helps to determine rules to form valid top-level domains in the local script. The launch of the Sinhala GP today brings Sri Lankans one step closer to accessing the Internet’s domain name system using domain names in their scripts and languages.

Jayantha Fernando, Program Director / Legal Advisor of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), was also present at the media briefing.

He said, “The Internet has become an integral part of our everyday life, and has created the opportunity for social and economic growth, resulting in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector becoming the 5th largest revenue earner for the Sri Lankan economy. The Sri Lankan government recognizes the importance of the Internet, and is supportive of an open, interoperable and secure Internet for all our citizens. It is in this context that we support this initiative and we hope that through this, more Sri Lankans can come online to enjoy the benefits of the Internet.”


For more information on the new gTLD program, please visit here.
For more information on IDNs, please visit here.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: