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The World Bank Clarifies Position on IDF Grant Funds for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Sri Lanka

February 15, 2010

Colombo, 15 February, 2010:  The World Bank would like to clarify its position regarding the Institutional Development Fund (IDF) Grant for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), Sri Lanka. The signed grant agreement which came into effect in 2009 has no provision or scope to utilize these funds to implement an Internet censorship program as implied by the Sunday Times lead story titled “Chinese here for cyber censorship.”

TRC is in the process of hiring consultants to assist it in the establishment of a policy and regulatory framework for Next Generation Networks (NGN).   No consultant has yet been hired for this assignment. The hiring can only be completed with the final approval of the World Bank. This consultancy does not include any provisions or scope to include Internet censorship and the Bank would not approve any such provision.

The overall objective of the NGN consultancy is to establish a Policy and Regulatory framework with the view to facilitate efficient investments in NGN and other new comparable technologies and maintain effective competition among the infrastructure and service providers while safeguarding the consumers’ interest. 

Media Contacts
In Colombo
Chulie De Silva
Tel : (94-11) 5561-323
In Washington
Erik Nora
Tel : (202) 458-4735