| Father of Information and Communication Technology in Sri Lanka
Professor V.K.Samaranayaka is a land make figure when talking about the Information and Communication Technology in Sri Lanka .He is regarded as the father of the field of ICT in Sri Lanka.
He was born in 1939 and studied in Rajagiriya Hewawitharana Vidyalaya ,Ananda College and Royal College in Colombo. Having finished his school education Mr.Samaranayaka entered by the University of Ceylon in 1957.He was a brilliant student there. In 1961 he was awarded a first class honours degree in Mathematics. In the same year he joined the University of Colombo as an assitant lecturer in Mathematics. In 1966 he was awarded the Ph. D degree by the University of London.
It is Professor Samaranayaka who introduced computer technology to the University of Colombo in 1987.Since then he has dedicated his whole life for the improvement of ICT in this small island. Even before that, as far back as in 1981 he taught computer technology to his students using the one and only computer available which was a total stranger to Sri Lanka’s education system. Prof. Samaranayaka’s devotion to the field of computer education and his devotion to his students is always remembered by his students who, today, are responsible for the future of ICT in Sri Lanka.
During his period as senior Professor in computer science at the University of Colombo he pioneered in establishing the School of Computing of the University of Colombo in 2002.He was the chairman of the council for Information Technology of Sri Lanka over a period of 12 years from 1987 to 2000.From the year 2004 he headed the Information and Communication Technology Agency in Sri Lanka and did a great service to improve the field of ICT in the country. He played a key role in introducing ICT into the rural areas of the country establishing ‘Nenasala’ centers in the villages. Most of the centers were based in the village temple which he believed is the most prominent place in the village. He always believed in the leadership given by the temple in the Sri Lankan culture. In recognition of his services he was awarded the honour of ‘Vidya Prasadini’ in 1997 and ‘Vidya Jothi’ in 1998 by the Government of Sri Lanka.
This eminent son of Sri Lanka breathed his last on the 6th of June in 2007 while attending a review of the Swedish Government’s ICT development assistance programmed in Stockholm, Sweden. Though he is no mare his name will be remembered and honoured as a proud Sri Lankan who took his country of the global village.