‘Theekshana’ To Launch Universal Acceptance Local Initiative Project In Sri Lanka

December 04, 2022

Theekshana, a not-for-profit company set up by the permanent staff of the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC), will launch jointly with the LK Domain Registry, Universal Acceptance Local Initiative Project in Sri Lanka officially. The project is supported by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN through the community-based Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG). Additional information about the Local Initiative project is available here.

It is estimated that 5 billion people (70% of the Total World Population) use the Internet daily (https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm) and 1.5 billion will join the Internet in the future using Non-Latin Scripts. ICANN has defined Universal Acceptance as a term that represents the principle that every Top Level Domain (TLD) should function within software applications irrespective of the script, how long the domain name is (number of characters) or how new it is.  

Sri Lanka has two delegated Internationalized Domain Names, Dot Lanka(.ලංකා)and Dot Illangai (.இலங்கை). Universal Acceptance Local Initiative project will encourage those two domain names to be used internationally and locally and to promote EMAIL IDs in Sinhala and Tamil. Currently, a few websites run using the above two domain names. 

UASG has selected Sri Lanka as its fifth Universal Acceptance project in the world. A newly formed Steering Group for the Local Initiative leads the project with the help of the LK Domain Registry and the Local Language Working Group of ICTA. Theekshana R & D, which runs the Local Language Help Centre with funding from the LK Domain Registry, acts as the implementing agency. 

Theekshana, ICANN, and LK Domain Registry carried out the first two-day workshop of the project successfully on the 28th and 29th of November 2022. Mr. Champika Wijayatunga, Technical Engagement Manager for Asia Pacific region at ICANN, carried out the first workshop with Mr. Harsha Wijayawardhana, COO/CTO Theekshana R & D. On the fifth of December, the Project partners have planned to have a high-level policy-making meeting where Prof. Gihan Dias, LK Domain Registrar, Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe, Senior Lecturer, and an NLP expert and one of the pioneers of the Internet and Local Language in Sri Lanka will participate at the meeting and for the Press Conference in the afternoon. 

The mission of ICANN is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. Universal Acceptance (UA) is part of ICANN’s five-year strategic plan.