Sri Lanka


ccTLD: LK (the date of ccTLD delegation: 1990-06-15)

Population (Year)

19,630,230 (2000) 21,513,990 (2010) 21,283,913 (2011)

Internet Population (Year)

121,500 (2000) 1,776,200 (2010) 2,503,194 (2011)

Broadband Population (Year)

228,316 (2010)

IP Address Allocation (Year):

Number of IPv4 addresses: 534,272 (2012)

Number of IPv6/48s: 917,505 (2012)

5 Popular Websites[from]:

Google :






[Adams 1992] Clement W Adams et al, "Implementing Computer-Based Communication Services in Sri Lanka," Proc.12th National Computer Conference, Sri Lanka, Feb. 1992.

[CSSL 1996] CSSL, Academic & Research Internetworking in Sri Lanka - LEARN gets Internet Connectivity, Jan. 1996.

[Dias 2010] Gihan Dias, Development of LEARN: The First Decade, 2010.

[Firdhous 1996] M.F.M. Firdhous and Gihan V. Dias, “THE INTRODUCTION OF INTERNET IN SRI LANKA, " Proc. 15th National Computer Conference, Sri Lanka, Sep.1996.

[Induruwa 1989] Abhaya Induruwa, "A proposal to set up a Lankan Experimental Academic and Research Network(LEARN)," Ministry of higher education, science & technology and the UGC, Apr. 1989.

[Induruwa 1989b] Abhaya Induruwa, "Is Sri Lanka ready for wide area computer networking?" Trans. Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 163-171, October 1989.

[Induruwa 1991] Abhaya Induruwa, "Fast Packet Switching Technologies suitable for Multi Media Global Connectivity", Proc. 11th National Computer Conference, Sri Lanka, Feb. 1991, pp 74-83.

[Induruwa 1991b] Abhaya Induruwa, " Wide Area Computer Networking: A Strategic Opportunity for Developing Countries," Proc. 11th National Computer Conference, Sri Lanka, Feb. 1991, pp 151-162.

[Induruwa 1992] Abhaya Induruwa, "LEARN Internet - A (modified) proposal to introduce Internet services to the academic and research community in Sri Lanka," UGC/SLIUCC, Jan. 1992.

[Induruwa 1994] Abhaya Induruwa, "A proposal for the establishment of a campuswide computer network," University of Moratuwa, Nov. 1994.

[Induruwa 1994b] Abhaya Induruwa, "Advances in computer networking in Sri Lanka," IEE Sri Lanka Centre Annual sessions 1994, 1994.

[Induruwa 1995] Abhaya Induruwa, "Research information infrastructure in Sri Lanka - Current status & future plans," Advisory group meeting of the Association of Science Cooperation in Asia(ASCA), Tokyo, Japan, Mar. 1995.

[Induruwa 1998] Abhaya Induruwa, "Globalisation of the Internet and Sri Lanka's Contribution", ADB-ITU Seminar on Telecommunication and Information Technology: Tools for Sustainable Development in Asia, Geneva, April 28, 1998.

[Induruwa 1999] Abhaya Induruwa, "We cannot escape from the technological pull by the developed world," interview appeared in Business Today, July 1999.

[Induruwa 1999b] Abhaya Induruwa, "Growth of Internet services," the Second International Information Technology Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Oct. 1999.

[Induruwa 1999c] Abhayas Induruwa, "INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN SRI LANKA ," J. National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka, vol.27, no.3, 1999, pp.209-254.

[Ratnayake 2007] Nimal Ratnayake, "Enhancing R&E connectivity to and within south asia country report: Sri Lanka", 2007.4.26.


Development of LEARN: The First Decade

Gihan Dias (,

University of Moratuwa


The idea of connecting computers into networks was first mooted in Sri Lanka in the mid-1980s, but at that time, the Internet was still foreign to us. The first Lankans to get to know the Internet were a group of graduate students in U.S., Canadian, British and other universities, who remain our Internet poineers.

The first Internet service in Lankan universities was e-mail. This was provided in 1990 by the nascent Lanka Experimental Academic and Research Network (LEARN), and called LEARNmail. This operated using dial-up connections, using the then popular uucp protocol. The local hub was located at the University of Moratuwa, and the foreign hub at, in-turn, U.C. Davis, Stanford, and Purdue. A dedicated team of volunteers not only operated the foreign hub, but also collected funds to pay for the phone calls to Sri Lanka.

It was in the process of getting LEARNmail running, that we obtained the top-level domain .lk, which eventually led to the formation of the LK Domain Registry.

The first IP connections in Sri Lanka - between the universities of Moratuwa, Colombo and the Open University - were due to the efforts of Dr. Abhaya Induruwa of the University of Moratuwa, who persuaded the UGC to fund the connections, and SLT to provide 64kb/s links, in 1995. We had much fun getting the links to work, as it was our first experience of routers, DSUs and leased lines, and reading the manuals was not always enough.

The links were used for distributing e-mail, but were not too useful without a connection to the world-wide Internet. As we had no funding for our own international connection, we had to wait till SLT obtained its Internet connection in 1995 before we could connect to the global Internet. Netcon 95, The first networking conference in Sri Lanka, was organised at the University of Moratuwa to mark this occasion, which also included the launch of our first academic website. This also featured the first fibre-optic LAN in the country.

Thereafter, network grew to cover Peradeniya, Ruhuna, and even Eastern University, as well as many others, all using 64kb/s connections. Our Internet connection was also 64kb/s. LEARN also pioneered the use of remote servers, locating a server at the SLT internet centre from 1995. The network was managed by the University of Moratuwa, under the guidance of the management committee comprising representatives of member sites, with finance and administration by the ICT, University of Colombo.

Through the 1990s we conducted a series of training and awareness programmes at each university. In addition to technical sessions, we evangelised the use of applications such as e-mail and the world-wide web. As trailblazers, we built a camaraderie among the networking staff, which continues even today.

1999 marked a milestone in the development of LEARN, when the Swedish International Development Agency, Sida, ageeed to fund the expansion of LEARN. Under this project, which was completed in 2001, most universities were connected with 2Mb/s links, and smaller institutes with 64kb ones. Once again - although we received valuable assistance from our swedish counterparts - the design and implementation were done in Sri Lanka, using cutting-edge technologies.

By now, the value of the Internet was well known, and usage increased rapidly. Although we upgraded our international link several times, from 64kb/s to 4Mb/s, it was never sufficient and stringent measures had to be taken to optimise the use of the bandwidth. By this time, even the 2Mb/s links, which had seemed so commodious in 1999, appeared slow, and the stage was set for the next phase of LEARN.

Updated: 2013.4.30

Contact Sec at InternetHistory.Asia for further information.