Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the country’s leading telecommunication provider, proudly announced the much-awaited launch of its calendar for the upcoming year. Continuing its reputation as one of the most coveted corporate collectables in Sri Lanka, SLT launched its 2018 calendar under the theme ‘Connected Lifestyle of Sri Lanka’.
Since 2003, SLT is at the forefront of producing calendars and complimentary items that provide a gamut of rich content on culture, biological diversity and heritage of Sri Lanka. The SLT calendar has also become an important and most valued item amongst collectors due to its unique artistic value and creativity.
Each year, SLT produces these calendars under the main theme ‘Preserving Heritage for Tomorrow’, with sub-themes. These themes are selected after much research and study into the subject areas and calendars are produced with the help of key resource persons in the related fields that ensure credibility of the information provided by these calendars.
The main aim of this year’s calendar and complimentary items is to raise awareness among the general public on the contribution and role of telecommunication services in developing the nation, its economy and connecting lifestyles over the last 160 years.
The calendar showcases the evolution of the telecommunication service in Sri Lanka with the phone units used over the last 160 years (1857–2017) and various applications of the telephone service in day-to-day life and in the industry.
In 1858, the first electrical telegraph circuit was established in then Ceylon between Galle and Colombo which eventually enabled people to connect with each other. The very first telephone lines were installed by the Oriental Telephone Company in 1881 and with growing interest, in 1896, the government of Ceylon purchased the company along with its fifty-six subscribers and it was assigned under the Post and Telegraph Department.
The early history of thriving coffee and vast tea plantations would not have been a reality without telecommunication services that not only served the interests of colonial administrators, traders and merchants but also proved of significant value to the establishment of railways and the systematic connecting of state offices, helping to improve the efficiency of public services.
In 1980, with the onset of an open economy, the Post and Telecommunication Department was split into two distinct functions in order to underline the critical importance of recognising and developing telecommunication infrastructure. The establishment of SLT as a public corporation in 1991 and its privatisation in 1996 provided it the opportunity to offer all subscribers the best of quality, service and technology.
The SLT 2018 calendar was prepared with the valuable contribution of veterans in the field including Prof. Saman Chandra Ranasinghe of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, Languages and Cultural Studies Department, University of Sri Jayewardenepura Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Anthropology Department Senior Lecturer Dr. Praneeth Abeysundara, University of Sri Jayewardenepura Graduate Studies Faculty Demonstrator Raveendra Withanachchi, SLT Rtd. Deputy Chief Officer Eng. Lakshman Balasuriya and artists Pulasthi Ediriweera, Prasadani Kumari, Gamini Abeykoon and Aruna K. Gamage.