29 Dec 2015

Young people light the way to social change in Sri Lanka

The deepest impact from social change efforts is often felt in the places where suffering is greatest. Through Shilpa Sayura Foundation in Sri Lanka, youth are leading as active digital agents of change. They make media to communicate the needs of child soldiers returning to society, share first-hand accounts of natural disasters, and capture other critical stories otherwise left untold. Niranjan Meegammana, Shilpa Sayura Project Director, guides and inspires their work.

 “The YES [Youth Empowerment Society] AYV project started with 11 youth. It now has reached over 1,200 youth who gain civic awareness, media literacy, and film skills. They became active on social networks for change when it was most needed to regain democracy in recent times in Sri Lanka.”

Shilpa Sayura Foundation received the AYV UNICEF Award in 2013 with their YES Film Project submission – a compelling proposal to develop their award-winning short on the plight of child soldiers into a feature-length film, as well as to provide youth with education, training, and employment.  Niranjan was a careful steward of this grant award, leveraging it into a major initiative for technology and workforce development that advances youth in creative fields.

A highly accomplished artist and changemaker himself, Niranjan has ambitious goals for youth creative education and engagement in Sri Lanka.  We are pleased to honor and support his work with an AYV Creative Educator Award.  This interview with Niranjan continues our series of stories recognizing the Adobe Youth Voices Creative Educator awardees.

What have been some of your most thrilling moments of media making?  

The AYV film productions Child Soldier and Politics Floods Documentary series were the most thrilling for me. Child Soldier was a journey of learning to make a stunning short film. The challenges as well as the stakes were high. We had to learn everything from the beginning, and we succeeded, winning the Adobe Youth Voices UNICEF Challenge, Microsoft World Bank Youth Solutions, and World Youth Services award the same year. The Politics in Floods documentary series was totally unplanned, risky, and hard. It was done to serve a need. We were almost like flood victims during the production. The only difference was that we had food and dry clothes. Once the documentaries were shared online, flood victims received support and relief. It gave us a great satisfaction to think of our social contribution through creative media making.


Child Soldier Short Film from Shilpa Sayura on Vimeo.

What story of change do you want to share? 

Youth civic media was first introduced by the Shilpa Sayura AYV program in 2011.  AYV transformed me into an Adobe Lead Educator for youth in our community.  They became active on social networks for change when it was most needed to regain democracy in recent times in Sri Lanka.  The AYV platform enabled access to rare media making knowledge, cutting-edge tools, advanced equipment, global recognition, collaboration, scholarships, and employment in creative fields.  The change continues.

Why do media making and creativity matter? 

21st century challenges require us to think critically and make informed decisions, to collaborate and act creatively to solve problems.  Media making enables inquiry, which takes our youth from everyday life and transforms them into creators, challenging their knowledge, skills, creativity, and ability to work with others.

What are you hopeful about for the next generation? 

The next generation of youth live an extremely digital lifestyle.  They will use their media making knowledge and tools to innovate new concepts and designs for new age media making.  They will be proactive in social issues, respond, and lead the transformation of the world with their creative ideas.

“Sri Lanka has high potential to become a digital nation, providing mobile technology human resources to the world… The seed Shilpa Sayura planted with Adobe UNICEF support is growing to be a huge tree, setting a global example of sustainable youth development.”

Patricia Cogley is manager, Adobe Youth Voices

12 Aug 2015

Adobe - UNICEF support help youth transcending to the future

2013 Shilpa Sayura Foundation won Adobe Aspire UNICEF challenge for YES Film Project. It provided The 40,000 USD funding for Shilpa Sayura Youth Development. The funds provided in a flash for the idea youth creative skills development to enter Digital media field.

It was a turning point of Shilpa Sayura development which fused YES youth team to become young professionals. The funding helped securing a crew cab, two 5D Mark II cameras, lighting equipment and advanced computers. The funds also used to help Youth team scholarships to help their post secondary education. With funds and equipment youth (www.kandy-youth.org) formed YES Media and YES Films social ventures. www.yesfilmschool.com

 YES Films served community and business digital media needs. YES civic media creations ranged from Child Soldiers, Reconciliation, Alcohol & Substance abuse, Cyber Harassment, Poverty, Environment, Cultural Integration and Gender Equality. Their graphics, documentaries and short films exhibited in communities and shared online. The youth initiating an online dialog contributed to social change.

YES Media won World Summit Youth Award, World Bank Microsoft Youth Solutions award more Adobe Aspire Awards for their creative work. YES film School introduced a Diploma in Film Production in 2014. The First batch of students graduates in September. The success resulted from online learning, knowledge sharing and collaboration shifting social networks usability. Shilpa Sayura innovative approaches attracted Internet society for Respect Girls on The Internet project which address cyber harassment of girls.

The deep impact was made when United Nations Democratic Fund, supported the Paint a Rainbow initiative which aimed at creating democracy awareness and digital media creation to engage youth in an online dialog. It helped Adobe Youth Voices digital media education program expanding island wide. Shilpa Sayura & YES Media trained 38 digital media trainers in a TOT program and 965 youth at telecentres and schools. The curriculum covered democracy, millennium goals and digital media.

The program enabled youth voices through digital activism on social issues. This project was implemented at a difficult time for non-profit civic involvement, yet many innovative approaches helped achieving goals of social change in 2015.


The most remarkable impact created by youth during the torrential floods in December 2014. YES Media Team travelled flood affected Moragahakanda, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura communities. They reported the issues faced by victims creating documentaries for social networks. They were largely shared and generated public support and relief for the flood victims. Their work surpassed professional media in this engagement.

These programs had an immense impact in youth lives. YES leader Poornima who directed Child Soldier film won Adobe creative scholarship in 2013. She entered motion graphics and animations degree from Nothembria Univesity(UK), which otherwise too expensive on her own. Aadeeptha and Mithun dropped out school yet developed media and electronics engineering careers. Teranga a disturbed youth was able to gain entrance to technical college and employment in digital design field. Romesh, a rural youth from Lahugala gained employment with digital skills. These are few success stories of many youth benefited. The project generated many jobs in ICT and creative media fields and transformed large number of youth as active digital citizens for social change.

Now Shilpa Sayura is planning to upscale YES as appSMART. AppSMART is an insight of current mobile technologies that would transcend into digital economy of Sri Lanka. The idea of AppSMART emerged among youth trained in Digital Rainbow. Shilpa Sayura continuing its innovation aims to create a new breed of young technologists for mobile and wearable apps by training them online and offline.

A Credit Suisse bank report states that Global mobile apps industry currently at 3-4$ billion market expects to grow 25-30$ billion by 2017. Sri Lanka, a nation with 40% ICT literacy, resulting from e Sri Lanka development, soon expects Google loons over the sky. Sri Lanka has a high potential becoming a digital nation providing mobile technology human resources to the world. Shilpa Sayura was initiated in 2006 has implemented many project, learned many lessons, tempered and ready to undertake a larger mission, with support for innovation for provisioning youth economic development.


The seed Shilpa Sayura planted with Adobe UNICEF support is growing to be a huge tree. It will provishade to larger youth population of Sri Lanka in time to come. Shilpa Sayura is setting a global example of UNICEF impact on sustainable young people development that ecological evolution beyond our imaginations.

Niranjan Meegammana
AYV Lead Educator / Ashoka Fellow
Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka

AppSMART Celebrates World Youth Day in Colombo

ICT, Media and Tech Youth from 38 communities, celebrated World Youth Day On August 8 at Dialog HQ auditorium. AppSMART the 1000 Youth Mobile Technology Training program initiated by Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Dialog Idea Mart, YES Film School and Sri Lanka ICT Student Society (SLIS)

ICT & Tech Youth from celebrated World Youth Day On August 8 at Dialog HQ auditorium 1000 Youth Mobile Technology...

Posted by YES Media on Sunday, August 9, 2015

14 Jul 2015

AppSMART 2015 : on 8th August Word Youth Day

Function appSMART 2015{
1. Welcome to world of Apps
2. What is an app? and how does it help society & business
3. Design a Smart app of your own Idea 
4. Trending Tools for Mobile App Development
5. Education Apps in Local Language
6. Where to go from here
Come! Create your own app

8th August in Colombo
Apply Online

18 Jun 2015

INET 2015 Honours Pioneers of Internet in Sri Lanka

INET Colombo 2015, organized by the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter and its partners, was held on 9th June 2015 at The Kingsbury, Colombo. Since its introduction in the island 20 years ago, the Internet has grown into an integral part of life for many Sri Lankans. 24 People who pioneered Sri Lankan internet were recognised at this INET 2015 celebration held on 8th evening evening.

Following are some highlights of the event. For more see www.isoc.lk


26 May 2015

Web Server : Secure your cPanel server

After the initial setup of cPanel server the server is not very secure and there are many things that can be done to secure your server.
In this tutorial we will go over some steps that include few software installation and web server security settings modification.
The collection of these easy steps is a results of years of experience in maintenance and management of linux servers.

1) Updates & Installation

Update cPanel to the latest version from the WHM interface:
Navigate to: Home » cPanel » Upgrade to Latest Version
Next, install the Apache mod_security with EasyApache:
Navigate to: Home » Software » EasyApache (Apache Update)
On step 4 check the “Mod Security” option and click the “Save and Build” button.
Next, login to the cPanel server as root via SSH and run OS update, then install some softwares from ConfigServer:
yum update -y

wget http://www.configserver.com/free/csf.tgz
tar -xzf csf.tgz
cd csf/
sh install.sh
cd ..
rm -Rfv csf/ csf.tgz

wget http://configserver.com/free/cmc.tgz
tar -xzf cmc.tgz
cd cmc/
sh install.sh
cd ..
rm -Rfv cmc/ cmc.tgz

2) Use The Security Advisors

If your cPanel version is 11.42+ and CSF is installed on your server there is two Security Advisors on your server that will check the security level of your server and will suggest recommendations on how fix the security issues.
For cPanel Security Advisor navigate to:
Home » Security Center » Security Advisor
For ConfigServer Firewall Security Advisor navigate to:
Home » Plugins » ConfigServer Security & Firewall » Check Server Security
* Follow all the recommendations and make the necessary changes to fix your server security issues.
We recommend to run the Security Advisors at least once a month.

3) Web Server Security & Firewall (ModSecurity)

Our choice for Mod Security rules is the Comodo Web Application Firewall (CWAF) agent. The cPanel\WHM plugin automate the installation & configuration of CWAF on the server and the deployment of periodically published predefined firewall rules set updates.
1) To get access to Comodo Mod Security rules and CWAF free sign up is needed:https://waf.comodo.com
2) To download the comodo client agent login to the web administration console and click the “Download latest installer” link (top right of the screen) “cwaf_client_install.sh”.
3) Copy the agent setup file to a local directory in the server E.g. /root
4) Run the installation script as root via SSH:
bash /root/cwaf_client_install.sh
Follow the instructions in the setup wizard!
Next edit mod_security conf file and include the CWAF Rules.
vi /usr/local/apache/conf/modsec2.conf
And add this line:
Include "/var/cpanel/cwaf/etc/cwaf.conf"
The file should look like this:
LoadFile /opt/xml2/lib/libxml2.so 
# LoadFile /opt/lua/lib/liblua.so 
LoadModule security2_module  modules/mod_security2.so 
SecRuleEngine On 
SecTmpDir /tmp 
SecDataDir /tmp 
SecRequestBodyAccess On 
SecAuditEngine RelevantOnly 
SecPcreMatchLimitRecursion 250000 
SecDebugLog logs/modsec_debug_log 
SecPcreMatchLimit 250000 
SecAuditLog logs/modsec_audit.log 
SecDebugLogLevel 0 
Include "/var/cpanel/cwaf/etc/cwaf.conf" 
5) Now login to WHM as root and navigate to:
Home » Plugins » Comodo WAF
At the “Main” tab you can run updates if needed,
At the “Catalog” tab you can set or unset rules for all vhosts or for a singel domain.
6) Restart Apache
service httpd restart
7) Set new Apache configuration:
Home » Service Configuration » Apache Configuration » Global Configuration
Change to:
SSL Cipher Suite = (PCI recommended)
Trace Enable = Off
Server Signature = Off
Server Tokens = ProductOnly
File ETag = None
Then clicking on “Save”
8) Set new PHP configuration:
Home » Service Configuration » PHP Configuration Editor
Select the “Advanced Mode” and set the following settings:
allow_url_fopen = off
expose_php = Off
enable_dl= Off
register_globals = off
display_errors = off
disable_functions = show_source, system, shell_exec, passthru, exec, popen, proc_open, eval, symlink, link, readlink, dl, escapeshellarg, escapeshellcmd, ini_restore, apache_get_modules, ini_get_all, get_cfg_var
9) Restart Apache
service httpd restart
 10) Enable failure detection of repeated Apache mod_security rule triggers
Navigate to:
Home » Plugins » ConfigServer Security & Firewall » Firewall Configuration
And set the number of failures between 3 and 5 by changing the value:

4) Tweaks

1) Install and config “tmpwatch”
yum install tmpwatch
Edit the tmpwatch cron file:
vi /etc/cron.daily/tmpwatch
The file should look like this:
#! /bin/sh
/usr/sbin/tmpwatch "$flags" -x /tmp/.X11-unix -x /tmp/.XIM-unix \
 -x /tmp/.font-unix -x /tmp/.ICE-unix -x /tmp/.Test-unix \
 -X '/tmp/hsperfdata_*' -m 24 /tmp
/usr/sbin/tmpwatch "$flags" -m 12 /var/tmp
for d in /var/{cache/man,catman}/{cat?,X11R6/cat?,local/cat?}; do
    if [ -d "$d" ]; then
 /usr/sbin/tmpwatch "$flags" -mf 12 "$d"
2) Disable Compilers for all accounts from:
Home » Security Center » Compiler Access
3) Disable Anonymous FTP & Logins with root
Home » Service Configuration » FTP Server Configuration

5) eXploit Scanner

The eXploit Scanner is the best tool out there for detecting malicious code on the server and for real time detection while files are uploaded to the server.
eXploit Scanner detecting malicious code uploaded real time and deny the upload and blocks the IP address from which the file is upload.
1) Install ClamAV:
Home » cPanel » Manage Plugins
Select “clamavconnector” and Seve.
2) The “eXploit Scanner” is not free, but worth every cent. Buy license at:
3) Once you received the confirmation email of the activation of the license you can start the installation of the eXploit Scanner plugin:
wget http://www.configserver.com/free/cxsinstaller.tgz
tar -xzf cxsinstaller.tgz
perl cxsinstaller.pl
rm -fv cxsinstaller.*

mkdir -m 1777 /usr/suspicious_files
touch /var/log/cxs.log
chmod 0666 /var/log/cxs.log

cp /etc/cxs/cxs.defaults.example /etc/cxs/cxs.defaults
cp /etc/cxs/cxs.ignore.example /etc/cxs/cxs.ignore
cp /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra.example /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra
chmod 644 /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra /etc/cxs/cxs.defaults /etc/cxs/cxs.ignore
chmod 755 /etc/cxs/cxscgi.sh /etc/cxs/cxsftp.sh
4) Enable the pure-ftp upload script:
vi /etc/pure-ftpd.conf
And change the “CallUploadScript” value
# CallUploadScript yes
CallUploadScript yes
Next, restart the pure-uploadscript daemon:
/etc/init.d/pure-uploadscript restart
5) Edit the config files and comment any exiting line with # in this files:
Edit cxscgi.sh file:
vi /etc/cxs/cxscgi.sh
/usr/sbin/cxs -Z --cgi --block --smtp --mail root --delete --qoptions Mexv -I /etc/cxs/cxs.ignore --xtra /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra "$1"
Edit cxsftp.sh file:
vi /etc/cxs/cxsftp.sh
And set the line:
/usr/sbin/cxs -Z --ftp --block --smtp --mail root --delete --qoptions Mexv -I /etc/cxs/cxs.ignore --xtra /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra "$1"
Edit cxswatch.sh file:
vi /etc/cxs/cxswatch.sh
And set the line:
/usr/sbin/cxs --Wstart --allusers --www --block --smtp --mail root --quarantine /usr/suspicious_files --qoptions Mexv --xtra /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra --Wmaxchild 5 --Wloglevel 0 --Wsleep 3 --filemax 0 --Wrateignore 300

6) Create Cron jobs via the UI from:
Home » Plugins » ConfigServer eXploit Scanner
Click on “Edit Cron Jobs” and add the command:
/usr/sbin/cxs --mail root --exp --vir -I /etc/cxs/cxs.ignore -X /etc/cxs/cxs.xtra -Q /usr/suspicious_files --options mMOLfSGchexdnwWZDRPu --qoptions Mexv -Z --sum -S 1000000 -F 10000 -C /var/clamd -T 2 --MD5 -B --allusers
Add the auto update cron command:
/usr/sbin/cxs --upgrade --quiet
Create the cxs suspicious files folder:
mkdir /usr/suspicious_files

* Enable detection of repeated cxs and mod_security rules trigger. This option will block the user IP address if cxs or ModSecurity triger is detected.
Navigate to:
Home » Plugins » ConfigServer Security & Firewall » Firewall Configuration
And set: LF_CXS = 1

* The files “/etc/cxs/cxs.ignore” and “/etc/cxs/cxs.xtra” are used to include or exclude files from scanning by the file name, regular expression match or md5sum match.

Finally we finished securing your server!


* Know that security is not optimization. It will take more resources from the server!
* This guide is not a complete solution for server security. Only the main first steps in the process of securing your server are covered!

Gk root

Optimize MySQL & Apache on cPanel/WHM server

On this optimization process we will go over the Apache core configuration and modules that are part of Apache core. We think that with the correct settings of Apache and MySQL you can get excellent results and the correct level of resource use without installing third-party proxy and cache modules. So let’s start,

Apache & PHP

In the first stage we run the Easy Apache and selected the following:
* Apache Version 2.4+
* PHP Version 5.4+
* In step 5 “Exhaustive Options List” select
– Deflate
– Expires
– MPM Prefork
– MPM Worker
After Easy Apache finished go to your WHM » Service Configuration » Apache Configuration » “Global Configuration” and set the values by the level of resources available on your server.
Apache Directive    (From 2GB memory or less and up to 12GB memory)    

StartServers      4    8    16  
MinSpareServers    4    8    16  
MaxSpareServers    8    16    32  
ServerLimit      64    128    256  
MaxRequestWorkers    50    120    250  
MaxConnectionsPerChild    1000    2500    5000 
Keep-Alive   On  On  On
Keep-Alive Timeout   5   5    5
Max Keep-Alive Requests  50   120   120
Timeout    30  60  60

Now go to WHM » Service Configuration » Apache Configuration » Include Editor » “Pre VirtualHost Include” and allow users minimal cache and data compression to allow the server to work less for the same things by pasting the code below into the text field.
# Cache Control Settings for one hour cache

Header set Cache-Control "max-age=3600, public"

Header set Cache-Control "max-age=3600, public, must-revalidate"

Header set Cache-Control "max-age=3600, must-revalidate"

# Mod Deflate performs data compression

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch bMSIE no-gzip

Go to WHM » Service Configuration » “PHP Configuration Editor” and set the parameters according to your needs:
– memory_limit
– max_execution_time
– max_input_time


For MySQL you need to update the configuration file that usually in /etc/my.cnf
Best config base on 1 core & 2GB memory MySQL 5.5:
    local-infile = 0
    max_connections = 250
    key_buffer = 64M
    myisam_sort_buffer_size = 64M
    join_buffer_size = 1M
    read_buffer_size = 1M
    sort_buffer_size = 2M
    max_heap_table_size = 16M
    table_cache = 5000
    thread_cache_size = 286
    interactive_timeout = 25
    wait_timeout = 7000
    connect_timeout = 15
    max_allowed_packet = 16M
    max_connect_errors = 10
    query_cache_limit = 2M
    query_cache_size = 32M
    query_cache_type = 1
    tmp_table_size = 16M


    max_allowed_packet = 16M
    key_buffer = 64M
    sort_buffer = 64M
    read_buffer = 16M
    write_buffer = 16M

Best config base on 8 core & 12GB memory (Shared server) MySQL 5.5:
max_connections = 600
key_buffer_size = 512M
myisam_sort_buffer_size = 64M
read_buffer_size = 1M
table_open_cache = 5000
thread_cache_size = 384
wait_timeout = 20
connect_timeout = 10
tmp_table_size = 256M
max_heap_table_size = 128M
max_allowed_packet = 64M
net_buffer_length = 16384
max_connect_errors = 10
concurrent_insert = 2
read_rnd_buffer_size = 786432
bulk_insert_buffer_size = 8M
query_cache_limit = 5M
query_cache_size = 128M
query_cache_type = 1
query_prealloc_size = 262144
query_alloc_block_size = 65535
transaction_alloc_block_size = 8192
transaction_prealloc_size = 4096
max_write_lock_count = 8


max_allowed_packet = 16M

key_buffer = 384M
sort_buffer = 384M
read_buffer = 256M
write_buffer = 256M

key_buffer = 384M
sort_buffer = 384M
read_buffer = 256M
write_buffer = 256M

#### Per connection configuration ####
sort_buffer_size = 1M
join_buffer_size = 1M
thread_stack = 192K

Repair & optimize databases then restart MySQL:
mysqlcheck --check --auto-repair --all-databases
mysqlcheck --optimize --all-databases
/etc/init.d/mysql restart

Security & Limit Resources

Install CSF (ConfigServer Security & Firewall) at: http://configserver.com/free/csf/install.txt
1) Go to WHM » Plugins » ConfigServer Security & Firewall » “Check Server Security” And pass on what appears as required to repair:
2) Go to WHM » Plugins » ConfigServer Security & Firewall » “Firewall Configuration” and set the parameters according to your needs:

Now enjoy your new fast and more effective server.


In order to enable to MySQLi extension in your WHM, please follow these steps:

1. Log into the WHM with your root credentials.

2. Go to the "EasyApache (Apache Update)" menu, located in the "Software" section or use the search box to find it.

3. On the EasyApache page, make sure your Previously Saved (Default) configuration is selected and click on "Customize Profile".

4. Keep clicking "Next Step", until you reach the "Short Options List" page and scroll to the bottom of the page.

5. Click on the "Exhaustive Options List" button.

6. On this page, scroll down to the PHP section and find MySQL “Improved” extension.
You can use the page search option of your browser to locate the extension faster (Ctrl+F).

7. Ensure the check box is filled in and scroll to the bottom.

8. Click the "Save Only" button.

9. On the next page, click the "Build profile I just saved" button.

10. A pop box will appear and ask you to recompile Apache and PHP, select "Yes" and "I understand", if prompted.

11. Wait until the Build ouput is complete and the MySQLi extension should be installed/enabled. Please do not log out of the WHM or interrupt the rebuild process and wait for it to be completed.


21 May 2015

ශිල්ප සයුර A/L ICT e Learning Tuition 2016 /2017 and 2015 Revisio

ලංකාව පුරා A/L ICT ඉගන ගන්න අයට දැන් තියන ටියුෂන් ක්‍රමයට වඩා අති නවීන සාර්ථක E Learning ක්‍රමයට A/L ICT විභාගයට සාර්ථකව මුහුණ දෙන්න ශිල්ප සයුර A/L ICT E Learning පාඨමාලාවට බඳවා ගැනීම දැන් ඇරඹුණා. අදම අන්තර්ජාලයෙන් ඉල්ලුම් කරන්න.


Course Director
Niranjan Meegammana
ICT & Youth Development Professional
Adobe Lead Educator & Ashoka Fellow