President Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted a Plaque incorporating the first copy of the Sinhala Language Interface Pack (LIP), from Microsoft and ICTA, paving the way towards making significant progress in Rural ICT adoption in Sri Lanka. Accompanying this was a special audio visual message from Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, who commended the President for his visionary leadership in declaring 2009 the Year of English and IT. Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, along with the Chairman of ICTA, Prof P W Epasinghe, ceremonially handed over the presentation pack to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Mahinda Rajapaksa thanked Microsoft for their efforts and support across many spheres of IT in Sri Lanka. Among his comments Bill Gates said “I am optimistic that the country is poised for greater economic growth and development, and much of that will be fuelled by the use of software and the power of IT. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate President Rajapaksa for his leadership in declaring 2009 the Year of English and IT Services in Sri Lanka, and to wish those involved in the implementation of this very important initiative, every success moving forward.” Also present at the occasion were Lalith Weerathunga, Secretary to the President, member of the Presidential taskforce for the implementation of the Year of English and Information Technology and Chairman of the National Administrative Reforms Council, Reshan Dewapura, Director/Chief Operating Officer, ICTA, Jayantha Fernando, Director ICTA, and Channa de Silva, EPG Director, Microsoft Sri Lanka.