mk reported on Blognone that eight representatives from Thai Open Source Associations and users/developers of open source software met Dr.Sitthichai, Thai ICT minister, discussing about open source in Thailand and roles of the government.
They handed the open letter (asking for support of open source) with 800 names of supporters on to the minister. He apologized and admitted that he is hardware-oriented and does not have knowledge about software that much. He said he does not oppose. He just does not know. From now on, he is willing to support.
“[I want to] explain a bit that I did not intend and it was misunderstanding. I am proud and glad that such activities exist. And I will seriously, tangibly, and financially support through SIPA [Software Industry Promotion Agency (Public Organization)] as soon as possible to encourage the activities.”
He agreed to consider to add open source policy in the under developing National ICT Master Plan. In addition, he considered to set up the minister’s advisory board on open source.
About the meeting with Microsoft, he mentioned that he got a request from M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, deputy prime minister. [Note: It seems likely that the early meeting with Microsoft was about going to see the operation of British e-government.) Dr.Sitthichai said he will use his own money and contact British government directly instead.
For the OLPC project, he asserted that he does not oppose or intend to turn the switch off. This project was initiated during Thaksin’s government with no financial support plan. Therefore, the government does not have budget to support the project. Kamthorn had a chance to clarify and talk about the project for a little while. The minister said he will bring that up for the next meeting with OLPC working group which Dr.Djitt Laowattana serves as a board director tomorrow.