Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apache Asia Roadshow in Colombo, Sri Lanka - Dec 3-5th!

Its baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Still not registered? What are you waiting for??

WSO2 cloud platform launched!

After a lot of hard work by a lot of people, we finally launched our cloud platform on Monday!

Check out Paul's blog for some info and of course the Web site. I will blog more later!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Talk on "State of Services" at EDGE APAC in Canberra, AU

I gave a keynote talk this morning at EDGE APAC in Canberra on the topic of SOA .. sort of a walk thru the history, what has been achieved and what the future is like. Yeah, all in 1hr.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Adam Fremantle (1934 to 2009)

The entire WSO2 family grieves for Paul and his entire family at this sad time.

WSO2 practicing open development further

From the time we started WSO2, Paul and I have both been completely certain that we always wanted to be a truly open company. That is, not a proprietary/closed company which simply releases software under an open source license, but rather a company which is more like an open source project in terms of how it does its technical work. The reason for this is because we believe that being open will bring more people to participate in our work which will eventually help us do better than our less-open competitors. Nope, we are not about to share how we do are doing business :-).

That of course comes from our Apache legacy of having started so many different projects and watching many of them succeed beyond our wildest dreams. Apache SOAP, Apache Axis, Apache Axis2, Apache Synapse, Apache WSIF are some of the examples.

We of course started the WSO2 Oxygen Tank ( for exactly that purpose. ALL of our code is there and we had a ton of different mailing lists for all the different projects.

That’s where the problems first started – by having separate mailing lists for each project/product, it became cumbersome for us to keep track of all the lists and to participate properly in all of them. Also, as we moved towards unifying our products around a single framework (as we’ve now done with WSO2 Carbon), the separate lists meant that every conversation had to be cc’ed to multiple lists – very annoying when you’re on the receiving end via multiple lists.

The other part of the problem was that we also had to have some internal communication mechanism to discuss customer issues. So we set up an internal list called architecture@ which was meant to be ONLY for customer issues – stuff that we couldn’t discuss publicly because they involved specific customer issues. However, due to a variety of reasons, over time the architecture@ list became the place where we ended up discussing many of the core issues that we went through when making the transition to Carbon.

Not any more!

We have recently done a MAJOR re-org of all the lists and also done a major cleanup of all internal lists. Now on we have:

  • 3 –dev lists: carbon-dev, wsf-dev and commons-dev. Carbon-dev is for all discussion related to all Carbon core stuff and every product built with it (ESB, WSAS, BAM etc.). WSF-dev is for discussion related to Web service frameworks – the low level stuff that provides WS-* functionality for Carbon. Commons-dev is to discuss all “other” projects in OxygenTank; stuff that’s common to various bits but not strictly a Carbon product or a WSF product.
  • Corresponding –issues and –svn lists: to separate user discussions, JIRA notifications and SVN notifications, respectively.
  • Per product –user lists and of course forums.
  • New public list which is used for all architecture discussions. If you’re more of a high level person then that’s the most interesting list to participate in to understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it and of course to be part of the process of deciding what/when/how we do it. Competitors are welcome, especially those that want to de-cloak ;-).

Internally, the architecture@ list is gone for good! Instead, we now have a support-dev list to discuss customer issues and ONLY customer issues. In addition, we have a strategy@ list to discuss how we plan to take over the world (;-)) and a few other lists which will become apparent soon! However, if the discussion is related to any architectural matters related to any of our products, it WILL happen on architecture@.

Want to be part of our [extended] family? Come join us on See:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

America takes the wrong side in anti-terror fight

Nope, not my title :-). Its an editorial by The Washington Times on October 28th.

Really worth reading – it talks about how stupid the US is being by challenging Sri Lanka with a war crimes charge about how the LTTE war was won.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sri Lanka’s path to peace

This is a great piece on Britain’s Guardian on what has happened in Sri Lanka and what is good for us going forward. In particular, the author touches on the misguided plan by the EU to cut off GSP+ trade concessions for Sri Lanka as a punishment for human rights violations.

One of these days I’ll blog about that topic … I need to calm down before I can write down what I really want to say about what I think of the world’s double standards :-).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SOA Workshop in Santa Clara, CA on Nov 3rd

Following up from the highly popular free SOA Summer Camp series we ran this past summer, we'll be offering a one-day version of this in Santa Clara, CA in November. This is again meant to be a generic intro to SOA with WSO2 products being used for samples. Its not free but priced at just $75. Interested?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

WSO2 100% open source SOA platform

We've been doing a bunch of calls with customers giving them a technical update on our product platform. If you want to get a quick introduction to our 100% open source SOA product portfolio and our technical vision take a look!

If you want to talk to us of course you can contact us via

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fundamentals of victory against terror: The Sri Lankan example

Last week's Sunday Leader newspaper had a reprint of an Indian Defence Review article about the war in Sri Lanka. The eight fundamentals they had identified were:
  • Political Will
  • Go To Hell (to the international community ;-))
  • No Negotiations
  • Regulate Media
  • No Cease-fire
  • Complete Operational Freedom
  • Accent on Young Commanders
  • Keep Your Neighbors In Loop
I can't find the article on the Indian Defence Review site (they only publish a subset there). You can read the article here:

I also saw this article: Requiem for Prabhakaran by Brig. S.P. Sinha there today. Another good read.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rape of the Sri Lankan consumer: Mobitel Google Apps

[There are many scenarios where various corporations rape local consumers in various ways. I'm going to start a series of blogs on such activities with the hope of helping Sri Lankan consumers be more smart and not pay extra for things they don't need to pay (extra) for!]

Recently Mobitel, the 2nd largest (I think) mobile operator in Sri Lanka, launch a commercial version of Google Apps with the brand Mobitel M3 Apps. From everything I have read and understand, Mobiletel M3 Apps is the same as the Google Apps that anyone with an address gets free, except: (a) you get a email address, (b) you get the ability to have subsidiary accounts, (c) you get to pay Rs. 50/month (which is apparently a special offer for this year) and (d) its all tied to your Mobitel account so if you cancel that you lose everything after 60 days. I got this info from their FAQ; if any of it is wrong I'm sure someone from Mobitel will correct it :-).

This is not full Google Apps. We (WSO2) are now paying customers of Google Apps (at $50/user/year .. roughly 10x what Mobitel is charging) and as long as we pay them the service will remain. Furthermore, most importantly, we own our domain and if Microsoft were to offer a better service (for example) and if we wanted to switch, we can do it without affecting our public face at all.

This is the importance of owning your own domain. That's why I set up this blog under my name - after moving twice (from Radio Userland to Bloglines and then to Blogger) I didn't want to be stuck with the same problem if I wanted to move again.

So any person who ties their email address to the ISP is IMO making a HUGE mistake. Email addresses, Web sites, blogs are all part of your personal or your organization's Internet personality. Why give that to an ISP as a hostage?? Makes no sense at all any more.

Its one reason to do it if its free. However, to pay money and do it? Absolutely not!

That brings me to my second rant about this service- unless I'm missing something crucial, the only advantage I get over simply using GMail and the other free Google Apps with an address is that I get to have "subsidiary" accounts under the same account. However, they too are under Huh? How are those subsidiary accounts different from random other accounts under They're not .. the only difference is a billing convenience for Mobitel: they get to charge for all the accounts under one Mobitel account.

So, here we have our #2 mobile company advertising away saying "Pay us Rs. 100 to sign up and Rs. 50/month" so you can get all this cool stuff. (That's approximately $1 and $0.50, respectively.) EXCEPT, all that cool stuff is TOTALLY free for all people on the Internet!!!! All you need to pay for is bandwidth.

So what Mobitel is doing is conning uninformed local subscribers that they need to pay for these services. This is utter crap and a total rape of the consumer.

From Google's point of view this is great I guess- all they need to do is support another domain (which is trivial) and they get some cash out of something they give away free. Its our stupidity for using that stuff; not Google's fault at all. I suspect there are lots of other greedy corporates in other relatively poor, developing countries where the execs see a way to sell free stuff to the uninformed masses too. Not exactly compatible with "do no evil" but I guess it is compatible with "see no evil, hear no evil."

Just say no.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

LTTE's "KP" now in Sri Lankan custody

A while ago I blogged how LTTE's global arms procurement person (and their "head of international relations") was still absconding. Well, no more .. KP is now ours :-).

He was nabbed in Malaysia by Sri Lankan military intelligence folks and then brought to Colombo .. now being interrogated. He's a PRIZE catch - he set up and lead the arms procurement and delivery networks as well as handled their $200-300m annual income (profit). There have been reports of a major power struggle within the remnants of the LTTE (including this story about the battle to take control of its drug trafficking wing), especially to control the vast sums of money they (still) have .. and KP was the winner. Well, no more.

India has already asked to get to KP .. as I'm sure are US intelligence folks given the reality of resource sharing by terrorist groups.

He's going to be tried in Sri Lanka. There's no way he'll ever see any freedom again and I don't see Sri Lanka extraditing him to India or anywhere else .. but I'm sure the Indians and Americans will get their chance of chatting with KP.

KP recently started a new Web site and a blog. See: Here's a screenshot of the home page .. I'm sure it'll change soon :):

KP was the last piece of the puzzle to give the deathblow to the terror of LTTE. RIP. No, RIH.

(There still is "Aunty" Adele Balasingham. Living in UK and the matriach and (likely) new leader of the LTTE. We're ok with the LTTE terrorism network going on in the UK. Yeah just keep it there guys; the UK government is apparently happy to ignore the ban. Just don't try to come back home.)

Absolutely brilliant of our intelligence folks to track him down (when Interpol which had an arrest warrant for him for years couldn't (or maybe didn't want to?)), grab him and bring him back home for chit-chat. AFAIK this is the first international operation by Sri Lankan intelligence.

And the funniest part of the whole thing: LTTE is upset that he was nabbed and says his nabbing was illegal. At least these guys have a great sense of humor!

Hiking with Jonathan

Jonathan and I recently did a 2-night hike thru some parts of the Sierra-Nevada mountains recently. I was planning to write my own story but still haven't been able to get to it .. so I'll start with pointing to Jonathan's blog on our trip!

This is the first time I've done any true backpacking and it was an awesome experience. The amazing natural beauty of the American west never ceases to amaze me. We climbed up to more than 8000ft and even ski'd down some snow fields (yes in July). I have some video of Jonathan trying to kill himself by coming down one field with a potential drop off of a few hundred feet; will upload somewhere!

This was a bit of a trial run to set us up for more ambitious hikes (well for me at least; Jonathan's done a lot of hiking). If all goes well we plan to do a major hike next summer but more on that later.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WSO2 is 4 years old

Today is our "unofficial" official birthday - and today we celebrate 4 years of life!

Actually there's no one start date .. there was the day we incorporated the US company, the day the Sri Lankan company was incorporated, the UK company, the day we closed the funding (after changing name to WSO2 from Serendib Systems because James refused to invest without that change!), the day the US company bought the LK company, then the UK company, etc. etc. etc.. However, August 4th is around the center of all of that - which happened between July and September basically. Plus it happens to be a (chance) choice day for me .. so I was a bit selfish in declaring August 4th as our birthday ;-).

Its pretty cool to see how far we've come since the old days. Check out our Web site as of Sept. 24th, 2005 (for some reason the banner image at the top of the page is missing though). Compare that to our current site and, um, yeah we have a few more things to offer!

Its been a fun, challenging, entertaining, interesting and everything 4 years. I have no regrets whatsoever in leaving IBM to start WSO2. IBM was an awesome place, but this experience has been several notches better :-).

Working with Paul as my co-founder (going back to a "secret" meeting he, myself and one other person [who ended up not joining but who I hope to bring into WSO2 one of these days] had at his mom's place in London back in December 2004 while all three of us were still in IBM) has been the single most fun thing out of everything in WSO2. Paul and I are a team in every sense - we challenge each other to excel and there's no doubt that everything we've achieved is due to that superb teamwork. Paul's stubbornness combined (and equaled or maybe exceeded!) with mine has made us a potent team ;-). The beauty is that while we're both stubborn we also compromise and do it with no baggage. We believe in challenging ourselves and everyone to make real, pragmatic, hard-nosed, concrete decisions - we don't lie to ourselves about our capabilities or software or customers or anything.

Oh yes, its not been just 2 people who got us here. And that's the really really special gift WSO2 has given me- the chance to work with an amazing set of young and not-so-young people primarily in Sri Lanka but also in the US (with Jonathan and Katie now) and see everyone grow to becoming global personalities. We're now more than 70 strong and have an amazing group of talented, passionate, hard-working and committed people working on making WSO2 become the global success we all believe we will be.

We have people who've been with us nearly the entire 4 years and several of them are now the key leaders in various aspects: Samisa (now Director of Engineering), Hasmin (now Senior Manager of Communications), and Azeez (Architect of Carbon) being some of the key players.

I think more than 20 people have left WSO2 to join various grad schools all over the world to do PhDs in CS and related areas. I expect probably half of our current team (of more than 70) to leave for higher studies over the near few years as well. In fact, from the original group of people who joined WSO2 right at the inception, only Paul, myself and Flora (our office assistant here in Sri Lanka) are left - almost everyone else has gone to grad school!

We're a very R&D oriented company and group of people - we believe in continuous learning, graduate school and every possible way of learning as ways to continually innovate. Its hard to understand the culture of WSO2 from outside but its quite unusual :).

In summary, I will just say to every one of my WSO2 family members: Thank you.

And to our customers: Thank you for placing your trust in us and for giving us the opportunity to show you that the disgustingly corrupt software industry and the complex software it produces are not the only way.

And to our competitors: better buckle up - its gonna be a rough ride. We've only just begun.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Perspectives: Revenue

Sri Lanka'a GDP in 2008: Approximately $41B (page 16 of 2008 annual report)

Italian Mob annual revenue (2008): Approx. $167B.

LTTE's annual profit (according to Jane's Defense) in 2007: $200-300m. I remember reading somewhere that it was $300-400m but can't find the reference. Assuming a profit margin of 20%, that's at least $1.5B annual revenue.

Walmart 2008 revenue: $401B.

IBM 2008 revenue
: $104B.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Brain-friendly SOA security

Prabath Siriwardena, who leads all of WSO2's security work, including the Identity Server product, recently gave a summer school program on SOA security. These slides give the best no-nonsense, to-the-point, simple explanation of all of security that I have ever seen. Prabath covers authentication, authorization, WS-Security, WS-Security Policy, XACML, OpenID, Information Cards, WS-Trust, STS and more in one smooth story style presentation:
Don't believe me? Start clicking through the slides above and tell me you can stop before you got to the end!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Three SOA Case Studies

Paul had given a talk at QCon in London earlier this year discussing some use cases that we've dealt with with our customers. He has some very useful anti-patterns towards the end of the talk!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Google's new OS project, SOA and stateless computing

The new Chrome OS is an interesting development indeed from Google.

The Chrome browser is pretty much an OS already - each tab is a separate process and they use shared memory to load the common code etc. etc. .. its a mini-OS. If you think about the work Chrome (the browser) does, its pretty much depending on a few low level system calls to do memory management and process scheduling plus the windowing system for graphics. So the proposed strategy of run that on a cut-down Linux kernel plus rewrite the graphics system certainly makes sense. The venerable X Window System (of MIT Project Athena fame .. early 80s!!!) has seen its time IMO and a rewrite and a rethink is in order. It would not shock me if the new system is more like NeWS, Sun's original Network Window System (think Display Postscript), one of Jim Gosling's inventions before Java. (Java is sorta the same thing .. at least in the applet days and when it was conceived as the Green project; the server-side success of Java was almost accidental. Funny how the world turns, eh?!) The beauty of that architecture in the now "network is the computer" world is that it makes it better for remote computing - you can do more granular work on the server and push down work to the client. Video for example can be built into the windowing system itself.

One can also easily argue that you really do have to rethink the entire security architecture of an OS to really make a "Web-safe OS" and one which is an instant-on experience like a TV instead of traditional computer. The use of a Linux kernel surprises me there - why be constrained by the Unix security model? I'm guessing that that decision was motivated by the daunting challenge of getting drivers written for a totally new kernel - at least by going with Linux have a pretty good likelihood that everything from digital cameras to USB disks etc. that people have and will plug into the Gnetbook will work in our lifetime.

Of course we've heard the "Microsoft killer" argument a few times .. first Netscape with Netscape and then Sun with Java. However, unlike Netscape's wishful-thinking and Sun's brain-dead JavaOS project which attempted to write an OS in Java (what were you thinking Sun?), the Google guys are not afraid to get their hands dirty and write real code in a real language (C, of course).

There's no doubt that a rethink of fundamentals of computing are in order for the network age. Google seems well positioned to take a crack at that problem and possibly make it take off due to their dominating presence and global "cool kid" brand value.

Not to seem like I'm trying to sell WSO2 stuff in this blog entry, but this approach of "client=browser=access to services on the net" fits perfectly with our vision of the enterprise back-end: that its all about services and ONLY services. Even on the front-end, we're moving towards gadgets being the only UI and are working on taking the gadget dashboard stuff we've done and making a total gadget server which is like a portal server except that instead of crappy server-side JSR 168 portlets, you just have client side gadget that talk directly to back-end services (in the enterprise and outside). Oh yeah, with Chrome I expect Google will provide an easy way to (safely) get rid of this cross-site browsing restriction nonsense; IMO that is an "old Web" thing that just needs to go away as it doesn't fit with the model any more. So in many ways, a pure Web client platform is the perfect counterpart to a service-oriented enterprise.

Here's a funny thing though - Microsoft tried to get the world to accept that a browser is inextricably tied to the OS .. and got KILLED for it (and are still paying for it in crazy EU land). Google does the same thing (except further - the browser *is* the OS) and it seems the world is very happy. Ah, how wonderful it must be the company that does no evil ;-). (Other than reading all my mail and monitoring every click I do of course.) To be fair to Google though, all technology success is a "right thing, right place, right time" thing and Microsoft was probably too far ahead of the curve to say the browser is indeed part of the OS. Google's timing is much better and in any case, this is new OS .. not a new OS that must be able to run any browser.

I'm beginning to believe more and more in a world of "stateless computing", by which I see my laptop and netbook and phone and all simply being a "throwaway" device to get to my data and services on the net. In WSO2 we use Google Apps (email, calendar, intranet sites, shared docs), SVN (all code) and run all our common stuff on EC2. What I have on my laptop is pretty much a local cache only - well with Gears you can nearly get there .. it caches enough for my experience to be "good enough". Even on the server side, we now have an internal cloud (based on Xen) where anyone can go to an intranet portal and fire up a server with the OS/software config they want and get a dynamic host name etc. and use it. (We'll be open sourcing that code soon.) That has been a totally liberating experience in terms of how we think about getting a server with some config; now its "just do it". BTW anyone who thinks the concept of "internal cloud" doesn't make sense is, in my book, an idiot.

I was thinking of going back to a desktop computer (netbooks are only good for little stuff; sorry the small keyboard and screen don't cut it for me for 24x7 use) with a big screen + a 3G connected netbook for access from other places. However, with the internal cloud stuff, I'm now thinking of getting two "nettop"s (like this totally cool looking puppy from Acer), attaching it to large monitors at office and home and a netbook to carry around. The nettop+screen works like an old X Terminal (!!!) with my real computers being personal "servers" running in the internal cloud. (Yeah I will be running an internal cloud at home too.)

That's stateless computing - if those $250 boxes give way, no problem throw it away and buy a new one. And total cost: 2 x 24-30" monitor (< $600), 2 x nettop ($500), 1 x netbook ($300) < $1500 for access and shared servers for the cloud. At home I can run that on boxes I already have or for say $1000 by a quad core box with 8GB memory plus 1TB mirrored and have a pretty safe world. In office we're running the internal cloud on 3 old Dell 1U boxes with 2 dual core processors each and each with 8GB. We can keep adding every old box we have to that cloud (soon with Zeroconf). Oh yeah, if I need public cloud servers I've got Amazon EC2.

That's liberation. Liberation from "shit my disk died and I've lost it all", from "shit my computer crashed" and more shits ;-).

Will desktop apps go away? No way. While Google Docs are usable, its nothing when compared to Open Office (which itself is nothing when compared to Microsoft Office, but that's a different blog). However, its "good enough" for quite a few scenarios and I suspect will become sufficiently better (with the improved proprietary extensions from your friendly neighborhood Google).

May you live in interesting times.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oracle's "componentized" SOA suite

Yesterday Oracle announced a major refresh of their middleware platform - basically the result of merging in BEA to Oracle. Some stuff (like getting rid of OC4J and using WebLogic would've been a no-brainer "thank god we're done with that" decision) but other stuff must've been quite painful, especially for the people involved!

From their press release:
Oracle SOA Suite 11g delivers a complete, integrated and hot-pluggable SOA platform that enables next-generation business applications by simplifying service access, integration, orchestration, Complex Event Processing (CEP), monitoring and management.
Wow, that's a mouthful. Given that WSO2 is also in the business of building "complete, integrated and hot-pluggable SOA platform", I thought wow let me see what's so hot about Oracle SOA Suite 11g. So I thought let me check this out and visited their download site to see whether I can get my hands on that beast.

  • Basic download: 1.5GB
  • Required components:
    • WebLogic Server: 600-800MB
    • Repository Creation Utility: 280-360MB
    • Oracle Database: 1.7-2.3GB
    • JDeveloper: 934MB-1GB
  • (Let's ignore all the optional components)
So, in order to try out their SOA Suite, I need to download somewhere between 5GB and 6GB of stuff. Um, wow?

Yes we know imitation is the best form of flattery but that's on the order of 20x the size of ALL of our platform. Yes yes I know Oracle is so much bigger and better and more powerful, but 20x better??

BUT, remember who the consumer of this stuff is: the poor brain-hurtin' developer. When I first started doing Java stuff (with JDK 1.0.8 in '94 I think), I knew every class in the JDK public APIs and quite a bit of internal stuff. Today, no Java developer even knows all the junk that's in the JDK. On top of that throw in 5-6GB of stuff and you'll have developers committing suicide!!!!!

SCA, the foundation on which Oracle's suite is built, was an abstraction layer designed to overlay JEE and WS-*. What?? Isn't that what WS-* can do too? Yep, but IBM and BEA weren't happy with losing JEE's place in the world .. and SCA was born. OK I am simplifying a bit but I do know the history as I was in IBM at the time :-).

Today's biggest problem for developers is not lack of choice of tools. There are 7 of everything. How can the average developer handle 5-6GB of stuff and figure out where to get started? That's if they were able to get it all installed.

If this is the best the Java world can offer SOA developers then Microsoft and .Net people will be very happy - they know how to make things simple for developers!

Luckily there's always WSO2 Carbon and our SOA products :-).

Or, you can always wait for Oracle 12g, the composition of Oracle, BEA and Sun.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WSO2 sponsoring OSCON

We've decided to sponsor OSCON 2009 .. if you are coming there and want to look us up please drop by! As always we have lots to tell you about what we're doing and our customer success stories and more!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Congratulations Pakistan!

(I meant to write this on Monday but its been a crazy week!)

The Twenty20 Finals on Sunday nite was amazing. Sri Lanka, which had played so well up until the finals, had its luck run out .. and Pakistan, which had a sputtering start, really got into high gear and um, whipped our butt :-). Congratulations Pakistan - after all the troubles you've had this is a great victory!

Pakistan showed how to win fair and square; without needing extra balls ;-).

For our own team - wow, what a run. Having an unbeaten run in a game like Twenty20 cricket where one little slip up can mean the game either way is amazing. I'm proud of our guys for having the "do whatever it takes to win" attitude and for delivering amazing results! It bodes well for our World Cup chances next year.

Congratulations to Dilshan on being recognized as the player of the series! What a batting experience that was :).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sri Lanka cricket: an example of what we can do together

The 3Ms have been anchoring our bowling attack for a while now: Murali, Malinga and Mendis. But last nite's semi-final against brought out another M-powered bowling weapon: Matthews. Wow, what a game .. of course Dilshan's amazing knock of 96 was the key that gave the bowlers the room they needed to destroy the West Indies. One more bit of work left :-).

So this blog is not about cricket. Its really about how Sri Lanka can perform when we work as a single country instead of a group of people divided on all kinds of lines. Our cricket team has had their ups and downs, but we have been a dominant force in every sense for a long time. We won the cricket world cup in 1996 and are on track to win the Twenty 20 World Cup now. We've won numerous matches in between and for the most part are considered one of the stronger teams in the world.

Take a look at our cricket team - its not Sinhalese, its not Tamil, its not Muslim, its not Buddhist, its not Christian, its not Hindu etc.! Its ALL of those put together. There are rich Colombo kids, there are poor village kids, there are those who speak eloquently in English, there are those who can barely stammer out a few grammatically correct sentences, and there's even an Army officer on the team!

(Yes yes I'm not stupid to think the team selection process is perfect and without politics. That doesn't happen anywhere except Eutopia. The results, however, speak for themselves.)

We're a small country with incredibly strong foundations in so many aspects. Our economy is 1/3rd the annual revenue of IBM. It is SOOO easy to make Sri Lanka into a great nation that people look up to and instead of trying to run away from, want to come to.

Yet instead, we attack each other by drawing boundaries along racial lines, religious lines, caste lines (within the races), city/village lines and so on. Who are we competing against? Ourselves. In the modern flat world, there is nothing local - everything is global. So fighting against each other simply makes us a pawn of others who are trying to improve themselves. That's what has happened to us in the last 30+ years .. we let our own stupidity take over and allow to be exploited by others for their own advantage.

Yes I blog regularly about how world politics is screwing with us yet. I will continue to do so.

However, the world can do that only as long as WE ALLOW THEM TO DO SO. It is our opportunity to screw up. It took us one election cycle after independence in 1948 before we became idiotic and acted in politically expedient ways that destroyed our future. Now we have another chance - and for once a hard fought independence from the clutches of terrorism.

We have incredibly high literacy rates. Life expectancy rates that match up the best in the world. Infant mortality rates that are better than many western nations. Our people are not dying in their thousands out of malnutrition and starvation.

It is up to the majority Sinhala Buddhist people to reject politics of separation. It is up to the minorities in whatever form, to support politicians that want unity and not separation. Its time for all of us to say bye to racially and religiously focused political parties; what we need are national politics, not one that is hell bent on gaining advantage for one fragment of our population over the rest. We need political parties that are hell bent on taking Sri Lanka on to the global championship and can produce winning teams, no matter what the game is!

We in Sri Lanka love to blame our politicians for all the misgivings of the country. Given that we're a democracy, the blame lies squarely on our own shoulders: we are ALLOWING the politicians to do whatever and get away with it.

The baton is in our hands; let's run with it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sri Lanka May Become ‘Hong Kong of India’ After War

Finally, an article that reflects the optimism that at least I personally feel is now common here in Sri Lanka.

Here's a small excerpt:
June 18 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka’s economy can bounce back from its weakest growth in six years and become the “Hong Kong of India” as the end of almost three decades of civil war boosts business opportunities, HSBC Private Bank said.

Decades of fighting on the Indian Ocean island shackled its $32 billion economy, which according to figures released yesterday expanded 1.5 percent last quarter from a year earlier as the global recession intensified the slowdown. Ports, retailers, apparel and tea exporters could lead a recovery after the Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated last month.

“The rebound will be spectacular,” said Arjuna Mahendran, the Singapore-based chief investment strategist for Asia at HSBC Private Bank, which oversees $494 billion in assets. “To start with, Sri Lanka’s location gives its port a natural advantage.”

Its interesting that the entire Sri Lankan economy is less than 1/3rd of IBM's annual's revenue. If that elephant can dance, so can we.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New LSF project: peer-to-peer distributed Web cache

The Lanka Software Foundation started a project at the beginning of this year to develop a P2P application framework (called Dalesa) and then a set of applications on top of that. Wathsala Withanage leads that work and has two other great team members working with him (Nuwan & Nishshanka).

Wathsala has recently blogged about the architecture of Dalaesa and the DCache application - a distributed, peer-to-peer Web cache which is an alternative to Squid-like centralized caches. The architecture figure Wathsala drew is the following:

There are lots of potential applications that can be built on top of a P2P application framework. The DCache was basically a POC .. to show that the lower layer works. Other more interesting apps include building autonomous security boxes that mesh together and provide a P2P monitoring layer. Have ideas? Contact Wathsala and join the project!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Michelle Obama's Arms Meet With Sri Lankan Refugees

So cool to have those arms here in Sri Lanka. Damn! They didn't invite me to come and shake 'em!!!!!

You know Sri Lanka's become main-stream newsworthy when The Onion decides to send Michelle's arms to Sri Lanka! I hope our tourism guys notice this and figure out what to do with the arms!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In Sri Lanka: Explaining the Tamil Tigers

This is a great article by a US writer (Jim Luce) on the LTTE story. If you read nothing else about Sri Lanka's terrorism story, please read this article - it gives a good dose of reality on what the LTTE became and is.

And this bit of text explains quite well why I've been ranting and raving about "the world" lately in my blog:
Disturbingly, another factor may also be involved. Racism. I often wonder why the Fight Against Terrorism seems to be a white man's fight, and when in the word's of Teddy Roosevelt, our "little brown brothers" stand up for themselves, somehow charges of abuse and rights violations are leveled by the West.

When the U.S. invaded Iraq, with the full cooperation of the U.K., many civilians were killed. As have been killed in Afghanistan. Not to mention abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

Perhaps the specter of a developing nation conquering terrorism is galling to us in the developed world, knowing Osama Bin Laden has eluded our best efforts to capture him.

We seem to suffer from Empty Nest Syndrome. We need to accept that our former colonies have grown up - and can now stand for themselves.
Its incredibly frustrating to see how (primarily) western governments are politically trying to destroy Sri Lanka even at this time. Its only the politicians though - their own militaries and intelligence agencies etc. are fully aware of what's going on, what happened etc. and have never done anything negative. Its the paid for, bought-out politicians who only care about their own careers and not their country, who are trying to destroy us.

Jim's closing comments are also quite illuminating of the double standards that we are meted out:
And the hatred continues. One angry commenter to my last story in the Huffington Post hoped the LTTE remnants would assassinate Sri Lanka's president and defense minister. In the U.S., threatening the life of the president is a prisonable offense.

The Sri Lanka government has no intention of allowing one of the world's largest terrorist organizations back into its nation -- anymore than the U.S. would allow Bin Laden to renounce violence and run for the U.S. Senate.
I wonder whether the world will ever be able to treat all people equally.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sri Lanka under attack .. still

Wow, I was just watching Al Jazeera and its amazing the global attack still going on against Sri Lanka. It looks like the world is very concerned about what may or may not have happened in the last 2 weeks of a 30 year war. Our military killed 20,000 people in 2 weeks after carefully avoiding civilian casualties all the time before and hanging around for months to wait for the Indian election to finish and more. Yeah, sure, that makes sense.

Then there's the story of the Captain Ali. A ship that is carrying "relief supplies" and tries to come into Sri Lanka unauthorized. Dudes (from ActNow who sent the ship), we gotta navy you know .. and a damned good, war-veteran one too. That's why its kinda under custody now. (The dude from ActNow who was interviewed has apparently been on hunger strike from May 18th. Hmm, sure looked too healthy for that ... maybe a Double Cheeseburger finds its way in there once in a way?)

Oh yes then there's the "international aid agencies" that are not allowed into the IDP (internally displaced person) camps. Sri Lanka must be killing the innocent Tamil people to not let these wonderfully well-intentioned international aid agencies into help. Um, sure. Yes, these would be the same aid agencies whose equipment, money and facilities were used to build up the LTTE. This would also be the same groups who have been caught trying to smuggle people out of the IDP camps. People who were LTTE members.

We won the war after 30 years of struggling and getting screwed by most of the world. You expect us to let you get back in and mess it up? Dream on.

On Wednesday there was a massive military parade in Colombo to celebrate the victory. It was the time to pay homage to the military for the tremendous sacrifices they made to give Sri Lanka freedom, again. For the first time, we have a freedom that has been fought for militarily. You see, unlike the US, we didn't have a culture of thanking the military for our freedom - we got our independence from UK basically free .. on the coat-tails of Indian independence. Now after 30 terrible years, all of Sri Lanka has gained independence again .. thanks to the hard work of our military. There are tens of thousands of permanently disabled troops and many thousands of troops who lost their lives in the process. We owe our freedom to their hard work and sacrifices.

(Its really hard for non-military people to understand or appreciate their sacrifices - I've met one person (a sergent) who spent 16 years in the war zone .. all the while having a wife and kids in the south who he saw but once or twice an year. As a father, I cannot imagine how he survived. His children too have paid a tremendous price for us to enjoy our freedom.)

Now, if the world thinks we're gonna give in and let you run all over us again after all this work, think again. NEVER.

Are we out of the woods with this military victory? Of course not. Its only the opening that was critical for the political system to fix the underlying issues and get us on the right path. I am confident that will happen; this president means business and I believe he will get it done.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Apache Stonehenge releases first milestone!

Apache Stonhenge, the project we helped start in the Apache Incubator to build a set of SOA apps to demonstrate interoperability, just did their first milestone release. Congratulations to the team!

Its quite a bit of work to get the first milestone out as the developers have to align the project with ASF requirements, learn the release process etc.. But its a great feeling when its all done!

Download it and give it a whirl .. you may be surprised at how interop is much more real now!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

SOA summer school!

We just announced out recession-busting SOA summer school! Huh?

This is the idea: many architects & engineers are out of work right now all over the world. What can we do to help? Well, unfortunately we can't offer them jobs right now, but what we can do is help them get better versed in SOA technology ... and hopefully that'll help them get a better job as the job market starts opening up again or allow them to get some consulting work etc. during these tough times.

So we've come up with a program of 8 online training courses that you can sign up for free. These courses are designed to give you a good overall understanding of all aspects of SOA:
These will be taught by the best and brightest in each of these areas in WSO2. These are people with a ton of experience in the respective areas and who know the technology inside out. If they can't help you get an understanding of these topics then no one can.

The overall content is generic - that is, not about WSO2 software. However, when we need to use a tool to show how things can be done in practice, we use our software. Of course we hope that the architects and engineers who take these courses will end up using our stuff, but we know there are other bits around that can do the job too. If these courses will help people get (better) jobs because they're know how to build service-oriented systems then we've achieved our objective.

Interested? Sign up here. The first course is on June 18th.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Talk on SOA & open source at Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

Last week I was invited to give a talk at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium's first Technical Summit, which was hosted by the Sri Lanka Navy. My talk was about the role of SOA and open source in building large scale net centric systems for defence purposes. My real objective was to try to encourage both local military as well as regional militaries to set up their own open source activity (similar to what the US govt has done with as well as to share and collaborate at least within the Indian Ocean region.
The IONS is a great idea .. all 32 (?) countries which touch the Indian ocean have a lot of common naval issues to deal with. Its wonderful to see India take leadership in setting this up and to see the kind of warm collaboration that appears to be forming. The coolest system was Singapore Navy's Information Fusion Centre (which started very recently) - a full service oriented system that allows regional cooperation and mashing up of all kinds of information sources to give them a complete operational picture.

There were 30+ attendees from 18 countries. Interesting thing to see is whether we can muster up some concrete next steps!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The war continues .. in UK!

Ah, this is so great :). The UK government, which tried its best to get us to give a reprieve to LTTE, is now its getting its hand bitten by trying to help these crazies: Police hurt as UK Tamil protests turn violent.

Look at that image .. its the BANNED LTTE flag being waved in front of the UK parliament. Yes, banned in UK.

How long do you think the British government allow an Al Qaeda protest to go on like that?? The double standard is incredible.

LTTE fans, its OVER. If you still believe what the person said in the article above:
The Tamil Tigers are our sole representative. It is not going to be over til we get our own nation that is called Tamil Ealam.
Lady, better start looking for a new representative! Please do continue the fight ... in UK, Canada, Australia and more.

We in Sri Lanka just want to live in peace and become the country we know we can be.

Whitley award for elephant conservation!

It gives me great pleasure and pride to blog about my cousin Dr. Prithiviraj (Pruthu) Fernando receiving a Whitley Award for his work!

Above: Pruthu receiving the award from Britain's Pricess Anne.

Pruthu's an amazing guy .. he's a medical doctor who's first love was always animals. I remember growing up he used to have snakes and all kinds of whacky animals as pets (much to his mother's chagrin). So after he finished his medical degree he went to the US and did a Ph.D. (in Univ. of Oregon) in animal genetics (something about scooping up elephant poop and figuring out what they had for lunch and what their favorite game was etc.). After his Ph.D. he spent a few years in Columbia as a postdoc and then came back and set up the Center for Conservation and Research. He along with his lovely wife Jenny (who's also a scientist in the center) are now the world's leading researchers in larger animal issues.

Pruthu received the award for his pioneering work on the human-elephant conflict - basically finding better ways for allowing us to co-exist. As he comments in the article, he credits the Sri Lankan people for letting the elephants survive for so long in such a small area, but at the same time we have a long way to go in finding viable ways forward for a sustainable relationship with the big guys. I've listened to him tons of times (often in between badminton games when he's killing me) go on passionately about why the common strategy of putting an electric fence simply doesn't work .. and his research done by tracking elephants by satellite transmitting collars prove that it doesn't. The work he does is incredibly cool and human .. not exactly like writing middleware :).

These awards are the crème de la crème of awards in the wildlife space. Congratulations Pruthu on being recognized so globally for your hard work!

Monday, May 18, 2009

How the West was sidelined (for the moment)

This is a GREAT article by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, on the Ministry of Defence Web site. I also had the pleasure of listening to him being interviewed by the BBC yesterday and it was hilarious how he told the BBC about UK's incompetent, illegal and annoying meddling in our sovereign affairs.

While the entire writeup is worth reading, here's a small clip (emphasis mine):

But at the same time there are also lessons the West should learn. The anger at obvious double standards was palpable amongst all our friends. Obviously we do not expect even the most idealistic country to abandon its own interests. But in sticking to them ruthlessly, the use of sanctimonious pronouncements to reach other ends is abhorrent. It is especially important that the Obama administration, which came in with such high hopes, should not be seen as just another cynical mixture as before.

Secondly, the West should not take the rest of the world for granted. Its failure to consult at all was surprising, its failure to consult neighbours who obviously have a stake in a stable neighbourhood was astonishing. The impression could have arisen that stability in our areas is not to the interest of the West, which would prefer a plethora of weak states, to allow it to maintain more easily its current hegemony, political as well as economic.

And thirdly, the West should think about the message it is sending, in seeming to want the Tigers to survive in some form or another, particularly in the light of its past blunders. After all the horrors we are witnessing now, which are attributed largely to the West, spring from its own encouragement of Taliban terrorism during the Cold War. Whatever its purposes then, there is no doubt they could have been achieved without worrying consequences had there been at least a modicum of adherence to basic principles.

Oh BTW Mr. Miliband, please do inform us when you decide to run for re-election. We will be organizing a fund raising campaign for your election .. for WHOEVER is running against you. You need to go down in history as the incompetent bureaucrat you are .. and go home soon before you can destroy the world more. Please enjoy your extravagant expense reimbursements while you can.

Independence ... again!

I was not born when Sri Lanka got independence from Great Britain in 1948, but I can now begin to imagine how people felt that day.

Today is again our independence day, version 2.0.

Its been just over 60 years since we got independence from Britain. The war with LTTE and other militant extremist groups has been going on for nearly 30 years. Today marks the end of that phase of our history - LTTE is now a done deal. Good bye. Sayanora. Ta ta.

(Well, actually, there's one senior member of the LTTE leadership who's still around. That's "KP" .. the Interpol-wanted chief weapons procurement guy for LTTE. He's now tagged their chief "international negotiator" and was in fact the guy who responded to Pres. Obama's offer to help them out. Too little too late KP. However, we probably need to execute a Mossad-style operation on KP wherever he is to make sure that he doesn't succeed in regrouping the spent force of pussy cats.)

The atmosphere in Colombo and Sri Lanka today is incredible. There are national flags everywhere and there's a genuine feeling of relief and rejoice. There are spontaneous street parties and "dan salas" happening and of course the omnipresent sound of fire crackers. Its gonna be a LOT louder tomorrow morning!

Our President His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse is due to address the nation tomorrow (May 19th) at 09:30 from parliament. He's expected to announce that we have won the war and that LTTE is now finished. What he and his government has pulled off, in the face of STIFF resistence from so many of our "anti-terrorist" / western "friends" has been nothing short of incredible. Hats off to you Sir!

What our military has achieved is nothing short of incredible too. Again despite stiff, organized resitance in many quarters of the world, our military strategists (lead by the tri-forces commanders and Defence Secretary Lt. Col. Gotabaya Rajapakse (Rtd.)) and every one of those young men and women who sacrificed life and limb, have done what the "great" armies of the world have failed at doing. We've done what even the mighty Indian military could not do.

We have defeated terrorism in Sri Lanka. LTTE, which held nearly 1/3rd of the country under its control just 3 years ago, is now kaput.

Now comes the more difficult challenge - of winning the peace. We must of course start by taking total care of all of our fellow country men, women and children who will spend tonite (and many more nites) at a relief camp. They need our help to recover their severly battered lives and to establish some semblence of trust between our people so that the curse of the LTTE will never live again. Yes we do need financial and other material assistance to run these camps and to re-settle these people, but all you foreign "aid organizations" please stay the hell out. We don't need your agendas nor your fake "expertise." We took care of a million-plus people in the days after the 2004 tsunami and we can easily take damned good care of the 250,000+ people stuck in camps today. We're not a rich country - if you want to help we welcome it. However, don't offer it with conditions; keep it instead.

Taking care of people in IDP camps is just the small beginning. We have ways to go to solve the underlying problems and create a trusting sociaty.

President Rajapakse is the first leader we've had who speaks in all 3 languages. I hope tomorrow he will talk about the need to fix our differences and go on. The world is a small, highly competitive place. There is no time nor space for internal squabbling any more! We need to unite and act as one nation in order to compete most effectively and win.

Congratulations, Sri Lanka and all her people. Today we stand proud as a victorious nation. Victorious internally against a violent virus and externally against a nasty bacteria. Onward ho!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pres. Obama too tells us to stop

Thanks, Mr. Obama.

Oh and Ms. Clinton has put the brakes on Sri Lanka getting a $1.9B emergency bailout from IMF because we won't give into terrorism.

That's ok sir and madam, we'll figure our way out of this .. and you know, we'll be the better for it. I'm all for us suffering and managing on our own rather than giving into international terrorism (I was going to say pressure but this is terrorism) and giving up our freedom to them.

Let me post an excerpt from the editorial in today's Daily Island. This is highly reflective of the mood in the country about the US and UK in particular at the moment:

Isn't the US unwittingly encouraging its enemies like Al Qaeda to shift from destroying economic and military targets to hostage taking to have the US aggression stopped in Afghanistan?

No sooner had President Obama issued his statement than the LTTE welcomed it. But, true to form, it chose to remain silent on the US call for disarming and releasing civilians. Instead, it demanded an immediate UN intervention in Sri Lanka so that its leaders could escape death.

Now, what would President Obama do? The LTTE has not given a damn about his strident call! How would he deal with the outfit banned as a foreign terrorist organisation in the US? The US government has not spelt out action it intends to take against the LTTE for non compliance.

If the US could force the LTTE to disarm and let go of civilians in keeping with President Obama's wish, the humanitarian crisis will be over in no time.

How does the US propose to make the LTTE fall in line?

The Obama administration has already taken punitive action against the Sri Lankan government for defiance: It is blocking an IMF loan facility to this country for the 'crime' of not agreeing to a humanitarian truce with a terrorist group. That is the US is meting out collective punishment to a democratic sovereign state for battling terrorism, while allowing a ruthless terrorist outfit to go scot free in spite of its non compliance as well as barbaric crimes.

Is this how the US is promoting democracy in the world?

Please do read the entire editorial; its quite illuminating of how much damage has been done by the behavior of certain countries with regards how they ask us to give in to terror while they go off gallivanting into other countries killing thousands of innocent people. War crimes against Sri Lanka?? Anyone heard of George W. Bush?!

The civilians caught up in this mess are my fellow brethren Sri Lankans. Unfortunately, they've not been caught up in this only for the last few months when the world has paid attention (because LTTE has forced attention to save it from death), but rather for 30 years! We've tried to make peace with LTTE at least 3 times and each time it has resulted in Eelam War Next starting up. Finally we've been pushed to a situation where the only way to get past suicide bombs, bus bombs, airplane bombs, extortion and more is to totally destroy the LTTE. That's what my country is doing now.

Of course that's not coming at no cost. Hundreds (and maybe thousands) of civilians have probably lost their lives, many more thousands have got injured and nearly an entire generation has been tainted by the horrors of war. That's not only amongst Tamil people - Sinhalese, Muslims and every other race in Sri Lanka too has suffered! And then there's the military - most of the young men and women who die and are getting maimed for life from landmines and more are poor people who're fighting to keep our country safe. They're dying to save the currently affected civilians and to prevent future generations from being under the tyranny of a madman.

Is this the end of the problems in Sri Lanka? Of course NOT. This is simply the beginning of a historic opportunity for ALL Sri Lankans to come together and once and for all find a 21st century style, humane solution to a fight we've been meaninglessly continuing between two closely related races for 2000+ years. Enough is enough.

Sinhalese and Tamil people are both of Indian origin. We may have come from different racial origins and may speak languages that have different roots. However, we've been living together in a tiny sliver of land for 2000+ years!

This is the 21st century. The world is not local any more. The world is flat. The battle is global. There is no time to waste fighting with each other and not give simple respect and rights to everyone. In the last several hundred years the fight was continued on partly because it was helpful and supportive for foreigners who dominated us to have us biting each other's toes. After independence we went a step further and let petty short term political advantage continue the fight.

Today the world is a trivially small place. We don't have time to be bickering internally. If we don't get our act together and unite and start establishing our place in the evolving world, we'll be left FAR behind while others continue to exploit our weaknesses and get ahead. In the end ALL of our poor people will suffer- Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and more.

I hope everyone who's been vehmently arguing to destroy the LTTE will continue to vehmently argue to find a rational, reasonable, decentralization of power in Sri Lanka to enable not only Tamil people in the north and east to develop themselves, but also for the Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils in other parts of the country to develop too. We need to get together and become a stronger force in the world; internal bickering is simply playing into the hands of those that want us to keep doing that so they can make money selling us deadly weapons and more.

After that let's get together with the rest of the world oppressed by the IMF thugs and create a new truly democratic global structure. They destroyed Asia in the '97 Asian crisis (read Globalization and its Discontents by Josef Stiglitz) and when its the western system that's melting down they're doing what Asia was prevented from doing: bailing out everything from public companies to private companies to banks. Now when we're affected by that mess our soverignity must be surrendered to get help. Enough of that thuggery.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sex, the weapon against terrorism too??

I saw this story on CNN just now: Sex-starved Kenyan sues over boycott. I wonder whether this could work against Prabhakaran too??

Oh wait, his wife already lives in the UK, where his daughter is too. His son, who studied aeronautical engineering in UK, is the head of Air Tigers, the now wiped-out LTTE air force, is in Sri Lanka fighting with dad. Want to get a peak into Prabhakaran's life? Check out these photos that the military recently picked up from his albums.

On one side he's got a cushy life for his family, including studying in England and gala 21st parties (which apparently was the case for hs daughter ... probably entertained by MIA).

On the other side, he recruits child soldiers and fires off suicide killers. Nice guy.

I guess the Kenyan strategy won't work against Prabha .. he's already starving. Prolly explains his maniacal behavior?

Sri Lanka: Is this the 'endgame' for the conflict with Tamil Tigers?

This is a good article in the Christian Science Monitor about the war in Sri Lanka.

This is an amazing newspaper (its not about Chrisitian Science despite the name) - I first started reading it in 1985/86 when I was a freshman at Kent State University. That was before the Web, before proper email even really. CSM was pretty much the only paper that would have a reasonably in-depth article about Sri Lanka and about what was going on in the world, instead of the drive-by type articles found in most newspapers and now of course Web sites. I even subscribed to the print edition for a while when I was a grad student at Purdue.

Despite the ability to write arbitrary length articles on the Web, sadly most Web news articles have followed their newspaper and TV brethren and have very shallow content.

Helping a terrorist

MIA, a British-born rapper who's parents are from Sri Lanka and who's father is a terrorist in Sri Lanka, asking Oprah to "help save the Tamils".

OK so I understand a daughter's love for her father. However, as her own Wikipedia article says (link above), her father started EROS, one of the groups that has now become part of the LTTE. Here's a small except from the Wikipedia article on EROS:
In 1976, the EROS established links with the Abu Jihad of the Palestine Liberation Organization and began planning the setting up of camps to train Sri Lankan Tamils in military and guerrilla warfare. EROS even opened up their training camp for the LTTE where Prabhakaran had his initial training. The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), EPRLF and PLOTE sent their own men to the PLO's camps for training under the request of EROS, and EROS also organised for men of other groups to be sent. A number of Tamils, including many who would later form the core of the other Tamil militant groups, started their militant careers in these camps.
So MIA's dad is a "founding member" of EROS, the organization that gave birth to Prabakharan, the leader of LTTE. You want the world to save your dad and his band of criminals?? You want the British and US governments to save them? (See her comment about being within a paper airplane of Michelle Obama:
Michelle Obama gave a speech and there was mad secret service in the air so I didn't get to throw a paper plane at her saying 'stop the bombing of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.'
The LTTE is a banned organization in the UK, US, all of EU and 30+ other countries. Her father is a terrorist. Not only in Sri Lanka but in a large part of the world.

She claims the Sri Lanka is bombing Tamil people. What's really going on is that LTTE is holding a group of innocent people as mobile hostages and getting away with it. Read this article in today's Sunday Leader by Indi, who's an independent journalist in Sri Lanka and Sunday Leader (who's editor was killed a few months back) is a fiercely independent paper usually highly critical of the government, to get better sense of the likely reality.

Sri Lanka is being harassed by the "international community" for trying to save these people. Why? Because of a brilliantly executed PR campaign by LTTE supporters, like MIA, globally. Sorry MIA, your dad is a terrorist. Many people, including myself, strongly support greater autonomy for Tamil people in Sri Lanka (and in fact not just for Tamil people, but for every province outside of the western province), but the LTTE style of killing everyone who's not in agreement is not the way to get it done.

As Indi's article points out, LTTE has mastered yet another form of terrorism: mobile hostage groups, in their thousands. Its only a matter of time before Taliban and others learn the PR power of this type of tactic and do the same. Maybe then the British and US governments will learn the realities of fighting terrorism.

I wonder how the US would react if they had Osama bin Laden cornered and he took a huge number of people hostage and held them and killed anyone who tried to get away. Would the US succumb to "global pressure" and let him get away? Of course not - even this past week their errant US bombs killed maybe 100 civillians and nothing has changed - the fight goes on. In fact, Pakistan was chastised for talking and settling with maniacs! However, the west is attempting to order us to exactly that .. I guess because the LTTE doesn't threaten the west the situation is different eh? Sorry guys, we've been pushed into some unholy alliances that now don't give you the right to do whatever you want with us.

Last week the British and French foreign ministers were here to tell us to stop the war. Apparently in the meeting with our Secretary of Defence, the British FM (Millibrand) got into a HUGE argument and was basically told to get out. Such behavior is simply never done in the diplomatic world, especially by the head diplomat of a country. Apparently Mr. Millibrand acted as if we're still a British colony and he can march in and tell us what to do. Dude, that ended in 1948 .. probably before you were born? We don't play along to your whims and fancies any more.

This week those two are going to be briefing the UN Security Council on their visit. Oh great; we can expect another lecture in a few days. Luckily we have some friends in the security council who won't let us get totally raped. Funny how that veto thing works, eh?

International politics is guided by enlightened self interest. We (and many poor countries) have for a long time operated as if others countries really meant well and they wanted to help us. That is simply naive and we're now learning how to play the game of international politics. About time.

I recently blogged about how maybe we also need to start a "weapons of mass destruction" program so we get international respect. One commentor (apparently someone who knows me), wrote saying I have threatened the US and is now on the DHS terror watch list:
So you don't get support from the USA and the West so you threaten us? Good luck getting back into the USA on your next business trip. I'm sure DHS has picked up your story by now and you've likely made it onto a terror watch list with your threatening comments. A green card does not afford you any rights to re-enter as you please. You may want to remember that before you go spewing off hate comments towards the country that educated you and provided you the lifestyle which you now enjoy.
So fighting to get respect for your own country is threatening the US? That mindset is exactly what is wrong with America today: the thinking that for America to be on top it must prevent others from getting up there. I spent 16 years in the US and learnt a lot of my thinking there ... but America today is not consistent with the human rights and "do no evil" principles on which it was formed. The US government policies and actions are not consistent with the way most Americans think about their role in the world. I will write a long blog about it one of these days ..

Oh and BTW, I no longer have even a green card - I gave that up (voluntarily) nearly 3 years ago and now am on a B-1 visitor visa when I go to the US .. even easier to kick me out. (Of course the real risk to me is of being called an enemy combatant and simply being made to disappear.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Why is OSGi important?

This is a great blog on why OSGi is important: it represents the next step in the evolution of modularity: assembly language -> subroutines -> classes -> modules. Note that I skipped packages as (at least in the Java world) they are not a runtime concept.

Monday, May 4, 2009

SpringSource += Hyperic

So its now official - SpringSource has acquired (assets of?) Hyperic.

I can easily see the merits of this from SpringSource's point of view: They have a great brand, great reach into the enterprise but yet nothing much that people would really pay money for. Spring Framework is great but that's a library - and people don't pay scalable subscription dollars for a library. They've introduced dmServer but that's kinda pointless .. its a server to run your stuff and the server itself is pretty bare. No dollars there. Ah, tcServer you say? Yes, people do pay for Tomcat - but that's basically Covalent's business they bought there .. not a whole lot of dollars really. Good business (and great people) for sure but not a hugely scalable business. Not a growth business.

Hyperic gives them a footprint that people need to pay for - software updates. Plus Hyperic is positioned as a delivery channel for many other companies (example MuleSource), which gives them further "foundational" footprint.

We WSO2 will not touch them for a variety of reasons .. our true open source nature (everything under Apache license, no "enterprise verison" gimmicks) being the main one; their model works best when there's a toy community edition and a real (non-open source) enterprise edition that customers need to use and get caught into. None of that in WSO2.

So I can totally see this from a SpringSource point of view.

From Hyperic's point of view? I don't get it. Seemingly, Hyperic was doing well. In that case, selling your company to another startup is not the kind of exit that founders and VCs want. On the other hand, Hyperic has been around for a long time - Javier (and others?) were part of the original Covalent (which was writing management tools for Apache HTTPD) bought the "other half" of the original VC-funded Covalent (for $1 IIRC) to form Hyperic. They since took in VC funds in the new company and was seemingly doing really well. So hopefully Javier and team get to go home with a good chunk of change :-) .. and given the investor pockets in SpringSource that would not surprise me at all. In that case, I totally get it.

The other interesting part of this acquisition is that it brings together all the parts of the "old" Covalent back together under the SpringSource umbrella :). Funny how the world turns, eh?!

Good luck to SpringSource and the newly expanded family. Hope you guys become more of a worthy opponent ;-).

I imagine my friends at MuleSource are hoping/thinking/expecting they're next? I see they're hard at work OSGifying themselves ... get it done fast guys!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Live web panel: What componentization means for your enterprise SOA

Paul and I will be hosting a Web panel tomorrow (Thursday, April 30th at 9:00am PDT) on the topic of componentization & SOA. We will be discussing why componentization matters and how it plays into your enterprise SOA architecture. Want to give us a grilling? Come on over and join!

See this news article for the registration information etc..

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sri Lanka orders end to combat operations

I just saw on TV and now also on CNN that our government has ordered an end to combat operations in the war against LTTE.

Thank you Ms. Clinton and all the other LTTE-funded terrorist supporters out there for forcing our hand. You have given that bastard terrorist Vellupillai Prabakharan another breadth of life. So much for America being anti-terrorist - I guess that's only if the terrorists are attacking you eh?

Sri Lanka is cursed to have history repeat itself.

LTTE and their supporters - congratulations on running a successful PR campaign and hoodwinking the world.

Looks like the only way to get ahead in the world is to become part of Bush's Axis of Evil and become a terror sponsor ourselves. Or maybe its time for us to build a nuke. Or both.

If Prabhakaran lives and LTTE lives after getting so close to wiping that menace off the face of the earth, then you can bet that we'll start getting more creative with how we deal with our problems.

The world is full of bull shit. But, remember, what goes around, comes around.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Washington Times Editorial: Tigers at bay

This editorial from the Washington Times is another editorial today which shows how ridiculous the treatment we're being given by the US, UK, Australia and others is! Let me paste one sentence from it:
It is unconscionable for the United States to castigate its Sri Lankan ally for prevailing in its war against terrorism.
(Emphasis is mine.)

What the Washington Times may not know is that Ms. Clinton has been speaking on behalf of the LTTE even during her campaign. I guess it could've been worse for us had she won. Phew.

Today's news is that the LTTE is offering a ceasefire! Hahahahahaha :-). Is it April Fool's day again already??

Ceasefire against a bunch of maniacs who are finally cornered and about to be destroyed after 30 years? No, not a chance. Release the people, drop your weapons and wave a white flag - that's the time to ceasefire; not a moment sooner.

The sad thing is, I actually thought that after 9-11 and all that the world finally understood that terrorism is an international disease that needs to eradicated. I guess that's really not the case- the world is indeed doomed; one man's terrorist is still another man's friend.

Jonathan's new site!

Jonathan has decided to take matters into his own hands and set up his own Web site, blog, podcasts etc.! Check it out .. as with all of Jonathan's work is extremely elegant and beautiful!

National Post editorial board: Sympathy for Tamils, but not Tigers

The Canadian (Toronto?) National Post on April 16th had a great editorial condemning the fast organized by LTTE supporting groups to ask Canada to force Sri Lanka to stop the war against LTTE. One line summarizes the view:
Our advice to the Ottawa hunger strikers is: Eat up.
The war in Sri Lanka is about the LTTE, not Tamil people. Tamil people have been in Sri Lanka at least as long as the Sinhalese have - we're all equals. There was a time when governments acted against Tamil people broadly but that is not the case any more.

There was a great comment on that editorial by an American married to a Sri Lankan Tamil. I can't link directly to the comment so I will post it here:

by Bostonian
Apr 16 2009
10:48 AM

Well said NP. I am an American married to a sweet and decent Sri Lankan Tamil. What you have said in the article is the truth and the whole truth. I returned from SL two weeks ago and had a good insight in to what was going on. We stayed in Colombo 6 with my wife's cousins, who are upper middle class Tamils who do stocklots business. They live very comfortably and do most of the business with majority Singhalese. According to my relatives, there are over a million Tamils living in Colombo and is the majority in SE Colombo (so much for the genocide!). Only negative sentiment was the hardships they have on numerous Army checkpoints in surrounding area and frequent checks, which we also experienced in our short stay. BUT they also mentioned this can not be avoided in any country that faces such suicide bombings. They were very clearly denouncing LTTE and most notably, were condemning Tamil Diaspora in Canada for their assistance to keep the flames on while living under comforts in Canada. They mentioned Canadian Tamil’s financial support for LTTE is huge and, this assistance really harms Tamils living in SL particularly in the north. They took us to Nilaveli, which I would rank as one of the best beaches in the world. Nilaveli is in recently cleared east, where we were able to witness tremendous development. My relatives mentioned east is a great example of SL GOV approach of clearing from terror and providing assistance for development. We also had a unique experience to dine with an army Major, who was attached to Police STF. He was spending few hours in Nilaveli, and treated us, and my Tamil companions with utmost respect. He was in the battlefield many times and was genuinely expressing his feelings about innocent Tamils suppressed by LTTE. My Tamil relatives had one voice, which is very different from the Tamils who live in Canada. What they say is, Tamils in Sri Lanka will be better off under SL Government than living under LTTE control. We whole heartedly than NP for exposing activities of terror supporting Tamils in Canada. Keep up the good work!

Nothing more to say.