After his departure, we were entertained (and some what amused) by two cheesy jazz acts. Perhaps it was because I had seen better acts while visiting Vegas or may be I wasn't in the right mood, but I thought it could've been a bit classier, in terms of better choreography.
Anyway, the first act involved guys and girls wearing black hats, while the second had only two girls wearing red hats. I'm sure there was some hidden encrypted message between the two acts, but I was unable to decipher it, perhaps due to other distractions.
More speeches followed by representatives from ICTA, which included, CEO Manju and chairman Prof. Samaranayake.
This was followed by two speeches by reps from redhat India, who basically highlighted the history and accomplishments of the company and their reasons for coming to Sri Lankan in the first place with an insight into their local strategy.
One thing that striked me as quite interesting was the fact that both redhat reps. and Prof. Samaranayake, were quite careful to sound politically correct as much as possible when delivering their speeches, so as to not upset us, the GNU/Linux community. For example, Redhat said they are keen on promoting Opensource and Linux in the education sector without ever mentioning Redhat in the sentence. Prof. Samaranayake, quite correctly got his history right when he said the movement first began in the Universities and then LKLUG , followed by LSF which made it easier for Redhat to arrive in SL.
Something really good that came out of the event was ofcourse the networking benefits. After a really long time, most active LKLUGers were able to meet face to face in a relaxed party like environment. I think the cocktail event that proceeded the launch ceremony was the killer event that would have spurred a lot of discussion among geeks, business people and other casual visitors.
Only time will tell, if the event was truly successful, but for now it seemed everyone had a good time, thanks to Redhat and their generous pocket :) It was also very good of them to give LKLUG, due credits for promoting GNU/Linux/FOSS, which I hope will motivate more passive members on the list to be more active at an organizational level. With the upcoming events, especially during the first week of September, the more active people there are the better chance we have of succeeding in style.
I end with a quote from M.K Gandhi, that was reminded by one of the redhat rep's speeches...
First they ignore you...,
Then they laugh at you...,
Then they fight you...,
Then you WIN."
We are now at the fighting stage. So up next, its time to win!