Lakshan Perera

RMS in Sri Lanka

with RMS

The week ended was a great week for Sri Lankan FOSS community, as the father of Free Software Movement, Richard M. Stallman (RMS) paid a visit to the country. Yesterday, I got the opportunity not only to listen to a live speech of the legend, but also to grab a picture with him. It was at the main public event which held at SLIIT, Malabe, which was a full house !

RMS delivered a humors and really enlightening talk, which made everyone to have a self-retreat and understand how they are tied of with non-free software. Another important issue he brought up is the use of non-free(proprietary) software in schools and universities, which leads to tie users into these evil software for their entire lives. I think this issue should be taken seriously by developing countires like us, where we dream of a having standalone and stable economical environment without getting arrested by the multi-national firms. In the next decade this issue will take more concern with the growth of the IT market. It's important for the country to produce IT professionals who know the concepts solidly without being dependent on the software to achieve that. Use of free software could provide ideal foundation for this.

Also in his speech RMS mentioned the easiest way for anybody to contribute and advocate free software. It's by always calling the system GNU/Linux (not Linux only). If you are a keen follower of the FOSS world you will know this is the longest standing holy war in the community, but for me it seems GNU/Linux is the term we should use. Because GNU/Linux referrs to the great philosophy behind the whole movement not just the software.

It's a pleasure to see such great people here in Sri Lanka and kudos for ICTA for their efforts in this endeavor.

Hail the St.iGNUicious (alias RMS)!