Yarl IT Hub


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During my last visit to Jaffna, on the invitation of Ms Gowri Ananthan, one of the founder members of Yarl IT Hub of Jaffna, I had the pleasure of attending the Yarl IT Hub’s January 2013 meeting with my friend Wasantha Wijewardhana. The event was held on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at IIS (Institute of Informatics Studies) City Campus.

Gowri is trying to make a prototype under the name of Himalaya Creations, so that there would be a proof of success and it could give courage for others to come back and form an industry in Jaffna, Gowri believes.

She further says that the Silicon Valley / an Industry will not form by itself, and someone should work on it. As per the vision states, Yarl IT Hub is formed to make Jaffna the next Silicon Valley.

There were around 50 youth at the meeting, mostly from ICT institutes in Jaffna. The organization’s vision is “To make Jaffna the next Silicon Valley.”  There is nothing wrong in dreaming big.

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This is the agenda of the meeting.

  1. Introduction to mobile computing

Presenter: Bala

Team Lead

  1. Student answers to 4 questions with respect to future of mobile computing – Gowthami from IIS
  1. Introduction to Android Programming

Presenter: Vanjikumaran

Senior Software Engineer

  1. Augmented Reality

Presenter: Vimal

Senior Software Engineer

Demo: Sujeewan (Demonstrated his final year under graduate project)

  1. Arimaa team update – on the progress of the implementation of their concept)

Presenter: Jayakrishnan Rajagopalasarma (Leader of the team which won Yarl Geek   Challenge – Season 1)

  1. Yarl IT Hub Update

Presenter: Sarveswaran

Lecturer

We listened to the first 4 presentations and out of them only the first two sessions were in English. I wished the rest of the programs also would be in English. But if the youth are more comfortable with Tamil, presenting in Tamil can be justified. I found the participants’ English was good enough though.

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The presenters were very energetic and knew their subject areas well and the attendees also were very enthusiastic and actively participated in the sessions.

Their blog is quite resourceful and you can download past presentation slides and articles as well. I think they should also upload the presentations of the January event also as quickly as possible.

It is high time that Refresh Colombo people invited members of Yarl IT Hub for their presentations and vise versa. We can achieve a lot together.

Please find the photo album of the meet up at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.423090191104567&type=1. In case you cannot access it, please join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/264218806991707/ so that you can access it.

Trip to Velanai, Jaffna


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Last Friday (25th of January, 2013) I went to Jaffna with Nirrosion. Er.. it’s not a spelling mistake, that’s how he writes his name. We started from Ja-Ela at around 10 pm in his car and I don’t remember anything beyond Nochchiyagama till I reached Nallur in Jaffna as I fell fast asleep. It was around 6 am when we reached Jaffna. Nirrosion’s wife and daughter, a three-year-old also joined the trip as her first reading of alphabet ceremony had been arranged at Krishna’s house in Jaffna.

After reaching Krishna’s house in Jaffna I had a cup of tea. I was introduced to Wasantha, another friend of Nirrosion’s from Rathnapura. We had a chat and I retired to bed to have some more sleep.

I woke up and had Pittu Kottu, a novelty for me, for breakfast. I met a young man called Thuwaragan who runs a small video creation company called Himalaya Creations  He took Wasantha and me to his house and we were shown the short documentaries and TV commercials a they had created. Those are fairly impressive for a young team like his. We also met the CEO of the company a young lady called Gowri, the elder sister of Thuwaragan, who had come from Singapore for a short visit. She also is originally from Jaffna and works in Singapore now. She invited us to take part in Yarl IT Hub meeting held at IIS (Institute of Informatics Studies) that day. I had read about Yarl IT Hub from Indi http://indi.ca/2012/02/jaffna-as-an-it-hub/ and I didn’t think I would be able to attend a meeting of theirs.

We were invited to see a videoing of a dance item for an advertisement by the same video company I mentioned earlier and we went to St. John’s College, Jaffna in the evening. The boys I met there could converse with good English but they said the same standard cannot be expected elsewhere as only few city schools produce good English results.

Boys' Dance

Boys’ Dance

Completed video of the song.

We came back home and I started reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist novel given by Wasantha. It is an inspiring story.

The next day we had lunch with a couple from Jaffna at Krishna’s house. It was a mix of a Jaffna and Down South curries and they were tasty.

In the evening we went to Velanai in the island of Kayts, around 10-15 kms away from Jaffna peninsula. The road was not so bad. We first went to the small beach and spent some time there and then went to a village in Velanai. Only a part of the village has electricity and there is a primary school and a community hall to start the project. We also met the Thalaivar (leader) of the village and he is keen to start the project in his village.

It is a small fishing village and Nirrosion and Wasantha plan to start an ICT and English education project in here. My mission was to do a simple feasibility study and help them write a project proposal in this regard to be handed over to funding agencies.