Thursday, March 22, 2007

Untrustworthy politician ditches committment to Oulu Anti-Racism Event

Yesterday, was the long awaited debate about the whether Oulu can be considered a multicultural centre.

A long time ago, a Social Democrat politician, Liisa Jaakonsaari, had committed to being one of the panelists. The event was scheduled for 18:00 to 20:00 hours. A lot of time and effort was spent by many people, totally voluntarily, to ensure that many ethnic minorities were informed of the event so that they could listen to the panelists and present their questions to matters they were deeply concerned about.

Yesterday afternoon, just a few hours before the event, Liisa Jaakonsaari called the organiser to say that she was going to Helsinki to discuss the formation of the next Finnish Government (or rather to plan a strategy to mould her own future in the Finnish Parliament).

Could she not have told the organisers of that event that she was pre-committed?

She obviously had her reasons for ditching this event. Most probably she did it because she is a typical politician, planning her own personal fortune rather than looking at the issues facing the citizens she claims to represent.

Or, she was a yellow-bellied coward unable to face the hard questions that she knew would be put before her.

The ethnic minorities of Oulu were of least importance to Liisa Jaakonsaari.

Either way you look at this - Liisa Jaakonsaari is cowardly self-serving politician and least of all deserves her place in the Finnish Parliament.

(Although she is Annikki's childhood classmate, it is one person that Annikki has not bothered to re.-establish contact with. I have also personally had an earlier example of this behaviour by this politician when she was the Minister for Labour in the Finnish Government. In one event, an Asia seminar, related to the aid being offered to Vietnam, she had the audacity to question what "benefit" could be gained by Finland offering "aid" to this developing region!)

Panelists - left to right: Anne Rännäli from the City of Oulu,
Chaff Participants Ildikó Hámos and Lauri Gardner, and Moderator,
Main Editorial Writer of the Kaleva newspaper, Markku Heikkilä.

Getting back to the event itself - it was extremely well attended. The quality of the short presentations by CHAFF Participants Lauri Gardner and Ildikó Hámos and Oulu City representative on International Affairs, Anne Rännäli, and the role of the Moderator, Main Editorial Writer of the Oulu newspaper, Kaleva, Markku Heikkilä, were all executed with great dignity.

The questions from the floor were very thought provoking. Many issues troubling the ethnic minorities were aired. There was general consensus as to the fact that the City of Oulu has been only concerned with creating an image rather than doing anything concrete. The City has never had any significant budget, they have not set any example in the employment of ethnic minorities, and the "Vision for 2015" is just a worthless document which is not worth the paper it is written on!

The underlying tone of the questions diplomatically showed that the bureaucracy, judiciary, police and all the official arms of the Oulu "system" are "corrupt" and just as self-serving as Liisa Jaakonsaari!

The gathering was welcomed to the Oulu International School by Eric Mwai and the audience and panelists were thanked by Heikki Mankinen, Chairperson of the Organising Committee.

It was 2 hours very well spent.

Following this, some CHAFF Participants hosted a private party for the panelists and the organisers. Michelle, the owner of the Royal Garden Restaurant, and her partner in business, Nushad, served up a scrumptious Indian meal prepared by their new cook from Ludhiana, Punjab, Dhanpal Singh.

The atmosphere and the food were just unbelievable. Many had never tasted such wonderful Indian food in Oulu. (The most touching comment was one from Ilari Sohlo that this would be the second place in Oulu to get truly Indian food - the first being Annikki's kitchen. Sadly, Annikki's kitchen has not been able, for many years, to be as hospitable as we would like it to be because of her full-time commitment to looking after her aged mother!)

We can now await the opening of the new Indian restaurant in Oulu.

I was able to make the announcement of the Red Herring award the Codenomicon Oy which is headed by CHAFF Participant, CEO Isaac Sundarajan.

On the whole a wonderful evening, CHAFF would like to offer special thanks to the organisers Heikki Mankinen, Eric Mwai, Eija Isoviita, Emilia Frantsi, Maija Polojärvi, Päivi Hirvonen, Paivi Jurvakainen, Päivi Pussinen, Henna Juusola, the organisations, who, along with CHAFF, supported holding this event, the Finnish Red Cross, Amnesty International, the United Nations, the Oulu International School, Oulu Setlementti, Goreme Pizzeria, Pailin Thai Eestaurant, Codenomicon Oy, Raimo Kuismin, Isaac Sundarajan, Hasim Cevirel and Kasim Kocol and the Graphic Designer Kamutaza Tembo.

Above all, if nothing else, we ethic minorities learnt one very important lesson. We certainly know which politician from Oulu is NOT TO BE TRUSTED - Liisa Jaakonsaari!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Codenomicon gets prestigous Red Herring Award - Congrats

I am absolutely delighted to inform you that Oulu company, Codenomicon Oy, headed by CHAFF Participant, CEO Isaac Sundarajen (from Madras), has won the Red Herring Award this year.

I just had an email from Isaac saying that he will be going to Cannes to receive the award.

Our heartiest congratulations to the entire Codenomicon team.


Award Recognizes the 100 “Most Promising” Companies

Driving the Future of Technology

CANNES, France March 20, 2007 – Red Herring today announced that Codenomicon Ltd. is a recipient of Red Herring 100 Europe, an award given to the top 100 private technology companies based in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region each year.

“This year’s impressive list of winners demonstrates Europe’s emergence as a major player in the global technology sector,” said Red Herring Editor-in-Chief, Joel Dreyfuss. “The exceptional accomplishments of European technology companies and entrepreneurs are a testament to the rapid advancements being made in building the European innovation ecosystem.”

Red Herring’s lists of top private companies are an important part of the company’s tradition of identifying new and innovative technology companies and entrepreneurs. Companies like Google, eBay and Skype were spotted in their early days by Red Herring editors, and touted as leaders that would change the way we live and work.

"We are pleased that our value proposition of delivering proactive pre-deployment security and robustness solutions for IP-based, Wireless, and Digital Media systems are being recognized worldwide," said Isaac Sundarajan, Chief Executive Officer at Codenomicon. "Both our customer success with Fortune 500 companies as well as being an honoree of this prestigious Red Herring award is a testament to our vision and technology."

Red Herring’s editorial staff rigorously evaluated more than 700 private companies through a careful analysis of financial data and subjective criteria, including quality of management, execution of strategy, and dedication to research and development.

For more information contact:

Codenomicon Ltd Codenomicon Oy, Finland

Brenda Fox Kristiina Forsberg

Public Relations Public Relations

+1 408 393 9000 +358 50 5580 114

About Red Herring

Red Herring is a global media company which unites the world’s best high technology innovators, venture investors and business decision makers in a variety of forums: a leading innovation magazine, an online daily technology news service, technology newsletters and major events for technology leaders around the globe. Red Herring provides an insider’s access to the global innovation economy, featuring unparalleled insights on the emerging technologies driving the economy. More information about Red Herring is available on the Internet at

About Codenomicon Ltd.

Codenomicon develops and markets state-of-art software testing solutions for proactive elimination and prevention of security vulnerabilities for IP, wireless and digital media systems. The company serves industry-leading international telecom and internet companies. Codenomicon's DEFENSICS test solutions are available for a wide range of protocols and file formats. Codenomicon, the leader in security and robustness testing, is headquartered in Oulu, Finland, with offices in California and Hong Kong. For more information about Codenomicon and its products, visit the company’s web site at .

Codenomicon Ltd. | Tutkijantie 4E | FIN-90570 Oulu | FINLAND | Europe

Codenomicon Ltd. | 101 Metro Drive | Suite 660 | San Jose, CA 95110 | USA|

Friday, March 16, 2007

Anti-Racism Week in Oulu

(Cross-posted on all my main blogs.)

Next week, 19th to 25th March 2007, is Anti-Racism week.

Tero Raiskio and I have been involved, as CHAFF Participants, with the Oulu based organisations - Amnesty International, the Finnish Red Cross, the United Nations, the International Schoolof Oulu and Setlementi, to organise a series of events to draw attention to this.

Ildikó Hámos kicked off the proceedings with a talk about CHAFF to the Oulu City Club of Rotary International. This was organised by another CHAFF participant, Ville Suomi, who is also a Rotarian.

Ildikó then helped me in a talk about Ethnic Minorities and their problems in Oulu and Finland. This was aimed at a group of students of the Heinatori School in Central Oulu. This was organised by Päivi Jurvakainen of the Oulu Office of the Finnish Red Cross.

I was able to distribute the new Oulu CHAFF laminated information cards to all those who took part. They were kindly printed for me by Unnop Khungrai of the Thai Pailin Restaurant.

Late in the evening, I was able to get the posters that announce next weeks events, from Päivi, who returned to her office to print them after she had gone home, so that I could distribute them to all the major restaurants run by foreigners in Oulu.

The Poster was designed by Zambian artist and CHAFF Participant, Kamutaza Tembo. He came up with 3 brilliant ideas. The Organising Committee chose the one shown above to highlight all the events.

The feeling is so symbolic as the Finnish Flag in the form of a heart shaped key holder with three keys (white, black and yellow) symbolising the ethnic minorities is simply superb and absolutely original.

The other designs by Kamu are also being used for other documents associated with the Racism Week.

To help defray the costs of Kamu's designing work, Isaac Sundarajan, CEO of Codenomicon Oy, Hasim and Kasim, partners of Goreme Pizzeria, Unnop Khungrai, proprietor of the Thai Pailin Restaurant and Oulu Councillor Raimo Kuismin, joined Annikki and Jacob. Our special thanks to them for giving their hand to help a truly outstanding artist.

To see other works of Kamu, please click on a link in the sidebar, where I have set up a page of some of his great art works dating back to the time he was a young budding artist in Zambia.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One of my rare lectures

(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

As you all know, I HAVE RETIRED!

So, when Emelia Frantsi asked me to give a lecture (in English) at the Oulu University to her social anthropology group about immigrants to Oulu, I was hesitant at first as I have not indulged in lecturing for many a year - probably six.

However, the fire still burns in my belly to share my experiences with students. Here was an opportunity to find out whether the time was ripe for the re-writing of our book "Handbook for Survival in Finland" that Annikki and I wrote way back in 1993 and released it in 1994.

Culture Shock, Authors, Inscription, Cover

Culture Shock, Authors, Inscription, Cover

I have been toying with this idea for several months. Since Ilari Sohlo and Ildikó Hámos, the authors of the book "Culture Shock Finland" in German are now in Oulu, I really have a burning feeling that between the four of us (two Finns a, one Hungarian/Austrian and a Findian) we should be able to turn out a middle of the road book, especially as Ildikó is now on several committees and sits on various organisations which are handling matters related to ethnic minorities and the problems in Oulu and to some extent, Finland.

I do not as yet know what I will use as a title for this lecture. I intend to use a few extracts from our previous book, which although 12 years old is still valid on several sore points.

If any of you are interested in attending this lecture on Wednesday April 4th 2007 at 14:15, I can ask Emilia for permission.

It will be many years till I give my next lecture!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Finest leather products in Oulu

(Cross-posted on Oulu Best Buy Blog and Jacob's Blog.)

It is quite a long time since we put up anything significant on the Oulu Best Buy Blog. We have recently put up one very negative entry, and another one is due shortly. All of a sudden Jacob was called to see what he thought needed to be a Oulu Best Buy entry.

Kasim, the football star in full flow.

Hasim with grandkids, Asha and Samu.

Kasim and Hasim, the owners of the Göreme Pizzeria in Ranta-Kastelli shopping center, Oulu, the best pizzeria in Oulu and probably Finland, have been Jacob's dear friends for many years. They are like his own children.

They have set up and built a fabulous reputation for their pizzeria over the years and that is because of their very personal involvement in the way the pizzeria is run. They are what we term "hands-on" owners who can cook, clean, serve and know every customer on a very personal basis.

Location map for both the Pizzeria and Leather Products Shop.

It is interesting to see that they have diversified their activities. They have started a fine leather products shop in Oulu, next to the Pizzeria, where they can make sure their personal involvement will keep their customers happy.

The leather products like jackets, coats, overcoats, handbags, etc. are designed by a top Finnish designing team in Vantaa, Finland. The designs are sent to Turkey where they produce the finest of soft leather from the goats. The goats are specially selected because there is no blemish on the surface and large hides are used.

Then the skill of the Turkish craftsmen produce the range of products which is being offered for the first time in Finland in Oulu.

Jacob was astounded by the quality of the leather products. But if one remembers that the Finnish word for fur id "turkis" which is because of the first fur traders to Finland came from Turkey, Hasim and Kasim are going to redefine the word "turkis" to mean the finest of Turkish leather products.

There is a 40% introductory discount on the products till tomorrow, Saturday, so make sure you rush there and see what they have to offer. Do tell them that Jacob sent you there.

You will get the same service which their pizzeria is famous for!