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Next update by 07:00 GMT on Tues 31 Mar
From Eddie Fernandes: The Goan Voice site updates will be variable for the next few weeks though I will do my best to keep to the schedule by inputting info which will go live at midnight GMT. For an indication of where today's issue is dispatched from, click here.


News to be entered.



Death: Cajie Simoes

16 Mar: South Wimbledon, London. CAJIE SIMOES (ex Assagao, ex Kisumu & Nairobi). Aged 88. Husband of late Alice Simoes. Survived by his dearest sisters Rosie D’Souza and Lavinia Lobo. Predeceased by his siblings Ezilda Affonso, Delphine Castellino and Tony Simoes, Loved by his many nieces and nephews and their families around the world. Former President of Merton Goan Senior Citizens Association. Funeral will take place on Friday 10th April at St. Winifred’s R.C. Church, Latimer Road, South Wimbledon London SW19 1EP at 9.30am, followed by burial at Merton and Sutton Cemetery, Garth Road, SM4 4NW at 11am. Condolences to  email

News Summary

Julio Ribeiro and the choices before Indian Christians

30 Mar: Daily News and Analysis. By Jason Keith Fernandes and Dale Luis Menezes. Julio Ribeiro's interventions in various national newspapers over the last few months have consistently made a case about the predicament of the Christian communities in India. However, no other article seems to have grabbed the attention of the national media than the one in which he asserted that he felt like a foreigner in his own country… Our primary difference with Ribeiro stems from the fact that we differ in chronology. He inquires whether it is "coincidence or a well-thought-out plan" that violence against Christians intensified after the BJP government came to power…  click here

The false alarm over Christians in India

29 Mar: Live Mint. By Jagdish Bhagwati. Alarmist views about Indian Christians being under threat are overplayed and must be forcefully exposed as such. A recent opinion piece by Julio Ribeiro complains plaintively that he is on “a hit list” today from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) because he is a Christian. Similar alarmist views on Christianity are common in India today, simply because of the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the decimation of the Congress by the BJP. They are being spread by church leaders; for example Catholic Archbishop Anil Couto is reported to have even celebrated the defeat of BJP in the recent Delhi elections as if a calamity for Christians had been averted…  click here

Now, subsidy for Maharashtra's Christians on Holy land pilgrimage

29 Mar: Daily News & Analysis. Talks regarding this subsidy on the Holy land visit have been on for three years now. It was on March 23 that the CM affirmed to look into the matter, to make sure that Christians in Maharashtra benefit from the initiative… Representatives from the Churches expect about a 50-70% subsidy on their pilgrimage… Once this plea is sanctioned, the groups will start working towards helping pilgrims avail of the privilege at a national level…  click here

Shigmo Festival: Beyond the sea, sand and sun

29 Mar: Tribune. At the annual Shigmo Festival parade, the streets of Panjim were cluttered with street performers and tableaux. The bustling city had turned the clock back and metamorphosed into a folklore pageant. As if an old sepia-toned book on Goan Hindu folklore and traditions was fluttering on the pedestrian-only streets of Goa. A book that tells a different story of a land that is hemmed with the blue of the sea where, for centuries, old-world traditions and culture have existed on the silken sand and in the verdant green of the cashew farms and paddy fields.  click here

Seafarers’ families allowed to visit cruise liner at Vasco port

30 Mar: Herald. Family members of Goan seafarers were allowed to visit the luxury cruise liner Century owned by US based Celebrity Cruises as the 77,000 ton vessel called at the Mormugao Port Trust cruise dock on Sunday morning. This is perhaps the first time that relatives could call on the loved ones aboard the cruise liner at the MPT port, thanks to the intervention by South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar after Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) took up cudgels for seamen families with the MP and Port authorities… The Century cruise liner had started the cruise from Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cochin, Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai, Muscat and Dubai. This is the first time a ship of Celebrity Cruises visited Goa. It is carrying around 1,800 guests and 800 crew from 50 different countries.  click here

Paul Pinto: Curry tragedy
29 Mar: People (UK). Paul Pinto, 90, choked to death on a curry while eating a meal with his daughter in Ellisfield, near Basingstoke, Hants, UK.

Tourist taxis to protest ‘discrimination’ on April 13
29 Mar: Times of India. Tourist taxis in Goa will stay off the roads on April 13 to protest the government's 'direct connivance in promoting illegalities in the trade in Goa'. Speaking at a media briefing on Saturday, representatives of the North Goa tourist taxi owners' association said that the bandh will be held for one day, but the strike may be extended for an indefinite period… Vasudev Arlekar, president of the North Goa body said tourist taxis will gladly agree to install digital fare meters on their taxis, if the same are also installed on taxi services operated by members of the travel and tourism association of Goa (TTAG), boats of water sports operators and other such tourism stakeholders. The government must set up regulations and controls on all tourism businesses like water sports operators, spas, saunas, hotels, etc. instead of discriminating only against tourist taxi operators, Arlekar said…  click here

Thefts dent biz in Morjim
29 Mar: Times of India. A spate of robberies, targeting rented rooms and guesthouses, has left Morjim villagers anxious for their safety. The villagers suspect a gang to be involved in the thefts. They claim that the foreigners living in the rented rooms and guesthouses are "soft targets"… The stolen goods are mainly laptops, cameras, cell phones and foreign currency…  click here

Electronic city will generate jobs, end brain drain: CM
29 Mar: Times of India. If brain drain is not stopped in the state, Goa could soon be a place for senior citizens only and investment in the formation of human capital will not benefit the state said chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar. He said that it's a high time the top brains in Goa get jobs in the state because the scenario is a warning bell in terms of human capital…  click here

The Inquisition Lore
29 Mar: Navhind Times. By Frederick Noronha. … From novels to works in Konkani, translated texts, video CDs and even official accounts of Goa’s history, the Inquisition story is writ large. But how much of this is really true? … Ever since Priolkar’s book on the subject (The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal for the East), published thrice by a State university, a Hindutva publishing house, and locally, the first time being just before Liberation, this motif is taken for granted in Goa too… Scratch a bit below the surface, and it becomes obvious that there’s a whole different reality out there. Globally too, questions are being asked… In Goa itself, the accounts of the Inquisition depend largely on the versions of Buchanan (1766-1815) and Dellon (1650-1710)… In a recent online thread, the noted Indo-Portuguese historian Teotonio R de Souza spoke out publicly about how his writing on the Inquisition had been mauled and manipulated, to project a certain vision…  click here


News Summary

Why does India think every brown woman with a white man is promiscuous?

28 Mar: By Sukhada Tatke. Probably every woman in India has one story about having been subject to lecherous looks as she has walked down the street. Now make her walk next to a white man. The male gaze turns more brazen by several orders of magnitude. The sight of an Indian woman in the company of a man of another race seems to bring out the worst in her countrymen… To many Indians, the idea of a mixed-race couple is alien, repulsive even… At play here is the stereotype that Western men are interested in women mainly for sexual gratification. By extension, the Indian women they are with must be promiscuous…  click here

Meredith Kercher's mother 'shocked' by Italy verdict

28 Mar: AFP. Meredith Kercher’s mother, Arline Kercher (pictured), said she was “surprised and very shocked” by Italy’s top court clearing Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of her daughter’s murder … Arline Kercher said the decision Friday by the Court of Cassation in Rome was "odd" given the pair had been convicted twice following the British student's killing in 2007… Kercher, who was 21 and from the south London suburb of Coulsdon, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom while studying in Perugia… [It has been reported elsewhere that Arline Kercher was born in India and traces her ethnic origins to Goa]
For the Wikipedia profile of the Meredith Kercher murder,  click here

Hunt for dad with posters, hope

29 Mar: Times of India. A telecom engineer, along with her two sisters, are going from station to station in Mumbai suburbs with a picture of their cancer-survivor father who had gone missing from Goa three months ago. During inquiry, the sisters learnt that their father was seen in the city so they decided to take the help of good samaritans to trace him. The women said their father, Joseph Lopes (65), can't speak after the cancer operation. He stepped out of the vicinity alone after 10 years and the sisters suspect that he may be finding it difficult remembering his address. When the family approached the Mumbai police for help, they were told that the police cannot help as Joseph went missing from Goa…  click here

Goa's Women Taxi Drivers Allege Harassment

29 Mar: New Indian Express. Three women taxi drivers formerly employed with Goa's first all women radio taxi service have alleged violation of labour laws by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), a state government-run corporation, which has outsourced taxi operations to a private firm. They have alleged that at the time of recruitment last year they were informed that they had been employed by the corporation, but once the taxi service started in October last year they realised that their employer was actually a private firm…  click here

Kenya: Joseph Zuzarte Murumbi: Return of the Moi Dynasty

28 Mar: Kenya Star. Mzee Moi has embarked on the last political project of his long and busy life, with the Moi Dynasty onslaught on the Deputy President William Ruto… When Odinga fell in 1966, Moi was not even on Jomo's radar as a prospective VP. That honour went instead to another Rift Valley figure, Joseph Zuzarte Murumbi … Murumbi, the son of a Goan trader and a Maasai woman, served as VP for barely seven months, from May to December 1966, and then quit, citing ill health… Murumbi was a highly cultured man, in the Western liberal sense of high culture. He was a keen art and book collector and his legacy includes over 50,000 books, some of them rare (published before the 20th Century). The Kenya National Archives has both a library and a gallery of the Murumbi Collection to this day…  click here

Goa Unplugged

29 Mar: Pune Mirror. No, Goa this summer can't just be about going to Anjuna beach, eating fish fry and guzzling beer at a shack. Embark instead on an alternative journey… Divar …Ribander … Parra … Nerul … Assagao ... Siolim … Saligao … Candolim … Dona Paula … While Goan food is available in abundance at every eatery, the truly authentic kind is found in 'gaddos …  click here

Tributes to son who died in Goa after scattering mother’s ashes

27 Mar: Evening Standard (London). Friends and family paid tribute today to an architecture graduate found dead in the sea after travelling to India to scatter his mother’s ashes. James Durkin, a 34-year-old former pupil at £14,460-a-year Trinity School in Croydon, flew to India after Christmas accompanied by his best friend and his housemate… Prior to his disappearance Mr Durkin, from Coulsdon, was said to have argued with a local man before reappearing several hours later with cuts and bruises … Mr Durkin’s body was pulled from the sea earlier this month… Officers from Interpol are said to be assisting the police in India.  click here

Rabies vaccine shortage bites hard
29 Mar: Times of India. It's an extremely biting time for anyone to be bitten by a rabid dog. Rabies immunoglobulin, an injectable given on being bitten by a rabid dog, is in short supply for some months now, and government and private hospitals in the state are facing an acute shortage even though regular rabies vaccines—given in the case of non-rabid dog bites —are available… Mission Rabies, an NGO that works to eradicate rabies deaths, claims there are 40,000-45,000 stray dogs in Goa…  click here

An ELEVATED history
29 Mar: Times of India. By Gary Azavedo. On Margao's busy Abade Faria road is an old architectural marvel that dates back centuries. Its quaint little 'sky-walk' or 'bridge-in-the-air', as its former inhabitants termed it, can hardly be missed… this two centuries-old house has a place of its own in Goa's history books, since it once sheltered 'O Ultramar', one of Goa's first newspapers, published by the late Bernard Francisco da Costa, who also started the popular Costa canning factory…  click here

Locals and Africans, a clash of cultures
29 Mar: Deccan Herald. … Police in Bangalore say that the real challenge does not lie in preventing crimes. It is in handling sensitive developments arising out of cultural conflicts and contradictions between natives and foreigners…. “A section of African youth is involved in major crimes bringing disrepute to the entire continent,” observes P. Harishekharan, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order-East). The police identity two major issues with certain groups of African nationals. One, their increasing involvement in diversified crimes. Second, the law and order tension arising out of the cultural conflicts and contradictions between Africans and natives, says the Additional Commissioner…  click here

It is the language that binds
25 Mar: Herald. By Kishore Amati. According to a few members of Goan society, it is their love for the language of the state that has been bringing Goans together and keeping them united. Café speaks to a few Goans and gets their view on this unique relationship …  click here

Despite Modi push, his toilet scheme is all gas in Goa, Nagaland
25 Mar: Does every household in Goa and Nagaland already have a toilet? Or is it that our government statistics are starkly misleading? According to data put out by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on Wednesday, Goa and Nagaland have built zero toilets (yes, you read that right!) out of more than 4.3 million toilets constructed in this financial year (FY)… A 2011 census had pointed out that residents in 53,000 households in Goa defecate in the open…  click here

Baga ‘dance bar’ tries to reopen, shut down again
25 Mar: Times of India. A dance bar at Baga, Calangute, which had been shut down last month after a furore over prostitution activities, attempted to reopen on Sunday, but was forced to shut down again on Monday after the Calangute village panchayat brought the matter to the notice of the Calangute police…  click here


News Summary

Toronto: Det. Ross Fernandes denies arranging drug deal with ex-Mayor Rob Ford’s friend

27 Mar: City News (Toronto). A group of senior police officers investigating Rob Ford tasked an undercover officer with luring a friend of the former mayor into a drug deal, court heard Friday. The central theme of the meeting on Sept. 11, 2013, was to draw out Alexander (Sandro) Lisi into a hand-to-hand drug deal, Det. Ross Fernandes testified under cross-examination… The trial continues April 27 …  click here
Det. Ross Fernandes: Officer admits he didn’t know co-accused in drug trial had medical marijuana licence 27 Mar: National Post (Canada) …  click here

Selma Carvalho: The politics of nakedness

27 Mar: Goa Streets, Photographs emerged of the former chief minister of Goa, Digamber Kamat, walking in plain sight with a man who was stark naked. Reactions to the photos ranged from disbelief to condemnation and ridicule. But remorse immediately set in when the public learned that the naked man was a Digamber Jain aesthetic. Their renunciation of worldly pursuits requires them to travel on foot, naked and living a life of frugality. So who do our bodies belong to? To us, to the state, to God? Nothing, it seems, is more political than the human body…  click here

Return of the prodigal chef

6 Apr: India Today. When Floyd Cardoz decided to leave Mumbai 27 years ago, it wasn't considered cool to be a chef… his latest Indian cafe and bar Bombay Canteen is a dream that Cardoz, who won Season Three of Bravo's Top Chef Masters in 2012, has harboured ever since he left the city…It was at Tabla in New York that Cardoz first began serving his innovative fusion of American food with Indian flavours. Tabla's popularity made him a name to reckon with … In Mumbai, he hopes the much-loved mandeli (gold-spotted anchovy) will get the nod of gourmet approval…Everything you find at Bombay Canteen is locally sourced, promises the chef. The ingredients are fresh, economical and delicious. All you need to do is open up your mind and mouth...  click here

Popstar Remo wants to defy kissing ban in Goa village

27 Jan: IANS. Goan popstar Remo Fernandes wanted "right-thinking" couples to kiss publicly on a pre-determined day in the Goa village which has banned kissing in public. In a Facebook comment on Friday Remo said: "I think every right-thinking couple in the village should come out to the village square on a given day and protest by doing an en masse kissing in public," Fernandes said, reacting to a post over an IANS story about Salvador do Mundo village which banned kissing in public earlier this month…  click here

Bad Blood on the dance floor

27 Mar: Herald. By Patricia Ann Alvares. This band is rock solid! Formed two decades ago, Goa’s foremost rock band Bad Blood is more than spilling bad blood on the dance floor. Born to rock, this band of rock brothers – Nixon Soares (lead guitar), Blasio Pinto (vocalist), Aurville Rodrigues (drummer), Anthony Fernandes (bass) and Fraser Pacheco (keyboards) – are hoping to put Goa on India’s rock scene … Encouraged by the response they have received in Goa and in the UK where they played for an over 18,000 strong crowd on Goa Day 2014, they are doubling up their efforts for a forthcoming album… (Rock in Goa concert featuring Bad Blood will be held on March 28, 2015 at Quinta de Valadares, Verna from 4pm onwards).  click here

‘Catholic community is not at all safe in Goa’

28 Mar: The Goan. The right-wing groups affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party appears to be constantly and systematically trying to attack the minorities in the country. In the last assembly election the minorities in Goa, particularly the Catholics voted in large numbers for BJP to bring a change in the State. Most of them are hurt and completely disillusioned over the turn of events in the country… Speaking to The Goan, Edwin Fonseca (photo), President of the Goa Catholic Association said that Catholic community is not safe either in Goa or elsewhere in the country …  click here

The Compelling Lure of Sunny Goa

27 Mar: New Indian Express. By Divya Kohli. ln the past few weeks, every time I have spoken to a friend or an acquaintance about to burn out from the corporate grind, looking to celebrate a birthday, or rekindle their romance, or simply get away from it all, the one thought that has floated into my mind has been “Why don’t you go to Goa?” … From the gaggle of girls off for their bestie’s bachelorette to the impulsive weekend partygoers who continue the weekend binge by taking the first bus out to Panaji without a care for Monday morning, it isn’t hard to identify a Goa junkie…  click here

Women’s taxi service breaks down in the face of alleged illegalities
28 Mar: The Goan. They launched with a lot of fanfare in October 2014. It was a feather in the cap of Goa Tourism and also Goa per se, when a women’s taxi service – for and by women – hit the ground running. Six months later, the trumpets that once heralded their arrival have gone silent, one or two taxis have been spotted parked along the road covered in dust and there have been rumors of strife. Now, a lot of facts have surfaced, putting this service and the process of launching this initiative under the spotlight. There have been allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct by the managing director, officials and other decision makers of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC)…  click here

Goa minister does flip flop on LGBT cure centres
27 Mar: IANS. Two months after Goa Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar announced plans to establish centres to cure LGBT youth with medication, he has officially denied any such plans… In January this year, Tawadkar told reporters that his ministry had plans to set up centres on the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous to cure LGBT youth. "We will make them normal. We will have a centre for them. Like Alcoholic Anonymous centres, we will have centres...We will train them and (give them) medicines too," Tawadkar had said. The comment triggered national outrage forcing Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to intervene and publicly reprimand Tawadkar…  click here

Govt withdraws art and culture dept dress code
28 Mar: Herald. After testing the waters by cancelling the Gandhi Jayanti holiday and subsequently backtracking, the BJP-led government has once again had to rock on the back foot due to public flak and withdraw the controversial moral policing circular on jeans and sleeveless dresses in the Art and Culture department. The department has now put the mistake down to improper drafting or wording and says the circular was misinterpreted.  click here

Garbage on Grande island irks tourists
28 Mar: Times of India. Travel agency owners from the Calangute-Candolim beach-belt, who offer boat trips to Grande island in Mormugao bay, have urged the tourism department to clean up the tiny beach on the island as it has become very filthy and is affecting their business. A travel agency owner, requesting anonymity, said, "In the last few days, four British tourists asked for a refund saying that their experience was disgusting. Nowadays, most of the people going on 'castaway' excursions (as trips to Grande island are known) are domestic tourists, who litter the place and even urinate and defecate all over the tiny beach as there are no toilets there. The whole place has become completely filthy and unhygienic." …  click here

Assembly praises ‘Nachom-ia Kumpasar’ team
28 Mar: Times oof India. The Goa legislative assembly on Friday congratulated the makers of the Konkani film 'Nachom-ia Kumpasar' for winning the best Konkani film award and two more honours at the 62nd national awards recently. Speaking on a congratulatory motion moved by St Andre BJP MLA Vishnu Wagh, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar praised executive film producer Angelo Braganza, director Bardroy Barreto and the entire team that contributed to the film. Parsekar said that after Goa become home to the international film festival of India, the culture of films had grown in the state. He said the government had played its part in appreciating the film by giving it a tax exemption…  click here

Goa Police bust prostitution racket
27 Mar: IANS. The Goa Police on Friday busted a prostitution racket being run from the coastal village of Calangute and arrested three persons from Bihar, said police. The three arrested are Vinod Kumar, Dinesh Madan and Dharmendra Kumar, all from Darbhanga in Bihar. "They were running a prostitution racket from Calangute. We have rescued four women, who were being supplied by the three accused all over the state," the police spokesperson said….  click here

Scarlett Keeling Case: ‘Approach appropriate authority for transfer of case’
28 Mar: Times of India. The Goa children's court has directed Samson D'Souza, an accused in the Scarlett Keeling death case, to approach the appropriate authority to transfer the case out of the court. D'Souza had filed an application on Wednesday seeking the recusal of judge, court president Vandana Tendulkar, on grounds that during her stint as chief judicial magistrate (CJM) she had passed the order to record the statement of a key witness in the case, following an application for the same filed by the investigating officer…  click here


News Summary

Pictured: The first man arrested for the horrific gang-rape of an elderly Indian nun in her own convent

26 Mar: Daily Mail. Police have arrested their first suspect over the gang-rape of an elderly nun at an Indian convent. Mohammad Salim Shaikh, 30, was detained in a hideout in Mumbai on Wednesday night and has been transferred to Kolkata, a police spokesman said. His arrest comes 12 days after the 74-year-old nun was locked in a room and raped while trying to prevent six men from assaulting another woman and robbing the Christian missionary school… Video + photos.  click here

Kissing banned in Goan village of Salvador do Mundo

27 Mar: (Australia). A Goan village has imposed a ban on couples kissing in public, claiming the sight of such “obscene” behaviour is unwanted by local residents. The village parliament of Salvador do Mundo unanimously passed a resolution this week warning holiday-makers against engaging in public displays of affection. “We have adopted this resolution following complaints from villagers about couples kissing in public. This was the only way to put an end to it,” deputy village chief Reena Fernandes said…  click here

Wales: Stephen Gomes’ restaurant wins AA Rosette Award

26 Mar: Wales Online. A restaurant offering diners curry macaroons and chocolate orange chicken tikka has become the first Indian eatery in Cardiff to earn an AA Rosette Award … After living in Cardiff for 12 years, Stephen is planning to return to his hometown of Mumbai to open a new restaurant called The Mad Hatter, which will open in May… Born in Mumbai, Stephen is the fourth generation of chefs in his family. His father was an executive chef at the first five-star hotel in India, while his grandfather was a chef on board a battleship. His great-grandfather was head chef at the Eastern Shipping Company during the period of British rule in India…  click here

Tourist taxi operators say no to digital fare meters

27 Mar: Navhind Times. Tourist taxi operators in the state have opposed the government proposal for installation of digital fare meters for their taxis. Both the taxi associations have threatened to launch an agitation against the proposal, which was announced by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in his budget… The North Goa Tourist Association demanded uniformity in rates for services provided by all tourism stakeholders like hoteliers, operators of flight and bus services, and shack and massage parlour owners…  click here

Kazakhstan Newspaper CEO died saving drowning children in Goa

26 Mar: Interfax (Kazakhstan). Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry expressed condolences on the death of Express-K newspaper CEO Alexei Pan, who died saving local children off Indian beach. Alexei's spouse said that on 21 March, he dove in the water to help local children struggling in the rough waves. He pulled them up out of the sea, but then collapsed from a heart attack. Kazakhstan's Embassy in India made necessary arrangements to send the body to Kazakhstan…  click here

Video: House Hunters "Grabbing Hold of Love and Life in Goa"

23 Mar: House Hunters International Season 77 Episode 7: “Grabbing Hold of Love and Life in Goa” An adventurous young woman from Ohio searches for a long-term villa to lease with the boyfriend she met while backpacking through India. 50m. 32s.  click here
From Wikipedia: The program follows individuals, couples, or families searching for a new home with the assistance of a realtor…  click here
Hippie In Heels. By Rachel Jones: So, Ben and I were on the TV show House Hunters International on HGTV for “Finding Love and Life in Goa”. It’s kind of a big deal in the US and I think Canada (in terms of house renovation shows) and they filmed us here in Goa and at home in Ohio… click here.

Editorial: Goa’s Budget:A successful tightrope walk
27 Mar: Herald. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s surprise ‘surplus’ Budget has sops and disappointments for nearly all sections, with few, if any, surprises. VAT hikes on petrol, liquor and an across-the-board increase in taxes for essential services have drawn criticism the Opposition … While the Budget size has increased by 26.48 per cent, from Rs 10,540 crore last year to Rs 13,331.44 crore, the Plan size has also increased by the same percentage, from Rs 4,985 crore last year to Rs 6,900 crore; providing more money for development projects…  click here

Goa tourism dept receives Rs 260 cr in budget outlay
26 Mar: Travel Biz. According to a report in The Times of India, Laxmikant Parsekar, Chief Minister (CM) of Goa, who also handles the Finance portfolio, in his first budget has significantly increased the outlay for the tourism department. For 2015-16, the tourism department has been allotted Rs 260.09 crore as against Rs 140.94 crore in 2014-15…  click here

The oldest Portuguese chapel in East Africa
27 Mar: East African Standard. The little-known Portuguese Chapel, also known as St Francis Xavier Chapel, is located on the seafront about 100 metres from the waterline at Shella area on Mama Ngina Road in Old Town, Malindi. Clocking 517 years now, the walls have defied time and still stand strong… t was built by Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama in 1498 while passing here on his way to India before St Francis Xavier visited Malindi in 1542. It is said that St Francis Xavier passed through there with his two sailors who died and were buried at the chapel in 1542… Vasco Da Gama built a nearby pillar and the chapel to prove that he passed there on his way to Goa, India.  click here

Mobile towers impacting health in Goa: Minister
26 Mar: Press Trust of India. Goa Environment Minister Alina Saldanha today said the towers installed by mobile service providers have an impact on health and there must be scientific research to study the impact … She said that a study should be conducted in the state to assess the impact of mobile towers on health of people residing in the vicinity around towers…  click here

Some officers call Christians as 'pig eaters', Goa MLA tells House
26 Mar: NewsX Bur. A legislator on Thursday shocked the Goa Assembly when he claimed that some of the government officers in South district called Christians as "pig eaters". "Some government officers in the hospitals speak in a very bad manner. I feel ashamed to say that some of the officers in South district say that hospitals there are only to save pig eaters," Caetan Silva, a Goa Vikas Party (GVP) MLA told the State Assembly…  click here

UK Forthcoming Events

Sun: 19 Apr. G.O.A. (UK). Table Tennis Tournament, HSBC Sports and Social Club, Lennard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1QW. For further information, please contact Richard Fernandes on 020-8300-5347 / 07711401157 or Vince Fernandes 020-8764-9780 / 07853132336

Sat. 2nd May. Cortalim Union (UK) celebrates the feast of St Philip & St James at St Anne's School, 6 Oakthorpe Road, London N13 5TY. Holy Mass at 2.00 pm followed by social with music by 'Mercury Blues'. Tickets (including snacks & meal) -Adults £12.00 till 12th April 2015, thereafter £15.00, Children £7.00 (3-10 years). For tickets and details, please contact:- Georgina Gomes - Tel no: 07974 289640, Tino Goes - Tel no: 07821 900490, Ligor D'Mello - Tel no: 07821 645317, Laurent Gomes - Tel no: 07440 710743, Agnelo D'Mello - Tel no: 07925 602691. For the flyer, click here.

Sun 3rd May: Santa Cruz Goan Association (UK) celebrates the Feast of Holy Cross at Holy Rood Church, Swindon at 3.30pm followed by Dine & Dance from 6pm to 11pm. Featuring live music by Shine Band at Punjabi Sikh Community Hall, Kembrey Street, Swindon, Wiltshire Sn2 8AZ. For tickets and details contact Jose Pereira (07541243010), Hilario Do Rego (07511135841), Agostinho de Braganca (077078931219), Francisco de Araujo (Hachik) (07541224920), Albano Lourenco (07522393807), Mickey Serrao (07448339208). For the flyer, click here.

Sun, 14 June Siolim Union (London) invites you to celebrate the 35th Anniversary Feast of St. Anthony of Padua at Archbishop Lanfranc School, Mitcham Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 3AS. Holy Mass at 12.00 noon prompt followed by dancing to the music of 'Maz & Co' and 'Nite Life'. Tickets including snack & Goan meal, Members £13.00 Guests £14.00. For tickets contact Tony Fernandes Tel: 020 8540 3566, Loretta Fernandes Tel: 020 8330 9307 or Wendy Fernandes Tel: 020 8768 0545. For the flyer, click here.

For Later Events See



Death: Bernard Semelhago

21 Mar: London, Ont. Canada. BERNARD FRANCIS SEMELHAGO. Aged 86. Ex Verna, Goa; Dar es Salaam and Tanga (Tanzania) and Agincourt and Whitby (Ontario). Beloved husband to Anita (nee Couto). Father of Celina Lee (Ron), Lloyd Semelhago (Cosete), Gavin Semelhago (Tanya) and Arlene Alvares (Craig). Grandfather of Nicholas, Jonathan, Mark, Andrew, Justin, Claire, Liam, Laura, and Ryan. Survived by his dearest sister Clara (late Antonio Vaz) and predeceased by his siblings Edwin, Elton, Alex (Maria de Lourdes Pinto), Sara, Edwin Jr and Atalia. Brother-in-law of the late Beryl, late Cecil (Lilly), Joyce (Shaukat) and Stanley (Debra). Cremation has taken place and the family will have a private service. They will receive visitors for condolences on Friday, March 27th from 6-8pm at Harris Funeral Home in London, Ontario. Family and friends can also provide their condolences on Sunday, March 29th between 1-3pm at The Waterside Inn, 15 Stavebank Road S., Mississauga, Ontario ( For full details, click here.

News Summary

Femnet March 2015

Issue 36: Chryselle D’Silva Dias for the Editorial Team: Life is all about these unexpected challenges. Whether it is a surprise shower, sudden health problems or a new job, each day brings with it something new. Our issue this month has several inspirational stories of women meeting (and beating) seemingly impossible hurdles. Yvette D’Souza tells us about her fight with cancer, while Chari Kingsbury reminds us that “hope is found in the message of Easter. Dr. Belinda Viegas shares her diary of her inspiring cycling achievement. Ruth e Lobo describes her journey as a filmmaker and Auda Viegas reminds us of the evil lurking in our schools with increased reports of child abuse. On a lighter note Alisha Chandy gives us tips on how to survive as a single women, while Colleen D’Souza reviews the elegant Pousada Tauma resort. In the run to Easter, here’s wishing you all a contemplative March. Spring brings hope – may your coming weeks be filled with budding flowers, serenading birds and sunny (but cool) skies.  click here

Serene, safe and secure Goa

25 Mar: Herald. By Tomazinho Cardozo (photo). It’s a very frightening situation. Crimes like murders, rapes and assaults are on the rise in this tiny state of Goa. The impression that Goa is the most secure state of India is fast vanishing. Today Goa is not behind other states in the country which are known for law & order problems. Goans are witness to all types of crimes in all fields of life … Women and girls are the soft targets … Goa being a tiny state could have been administered in a better way. Ours could have been an ideal state in promoting democratic values in our governance… 916 words.  click here

Surge of Anti-Christian Violence in India Ignites New Protests

24 Mar: Reuters. By Thomas D. Williams. Indian Catholics are calling for the closure of all Catholic schools on March 25 as a sign of protest against the recent surge in anti-Christian violence in the country. “We demand the closure of schools of the Archdiocese of Mumbai March 25, to protest the attacks on Christian institutions,” said the statement from a group of Christian organizations that met on Sunday… The group is reacting in particular to the recent rape of a 71-year-old nun in West Bengal, as well as attacks on a Catholic church in Panvel and the assault on a group of Bible students in Jabalpur…  click here
Christian institutions to hire armed guards … 25 Mar: Times of India.  click here

Pakistani Christians Fight Back

24 Mar: New York Times. Last Monday, this city was briefly overrun with bands of sloganeering, stick-wielding youths … If you went by the original news bulletins, they were Christians reacting to a suicide bombing the day before of two churches in Youhanabad, a low-income area of Lahore that is home to some 100,000 Christians… But by last Tuesday the conversation had changed, after it was established that the two men lynched by the Christian mob were blameless Muslims who happened to be near the churches when the explosions took place…  click here

Scarlett case accused seeks recusal of judge

26 Mar: Times of India. In a fresh twist to the murder trial of British teenager Scarlett Keeling, one of the accused, Samson D'Souza (photo), on Wednesday filed a written objection seeking recusal of the president of the Goa children's court, Panaji, Vandana Tendulkar, from hearing the matter… After hearing all the parties, Tendulkar said that she would go through the application and pass an order …  click here

Visa-on-Arrival for UK, France likely soon
24 Mar: NDTV. Tourists from four countries including the United Kingdom could soon be eligible for visas on arrival, said government sources today… Sources in the Tourism Ministry say Dr Mahesh Sharma, who heads the department, has asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to clear China, the UK, Spain, Italy and France for the scheme…  click here

India navy plane crashes off Goa leaving two missing
25 Mar: BBC. Two crew members are missing after an Indian navy plane crashed into the sea off the western state of Goa. The navy said the plane, a Dornier surveillance aircraft, was on a routine flight when it went down late on Tuesday. The cause is not known. One crew member was rescued and a search operation has been launched for the missing two … It is the latest in a series of mishaps for the Indian military …  click here

India - the international property buyers of the future?
25 Mar: Property Secrets. A new contender could be on the horizon for the international property sector's affections. A recent report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revealed that India's growth rate is expected to put it ahead of China within the next two years… "We have seen enquiries from Indian clients already settled in the UK beginning to creep up, as they look for second homes in the Algarve," comments Chris White, founding director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, "And the Indian market is definitely one that we hope to attract buyers from in the future …  click here

Attack on Churches: Hindu Delegation Meets Archbishop
26 Mar: Indian Express. A delegation of the pro-Hindu organisations on Wednesday evening has met Thrissur Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath to discuss over the concerns expressed by Christian churches on the recent attacks on churches across the country. The delegation also discussed on the editorial in Deepika newspaper alleging that the RSS and ISIS were technically the same when it came to their activities…  click here

Mind your language...maybe not!
25 Mar: Herald. If there’s any such thing as ‘Tuesday Blues’, it was wiped off yesterday morning as the Supreme Court scrapped a touchy law that was seen as a major infringement of the freedom of speech online because it allowed the arrest of a person for posting offensive content. After the Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was declared unconstitutional, netizens rejoiced as the news spread like wild fire, and took turns to express their opinion on the said verdict on various groups on Facebook. It may be interesting to note that this verdict comes after the ‘Devu Chodankar episode’ that created quite a bit of commotion in Goa, last year… 539 words 25 Mar: The Guardian. India Supreme Court strikes down internet censorship law …  click here

'Goa legislators get salaries because of casinos'
25 Mar: Las Vegas Blog. Goa legislators get their salaries 'cause of revenues earned by the state from the casino industry, ruling BJP legislator Kiran Kandolkar asserted on Wednesday, triggering an uproar in the assembly. The legislator from Thivim constituency defended the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government’s decision not to ban casinos as promised by the party during the 2012 state assembly polls. “All salaries of the MLAs come from in that (casino revenue). Are you saying we do not get revenue? Where do you get your salary from?” he asked. Kandolkar’s comment triggered an outrage in the Opposition benches, with the Congress and Independent legislators accusing the BJP of tarnishing the sanctity of the legislature…  click here


DOCUMENTARY: Living India. BBC World Service Radio. Saturday 28th Mar. 19:05 to 20:00. Rupa Jha takes listeners to the heart of India to give a unique insight into what it means to live in the world's biggest democracy.

COOKERY: Jamie's Great Britain. Good Food. Saturday 28th Mar. 20:00 to 21:00. The Heart of England. Part 4. Jamie Oliver celebrates the diversity of British food. In the Midlands, he buys some fresh Indian veg and enjoys traditional pork pies.

DRAMA: Drama. BBC Radio 4. Saturday 28th Mar. 21:00 to 22:00. Part 1 of 3: A Fine Balance. Rohinton Mistry's novel about India's underclass is dramatised by Ayeesha Menon and Kewel Karim. Four strangers form an unlikely bond that takes them through one of India's most turbulent recent periods. Sunday 29th Mar. 15:00 to 16:00: Part 2 of 3. Sunday 5th Apr. 15:00 to 16:00: Part 3 of 3

DOCUMENTARY: Saffron Censorship: India's Culture Wars. BBC Radio 4. Monday 30th Mar. 16:00 to 16:30. Dr Zareer Masani asks if religious fanaticism, moral policing and state censorship are threatening freedom of expression and cultural life in the world's largest democracy.

FILM: Journey Bombay to Goa. Zee Cinema. Monday 30th Mar. 23:05 to 01:35. Film about the bus journey from Bombay to Goa (2007, 15)

DOCUMENTARY: UK Border Force. Pick (Freeview 152) Tuesday 31st Mar. 15:00 to 16:00. At Heathrow Terminal 3, officers stop a student from entering the UK, while the team in Calais search lorries for illegal immigrants.



Death: Jerald Rodricks
13 Mar: Kelowna, BC. Canada. JERALD PASCAL RODRICKS. Born in Bombay, India in 1936. He is survived by his loving wife, Grace, his devoted children: Gary and Chelsie, Faye and Dave, and Warren and Sally; his adoring grandchildren: Maya, Mikayla, Ben, and Olivia. Jerald is deeply loved, and will be missed by all. To leave an online condolence to the family, click here.

News Summary

Selma Carvalho: Half-naked fakir keeping company with the British bulldog

24 Mar: Times of India. Selma Carvalho visits the new Gandhi statue unveiled in London on 14 March, and wonders what Gandhi would have made of Indians living in England today. She writes, 'Maybe, what Gandhi would find most intriguing in Britain today are the large number of Goans who reside here as Portuguese five decades after liberation, Goans still claim their Portuguese citizenship. Perhaps in the end, human beings are more nebulous than we anticipate. Our identities are indefinable. And history is unpredictable for how else could the half-naked fakir have ended up next to the British bulldog?.  click here

Tyler Prize for Madhav Gadgil, environment policy maker

24 Mar: Nature (UK). Madhav Gadgil, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Goa University and Chair of India’s expert panel on Western Ghats ecology, shares this year’s prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement with Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University, USA. The 2015 Tyler Prize, announced today, recognises their leadership and engagement in the development of conservation and sustainability policies in India, the United States and internationally. Gadgil’s landmark report on the biodiversity of Western Ghats known as the “Gadgil Committee” report offered guidelines on the protection and development of India’s Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the eight most biological diverse areas on earth…  click here

Waluscha D’souza: Coming from Goa, dance and music is my veins

23 Mar: Times of India. Supermodel Walushca D'Souza, who will be seen opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Maneesh Sharma's Fan, has already generated a lot of curiosity and the media has been queuing up to get more dope on her… "Yes, I love movies, I enjoy watching Hindi films. I come from Goa, so I have dance and music in my veins," said Waluscha, who has lost a considerable amount of weight for the role and has been paying a lot of attention to her diet and work out …  click here

Praveen Morchhale’s ‘Barefoot to Goa’ to release on 10th April 2015

21 May: BollySpice. Barefoot to Goa is a film that is mainly produced by a very lesser-known phenomenon in Bollywood as “crowd funding”. It’s a story of two children who leave home to get back their ill and estranged grandmother, who lives alone in another town…  click here
Official Trailer 2m. 59s.  click here

Rayney in dark on WA Police case review on wife’s murder

21 Mar: PerthNow. Nearly six months after police launched an internal review of his wife’s murder case, Lloyd Rayney says he hasn’t heard “a single word” from authorities. “The silence has been deafening,” the father-of-two told The Sunday Times. “I have had no input whatsoever and no one has asked me for my views on the matter.” …  click here

Detectives investigating James Durkin's death in Goa

24 Mar: Croydon Guardian: Officers from Interpol have reportedly been brought in to assist Goan police with the investigation into the death of James Durkin from Coulsdon, UK, who had been missing for about a month when his body was found. The family of the former Trinity School had been leading an online campaign to try and track him down after he went missing in mid-February, just days after he had scattered his mother’s ashes… One evening he got into an argument with a local and went missing before reappearing several hours later with lots of cuts and bruises…  click here

Goa government department bans sleeveless dresses, jeans
24 Mar: IANS. The Goa government’s department of art and culture has banned its staffers from wearing sleeveless clothes, multi-pocket pants and jeans, the state legislative assembly was told on Tuesday. In his reply tabled during the budget session, Minister for Art and Culture Dayanand Mandrekar said that the instructions have been issued by the department’s director so that “decorum” could be maintained in office premises… A few weeks back, several cabinet ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalition government had demanded a ban on revealing clothing in Goa, claiming such dresses were against Indian culture.  click here

Goa govt spent Rs 42cr on tourism junkets abroad
25 Mar: Times of India. Accusing the BJP government of not conducting the promised pre-audit exercise on tours of the tourism department and blaming the government for "wasting" 42 crore of taxpayer's money on tourism road shows, Fatorda independent MLA Vijai Sardesai on Tuesday alleged a mega-scam in the tourism department…  click here

Goa to tap hike in visa on influxes
24 Mar: Travel PR. Goa is all set ready to take advantage on the Centre’s plan to improve visa on arrival facility to one-hundred fifty nations whilst it eyes double-digit growth ratios in the number of traveller influxes this year. Besides endorsing local festivals like Goa Heritage Festival, Sao Joao, and Carnival, the Goa Tourism Dept. is commencing services like hot air balloons, seaplanes, heli-tourism and also endorsing the state as a marriage destination…  click here

Take risks, experiment with architecture: Correa to Goans
24 Mar: Times of India. Architecture students from various parts of the country and beyond were in for a treat. Charles Correa, Mahendra Raj and Raj Rewal - three of the most celebrated masters in modern Indian architecture were engaged in a profound discussion … Talking about the situation in his own home state, Correa said, "People say Goa needs better architects. I think it needs better clients. No one is willing to take the risks they took in Ahmedabad. And it's not that they don't have the money, it's a matter of temperament"…  click here

Double delight: Agasaim church turns 450, school enters golden jubilee year
22 Mar: Times of India. Agasaim villagers are doubly proud this year. The 16th parish church, which they look up to for spiritual elevation, is celebrating 450 years of its existence, while the school attached to the church celebrates its golden jubilee. The two milestones were celebrated on March 19, the feast of St Joseph and the festivities will continue through the year...  click here

Weekly Weather & Exchange Rates
25 Mar: Goa Met.. Weather: Max = 32.8. Min = 26.5.
For the Meteorological Office (UK) Five day forecast for Goa, click here.
Exchange rates (Xcom): £ = 92.61; $ = 62.27; $Can = 49.85; Euro = 68.09; $Aus= 49.09.

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