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Newsletter. Issue 2004-07. April. 03, 2004
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Goa News Clips
by Joel D'Souza & Fred Noronha

For two seats alone
Enthusiasm is still lukewarm among Goans as far as the forthcoming parliamentary poll scheduled for 26 April is concerned. Unlike the Goa Assembly polls, the parliamentary elections do not excite the Goan electorate much, perhaps because it is just a case of sending merely two Goans to the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha. The ruling BJP combine has already embarked on its poll campaign, particularly in South Goa, the erstwhile bastion of the Congress Party. The later, however, could not decide on a suitable candidate, after nominating Churchill Alemao for the South Goa seat. After a lot of haggling, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have finally settled on Dr Wilfred de Souza for the North Goa seat. Not many people seem to be happy with the choice. Vijay Mallya’s Janata Party has been wooing the near-defunct MGP. The United Goans Democratic Party, who commands some following among the minority Christian community, has named Auda Viegas as their candidate for the Mormugao constituency (South).

Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao installed as the 34th Patriarch of Goa & Daman
Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao was installed as the 34th Archbishop of Goa and Daman in a solemn religious ceremony attended by over 10,000 faithful, religious leaders and others at the Se Cathedral in Old Goa on March 21. Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, installed the Archbishop-designate in his episcopal seat and outgoing Archbishop Raul Gonsalves handed over the crozier (episcopal staff) to Ferrao at the ceremony preceding the Eucharistic celebration.
The biggest church in Asia reverberated to the clapping of the congregation. Eighteen bishops in golden vestments from all over India, including two Cardinals—Cardinal Ivan Dias (Mumbai) and Cardinal Emeritus Simon Pimenta—and over 300 priests attended the ceremony. The Se Cathedral was packed to capacity with people from all over Goa. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, graced the occasion towards the end and congratulated the new Archbishop with a bouquet of flowers. Outgoing Archbishop Raul Gonsalves expressed the hope that the Church would bring about the communion of all communities and termed the new Archbishop as a gift from God.

For and against ‘IFFI’
Following a stir by the NGOs, led by People’s Movement for Civic Action, regarding plans for infrastructure development vis-à-vis the International Film Festival of India 2004, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar assured to provide information to non-governmental organisations, who have sought detailed project reports and technical documentation to citizens on the infrastructure development related to the holding of International Film Festival of India 2004, within the next fortnight. The Department of Information and Publicity has added Goa IFFI folder to its existing website. The folder Goa IFFI can be accessed at http://www.goainformation.org In the meanwhile, the International Federation of Film Producers Association, which co-ordinates international film festivals, has agreed to the dates—November 29 to December 9 this year—for holding the IFFI in Panjim. Work on the infrastructure has already begun with the demolishing of the Bandodkar football ground, a part of the old Goa Medical College building, etc. Panjim cinema theatres including the first commercial cinema hall “Cine Nacional”, and the Harish Zantye-owned Ashok-Samrat twin cinema houses, will be converted into mini multiplexes, according to CM Parrikar.

Dantas award to Kelekar
This year’s Normal Dantas memorial award was conferred on social activist Gurunath Kelekar at a function held at Hotel Nova Goa in Panjim on March 27. While receiving the prestigious award Kelekar said that nowadays there exists an understanding between politicians and the electorate, almost like a business deal, and that the people have nearly forgotten they are citizens of India, and owe a duty towards the country. The Norman Dantas prize is given to an outstanding individual who has been at the forefront of the struggle for social justice.
Dantas, a renowned Goan journalist who died on 21 March, 1998, dominated the editorial scene in Goa for several years with his rich contribution towards making the monthly “Goa Today” and subsequently the daily “Herald”, Goa’s premier publications.

BSNL cuts long distance call rates
Despite fall in revenue per line, BSNL yesterday announced a sharp cut in long distance call rates and reported more than 100 per cent increase in net profit for the just concluded fiscal year. Up to 25 per cent reduction in ISD rates for the US, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asian countries, Gulf region, Africa and SAARC nations by the country’s largest telecom operator will be effected from 10 April. Inter-circle STD rates from fixed lines beyond 200 km will also be slashed by 25 per cent from the same date.

Dr Shetye new NIO director
Dr Satish Ramnath Shetye has taken over as the new Director of the National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula. He succeeds Dr MD Zingde. Dr Shetye is the seventh director of NIO, which is a constituent laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Born in Goa on 25 October, 1950, Dr Shetye is a physics postgraduate from IIT, Bombay. He received his PhD in Physical Oceanography from the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Since joining NIO in 1982, he was elected to the fellowship of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore in 1992. The same year he received the coveted Shanti Swamp Bhatnagar Prize for Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Environment Sciences.

“Spying” on politicians probe
A two-member committee set up by the Election Commission to conduct a probe into the controversial memo episode quizzed several government officials vis-à-vis the complaints of violation of the model code of conduct yesterday. V K Yerram, an Assistant Sub-Inspector attached to Special branch, CID, Mapusa, who had allegedly issued a controversial memo and who has been placed under suspension, was among those summoned by the Comission. Director General of Police Seva Dass admitted that the ASI had exceeded his powers in issuing the memorandum and that he had no such authority to issue it at his level. Referring to the memo signed by the ASI and which directs the constables to collect intelligence, among other things, about the activities of certain political parties and three opposition MLAs, the DGP said the inquiry would also cover the conspiracy angle or whether it was done under any political pressure.

Varsha thrills
Noted Goa-born Hindi film star and singer Varsha Usgaonkar virtually brough the house down in on 23 March, with her melodious voice rendering Hindi and Konkani songs. The function was organised at Mardicotto in Cuncolim as a tribute to late Prakash Vaidya, a singer par excellence. Veteran Konkani singer Ulhas Buyanv was at his best while budding Goan singers followed suit in what proved to be a marvellous symphony

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