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Newsletter. Issue 26. December 21, 2013


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Reunion 2012
The Liberation of Goa
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News Clips from Goa
Demand for recognition to Roman Konkani echoes in Salcete

The demand for recognition for Konkani in Roman script reverberated in Salcete once again this time in the presence of Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar “in order to preserve the Goan identity”.

Voicing concern over neglect of Konkani language, Benaulim and Velim MLAs Caetano Silva and Benjamin Silva respectively felt the need to promote literature in Roman Konkani.

Speaking after the release of a Konkani book ‘Argam bim tozem bhat’ by Joe Meny Furtado at Sarzora late on Sunday evening, the Benaulim MLA Caetano Silva said Konkani is the identity of a Goan and “we are fast loosing our identity due to our own fault” adding “we need to preserve Konkani in the Roman script as presently just a handful of people are writing in Roman script.”

Taking a potshot at his bÍte noire without naming anybody, Caetano said that thousands of Goans are in trouble just because of the greed of one politician who was hungry for power. He called upon parents to encourage their children to read Konkani especially in Roman script which he said is restricted to a handful of priests and tiatrists.

Speaking on the occasion, the Velim MLA Benjamin Silva said, “We should endeavour to preserve our identity and preserve Konkani in Roman script.”

He also said that Konkani got recognition in Devanagari script adding “We should have sought recognition for Konkani in Roman script then. We should feel proud of our language and not feel shy to speak in Konkani especially at home with children.”

The Minister for Art and Culture said that literature is a powerful tool which comes to light only when people inculcate reading habit. He said that there are sufficient books available in Konkani in Roman script. [NT]
Coldest nights since 2005 in Goa
Times of India

Panaji: Goa's normally pleasant winter nights have been replaced by a biting chill this season and, understandably so, as evening temperatures have dipped to 16.8 degrees... Click here to read more

Goa boosts capacity with new airport terminal
TTG Asia

Goa International Airport opened a new integrated 64,000m2 terminal last week, adding to high-season capacity and handling about 1,000 international ...Click here to read more

Patel would have freed Goa in 1948: Parrikar
Business Standard

Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived longer, Goa would have been freed from the Portuguese yoke in 1948, said Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar here ...Click here to read more

1000 persons join AAP's Goa wing in single day'
Times of India

Ponda: Claiming that the Delhi mandate has proved that the people of India need a new option, Aam Admi Party (AAP) members declared that they would ...Click here to read more

Information centre for Russians set up in Goa
Times of India 

Calangute: The establishment of a chapel or church of the Russian Orthodox Church in Goa is most important because of the rise in the number of Russians ...Click here to read more

Now, coconuts catch up with soaring egg prices
Times of India

Panaji: Coconut, a key ingredient in Goa's staple fish curry and rice, is witnessing an unusual increase in price. While very small-sized coconuts are priced at ...Click here to read more

Goa to honour 17 freedom fighters on December 19
Times of India

Panaji:The government of Goa has decided to honour 17 freedom fighters including one from Andhra Pradesh for their contribution to Goa's freedom struggle, ...Click here to read more

'Silent malaria' dodges treatment, gives doctors a hard time in Goa
Times of India

Panaji: Goa's malaria control cell is working overtime to detect people with 'silent malaria'-mostly migrant workers who carry the parasite in their blood, but do ...Click here to read more

Goans for Goa demands formation of village development plans
Times of India

Margao: Goans for Goa (GFG), a registered trust, has appealed to all panchayats to form ward development committees to enable them to form ward ...Click here to read more
Of the Portuguese registry, OCI cover and running for office back home... (Eduardo Faleiro)
Source: Goanet Reader goanetreader at gmail.com | Tue Dec 17 15:52:23 PST 2013
By Eduardo Faleiro | loksevagoa at gmail.com

Only Portuguese Citizens Can Register Their Births In Lisbon

OCI allows lifelong stay in India... but not the right to acquire agricultural land, to vote, to run for office, to take up army or government jobs

As per the Portuguese Nationality Law, only Portuguese citizens can have their birth registered at the Central Registry of Births in Lisbon. Registration of births at the Central Registry in Lisbon is conclusive evidence that the person is a Portuguese citizen.

A Portuguese citizen or a citizen of any other country of the EU (European Union) as well as of EFTA (European Free Trade Association) which consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can live and work indefinitely in other EU countries as well as in the four EFTA countries.

In 1975, Portugal reestablished diplomatic relations with India and recognized Indian sovereignty over Goa with retrospective effect from December 19, 1961. Under Section 9 (2) of the Indian Citizenship Act 1955, once a Goan or any other Indian registers his birth in the Central Registry in Lisbon, he ceases to be a citizen of India.

A Person of Goan or other Indian origin holding citizenship of a foreign country, other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, may apply for the OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card provided their home country allows dual citizenship in some form or the other. The OCI card holder is entitled to life long stay in India and parity with NRIs in the financial, economic and educational fields except acquisition of agricultural land. The OCI card holder however cannot vote, run for office, join the Army or take up Government employment. These restrictions may be modified by a special order of the Central Government under Section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

In 1993, during the Narasimha Rao Government, we received a request from the Government of Portugal to open a Consulate in Goa. At that time, foreign consulates were permitted only in the metropolitan cities. The only reason alleged by the Portuguese Government for their Consulate in Goa was that there were many Goans who sought a Portuguese passport and in the absence of a Portuguese Consulate in Goa they had to travel to the Embassy of Portugal in New Delhi. I was required to decide on this issue. However, since the matter concerned my own State of Goa, I referred it to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister advised me to permit the Portuguese Consulate in Goa and the Consulate did come into existence here in 1994.

About 150 countries of the world permit dual citizenship in some form or the other. One of the reasons to permit dual citizenship is to sustain the emotional attachment of the expatriates and consequent benefits for their country of origin. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao intended to allow dual citizenship but this proposal was ultimately dropped because it was felt that we should not allow dual citizenship to other countries without including our own neighbours with whom we had some difficulties.

Pakistan permits dual citizenship to citizens of 13 Western countries as well as Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Pakistanis with dual nationality are forbidden to run for office, contest elections or join the military. On September 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified 11 lawmakers including interior Minister Rahman Malik for failing to disclose their dual nationality upon taking office.

Bangladesh permits dual citizenship to persons of Bangladeshi origin who are citizens of USA, UK, Australia, Canada and countries of the European Union. According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, "A person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a Member of Parliament who acquires the citizenship of, or affirms or acknowledges allegiance to, a foreign State."

Sri Lanka is the only Asian country that permits dual citizenship to its citizens living abroad. The persons with dual citizenship of Sri Lankan origin have the same rights as the other Sri Lankan citizens. However, this dual Citizenship Law is presently being reviewed by the Sri Lankan Parliament to formulate more stringent rules for dual citizenship. Applications for dual citizenship have been kept in abeyance in Sri Lanka since early 2011.

A High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora was set up in 2000 under the Chairmanship of Dr. L. M. Singhvi to prepare a comprehensive Report on the Indian Diaspora and to recommend measures for a constructive relationship with them. The Report of this Committee was submitted to Prime Minister Vajpayee in January 2002.

Dual Citizenship Recommendation

It recommended that dual citizenship should be permitted and that Sections 9, 10 and 12 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 should be suitably amended for this purpose. The Report further recommended that the 16 countries mentioned in its Schedule (which includes Portugal) would be eligible for dual citizenship and citizens of other countries e.g. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan should not be eligible for Indian dual citizenship.

The Report further recommended that those who acquire dual citizenship should not be entitled to exercise electoral franchise and should not be inducted into the Civil Services or the Defense or Paramilitary Forces except by special order of the Central Government. The Government of India accepted these recommendations. In December 23, 2003 Parliament enacted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 which included the category of Overseas Citizens of India. Rules giving effect to this Act were notified in March, 2004.


Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced that OCI would be provided to all PIOs who migrated from India after January 26, 1950 and that the OCI and PIO cards would be merged. At present the PIO cards are issued to Indians who have been staying abroad for a couple of generations whilst OCI cards are given to those who are more recent migrants.

The present validity of the PIO card is 15 years while the OCI card is for life. There are some other benefits that OCI enjoy which are not available to PIO card holders. The Bill to give effect to this assurance and to accordingly amend the Indian Citizenship Act is being drafted by the Government of India.
  • Eduardo Faleiro is a former Indian federal minister of state for external affairs. This article was received on December 17, 2013.

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