NAVY CARNAVAL: Viewers at the Vasco Carnival float parade on February 12, 2018, were wowed by the Indian Navy float, which was one of the more than 50 floats paraded from all over Goa. The float included models of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, a Sea King helicopter and that of an indigenously built submarine showcasing the three-dimensional Navy. Men dressed in Marine Commando attire on a boat equipped with close combat weapons were also featured on the float which  showcased the “Combat Ready Force” theme of Navy. The float was designed and fabricated at the Naval Aircraft Yard in Goa


WE need to really thank our stars: when Goans cannot compete with the rest we have our ministers to fall back on! Two jewels we will forever be indebted to them for are: ‘coconut grass’ and ‘offshore casinos’. The former is well known to even our kids while the latter might need a bit of clarity. Offshore is a nautical term for away from the coast. In places where gambling is banned, to circumvent the law, they had casinos ‘offshore’ in International waters where the law did not reach.

When casinos started in Goa, gambling was banned — like matka — so the government setup offshore casinos in their own waters and made a law legalising it! What a jewel! I truly believe this can be challenged in a court of law — or matka can be legalised. Statues of the concerned please!

Now comes a third jewel: open defecation. The government has determined that 70,000 toilets are required to end the same. What is open defecation? When you can see the person or the job? It’s anybody’s guess.

Casinos qualify for the term open defecation. So also, do all constructions which do not have a sewage treatment plant (STP). Septic tanks are okay for small dwellings like houses, but not for apartments! They need to be either connected to the State STP or have their own STP. Now who was against mega projects? Better still who was for them?

So, while everyone is waiting for 70,000 toilets which will hide the doer, what is being done to hide the job?

It’s a shame that all coastal hotels and apartments have been allowed to come up without first having STP’s in place. More statues for those responsible please.

Rain water harvesting is promoted in Goa. Rain water is known to carry manganese from open dumps to the dams. No need to spell it out in this case. Incidentally, no water with E.coli is ever used for drinking purpose even though there are ways to treat the same as even a small error can cost lives.

Right now, no building or hotel must come up without having their own STP. This is the action required. Unfortunately, like the coconut and casinos, people are directed elsewhere!

– R Fernandes, Margao


IS it permitted or even tolerable to place a ‘resurrected image of Christ’ on the wooden cross behind the main altar? At Mass, we are at the foot of the cross. Mass does not represent Holy Thursday, and it does not represent Easter Sunday. It is an actual sacrifice of the cross. Also, looking at the crucifix and our Lord’s suffering is important for each of us because in our suffering, looking up at the crucifix gives us support when things are heavy on our own souls.

I have seen the images of the risen Christ in several churches. It makes me sad, because before the glory, comes SUFFERING, and our young Catholics, and perhaps even converts, are not learning this. Mass is a commemoration and re-enactment of Calvary, the Crucifixion, and the sacrifice.   

The modern Church views the mass as a community meal, a representation of the Last Supper. They do not see Mass as a sacrifice. They think the image of Christ crucified is “depressing” and they repeat the protestant talking point that traditional Catholics want to “put Jesus back on the cross”. They forget that Holy Scripture says, 1 Corinthians : [23] “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness”.

Most Catholic Churches which were built before the ‘radical changes’ of Vatican II would never have such a choice of religious decoration placed behind the main altar. The proper & more appropriate decoration would be that of a Calvary scene, even that of Our Blessed Lady, or a particular Saint in the back ground — in order to ‘highlight’ the true meaning of the Mass — as a ‘sacrifice’  which is what happens at every true Mass — though in an ‘unbloody manner’.  

Unlike the Protestants — theirs is more of a happy meal.

– Augustine Coelho, Aldona


WHILE the Supreme Court of India has been repeatedly highlighting the need of ensuring morality in public life, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to safeguard his own chair has stooped to very treacherously and high-handedly appointing the very tainted and controversial Babush Monserrate as the chairman of the newly created Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA).

This politically motivated and skewed move by Manohar Parrikar is devoid of any public interest. This needless PDA has been carved out solely to reward the Goa Forward and Babush Monserrate for their support to the current ruling coalition by giving him a lucrative avenue to further loot and plunder.

In January 2005 Babush Monserrate was stripped of the Town & Country Planning portfolio by Parrikar for having committed large scale and rampant illegalities in conversion of land. Later, in January 2007, due to his very controversial RP 2011, which led to a huge uproar and public outrage, Monserrate was forced to resign as TCP Minister.

Monserrate has also committed very serious offences involving moral turpitude and stands charge sheeted by the CBI in the Panaji Police Station storming case, while the alleged rape case against him is also pending probe before the Crime Branch.

Besides his deep rooted links with the land mafia, Babush Monserrate has huge land banks within the jurisdiction of this newly created  GPPDA which includes Taleigao, Chimbel, St Cruz, Old Goa and Curca-Bambolim-Talaulim. We will now have to sadly witness the accelerated destruction and devastation of the remaining hills and fields in these villages. Sorrowing lies our Goa.   

– Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar


WHENEVER women were on the verge of any path-breaking achievement, it was always the fashion to say that they were breaking the glass ceiling. In Goa, however, a section of domestic tourists in particular are smashing glass bottles — of beer or other alcoholic drinks — to get some sadistic pleasure. Such miscreants should be fined heavily and mechanisms should be put in place to bring these rowdy elements to their senses.

Besides glass bottle breaking several cases of strewing garbage and even answering nature’s call have been observed by these anti-social section of tourists. In light of such atrocious behaviour, it is right on the part of TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai to have called these elements the ‘scum of the earth’. Goa should welcome only those tourists who abide by our social values and who have civil civic sense!

– Elvidio Miranda, Panaji


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