LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR THE ISSUE DATED 08TH JUNE 2019

BRINGING PRESTIGE TO GOA: Fashion designer Verma D’Mello brought laurels to Goa and India at the recent Cannes film and fashion festival, when she was awarded the ‘Best Red-Carpet Designer’ at the prestigious event. This was for the fourth year in succession that D’Mello enthralled audiences at Cannes and she was, incidentally, the only Indian to win an award at the world-famous event this year. D’Mello said her recent collection at Cannes was called “I am Ganga, a woman of today”, to highlight India’s sacred river, the Ganga, which flows through the holy city of Varanasi. ‘Thread Up’ is an initiative by D’Mello aimed at aiding women, who include tribals, widows and dropouts, to make them independent and to boost their self-esteem by providing them tools for their growth. (left) Verma D’Mello receiving award from actress Amber Martinez; (above) Some of her designs

DUAL CITIZENSHIP UNCERTAINTY

THE government having appointed two district collectors in order to arbitrate on the dual citizenship issue without any terms of reference or guidelines has cast a long shadow of uncertainty on those who have processed Portuguese nationality. On the one hand, such an exercise earlier did not attract even a single person who was ready to divulge his or her processing of Portuguese nationality. Thus this time also, we have to wait and watch if any one falls into this trap which might have far ranging consequences for others. It would be appropriate to know that the entire Portuguese nationality processing encompasses four stages and even dead either parent of a son or daughter can be registered in Portugal. The four stages are: Assento de Nascimento (Birth Registration), Assento de Casamento (Marriage Registration), Bilhete de Identidade or Cartao de Cidadao and the final stage Portuguese passport. A conservative estimate means that at least one lakh people in Goa have registered their Births (Assento de Nascimento). This in itself amounts as per Portuguese law as well as as per Indian law has obtained citizenship of Portugal. However as per the at present standard procedure, those having obtained the Assento de Nascimento, Assento de Casamento and the Bilhete de Identidade or Cartao de Cidadao, continue to be Indian citizens and have the right to keep their Indian passports. Only those who have obtained the Portuguese passport have surrendered their Indian Passports and therefore have sworn an affidavit, while applying for visa/permit to travel abroad in the Foreigner’s Registration Office stating that they are Portuguese nationals and have deleted their names from the ration cards and electoral rolls and thus have relinquished Indian nationality. Thus only Portuguese passport holders as of now do not have Indian passports. In the standard procedure, those having the Bilhete de Identidade or the Cartao de Cidadao are per se still Indian nationals and can vote in India and have Indian passports too. It is to be noted that a Billhete de Identidade or Cartao de Cidadao allows the possessor to travel to the 28 European Union countries freely without having to obtain separate visas in each of the EU countries. Now it is a known fact that many Goans who were born before liberation that is before 19th December, 1961 merely applied for the Assento de Nascimento (either parent), Assento de Casamento, some of them but not all the Bilhete de Identidade or Cartao de Cidadao so as to make way for their progeny to apply for Portuguese passport and thus they are not active Portuguese nationality holders but only facilitators. In such cases it would be recommended that these passive Assento de Nascimento holders be made to swear an affidavit that they have no intention of seeking Portuguese nationality and thus be given Indian citizenship. The Cartao holders should be made to swear an affidavit that they will not renew the Cartao de Cidadao and thus be allowed to revert to Indian citizenship by expiry of the Bilhete or the Cartao. This logic will become only applicable if Portuguese nationality holders decide to subject themselves to scrutiny since Portuguese Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais are not bound to disclose their names.
— Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

RECONVENE SMART CITY MEETING ASAP
It is very imperative that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should at the earliest possible convene that meeting which he abruptly cancelled with the Citizens of Panaji on that so-called Smart City venture.
Those who have deviously pocketed crores under the guise of transforming Panaji into a Smart City must be exposed and punished, more particularly the Rags to Riches Sidharth Kuncalienkar.
We also need to know how Pramod Sawant so swiftly amassed all those crores, that he is now better known even within his own BJP circle as Mr. Property Sawant.
Those that were given responsibility for this failed venture and squandered crores to enrich themselves must now be accountable to the Smart Citizens of Panaji. The scamsters must realise that they can run but they can no longer hide their misdeeds from the people. The Panaji Smart City Scamsters must be exposed and punished!
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

SUPPORT GOA MILES!
IT’S shocking that the Goan taxi mafia is still trying to stop Goa Miles.
Goa has been a victim to uncontrolled rates for taxi services especially at places like the Dabolim Airport. To curb this situation the government has partnered with a GOAN start-up to launch an initiative known as GoaMiles — a taxi service similar to Ola and Uber that runs through an application allowing people to book a cab online at a Government approved fee.
GoaMiles has been opposed since its inception on 6th August 2018 by local taxi services and politicians.
Currently, GoaMiles faces:
Fictional news which spoke about the employment of Non-Goans as GoaMiles taxi drivers
Damage to the GoaMiles vehicles by other local taxi drivers to ensure fear in the GoaMiles drivers.
The voice of the people of Goa cannot be ignored anymore. Sign the change.org petition supporting Goa Miles.
— R D’Souza, Panaji

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