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Newsletter. Issue 2004-22. Oct. 30, 2004
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Goa News Clips
by Joel D'Souza & Fred Noronha

The antique coffin of St Xavier's is safe
A coffin, in which Goa's patron St Francis Xavier's relics were once kept at least from 1744 till 1953, was one of the rare antiques in the Professed House of Basilica of Bom saved from the major fire at Old Goa on Thursday. According to Fr Moreno de Souza, the Professed House was the first to be set up in Asia even before the Basilica was built. The Casa Professa had a room with rare antiques including this coffin and vestments worn by the saint.
The then Archbishop of Pamplona (Navarre), Rector of the Castle of SFX, had asked for the coffin in 1976 and the Goa Archbishop-Patriarch had agree to give it to them. But the Archaeological Survey of India had declined to part with the antique on the ground that it had great historical value.
The inferno at the Professed House of Basilica of Bom Jesus on Thursday morning at Old Goa,
which is most likely to have been sparked off by an electrical short circuit, caused an estimated loss of approximately Rs.58 lakh. The PWD, the Church Committee, Electricity Department, Directorate of Fire and Emergency Services have submitted theirreports to the police department regarding the fire on 21 October.
The Director of the Centre for Social Communications and Media, Fr Olavo Velho Pereira, confirmed that while many books of Fr Moreno D'Souza printed for the forthcoming Exposition were gutted in the fire, many valuable books, statues of saints and old vestments were saved. He said the installation of fire-safety equipment for the building was being discussed.At the instance of the police department, the Basilica of Bom Jesus remained closed on October 22 for the second day running. Tourists were seen peering at the Basilica from the main road.

IFFI to have six categories
The International Film Festival of India to be held in the State from 29 November will be divided into six categories. The 10-day festival will feature a competition for feature films by Asian directors, Cinema of the World, a section for Tributes and Retrospectives, Indian Panorama and Mainstream Indian Cinema. The festival will also feature a 'Film Bazaar' organised by the National Film Development Corporation according to information provided by the Directorate of Film Festivals. In addition cash awards totaling Rs.10 lakh will be given away in three separate categories. Rs.5 lakh will be given to the Best Film by an Asian Director while Rs.2.5 lakh each will be given to the Most Promising Asian Director and Special Jury Award.

Panaji to be a shining city soon
The cleaning of the Panaji market, eviction of beggars, clearing the hawkers and scrap-dealers, removal of old-abandoned vehicles along roads, shifting of stray dogs to another location and management of stray cattle; all within a period of around 30 days will have the capital city gleaming in time for the International Film Festival of India as well as the Exposition. This was announced on October 21 at the meeting of the Corporation of the City of Panaji by its Commissioner, Mr Suryanarayan. The CCP Mayor, Mr Ashok Naik, was cheered by the members when he called upon them to work to make Panaji city "the most beautiful city in India".

Films to be screened on beaches
CM: The State government is planning to have free screening of films along the major beaches of Goa during IFFI, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on October 16. Clarifying that it is not a final decision as approval from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is required, he said that he favours screening of films from Mandrem to Canacona coastal area from November 29 to December 9.

3 Goans awarded CIIIL certificates
Three Goans - Leonov Vasco da Gama, Savio D'Souza and Subash Lotlikar - were awarded certificates by the Canada India Institute Industry Linkage Project recently at the 'Showcase Conference' held at the National Institute of Oceanography at Dona Paula.

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