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Newsletter. Issue 2004-25. Dec. 11, 2004
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Goa News Clips
by Joel D'Souza & Fred Noronha

DGP Amod Kant relieved
On November 25, the government relieved Director General of Police, Amod Kanth, and directed DIG Muktesh Chander to take charge as the head of the police department. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the government was not interested in the service of Kant had virtually challenged the government authority and in such a situation the government was not prepared to take any chance since the prestigious IFFI was just two days ahead. The outgoing DGP expressed his sadness at how his tenure was prematurely cut short.

IFFI 2004 over
December 9 signalled curtains for the ten-day IFFI Goa 2004, with the official concluding ceremony held at the Kala Academy auditorium at 5.30 pm for which the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Jaipal Reddy, was the chief guest. The highlight was the awards (Golden Peacock, Silver Peacock and Special Jury Award) presentation ceremony.
At the nearby grounds, it was sea of heads for a musical programme that featured rockstar Remo Fernandes, Hema Sardesai and percussionist Bondo. S Jaipal Reddy announced that Goa would be the venue for the IFFI next year but the suspense continued over Goa’s choice as the permanent venue. The 35th edition of IFFI got off to a flying start with a spectacular rope dance by leading lady and danseuse Isha Sherwani at the opening ceremony. Reddy shared the stage with Goa Governor SC Jamir, thespian Dilip Kumar, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, I&B Secretary Naveen Chawla, actor Amir Khan and festival director Neelam Kapur. There was a stunning performance by internationally AR Rehman, accompanied by percussionist Sivamani and their troupe on the inaugural day. Panjim city was decked up for the event which drew thousands of people from all over Goa every evening. The IFFI is considered to be the beginning of making Goa an entertainment hub in Asia. The city witnessed a fusion of percussion instruments of Carnival and Shigmo, with 14 floats depicting Goan culture and traditional occupations like farming. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has promised that the IFFI would be a globally recognized event in the next three to five years. Critics, however, have been irked at the high cost of hosting the Festival. For the common man it was the grand mela. The films were for the thousands of delegates.

Tragic death of Dempo player
Sports lovers in Goa were shocked to hear of the tragic end to the Federation Cup football tournament, when 25-year-old Brazilian striker Cristiano de Lima Junior (24) died on December 5 soon after helping Dempo Sports Club record their maiden title victory with a 2-0 victory against Mohun Bagan in Bangalore.
After putting the ball past the Bagan goalkeeper Subrata Paul, Junior leapt in the air and Bagan goalie Subrata Paul also leapt apparently to thwart the Brazilian; Paul’s right arm appeared to touch the chest of Junior who fell on the ground and lay flat. Juliana, wife of the deceased footballer has approached the government for another autopsy, apparently dissatisfied with the initial post-mortem report from Victoria Hospital, Bangalore, indicating cardiac arrest as cause for the death. Members in the Lok Sabha on December 8 expressed their sorrow over the Brazilian striker’s demise and demanded an inquiry into lack of medical facilities on the ground.

Kite festival
A colorful three-day Goa Kite Carnival was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Matanhy Saldanha at Panjim’s Miramar Beach, on December 10 evening. The Kite Festival, organised and conceptualized by Ajay Prakash, CEO of Nomad Travels and the Nomad Heritage Trust, has been very popular since the last two years. Kite fliers from the US, the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Singapore, Germany and Australia, besides from several states from across India are participating in the event which will last till December 12.

70,000 pilgrims visit Old Goa
Massive crowds of pilgrims thronged Old Goa to pay homage to St Francis Xavier throughout the day on Sunday. According to Exposition Commission, Bosco George, around 70,000 pilgrims attended the masses both, in the morning and evening. More than 50,000 of them stood in a queue to kiss the sacred relics, which have been kept for veneration at Se Cathedral. A large number of pilgrims had also come from other states.

Gulab award for Archbishop
The Archbishop-Patriarch, Rev Filipe Neri Ferrao, was awarded the ‘Man of the Year 2003’ during the ‘Gulab’ awards ceremony held at the Gomant Vidya Niketan, Margao, last month. The best writer award in Roman script was claimed by the editor of monthly magazine Rotti, Fr Moreno D’Souza. In the field of tiatr, Mathew Araujo was selected as the best actor in the drama, “Devak Zai Zalear”, while Sabina won the best actress award for the drama, Tiatr “Somplo-Cholat Ghara”. A cultural programme comprising of songs dedicated to late Fr Freddy J da Costa, mandos and a skit was also held on the occasion.

New Patto bridge
The new Patto bridge, built at a cost of Rs.7.54 crore and which converts the existing one into a 4-lane bridge, was thrown open for vehicular traffic by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar last month. The 4-laning of the bridge is expected to ease the bottleneck at the entry and exit points of the capital city.

Pakistani Goans
The 16th Exposition served as an emotional home-coming and reunion for several Goans settled in Pakistan. “We are proud and happy to be here,” says Clifford Fernandes. Most of them have their families in Goa and have maintained their links with them…After the Pontifical Mass, the cheerful group stayed back to interact with other pilgrims and friends. They seemed to enjoy every moment and happily posed for photographs near the altar in the pandal. Though many of them conversed in English, they sang “Sam Franciscu Xaviera,” the popular hymn, in Konkani. “We (Goans) live as a closely-knit community in St Patrick’s parish,” says John D’Souza, one of the members of the group.

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