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Newsletter. Issue 2010-02. January 16, 2010

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The statements, opinions, or views in the articles may not necessarily reflect that of the Goan Voice Canada.


Vision for G.O.A.
Reprinted below is the Vision Report
By Michelle Pereira | First Posted Tuesday, 23 March 2009


On May 1st 2010 the Goan Overseas Association ? Toronto will be celebrating it?s Ruby (40 years) Anniversary

Thinking ahead, the G.O.A is working on plans to bring Goans here and around the world together in ways that will provide added value to our community. We are fortunate to have received valuable insight from you, members of the community, who dedicated your time and effort to share ideas that have inspired a clear vision for the future of the Association.

We have learned that cultivating an awareness of the Goan culture is at the forefront of the recommended priorities for the G.O.A. The findings in the vision report clearly indicate that, as fellow Goans, we are proud of whom we are as a collective, and what we want is to pass on our traditions, values, history and talents to the younger generation as well as share them with the communities around us. The Association appreciates the importance of celebrating the Goan culture and intends to develop new programming and partnerships that support this. We also understand that the most effective way to do this is to encourage all Goans to come together, embrace the diversity within our families, and open our doors to Goans everywhere.

Generations of Goans who have traveled here from around the world appreciate the opportunities realized by coming to Canada. For example, we have benefited from the availability of a great education and career opportunities. The findings in the vision report revealed that members of all ages in our community want to give back by providing support to Goans in need both here and in Goa. The G.O.A. is interested to help you make this happen.

As an Association that brings Goans in Toronto together, the G.O.A. has a unique opportunity to facilitate the contentment and success of all people in our community. Whether you are new to this country or a Canadian born Goan just entering the workforce, the G.O.A. can bring people together in ways that promote growth. Career development, networking, education, settlement support, social gatherings and athletic activities are key areas highlighted in the vision report for the creation of new services that will foster growth for people in our community.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the survey and workshop to share the above insights that ultimately contributed to the development of the vision report. A special thank you to the members of the vision committee including, Velda Cardozo, Nina Coutts, Fiona D?Silva, Denzil Luna, Chris Martins, Elena Mascarenhas, Antoinette Messner, Ashley Misquitta and Jonas Noronha. We are grateful for the generous donation of your time, effort and sharing of valuable ideas. It is clear that, as a community, we are keenly interested to work together to build continued value into the G.O.A.?s programs and services.

Michelle Pereira, Vision Lead: Click here for Vision Report


What Are We Waiting For?

Squeezed between the calamities of tourism and mining, Goa is on the brink, says CARMEN MIRANDA, as she calls for change

1 Jan,2009
: As 2010 dawns, ending another decade, Goa?s destruction continues unabated, driven by the greed of a few people inspired by an economic system that has enormous shortcomings, such as the environmental crisis that threatens to engulf us all. We could have been the lucky ones, living in Goa with a pristine environment, enjoying the simple things in life, enriched by an idea of prosperity and happiness that did not know the hunger of consumerism that dominates society today and which comes at an enormous cost to planet Earth, and a deadly cost to Goa.

Goa, ?the Pearl of the East?, among the smallest states in the country, could have been a jewel in the crown of India ? a model of sustainable development that valued and cultivated its unique environment, culture and traditions which sustained and guided countless generations. It could have been an inspiration to the rest of the country. Instead we ended up with a Goa which has lost its ?pearl? while being stripped from its lush forests and disembowelled by mining operations, and cursed by the worse kind of tourism one can imagine, fuelled by sex, gambling, drugs and crime.

Our biggest misfortune has been the unscrupulous and ignorant politicians with a misguided approach to development who have dominated politics for decades and whose governance amounted to protection of narrow interests, an assault on Goa?s dignity, traditions and environment, an assault on its capacity to provide a happy, prosperous and peaceful existence. We have been fooled into believing that this is the road to progress, but it has in reality been just a long rugged path of decline.

Economic growth has become an end in itself, and the narrow business interests of building contractors and mining barons have become sacred, riding way above the interests of the rest of the population. Why?

Why do they have more rights to destroy the environment which is vital for our survival than the rest of us, who want to preserve the fine ecological balance of nature, and who know that our real wealth is in our irreplaceable forests and biodiversity, our water resources, our fertile agricultural land? What about our right to fight for our survival, and mitigate the impact of extreme weather episodes that are about to hit us hard as result of climate change caused largely by business and industry?

The environmental destruction has been justified as being in the pursuit of ?sacrosanct? economic growth ? a myth that has spectacularly failed and enslaved society, and failed the fragile ecological systems on which we depend for survival. Fortunately the search for an alternative to current destructive economic model is on, and already producing interesting sustainable possibilities, more in tune with the limitations of a finite planet. The sooner we accept them and put them into practice the better. But first we must challenge the status quo which is threatening our very survival.

Meanwhile Goa, ravaged by greed and irresponsible governance, lingers on precariously, between the Arabian Sea that is beginning to engulf its crowded beaches and the ever-increasing number of denuded gigantic dark brown dusty craters of the mining belt. Squeezed between two calamities, the Goans will soon have nowhere to run?

It?s obvious that many fellow Goans are aware of and fed-up with what is happening in Goa. Their criticism of the politicians in power has been so relentless that if the politicians had any shame and conscience, they would have by now resigned and gone into hiding! But they cling on, and the list of blunders continues to grow, together with the list of measures that need to be taken urgently, before Goa reaches the point of no return. It is these measures that we need to concentrate on. We need to be clear about what we would do differently in Goa if we were in power, and we must be careful to avoid the pitfalls and perceived developmental needs that have misguided successive governments.

Given that criticism has not budged the culprits an inch nor moved them into changing their ways, I ask you: are we going to continue being merely helpless spectators of the destruction of Goa, or are we going to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! ? and actually do something about it, such as offering or even imposing alternatives?

How can we move forward from just writing about it, into some concrete action that will provoke a radical change? Are we going to get organised, and get down to the business of stopping the plundering and looting of Goa, or are we going to just sit down under a coconut tree singing ?adeus kortso vellu pauta, ai mujem kallizo fapsota? and writing excruciatingly painful descriptions of the mess that turned Goa into a place I don?t recognise any longer?

A growing number of Goans now share the feelings of a shattered Goan dream and are yearning for change. There are also potential leaders in Goa who together have the power to provoke a profound and radical change in politics without the colourings of partisan politics. This is a call to those leaders that have acted in the past, and can do it again now, to unite and focus on the real enemy of Goa ? the ruling powers. This ?cause? is bigger than our individual ambitions, and calls for bold and swift action to put the culprits in their rightful place ? on top of a pile of garbage in the nearest street corner.

Goa?s reputation around the world is practically in the gutter ? ruled by clueless men, corruption and crime, Goa does not have much time before it is irrevocably destroyed. It is in our hands the power to impose the end of impudent and shameless cynicism, the end of endemic corruption and institutionalised banditry.

What are we waiting for? For the next election, to recycle the same people into power again?
Enough of this affront of corruption at all levels of the administration and the unruly and unsustainable exploitation of Goa?s resources ? everything has limits and we must draw the line now ? else the destruction can be irreversible.

When our streets are pilled high with garbage; when agricultural land is piled high with buildings; when all our beaches are polluted and infested with shacks; when our hills and forests are bulldozed flat for mining; when our water tables are emptied by the mining operations, leaving us with dry wells and fountains and silted and polluted rivers; and our politicians have become billionaires ? it is time to say enough is enough! I hope that 2010 will be the year of unity and action among Goans who share a different dream for Goa ? the year of courage and vigorous popular movement that produces a real reform in politics and radically changes governance.

It is not going to be an easy ride, but our genuine actions will explain themselves, while conformity and inaction will explain nothing to future generations. It is in our hands to systematically provoke a reform that will scare away from public life those swindlers and crooks who are sucking the blood out of Goa! Otherwise nothing will ever change.


Is China's economy about to implode?
Posted Jan 10, 2010 | by Kevin Jess

The builder of one of the largest fortunes on Wall Street is warning that China's economy is heading for a crash rather than sustained growth as most economists predict.

Superstar short-seller James Chanos is betting that China's economy, now the envy of the world will soon crash, and badly at that. Chanos built his fortune on his ability to see the future collapse of companies whose stories were too good to be true, such as Enron. Mr. Chanos is worried that China's surging real estate sector, brought on by huge investments in speculative capital, looks like, "Dubai times 1,000 or worse." He even has suspicions that China may be falsifying its economic numbers including its growth rate of more than 8 per cent, reports the New York Times.
He is not entirely alone in his suspicions.

Victor Shih, a China expert at Northwestern University says Chinese government bureaucracies are funding themselves by pushing their debt onto state-owned businesses and that local governments are raising capital by selling land at sky high prices to corporations they own. Shih says, "It's a Ponzi scheme whose head is the central bank, and it can print money," reports Forbes. According to Forbes, Chinese cities are building more office towers and luxury malls than can be leased for many years to come. Tianjin, a city not far from Beijing will soon have more prime office space than will be leased for the next 25 years at the current absorption rate. Mr. Chanos asserts "The Chinese are in danger of producing huge quantities of goods and products that they will be unable to sell."

Chinese analysts are concerned that a huge rise in construction, lending and speculative buying which saw housing starts soar 194 per cent in 2009 may be a bubble that will burst as early as this year, reports Daily Finance. The Chinese government has also become concerned prompting a statement from Premier Wen Jiabao who said in late December "property prices have risen too quickly." He has reportedly promised new limits on speculative borrowing, such as raising the deposit requirements to purchase raw land to 50 per cent.

In the first half of 2009 Chinese exports, from which China is heavily dependent, actually dropped by 22 per cent and they are still declining bringing about a major hit to the country's income.
According to the Daily Finance report, a boom in 2009 brought about by stimulus spending has seen too much money being spent on unneeded factories that are now sitting idle or from building towns and cities that are vacant.

Analysts suggest the Chinese real estate sector could have a hard landing in 2010, and say that if this happens so could Chinas's growth overall, undermining hopes the country would lead the world out of its current economic problems.

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