This copy of the letter has been faxed to the Chief of Naval Staff who is currently in Goa and will be visiting the Anjediva Island. It may be noted that Chief of Naval Staff is related to the family of late Dr Jack de Sequeira the Father of the Opinion Poll 1967. It is hoped that during his visit to the Island the matters will be resolved. This writer too will be visiting Karwar to boost support for the cause of celebrating the Feast this year. Unfortunately the political situation in Goa has come as a damper yet the issue is being pursued in right earnest. Kindly send in your appeals to the Governor of Goa on this issue.
*************************************************************************** 18TH January, 2008 To, Chief of Naval Staff, Camp INS Kadamba,Naval Base P.O. Arga via Chendiya Karwar 581 324 KARNATAKA ( INDIA) Sir, Greetings to you, Sir, for the New Year You are kindly aware that the customary Feast of “Nossa Senhora de Brotas” is being celebrated on 2nd February, at the Anjediv Island. . There is another Feast of St Francis de Assisi that is celebrated on 4th October, every year. However the chapel has now been partially ruined and the authorities at INS Kadamba are yet to restore the same. Sir, it is pertinent to note that since 2005, the authorities at the Sea Bird Project did not permit the celebration of the customary feasts and the reasons given orally were due to some Naval excercises etc. While these reasons were acceptable with a pinch of salt the oft repeated denials of allowing the Goan community from celebrating the Feasts has hurt the sentiments of Goans world wide. Several letters of our revered Archbishop of Goa and Daman , and the mention of denial by our Member of Rajya Sabha Shri Shantaram L Naik in the Lok Sabha in March 2006 has failed to move the NOIC for reasons best known to them. It is also of interest to note that this writer had given a detailed report with documentary evidence some letters of your predecessor to state that the Island is still a part of the State of Goa and has not been ceded till date by an Act of Parliament. Also that the celebration of two customary Feast will have to continue with due security considerations. Despite this clarification and also an interview to the local Kannada daily Karavalli Munj on 5th February, 2007 it is unfortunate that the INS Kadamba officials have entered into an understanding albeit in writing with the then local Deputy Commissioner of Police Karwar District Mr R Singh (following threats by an ex Bajrang Dal activist, one Mr Mutalik of prohibiting celebration or entry to locals on the Island for the celebration of this feast by an ex Bajrang Dal activist) and celebrations of the Feast have been stopped since 2005 . This is a feast celebrated by the Goan community and on an island still belonging to Goa and authorities in the State of Karnataka have no jurisdiction to interfere in these matters or foment a law and order situation owing to misinterpretation of facts. This is in complete contrast to the tacit understanding the Ministry of Defence had with the Govt of Goa in December, 1987 when the use of the Island was formally handed over to the Navy by the then Collector of Goa on behalf of the Department of Revenue. The Under Secretary, Government of Goa too in his written communiqué to this writer in 2006 has confermed that Navy should permit the customary feasts. Kindly therefore peruse to the details and ensure that during your stewardship of the Navy the celebration of the customary Feast gets underway without any hurdles. Several such appeals were made earlier to the President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, then Defence Minister Mr George Fernandes and President of the Indian National Congress Ms Sonia Gandhi. Unfortunately the ex Station Commander, Commodore Mr B R Rao made a mis-statement of facts stating that a dozen temples were shifted from the Island and therefore a similar policy needs to be adopted in all fairness to this Church as well. However when this writer confronted Commodore B R Rao on 4th October 2006 at Binaga Karwar to show proof of the dozen temples that were shifted he expressed his inability to meet me owing to Dussehra festival celebrations. However this writer realized that a deity in Somnath temple (not located on the Anjediv Island ) alone was removed and re -located at Kinelbag main gate. It is not proper for the Church at Anjediva to be relocated more so given its historical and religious significance viz a living monument. This misleading statement of facts has therefore created the confusion for the past three years. A copy of this petition is being sent to the Member of Rajya Sabha to raise the issue again in Parliament. Similar copies are being marked to His Excellency the Governor of Goa Mr S C Jamir, the Chief Secretary of Goa and Union Minister for Defence Mr A K Antony. With all good wishes from the people of Goa Yours sincerely, sd/- GODFREY J. I. GONSALVES, BORDA, MARGAO, 403 602, GOA. (INDIA) +91 98221 58584 (24 HRS) [EMAIL PROTECTED] social activist & freelance journa Get the freedom to save as many mails as you wish. To know how, go to http://help.yahoo.com/l/in/yahoo/mail/yahoomail/tools/tools-08.html