Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pride(?) of Goa! huh!

The Mandovi is in trouble yet again. Another Casino, Pride of Goa has been added to its waters. The Mandovi has been over burdened with a recent increase in the number of boats, three casinos, and not to forget the endless number of barges that cross it everyday.

The government, by giving permission to this new casino, has not only got the River Mandovi in anger, but also the people who are fighting and protesting against the constant abuse towards the river.

I do not know, which Goan is proud to have Casino - Pride of Goa entering Goa, but all that I can say is with this kind of "Tourism", Goa is set to become the Las Vegas or Thailand of India, unless we unitedly fight against this kind of Tourism!
Goa is famous for its beautiful nature, heritage and Culture and NOT prostitution, Crime and Money!
- Aaron Pereira, Panjim

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Public meeting on casinos

3rd May,2008
Concerned Citizens and Organisations came together to consolidate the solidarity against Casinos and gambling in Goa at the public meeting held at Menezes Braganza hall .
The meeting called by Aam Aurat Admi Against Gambling (AAAAG) unanimously resolved that the Government should restore Gambling Act 1976 to original and remove all provisions that enable on and off shore casinos. It was also resolved that no further Casino Licences should be issued and that all licences given to date should be withdrawn with immediate effect.
Speakers representing various groups and religious communities expressed their opposition to the promotion of gambling in the state.The meeting decided to take the campaign against gambling at the panchayat level and make the MLA’s take a stand on whether they stand by the people or the casinos.
Sabina Martins welcomed the gathering and outlined the objectives of AAAAG. She also narrated case studies which highlighted the social costs of gambling which she stated far out weigh the benefits after deducting the state costs.
Elvis Gomes of the Save River Sal front spoke about the adverse effects on the livelihoods of fishermen and their successful agitation to push out the casino boat off their waters. He attributed the success to the unity and firm resolve shown by the Panchayats and the people.
State President of the All India Milli Council, Iqbal Mohidin underlined the need to form a united all religion front against gambling.
Inez Cotta Carvalho declared the resolve of the Catholic Association of Goa to oppose tooth and nail all casinos coming in Goa.
Support was also received from the Parampoojya Shree Padhmanabh Siksha Sampradaya, Tapabhoomi, Ponda.
Adv Jatin Naik of Utt Goenkara voiced the objections of the Verem villagers with regards to the proposed jetties for the Casinos.
Arvind Bhattikar of Nitoll Jinn underlined the need for urgent remedial steps to change the branding of Goa as a drug, sex and gambling destination to that of clean tourism as a family destination.
President of the All India Women’s Conference, Bharti Prabhudesai spoke about the adverse effects of gambling on women. She also condemned the depraved projection of women in surrogate advertising.
Chairperson of the Goa State Commission for women, Dr Pramod Salgaokar spoke about the commission’s consistent opposition to all forms of gambling in Goa. She mentioned that commission had made representations on the issue to ten successive Governements and that it was upto the people to force the Government to change its anti-people stand on gambling.

Mr Aries Rodrigues proposed that the government call an all party meeting to discuss the issue. Alice D’Cruz, Amol Navelkar, Ibadullah Khan and others also spoke and gave suggestions .
Anand Madgankar proposed the Vote of Thanks and Pravin Sabnis compered.

Govt warned against allowing more casinos

An anti-casino dharna was held in Panjim today with a clear warning going out to the Government that the agitation would be intensified if any more casinos are allowed.
The protest was organized by Aam Aurat Admi Against Gambling (AAAG) – a forum of concerned organizations and individuals - near Fisheries Building which also houses Casino office.
They shouted slogans against the Government’s liberal policy on casinos.
The protesters called upon the Government to stop granting gambling licences to casinos and demanded that licences granted so far should be revoked for not just off-shore casinos but also on-shore ones.
Leading the protest Sabina Martins of Bailancho Saad demanded that the Government should reject all the applications for licences seeking to run gambling activities on their premises or on off-shore vessels.
She also demanded a clamp down on all illegal gambling like matka and that all amendments to the Goa Public Gambling Act 1976 should be revoked.
Talking to reporters she made it clear that the AAAG would not hesitate to intensify the agitation if their demands are not met. Martins said they would involve various sections of the society against casinos in Goa. She also threatened to block the entry of customers to the casino here if the Government fails to act.