PANJIM: In rare appreciation of Portugal, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said that the country’s gift to Goa, the Common Civil Code, has found favour across India.
“We have age old ties with Portugal. We (Portugal and Goa) have been doing well after (Goa’s) liberation. The common civil code is a gift to this State by Portugal as it is practiced only here and appreciated across the country,” he said following a courtesy call on Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Luis da Costa, who is of Goan origin.
Costa, on a two-day visit to Goa, attended a host of events on Wednesday even as he preferred to stay away from the media glare.
During their 30-minute interaction at the residence of the Consul General of Portugal in Goa, Costa and Parsekar discussed cementing ties in various spheres.
“We have offered assistance to each other in various sectors such as heritage, tourism, science, oceanography and Portuguese language. We couldn’t discuss any of these topics in detail as Goa is going to polls (on February 4). He has given me a standing invitation to visit Portugal post the elections for detailed discussions,” Parsekar stated.
Parsekar recalled that Portugal helped India to get membership in United Nations and also stands with the country in its fight against terrorism. “After the Uri attack by Pakistan, Portugal led in the protest against terrorism. It is a global challenge to identify terrorist spots and their financers and eliminate them. Portugal is with India in this fight against terrorism,” he said.
To a media query about demands from certain political outfits for an apology by the PM for colonizing Goa, Parsekar said, “I don’t like to create controversy on the eve of elections. Goans should feel proud that the people who ruled us for centuries now have a Goan origin person at the helm. In fact this gentleman (PM Costa) shows and discloses proudly that his origin is in Goa. It is a matter of pride for all of us,” Parsekar added.
Costa later visited Goa Governor Dr Mridula Sinha along with his ministerial delegation, followed by a visit to the National Institute of Oceanography where he met the Board of Directors.
The State, however, cancelled the cultural programme planned at the reception of Costa at Dabolim airport on Tuesday night, as Portugal is mourning the death of its former President Mario Soares.
Later in the afternoon Costa was a key part of the inaugural proceedings of the new premises of Instituto Camões – Centro da Lingua Portuguesa, an institute of learning for the Portuguese language. The Director of the institute, Delfim Correia da Silva, stated that the institute could well serve as a beacon that could hopefully provide the impetus needed for the language to thrive in the State.
Costa added to these words, making a brief address that started in English, before he switched over to his mother tongue. “Speaking in this institute of learning for the Portuguese language, it seems only right to address all of you in Portuguese. Today, the Portuguese language is the native tongue of many countries in other parts of the world. Portuguese should not merely be remembered as a link to the past. It can be a part of India’s process of globalisation, taking things even further, by adding another dimension to the aspect of language,” the Portuguese Prime Minister said.