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17 Apr 2017 10:40pm IST
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17 Apr 2017 10:40pm IST


Fr Lourenco

The world lost a powerhouse of a priest in Fr. Lourenco.  In a time when Goa is slipping steadily into deeper  depths of self-destruction, she could have ill-afforded  to have lost such a good messenger of God; but the Lord  knows best, and I'm sure the people that Fr Lourenco  laid his hands on, thus sharing his immense love and joy  with, will blossom into twice the blessing he was. 

In a heart to heart with him in the grace filled Cruz  dos Milagros church, I asked him to begin interceding  with his prayer army and pray for our youth to  collectively swear off alcohol, drugs and other  destructive vices from their teens, and put Goa's spirit  to optimum use: proving she is the Land of 10,000 saints  and not the Mother of a 100 perverse vices as the rest  of India and the world thinks she is.

 If anything, I can only hope Fr Lourenco's untimely  passing puts Goans back on track with being madly in  love with our mighty inheritance: the barely heard of  wonders of Cruz dos Milagros church, the Se Cathedrale  and other grace-soaked divine structures that few Goans  have even heard off, or even cared to visit and touch  their heads to their hallowed floors in reverence, thus  giving the demons of addiction and wasteful existence  their walking papers. 

Chris Fernandes, 


Warning bells?

Apropos to the news report ’36 IISIS militants killed in  US ‘mother of all bombs’ says Afghan Ministry’ (Herald,  April 15). 

 US military latest dropping of a powerful non-nuclear  bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan is rather confusing.  This is the second military engagement of the US in a  week, the first being Syria. In fact, Afghanistan is  facing more threats from Taliban, Al Qaeda and militants  from Pakistan than the ISIS. It appears US President  Donald Trump is following the path of his predecessors,  who had ordered one-off strikes with little or nothing  to achieve. According to US source, at least 36  suspected ISIS militants were killed in the bombing  without any civilian casualties. As it is, the US  military is currently facing widespread concerns that  its accelerated bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and  Yemen are increasing civilian casualties. 

 What does this US powerful bombing in Afghanistan means  and what messages it has sent North Korea, Iran, Syria  and Pakistan?  From the looks of it, it appears the  Trump Administration has sounded official warning bells  to these countries that it means business and that they  must be cautious in their approach.

Gregory Fernandes, Marcel



Altaf Shah deserves congratulations for his article,  "Understanding nationalism" (Herald, People's edit,  April 15) in which he has gone to the core of  nationalism and highlighted two basic criteria for  assessing a nationalist in our country. 

The first criterion is to love our own country - India  and its people irrespective of their religion, caste or  creed. Indeed, a true nationalist should try to do  whatever she/he can for the development of fellow  citizens and for improving India's dismal position in  Human Development Index which has slipped further  downward from 130th to 131st during last year.

Second criterion is to know our Constitution and  especially its preamble and to try to adhere to its  principles. As a matter of fact, it is really a crying  need now to counter the lathis of gau rakshaks that  thrash our fraternity, the chappals of a Member of  Parliament that slap our liberty and a fatwa of a youth  leader of a political party that challenges the rule of  law of our country. It is time to reflect on what to do  to replace such grammar of anarchy from our political  backyard by our Constitution.

Sujit De, Kolkata

Pothole ban?

National Highways - the road to great development and  connectivity. Travelling to Navelim on and along the  National highway from Margao is nothing but a see-saw or  rather a Humpty Dumpty ride. The state of the roads are  so very bad. A sorry state of affairs on the executed  public works!  Last year the internal roads were tarred  and now again with monsoon nearing it is surely going to  be a nightmare to ride and drive on these roads. Speed  breakers too need to be highlighted. The roads leading  to the school and college are quite uneven causing a  danger to our youth too.

How about a 500mtr along the National highway - pothole  ban on these bad roads? Why not take away and stop  renewing the licences of the contractors undertaking the  works and the concerned authorities too along with  inferior material suppliers if any? Why not ? This is  not applicable only for the roads at Navelim but all  along our highways. For all public works carried out  haphazardly.

 Highways are our national pride. Connecting to the  National highway is equally important. It's about time  we citizens demand for proper infrastructure maintenance  and not mere construction of roads and bridges. Our  taxes mostly appreciate; so why should the maintenances  alongside depreciate!

Rosebud Leitao, Navelim



Although the deadline for completion of pre-monsoon  works has been mentioned as May 31 annually, some of the  concerned authorities seldom complete these works within  the stipulated date. As far as the panchayats in the  state of Goa are concerned, only a few panchayats obey  this requirement. 

With regard to the village panchayat of Durbhat (in  Ponda), pre-monsoon works start only during mid-June or  so annually. With a very little time to complete the  said work, performance in this regard is found to be  unsatisfactory. Some of the areas remain unattended as  well. As a matter of fact, the Directorate of Panchayats  do not depute its representatives to the jurisdiction of  Village Panchayats for getting acquainted with the actual work done  during this period and depend only on the report  submitted by the Village Panchayats. 

With a view to assure timely pre-monsoon works by Village Panchayats,  it would be worth for the Directorate of Panchayats to  issue a fresh circular to all the 190 Village Panchayatss in the state  of Goa to complete above task by May 31, 2017  positively. Panchayats which fail to meet this deadline  should be taken to task without any discrimination or  political patronage.

Pravin U Sardessai, Adpai

Panchayat poll 


Going by the present state of readiness of the Director  of Panchayat’s office for Panchayat elections in Goa, it  seems inevitable that polls for the Panchayats in Goa  are destined to be postponed to August. It seems the  delimitation process of the wards will take much longer  than expected considering the fact it has just started  and the term of the present Panchayat bodies expire on  May 21 with no provision for any extension. 

In those circumstances, likelihood of the Panchayats  being taken over by an administrator looks all the more  certain and thus setting up a wrong precedent in village  governance. If at all the polls have to be postponed it  would be wise to plan for a gap of a minimum 6 months  between the completion of term of the Assembly and the  Panchayat bodies so that in future the people are not  left at the mercy of the government with regards to  Panchayat elections. 

It is high time the Government announces the dates or  postponement of Panchayat elections to relieve the  thrilling anxiety in the minds of the people.

Allwyn Jorge,


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