International Goa News
French Defence Minister to arrive next week in Goa
PANAJI: French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to meet counterpart Manohar Parrikar in India later next week to continue talks over the agreement that prime minister Narendra Modi initiated to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets off the shelf from France at a cost of over $6 billion, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier said.
"It (the meeting) will not be for signing the contract since discussions are only two weeks old but to setup the negotiation mechanism and agree on the chief parameters," Richier said.
Embassy officials have yet to fix a date for the important meeting. Richier also refused to set a timeline for the delivery of the aircraft saying instead that it was better to be prudent in these matters.
The deal to purchase the 36 Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft could see about $2 billion being ploughed back into Indian due to a 30% offset clause that is likely to be included in the finalized agreement.
During his visit to France, Modi and French President Hollande had decided that India would purchase the much needed MMRCA fighter jets for the Airforce in a fly away condition. [TOI]
Goa church to pray, raise funds for Nepal victims
PANAJI: Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao has asked the parish priests, heads of institutions and other bodies in the archdiocese to hold prayers and collect money to provide financial assistance to the victims of Nepal earthquake.
"We call upon our pastors as well as superiors of religious institutions to announce the contents of this circular at Sunday masses and regular meetings and thus enable everyone to take part in this drive of the church in Goa to bring relief to our suffering brethren in Nepal," Archbishop said in circular.
Ferrao said that the church has always risen to such occasions and gone out of her way to extend all possible help to the affected populations.
The Apostolic Vicar of Nepal - the only Catholic Bishop in that country -- has requested Caritas India to support and assist Caritas Nepal in carrying forward the mammoth task of rescue and relief operations. Caritas India has already begun sending human and material resources to provide succour to the affected people.
Portugal soccer diplomacy to be on display in Goa
PANAJI: As a goodwill building gesture from Portugal, a delegation comprising the members and staff of the assembly of the Republic of Portugal, the Portuguese Parliament will clash with the members of the Goa legislative assembly, in a friendly football match to be played at the Pt Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, at Fatorda-Margao on April 28, at 6 p.m.
Coming out with this information, the Consul General of Portugal in Goa, Dr Rui Carvalho Baceira told the media persons on Thursday that a strong delegation of 40 members, including a couple of Portuguese parliamentarians of the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party, would be arriving on a non-official, private Goa visit, on April 28.
“Although it is not a political visit, its aim would be to create an amicable atmosphere between Portugal and Goa through sports and cultural activities,” he added, maintaining that the delegation would call upon the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker as well as the members of the Goa legislative assembly on April 28, at 12 noon.
“A friendly football match of 60-minute duration would be played between the two teams, with the Goan team expected to be led by the Minister of Fisheries, Avertano Furtado, a former football player, and participated by the former legislator, Herculano Dourado, besides some members of the Goa legislative assembly,” Dr Baceira added, pointing out that two more football matches would be played on April 29 at the Don Bosco School Ground, Panaji; one at 4 p.m. and another at 5.15 p. m, both comprising of 50 minute duration. “The two matches to be played at the Don Bosco Ground would be participated by the Portuguese team, Sporting Clube team, and a team lead by Dr Delfim Correia da Silva, the director of Instituto Camões,” he added.
The final football match will be played between the top two teams in the tournament on April 30, at 5 p.m. In addition, a basketball match would be played between the Portuguese team and the team of the Don Bosco Oratory, on April 30, at 7 p. m. A table-tennis match is also on the cards early morning, on April 29, at Clube Tennis de Gaspar Dias. All the matches would be open for general public.
The Consul General of Portugal in Goa said that a programme titled ‘Cultural exchange, Goa and Portugal’ would be held at Clube Vasco da Gama, on April 29, from 8.30 p.m. onwards.
“The visitors from Portugal will present songs and dances, as well as accompany the band present on the occasion,” he informed.
The Portuguese delegation will also visit Centro de Língua Portuguesa/ Camões, Fundação Oriente, Fort Reis Magos and Fort Aguada, besides some other places in South Goa.
Dr Baceira also said that Antonio Costa, the present mayor of Lisbon, who is of Goan origin, is the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition Socialist Party in Portugal.
“If the Socialist Party wins the election to be held towards this year end, Portugal will have the first Prime Minister of Goan origin,” he noted.
Tony Dias, who is helping the Portuguese consulate in Goa in organising these events, was also present at the briefing.
UK tourists to make up for shortfall of Russians in Goa
PANAJI: The government of India decision to provide e-visa facility has come as a big boost to the promotion of tourism overseas and Goa tourism department has now set its eyes on attracting one million tourists annually in about three years from now, with 10 per cent increase anticipated in the next tourist season as compared to the current foreign tourist arrivals.
A senior tourism department official told ‘The Navhind Times’ that e-visa regime has come as a big boon to the tourism sector and this hassle-free regime, along with its addition to dozens of other countries (including the United Kingdom) in the near future would go a long way in attracting tourists from these countries to Goa, which is now well connected by air with direct flights.
The tourism official said that the e-visa facility for people from UK and the fall in Russian tourist arrivals are likely to help the state in getting back the English tourists, who till some years back constituted the largest number of foreign visitors to the state.
“The e-visa facility and operation of direct flights by various airlines would prove advantageous to the state in getting foreign tourists,” he said adding that the tourism department has now roped in the tourism industry and other stakeholders to promote Goa abroad jointly in international tourism market.
The tourism department is also focussing on attracting tourists from various European countries including Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania and Hungary, and various promotional shows have been jointly held by the tourism department and tourism industry recently, he said. We have plans to aggressively project Goa as a tourist destination elsewhere, he said. The official further said that as a part of the project to attract one million tourists, the state tourism department has also focussed on attracting tourists from Urumqi, a landlocked oil-rich region of China with affluent people, who prefer visiting tourist destinations with good beaches. “Soon, we will have a 15-member delegation of Chinese tour operators visiting the state on a familiarisation trip,” the official said adding that the tourism department is expecting a large number of Chinese visitors to the state, with direct flights being operated from the Arabian Gulf region to that country and Goa.
“The direct and faster connection to the state from the European countries and China would prove to be a catalyst for attracting tourists from these countries to the state,” an official said. Besides Air India, various other global airlines like Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Etihad-Jet, Oman Air, Fly Dubai etc operate flights to and from Goa.
Together with promotion abroad, we also have plans to provide more state-of-the-art facilities for the tourists visiting Goa, the official said adding that seaplane services along with marina facilities would go a long way in attracting top-class tourists to the state. We also have plans to attract tourists from West Asia, the official said.[NT]
Goan photographer bags 2nd place in world’s biggest event
“Winning second place in the travel category is by far the biggest achievement of my life. I'm overwhelmed, to say the least. The exposure and recognition of my photographic work is all I ever wanted; to reach out to the world through my images,” said Nadia.
As the second prize winner, she will have her series displayed at the 2015 SWPA Exhibition at Somerset House, London, and the photographs will be published in the 2015 edition of the awards’ book.
Born in Goa in 1984, Nadia Dias has a bachelor's degree in Applied Arts, and a master’s degree in professional photography from Speos Photographic Institute, Paris.
German photographer, Bernhard Lang, took the first prize in the travel category, while Japanese photographer, Yoko Naito, was placed third.
The Sony World Photography Awards annually presents the world’s best contemporary photography across a range of genres. The jury is made up of industry experts, and the competition offers incredible exposure not only to its winners, but also those on its shortlist. This year saw the highest number of entries in the awards’ eight-year history.