Saturday, 23 April 2016

Pope Francis petitioned on Vanxim Scandal: 'Injustice is not invincible', Laudato Sí

22nd April 2016
To,
His Holiness Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace,
VATICAN CITY,  EUROPE.    Fax: +00390669882417

Injustice is not invincible, Laudato Sí, Para 74

Dear Holy Father Pope Francis,

Warm Greetings of Peace and Solidarity from Goa, India!
Inspired by your encyclical Laudato Sí we seek your attention to few points in your capacity as Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church.

1.      Our Island in Mandovi river is sold by Goa Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao without informing us in most cunning manner.  We islanders for many centuries lived in harmony by tilling the land. Tilling as you have explored in Laudato Sí in Para 66.

2.      Our Island has an area of 7,24,850 square meters of land. We have Santus Cristus Church listed on page 795 of the Catholic Directory  of India 2013 prepared by Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI) with stated catholic population as 92. The remaining people of island share other faiths.

3.      Press Statement of the Archbishop’s House, Panjim dated January 02, 2016 states that Holy See has granted permission to sell our island in 1997 (vide letter Prot.  No. 1466/97 dated  08/04/1997). This is in response to Application made by the Archdiocesan authorities. Till date even though 19 years has passed by Goa Archdiocesan Authorities has never shared the letters from Holy See with the People of Vanxim island. Did Holy See approve selling of Vanxim for converting it into luxury hotel, luxury villas, Golf Course and Golf Club, Private Marinas, and Casinos ? Did then Goa Archbishop Gonsalves, presented this reality of proposal to Holy See in their application? People living here in Vanxim are afraid of loosing our ancestral  land only because Archbishop has committed this blunder willfully on record (Documents solicited under Right to Information Act 2005 proves all this)

4.      Archbishop of Goa Felipe Neri Ferrao sold paddy fields and horticultural lands to broker Mahendra Gaunekar on February 11, 2006 through the then diocesan procurator Fr.Arlino De Mello. The land was sold very cheaply at the rate of Rs.06/- per square meters for paddy fields admeasuring 3,00,275 square meters and Rs.20/- per square meters for horticultural lands close to water bodies admeasuring 1,85,275 square meters without informing the island dwellers and tenants. My family is one of them.

5.      Then through the deed of transfer and assignment of rights dated February 16, 2006 Archbishop Ferrao not only transferred Church rights over paddy fields, water bodies and horticulture land illegally sold, but also sold survey no. 1/1 that has land admeasuring 98,200 square meters of area with dwelling houses and Santus Cristus Church to Mahendra Gaunekar. Vanxim residents were never consulted before taking this step by the Archbishop.

6.       Press release dated January 02, 2016 from the Archbishop’s house also reveals that from 1992 onwards various companies and individuals were approaching Archdiocesan authorities to buy Vanxim. Archbishop Gonsalves never made this known to the islanders. Instead he signed Agreement to Sale of Vanxim with Mahendra Gaunekar on April 09, 1999.

7.      1992 is the year when Goa Diocese sold Souto Maior land in Caranzalem near Panjim unethically and illegally to real estate agents. Litigations are still on in civil courts.

8.      Mahendra Gaunekar then signed Joint Development Agreement on August 11, 2009 with corporate bodies - Ozone Leisure and Resorts Private limited, Tuscan Consultant and Developers and Ozone Propex Private Limited. This agreement has plans laid out to use Vanxim island for Golf Course with Golf Club,  5 star hotel of minimum 200 rooms and cottages, Luxury villas, Resorts, Spa, private marinas etc. Mahendra Gaunekar was paid Rs.30,00,00,000/- (Rupees Thirty Crores only) as security deposit. Islanders kept in dark.

9.      The above entire exercise was carried on without informing People of Vanxim island. Then in 2010 began the times of bullying and pressurizing, bribing and co-opting of the Vanxim islanders to surrender our land rights to cultivate paddy. Mahendra Gaunekar and the Goa Archdiocese dragged tenants to the civil court seeking to surrender their rights over land. Protective walls protecting paddy field were breached and paddy fields were flooded rendering cultivation impossible. This is also the time resistance began and still continues to do so with more people joining in. There is also huge coverage time and again in digital and print media.

10.  On March 04, 2016 we had faxed to Apostolic Nuncio in India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio  in New Delhi with a request to intimate you in detail the following. Archbishop Pennacchio was in Goa subsequent to our letter for National Conference of Diocesan Priests in India. He didn’t summon us nor sent written reply to us. Since the situation on ground is deteriorating we decided to write to you directly.

11.  Several issues has remained unanswered and they cry for attention:

1.      All the letters from Tenants Association of Vanxim written in the decade of 1990s that Archbishop and his team claims to have a hand in sale of Vanxim by granting NOC to sell Vanxim. Who are the signatories of these letters?
2.      All the letters sent to Vatican from the Goa Archbishop and his team seeking permissions to sell Vanxim as per requirements of Canon 1291. And all the letters granting permissions to sell Vanxim received from Vatican. All must be made public.
3.      All the reports as per Canon 1292 must be made public. They are the consent reports and minutes from the financial council of the Goa Diocese and the College of Consultors and the experts that gave their advice to sell Vanxim.
4.      Names of those constituted financial council of the Goa Diocese that took decision on Vanxim, Names of those constituted College of Consultors and the names of Experts who recommended sale of Vanxim in entirety. All this needed as per Canon 1292.
5.      What is the actual total amount and where the money has gone from Vanxim sale? It is obvious that black money is involved in huge sums.
Documents of gift of Vanxim to Santa Monica and the obligations attached to be fulfilled must be made public. Which year Vanxim was handed over to Santa Monica Convent? Who did this? For what reason? What are the details of weight or Pessâo involved?

We are confident that in this case too you will intervene like the cases of Child Abuse and corruption by clergy in different parts of the world and once again it will be proved that injustice is not invincible.  People are concerned and worried.

Awaiting for your kind response.  Thanking Your Holiness in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

         Sd/-

Maggie Silveira,

President, Goa State Unit

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Complaint against Construction inside river Zuari adjacent to survey number 12/1 of Bambolim

Date: 21st April 2016


To,
The Chief Minister of Goa,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa

To,
Vishnu Wagh,
Deputy Speaker and MLA,
San Andre Constituency,
Tiswadi, Goa

To,
The Member-Secretary,
Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority,
Panjim, Goa

To,
The Sarpanch,
Curca-Bambolim-Telaulim Panchayat,
Tiswadi, Goa


Subject: Complaint against Construction inside river Zuari adjacent to survey number 12/1 of Bambolim

Sir/Madam,
We have noticed construction inside the river Zuari adjacent to survey number 12/1 of Bambolim village. This is complete violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) laws in force. We understand that this construction is being carried on by Goan Hotels and Clubs Pvt. Ltd.
The Hotel Grand Hyatt that has been operating at the behest of Goan Hotels and Clubs Pvt. Ltd in survey no. 12/1 of Bambolim is already ruled illegal. We call upon you to immediately take note of the fresh violations at initiate action and keep us informed.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,




Maggie Silveira
President,
Goa State Unit

Sanjay Pereira
Convener,
Cacra unit 

Rohidas Andrade
Convener,
Bambolim unit

Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Siridao Unit

Anthony Cardozo
Convener,
Curca Unit

Sitaram Pereira
Convener,
Odxel Unit



Milind Palkar
Convener,
Nauxi unit

Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary,
Siridao Unit

Hanuman Dias
Co-convenor
Odxel Unit

Honu Dinkar,
Co-convener,
Odxel Unit

Deu Kankonkar
Secretary,
Nauxi Unit

Bikaro Dias
Co-convener,
Odxel Unit


Yeshwant Shirodkar,
Co-convener,
Odxel Unit


Manguesh Sawant,
Co-convener,
Odxel unit


Amir Mardolkar,
Co-convener,
Nauxim Unit


Francis Coelho,
Co-convener,
Nauxim Unit
Dulba Pereira,
Co-convener,
Cacra Unit


Santosh Gauns,
Co-convener,
Cacra Unit


Sheila D’mello,
Co-convener
Cacra Unit

Santosh Kukalkar,
Co-convener, Cacra unit









Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Call to halt non-stop fishing rights violations in Zuari River

Date: 20 April 2016



To,
The Governor,
Raj Bhavan, Cabo,
Dona Paula, Goa

To,
The Chief Minister
Government of Goa,
Secretariat, Porvorim,Goa

To,
Vishnu Surya Wagh, Dy. Speaker &
The Member of Legislative Assembly,
St. Andre Constituency,
Goa


To,
The Minister of Fisheries,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa


To,
The Secretary (Fisheries)
Secretariat, Porvorim,
Goa

To,
The Director of Fisheries,
Panjim, Goa

To,
Mr. A. Monsorrate,
The Member of Legislative Assembly,
Santa Cruz Constituency, Goa

To,
The Director-General of Police (DGP)
Police Headquarters,
Panjim, Goa





Subject: Call to halt non-stop fishing rights violations in Zuari River

Madam/Sir,
We write to you once again to update you on continues illegal fishing rights violations in Zuari River from December 28, 2015 till date based on our daily monitoring.


No
Date and Time
Nature of Fishing Rights Violation in Zuari River
01
28/12/2015 at 5.45 pm
2 mini-per seining carried on illegal fishing near Nauxim Coast
02
29/12/2015 at 5.30 pm
3 mini-per seining carried on illegal fishing. 2 near Bambolim and 1 near Siridao
03
30/12/2015 at 4.45 pm
2 mini-per seining carried on illegal fishing at Nauxim Coast
04
31/12/2015 at 6.00 pm
2 mini-per seining at Nauxim Coast carried on illegal fishing
05
03/01/2016 at 9.45 pm
2 mini-per seining carried on illegal fishing near Bambolim
06
03/01/2016 at 12.45 pm
15 mini-per seining carried on illegal fishing on Siridao – Odxel coast
07
04/01/2016 at 7.30 am
15 mini-per seining illegally lifted more than 25 tons of solar and white prawns from Siridao-Odxel coast
08
05/01/2016 at 6.00 am
10 mini-per seining boats carried on illegal fishing at Siridao-Odxel coast
09
05/01/2016 at 8.40 am
2 trawlers close to Cacra carried on illegal fishing
10
05/01/2016 at 9.00 am
22 mini-per seining boats carried on illgal fishing at Siridao-Odxel coast. Marine Police contacted, came on the site and went back without taking any action. Match fixing suspected.
11
09/01/2016 at 5.00 am
Two mini-per seining carried on illegal fishing near Siridao - Bambolim coast.
12
11/01/2016 at 3.30 pm
15 trawlers carried on illegal fishing within 200 meters of Siridao – Odxel Zuari coastline.
13
12/01/2016 at 3.50 pm
6 trawlers near Odxel Coast carried on illegal fishing
14
16/01/2016 at 3.10 pm
5 trawlers near Siridao – Odxel coast carried on illegal fishing
15
18/01/2016 at 5.00 pm
8 trawlers carried on illegal fishing at Siridao – Cacra coast. SMS campaign was launched to expose these violations. Fisheries department was annoyed. Superintendent of Fisheries called Rohidas Andrade, Bambolim convener of Bharat Mukti Morcha questioning the need for sms campaign. Rohidas was then told to wait till Superintendent report to the site. Even after awaiting for 90 minutes no official from Fisheries department turned up. We wonder as to why department is wasting our time and energy.
16
19/01/2016 at 3.15 am
6 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near Siridao early morning.
17
19/01/2016 at 10.00 am
12 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
18
19/01/2016 at 1.00 pm
8 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
19
20/01/2016 at 1.15 pm
4 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
20
20/01/2016 at 1.40 pm
6 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
21
20/01/2016 at 7.50 pm
4 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
22
21/01/2016 at 2.30 pm
13 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
23
22/01/2016 at 5.50 pm
2 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
24
23/01/2016 at 5.10 pm
5 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near Odxel coast
25
24/01/2016 at 5.10 pm
5 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near Odxel coast
26
26/01/2016 at 5.50 pm
2 trawlers carried on illegal fishing.
27
28/01/2016 at 8.50 am
2 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
28
28/01/2016 at 4.40 pm
22 trawlers carried on illegal fishing at Siridao-Odxel Coast. Fisheries department responding to calls from fishermen replied that their patrol boat has suffered breakdown. Later in the evening one official from Fisheries department informed that patrol boat is okay and purposely it was not sent at the site of violations. This is pathetic way of functioning of the fisheries department.
29
29/01/2016 at 3.20 pm
15 trawlers carried on illegal fishing atr Nauxim-Odxel coast.
30
30/01/2016 at 3.50 pm
2 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near cacra – odxel coast.
31
02/02/2016 at 5.00 pm
3 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
32
04/02/2016 at 3.30 pm
13 trawlers carried on illegal fishing at Carca-Odxel coast.
33
05/02/2016 at 4.00 pm
22 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Harbor Police replied that there is no diesel in their patrol boat.
34
06/02/2016 at 4.40 pm
6 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near Odxel coast.
35
10/02/2016 at 9.10 am
10 trawlers carried on illegal fishing.
36
11/02/2016 at 3.15 pm
10 trawlers carried on illegal fishing
37
17/02/2016 at 2.30 pm
6 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near Siridao - Odxel coast.
38
20/02/2016 at 3.15 pm
06 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near odxel coast.
39
22/02/2016 at 01.00 pm
06 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Police at Harbour Police Station contacted. Police came in boats and chased the trawlers away.
40
23/02/2016 at 5.00 am
03 mini per seining boats carried on illegal fishing.
41
23/02/2016 at 8.00 am
03 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Police at harbor Police station contacted. Police came in boats and chased trawlers away. Further action against trawlers not known.
42
27/02/2016 at 8.50 am
05 trawlers carried on illegal fishing  within 500 meters of Cacra-Odxel coast. Harbor Police station informed over phone. Action taken not known.
43
07/03/2016 at 10.00 am
From this day onwards there is non stop daily violations of fishing rights by Aquasail in Zuari river. Boating is being carried on where traditionally fishing used to be carried on near Nauxim- Bambolim coast.
44
10/03/2016 at 3.30 pm
04 trawlers carried on illegal fishing in Zuari. At 6.00 pm their number increased to 06 of which 02 were off Cacra coast.
45
11/03/2016 at 4.00 pm
06 trawlers carried on illegal fishing.
46
12/03/2016
Trawlers have carried on night fishing illegally. How far fisheries department is prepared to tackle the problem of night illegal fishing?
50
15/03/2016 at 03.00 pm
22 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Superintendent of Fisheries Hrishikesh instead of crackdown on illegal trawling told BMM Bambolim Covnenor Rohidas Andrade not to complain about illegal fishing. Whose interest Hrishikesh is serving? Trawlers? Too bad.
51
16/03/2016 at 9.15 am
Two trawlers carried on illegal fishing off Cacra – Odxel Coast.
52
20/03/2016 at 10.00 am
Fishing in Zuari river disrupted. Aquasail – Hotel Grand Hyatt deployed 30 water racing boats into Zuari river. This violation is going on due to political patronage of Indian defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
53
22/03/2016 at 09.55 pm
Night Fishing: 04 trawlers carried on illegal fishing off one kilometer Cacra coast.
54
23/03/2016 at 04.00 pm
03 trawlers carried on illegal fishing off Odxel – Cacra coast. At 05.00 pm the number of trawlers increased to 05. Police and Fisheries department non-responsive. Superintendent of Fisheries informed Sebastian Rodrigues, Goa State Convenor of Bharat Mukti Morcha that he has sent both the boats for Patrolling in South Goa at Cutbona. He informed that Fisheries Department has just two boats but none to patrol Zuari river. Why exclusive Patrol boat for Zuari not installed so far? There is need for Patrol boat for every river in Goa. Harbour Police were inaccessible ove the phone. Why did their land line not accessible? All together today illegal fishing was carried on by trawlers from 01.00 pm to 6.30 pm.
55
24/03/2016 at 03.00 pm to 06.00 pm
07 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado’s mobile was switched off. Harbor Police Station, Vasco telephone line not working. Fisheries department control room in Panjim contacted three times by Rohidas Andrade. On all three occasions they promised to immediately dispatch patrol boat but never was it seen in Zuari. Fisheries control room bluffed on every occasion.
56
26/03/2016 at 03.45 pm
08 trawlers carried on illegal fishing in Zuari. Harbour Police contacted. Promised to sent boats to raid.
57
29/03/2016 at 02.00 pm to 05.00 pm
05 trawlers carried on illegal fishing in Zuari river. Superintendent of Fisheries Hrishikesh refused to act in spite of telephonic complaint to him.
58
02/04/2016 at 04.25 pm
08 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Harbor Police Station as well as Fisheries Control room did not answer calls.
59
05/04/2016 at 05.15 pm
08 trawlers carried on illegal fishing near Siridao coast. Harbor Police and Fisheries department refused to act in spite of telephonic complaints.
60
06/04/2016 at 07.30 pm
06 trawlers carried on illegal fishing. Harbor Police and Fisheries department refused to act in spite of telephonic complaints.
61
07/04/2016 at 01.00 pm
08 trawlers carried on illegal fishing in Zuari. Police at harbor as well as Fisheries control room did not answer telephone calls.
62
09/04/2016 at 7.30 am
05 trawlers carried on illegal fishing off Cacra coast. Their number increased to 07 at 09.30 am.


This data indicates that there have been 62 instances of fishing rights violations as documented by Bharat Mukti Morcha units at Zuari Coast. Trawling particularly has taken its toll of the riverbed as trawling involved digging of the river bed. This is ecologically harmful style of fishing. This type of fishing is being carried on inspite of it being outlawed by law in rivers.
In addition to this we also want to bring to your kind attention that trawling and mini-per seining and trawling also takes place during night time. Due to darkness we are not able to give your proper count.
Kindly take immediate steps to stop illegal fishing during day and night. As per the above data in the table the safe conclusion is that there is high level of irresponsibility in its functioning.
Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon you to act responsibly and stop illegal fishing in Zuari River. Install permanent 24 x 7 fishing patrol vessel in Zuari River.
Fisheries department has been acting as toothless tiger in cracking down on fishing rights violators in Zuari river as indicated in the table above. There is political muscle flexing behind these violations.

Thank you,
Yours sincerely,



Maggie Silveira
President,
Goa State Unit


Sanjay Pereira
Convener,
Cacra unit 


Rohidas Andrade
Convener,
Bambolim unit


Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Siridao Unit



Anthony Cardozo
Convener,
Curca Unit


Sitaram Pereira
Convener,
Odxel Unit


Milind Palkar
Convener,
Nauxi unit



Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary,
Siridao Unit


Hanuman Dias
Co-convenor
Odxel Unit


Honu Dinkar,
Co-convener,
Odxel Unit

Deu Kankonkar
Secretary,
Nauxi Unit

Bikaro Dias
Co-convener,
Odxel Unit

Yeshwant Shirodkar,
Co-convener,
Odxel Unit

Manguesh Sawant,
Co-convener,
Odxel unit


Amir Mardolkar,
Co-convener,
Nauxim Unit


Francis Coelho,
Co-convener,
Nauxim Unit


Dulba Pereira,
Co-convener,
Cacra Unit

Santosh Gauns,
Co-convener,
Cacra Unit

Sheila D’mello,
Co-convener
Cacra Unit

Santosh Kukalkar,
Co-convener

Cacra unit