Thursday, 27 November 2014

Stop violating Goa coastal peoples rights



Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns continues violations of fishing rights in Zuari river. Over the past one year there are intensified violations of fishing rights. The target group of these violations are the fishermen on the banks of river Zuari especially the villages of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim and Siridao.

The violations are from three sources. Firstly the water sports activities inside the Zuari River. The water sports including speed boats have to stop, operations in Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon the Chief Minister to act decisively and stop Hotel Grand Hyatt from operating the water sports/speed boats by revoking all the permissions granted through Fisheries department.

The second target of fishing violations of fishermen’s right has been from trawlers. In spite of legal ban on trawlers they continue to fish in Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Goa government to enforce the ban on trawlers to take immediate measures to enforce ban.

The third target of fishing rights violations are in the form mini purse seine fishing inside the river there by taking away en mass fish from Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Fisheries department to stop this. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon the Goa government to station permanent petrol boat inside the Zuari River to monitor activities of fishing rights violators namely trawlers, mini purse seiners, and cancel water sports permissions granted to Hotel Grand Hyatt.Bharat Mukti Morcha also notes that these fishermen have already been dispossessed of their cultivation lands by installing projects and various other real estate projects such as Aldeia de Goa, Hotel Grand Hyatt etc, and now their fishing rights are trampled upon in Zuari River.

For their daily livelihood they have to struggle to feed themselves and families whereby even the land where they used to cultivate is taken away for huge projects and lastly even spiritually they are not allowed to carry on the traditional litany at the Chapel and daily lighting of candles at the Cross as both have been included inside the compound wall of Hotel Grand Hyatt. This access to Chapel and the Cross on Bambolim beach must be opened to public for worship without any hindrances. The Chapel and the Cross is not constructed by hotel but it is a symbol of culture of freedom and faith sowed in Goa by St. Francis Xavier in 16th Century. This very faith we can see come alive as thousands of people every day flock to venerate sacred relics of St.Francis Xavier. The religious sentiments associated here are being hurt to the very core of the local people’s heart. Ancestors have kept such a high religious values installed in people that it is very difficult for anyone to interfere with people of such strong faith. In such a situation Hotel Grand Hyatt has nothing to look behind but only to give back to the local people what is the heritage of their ancestors, i.e. open up access to the Chapel and the Cross.


Summery:

1.   Hotel Grand Hyatt must stop water sports in Zuari river. Fisheries department must revoke permissions granted.
2.   Mini purse seine fishing in Zuari must stop.
3.   Trawlers fishing illegally in Zuari river must be stopped.
4.   Permanent patrol ship must be installed in Zuari river to protect interest of the traditional fishermen of Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Odxel and Cacra.
5.   Hotel Grand Hyatt must open access to the Chapel and also to the Cross, both currently included within compound wall of the Hotel.
       
        Sd/-
Maggie Silveira

President (Goa State)

Monday, 24 November 2014

Trawlers violate fishing rights in Zuari yet again

Today 24th November 2014 two trawlers were sighted in Zuari River thereby violating fishing rights of the traditional fishermen. The trawlers were sighted at 4.45 pm. Director; Fisheries department Sharmila Monteiro as well as Minister Fisheries Avertano Furtado was intimated with request to act. Marine Police were also contacted. At around 5.05 pm both the trawlers abandoned fishing and raced out of mouth of River Zuari before they were booked and penalized. Fisheries department was too slow in acting and interrogating these trawlers.  There is a need for permanent stationing of Police patrol boat in Zuari river so that offending trawlers like the once today are not allowed to escape the arms of law. Investigations are also needed as to whose trawlers that are repeatedly dare to violate the law.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Pictures of Bharat Mukti Morcha Public Meeting in Odxel

 Maggie Silveira, Goa State President, Bharat Mukti Morcha addressing public meeting in Odxel on 23rd November 2014. Motesh Antao and Rahul Gawas seen seated. 
 Sadanand Vaigankar, Bhahujan Mukti Party addressing the public meeting
 Public gathered leaning on canoes and bikes
 Elderly and Youth listening with rapt attention

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Trawlers intercepted in Zuari river

On 22nd November 2014 at around 1.30 pm 5 trawlers were observed violating fishing rights in Zuari river. Minister of Fisheries, Goa Government was contacted by member of Panchayat Sanjay Pereira. The Patrol boat of the fisheries department came and intercepted the trawlers in the river. Bharat Mukti Morcha express satisfaction at the action.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Fishing rights violations in Zuari river

The picture shows trawlers fishing in forbidden waters within 5 kms from the shore. Director of fisheries when contacted said that it has received complaint from Bharat Mukti Morcha and the Coast Police Station at Harbor, Vasco is directed to initiate action against the trawlers. Coastal Police did not take any action on 21st November as its boats were taken away for International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and the other boat was at Old Goa. So today no action was initiated.

Race war against tribes in Goa over fishing in Zuari River

Date: 21st November 2014
                           1
To,
The Governor
Government of Goa
Dona Paula, Goa


                           2
To,
The Chief Minister,
Government of Goa
Secretariat,
Porvorim,  Goa



                            3
To,
The Minister of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim,
Goa


                           4
To,
The Chief Secretary,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim,
Goa

                            5
To,
The Secretary (Fisheries)
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim,
Goa

                            6
To,
The Under Secretary (Fisheries),
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim,
Goa

                            7
To,
The Captain of Ports,
River Navigation Department
Panjim, Goa

                             8
To,
The Director,
Department of Tourism,
Panjim,  Goa

                           9                        
To,

The Director,
Department of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Panjim, Goa

                           10

To,
The Collector (North Goa),
Government of Goa
Panjim, Goa

                           11
To,
The Mamlatdar,
Tiswadi Taluka,
Panjim, Goa

                            12
To,
The Director-General of Police (DGP)
Police Headquarters,
Panjim, Goa

                         13
To,

The Superintendent of Police (North Goa)
Porvorim, Goa

                          14

To,
Vishnu Surya Wagh
The Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)
St. Andre Constituency,
Goa



                            15
To,
The Parish Priest,
Our Lady of Bethlehem,
Bambolim
Goa

                         16
To
The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Curca – Bambolim- Talaulim
Goa

                             17
To,

The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Siridao
Goa

                         18
To,

The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Taleigao,
Goa

                          19
To,
The Sarpanch,
Village Panchayat of Santa Cruz, Goa

                         20
To,
The Parish Priest,
Our Lady of Rosary Church,
Siridao, Goa




Subject:  Race war against traditional Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra and Odxel fishermen in Zuari river by Hotel Grand Hyatt through water sports, Trawlers and Mini Purse seining

Sir/Madam,

1.   As you may be already aware that through water sports including speed boats Hotel grand Hyatt has waged a war against the traditional fishermen fishing in Zuari river on the coast of Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra and Odxel villages. The chronology of the warfare politics played out over the past one year by Hotel Grand Hyatt is as follows:


Ø November 2013 Bambolim based Hotel Grand Hyatt allows its premises for water Sports Company named Aqua Sail. Water sports boats found sailing in the waters of Zuari river.
Ø On 21st November 2013 fishermen petitioned against water sports to Captain of Ports, Director of Fisheries, and concerned Panchayats of Zuari river coast from where affected traditional fishermen hail from.

Ø On 26th November 2013 fishermen complaint against this water sports activities harming fishing activities. These fishermen are traditional fishermen using canoes for fishing purpose in Zuari River.
Ø On 26th November 2013 No Objection Certificate (NOC) which was granted for water sports activities got revoked by fisheries department due to public pressure from fishermen.
Ø 10th December 2013 fishermen wrote detailed complaint to Goa Fisheries Minister objecting to the water sports activities in Zuari river at Bambolim – Nauxi-Siridao-Cacra-Odxel coast which is signed by 291 fishermen.
Ø 15th April 2014 NOC granted for water sports by Fisheries department.
Ø 19th April 2014 Water sports company files police complaint against fishermen of Bambolim in Agassain Police station. Police Inspector Devendra Gad visits Bambolim beach and confronts fishermen and slaps one fisherman Vishnu Kankonkar at 6 pm. Fishermen called to the police station. Matter is ‘compromised’ as Company withdraws complaint.
Ø 25th April 2014 - 20 water sports boats found obstructing traditional fishermen in Zuari River.
Ø 26th April 2014 traditional fishermen launched fresh investigation as to who issued permission to the water sports boats after their NOC being revoked on 26th November 2014.
Ø 02nd May 2014 then Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado visited Bambolim Beach at 12.30 pm without prior intimation to fishermen. Around 50-60 fishermen voiced their grievances about water sports.
Ø 09th May 2014 second letter of protest sent to Goa's Minister of Fisheries calling for immediate cancellation of No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued for speed boats to carry on water sports activities signed by 132 affected fishermen.
Ø From 19th October 2014 water sports boats again found obstructing traditional fishermen in Zuari River this continues till date.
Ø On 11th November 2014 officials of Hotel Grand Hyatt contacted Raghuvir Kankonkar and offered to bribe him. Raghuvir Kankonkar is a father of Vishnu Kankonkar who was slapped by PI Devendra Gad on 19th April 2014. Raghuvir refused bribe citing that he is not interested in compromise and he wants river protected for fishermen and their future generations.

Subversion of ministry roles

It is evident from the above chronology that there has been subversion of roles of the fisheries ministry. Fisheries ministry that is supposed to protect the interest of fishermen has been made to sacrifice interest of fishermen and promote interest of the luxury tourism lobby. This is indeed very serious development that needs sufficient analytical attention. How can Fisheries ministry of Goa government destroy interest of fishermen? How can it in the first place grant NOC for water sports? After the protest letter from the fishermen NOC for water sports were revoked. And after four months and twenty days it was granted again. That means the power of the protest from the affected fishermen expired after this period and fresh protests had to be launched. Discussion held by the leaders of the movement with the Director of fisheries revealed that there has been application of political pressure to over ride the interest of the traditional fishermen who are largely STs and OBCs. Bulldozing of the interest of the traditional fishermen in Zuari river is in fact bulldozing of interests of STs and OBCs. This also means coming face-to-face with reality that Ministry of Fisheries has been working against the interest of ST and OBC in this matter on the banks of Zuari River. This form of racial discrimination practiced by Goa Government and Hotel Grand Hyatt needs open public acknowledgement and then mitigation. Failing on this part could snow ball into intensified tensions.

You are therefore advised to take immediate measures of cancelling permissions granted for water sports and speed boats and stop Hotel Grand Hyatt from operating their water sports boats and stop war against traditional fishermen.

2.   Trawling inside the Zuari River is causing great harm to the fisheries. Trawling inside rivers is banned by law and you are advised to implement the ban and stop this practice so deeply dangerous to sustenance of fishing by traditional fishermen. Trawling is allowed only 5 kms away from the beach inside Arabian Sea.
3.   We also noted that there is completely unsustainable fishing practice known as mini Purse seining currently in vogue in Zuari river. This is carried on by fishing vessels that are technologically equipped with under water cameras. The mini Purse seining fishing has already caused body blow to sustainable fisheries as the species of fish is destroyed completely with this mode of fishing. This commands immediate attention and action. You are advised to stop this on priority.

We want to let you know that Whites while taking control of America from the Red Indians resorted to mass hunting of the animals that Red Indians used to consume for living. Chief Seattle’s speech is rich in these expressions. It was a racist strategy by which Whites invaded American indigenous people. We are indigenous people of India and same racist warfare strategy has been deployed to destroy us by disrupting our traditional fishing in Zuari River through the above three points namely Water sports, trawling and Mini Purse seining.

Awaiting your positive response for the cause of humanity, ecology and sustainable fisheries,

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,


         Sd/-

Maggie Silveira
President, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa State Unit



          Sd/-
Rahul Gawas
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Tiswadi Taluka unit



         Sd/-
Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mutkti Morcha, Cacra unit




           Sd/-
Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Bambolim unit



           Sd/-
Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Siridao unit



           Sd/-
Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Curca Unit



        Sd/-
Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Odxel Unit



       Sd/-
Milind Palkar

Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Nauxi unit

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bharat Mukti Morcha deplores irresponsible attitude of Fisheries Director

On 20th November 2014 member of local Panchayat Sanjay Pereira of Cacra confronted the Director of Fisheries Sharmila Monteiro on non-action against speed boats, water sports, mini-purse seining and trawling in Zuari river.

Sanjay questioned the Director as for the reasons of inaction on the part of the department in spite of repeated complaints of fishing rights violations. Sanjay told director “first they took away our land and set up University and hotels, and now they are taking away our river where we carry on our fishing. How are we to survive? What about our children? How are we to educate them? Or they are also to remain uneducated like us and wander about?  Today I have come alone to you but I can also come to your office with hundred people”
Director of Fisheries called Sanjay irrational to raise all these issues and told him to keep patience for this tourism season. It is very surprising that Director of Fisheries is concerned more of tourism than of fishing.


Bharat Mukti Morcha terms this behavior of the Director of Fisheries totally unacceptable and calls upon her to put full stop to the repeated violations of fishing rights of coastal people at Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra and Odxel. For this purpose strong action is needed against the trawlers violating laws and fishing in Zuari river, revoke permissions granted to Hotel Grand Hyatt for water sports activities and ban confiscate mini purse seining boats.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fishermen on Zuari river begins organising for Liberation


Sanjay Pereira from Cacra, member of  Panchayat addressing Bharat Mukti Morcha corner meeting in Bambolim on 19th November 2014. Rahul Gawas stands next to him to left and Milind Palkar on his right. Raghuvir Kankonkar and Maggie Silveira, State President, Bharat Mukti Mrocha  are seen seated. Fishermen here organising themselves against constant violations of their rights in Goa's Zuari river by trawlers, mini purse seining and water sports activities.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns police violence against Bambolim mulnivasi fisherman

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns Agasaim Police inspector Devendra Gad for slapping Vishnu Kankonkar on April 19, 2014 on Bambolim beach.

The Police Inspector has transgressed his police duties in order to slap Vishnu Kankonkar, a fisherman in Zuari river from Bambolim.

Fishermen of late has been agitating against the infringement of their fishing rights after Hotel Grand Hyatt commissioned water sports with speed boats in the Zuari river.

Fishermen has raised objections to the authorities and once succeeded in convincing fisheries department to revoke the No Objection Certificate (NOC) granted to Speed boats for tourism purpose.

Police Inspector Devendra Gad has intervened on behalf of the Hotel Grand Hyatt as if he belongs to their private security team and slapped Vishnu Kankonkar.   


This very act of his is so harmful to himself as he does not know the value of mulnivasis even though he himself is a mulnivasi but acted on behalf of Bamon raj to suppress the uprising of the fishermen. It is a shame for him to raise his hand for those who are fighting for the true cause of humanity and mulnivasi’s freedom.

Vanxim report from the Court room of 18.11.2014

The great Vanxim trial charging Vanxim women of theft of tripod began in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class at Panaji ‘D’ Court today 18th November 2014. The case no 227/14/D came up for hearing today after the gap of three years and eight days of the alleged theft of a tripod, criminal intimidation, unlawful assembly, wrongful restrain and intentional insult with intend to provoke breach of Peace involving villagers of Vanxim on one side and the Bruno Ferrao and Ozone group on the other. Sections of Indian Penal Code imposed includes 379, 506, 143, 341, and 504. If Charges are proved especially of the theft then the four women are facing three years behind the bars. Trial is likely to began in the next hearing fixed for January 08, 2015.
Today’s hearing required all the four women of Vanxim accused in this case to be present in the court. All the four women were present in the court room. The three women Anuradha Volvoikar, Swati Volvoikar and Deepika Tari had corporate lawyer to represent them. It is indeed an unusually suspicious occasion as to why the very corporate who filed the criminal cases against them through Bruno Ferrao had also to provide the lawyer to defend them. It is in bad taste, in fact humiliating act for self-respecting people of Vanxim that these three women had accepted the lawyer from the very corporate that seeks to grab the island of Vanxim.    Maggie Silveira had a separate lawyer to defend her as she and her family is not the party to any kind of compromises with Bamon Mahendra Gaunekar.

These three women have not only sold their self-respect but also sold their very integrity which means everything to a person of dignity.
These three women have gone very low to betray the people of our Vanxim island and NGOs of different places of Goa who stood by us up to 2 am in the morning of our release after 12 November 2011 arrests.
Maggie Silveira, President, Bharat Mukti Morcha and Ilha de Vanxim Association stands committed from the 8th August 2010 till date in defense of Vanxim with high respect to the people of Vanxim as a whole and all the NGOs of Goa that were present the whole day of November 12, 2011 till the way beyond mid night.


Maggie hereby stands with all the blessings of the ancestors – dead, our elderly people (living) and all the good wishes of our people staying in Vanxim and different parts of the World.

Jai Mulnivasi!