Thursday, September 8, 2016

Letter To The Portuguese Premier A Cry To Stop The Bloodless Genocide Of Goans – by A. Veronica Fernandes, Candolim

To,His Excellency Antonio Costa,Honb’l Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal,Lisboa,Portugal.
Your Excellency,
We the undersigned Goans, declare here that we, along with our homeland Goa, the erstwhile Overseas Porvince (Provincia Ultramar) of Portugal, were officially sold to India on behalf of Portugal, on 31stDecember 1974, by the ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal – Mr. Mario Soares.In fact what Mr. Mario Soares signed with India on 31st December 1974 was a “Sale Deed” in the guise of a “Treaty”. The terms of this so called Treaty were surreptitiously decided by Mr. Mario Soares and Mr. Y.B. Chavan – the Foreign Affairs Minister of India, in New York on 24th September 1974 and signed in New Delhi on 31st December 1974. The same was ratified in Lisbon on 14th March 1975. This so-called Treaty consists of only 6 Articles, none of which unfortunately is concerning Goans and Goa. This political manipulation of Mr. Mario Soares amounts to willful violation of our Fundamental Human Rights, because Goans were neither informed nor consulted to ascertain their wishes, aspirations and the safeguards to be incorporated in this so - called Treaty.
Mr. Mario Soares the then Prime Minister of Mr. Portugal treated Goans and Goa as a disposable commodity. The form and the procedure to formulate the so-called Treaty were not different from when slaves were sold by their masters. In such Sale-Deeds, the seller neither takes nor needs to take consent of who or what is sold and the buyer has no obligations towards who or what she/he has bought.And yet this so-called Treaty, is so vastly contrary to the Treaties signed by these very same two Nations:1: India on 28th May 1956, with regards Pondichery.2: Portugal on 20th December 1999, with regards Macau.
1: The late Prime Minister of India, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru as Minister for Foreign Affairs, signed a Treaty with France with regards its colony Pondicherry. This Treaty consists of XXXI (31) Articles and VIII (8) Articles of Protocol. All these Articles are regarding the wishes, aspirations and safeguards for the citizens of Pondicherry. These Articles were arrived at, after a couple of years of consultations with the representatives of the citizens of Pondicherry. The said consultations concluded on 21st October 1954 and the Treaty was signed on 28thMay 1956.
2: Portugal signed a Treaty with China on 20th December 1999 with regards its colony Macau. This Treaty consists of 17 Clauses that fully safeguard and respect the wishes and aspirations of the citizens of Macau. Even as of today, China does not claim to be a Democratic Nation yet, the said Treaty is highly democratic, human and humane. Fortunately for the citizens of Macau, Mr. Mario Soares was not in power then!!
This treacherous so-called “Indo-Portuguese Treaty” completed 41 harrowing years for Goans and for our Homeland Goa, on 31st December 2015. It could not have been otherwise, since the so-called Treaty was a conspiracy against Goans and Goa, hatched by the then Prime Minister of Portugal Mr. Mario Soares and the Government of India. It is pertinent and necessary to take note that Dr. Inocencio Galvao Teles – ex-Law Minister in Dr. Oliveira Salazar’s Government, writing in the Weekly “Diabo” in 1990, asserted that the “Indo-Portuguese Treaty is Invalid”.i) So, what is our status as a People, before the Community of Nations that are signatories of the “Geneva Convention” and the “Charter of the UNO since Dr. Galvao Teles asserts that the Indo-Portuguese Treaty is invalid?
ii) Also, since Portugal transferred its sovereignty (“invalidly”, surreptitiously) over Goa, Daman, Diu and Nagar Haveli to India, only on 31st December 1974, what according to the Community of Nations, is the status of all the laws, transactions etc. taken by the Government of India with reference to Goans and Goa, during the 13 years, prior to the so-called “Indo -Portuguese Treaty” of December 31, 1974?
On 19th December 2015, Goa completed 54 years of its conquest by India from Portugal. (Supreme Court of India – Mons. Sebastiao Francisco Xavier dos R. Monteiro V/s State of Goa A.I.R. 1970 Page 329 S.C.). This was followed, as seen above, by the treacherous so- called “Indo-Portuguese Treaty of 31stDecember 1974”.
As a direct result – with every passing day, it becomes glaringly clear that the sole objective of both the signatories of the so called Indo-Portuguese Treaty of 31st December 1974, was to ensure their own individual and national interests. And in their scheme of things, Goans and Goa were chosen as their SACRIFICIAL LAMBS! Very ironically but not surprisingly, both India and Portugal vociferously claim to be Democratic Nations and both are signatories of the Charter of the UNO, Geneva Convention and Vienna Convention (Treaty).
Also, with every passing day, it becomes glaringly clear to those who are honest enough to see the continuous, wanton destruction of all that is Goa and Goan; and to those who are honest enough to hear the agonizing silent cries of Goans, whose pleas and protests are ignored, mocked at and bull-dozed, by powers-that be.
i) The total area of Goa is only 3702 Sq. Kms. This scarce land of ours is grabbed by the land-sharks from across the borders and by the Armed Forces, using their money, political and muscle-power;
ii) Our ancient Indigenious Ghaunkari (Communidades) Institution, zealously guarded by our ancestors and respected by the different Dynasties that ruled Goa over thousands of years, as well as by the Portuguese Government during its 451 years of rule, are now being systematically dismantled, despite our written and verbal protests;
iii) Our lives and limbs are in perpetual danger, even though from the time of the conquest of Goa by the government of India, we had to fix Iron-Grills on our Windows and Door and Iron-Shutters on our commercial establishments.
iv) Our moveable and immoveable properties are robbed by those who descend upon Goa, even by vehicles from across our borders and/or by taking advantage of our still – trusting nature.
v) Our peaceful, happy, convivial relationships among all Goans, regardless of our religious affiliations, are being poisoned by communal virus by all shades of Right – Wing Organisations that have set base in Goa.
vi) Anxiety and fear rules our hearts and minds;
vii) The population of Goans that was about six (6) lakhs in 1961 is now well beyond fourteen (14) lakhs of which the population of Non-Goans is over 50% and literally growing daily, in leaps and bounds;
viii) Because we are a peaceful, non-violent, civilized people, unable and unaccustomed to killing, burning, rioting, we feel alone and forsaken by the Community of Nations, despite them undoubtedly being aware of the misery and injustice heaped on us.
The frightening process and real-time prospects of eliminating Goa and Goans – a veritable GENOCIDE – is stated bluntly among many others, by two Goans who worked and fought to end the Portuguese rule in Goa:
1. Mr. Lambert Mascharenhas a senior journalist, published in 1955 while in Bombay, a much-read novel titled: “SORROWING LIES MY LAND”
Now in Goa a centenarian, published another novel in 1988 titled:
Both the titles are self-explanatory and clearly reveal Mr. Mascharenhas’ sentiments about his “Land”, then and now. He even made an open statement in the local Press saying that “he preferred the Goa of the Portuguese days”.
2. Mr. Prabakhar Sinari as a stridden, brave teenager then, joined “Azad Gomantak Dal”, the only organization that believed in and used arms to end the Portuguese rule in Goa. Some of them including Prabakar Sinari paid for their actions by serving time in jail. Daring as he was, made good his escape, in a dramatic second attempt.
This same Mr. Prabakhar Sinari now laments in an article “Quo Vadis Goa?” published in the local daily The Navhind Times. Among other observation in his article, he says:
1. “Looking at the liberated Goa, 54 years after the Portuguese left our shores, the sons of the soil are the ones who have been left high and dry. It is therefore not surprising that they chose to leave Goa most of them permanently”;
2. “Look at the very things are being allowed here, Goa is on the verge of losing its identity. In fact, Goa has already lost on many counts”;
3. “As a matter of fact, this development by permitting major change in demography, raises a pertinent question in the minds of all surviving freedom fighters including me”;
“Is this the Goa for which we made so many sacrifices?”
4. “Time is fast ticking”.
5. “Getting a “Special Status” for Goa could be one of the major solutions. States like Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and then some more in the North – East have this previllege”.
The reality however about Goa getting “Special Status” from the government of India, as Mr. Prabakhar Sinari suggests, is wishful thinking, “a mirage”, as the present Chief Minister of Goa recently stated in public. This despite the long drawn People’s Movements; an unanimous Resolution passed in the Legislative Assembly of Goa; Public Meetings; Conferences; Large Number of Publications; a Private Member Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabah (Upper House) by our Member of Parliament (Shantaram Naik).
The Government of India made its stand very clear by a letter written by the Minister for Home to Mr. Naik that the demand (by Goa) for “Special Status” is “unconstitutional and unacceptable as per Article 19 of the Constitution”.
The reason for the plight of Goans, including the rejection of our demand for “Special Status” is because we are a CONQUERED PEOPLE and conquered people have NO RIGHTS but ONLY DUTIES towards the CONQUEROR. Conquered people cannot make demands, but be satisfied with whatever the conqueror may give, out of his own sweet will and pleasure. India therefore has no obligation towards us, other than perhaps occasionally offering and/or promising to offer us some socio-political Lollipops, in an attempt to make us believe that we are free, that we are liberated, that everything is wonderful for us….
In the light of our tragic plight, worsened manifold by the Government of Portugal by its so-called Treaty on 31st December 1974, we assert that it is the moral duty of the Government of Portugal to do whatever needs to be done – politically, diplomatically – including officially Re-visiting the treacherous so – called Indo-Portuguese Treaty, thereby hopefully averting a HOLOCAUST of Goans.
We believe that governance is a continuous process and that the Government of Your Excellency will not let our plea and our cry go unheeded. We are well aware that the “Developed Nations” in particular, are acutely conscious and concerned about injustice, destruction and brutalities faced by many, who are unable to defend and/or protect themselves.
As the valiant Mr. Prabakhar Sinari writes in his article “Quo Vadis Goa?”
Indeed it is. Hopefully, if your Excellency and the Community of Nations urgently take up our desperate cause, because you believe in Universal Justice and that the Human Rights of Goans too must be upheld, then the silent and progressively not-so-silent cries of our people, our children - born and yet to be born, shall not be snuffed.
With Respect and admiration,
Yours sincerely,
Prof. Sergio Carvalho: Political/Social Analyst & Commentator.
A.Veronica Fernandes: Human Rights Campaigner and writer.
Bosco De Souza Eremita: Former Correspondent of Lusa.
Eurico Mascharenhas: Activist for Indigenous Rights.
Antonio Alvares: Educationist and Researcher.
NB: This letter was personally handed over to the Portuguese Consul in Panjim on 22.08/16 by all the above signatories.

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