Discussion:
HEART-TO-HEART: The Tourism 'Escapade'
(too old to reply)
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
Goanet News Service
2006-05-15 21:51:07 UTC
Permalink
HEART TO HEART

By Ethel Da Costa


The Tourism 'Escapade'

My dear Dotor,

Good Morning, and hope you're having a good Sunday. I'm sure the people of Goa
are sleeping easy too, because if they were alert they would be tearing down
the doors of your office by now. Personally, I think you're a good guy, a
grandfather figure I would like to know. Professionally, we exist on opposite
sides of the riverbank, with clear de-marketed roles and responsibilities. And
so this letter, since otherwise your cronies make sure the truth never gets to
you as it is.

I understand you are making an effort as Tourism Minister to `Brand Goa' as a
tourist destination, since an `Expression of Interest' has been floated by the
Tourism Department stipulating the State's need for `international events.' I
agree. That the States needs high calibre marketing targets to make this
point, I fully endorse. That a need for hyperactive and intelligent
advertising, marketing and branding campaigns are the need of the hour to
position Goa globally is an absolute must. You have my vote on the above
count. But in your great hurry to prove the worth of your esteemed offices you
are bungling big time. Or, could it be you are mislead by your lapdogs with
their half-backed stories? I give the benefit of doubt to the devil always. I
do not doubt your intelligence, but a one-to-one dialogue is always good for
the soul to clear the air. I'm sure you've prescribed it one time or the other
during your medical consultations. Unfortunately, the Govt is run by
middlemen. I detest middlemen. The same way I detest wannabes who insult
creative intelligence by stealing concepts, ideas, budgets, brand names,
misuse production ethics, trust and spoken word right down to the last
alphabet, to justify why they take their salaries home. Most of them don't
even understand (or have heard) what Intellectual Property Rights are all
about. Festivals are supposed to steal the show, not ideas. With the Tourism
Dept playing `event management,' I'm beginning to think professional event
managers in Goa are about to have it going tough with wannabes emasculating as
big dudes under govt clout.

I would like to think that you are a man who likes to call a spade a spade.
So, if you may please, there is a letter, which came through the mail on my
desk, which threatens to open the Tourism Pandora's box, throwing suspicion on
every tourism sponsored activity in the State. It makes me wonder just how
intelligently you are attempting to manage the Tourism Portfolio. Yes, the
foreign binges to travel marts are on an all-time high this year. The
government is footing the bills after all. But there is no media and business
representation when your jolly men go trooping. Are they really hard-selling
Goa? Where are the press reports? The River Princess still continues to rape
Sinquerim beach threatening to defile the entire coastline of North Goa. Will
the PR Agency that you will employ mask her as a floating discotheque? Getting
her off the ground and preventing a potential environmental disaster isn't
part of your Tourism policy?

The letter also brings to cloud the lack-lustre Carnival activities in Panjim
with a bombshell of Rs 15 lakhs spent on getting a shoddy Swiss brass band?
With that money the international pop-rock band `Scorpions' would play free
with five star travel and stay, besides buzzing Goa all over the globe. Don't
you think the nitty-gritty nuances of conceptualising and managing an event
should be left to serious professionals? Ah, but then the fear of stolen
concepts, especially if you're not the favoured few. Anil Kumar from
Vaillankanni Housing Society, Fatorda, Margao, who addresses the letter also
believes it is how we manage the business of promoting Goa. I quote him
verbatim, even though I don't know the writer of the letter from Adams. He
says: "The ongoing controversy over the issue of Margao Carnaval Celebrations
brings out a few pertinent issues that show the politicians of Goa in poor
light. It seems the Margao Municipal Council which has now fallen in the hands
of the Congress Party has taken objection to the manner in which funds were
disbursed by the Tourism Dept to the Margao Carnaval Committee for this year's
celebrations. The Council has also reportedly complained that the allocated
funds were not spent as per accepted conventions and that some individuals
like some local theatrists were cheated since they were not paid for their
services.

The Tourism Minister who appears to be backing the Carnaval Committee has
given `his people' a clean chit and said there is no need for a probe. From
the complaint of the MMC it appears that the Tourism Dept gave funds to the
tune of Rs 13.5 lakhs to the Carnaval Committee in cash. If this is true, then
it is not only a big scam which is unprecedented in the State, but one that
could make Goa set yet another `standard' in the country on how politicians
defraud the Exchequer. The question that arises here is whether Govt funds
(and that too in lakhs) can be allocated in cash. The other question that
arises is, if it was allotted in cash, why did the organisers i.e Margao
Carnaval Committee not deposit it in its bank account and then go about
spending it in manner it deemed fit. After all the Committee has its bank
account where they deposited Rs 500, but not the Rs 13.5 lakhs!
"Does this mean that ministers and their cronies can withdraw Govt funds in
cash, retain the funds in their houses and spend them too in cash? So what
happens to the age old accounting practices? Is the much learned Tourism
Minister trying to usher in archaic and prehistoric accounting methods for the
State Govt? At this rate, you will have the State Govt Ministers distributing
their entire budgets to such favoured festival committees in cash and the
Public Exchequer will be defrauded in a manner which will even put Laloo
Prasad Yadav's fodder scam to shame. Even in the infamous fodder scam the
perpetrators emptied the Bihar Treasury by cheque withdrawals and could not
have the bright Surgeon's brains to empty the Treasury in lakhs in CASH!

What is happening to our Bhangrachem Goem?

Does every relevant public issue have to be given a political colour and
shouted down so that in the din those taking up legal and moral issues are
silenced?

I do not want to join issue as to how the Committee spent the money and
whether they cheated the thearists or some Tom, Dick and Harry. My only issue
is, `Is the 13.5 lakhs that Tourism Dept gave to the Margao Carnaval Committee
Dr Willy's personal money or is it Govt money?' And if it is the latter, then
is he allowed to distribute Govt money as per his whims and fancies? To people
of his choice, who subsequently set up his political offices in parts of the
State? And if this is one case that has come to light perhaps because of his
diverse political affiliations of councillors in a civic body, how many more
such cases are there where Govt money has been distributed to favourites
without following due and legal accounting methods? Does all this not call for
a probe? Can a Govt whose survival depends on its own Deputy Chief Minister
conduct such a probe, impartially? Will any of the other pillars of our
democracy step in to stop the rot? Is the average civilian's cynicism on the
failing effectivity of our democratic institutions not justified?

Dotor, I think you have some serious answering to do to the people of Goa.
Meantime, have a great day! (ENDS)

==============================================================================
The above article appeared in the May 14, 2006 edition of the Herald, Goa
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