PANJIM: A local Roman Catholic priest Tuesday opposed the Goa government's controversial move to relocate offshore casinos, presently anchored in the Mandovi river off here, further inland.
Fr Alcandro Rodrigues, the parish priest of Ribandar -- a sleepy fishing village near Panaji -- who is in the forefront of the agitation, told reporters the state cabinet's decision to relocate three of the seven offshore casinos to the village was suspicious.  He added it would "disrupt the livelihood of fishermen eking out a living in the area".
Rodrigues, who is a part of a campaign 'United People of Ribandar', said the logic of having offshore casinos housed in boats parked in a river was absurd.
"These are 'offshore casinos'. By the very virtue of the title, they should be parked in the deep sea. Relocating them in the river next to Ribandar would not only destroy village fabric, but hamper the livelihood of fishermen," he said.
Rodrigues' anti-casino stance runs concurrent with that of the Roman Catholic Church of Goa which has very staunchly opposed the setting up of casinos in the state.
The Goa church, along with village civic rights groups, nearly two years ago forced the state Congress-led coalition government to shift an offshore casino vessel from the Sal river in South Goa, after undertaking a series of protests.
The offshore vessel owned by the Leela group of hotels was later shifted to the Mandovi river, which currently is home to seven casinos parked in close vicinity of one another.
"The decision of the state government to dock the casinos towards the Ribandar side is baffling," Rodrigues said, questioning the merit behind the state cabinet's decision last week to shuffle the positions of the casinos in the river Mandovi.
In the controversial cabinet meeting, the cabinet reversed its own decision taken last year, ordering the offshore casinos to the Arabian sea.   The opposition has said large kickbacks from the casino industry inspired the cabinet to reverse its order.  (ZN)


Agusto Fonseca said...

Somebody must put bombs by night to the casinos and just blow them away alongwith all those rusty Indians inside playing. That is the only solution to get these casinos out of Goa.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see Fr. Alcandro Rodrigues opposing the offshore casino near Ribandar. What about the Parish Priest of Divar? The people of Vanxim need him to organise them into 'United People of Vanxim' as they are about to be bulldozed by a business baron that has bought the island from the Church. I am sure we need more and more such priests in most part of Goa!

Anonymous said...

This tiny state has fast flourished with uneducated intellectual masterminds of the highest order of corruption, who dare anyone take their place.

Only a mentally deranged personality can give them a rude awakening by entering the house while in session, lining every individual against the walls and firing at point blank till dead.

We are running out of time. We got to labour wisely in search for new blood, sincere and honest, who will toil for the good of the community and Goa.

Please, please vote for the sane and worthy individuals that will fight your cause and fight we will for you.

diogofichardo said...

As our corrupt politicians have let us down to the highest bidder, I pray honest Goan religious leaders of all faith Join Goans in salvaging what is untouched in Goa. As for these cursed Casinos they should be sold for scrap and money used to better the poor Goans lives.

Vikas Gauns said...

Good to see more of our Goan priests standing up to what is wrong! Good job Fr Alcandro Rodrigues, the parish priest of Ribandar - we are with you more of us need to stand up and oppose what is worng in Goa whether it's casinos, drugs menace, corruption and all the other social evils that will destroy our youth

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