"People against Ordinance" is a new group which took birth yesterday as the seething anger against the government move to bring out an ordinance to prevent the partial demolition of the Cidade de Goa was brought forth at a meeting where the politicians of Goa and the Governor of Goa Mr Shivinder Singh Sidhu came in for sharp criticism from a host of speakers.
The public meeting which was called by the "Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA)" was held as a prelude to a larger agitation brewing up in the hearts and minds of Goans who clearly felt completely let down by their elected leaders.It was therefore tentatively decided at the meeting that a large rally would be held somewhere around 21st March at Azad maidan Panjim. The confirmation of the exact date is however awaited.
Among the many avenues of staging a protest on the promulgation of the ordinance, various speakers spoke about the need for students and citizens of the state to write to the Supreme court of India, apprising it of how the government of Goa had bypassed its orders to demolish part of the hotel.
The speakers stressed that no politician from Goa had opposed the ordinance and expressed fears about the large scale illegalities in Goa which would have such blessings regularly. Fr. Maverick Fernandes of the Council for Social Justice and peace, felt that all MLA's need to be met personally and urged not to support the ordinance in the assembly. The ordinance which has been approved by the governor has now got to face the test on the floor of the assembly in the forthcoming assembly session.
Indicating that the ordinance had far reaching consequences, speakers implored on the need for highlighting the issue on a national level with organizations from around the country invited to take part in the protest.
Venita Coelho, another speaker also noted that the ordinance would not be able to save the other structures in CRZ areas and that the public needed to be educated about the ordinance to realise that the two issues were exclusive to each other.
The meeting was attended among others by well known fashion designer Mr Wendell Rodricks, ex-MLA Mr Mathany Saldanha, Mr Avinash Bhonsle, Fr . Maverick Fernandes, Adv. Norma Alvares, GBA member Mr Praveen Sabnis, GBA convenor Ms Sabina Martins and former convenor of GBA Mr Oscar Rebello.