Close down Portuguese Consulate in Goa as they are promoting dual citizenship, says Goa Freedom Fighters

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Portuguese Consulate at Altinho Goa (Image source: Flicker JOEGOAUK)

The issue of dual citizenship is haunting Goa for quite some time now. The Goans were enjoying the privilege of having the dual citizenship for many years until one day the Government of India decided to scrap the existing system under the provisions of Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules 2009. What does this law say and why the Goan Freedom Fighter wants to close the down the Portuguese Consulate that is practically benefiting many Goans. Read the complete report here.

[su_expand more_text=”READ MORE” less_text=” ” height=”0″ hide_less=”yes” link_style=”button” link_align=”center”] Based on the news published in the local daily The Navhind Times, Goan Freedom Fighters Association has become aggressive towards the existence of the Portuguese Consulate in Goa. According to them, it is promoting the dual citizenship in the state. They have also demanded the survey of all those Goans who have registered their birth with Portuguese Central Registry in Lisbon and to penalize such individuals.

The Goa, Daman and Diu Freedom Fighters Association on Tuesday made the appeal before the Government of India asking them to close down Portuguese Consulate situated at Altinho with the name Fundação Oriente. The freedom fighters association said that these offices should be closed down, as they have been promoting dual citizenship in the state in contravention of the treaty signed between Portugal and India in 1975, wherein Portugal had acknowledged the full sovereignty of India on the territories of Goa, Daman, Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, effective from the date these territories became part of India under the Constitution of India.

Read: Portuguese Nationality issue – Goans registered in Portugal are likely to lose their Indian citizenship

Senior Freedom Fighter Nagesh Karmali was addressing the press conference in the presence of the president of the Association Mr. Shyamsunder Nagvekar and secretary Chandrakant Pednekar. He mentioned in his speech that, later on, Portuguese Government amended their ‘Organic Law’ thus allowing the Goans to opt for dual citizenship. According to him, the Government of Portugal made a big blunder by doing this and the Indian government should severe all political ties with Portugal.

Mr. Karmali also alleged that the Portugal is unnecessarily interfering into Goa. “In fact, Portugal, unlike Britain and France who once ruled parts of India, is unnecessarily interfering with the internal matters of Goa by continuously organizing cultural events here,” he said.

Speaking further, Karmali said that the politicians are taking a serious issue such as dual citizenship lightly, while those Goans, who have registered their birth in Portugal, are well aware of what they have done. “Such anti-national people, who overnight change their citizenship like a shirt and who are much more than their estimated number of around 40,000, pose a threat to the national security since they can compromise on the sovereignty of India anytime,” he said. He also added that the freedom fighters are not interested in the religion of such people, but want to tackle the issue by considering them as people from Goa.

He stressed on the need of proper committee to handle the present situation and alone setting up an authority like the one handled by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju will not help much as it only carries out the investigation into the matter while does not help in taking any tangible action against the violators. “In fact, Article 9 of the Indian Constitution has no provision for dual citizenship and takes away all powers of a person who acquires citizenship of another country, including his or her rights to vote,” he added.

Read: Portuguese Passport holders will lose citizenship but Goans with birth registered in Lisbon are safe: CM

Karmali also targeted the Fontainhas festival which takes place every year as it promotes the Portuguese culture in the state. He warned that the Goa Daman and Diu Freedom Fighters Association will oppose the ongoing efforts to revive the Fontainhas Festival, and if this festival is restarted then, it would be forcibly stopped. “People already celebrate Maruti Jatra in Mala-Fontainhas area, and do not need another cultural event, especially from a country, which had destroyed the Goan culture during its 450-year colonial rule here,” he maintained.

Nagvekar, speaking on the occasion condemned successive governments in the state for fooling the freedom fighters through assurances about government jobs to their children. “What these governments have done is repeatedly relaxed the age limit for our children, for government employment and given some of them class III and class IV jobs,” he noted.

This issue seems like going to get more serious with the time since as many as 400,000 people according to the statement made by the former CM Shri Manohar Parrikar are having registered their birth in the Lisbon and many of them carry “Bill of Identity” which makes them a dual citizen. We would like to invite the fair debate in this issue on this platform. Kindly share your views in the form of comments.

Source: Navhind Times

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