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The Goan beaches are full of businesses run by the Lamanis (a nomadic tribe) who have started settling down in Goa. Initially, the shacks and other tourism-related businesses were run by the local Goans alone but, due to the boom in tourism, the people from the neighboring states started coming down to Goa and began setting up their businesses on the coastal belt. With a slow and steady pace, the outsiders overpowered Goans and present situation is such that, there are more outsiders on the coastal belts compared to the Goans.

The term Lamanis usually used for the people (a nomadic tribe) migrated from the neighbouring state of Karnataka. The people of Karnataka starred entering Goa in a search of employment since Goans needed them to do all the menial work, but now their growth has created a threat for the locals, and to combat that the locals have decided to shut down all the businesses run by the Lamanis in the state.

According to the report published by IANS The village assembly of a popular Goa beach village, Benaulim in South Goa, on Wednesday passed a resolution to shut down all businesses, including taxi services operated by the members of the Lamani community, a nomadic tribe with origins in central and southern Indian states.   

The resolution in this regards was passed on Wednesday at the Gram Sabha held at Benaulim village, one of the most known beach destination in south Goa and famous amongst the foreign tourists.     

The people from neighbouring state have settled down in Goa

“The village gram sabha passed a resolution today seeking that the panchayat withdraws all ‘no objection certificates’ given to businesses operated by the Lamanis, including taxi operations. The resolution has sought a ban on all businesses operated by the Lamanis,” Menino Fernandes deputy sarpanch of the Cana Benaulim village panchayat told IANS on Wednesday.

The formal decision on the resolution will be taken in the next week following the discussion in a meeting of a panchayat core committee, said the sources.

It may be recalled that last year (April 2017) the tourism minister Babu Ajagaonkar had demanded the ban on Lamanis in Goa. According to the report published in Surya Tourism minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar said that Lamanis, members of a nomadic tribe mostly hailing from Karnataka, should be banned from Goa because they besmirch the reputation of Goa and don’t fit in the coastal state’s culture.

Responding to the remarks of the Goa’s tourism minister the Karnataka Tourism Minister replied in the media saying Why single out Lamanis, why not Russians? “Crime is not limited to one community or country. It is very unfortunate that a minister has issued an irresponsible statement targeting one particular community. It is very strange that the BJP is happy with foreigners but doesn’t want Indians”, said Mr. Priyank Kharge, the tourism minister of Karnataka.

Foreigners doing business in Goa

Although the tourism minister refused to apologize on his statement, the Calangute MLA and Goa’s Deputy speaker Michael Lobo came in the favor of Lamanis in Goa and apologized on behalf of Ajagaonkar following the threat from Lamani organization to take legal action against the tourism minister.   

Then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of Karnataka, which hosts a significant chunk of the Scheduled Tribe population in a letter to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had expressed concern at the well-being of the tribal community.   

Lamanis, traditionally known for their colorful costumes, are involved in the seasonal tourism trade, selling trinkets and handmade clothes along the coastline to tourists who frequent the coastal state annually.   

Several second-generation Lamanis settled in Goa are also involved in mainstream businesses, largely affiliated to the tourism sector, which includes the operation of taxi services.

The Lamanis have become an integral part of the tourism industry in Goa and it is now very difficult to remove them from the mainstream. Besides, there is an organization that takes care of their needs, and they are ready to take any action including the legal if they have been forced to close down the business. Under such circumstances, how the Goans will be able to remove them from Goa?? What is your opinion on this??     

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