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Portuguese navy ship NRP Sagres to visit Goa

The tallest ship of the Portuguese Navy, NRP Sagres

PANAJI (PTI): Portuguese navy's decorated ship, NRP Sagres will sail to Goan shores Friday, amidst objections by freedom fighters against any celebration for completion of 500 years of Vasco-da-Gama's arrival in Goa.

"The tallest ship of the Portuguese Navy, NRP Sagres is visiting Goa as a part of its 2010 circumnavigation of the world," Portugal Consul General Dr Antonio Sabido Costa said Wednesday.

The visit is to mark "the arrival of the Portuguese to the Orient and Extreme Orient, 500 years ago", he said here.

The ship and its crew will be received in Mormugao port by Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, flag officer commander of Goa. It will be docked there from November 12 to November 16.

Portuguese explorer Vasco-da-Gama was the first person to have touched the land for trade. Later the Portuguese had captured this part of India and made it as their colony, which was liberated on December 19, 1961 by the Indian Army.

Meanwhile, an organisation of freedom fighters, who were jailed to liberate Goa from Portugal rule, have strongly objected to such celebrations.

"We will protest. Let the state government put us behind bars and celebrate the occasion," said Naguesh Karmali, President, All Goa Freedom Fighters association.

Karmali, who was imprisoned during liberation struggle, said the Portuguese rule was marked with oppression, harassment and torture so "How can anyone celebrate the arrival of oppressors?"

Freedom fighters have also demanded that names of Portuguese nationals given to various roads should be scrapped before December 19, 2010.

Karmali said the roads were named after Portuguese leaders, who had unleashed terror on Goans.

The association has also taken strong objection to Panaji city corporation's move to name a renovated garden as 'Garcia de Orte'.


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