Goa freedom fighters against Lusofonia Games in state
Panaji: Freedom fighters from Goa have expressed their resentment over hosting of the Portuguese Commonwealth Games, popularly known as Lusofonia Games, saying the event reminds people of the oppressive Portuguese regime they faced.
"Few of the pro-Portuguese people still want to assert that they ruled over Goa for 450 years. It is sad. We strongly express our resentment over these games to be hosted in Goa," Chandrakant Kenkre, president of Goa Freedom Fighters Association, told PTI.
"Several people lost their lives and thousands went behind bars to liberate Goa from Portuguese rule. We can`t forget that," he said.
The organisers have claimed that these games are being played in Goa because the state is a Portuguese-speaking region.
Goa Olympics Association president Gurudatt Bhakta had said last week that the hosting of the games has nothing to do with the state`s Portuguese colonial past.
Kenkre has appealed all sportsmen not to participate in the games to be held from November 2-10.
"India`s team is tagged as India (Goa) which indicates that they want to assert about their colonial past. If they want India to participate why the word Goa in the name of the team?" asked Kenkre, who had spent five years in Aguada jail during Portuguese rule and was honoured with several awards post liberation.
He said the freedom fighters were kept in dark about hosting of the games or else they would have opposed it right from the beginning.
The games would be held across six stadiums in Goa, three of which are constructed especially to host the event.