Calangute MLA and Goa’s Deputy Speaker, Michael Lobo offered an apology on behalf of Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar, for the comment he made against the Lamani community, which are a nomadic tribe hailing from Karnataka.
In a press conference held today, Lobo cleared that the statement made by Ajgaonkar last week demanding the ban of Lamanis from Goa, was an error.
“I apologise on behalf of the party and the coalition parties in the government. The minister must consider apologising. It is up to him,” Lobo said. – IANS
On April 3, Ajgaonkar said: “Outsiders who can uphold ‘Goenkarponn’ (Goanness) should be allowed to stay, the rest should be chased away. Goa’s culture and ‘Goenkarponn’ should be retained. These Lamanis should be stopped (from coming to Goa). A wrong message is sent because of them and the reputation of Goans is spoilt. This has to be done.”
Known for their colourful costumes, the Lamanis are involved in the seasonal tourism trade, selling trinkets and handmade clothes along the coastline to the numerous tourists who frequent the state.
There are thousands of Lamanis settled in Goa.
Adding more, Lobo said that while there is a need to control hawkers on Goa’s famed beaches, there was no reason for Ajgaonkar to tarnish the Lamani community.
“I have already spoken to the minister and told him that there was a mistake on his part. What he wanted to say was hawkers but he said Lamanis instead,” the Deputy Speaker said.
There was heavy criticism garnered on his comments by politicians of Goa and also Karnataka.
Chronicler has covered the initial statement made by the Tourism Minister regarding the ban of Lamanis, click here to read more on that story.