Dream Goa or Dread Goa

© of Winslie Gomez.

Once upon a time, the only thing that could spoil your holiday abroad was the airline, airport, crap hotel, the service or lack-of, hire cars that broke down, bad food and getting ill; I mean very ill, getting drunk, losing your wallet-passport-camera-ipod and worse still, getting arrested for being a prat.

Of course you have to face the usual cons and fakes, from artists to souvenirs, crooked cops, pedlars and pimps. But you would never imagine that a Government official as in Goa, India would actually warn “foreign tourists” especially when 60% of their economy is tourist related.

“Foreign tourists have to be careful,” he said. “They can’t just do these things and then blame the government for the consequences. You can’t expect the government to provide police on the beaches after midnight.” He warned foreign women in Goa to avoid “insecure places” and to take “precautions”, while declining to define either term.” Timesonline

IMG courtesy of Lee Abamonte

Is Digambar Kamat, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Goa, misunderstood?

From a UK, perspective his words sound ridiculous!

However, in the Indian context, his words of warning probably would be no different to the average Indian tourist to his State.

Is the morality of the shack worker to be equated with that of either the Chief Minister or the whole State of Goa?

The case of Scarlett Keeling and her tragic death has exposed the grim truth about life-after-sunset, on the once idyllic paradise that was, the beaches of Goa.

Fiona McKeown as the mother, has come in for her fair share of criticisms. However she faces an uphill struggle in being able to understand the Indian psyche and the political machinery at work.The missing internal organs of her daughter are only a fraction of the problem at hand.

Timesonline has interesting observations and questions:

[T]he problem for Goa is the same as the difficulty faced by other tourist destinations “discovered” by the young and the adventurous and trading on their fashionable, hippy associations. Ibiza, Bali, The Gambia and parts of Thailand are all places where the prevailing hedonism attracts a large number of free-spending tourists but runs counter to the more conservative views and mores of the host country. Entrepreneurs who have invested in the bars, clubs, pools and hotels that bring in the tourists are keen to encourage a lively reputation in the West. That same reputation, however, can cause resentment, disdain and confusion to the very people working in these resorts. A clash of assumptions can have dangerous consequences.

Such clashes have been increasing in Goa as the tourist numbers rise. The Indian media have reported 27 deaths of foreigners already this year,…..

This story is going to rumble on for a while yet and many a head will roll, eventually!

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Kidney for FREE!

Indian harvest – Kidneys??

India has been known as a “warehouse for kidneys” or a “great organ bazaar”

Is that because there is a growing shortage of rice, globally?

Why pay? Especially, when it is available free of charge from a young specimen like Scarlett keeling. Or is there a sinister trade in body parts?

Should body parts be available for sale?

Fiona Mckeown appears to have unearthed some seriously questionable practices in the melting pot that makes up the Indian nation.

She brings Goa into the focus despite the criticisms laid at her door for her parenting skills.

Shocking images thanks to Escape from India.

Other recent interesting views on sequence of events.

img courtesy of

Indian Human Rights Commission to Sonia Gandhi on Scarlett Keeling Assault & Death

Powerful voices are being added to Fiona MacKeown’s dogged persistence in uncovering the tragic death of her 15 year old daughter at a bar, “Lui’s Shack”, in sleepy Anjuna beach, Goa. The bar has since been hastily removed from the beach destroying all forensic evidence along with it. All that remain are stumps in the beach sand.

How can anyone be so stupid, when there is ample photographic and video footage in just about every newsroom across the globe.

Fiona Mckeown has shown remarkable composure and resilience in the aftermath of the tragic and possibly violent death of a young woman. It is the quiet confidence that has rattled the authorities and although some quarters have tried to tarnish her character, or question her ability as a parent, including myself. One has to admire this woman who has had her quiet little existence, in the simplest of shelters, brought to public scrutiny. Fiona cannot alter the fact that every little element of her life will be scrutinised, examined and critiqued upon and going by how she has managed to raise up above the criticisms, is to her enduring credit

Fiona who is due to arrive back in the UK tomorrow is seeking assistance from Scotland Yard. The Indian National Commission for Women will investigate Scarlett’s death, an organisation that promotes and protects the interests of women in India, dealing with issues including rape. BBC News

One of the reasons perhaps, and about time too, that the Human Rights Commission is showing concern, is because till now India has been portrayed as the new growth sector on the global market, whilst ignoring the seedier side of life in Goa, that has always been prevalent and growing exponentially through current Russian and Islraeli influence.

According to a retired police officer, who did not wish to be named, “Anjuna (A), Baga (B) and Calangute (C) sums up ABC of Goa’s drug trade. Crackdown on these places can solve a major irritation”.

A cross junction in this village, popularly known as Starco, is a meeting point for the tourists seeking drugs. Reports The Hindu News

Goa Hope?

Scarlett’s death and Fiona Mckeown brought Goa to the front pages of the UK media. Plus the Indian readership reacting to each side of the same coin of either hating and blaming Fiona or taking this as the opportunity to pounce on the authorities for all that ails Goa.

Is the average reader meant to accept these simple papering-over-chasm explanations?

Perhaps this might be the opportunity to clean-up the litter. But then with drugs, rape, murder together with words like Mafia and Police corruption in the forefront of everyones mind what exactly is a place like GOA meant to do.

Background reading

Ian Jackson of the Guardian has a good article tracing a brief history titled “:

The land where the hippy trail reaches a historic impasse

Adventurous travellers have found many things in Goa. Innocent escape was never one of them

[G]oa was merely the oldest, a small enclave in India taken from its Muslim rulers by the Portuguese in 1510. The conquerors’ religious zeal and skin-blind sexual desire meant many Goans were Catholic and of mixed race, but this hardly recommended them to either the rulers or the ruled in British India. All the qualities that were later distorted and exaggerated to make Goa “the world’s number one party destination”

Will Goa be tarnished? Hardly!

They arrive in Goa like white chicken and leave golden-brown. They pass a lovely week eating, drinking and sunbathing, and all for less than five pounds a day. Goa may be one of the most expensive spots in India, but for the foreign tourist it is still luxury on the cheap.

Time of India

2 Million tourist per annum visit Goa

Goa is a low cost holiday destination for the average Brit but particularly attractive to the new age traveller, than any of the coastal resorts of Greece or Spain.

It is immediately obvious why Fiona Mackeown would feel at home, as a “pursuer of the self-sufficiency lifestyle” or The Good Life, as it has come to be called after the television series in the late 70’s.

New Dawn?

This may be the huge and rather stiff door of post colonialism slowly, reluctantly, creaking open and for a ray of light to enter.

People dancing in Goa

If that is what dancing is meant to be, no wonder these people need drugs. Perhaps making it legal is the answer.

Enjoy the sunset.

Thanks for the video to:

Xobotoff

and

RC501

Posted in Life. Tags: , , . 4 Comments »

Pragmatic Parent, Pompous Pratt or Prophetic Purifier

In the centre of a horrific death of a teenager Scarlett Keeling (15yrs) from Devon UK, found semi-naked, raped and ravaged on a beach in Goa, India the hippie paradise of the 60’s. Here stands the mother; Mrs Fiona McKeown answering to the criticisms being thrown at her.

She has managed to challenge the establishment to admit that there may be some Indian rope-trick or smokescreen which is now brought out into the international glare of public domain.

Scarlett Keeling the 15 year old
In a bar, “Lui’s Shack” in sleepy Anjuna beach between 0200 -0400 Hrs (approx) high on cocaine, drinking and being supplied with ecstasy by a local dealer.

scarlett.jpg

The half-clad body of Scarlett was found on Goa’s popular Anjuna beach on February 18. Police have arrested two persons, Carvalho and Samson D’souza, both of whom have allegedly confessed to raping the 15-year-old few hours before she was found dead on the beach, he said, adding that Carvalho has been booked on murder charge.

“A prime suspect Placido Carvalho, who was arrested last night, has confirmed that he gave her drugs, raped her and left her on the beach. As the girl remained unconscious, she died during the high tide,” a senior police officer and in-charge of the investigations told PTI on Thursday morning.
Claiming to have cracked the case of murder of British teenager Scarlette Eden Keeling, the Goa police on Thursday said the 15-year-old died due to “drug overdose and drowning” after a man allegedly gave her narcotics, raped her and left her on the beach.

Hindustan Times

The Mother Mrs Fiona McKeown
The 43-year-old the mother of nine children, from Bideford, Devon who once had a stall in Camden Market.


Courtesy of RudriaRia. Thank you

The Daily Mail gives us a glimpse of the lifestyle Mrs Mckeown and her family lived, no wonder they felt at home in India.

You have to see the images to believe it.

Fiona MacKeown, the mother of Scarlett Keeling, the 15-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Goa, seems less like a grieving mother than an avenging tigress.

With her swishing curtain of grey hair, Fiona is taking on a corrupt local police force which initially denied that her cub had been the victim of foul play.

“If police had taken more interest in previous [suspicious] deaths, then Scarlett might not be dead now,” growled Fiona.

Maybe so. But isn’t there an even better chance that Scarlett would still be alive if her own mother had not abandoned her for several weeks after an argument and recklessly continued her own holiday?

Instead the blonde teenager, as tempting as a ripe peach, was left in the care of a 25-year-old tour guide – a local man she’d only recently met. (emphasis added)

Reports AllisonPearson of the Daily Mail

Goa the idyllic landscape or a den of iniquity

“Should young girls be allowed to move around alone on a beach at night?” Naik had wondered, even as he blamed the media for “blowing up” the case.

The issue arose from a question posed by Prema Cariappa (Congress) and Sushma Swaraj (Bharatiya Janata Party) on the steps the government had taken to prevent rising crimes against foreign tourists.

Former Maharashtra governor PC Alexander (Independent) said this was not enough.

“This may not result in the right solution. A taskforce is not the same as a police force. If the issue is to be tackled effectively, we need a police force,” he said.

“It is not just a law and order problem. Tourism is of utmost importance to the nation as our prestige is involved. I want an assurance that what will be created is a police taskforce and not one of ex-servicemen,” Alexander added.

HT once again reports

There are a lot of issues here that need to be explored and everyone will have to face up to some harsh truths. TBC

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