Panaji, June 18 (IANS) Goa and Hawaii will soon sign a memorandum of understanding making them sister states, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday after the Cabinet formally approved the proposal.
“Goa is going to sign sister state agreement. The Cabinet has given approval. The process started when I was Defence Minister.
“(Hawaiian) Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has a keen interest in Indian culture. She moved a proposal and the Governor supported it,” Parrikar told reporters after a meeting of the state Cabinet.
(Gabbard is the first Samoan American and the first Hindu member of the US Congress.)
He said the recent earthquake in Hawaii had delayed the process, adding that the sister-state relationship could cover exchanges in the fields of culture, education, tourism and others.
Parrikar said that during his visit to Hawaii as Defence Minister, he witnessed several similarities shared by the tropical US state and Goa.
“If you go to Hawaii and if you wake up in then morning, without knowing where you are, you will think you are in Goa. I have been there for three days to visit Pacific command as Defence minister. I was surprised to see that it looks exactly like Goa.
“Their food habits are also like us, fish, rice and coconut is abundant. It looks like Goa, the two have a lot of similarities and they are interested in having sister-state relationship… Once we sign it, we will formulate a programme and accordingly we will work on it,” the Chief Minister said.
Parrikar, who attended his first Cabinet meeting upon returning to Goa after more than three months of treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in the US and in Mumbai, also said that resolving infrastructure bottlenecks, boosting the education sector and resolving the mining crisis were some of the priorities for him.