The Portuguese Navy's Sail Training Ship, NRP Sagres, found itself in the midst of a controversy ahead of its arrival in Goa, on Thursday. Freedom fighters have warned that they will not tolerate any celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama in Goa. Some groups led by Goan People Forum have appealed to Goa Governor and Chief Minister not to participate in the celebrations organised on the vessel between Friday and Monday when it will be docked in Goa for public visits. Sagres is circumnavigating the world. The ship and its crew will be received in Mormugao Port in south Goa by Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, Flag Officer Commanding Goa.

The sailing vessel can dock, but there should be no celebrations, the freedom fighters said. “We will protest,” said Naguesh Karmali, president, All Goa Freedom Fighters Association.

Their ire is against an official luncheon offered by Ambassador of Portugal Luis Castro Mendes and Com. Proenca Mendes, Commanding Officer, NRP Sagres, to Goa Governor S.S. Sidhu and Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on Sunday.