Hawaii Legislature Passed a Resolution to Establish a Sister-State Relationship between Hawaii, USA and Goa, India.
Hawaii, May 15, 2016
The President of Indian- American Friendship Council (IAFC) -Hawaii Chapter, Dr. Raj Kumar, initiated Resolutions SCR 20 and HCR 26 to establish a Sister-State Relationship between Hawaii, United States of America and Goa, India in the Twenty Eighth Legislative Session, December 2015. This resolution was introduced by Hon. Senator Brian Taniguchi in the Senate and Honorable Representative Ken Ito, Chair of the Veteran, Military and International Affairs (VMI) in the House.
All 25 State Senators, both Republican and Democrat, signed this Resolution in the first reading after it was introduced in the Senate on January 29, 2016. The Indian community, local residents, students, teachers, professors, interfaith leaders, and diverse business groups submitted testimonials in support of this important resolution.
The resolution was passed and adopted by the Tourism and International Affairs Committee members- Hon. Senator Kaiali’i Kahele, Hon. Senator Brickwood Galuteria, Hon. Senator Sam Slom, and Vice-Chair and Senate Majority leader, Hon. Senator Kalani English, on February 28, 2016.
The VMI Committee in the House also unanimously passed the resolution on April 14, 2016. The Resolution was adopted in final form by the Senate on April 28, 2016 Hawaii’s Hon. Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, and her father, Hon. Senator Mike Gabbard, also supported this resolution.
This historic agreement is not only between two great states but also between the world's two largest democracies.
Chief Minister of Goa, Hon. Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar, appointed Dr. Raj Kumar as Liaison in September 2015. Delegates from Goa will visit Hawaii to sign this historic legislation in June 2016. Hon. Consul General of India, Mr. Venkatesam Ashok, IAFC Founder, Dr. Krishna Reddy and Sandhya Haridas, Associate Director of Indian tourism from California may attend the signing ceremony with Hawaii Hon. Governor, David Ige, and Hawaii lawmakers.
The East West Center at University of Hawaii, and ISKCON Hawaii temple will host receptions for the delegates from Goa along with prominent people in Hawaii.
Delegates from Hawaii, and the marketing team of Hawaii Tourism Authority will also travel to Goa in November 2016. Mr. Max Sword, Vice-President of Outrigger Hotels announced that he plans to open the first Outrigger Hotel in Goa, India. Professor Marc Jason Gilbert, who teaches history at Hawaii Pacific University, also announced that he would take his students to visit Goa during winter break.
This Memorandum of Understanding is to promote an exchange of culture, education, Information Technology, agricultural products, medicinal plants, herbal medicine, and culinary art programs. It will also promote trade, sports, tourism, Yoga, Ayurveda, wellness expos and training programs, as well as Interfaith and World Peace conferences.
Last year, Gandhi International Institute for Peace (GIIP) initiated SB 332 in the Hawaii Legislature. It was passed and signed into Act 5 by Hawaii’s Governor, Hon. David Ige, on April 10, 2015. This bill was to declare “Mahatma Gandhi Day” in Hawaii. Hawaii, therefore, is the first state in the US to proclaim “October 2 as Mahatma Gandhi Day”.