Goa Bans Christmas Beach Parties,Updated

December 20, 2008

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Christmas and New Year beach parties in tourist resorts in the Indian state of Goa have been banned because of security concerns, say the authorities.

No specific details have been given but officials said there was “obviously” a security threat.

The decision follows the attacks in Mumbai last month in which more than 170 people were killed.

The ban will be a major blow to Goa, which relies on the thousands of tourists attending the famous parties.

“Taking into consideration all the aspects, we have decided that beach parties would not be allowed from December 23 to January 5,” Goa chief minister Digamber Kamat told reporters.

He said traditional ceremonies and parties being held in hotels will be unaffected.

Kishan Kumar, Goa’s police inspector general, told Reuters: “Obviously there is a security threat, but we cannot say anything more specific at the moment”.

Security has been tightened around India’s coast following the attacks in November and several foreign governments have advised their citizens against travel to the country.

Goa business leaders said tourism was a “lifeline” and the decision would seriously affect trade.

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