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US diplomat goes to school after `dirty Tamilian' remark

Thursday August 18, 2011 08:23:05 PM, Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington: The US diplomat in India who got into trouble over her controversial remark about how she "became dirty and dark, like a Tamilian" has joined a "cross-cultural communications and understanding class".

"We consider the comments absolutely unacceptable. I think you saw that she apologised almost immediately," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters here Wednesday when asked about Vice Consul Maureen Chao's remarks in Chennai last week.

"She's also voluntarily enrolled in a cultural sensitivity course. But obviously, they're unacceptable and inconsistent with core American values," she said.

Asked to explain if the State Department conducts such classes for erring officials, Nuland said: "I don't know exactly who's conducting this class, but the sense was that this class would do some good."

Chao made the controversial remark at a function at SRM University while narrating her experience about her 72-hour train journey from New Delhi to Orissa in 1989 when she came to India on a semester programme.

Recalling her experience in exchanging her lower berth in the train compartment for an upper berth with a fellow passenger, she reportedly said that when she came out of the train after the journey "I became dirty and dark, like a Tamilian".
 


(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

 

 





 

 

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