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Jayalalithaa Demands Apology From US Diplomat

PTI 14 Aug 2011, 7:58:11 IST

Chennai, Aug 14 : The Tamil Nadu Government on Saturday  condemned the remarks of ‘dark and dirty' Tamilians by a US diplomat with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa alleging it smacked of racism and an affront to all Tamilians.

Demanding an apology from US Vice-Consul Maureen Chao who had remarked that her “skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians” after a 72-hour train trip, Jayalalithaa said the remark was ‘highly condemnable' “This remark which smacks of racism is highly condemnable.

You will agree that this remark of the Vice Consul is an affront to all Tamils,” she said in a letter to Jennifer McIntyre, Consul General, US Consulate, Chennai.

She urged McIntyre to impress upon Chao that she has to withdraw this remark and also apologise for having made such a comment on Tamils During a speech at the the SRM University yesterday, Chao said “I was on a 24-hour train trip from Delhi to Orissa. But, after 72 hours, the train still did not reach the destination... and my skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians”.

Following her controversial remark, the US Consulate termed it ‘inappropriate.' In a release it said “During the speech Ms. Chao made an inappropriate comment. Ms. Chao deeply regrets if her unfortunate remarks offended anyone, as that was certainly not her intent”.

The Consulate said the diplomat was describing “positive memories from her own study experiences in India 23 years ago”. PTI