Chennai

A US diplomat was caught in a row after her remarks of ” dirty and dark” Tamilians, prompting the American Consulate here to term them as ” inappropriate” and that she regrets them.

” I was on a 24- hour train trip f

rom 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,” US Vice- Consul Maureen Chao said, going down memory lane two decades ago when she was a student.

In a speech at the SRM University on Friday, Chao also said, ” Some 20 years ago, I was a student like you and had an opportunity to do a semester abroad. I chose to come to India, fascinated by the culture and religion. I travelled across villages to understand the culture better. I was amazed at the graciousness and friendliness of the people.” Going into damage- control mode following her controversial remarks, the US Consulate here said, ” During the speech Ms.

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 a Tamilian

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 in a release that the diplomat was describing ” positive memories from her own study abroad experiences in India 23 years ago”. As US Secretary Hillary Clinton recently noted, the US- India partnership was based on shared values of democracy, liberty and respect for religious and cultural diversity, the Consulate release said.

” The US Consulate in Chennai and the US Mission in India are committed to upholding these shared values”, it said.

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