Washington: A US diplomat posted at the
Chennai Consulate, who was caught in a row over her remarks of
"dirty and dark" Tamilians, has enrolled herself in a cultural
US Vice-Consul Maureen Chao, who had expressed regret for
her comments, has "voluntarily enrolled in a cross-cultural
communications and understanding class," State Department
spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters today.
"The sense was that this class would do some good,"
"We consider the comments absolutely unacceptable. I
think you saw that she apologized almost immediately. She`s
voluntarily enrolled in a cultural sensitivity course. But
obviously, they`re unacceptable and inconsistent with core
American values," she said.
"They did not reflect the best of American values in
terms of tolerance for difference and diversity," Nuland said
in response to a question.
In a speech in Chennai last week, Chao recalled her train
journey some 20 years ago in India and 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."
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha wrote a letter to
US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre and demanded an apology
for the inappropriate remarks.
The US Consulate termed it as inappropriate.
"During the speech Chao made an inappropriate comment.
Chao deeply regrets if her unfortunate remarks offended
anyone, as that was certainly not her intent," the Consulate
replied said in a statement.