Skip to main content

Modi finds support in non-voting US Congressman, is advised not to accept White House invite

By Our Representative
Eni Faleomavaega, 70-year-old non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives from American Samoa's At-large congressional distric -- among the first top US dignitaries to meet Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar way back in 2010 -- has advised Modi not to accept any invitation to visit US in case he becomes Prime Minister. Faleomavaega said, In case Modi becomes Prime Minister of India, he should decline a visit to the US “unless the State Department takes a stand now and informs him in advance of whether or not a visa would be granted should he apply”.
In a statement issued in Washington DC by Faleomavaega’s office says, “Ranking Member Eni Faleomavaega of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific – which has broad jurisdiction for US foreign policy affecting the region, including India – announced that he will not support House Resolution 417”, promulgated by two US Congressmen, one Democrat and another Republican, to continue denying visa to Modi (click HERE).
Faleomavaega said, “India is a multi-cultural and multi-religious democracy, where the leader of the ruling party is of Italian heritage, the Prime Minister is a Sikh and the vice president is a Muslim in an 80 per cent Hindu country. Chief Minister Modi is a democratically elected leader and has been elected three times by the majority of some 60 million constituents. He may well be India’s next Prime Minister and Resolutions like House Resolution 417 do little to help strengthen U.S.-India relations or protect and promote US interests abroad, especially in the Asia Pacific region”.
Saying that he commends the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), which is an American bipartisan body representing the political views of the Indian-American community in the US, for working with key leaders in the US. House of Representatives to correct the misinformation put forward by House Resolution 417, Faleomavaega said, “I encourage my colleagues to re-think this non-binding Resolution and oppose Floor action of any kind.”
The resolution, said Faleomavaega, “purports to praise India's rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality while reaffirming the need to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities”, adding, “I have a difference of opinion regarding the Resolution and its unintended consequences. The Resolution does little to praise India or strengthen US-India relations but rather focuses on the 2002 Gujarat riots some 11 years after the fact.”
“Some eight years after the fact, the Resolution also commends the US government for exercising its authority in 2005 under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to deny a US visa to Narendra Modi on the grounds of religious freedom violations”, Faleomavaega said, adding, “Thanks, in part, to the efforts of USINPAC which has mobilized the Indian-American community in opposition to this Resolution, I highly doubt House Resolution 417 will ever see Floor action.”
Pointing out that “the timing of the Resolution is unfortunate as it unintentionally invokes the name of the US House of Representatives for purposes of influencing India’s upcoming elections”, Faleomavaega said, “For this reason, I feel the need to speak out and reiterate what I am on record as saying shortly after the riots and ever since. Like any other member of Congress committed to human rights, I see eye to eye with the national and international community that what happened in Gujarat calls for justice and accountability”.
He added, “But India, like the United States, has an independent and transparent judiciary and, after an investigation that has been ongoing for more than a decade, India’s Supreme Court and its special investigation team have not found any evidence against chief minister Narendra Modi. This is why I believe the US should shift its attitude and engage in dialogue with Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, just as the European Union and the UK are doing, and many other nations around the world.”
“As for the US denying Modi a visa in 2005, which House Resolution 417 commends, enough is enough. On July 23, 2013, I wrote U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and called upon him to lift the travel ban, although technically no travel ban is in place. Visa eligibility is determined by standards in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), based on information provided by the applicant or otherwise available at the time of application. Consequently, in the words of the State Department, eligibility cannot be determined prior to application”, he said.
“While I believe such a response by the State Department is grossly inadequate and an affront to US-India relations, I was informed that ‘any future visa application put forward by Chief Minister Modi will be carefully considered and adjudicated in accordance with US law.’ In my opinion, should Chief Minister Narendra Modi become India’s next Prime Minister, he should decline a visit to the United States unless the State Department takes a stand now and informs him in advance of whether or not a visa would be granted should he apply”, he said. 

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.