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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?