In a strong rebuke, Congress MP Manish Tewari on July 7 criticized US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, for his recent remarks regarding the Manipur violence. Tewari expressed his astonishment, stating that in his four decades of public life, he had never witnessed a US Ambassador making such a statement on India's internal matters.
The controversy arose when Ambassador Garcetti, during his visit to Kolkata, offered assistance from the US in dealing with the ongoing crisis in Manipur. He emphasized that one does not have to be Indian to be concerned about the violence that has claimed the lives of numerous children and individuals in the Northeastern state.
Responding to Garcetti's comments, Tewari highlighted the challenges India has faced in regions like Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northeast, which were successfully addressed with wisdom and foresight. He recalled that even during the 1990s, when Robin Raphel was vocal about Jammu and Kashmir, US Ambassadors in India exercised caution. Tewari questioned whether Ambassador Garcetti fully comprehends the intricate history of US-India relations and India's sensitivity to external interference, be it well-intentioned or malicious.
Ambassador Garcetti's remarks came amidst escalating clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur, resulting in a significant loss of lives, injuries, and displacement. The violence erupted following a Tribal Solidarity March on May 3, organized to protest the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The repercussions of the clashes have also spilled over into neighboring Mizoram, with Chief Minister Zoramthanga reporting nearly 12,000 displaced individuals seeking refuge in the state.
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