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Odysseus
11-05-2010, 11:29 AM
Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN, Nov 5, 2010, 01.04am IST
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Maharashtra-CM-No-2-may-skip-Obama-meet-over-checks/articleshow/6873911.cms

Maharashtra CM may skip Obama meet over checks

MUMBAI: Miffed by the US consulate demanding personal details like birth date, nationality and passport number, Maharashtra's top politicians and bureaucrats have decided to pay it back in the same currency. While the home minister and the home secretary have declined to attend an event graced by President Barack Obama, four others, including chief minister Ashok Chavan and deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, are mulling the same.

"We are shocked over the tone of the invitation letter. (US consul general Paul) Folmsbee expects Chavan and Bhujbal to produce their identity cards before entering the venue. They have been asked to submit their details like date of birth, nationality, passport and PAN to the consulate," said a senior official on condition of anonymity. "We feel that this is no way to treat the chief minister of a state. Chavan and Bhujbal are undecided on whether to attend the event."

Last week, Folmsbee wrote to Chavan, Bhujbal, home minister R R Patil, chief secretary J P Dange, additional chief secretary Chandra Iyengar and protocol secretary Sumit Mullick, inviting them for the November 6 event at the Taj Mahal hotel where Obama is expected to pay homage to victims of the 26/11 terror attacks.

"President Barack Obama will make a brief statement to commemorate the tragic attacks on November 26, 2008, respect the victims.. Kindly attend the event.. For security reasons, bring this letter, along with a photo identify card, RSVP to protocol advisor," Folmsbee said in the one-page letter.

The US consul-general also asked the six to fill up a form with details like complete name, birth date, nationality, passport and PAN numbers and submit it to the consulate before November 2.

Of the six invitees, Patil and Iyengar have declined to attend the event on grounds that the tone of the invitation and the request for details were inappropriate. Besides, the home department felt the right place for paying tribute to the martyrs was the police memorial. Another grouse was that the invitees did not have any active role in the event.

Soon after receiving the consulate's letter, Mullick wrote to the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi, asking chief protocol officer Sunil Lal whether the chief minister and other invitees should attend the event. The MEA threw the ball back to Chavan's court.

"It's a private event organized by the US consulate, which never consulted either the MEA or the state government before finalizing the programme," the official said. "Under such circumstances, it was felt that Chavan and Bhujbal should not attend. However, the MEA asked Chavan to take a decision."
The state government feels that since the protocol was not upheld properly, Chavan and others should give the event a miss.

Officials said after the government expressed its displeasure with the consulate, Folmsbee called on Bhujbal at his residence. "Folmsbee invited Bhujbal for the event. Bhujbal's decision on whether to attend the event will be taken after consulting the chief minister," a senior official from the Dy CM's office said.
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Team Obama does it again. A trip that was meant to... well, do something, I guess, ends up alienating the be people that it's ostensibly supposed to meant to reach out to. Maybe Obama's protocol team can make it up with the kinds of thoughtful gifts that they're known for. Maybe some Kobe beef steaks for the Hindus that they've offended, followed by a "Reset" button that actually says "Show me your papers" in Hindi.

The American Thinker commentary (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/11/obamas_state_department_to_ind.html) ended with this gem:


For an administration that has made such an issue with law enforcement officials in Arizona asking for papers, it seems awfully hypocritical for them to demand that high ranking state officials of a sovereign nation (which is graciously hosting their large entourage) to produce their papers. Will Indian customs officials be asking Mr. Obama for his papers?

Perhaps Obama's Justice Department will sue the state of Maharashtra?

marv
11-05-2010, 02:49 PM
Miffed by the US consulate demanding personal details like birth date, nationality and passport number, Maharashtra's top politicians and bureaucrats have decided to pay it back in the same currency. While the home minister and the home secretary have declined to attend an event graced by President Barack Obama, four others, including chief minister Ashok Chavan and deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, are mulling the same.

"We are shocked over the tone of the invitation letter. (US consul general Paul) Folmsbee expects Chavan and Bhujbal to produce their identity cards before entering the venue. They have been asked to submit their details like date of birth, nationality, passport and PAN to the consulate," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

Maybe they should demand to see president hussein's birth certificate.........

Gingersnap
11-05-2010, 06:32 PM
This really is insulting. The State Department gets big bucks to keep track of this kind information. It would be like having to hand over your license to gain admittance to your cousin's wedding. :rolleyes:

fettpett
11-05-2010, 08:18 PM
why not ask for a cheek swab while their at it?

Kay
11-05-2010, 08:21 PM
This is just amazing. His arrogance knows no bounds. He insults and alienates his own countrymen by taking this outlandish extravagant trip to start with, and then he insults the host country damaging our diplomatic relationship with them. The man's arrogance and the incompetency of his staff at every level is going to be his longest lasting legacy.

I find the comparison to Arizona hilarious. We can't let our police ask for papers along a border that's riddled with illegals, but he can go overseas and demand papers from their government officials. Just amazing.

Odysseus
11-06-2010, 10:11 PM
Imagine a head of a friendly state coming to the US, and bringing his entire staff, plus a significant military force for his own protection (as opposed to a ceremonial fleet visit, which does serve a diplomatic purpose). We'd be insulted by the implications that we couldn't ensure his safety, not to mention the hubris implied by bringing an entourage that probably dwarfs the local administration. It's insulting and utterly unnecessary, but that's typical of Obama.

And, of course, this was the guy who, having lived overseas, was supposed to be sensitive to the ways of the rest of the world.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if he was a Republican plant, put in office to permanently discredit the Democratic Party.

warpig
11-07-2010, 07:08 AM
I can't believe they don't want to meet the "One"................:rolleyes:

Odysseus
11-07-2010, 09:59 AM
I can't believe they don't want to meet the "One"................:rolleyes:

They spent years overturning their own caste system. The last thing that they need is Maharajah Obama.

warpig
11-07-2010, 11:22 AM
They spent years overturning their own caste system. The last thing that they need is Maharajah Obama.

It looks like he thinks he's one.

Phillygirl
11-07-2010, 11:39 AM
Where's Goldie Hawn when we need her?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6a/Protocol.jpg