New Zealand Envoy Regrets Dikshit Remark

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) New Zealand's envoy Thursday expressed "deep regret over the hurt" caused to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit by offensive remarks made by a Kiwi TV anchor, saying they were vulgar.

Rupert Holborow said on being summoned by the external affairs ministry: "These remarks were culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar."

Earlier this week, New Zealand TV anchor Paul Henry gave an offensive twist to Dikshit's name, suggesting how it should be pronounced. He also made derogatory remarks about Indians.

In a statement, Holborow said: "As New Zealand's high commissioner to India, I would like to convey my deep regret for the hurt these comments have caused.

"They reflect the views of only one media commentator (who has already been censored for other racist and unacceptable comments), and certainly not the New Zealand government or people.

"As high commissioner, I always look forward to celebrating the warm and positive links between our two countries and there is never a case for making remarks of this nature which are hurtful," he said.

"New Zealand highly values its relationship with India and we pride ourselves on being a welcoming, tolerant and inclusive society."

India earlier condemned the "racist" remarks and said they were "totally unacceptable" and should be "condemned by all right thinking people and nations".

The ministry of external affairs issued a demarche to Holborow, who met Secretary (East) Lata Reddy.


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