7 US Lawmakers Lend Support To Protesting Farmers, Write To Pompeo
Over a dozen US Congressmen have expressed concerns’ over the government’s reaction to the farmers in recent times.
Seven influential US lawmakers have reached out to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by writing a letter on 23 December asking for dialogue between him and his Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, about the ongoing issue of farmers’ protest.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting on various borders of Delhi since 26 November, seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September, which they have dubbed “anti-farmer laws.”
The seven US lawmakers who have written to Pompeo expressing ‘serious concerns’ are Donald Norcross (New Jersey), Brendan F Boyle (Pennsylvania), Pramila Jayapal (Washington), Debbie Dingell (Michigan), Mary Gay Scanlon (Pennsylvania), David Trone (Maryland) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania) reported The Hindu.
Except for Fitzpatrick who is a Republican, the six other lawmakers are democrats.
By reinforcing ‘US’ commitment to freedom of political speech abroad,’ the lawmakers asked Pompeo to begin a dialogue with his Indian counterpart. They believe that US, with its ‘familiarity for political protests can counsel India during its period of social disturbance.’
“As national legislators we respect the right of the Government of India to determine national policy, in compliance with existing law. We also acknowledge the rights of those in India and abroad who are currently protesting peacefully against agricultural laws that many Indian farmers see as an attack on their economic security,” said the letter, as quoted by PTI.
The farmers’ protest in India has sparked many protests in the US as well. The legislators in their letter acknowledged the effect the protests have on Indian Americans living abroad.
“In particular, we are compelled to reach out to you after seeing in the international press that protesting farmers from Punjab, who were marching peacefully to Delhi, were brutally subjected to water cannon attacks, barbed wire barricades, and tear gas by Indian security personnel,” said their letter.
‘Ill-informed Comments By Foreign Leaders on Farmers’: MEA
More than a dozen US Congressman have expressed concerns over the government’s reaction to the protesting farmers in the past few weeks, and have defended their right to ‘protest peacefully.’
India, earlier this month had dismissed the remarks by international leaders as “ill-informed”, “unwarranted” and “internal affairs of a democratic country.”
"We have seen some ill-informed comments relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country," said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, quoted PTI.
India had a fall out with Canada after their PM Justin Trudeau spoke up in solidarity of the farmers, and skipped the COVID-19 meeting chaired by the country on Monday, 7 December.
Trudeau has maintained that his country “will always stand for the rights of peaceful protests and human rights anywhere in the world.”
(With inputs from PTI and The Hindu)
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