Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Meanwhile, international controversy swirls around Yankton, South Dakota

Not because of anything Yankton did, but because of the people who couldn't make it to Yankton. The story began here.

The Junior Indian Archery team that longed to participate in World Youth Archery Championship in the US has been disillusioned after the US Embassy in Delhi denied visa for 20 members, including renowned Korean coach Chae Wom Lim.

The junior Indian Archery team, comprising of boys and girls, are scheduled to leave for the US on Saturday for the championship which will be held on June 8-14 in Yankton, South Dakota.

Unfortunately, the Delhi embassy granted visa only for seven archers, two coaches and a Sports Authority of India official and rejected the visa applications of the rest of the team members and coaches, casting a shadow over India’s participation in the championship.

What happened? Apparently the face to face interviews didn't go well.

Most of them are not well versed in English and hence lack in communication. When the visa officer asked them what they do for living, they simply said we are archers and play archery.

(If you assume that everyone in India speaks English from the British days...you don't know India.)

Let's take the story to Lausanne, Switzerland. Why Switzerland? Because the archers have an international organization and stuff, and therefore the international organization ended up making a statement.

During the last week, 18 athletes and coaches from India’s planned 35-person delegation to the World Archery Youth Championships in Yankton were denied visas to enter the USA.

The majority of those denied visas were athletes.

World Archery was informed that the reason given for the withdrawal was a failure to provide the requisite information to prove the trip was for a short stay.

As a result, the entire Indian delegation withdrew from the event.

World Archery deeply regrets the situation, particularly for the young Indian athletes who have been training for the competition for the past months. It is unfortunate and saddening that this effort will not be seen on the competition field due to administrative or communication difficulties.

During the opening ceremony at the event, World Archery Secretary General sent best wishes on behalf of everyone in Yankton to the Indian athletes, saying he hoped to see them on the field soon, competing with the same athletes.

Since the initial visa rejection was reported, the Yankton 2015 organising committee and World Archery contacted authorities in the USA and India in an attempt to resolve the issue but nothing could be done in the short timespan before the competition.

World Archery makes every effort to ensure visas are easily obtainable for its international events.

An evaluation of this situation with all parties involved will be undertaken to investigate how it might be avoided in future.

In other words, a typical statement from an international organization with no power, saying nothing. If Sepp Blatter headed archery, things would be a little different. (And the championship wouldn't be in South Dakota; I doubt they'd have enough bribe money.)

In essence, decisions made by government functionaries in New Delhi, India ended up having international repercussions. Perhaps the embassy officials truly feared that the youths would end up illegally working in the oil fields of South Dakota. Perhaps the embassy officials didn't like THOSE kinds of Indians (apparently some of the youth were from lower socioeconomic classes). Perhaps they thought they'd improve the United States' chances of winning by keeping the competition out of the country.

Whatever their motives, the whole incident has NOT promoted goodwill between India and the United States, as the comments to this article attest.

On the one hand they deny visas even to athletes from third world and pocket huge amounts as visa processing fees. But are ever too eager to help the third world in political issues with their neighbours or within their own countries. You can see the HUMAN SIDE of Americans when they spend billions of dollars to BOMB entire countries out of existence - all in the name of PEACE, JUSTICE, DEMOCRACY and HUMAN RIGHTS. ALWAYS READY TO HELP THE HUMANITY. Just tell them who to bomb! COMMENDABLE!. What they take in visa fees (and more), they return in terms of bombs. Apostles of Peace. Richly deserve all the Nobel Peace prizes they have been getting.

But then again,

You are very kind hearted . Please campaign and support for Indian citizenship to millions of Bangladeshis already in India and also those who want to come here as Indians are very generous as none else in the world. Sob,sob.

All that I can say is that if there's a cricket championship in India any time soon, and you're on the United States team...I'd make sure to buy a refundable ticket.
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