Senior CPI (M) leader and Kerala Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran flung a racial slur at Work Bank’s senior infrastructure specialist Dr Bernard Aritua, who is associated with a road development project aided by the agency in Kerala.
As the World Bank reportedly took a serious note of the controversial racist comment, Sudhakaran on Thursday tendered an apology.A
After reviewing the progress of World Bank-aided Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) in Kasaragod district on Monday, the Minister said, “World Bank means America. Kerala has existed even before America was born. Don’t threaten us to withdraw the bank loan. KSTP is one of the corrupt projects in Kerala. Officials of the World Bank are responsible for the tardy progress of the project. Since I became the Public Works Minister, the representatives of the World Bank had met me four times….Their (World Bank) team leader is an African- American. That means he belongs to the race of Obama. He is a Negro. Centuries back, they were ferried from Africa to America, and were engaged in bonded labour. When slavery ended, they were freed. This official is part of it,’’ said the minister.
Dr. Bernard Aritua, who faced the racist slur from the CPI (M) minister, is the leader of the World Bank team which had recently reviewed the progress of the KSTP project in Kerala. Aritua is a senior infrastructure specialist in the World Bank.
As his comments became controversial, the Minister on Thursday said, “I would write a letter to the official, tendering apology for my remark. Otherwise, when the WB team visit me next time, I would express my regret over the incident.’’