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Obama singles out US soccer’s Indian-American chief

United States Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati addresses the media at a press conference introducing new US Men's National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann at NIKETOWN in New York, NY, on August 01, 2011.

Washington: US President Barack Obama singled out US Soccer Federation’s (USSF) Indian-American President Sunil Gulati as he welcomed the US women’s World Cup-winning champions into the White House.

“I want to recognize a lot of people who made these incredibly talented women and put them in a position to be able to showcase their talent so effectively,” he said Tuesday welcoming the team that overcame Japan 5-2 in a thrilling Canada 2015 Final in July

“First of all, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati. Please give him a big round of applause,” said Obama amid applause. He also praised the team’s “outstanding coach, Jill Ellis.”

Allahabad-born Gulati, 56, was unanimously re-elected to a record third four-year term as USSF president in March 2014.

A former president of Kraft Soccer for the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer, he is also a senior lecturer in the economics department of Columbia University.

“These champions deserve all the attention that they’ve been getting. After 16 long years, too many heartbreaks, they flew north to put America back on top of the soccer world and they did it in style,” Obama said.

All 23 players, coaches and backroom staff filed in to the East Room, greeted by a loud ovation from the invited guests. To begin the ceremony, a 13-year-old girl, Ayla, from Massachusetts, shared a letter she wrote to President and Mrs Obama towards the end of Canada 2015.

The letter explained her anger after her brother told her that ‘boys are so much better at soccer than girls’, and that she wanted the White House’s help to prove him wrong.

Obama hailed young Ayla’s courage and used her letter to frame his congratulatory remarks to the recent Women’s World Cup champions. “They’ve done it with class. They’ve done it the right way. They’ve done it with excitement. They’ve done with style. We are very, very proud of them,” he said.

“Girls like Ayla [were told] they weren’t somehow supposed to be as good at sports as boys,” Obama said. “And Ayla got mad, and she should be mad with those attitudes.”

“This team taught all America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass. Playing like a girl means being the best. It means drawing the largest TV audience for a soccer match – men or women’s – in American history.”

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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Bangladeshi Hindus Protest in Front of White House, urge Obama to protect Persecution of Religious Minorities

In front of the White House, Bangladeshi Hindus have held a peaceful protest to urge outgoing US President Barack Obama to protect and to stop the "persecution" of religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country

White House. Wikimedia commons

December 12, 2016: In front of the White House, Bangladeshi Hindus have held a peaceful protest to urge outgoing US President Barack Obama to protect and to stop the “persecution” of religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country.

A memorandum submitted by protesters to Obama said,”We believe you are a person of great sensitivity and resolve, and would find the situation in Bangladesh with respect to the minority communities deplorable. We would like to request you, if it is possible, to convey our anxiety regarding Bangladesh to the next administration.”

According to PTI, “Organised by Hindu-Buddhist Christians Unity Council, USA dozens of protesters conveyed their deep concern regarding the allegedly passive role of the Bangladeshi government in coming to the rescue of the affected or in taking legal measures against the perpetrators.”

“The destruction of Hindu households and temples, the usurping of Hindu lands and occasional killing and rape have become a norm in the present day Bangladesh. In fact, in recent weeks, the news of two more premeditated attacks were documented during which the party in power was complicit, and no actions were taken by the authorities to assist or support the victims and their families,” the memorandum said.

Last month, a similar demonstration was held by the same organisation in front of the Trump Towers in New York.

“President-elect Donald Trump had attended a charity event before the election to raise funds for the terrorism. Bangladeshi Hindus who are victims of terrorism. I am sure, he would take up our cause too,” said protester Sitangshu Guha.

Jay Kansara of the Hindu American Foundation said that protecting Bangladesh from falling into the trap of ISIS is the ‘most pressing priorities’.

He said in his brief address to the protesters, which included women and children, “Because if Bengal falls to extremism, then there would be no recourse to that.”

The memorandum alleged that the present government of Bangladesh occasionally spouted words of secularism, but in reality was following a path of ethnic cleansing that was instituted by Pakistan almost seventy years ago.

“We would like to appeal to you to impress upon the Bangladesh government to consider the following pathways in order to end the minority cleansing and persecution in Bangladesh,” the memorandum said.

Nabendu Bikash Dutta, president Hindu Buddhist Christians Unity Council, USA said, “Bangladesh was liberated from Pakistan with the great hope that there would be no communal feeing or communal force, but in the last seven years we see as many as 273 cases have been filed against the attack on minorities in Bangladesh.”

A Bangladeshi cafe was attacked in July by terrorists which killed 22 people including an Indian girl.

by NewsGram team eith PTI inputs