CaribWorldNews, BELMOPAN, Belize, Thurs. Sept. 17, 2009: The new U.S. ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally. has taken up his position in Belmopan, the country`s capital.
Thummalpally arrived in the country on Tuesday and will today, Thursday, Sept. 17th, formally present his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young, and pay a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington, who is also attorney general and minister of foreign trade.
The new ambassador is a friend and former roommate as well as major campaign fundraiser for President Barak Obama. The new U.S. ambassador to Belize was an old friend of Obama during his college years. They jogged and watached basketball together and they were both fans of the Los Angeles Lakers.
He is the first Indian American to be appointed as ambassador for the United States.
Thumalapally migrated from India in 1974 and went on to receive his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University and completed post graduate courses in business administration.
He and his wife first met the now US President Obama in 1980 in the college library and became close friends, even attending the future president’s wedding.
Thummalapally and his wife have two children – Vishal and Sharanya. While Vishal works with an IT company in Seattle, Sharanya is an undergraduate student.
Former President, Bill Clinton, had nominated Vin Gupta, a major Democratic Party fundraiser and close friend of the Clintons, to be the Ambassador to Bermuda, but his nomination was withdrawn before he took office.
The White House said that the new ambassador was President of MAM-A-Inc, a manufacturer and distributor of recordable optical discs. Prior to founding MAM-A Inc., Thummalpally was the plant manager of Mutsui Advanced Media Inc, which also manufactures recordable optical discs. – By Oscar Ramjeet/Special To CWNN