Some of Violence against Indians Clearly Racist, Says Oz Minister
Offering condolences to the family of Indian nationals attacked in the country, Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith has told parliament that some the recent violence against Indian students was clearly racially motivated and that it had ‘considerably damaged’ nation’s reputation, reported AFP.
Smith also told lawmakers that repairing the subsequent damage to the country’s image was an ‘essential priority’, said report.
“Recent contemptible attacks on Indian students and others of Indian origin in Australia have cast a long shadow, not only over our education links, but across our broader relationship and bilateral agenda,” Smith was quoted as saying in an update to parliament on relations between the two nations.
“If any of these attacks have been racist in nature – and it seems clear some of them have – they will be punished with the full force of the law. Such attacks affront our values and are anathema to our view of modern Australia.”
It may be mentioned that Australia has so far played down racism as a motive behind the violence against Indians, which resulted tin media outrage in India threatened to damage Australia’s 15.4-billion-US-dollar education export industry.
The minister also said that the violence, which included robberies and beatings, was ‘inexcusable’ and being taken ‘very seriously’.
“We also need to accept and to understand that it has considerably damaged Australia’s reputation in India and among the Indian people. Indeed, it has been widely noticed beyond India and South Asia,” he added.