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India wants action over racial attacks
Melbourne, Feb 4 (IANS):
Published on 5 Feb. 2010 1:16 AM IST
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Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh’s stinging remark that Victoria was a state in denial about the severity of the problem of race attacks Thursday prompted the Australian state’s premier John Brumby to say he wanted to meet her again. Discussing the assaults on Indians in Melbourne, Sujatha Singh told Governor General Quentin Bryce that Victoria was a state “in denial”, The Age reported Thursday. She is believed to have told Bryce that Australia was not racist but warned of long-term consequences unless more action was taken to prevent attacks on Indians, the media report said. Citing over 100 incidents of racist violence against Indians, she told Bryce that Victorian authorities were in denial over the scale of the violence. The Indian envoy would return to New Delhi next week for talks on Australia’s response to the assaults. Responding to her remark, Brumby said he would again seek a meeting with her to assure that his government was doing all it could to stop attacks on Indian students. I’ll be able to inform her of all of these things and again to reassure her that Victoria is a much safer place than other places in Australia and indeed around the world,” Australian news agency AAP quoted Brumby as saying Thursday. Brumby reiterated there should be a fair and balanced debate on the issue. He said the most recent cases of violence against Indians, including a man who allegedly set himself on fire and a murder allegedly committed by an Indian couple, had unfairly damaged Australia’s reputation. “There’s always a lot of speculation about these things but if you look at the facts of the matter ... in relation to assault in relation to Indian students, they are under-represented in terms of their population share. “I think it’s important in this discussion and this debate that there’s some balance in the reporting and in attitudes that are expressed publicly.” Brumby suggested setting up an Indian task force to address racial attacks. The string of attacks on Indians has caused outrage in India and strained relations between Canberra and New Delhi. One of the attacks proved fatal. Brumby Wednesday criticised the Indian media and officials and said there had to be “some balance to the reporting” after it emerged that an Indian man who claimed to have been set alight by assailants in Melbourne had in fact accidentally burnt himself. British MP concern on attacks London, Feb 4 (IANS): A British MP representing one of the largest Indian-origin settlements in Europe has demanded to be told what actions the Australian government is taking to prevent further violent attacks on Indians living in Australia. Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving MP of Indian origin, told Australian High Commissioner John Dauth his constituents with family-members living in Australia are scared and upset after mounting violent attacks on Indian students. “I am most concerned about these spate of attacks. As an India origin MP I represent a large amount of British Indians who are rightly very upset about the safety of Indians in Australia,” Vaz, a former Labour minister, said in a letter to Dauth. Vaz, whose Leicester East constituency in southeast England is known as ‘Little India’ for its large Indian-origin community, asked the diplomat to inform him of the actions taken by the Australian government to prevent such attacks. The MP said in a statement later he is “extremely concerned” about the attacks as he has received “anxious messages from constituents with family currently living in Australia who are scared by reports of violence.” “I am awaiting a response from the Australian High Commissioner on this very serious issue,” he said.

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