It's not racism, says Australia

2009-06-03 11:40

Canberra - Australia's government said on Wednesday that racism was not behind a string of violent attacks on Indian students, including the latest slashing of a man in Melbourne by a group of five unidentified youths.

"There's no allegation, no substantial allegation that these are racially motivated. I don't believe so, and neither does the Indian government," Trade and Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean told local television.

The latest attack has redoubled fears that violents bashings and robberies of Indian students could seriously damage Australia's third-biggest export earner, the A$15bn market for overseas students.

Since India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raised concerns last week with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, several senior ministers have been wheeled out by the centre-left Australian government to avert a foreign student exodus.

Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith also formed a new task force to deal with the problem, led by former special forces commander turned National Security Adviser Duncan Lewis.

Crean said while Australia would do everything possible to stop the attacks, he believed the issue was being sensationalised in both Australian and Indian media, potentially making the problem worse.

"Australia I believe is an inclusive, welcoming, tolerant society. It's easy-going. That is a brand worth preserving," Crean said.

Crean's defence came after 21-year-old Indian student was attacked by a group of five males and slashed across the chest with a box-cutter knife in suburban Melbourne after they stopped him on Tuesday and demanded cigarettes and money.

Australia's government said that hate crimes would be made and offence in the state of Victoria where most of the attacks occurred.

Police said the latest in a string of assaults on Indian students was not racially-motivated, as has been claimed in sections of India's media.

"I would say this is an opportunistic fight. It could have happened to any individual of any nationality," police Senior Constable Karla Dennis said.

There are around 93 000 Indian students in the country, up from around 30 000 only a few years ago.

Crean said no one senior in India's government had alleged racism as a motivation for the attacks, which some Indian students said were also occurring in Sydney.

"They all are aware of the very conscious efforts that the Australian governments are taking to address this problem. They know we are sincere," Crean said.

Read more on:    manmohan singh  |  kevin rudd  |  india  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Newlands - 07:31 AM
    Road name: Newlands Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bowwood Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:19 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Constantia Main Road and the Woolsack Drive exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.