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Aus admits some attacks on Indians ‘racist’

Australia’s foreign minister told parliament some of the recent violence against Indian students had clearly been racially motivated and had damaged the nation’s reputation.

world Updated: Feb 10, 2010 00:11 IST

Australia’s foreign minister on Tuesday told parliament some of the recent violence against Indian students had clearly been racially motivated and had damaged the nation’s reputation.

Stephen Smith offered his government’s condolences to the family of Indian nationals attacked in Australia, telling lawmakers that repairing the subsequent damage to the country’s image was an “essential priority”.

“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 said 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.”

Oz PM on racism

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he was sickened to hear that one young Indian in the audience had been pushed around and had racist comments directed at him by teenage drunks on the country's national day last month. “That’s a really awful story and makes me sick,” he said.