Melbourne, Feb 9: In two separate incidents, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith raised concern over the existence of racism Down Under.
While Rudd said that his Asian son-in-law has told him about racism in the country, Smith told the Parliament on Tuesday, Feb 9 that it was 'clear' that race was a motive in some of the attacks against Indians.
"My son-in-law is Chinese, from Hong Kong, I hear stories from him from time to time which make me really worried about what might be going on out there," Rudd told ABC Television on Monday, Feb 8 night.
"This country, Australia, is and shall be a tolerant country," the PM said, urging the people to keep 'a weather eye' on racist incidents.
"We have a combined responsibility: politicians of all sides, community leaders, young people, old people," he added.
Addressing the raging issue of attacks on Indians Down Under in the Parliament, the Foreign Minister said, "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."
"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," he promised, offering his government's condolences to the families of victims.
This comes after the 'racist' angle in the attacks on Indians was compromised after the police alleged that one Indian faked an attack to claim insurance. Following this Australian Premier John Brumby and Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese blamed the Indian media for sensationalising the attacks on Indians .