Govt has taken stern view of safety of citizens in Australia: Tharoor
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 15:46
Kochi: The government has taken a serious view of the safety of its citizens in Australia and even a single person being hurt was of "great concern" to it, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said Tuesday.

"It is their responsibility, but we have left them in no doubt about the seriousness with which we view the safety of our citizens in their country', he told reporters here.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has met the Australian Prime Minister and all relevant Cabinet members there and discussed safety of the Indian students, he said.

"I think apparently it is in Australia's own interest that students should be safe, as education is the major industry in that country, contributing 15 billion Australian dollars to their economy," he added.

"If the widespread perception in India is that students are not safe there, they will not be able to say with pride that Australia has 90,000 Indian students there currently, which is slightly larger than the number of Indian students in US," Tharoor said.

The minister, however, emphasised that ultimately law and order in Australia was the responsibility of its government. "I don't think we can sit here and tell the Australians what to do", he said, when asked about the increasing number of attacks on Indian students.

Two students from Punjab and Madhya Pradesh were the latest victims of attacks on Indians in Australia when they were assaulted by a group of men in separate incidents.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 15:46

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