Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Governments urge calm as protests continue -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

PETER CAVE: The Australian and Indian governments are urging calm after another night of protests
in Sydney's west by Indian students who believe they've been the target of racially motivated

This morning, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said that Australia is one of the safest places in
the world for international students, while the Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said that
Indian students concerned about their safety need to let the local police do their job.

In Victoria, the Government has announced a police campaign to target crime at train stations in
suburbs on the city's fringes.

Victoria's Chief Police Commissioner Simon Overland says the campaign is in response to robberies
generally but he admits Indian students have been prime targets.

SIMON OVERLAND: Some of the attacks are clearly racist in motivation and that is... I mean violence
is unacceptable, racism is unacceptable in any form, but also we know that some of it is
opportunistic and that international students can be vulnerable.

They do face particular issues - they're working late, they're travelling on public transport
because they don't have cars, they're travelling late at night, they're travelling alone, they're
coming straight from university so they have laptops and other things with them and they're simply
vulnerable and they're being picked on because of that.

PETER CAVE: Victoria's Chief Police Commissioner Simon Overland.

In India, the Government there is urging its students not to retaliate against suspected attackers.

However some have written to officials in New Delhi, asking to be rescued from the violence.

And coverage of the unrest in Australia is still leading news bulletins across India, as our South
Asia correspondent Sally Sara reports from New Delhi.

SALLY SARA: The student attacks in Australia are headline news in India.

As the story continues, Australia's reputation as a safe and welcoming destination is under

(Excerpts from Indian television news)

NEWS PRESENTER 1: And Indians Down Under pushed to the corner are taking matters into their own

NEWS PRESENTER 2: Racial or not, attacks on foreigners point to the poor state of law and order in
two of Australia's biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

NEWS PRESENTER 3: Indian students in Sydney and Melbourne are enraged at what they call police

SALLY SARA: But the Indian Government is calling for calm.

The Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna delivered a direct message to the Indian students in Australia
who have taken to the streets.

S.M. KRISHNA: Well I would like all Indian students to be patient. They should be restrained. They
have gone there to pursue higher studies and they should concentrate on that, rather than

SALLY SARA: The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke about the attacks for the first time in
a speech to the Indian Parliament.

He said he'd been in direct contact with his Australian counterpart, Kevin Rudd.

MANMOHAN SINGH: He assured me that any racist attacks on Indian students would be strongly dealt

SALLY SARA: But international interest in the story is continuing.

Last night, even BBC's World Service was leading its international bulletin with news of the latest
unrest in Sydney.

BBC PRESENTER: That's where Indian students have been rallying for a second night.

SALLY SARA: Australia's High Commissioner to New Delhi, John McCarthy has been appearing on Indian
television news programs, trying to reassure prospective students.

But he told the BBC Australia's reputation may be at risk.

JOHN MCCARTHY: It is at risk, I think, you know, we have to face up to that. That's why we have to
act quickly. That's why we are acting quickly.

We're very proud of our image as a multi-cultural country, as a peaceful country. We don't like
this happening in our society and we're going to stop it.

SALLY SARA: Mr McCarthy says the attacks have many causes but concedes there may be an element of

JOHN MCCARTHY: Some of the crimes committed against them have had a racial element in them and I
think there has been increased concern amongst the Indian student community as a whole in

That's understandable.

SALLY SARA: The Indian Government is calling for an immediate end to the attacks in Australia.

Vishnu Prakash, spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, says the violence against the
students must stop.

VISHNU PRAKASH: Since they are in Australia, it is for the Australian authorities, for the law
enforcement agencies and for the Australian authorities to ensure that such attacks do not happen.

SALLY SARA: The Australian Government is under pressure to restore order or risk damaging the
lucrative overseas higher education market.

PETER CAVE: South Asia correspondent Sally Sara with that report.