Australia a tolerant, anti-racist society: Minister

January 11th, 2010 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 11 (IANS) As Indian Jaspreet Singh recuperates in hospital after being set on fire, the Australian government has said the country is tolerant and anti-racist.
Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said he did not believe that racism was on the rise in Australia.

“Australia is a tolerant and anti-racist society, but there is no guarantee everyone subscribes to those values,” Crean was quoted as saying by the ABC.

The remarks came amid a string of attacks on Indians, including the fatal stabbing of 21-year-old Nitin Garg Jan 2. The accounting graduate was killed while going to work at a fast-food restaurant in the West Footscray suburb.

The incident was followed by an assault on Jaspreet Singh, who was allegedly set on fire by a group of men minutes after he dropped his wife at their Grice Crescent home at Essendon about 2 a.m. Friday.

He ran from the car while peeling off his clothes. He suffered 15 percent burns.

Crean said that in the most recent cases, he does not believe race was an issue.

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