Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Indian envoy praises Australian authorities for action over vandalism of Hindu temples

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Manpreet Vohra, India’s High Commissioner to Australia, praised Australian authorities on Monday for their “great responsiveness” to the vandalism of Hindu temples and expressed confidence that the situation will improve.

In an interview, Indian High Commissioner to Australia said, “We are seeing great responsiveness from the Australian authorities to our concerns. We are confident that they will go after those who violate the law and indulge in these hate crimes. I am quite confident that going forward, we will see a better situation.”

PM Modi is scheduled to visit Australia today after concluding his trip to Papua New Guinea. Answering a question if Indian Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Modi will discuss the temple vandalism, High Commissioner Vohra said, “Vandalism of Hindu temples has been a concern in India and he has also raised a concern with Australian PM Anthony Albanese when he came to India. And we received a response from him as well.”

Earlier, during his March visit to India, Albanese reiterated that Australia will use “full force” to prevent attacks on Hindu temples. PM Modi raised the issue in the Hyderabad House, where the two sides held a formal dialogue. The attacks on Hindu temples in Australia had “worried” Modi.

Albanese had given assurance to PM Modi “every action through our police and also our security agencies,” and that he will “make sure that anyone responsible for this faces the full force of the law.

Hindu temples have been vandalized by Anti-India elements in Australia

“I gave him the assurance that Australia is a country that respects people’s faith. That we don’t tolerate the sort of extreme actions and attacks that we’ve seen on religious buildings, be they Hindu temples, mosques, synagogues, or churches. This has no place in Australia. We’re a tolerant multicultural nation, and there is no place in Australia for this activity,” the Australian PM said.

Attacks on Hindu temples have increased in recent months. The Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple in Brisbane was attacked in March. Previously, in January, the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Australia, was vandalized with anti-Hindu graffiti.

On January 12, a week before the above incident, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Australia’s Mill Park was defaced with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti. The Indian High Commissioner to Australia also discussed the two countries’ educational and trade partnerships, during the interview. 

Vohra expressed his delight and pride in the fact that the first two foreign universities to announce the establishment of two campuses in India are both Australian universities: the University of Deakin and the University of Wollongong.

HC Manpreet Vohra also talked about Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement or ECTA, which was implemented on December 29, 2022.

“…ECTA was signed last year and has entered into force also. We have already started negotiations very intensely on the next step which is the full comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA). We are committed, along with Australia, to conclude those negotiations, hopefully possibly, by the end of this year,” Vohra said.

“He has a very substantive round of bilateral discussions with PM Albanese. He will be following up on the discussions that went on when PM Albanese was in India two months ago. We expect some outcomes & announcements.” Indian High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra said of PM Modi’s visit to Australia.

The Indian Prime Minister will be visiting Australia beginning from May 22-24, 2023.

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