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Indians Should Be As Welcome In Aus As I Am In India: Lee

PTI 28 Jan 2010, 16:24:53 IST

Condemning the violent attacks on Indians Down Under, Australian speedster Brett Lee said he wants the community to be as welcome in his country as he is in India. 

"I want to make it absolutely clear that I as an Australian welcome Indians in Australia whether they are students, tourists or those coming for work. I know about the current issues and I am saddened by what has happened," Lee told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.  The 33-year-old speedster, who calls India his second home, however, said he didn't consider the attacks racist, as is being alleged in India. 

"As far as racism is concerned, I don't think that it is the case. Australia is a safe place. We would like Indians to feel as comfortable and as welcome as I feel in India. I can't be more blunt then that," he said. Indians have been targetted in a series of violent attacks in Australia in the past few months which has created a diplomatic storm in both the countries.

The Australian government has maintained that the attacks are nothing more then opportunistic crimes and denied the race angle. But the Indian government has been critical of Australia's handling of the cases.

"There has been a lot of media build up to all this. People travelling to Australia are very safe. We are a multicultural country and we have people of different races living together," Lee said. PTI