Modi takes up vandalisation of temples issues with Australian PM
Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed off his visit to Australia by raising the issue of attacks on Hindu temples there in last few months with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese.
“Prime Minister Albanese and I have discussed the issue of attacks on temples in Australia and the activities of separatist elements in the past. Today also we had a discussion on the issue. It is not acceptable to us that any element harms the warm and friendly relations between India and Australia by their thoughts or their actions,” Modi stated.
It may be mentioned that in recent months, within a fortnight, three Hindu temples were vandalised in Australia’s Victoria state, including vandalism of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs. There was a series of reported vandalism of Hindu temples in Melbourne too, and the walls of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in Melbourne’s Albert Park were stained with graffiti written “Hindustan Murdabad“.
Modi said Prime Minister Albanese had taken steps in this regard and he assured the Indian Prime Minister that he will continue to take strict action against such elements.
Modi and Albanese today also discussed the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the possibilities of cooperation in new areas. “Last year India-Australia ECTA [Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement] came into effect. Today we have decided to focus on CECA – Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. This will give further strength and new dimensions to our trade and economic cooperation,” Modi said.
Modi further informed the media persons about the “constructive discussions” on strengthening the strategic cooperation in the sectors of mining and critical minerals, and also that both countries had identified “concrete areas” for cooperation in renewable energy.
India and Australia today signed the migration and mobility partnership agreement to “further strengthen our living bridge”, Modi said. Both India and Australia will soon open a new Consulate in Brisbane and Bengaluru respectively.
Today Peter Dutton, Australia’s Leader of the Opposition, also called on Prime Minister Modi here and the discussions covered various aspects of the bilateral partnership, including people-to-people linkages as well as regional developments. Modi also met the Governor-General of Australia,David Hurley. Both leaders discussed ways to strengthen the long-standing bilateral partnership.
Later in the day, Modi addressed a Business Roundtable in Sydney where the participating CEOs represented leading companies operating across a diverse range of sectors including steel, banking, energy, mining and IT, among others. Vice Chancellors from some of the leading Universities of Australia also participated in the Roundtable.
Modi invited the CEOs to take advantage of investment opportunities offered by India in domains of infrastructure including digital infrastructure, IT, fintech, telecom, semiconductors, space, renewable energy including green hydrogen, education, pharma, healthcare including medical devices manufacturing, mining including critical minerals, textile, agriculture & food processing.