SHAFAQNA- The Thai Consulate General in Sydney has warned Thai Muslims in the city to be on full alert, saying Australians may have a negative attitude to foreign Muslims after the fatal siege drama early this week, the Thai Foreign Ministry said this week.
The consulate in Sydney issued a statement saying it had discussed the situation with Chaiwat Kaewpaluek, president of Thai Muslim Club in Australia.
They agreed that club members should be careful about possible negative dealings with Australians.
“They may not understand and be upset with foreign Muslims who have migrated to Australia. Therefore, they may misunderstand about other groups of foreign Muslims in the country,” the statement said.
The gunman who held 17 people hostage in a Sydney cafe was identified as Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee who was on bail despite facing a number of charges. Monis received political asylum in Australia in 1996.
Three people – the gunman and two hostages – were killed after police raided the cafe at about 2am local time yesterday.
The consulate advised Thai Muslims in Australia to be more cautious and immediately inform it if anything happens to them.
Given the increased terrorism risk in Australia, the office warned Thais in Sydney and the state of New South Wales to be more cautious in public places, saying they should avoid crowded places or standing near boxes or items left unattended.
The consulate resumed service yesterday after suspending operations on Monday when the siege was under way.
At least 20,000 Thais are believed to live in Sydney, including many students. The city – Australia’s largest – also has hundreds of Thai restaurants.
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